Happy August! Both DraftKings and FanDuel feature 10-game main slates starting at 1:05. There’s some rain in the forecast for the Nationals/Cubs game, but it looks like it’s not expected to be an all-day thing. I’m going to treat it as if it’s going to play in my research, but that’s something to keep an eye on as we get closer to lock. Let’s take a look at the Implied Run Totals for each game, and then we’ll dive into the slate!
We have five teams with an implied total below 4.0 runs, with four additional teams below 4.3 runs. I love when we have a decent amount of options for our starting pitchers. Stacks-wise, there are six teams with implied totals above 5.0 runs. The Blue Jays are a clear 1.2 runs above any other team. They’ll likely be our main stack, but I like that we have some contenders for our secondary stack. Let’s take a look at our pitching options to see if we can get anyone to pop for our cash game lineups.
Before I get into the stats, I want to point out that while Cleveland has an implied total of just 3.6 runs, I don’t think we can play the projected White Sox “opener”, Reynaldo López. Shockingly, it’s not because he’s been terrible this year either. López has been converted to a reliever and sports a sub-2.00 ERA. However, he has only thrown 3.0 innings once this year. So while his $4,000 price tag is very tempting, it’s just not a play I’m going after in cash games. Let’s break down the matchups:
Three things stand out from this chart – my SP1, my SP2, and my favorite GPP option. José Berríos ($8,600 DK, $9,000 FD) will be making his Blue Jays debut against a Royals team that has struggled over the last month. While they don’t offer the highest strikeout upside, they provide Berríos with a safe matchup, and with the Blue Jays being -275 to win, he should be in line for those bonus four points we get for a win. The shocking part to me is Berríos doesn’t break the bank at all. At just $8,600, we technically have the ability to pay up for our SP2 (if we wanted to).
It scares me a little bit, but Marco Gonzales ($6,500 DK, $7,000 FD) looks like the perfect option for our SP2. I don’t love the strikeout upside, but this Rangers team has really struggled against lefties over the last month. They’re dead last in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+, and with no Joey Gallo in this lineup, I’m not afraid of that rogue three-homer game from Gallo.
Finally, Charlie Morton ($10,200 DK, $8,800 FD) is my favorite GPP option. He has the highest strikeout upside on today’s slate and faces a Brewers team without Christian Yelich. I’ll likely try putting together lineups that feature Morton + Berríos and Morton + Gonzales.
As I mentioned earlier, the Blue Jays are going to be my main stack today. With paying down at SP, I’m going to make the pricey bats a priority. Step on down Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($6,300 DK, $4,500 FD), Bo Bichette ($5,600 DK, $4,100 FD), and Marcus Semien ($5,400 DK, $3,700 FD). After slotting those three into my lineup, I’ll see who else we can afford, but I’m going to try and make it a priority to fit in five Blue Jays today. Let’s take a look at the other teams that have implied totals north of 5.0 runs to see if any of them pop:
The good news is that all of these pitchers stink. The White Sox have crushed righties over the last month. The recently acquired César Hernández ($3,500 DK, $3,100 FD) is projected to bat second and is still priced at his “Cleveland rate”. Gavin Sheets ($3,500 DK, $2,300 FD) and Andrew Vaughn ($2,900 DK, $2,900 FD) are also priced too low, especially with Sheets projected to bat clean up.
Looking at the Mets, I like them, but the bats that I want are likely outside of our price range. Pete Alonso ($5,600 DK, $3,800 FD) and Jeff McNeil ($4,900 DK, $2,700 FD) have been playing well, but with paying up for the Blue Jays, I’m looking for values. Michael Conforto ($3,400 DK, $2,700 FD) is relatively cheap and has hit four bombs off of righties in the last month.
The Tigers have a little bit of value to be had and I love the idea of picking on Spenser Watkins. Akil Baddoo ($4,200 DK, $3,400 FD) is projected to lead off, while Robbie Grossman ($3,500 DK, $3,200 FD) and Jeimer Candelario ($4,200 DK, $2,700) are hitting in the middle of the order.
Here are some of the best value hitters on today’s slate. I’m taking a page out of my colleague Dave Swan’s (@davithius) book and provided my favorite value play from each position:
If you stuck around, here’s the lineup I plan on using in cash games today:
I learned that a five-man Toronto stack is pretty tough to fit in. If you’re committed to doing so, you could try finding a min-priced catcher once lineups are released and swap off Soler to Gurriel.
Good luck today!
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)