Happy Wednesday! We’ve got aces for days and very few viable cheap options in a nine-game slate. That means any leverage from stacks will come against better pitchers-yuck! Furthermore, we’ve got a game in Coors Field, and this is shaping into a chalkier slate with few builds to success.
From a stacking perspective, I’d suggest going heavy on only a few teams. Use the core stack targets, but get different with some bottom-of-the-order bats. Additionally, smashing all our wants into a lineup will be challenging. Luckily, there are many value bats with a greater chance for HRs.
Baseball is a game of high variance, and today’s as good as any to try something new. Good luck!
Implied Run Totals (IRT)
This might be one of the odd slates because we’ve got no mid-tier pitchers. There are SOOO many ace-level arms, and there is little reason to take a meh risk at SPs between $9K-$7K. And if you’re more prone to dumpster diving, there really isn’t much there. To make things easier, I’ve done my best to strip away the yuck and allow us to focus on only the viable arms.
The Green Tier features pitchers from $11,000-9,000 (for DK). Today, we have A LOT of them. If you’re a cash games player, you’ve got plenty of solid options to grab from here.
- Shane McClanahan ($10K DK, $11.5K FD) is a
top tentop-five pitcher in the MLB. He strikes out batters at an alarming clip, and when balls are in play, it’s on the ground over 50% of the time. WOAH! What might pique our interests is today’s chance for his roster% to be lower than usual. With many higher-level options, the field likes to pay down if it can.
- Zack Wheeler ($9.7K DK, $10.6K FD) draws one of the more challenging matchups of the day, and that’s why I like him. He’s got all the tools to shut down the Blue Jays, and potentially no one will play him. Slot him in as your SP if you’ve gone too chalky with your stacks.
- Cristian Javier ($9.3K DK, $9.7K FD) can pile up the strikeouts in a hurry, which makes him one of the more intriguing options on the slate. Furthermore, this Los Angeles lineup is terrible outside of Trout(who was removed from last night’s game with back spasms) and Ohtani (who might be more focused on pitching). In the previous month vs. RHP, they showcase a 69 wRC+ and 29.5% K-rate(highest in the MLB). He continues to be one of the better single-entry SPs on the slate.
- Luis Severino ($9.2K DK, $9.3K FD) also gets an easier matchup. Outside of LAA, the Reds have the second-highest K%(26.6%) against RHP in the last 30 days. Severino has struggled a little bit with left-handed bats(19% K-rate and .210 ISO) but dominated right-handed bats(34% K-rate and .110 ISO). Luckily, for Severino, the Reds only have three LHB (Joey Votto, Tyler Naquin, and Mike Moustakas), none of which have been particularly productive this year.
- Shohei Ohtani ($9.1K DK, $10.5K FD) gets a little easier matchup with Yordan Alvarez on the IL. Sure, it’s still a solid offense but FAR less scary. Even so, Ohtani is a strikeout machine and constantly under-priced on DraftKings. What concerns me a little about Ohtani is due to the lack of lower-priced SP options; his roster% will be higher than others. I still think he’ll have a good game, but perhaps on too many other rosters.
Today, the Red Tier is our “pay-down” option as SP. Unfortunately, there is only one arm that looks enticing, and the rest either draw a difficult matchup or don’t strike out enough batters to make it worthwhile.
- Jon Gray ($7.7K DK, $9K FD) has some impressive underlying metrics. His 9.91 K/9 in 82.2 innings of work isn’t that far off of the likes of Wheeler or Severino-except they are nearly $2000 more on DraftKings. Furthermore, we could argue Gray has the easiest matchup of the day. Oakland traded away one of its better hitters and was touting a 66 wRC+ with a 22% K-rate over the last 30 days. Lastly, he’s going to draw A TON of attention from the DK players because of the cheaper salary. So, plan accordingly if you’re going to get chalky with the bats.
New York Yankees (vs. Mike Minor)
- Not only do the Yankees have a mammoth 6.0 IRT, but that’s even higher than both teams playing inside Coors Field. Indeed, they’ll get rostered plenty, so you’ll have to find unique ways to get interesting. One possible way would be to finish your stack with Kyle Higashioka…or even Joey Gallo, as he crushed southpaws(until this season). Furthermore, it’s the matchup that plays into our hands. Mike Minor gives up far too many flyballs and doesn’t strike enough batters out, which is why he’s showing a disastrous 5.09 xFIP. Lastly, let’s not forget the Yankees are touting a .222 team ISO and 145 wRC+.
- Yankees’ Core Stack Targets: Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton.
Chicago White Sox (vs. Aaron Civale)
- Chicago has been underwhelming practically all season; however, this lineup features plenty of power to put up a gaudy run total. Their 4.25 IRT would be the middle of the pack on most days, but due to the immense number of stud pitchers, it’s the fourth-highest on the slate. It’s not all projections for this stack; their opposition, Aaron Civale, has struggled against right-handed batters. This season, right-handed bats carry a .860 OPS and .200 ISO while only striking out 19% of the time. Lastly, the stack possibilities are relatively inexpensive and loaded with values.
- White Sox’ Core Stack Targets: Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, and José Abreu.
Chicago Cubs (vs. Spenser Watkins)
- The Chicago Cubs aren’t a terrific offense, but this slate has the makings of a very low-scoring one. That means it could be anyone’s game if you get the right pitching matchup. TADAAA! Insert Spenser Watkins, who has been better as of late but still relies on balls in play for outs and allows a .240 ISO to right-handed bats. The smoke and mirrors could wear off today, and the Cubs bats could go off. Since they’re not very expensive, feel free to splurge on safer pitching with this stack.
- Cubs’ Core Stack Targets: Willson Contreras, Seiya Suzuki, and Ian Happ.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the value hitters are players under $3500 on DK and under $3300 on FD—just a step below my cash players. Use these players to smash into your lineup when you need to save some salary.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)