Happy Father’s Day! I’ll add my disclaimer here – I’m playing golf with my dad today and we have a 7:04 am tee time, so I’m writing this Saturday night. Some of the lines will have moved between the time I write this and when it’s posted, but hopefully, this will still be a valuable tool to get you started on today’s slate. Both FanDuel and DraftKings feature 9 game main slates starting at 1:05. As of this writing, the skies should be clear of any precipitation. I’d like to title this slate the “non-ace slate” as there is no deGrom/Cole/Kershaw to be seen. The closest thing we have to an ace is Hyun-Jin Ryu. That will certainly make things interesting as there will not be a “90% rostered” pitcher making roster construction wide open. We also have a little wrinkle when it comes to Coors. DraftKings is including the first doubleheader game for the Braves/Cardinals matchup in their 9 game slate. FanDuel does not have that doubleheader game and instead has the Rockies/Brewers matchup. I will cover that game when we talk about our stacks, but keep in mind it is for FanDuel only. Let’s take a look at the Implied Run Totals for each game, and then we’ll dive into the slate!
In the past when I’ve used this chart, the plays pop out at you pretty quickly. Any totals in the three runs range is an obvious attack. However, today we only have one team total below four runs and that’s the Nationals against Taijuan Walker. I’m not trying to take anything away from Walker, who has been excellent this year, it’s just a little surprising. On the hitting side of things, the AL East teams stand out as the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox are the only teams to have implied totals above 5.0 runs. On FanDuel, we’ll also have the two teams in Coors to stack, but we’ll get to that. Let’s get into our starting pitchers.
In the introduction, I mentioned how there are no aces on this slate. I lied a little, as Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,900 DK, $8,500 FD) is pretty awesome and with a matchup against Baltimore, he has to be in consideration for our SP1. It’s interesting to me to see the two highest-priced pitchers on DraftKings, Sean Manaea and Mike Minor, also face two of the teams with implied run totals north of 5.0. Taijuan Walker ($9,400 DK, $9,400 FD) has the matchup with the Nationals, who have the lowest implied total on the slate, so he has to be an option for our ace as well. Lance McCullers, Jr. ($8,800 DK, $7,600 FD) gets a tough matchup with the White Sox, but Vegas is telling us they have an implied total of 4.0 runs, so I’ll add them to our shortlist as well. Here’s a breakdown of the matchups for Ryu, Walker, and McCullers:
Raise your hand if you had the Orioles as crushing the Nationals and White Sox. I’ll be real with you, these were not the results I was expecting. I went into making that chart thinking Ryu was my no-brainer SP1. Now, I think it falls to either Walker or McCullers. If we break the matchup down further, over the last two weeks, the White Sox are next to last in the league in wRC+ against right-handed pitching while having a paltry .103 ISO. I believe that makes McCullers my preferred SP1 today.
To be honest with you, there are not many other options that I’m willing to roster on this slate. Two of the cheaper options that I don’t hate are Kenta Maeda ($6,300 DK, $7,000 FD) and Dane Dunning ($7,200 DK, $6,700 FD), who actually face each other in Globe Life Park. Both teams have implied totals below 4.4 and both offenses are in the bottom half of the league in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. I prefer Maeda because I feel he has the higher upside, but both should be in line to pay off their cheap prices.
As I mentioned earlier, there are only three teams with an implied run total of 5.0 or above – Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox (and the Coors teams if you’re playing on FanDuel). To me, the Blue Jays against Matt Harvey is my top team to stack, but let’s break down the matchups to make sure I’m not missing anything:
This is kind of what I expected when I looked into the Ryu matchup. To be fair, both the Yankees and Red Sox have been better against lefties over the last two weeks (yes, small sample), but the Blue Jays stand alone today, especially with the matchup against Matt Harvey. Over his last seven starts, Harvey has allowed five or more runs in six of them. As you might imagine, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($6,300 DK, $4,600 FD), but he’s a must-have in your Blue Jays stacks. I would love to get to the other pricey bats if I can – Bo Bichette ($5,900 DK, $4,100 FD) and Marcus Semien ($5,300 DK, $3,800 FD) – but luckily for us, they also have some cheaper options lower in the order. I even have no problem with adding Reese McGuire ($2,200 DK, $2,100 FD) as a punt catcher to round out the stack and save money.
The natural pivot from what should be a high-rostered Blue Jays team will be the Yankees. However, a matchup with Sean Manaea is certainly not the same as one with Matt Harvey, making the Bronx Bombers a pure GPP play. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re finishing out your roster and just so happen to have enough money for Gio Urshela ($4,200 DK, $2,500 FD), that’s perfectly fine, but I’m not looking to prioritize the Yankees over the Blue Jays in cash games. If you’re stacking the Yankees, you want the ceiling bats, so make sure you fit in Aaron Judge ($5,300 DK, $3,700 FD) and Giancarlo Stanton ($5,600 DK, $3,300 FD). Try and save some room for Gary Sánchez ($5,200 DK, $2,700 FD) as well, who’s mashed four homers over the last 10 days.
The Red Sox are in a similar spot as the Yankees but do offer some value that I like in their lineup. Up at the top should be Enrique Hernández ($3,600 DK, $3,000 FD), while Hunter Renfroe ($3,800 DK, $3,300 FD), Christian Vázquez ($3,500 DK, $2,800 FD), and Christian Arroyo ($3,400 DK, $2,600 FD) provide value at the bottom of the lineup. They face Mike Minor, who has allowed five homers over his last three starts.
Finally, if you’re playing on FanDuel, you have to make a decision between the Brewers/Rockies and the Blue Jays. While the Brewers have the higher implied total (and slightly better matchup against Chi Chi González), don’t sleep on the Rockies, who have a matchup against lefty Eric Lauer. There is something to be said for jamming in as many Blue Jays, Brewers, and Rockies as you can, and filling the rest with value plays.
Finally, here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned in the stacks that I noticed when combing through the lineups:
Good luck today!
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)