Happy Monday! Today is a tiny slate with only seven games. Due to the size, I suggest using no more than four hitters in your stacks. As far as pitching goes, the highest-priced arm returns from a two-month injury hiatus. Additionally, some of the upside young arms have extremely challenging matchups. Success may come in a myriad of ways tonight, so get as creative as the bankroll will allow. Games start at 7:05 PM EST with very few weather concerns. Have some fun and good luck!
Implied Run Totals (IRT)
Even on a slate with no true aces, the scoring doesn’t seem to be as abundant. Even more so, we’ve got a couple of road games as the favorites (BOS, SD, HOU, TB, and MIA). For stacking purposes, that’s where I am looking to keep my stack targets. Away teams will always bat in the ninth inning, and given that they’re the favorite means, I will focus the stacks that way—mainly looking at the top of the order bats.
Let’s start with some avoids. Clayton Kershaw makes his return from the IL. Two months away can lead to plenty of rust, and the Dodgers do not need to push his pitch total. While I love the matchup against the Diamondbacks, there is too much risk, especially at a salary over $10K. Wait and see how Los Angeles handles their ace before making him a priority.
Zac Gallen is a wonderful pitcher to watch—when he is on. However, we’ve seen the changeup pull a David Copperfield, and the struggles pop up from time to time. I almost hate making him a total avoid because he is striking out batters so often. However, his matchup against the Dodgers brings on far too much risk. At this point, I’d rather take a shot in the dark on an uber inexpensive Logan Gilbert.
The GREEN tier is three studs (Sandy Alcantara, Yu Darvish, and Adam Wainwright). Although, coming into 2021, no one would have expected Wainwright in this tier. However, given that this is your “ace” tier, the salaries are extremely helpful. All three are easy SP1s and should end up in all your cash lineups.
The YELLOW tier is an intriguing duo. E-Rod never truly gets the respect he deserves in DFS and typically winds up in fewer rosters. However, he is striking out left-handed bats at a 30% clip, and even right-hand hitters whiff more than 25% of the time. I would be smashing as much Rodriguez as possible into FanDuel lineups because Boston is a heavy favorite.
Jake Odorizzi carries way more risk than E-Rod, but he’s been much better as of late. We see Jake throw his arsenal with more of a purpose. Although, due to the lack of impressive stuff, there is a minimal margin for error. If Odorizzi misses his spots and the walks creep back into the picture, it’ll be a mess. If you’re stacking a chalkier lineup, Odorizzi is a cheaper SP2 option that could throw a gem. Lastly, Texas is a woeful bunch of hitters with a lot of swing-and-miss in the profiles.
The RED is two terrific young pitchers (Logan Gilbert and Alek Manoah) in very challenging spots. Boston and Tampa Bay are not offenses I like using any SP against. Although, Tampa is a little lighter with the unfortunate loss of Wander Franco. Even without the hot-shot prospect, it’s a dangerous lineup but plenty of Ks up and down the lineup.
Much like Manoah, Gilbert has all the pitches needed to cruise past any offense. But this is a very daunting task against Boston. The pathway to success will rely on Gilbert’s ability to K batters from either side of the dish. He carries K-rates over 25% vs. lefties and righties. Thanks to an incredibly cheap salary, we can play all the expensive hitters you’d like. Additionally, I could see a bunch of lineups go contrarian and roster Gilbert in large field GPPs.
Houston Astros (at RHP Spencer Howard/A.J. Alexy)
- The first thing that jumps out is how affordable some Astros bats are, especially on a seven-game slate. This leads to a higher roster% than normal and given their 5.25 IRT, making them chalk. At the moment, I see Spencer Howard or A.J. Alexy listed as probable. Either way, the target is right-handed bats with power. Both SPs give up a fair amount of pop with good K-rates. The easy-core stack players are Kyle Tucker, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman. Due to how chalky they’ll be, I would suggest a $2K Chas McCormick for large field GPPs.
Boston Red Sox (at RHP Logan Gilbert)
- Top to bottom, there are so many good hitters in this lineup. Getting Enrique Hernández back in the leadoff spot really makes them look so much better too. This is why things could get sketchy for Logan Gilbert. First, he is a rookie, and his inexperience could lead to struggles, but he really has trouble against right-handed power. A .220 ISO vs. RHH could lead to disaster tonight. The Red Sox have a bevy of bats with ISOs over .250. Core stack targets: J.D. Martinez, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber, and Rafael Devers. Now, those will be fairly chalky plays, so consider Bobby Dalbec (if he starts) for added leverage.
Los Angeles Dodgers (vs. RHP Zac Gallen)
- The slate is only seven games, so it’ll be difficult to get away from the better offenses. The Dodgers have an IRT of 5.25, which puts them at the top with Houston. Furthermore, they match up against a tougher SP, but Gallen has been erratic at times, most notably giving up hard contact to right-handed bats (.240 ISO vs. RHH). Although, Gallen is also striking out nearly 30% of right-handed bats. While the Dodgers stack is a litter weaker than normal due to Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock injuries, there are plenty of tremendous hitters left. The core of your LAD stack needs to contain Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Justin Turner, and Max Muncy. I wouldn’t recommend stacking five tonight.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the “value hitters” or “punt plays” are meant to be players under $3300 on DK and under $3100 on FD—just a step below my cash players. Due to the slate size, we are stretching the threshold slightly.
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