Happy Friday! This is a loaded slate full of calamity and chaos. We’ve got aces with tough matchups, mid-range SPs that look very tempting, and underpriced boom-or-bust plays with the best matchups. On the flip side, the offenses are projecting like they’ll put up crooked numbers. Even worse, we’ve got some weather concerns, specifically for NYY/BOS. Also, if STL/CHC goes too long, they’ll get rain as well. Phew! This one is a doozy. Keep a close eye on the lineups, as we lock at 7:05 PM EST.
Implied Run Totals (IRT)
There are some pretty massive IRTs on the slate, even besides Coors Field. This is somewhat concerning due to the number of great pitching options out there. It says to me that there will be plenty of cheaper bats to use and try to pay up for the pitching.
I would approach my builds by either paying up at SP and use lower rostered stacks to gain leverage or stack the chalk and play wildcard SPs to be different. Either way, I could see both strategies working out today.
Even with so many talented arms on the slate, it’s a bit challenging to lock down the few you want. Many have tough matchups, and there will be quite a few bullpen games. For these reasons, I am trying to keep the list as tight as possible.
This tier is where I’m looking for a high floor and high ceiling. Burnes and Cole fit the bill here. The well-documented struggles of Cole’s season are a concern, given his salary. However, he’s nearly a lock to go five-plus innings and pile up enough Ks to pay off that enormous salary. While Boston is an electric offense, they’ve got plenty of swing-and-miss in the offense with a few bats missing.
That salary for Burnes is bananas, but it’s Corbin Burnes. Yes, I see both Eric Lauer and Burnes listed in different spots. I prefer Burnes going on this type of slate because I think the field will shy away from the enormous salary. This would make him a tremendous value if he shoves. Obviously, if Lauer gets the nod, Burnes is obsolete, and Cole will become mega-SP1 chalk. I did say this was a calamity and chaos slate, right?
Falling slightly outside the green tier is a trio of arms that I’ll be using quite often to make SP1s. Each has a strong K-upside with a relatively safe floor due to an ability to go deep into games. Eovaldi and Gray could scare many people off due to the matchup. So, I would expect Cease is the chalkiest of the group. I would suggest using this information to formulate your build. If you’re passing on the green tier, you might go Cease and someone from the red tier to allow yourself more salary for bats. Or, play a pairing like Burnes/Cole and Gray/Eovaldi, then find a stack that you think won’t be as rostered for your GPP. Choices!
This is my GPP tier, where I am using the low salaries to help pay up elsewhere. However, I believe these two starting pitchers are severely underpriced for a slate of this size. What does that do to the roster% of a player? It typically goes up. So, keep that in mind when building a lineup for today. Both could come with more roster% than we assume.
FanDuel has Carlos Hernández at $8300 and Logan Gilbert at $8100, while DraftKings has Hernández at $5500 and Gilbert at $6400. Obviously, FanDuel is a one SP sportsbook that bumps up the salaries a tick, but there is no way on Earth either should be this low. Take the savings, hope they toss a gem, and pass the field in your GPPs today.
San Francisco Giants (vs. Patrick Lambert)
- It’s always a staggering sight to see the IRT for a Coors Field game. The 7.02 IRT is one of the highest I’ve seen all season, and for a good reason. The Giants are a dynamic offense that is on fire as of late. They’ve got power for days up and down the lineup while not striking out too much. Typically I don’t particularly appreciate grabbing teams from Coors because they’ll be very chalky. So, get different with your SPs or secondary stack. Core stack targets: Kris Bryant, Buster Posey, LaMonte Wade Jr, and Brandon Belt.
Atlanta Braves (vs. Pierce Johnson)
- The Braves are a stack I like because they might wind up in fewer lineups than they should. The field might chase Coors Field a bit too much, and the Dodgers are also in a good spot. Leverage is key to big slates like this. However, if we want to outscore the field, we need to target the players with HR potential. Atlanta has plenty of them: Austin Riley, Freddie Freeman, Adam Duvall, and Dansby Swanson.
St Louis Cardinals (vs. Zach Davies)
- The Cardinals are more of a contrarian matchup play. Davies has been a perfect SP to stack against because he doesn’t strike out anyone(less than 20% K-rate vs. lefties and righties). While he’s been slightly better against left-handed bats, he gives up too much power to both. Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill are must plays in your STL stacks because they smash right-handed pitching(.250 ISO). Let’s not forget that Paul Goldschmidt is drinking from the fountain of youth, and his salary is far too cheap. This is the type of stack I would use with a chalkier SP pairing like Cole and Cease.
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.
Good luck; you’re going to need it!
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)