Happy Monday! This is an exciting slate, to say the least. The main slate only has two games, so I’ve added a breakdown of the early slate as well. However, it also is small and only has three games. We’ve got next to no aces on either slate and a game in Coors Field. My best advice for tonight: play a build that isn’t safe. Try to get outside the box a bit and look for ways to pass the field, not go in the same direction. Enjoy.
Implied Run Totals (IRT)
Due to some very suspect SPs on the small slate, IRTs are pretty high. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be high scores. It wouldn’t shock me if no one scored more than five runs today. Outside of the White Sox, none of the other five teams have a wRC+ over 100. Feel at ease by stacking any offense in this game because it won’t take much scoring to beat the field today.
Coors Field alert! And on a two-game slate! On 10-15 game slates, Coors games can be mega-chalk; today will be no exception. There are only going to be two ways to play this slate: 1) stack heavily in Coors and use wildcard SP options, 2) avoid Coors ultimately, and hope the pitching keeps the bats quiet. My preference would be to stack heavily in the Coors game (you’ll find my stack preference below) and hope enough runs get scored.
I am not getting too cute with these selections. Cal Quantrill and Dallas Keuchel are easily the best options on the slate, and it’s not even close. However, these are the only options that might last into the fifth inning of the six SPs slated. If you want to play with fire on a three-game slate with no pitching, you’re just burning bankroll. The variance in baseball is on the hitting side; chase the sun in your stacks.
If you want to get weird at SP, I will take Reiver Sanmartin. He was a toss-in on the Sonny Gray deal with the Yankees for those not familiar with him. In Triple-A, he sported a 25.9% K-rate with a 54% groundball rate. Additionally, he’s stretched out enough to toss five innings of work. Hopefully, he can last long enough to get the win and fend off the paltry-hitting Pirates.
We can’t use either pitcher from that game if we are stacking the Coors Field game (WAS@COL). The only options left are Flexen and Irvin, which isn’t a bad thing. However, there is a big downside to rostering both SPs from the same game-lack of win equity. Consider that Josiah Gray gives up way too many HRs to be an effective starting pitcher and Germán Márquez‘s recent struggles. Both can’t win in the same game, but I’ll take my chances; they hold teams down better than Gray and Márquez.
My SP of choice for FanDuel lineups is Chris Flexen. The Mariners are a slight favorite in the eyes of Vegas, and Flexen is consistently going five-plus innings every start. Given that he’s within $1K of all the other SPs, this one seems like a no-brainer.
Cleveland (vs. RHP Jackson Kowar)
- The field will likely stack heavier towards the White Sox and Reds due to higher IRTs and park upgrades. So, we need to get a little different to take down the GPP. Cleveland isn’t a powerhouse offense but has plenty of thump in the lineup. With so few options, you need to roster players like Franmil Reyes and José Ramírez; then, get different. From there, get the Bradley boys in your build. Bobby Bradley showcases a .210 ISO vs. RHP, and Bradley Zimmer comes with a sneaky .140 ISO vs. RHP and a little speed. On a slate this tiny, I would suggest keeping your stack to no more than four and spreading roster% around the slate.
Washington Nationals (at RHP Germán Márquez)
- Staying away from Coors in a two-game slate is bad business. It may come off as a bit of contrarian to stack against the best raw SP of the slate. But, as I mentioned earlier, you’ve got to get a little different for these smaller slates. Márquez has been pretty awful as of late, and in the last four weeks, getting destroyed by left-handed bats (8% K-rate, 12% BB-rate, .210 ISO). Use this knowledge to get all the lefties in your stack (Juan Soto, Luis García, and Josh Bell). Lastly, for DraftKings, Keibert Ruiz is uber-pricey but could offer the leverage needed. However, if you’re a FanDuel truther, maybe avoid the catcher and get Lane Thomas since he bats atop the lineup.
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.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)