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OwnersBox – Main slate (12 games) – starts 7:04 PM EDT
DK/FD – Main slate (11 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
Nothing in the weather report suggests we’ll have to deal with the rampant postponements that have afflicted the schedule the past few days. The wind is not a huge factor across the board, but good breezes blowing out could be in play for PIT@COL, TB@CIN, MIN@BOS, and LAA@NYY.
There are two big names on the slate and a handful of other good options that could help save a few bucks. Looking to guarantee points? Then target the aces and don’t worry about the budget. Spencer Strider is the obvious pick and Clayton Kershaw is always a strong choice, even if he hasn’t performed up to his pedigree at times this season.
If those are your SP1s, then Marcus Stroman is SP 1.5. He has been lights out, averaging more DFS points per game than even Strider so far. He still comes cheaper than some options on the slate unless you play on FanDuel where his price actually leads the list. There’s a bit of smoke and mirrors to his strong start. He’s walking too many batters and giving up more hard contact than you’d like, but against Oakland he’s a strong start.
Other secondary options include Sonny Gray, Logan Gilbert, Jordan Montgomery, Nathan Eovaldi, and Brad Keller.
Gilbert and Montgomery are my favorites from that group. Gilbert’s xERA (2.25) is actually lower than his current mark of 2.70. His fastball isn’t quite up to speed yet, but his curve is making up the difference with an excellent 36.4 whiff%. The Brewers are off to a strong start, but actually have scored 4 runs or fewer in nine games this season while piling on in the others. Montgomery has a 2.90 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 78 Ks in 82 IP with the Cards since coming over from the Yankees in a trade last year.
Eovaldi offers a chance to zig where others will zag. He was torched by these same Royals for 10 hits and 6 runs just last week. The Royals kept hitting and scoring in that game even after Eovaldi exited and finished with a season-high 10 runs. That’s as many as they scored in their next four games combined. Others will shy away from an obvious risk, but it’s more likely that Eovaldi just caught them on the wrong day the first time around.
I only mention Gray and Keller because of their performances so far this season. Neither pitcher has put in a bad start. If you want to play them, you’ll have no argument. That being said, I don’t trust either to keep up their current level of play and the metrics back that up. Keller is in the lower third in the league in chase rate, hard-hit rate, fastball velocity, and walk rate. And Gray’s minuscule 0.53 ERA is not at all supported by his 3.15 xERA.
Eighteen pitchers have allowed five or more home runs this season and five of them are on the mound today.
Let’s start with Ureña who has allowed five home runs in three starts and just 10 innings pitched. He gets Coors again today for a third-straight start. The Pirates scored 14 runs on 16 hits yesterday and have the wind blowing out hard to right.
Righty Ke’Bryan Hayes should be able to take full advantage, going to his pull side just 12% of the time this season. Hayes has been crushing the ball with a 92.8 average EV and career-low 10.1% strikeout rate. Jump on board before the actual stats catch up with his underlying metrics. Bryan Reynolds is another to target with a .932 OPS and five home runs already this season. And Andrew McCutchen is a streaky hitter coming off of a good game last night.
Waldichuk is tied for the league lead in home runs allowed with 7. Bad news for Waldy as he faces the league’s hottest power hitter. Of course, we’re talking about Patrick Wisdom who has hit a home run in each of the past four games, including two last night. Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner, and Seiya Suzuki won’t provide the same pop, but each are playing well right now and feast on left-handed pitching. Avoid Cody Bellinger. He’s playing very well lately but still is useless against lefties.
Bassitt (at HOU), Kremer (at WSH), and Sale (vs MIN) have also all been homer-prone this season. Bassitt looks completely lost right now and the Astros won’t give him any breaks. Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman are the strong match-up plays against the righty. Washington doesn’t offer much offensively but can help you save money. I would take a flyer on Jeimer Candelario (4-for-5 with a home run and 2 RBI last night) or Luis Garcia (5-for-11 with two home runs in his past three games).
Both sides of the BAL@WSH game are worth picking against. He might not be at the top of the list this year yet, but Nationals starter Josiah Gray led all pitchers in home runs allowed last year. Baltimore has the second-best offense in the league this season and the sixth-most home runs. Adley Rutschman, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, and Jorge Mateo are the plays. Adam Frazier is another name to target if your budget is getting tight.
Blake Snell is another struggling pitcher to target against the hot-hitting Atlanta Braves. Austin Riley has a 1.289 OPS against lefties this season and home runs in two of his past four games. Ronald Acuña Jr. is one of the most expensive batters on the slate, but he has been automatic for double-digit points this season.
Ozzie Albies has been a bit of a roller coaster so far, but he slashes well against lefties for his career. Sean Murphy is coming off a couple zero games, but he’s at his best against lefties and is just two games removed from a monster 3-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI performance.
Other quick picks to target (if you can afford them) are Aaron Judge, Rafael Devers, Pete Alonso, Marcus Semien, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Mike Trout, Hunter Renfroe, and Mookie Betts.