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OwnersBox- Main slate (7 games) – starts 7:06 PM EDT
DK/FD – Main slate (7 games) – starts 7:07 PM EDT
Once in a while, the planets align, the gods smile upon us, and the stud pitcher du jour faces the ultimate K-generating offense. Today we get Spencer Strider facing the K-happy Marlins. Atlanta needs Striderstache in a major way, losing their last 4 straight since he last pitched vs the Padres. Unless you really enjoy the challenge of cashing today without the (expensive) DFS free space, just get him in your lineups.
Monday’s SP2 takes a little more digging for gold. The Yankees had a rough series with the Blue Jays and the last time Jhony Brito saw these Twins, he got absolutely wrekt, giving up 7 runs and not even seeing the end of the 1st inning. He’s had a decent start since then, but he’s probably had Shining-esque nightmares of twins since that horrible start, and this time he’s on the road. On the other side, we have a well-rested Sonny Gray. It’s still cool in Minnesota this time of year, so the park should suppress most of the Yankee power on the other side; Aaron Judge & Anthony Rizzo are the only batters not hitting mostly ground balls lately, and the two of them only have 3 hits combined vs Sonny all time (all singles). Sonny can run hot/cold with K volume, but this feels safe.
If safe isn’t your thing, PLV really likes Alex Cobb. The Cards are a little more risky, but they also have a rotating lineup with some guys running cold at the moment. Nolan Arenado is striking out more than usual lately, and Brendan Donovan is struggling to hold a spot in the lineup. Paul DeJong just came back yesterday – with a HR no less – but he can be bipolar at the plate when he’s healthy. Cobb hasn’t given up more than 2 ER so far this season and the Giants seem to be rebounding lately, splitting their last series with the Mets. If the Cards have one or both of Donovan or Dylan Carlson in the lineup, this could be an underrated matchup for Cobb.
Sticking with the Giants for a minute, Jordan Montgomery is worth discussing. Three days ago, Joey Lucchesi came up from AAA and delivered a 7-inning, 9 K performance vs SF. Two days ago, David Peterson tried to duplicate the effort and managed 8 Ks, but with 7 ER to go with them. Montgomery’s been a tough guy to get a read on this season – he struggled vs TOR & ARI, had a great start vs MIL, and was pretty meh vs PIT. Other than the MIL outing, his K rate has been average at best. I think it comes down to the lineup the Giants use – if they try to force lefty-on-lefty matchups on Montgomery with LaMonte Wade Jr., Joc Pederson (who returned yesterday), or Brett Wisely, these are bats more likely to K than hit (Michael Conforto does both). If they move Darin Ruf into the top 4 or go more righty-heavy, then I think you fade Montgomery.
Could Colin Rea come through vs the Tigers? He might be viable as an SP2 in OwnersBox’s superflex format, but he’s too risky for your only pitcher on FanDuel, and his price tag feels too high on DraftKings for his likely result. I wouldn’t say he’s a guy you build around, but if you want to load up on high-priced bats and you find that you need a cheaper pitcher to get by, I trust him more than José Suarez vs the As. While we’re talking random guys in this tier, Tommy Henry has been rough in AAA, and KC can smack lefties around a bit – I’d rather target bats against him than take a chance on him pitching.
To sum up – Spencer Strider is a lock; Sonny Gray is probably the cash SP2; Alex Cobb is probably the guy I’d consider at SP2 for large-field tournaments; Jordan Montgomery is a lineup-based call with some risk (although it’s the last game of the night, so you might be waiting until after lock for the Giants lineup); Colin Rea is a punt-and-pray if you have a loaded stack that you need savings to fit.
As I mentioned above, I think the Braves take out their recent frustrations on poor Edward Cabrera. I think there are also some decent punt bats you can use to offset expensive plays, so starting with Ronald Acuña Jr. feels necessary. He’s stealing bases at an insane rate so far this season. Matt Olson will be very happy to get a break from lefties and get back to crushing righties. Kevin Pillar, who is likely to be batting at the bottom of the lineup, is actually seeing ABs vs right-hand pitching for a change, and he actually hit a HR off Cristian Javier yesterday. He has a 100% pull rate, 50% FB rate, & 50% hard contact vs righties, and Cabrera is actually weaker vs right-on-right hitting. You can also consider Ozzie Albies in the middle of the lineup with a 40% LD & 40% FB rate.
Matthew Boyd has been about as average as you can get to start the season, and PLV doesn’t like him much at all vs righties. Unfortunately, the Brewers are a tough team to trust. Some sites have priced them low to match that concern, and they likely will be popular as a result. Joey Wiemer is almost min-priced and crushes lefties. William Contreras isn’t a bargain, but he’s not overly expensive either, making him one of the best plays at catcher if you have to use one. Lastly, Mike Brosseau is cheap in the leadoff spot, but considering he mostly bats vs lefties, he could get swapped out later after Boyd exits. I think you play him if you need the savings or don’t have other bats you would rather have in his spot – he more than likely gets a single and possibly a run scored then calls it a day.
The game most likely to shootout on both sides is KC@ARI. Tommy Henry has struggled in AAA and many of us at PitcherList would love to see him step aside for Brandon Pfaadt – so we have some KC bats to consider. Matt Duffy struggled a bit yesterday vs Detmers, but this was after a career day vs another lefty – Anderson – the day before. Franmil Reyes is also expected back after some personal leave time. Bobby Witt Jr. & Salvador Perez are more expensive options with HR potential.
The Dbacks have had my interest for a few slates now, and unfortunately, their prices are starting to creep up – but Brad Keller is worthy of stacking against. The trio up top – Ketel Marte, Corbin Carroll, & Christian Walker (assuming he’s back from getting hit on the hand a couple days ago) – are a solid stack that will be popular. Alek Thomas & Geraldo Perdomo are a mini stack that will likely be far lesser owned but also are solid vs right-handed pitching.
Time to mention the obligatory stack vs the As. The Angels are still not a team I like to trust vs lefties, but OAK seems to find a way to bring out the best in teams regardless. If you’re already paying top dollar for Acuña, I think you can pivot off Mike Trout and go with Hunter Renfroe instead. Other cheaper options for the Angels are Luis Rengifo, Gio Urshela, and Chad Wallach. José Suarez isn’t without his flaws either, so you could throw in one of these As bats if you want to get different in your lineup – Jordan Diaz, Esteury Ruiz, and Brent Rooker are all projected to be in the top 4 and have upside.
The Blue Jays return to Rogers Centre, and that’s good for lefties that can hit for power off to right field. Kevin Kiermaier seems to be right at home here, and Brandon Belt also happens to hit better at home. Gavin Sheets is also seeing time again in the White Sox lineup, so any of these are fine one-off plays that are value priced.
- Twins that hit for power in Jhony Brito’s horrible, really bad game: Donovan Solano, Jose Miranda, Christian Vázquez, and Michael A. Taylor. Byron Buxton is hitting righties well lately too. Expecting the Twins to blow up Brito like last time is a trap – pick one that fits your lineup and stick to the better options listed previously.
- If Colin Rea struggles a bit with the Tigers lineup, Zach McKinstry could be one of the reasons why.
- If Jordan Montgomery ends up like David Peterson, it’s likely Wilmer Flores or Darin Ruf got to him.
- Tommy Edman & Alec Burleson are two Cardinals lefty bats that are less likely to strike out vs Alex Cobb.