It’s Monday, and we are back to the DFS grind. And what a doozy, as this is one of the largest slates in the early season. Before we get into the plays, it is worth noting that on DraftKings, there are 12-games, while FanDuel provides a massive 14-game slate. Also, weather! The weather could play a beneficial role in today’s outcomes as we have several matchups with the potential for delays and PPDs. As always, check your lineups before lock times.
Top SP: Tyler Glasnow, TB ($10,400 DK, 10,700 FD) vs TEX
Taking home the top SP honor is Tyler Glasnow, who has been virtually unhittable in the 2021 season. In fact, he is yet to give up a barrel through two outings. His new breaking ball has added another element to his previously limited arsenal. Against that slider, batters have a .195 wOBA and whiffing nearly 34% of the time. Glasnow gets the slight edge over Gerrit Cole because of the matchup. The Rangers strike out just a bit more, and Glasnow is inducing more ground balls as of late. Close, very close call between them.
Yu Darvish gets consideration as well, but he is only available in FanDuel. The matchup against the lowly Pirates is very tempting, and I couldn’t fault anyone for favoring his side as well.
Value SP: Freddy Peralta, MIL ($7,700 DK, $7,600 FD) vs CHC
For DraftKings, strikeouts are a huge way to rack up points. Peralta has the highest K% on the slate at just over 48 percent. Much like Tyler Glasnow, he introduced a slider to pair with an electric fastball. He has to do a better job of limiting the walks and potentially allowing him to go deeper into games. One of the main reasons we are targeting Peralta is the matchup against the Chicago Cubs. The scuffling Cubs have the 41 wRC+ and K-rate north of 30% vs right-handed pitchers. Weak matchup plus high strikeout variance is what we want!
On the flip side, a valued arm for FanDuel could be Chris Bassitt. Oakland’s workhorse is still looking to find his groove after a tough matchup against the Dodgers and Astros. Bassitt tends to get a longer leash and earn you the point bonus for a Win or Quality Start. After all, he faces the Diamondbacks, who have a 75 wRC+ against right-hand pitchers.
1B Rhys Hoskins PHI ($4,600 DK, $3,900 FD) at NYM
Rhys Hoskins is a dangerous batter against southpaws. No, like ridiculously dangerous! For his career, he has a .268 ISO and 143 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. Not only does he mash the ball vs LHP, but he is also a walking machine (21.7% BB rate). I would play Hoskins just about every DraftKings lineup I build. How can someone with that much production be the tenth-highest first baseman on the slate? FanDuel put him as the third-highest, which appears to be more where he should be.
SS Carlos Correa HOU, ($4,600 DK, $3,200 FD) vs DET
Many DFS players like to play the matchups vs handedness. And that can work out at times but not in every instance. Carlos Correa is a prime example. Over the previous two seasons, Correa has higher ISO (.210) and SLG% (.489) when facing a right-handed pitcher instead of southpaws. The reverse splits can cause a playing to become less rostered. Use that leverage here while Correa is at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park.
Value Batter: OF Kole Calhoun ARI, ($3,400 DK, $2,600 FD) vs HOU
After getting a day away on Sunday, Calhoun should be ready to go without any issues in the knee. Due to starting the season on the IL, his salary is still suppressed well below $4,000. This is an absolute bargain on the day! Since the start of 2020, Calhoun has a .280 ISO and .490 xwOBA vs. RHP. To give some perspective, that is like hitting one HR every 12 at-bats. Take advantage of the sportsbooks algorithms being a little behind!
Top Stack: Oakland Athletics at ARI (LHP Madison Bumgarner)
When focusing on a stack, the first thing to do is find the struggling starting pitcher you want to target. In this case, all signs point to Madison Bumgarner. First, he allows too many men to reach base via the free pass to first, and the strikeouts are drying up. Next, instead of inducing ground balls, batters are driving the ball in the air. That is far from an ideal plan for a starting pitcher, no? If he brings that game plan to the Athletics, who mash LHP as shown by their .219 ISO and 117 wRC+, it’ll be a rough outing.
I would recommend stacking four from any of the first five batters. Grabbing Ramón Laureano, Mark Canha, and Jed Lowrie are great starting points because the salaries are reasonably low. Next, take your pick of cleanup between Olson and Chapman. I would lean Matt Chapman, especially with an LHP on the mound.
Honorable Mentions: STL vs WAS (Fedde), PHI at NYM (Peterson).
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)