Welcome to slate-ageddon! Today features a massive 14-game slate, with the weather likely playing a major role. The first game begins at 7:05 p.m. EST, and there will be several games I would cross off the list. The games that mother nature isn’t being cooperative with us are [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] Now let’s grab those winners!
Top SP: Max Scherzer, WAS ($10,400 DK, 10,400 FD) vs. ARI
The only usable stud on the slate with a reasonably weak matchup is Max Scherzer. Unfortunately, I believe we will get stripped of a Jacob deGrom start, or I might have looked that way. Arizona raised some eyebrows yesterday after they shellacked Patrick Corbin all over the yard. Let’s hope some play the hot hand there, and we gain a little more leverage. But the real reason we love Scherzer is the strikeout upside on the slate. Currently, he has a 31.8% K-rate with only a 2.3 walk rate. The only reason for concern as of late is the quality of contact against him-20.7% barrel rate. I am going to chalk that up to playing against offensive juggernauts the Dodgers and Braves.
Value SP: Yusei Kikuchi, SEA ($7,200 DK, $8,800 FD) vs HOU
Yusei Kikuchi draws the Houston Astros today, who sport the MLB’s best 159 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. But Houston has a problem; they are without lineup studs like Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and Jose Altuve. So, anyone just looking at numbers will be disappointed. Much like when we took Scherzer, DFS pitcher relies heavily on strikeouts and efficiency. Kikuchi has a staggering 26.6 K-BB%, which is a huge factor in making this decision. Let’s hope he can keep the strikeout gains and add them to his usual heavy-ground ball rates.
3B Matt Chapman, OAK ($4,400 DK, $3,400 FD) vs DET
Part of this play is picking on the deflated price of Matt Chapman, and another part is picking on Jose Urena. I will pay that salary price all day, every day, and twice on Sunday for a 3B with a .256 career ISO when facing right-handed pitchers. To go along with that elite power-hitting profile, he also walks 10.6% of the time. This should be an easy play. He is priced below Asdrubal Cabrera? Get Chapman into your lineups today!
1B Josh Bell, WAS ($3,600 DK, $3,200 FD) vs ARI
Josh Bell is about to lift off in Washington. The early COVID issues with the team have suppressed his chances to showcase his career .382 xwOBAcon. We hope the new ballpark will play better for him, and he can return to the 2019 form. You know, the season where he hit 28 HRs off of right-handed pitching and slashed .297/.387/.615 with a 1.002 OPS. Yes, that one. Bell currently has a 50% hard-hit rate, and I know I know, it’s a small sample, but now is the time to plant him in your lineups. Do it before the systems fix the glitch.
Value Batter: OF Adolis Garcia, TEX ($2,700 DK, $2,300 FD) vs BAL
Since we are taking higher-priced pitching and an expensive stack, we have to go bargain hunting to fill out the roster. Adolis Garcia is the perfect choice for this build. He is currently raking at the moment and was pushed into the cleanup spot in the batting order. The pricing is so low because he is a prospect, and the sportsbook algorithms have not caught up to his production. In 2019, at the Triple-A level, Adolis hit 32 HRs with 190 runs+RBI and swiped 14 bases. Obviously, that was the minors, but the dude can do it all.
Top Stack: Cincinnati Reds vs CLE (LHP Logan Allen)
Looking for a stack with a big boom upside lands us on the Cincinnati Reds. They sport a massive .274 ISO vs southpaws, which is tops in the MLB. The potential to put a few baseballs into the bleacher is likely higher than most teams on the slate. We like HRs in our stacks. The club also puts up a .348 wOBA and 117 wRC+ when facing southpaws – both above league average. Let’s also stop for a moment to notice Allen’s putrid 7.3 K-BB%. Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez need to be in every Reds stack today.
Honorable Mentions: OAK vs DET (Urena), TEX vs BAL (Lopez).
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)