Today’s main slate on both sites starts early at 6:10. FanDuel features 6 games, while DraftKings included the second game of the Detroit/Pittsburgh doubleheader. This slate is U.G.L.Y. The pitching is rough, and there’s rain in the forecast for Boston, so make sure you keep an eye on that heading towards lock. Let’s dive in.
Top SP: Tyler Mahle, CIN ($9,500 DK, $8,800 FD) vs ARI
If you need the proof that pitching stinks on this slate, look no further. Not only is Tyler Mahle the second highest-priced SP on the slate, but he’s averaging four more fantasy points per game than the next closest pitcher. That’s with Mahle not surpassing five innings thrown in any start this year. That being said, he’s done a decent job racking up the strikeouts, blowing away 22 batters in just 14 innings pitched. Today he’ll get a Diamondbacks team that really lacks pop with Ketel Marte and Christian Walker on the IL. This is a pretty penny to pay for Mahle, but it’s a small slate, and on smaller slates, I focus less on value and more on raw points.
Honorable Mentions: Aaron Civale, CLE ($10,100 DK, $10,200 FD) vs CHW.
Value SP: David Peterson, NYM ($7,100 DK, $8,500) at CHC
Here’s where we get to my favorite pitcher on today’s slate, David Peterson. In the early going, Peterson has been really unlucky. He sports a 30.9% K-BB rate and a 2.38 SIERA but has been hit hard by the long ball, allowing three homers in his two starts. That explains the 6+ ERA. I’m looking for some regression for Peterson, who faces the Cubs in Wrigley Field. The weather conditions in Wrigley are quite pitcher-friendly as it’s a balmy 40 degrees with a slight wind blowing in from center field. I know it’s a small sample, but on the year the Cubs have struck out at a 31% clip against left-handed pitchers.
Honorable Mention: Michael Wacha, TB ($7,200 DK, $7,000 FD) at TOR.
3B Rafael Devers, BOS ($5,600 DK, $3,400 FD) vs TOR
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll have to keep an eye on the weather in Boston, but that doesn’t preclude me from loving the bats in this game. Both teams have an implied run total of five or more. My favorite bat from the home side is Rafael Devers, who has already shown the pop early in the year. He’ll face Trent Thornton, who has been decent in the early going, albeit with some regression coming. Thornton has somehow walked close to 10% of the batters he’s faced while allowing a 50% hard-hit rate but sports a 2.35 ERA.
OF Austin Meadows, TB ($4,100 DK, $3,100 FD) at KC
After a rough 2020 campaign, Austin Meadows has opened the year looking more like his 2019 form. Meadows has already popped four homers, and his plate discipline looks to be in line with his 2019 season. All that’s missing is a little BABIP regression. That could come today with Jakob Junis on the bump. Perhaps I spoke too soon on Junis, who’s been excellent to open the year. In 12 innings pitched this year, Junis has an elevated swinging strike and strikeout rate. However, the quality of contact he’s allowing has me a little concerned. Junis has allowed a 43% hard-hit rate, which would be the highest of his career while allowing no homers, the lowest BABIP, and the highest left-on-base percentage of his career. Regression is coming, and I want to be ahead of the curve.
Honorable Mentions: J.D. Martinez, OF ($6,100 DK, $4,400 FD) vs TOR.
Value Batter: OF Lourdes Gurriel, TOR ($2,900 DK, $2,200 FD) at BOS
There are a bunch of low-priced, underperforming hitters on this slate, and Lourdes Gurriel stands out as the “King of the Struggles” to me. In order to play Gurriel, you’ll have to ignore literally everything he’s done this year. The positive part is that he’s in a good lineup and faces Garrett Richards, who, like Gurriel, has also stunk this year. Richards currently sports a 5.33 SIERA and has struggled with his control. Gurriel may be struggling, but we know from previous years that he can mash a mistake.
Top Stack: Red Sox vs TOR (RHP Trent Thornton)
There’s a pretty decent chance that I’m going to roll out my two value pitchers and game stack the Red Sox/Blue Jays game. That is if the rain holds out. Both pitchers in this game have struggled mightily, and both sides have plenty of pop. The game has the highest run total on the slate, so pray to the baseball gods that it stays dry.
If not, I think my main stack will be the Reds against Merrill Kelly. I hate that Nick Castellanos will be out of the lineup, but the Reds still have an implied run total of 4.9 runs. Kelly has struggled with getting strikeouts and allowing homers which is not going to be a good combo for Great American Smallpark.
Good luck today!
Honorable Mentions: CIN vs ARI (Kelly); TOR at BOS (Richards).
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)