Yet another massive slate! Today features a 14-game slate, with no weather playing a major role. The first game begins at 7:05 p.m. EST. Unlike yesterday, we are blessed with a seemingly never-ending supplier of amazing starting pitching talent. The difficult part will be finding the appropriate matchups to exploit and values to stash away. After surveying the land, the plan concocted is one to gain plenty of leverage and provide a safe floor to help take down any GPP that you choose. Good luck!
Top SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($10,900 DK, 12,500 FD) vs WSH
The slate is loaded with aces but standing tall at the top of the mountain is Jacob deGrom. While all the aces are priced within $1200 from each other, deGrom has the best matchup between them. The departure of Juan Soto leaves a massive void in the Washington Nationals lineup. As if it wasn’t bad enough for the Nats to battle without their stud, they also have to play against deGrom.
Matchup aside, if you’re any baseball fan, you realize deGrom is a perennial Cy Young contender that goes very deep into games and racks up a ton of Ks. Through his first three starts, deGrom has a laughable 35:3 K/BB ratio. Not a ton of analysis is needed; he is the best pitcher in baseball until further notice.
Value SP: Dylan Cease, CWS ($6,600 DK, $6,600 FD) vs TEX
There are so many great pitchers on the slate; we need to get a little different if we want to pass everyone in the contests. The perfect pitcher for this is Dylan Cease. At $6,600, there are only seven SPs with a lower salary. But Cease may have one of the best chances to boost you atop the standings.
For starters, Cease has the tools needed to break the slate. He boasts a 96-mph fastball, with great secondary pitches and a very usable changeup. All the ingredients needed for success. The problem? Cease will lose command and walk batters. Look away when I also mention he sometimes gets walloped. Stay with me, though, because he does carry a near 24% K-rate. If only he played the perfect team…
Let me introduce you to the Texas Rangers. A team filled with big boppers and massive flaws throughout the lineup. The Rangers are a team with the highest K-rate(29.5%) in the MLB. It does not stop there! Against RHP, they also have a 50% ground ball rate(5th highest in MLB), 31.9% fly-ball rate(6th worst in MLB), and below-league average in terms of wRC+. This is shaping up to be a perfect storm for Cease.
C Dom Nunez, COL ($3,800 DK, $3,700 FD) vs PHI
I will start by mentioning, rarely does a catcher get rostered in a FanDuel lineup. The slot is eligible to batters that are 1B/C, so the majority of the time, a 1B takes the spot. If you want to get a little funky and build a different lineup for a GPP-play, no one is faulting you.
Taking a swing with Dom Nunez in the lineups helps grab some of the potential chalk that may come out from the slate. Anytime Coors Field is in play; the field will stack heavily to either side of the matchup. In this case, with Vince Velasquez on the bump, Nunez will wind up on a fair share of builds.
Although, he isn’t just a block play. Nunez can put up points from a position that many like to punt. But also be ready to take a goose egg; Dom strikes out at nearly a 40% clip. I am willing to look the other way because of his 20% barrel rate and .974 OPS. Boom or bust! Here we go!
Value Batter: OF Dylan Carson, STL ($2,800 DK, $2,800 FD) vs CIN
You almost need to step back when accessing Dylan Carlson and remember he is only 22 years old. And as he picks up more playing time, he should continue to blossom. That a look at the chart below, you will notice the slow start at the early stages of his time in the MLB, followed by steady success.
Dylan Carlson doesn’t even have a year of service time accrued yet, but already finds himself moved into the lineup in the five-hole. Great news, because he will be getting more at-bats, which will boost his opportunities for runs+RBI. This long-winded explanation points out that the projection systems don’t know what to value him yet, which is causing his salary to be so low. He is priced well below platoon bats and other outfielders, not even on an MLB roster.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Isbel, OF ($3,000 DK, $2,100 FD) at CWS; Mickey Moniak, OF ($2,300 DK, $3,000 FD) at COL.
Value Batter: OF Manuel Margot, TB ($2,700 DK, $2,700 FD) vs TOR
Another low-priced outfielder on the roster? You betcha! Manuel Margot is going to be useful to this build for a couple of reasons. First, the obvious is we need to pay down for an OF because we selected the most expensive pitcher of the day to go along with an expensive stack. Second, Margot is raking against southpaws right now. He touts a .294/.400/.529 slash line with a .929 OPS. A peek into the underlying metrics shows a .235 ISO and 168 wRC+. On top of his recent success vs. LHP, Margot is exceptional on the base paths. He used his 92nd percentile sprint speed to swipe a couple of bags already. Lots to love and so many ways for Margot to put up a big day!
Top Stack: Houston Astros vs LAA (LHP Andrew Heaney)
With a big slate, we need to identify the most likely team to score a lopsided amount of runs, and hopefully against a decent starting pitcher. That way, we create a little more leverage over the rest of the field. Five-person stacks on larger slates are ideal.
In this case, let’s start by taking a look at the players we will be rostering and their OPS vs. LHP in 2021: Carlos Correa(.861 OPS), Alex Bregman(1.125 OPS), Michael Brantley(.940 OPS), Aledmys Diaz(1.038 OPS), and Yuli Gurriel(1.220 OPS). Of course, we are dealing with a smaller sample size, but these dudes rake at home. When you step back and look at Houston as a whole, they are tops in the MLB for hard-hit%(40.7%) while also striking out the least(16.3%). Let the rest of the field chase Coors, and we will zig into a big payday!
Honorable Mentions: COL vs PHI (Velasquez), SEA at BOS (Perez).
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)