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The weekend is over and I’ve got a case of the “Monday’s”, but thank god for baseball to cheer me up! We have 9-game slates on both DraftKings and FanDuel today. Patrick Corbin is the only “ace” on the slate, but there are still some decent arms to like today. Lightning arms Dustin May and Lance McCullers are on the bump, while Kyle Gibson gets a start in pitcher-friendly Globe Life Park. Coors returns to the slate as the Diamondbacks send Robbie Ray to the mound to face Jon Gray. So, let’s start your week off right by looking at the top plays, as well as a couple of value plays from Fade The Noise for the day’s slate.
Top SP: Kyle Gibson, TEX ($8,600 DK, $8,700 FD) vs. SEA
Strikeouts are king when it comes to DFS, which is why Patrick Corbin and his 28.8% strikeout rate should be plenty popular today. My only worry with Corbin comes from the Mets lineup, who’s projected starters have struck out at a combined 20.8% rate since the start of 2019. The middle of the order—Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and J.D. Davis—have gone a combined 19/59 off Corbin with 14 extra-base hits including nine homers. However, they’ve also struck out 21 times against the Nationals’ southpaw. If you can’t tell, I’m quite conflicted. The weather in New York is hot and humid with winds blowing out to center at 9 mph. While this isn’t Wrigley with the wind blowing out scary, it is certainly “hitting weather”. I like Corbin in GPP lineups more than in Cash lineups.
Since I’m still looking for strikeouts, I’m going to have to get a little creative on today’s slate. Kyle Gibson does not sport the 25+% strikeout rate that I’m normally looking for, 22.9%, but his opponent does. Since the start of 2019, the projected Mariners’ lineup has struck out at a collective 26.4% rate. For the year, the Mariners’ have put up a 91 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, which ranks in the bottom third of the league. On top of that, Gibson gets the start at the new Globe Life Park, which has played as a pitchers park to start the year. As you can probably tell, there’s not a lot of safety or certainty in the pitchers of today’s slate, but I’m rolling out Gibson as one of my cash game arms today.
Honorable Mentions: Patrick Corbin, WAS ($10,400 DK, $10,800 FD) at NYM
Value SP: Lance McCullers, Jr., HOU ($8,200 DK, $8,400 FD) vs. SFG
With looking at Lance McCullers, I feel like a sheriff in the wiki-wiki-Wild Wild West, staring him down hoping he doesn’t let me down…again. McCullers has struggled some to open the year, but despite his poor results, our faithful leader Nick Pollack had this to say about his last start, “I’m amazed at this line given how well McCullers sat at the bottom of the zone with curveballs and changeups. Maybe he needed to get them a little more out of the zone, but there were very few pitches left in the heart of the plate here.” McCullers faces the Giants, who have been better than expected to open the year, but they’re still the Giants. The FTN Lineup Optimizer has McCullers as the highest projected scoring pitch on the slate today.
Patrick Corbin‘s K-rate is second on the slate to Robbie Ray, who’s 31% strikeout rate faces the Rockies in Coors. In eight career starts in Coors, Ray has posted a 4.23 ERA with a scary 1.75 WHIP. Ray’s a pitcher that struggles with his command when he’s not in the altitude of Coors, so while he’s there, he seems to struggle even more. Due to his strikeout rate and his price, I’m still willing to throw Ray in a GPP lineup and hope the fantasy gods shine their good graces on the Diamondbacks lefty.
OF Christian Yelich, MIL ($5,300 DK, $4,200 FD) vs. MIN
The Coors bats are always in play, but I want to highlight other bats here. Randy Dobnak takes the mound for the Twins today. Dobnak throws his sinker a lot, almost hitting a 50% usage rate his last time out. He’s kept the pitch down to start the year and has induced a 68% ground ball rate at a result. Unfortunately for Dobnak, he faces Christian Yelich today, who mashes sinkers. Over the last three years, Yelich has posted a .361 ISO and .482 wOBA against sinkers. When you look at his price, this is just too cheap for Christian Yelich at home against a pitcher that has a low strikeout rate (14.3%).
2B Ketel Marte, ARI ($5,000 DK, $4,100 FD) at COL
Did you see how long it took me to write anything about Coors bats? What do you mean it was only one paragraph?? That’s a long time! While the Diamondbacks we’re priced up pretty well on FanDuel, Draftkings kept them relatively affordable. Ketel Marte is the most expensive of the bats, but you’re getting a leadoff man against Jon Gray in Coors. Gray has been the bane of my fantasy existence forever, or at least for as long as he’s been pitching. Every time I buy in a little bit, he goes off the rails. Not this time! Not with a 10.8% strikeout rate. Since the start of 2019, Marte has posted a .239 ISO and .398 wOBA against righties, while sporting a lovely 13.5% K-rate. FTN’s Lineup Optimizer has Marte as the top value out of batters priced $5k or above.
Value Batter: 1B Miguel Cabrera, DET ($2,500 DK, $2,900 FD) vs. CHW
File this under surprising stats: the Detroit Tigers currently lead the league in wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Miguel Cabrera makes for a kind of punt play with upside. The Tigers have an implied run total of 4.7 runs and Cabrera shows up as the top value play on the slate per FTN’s Lineup Optimizer. That being said, Dallas Keuchel has pitched well to open the year, posting a 2.55 ERA, which is relatively supported by a 3.66 SIERA. Keuchel’s StatCast page shows him being above average in exit velocity and barrel rate as well. That’s why I’m looking at Cabrera as a pure punt play. He’s a salary saver that will allow us to get more Coors bats in our lineup and if he does anything, we’re happy about it.
Honorable Mentions: Kevin Pillar, OF ($3,000 DK; $2,800 FD) vs. TB; Eduardo Escobar, 3B ($3,700 DK) at COL; Michael Chavis, 1B/3B ($3,100 DK; $2,700 FD) vs. TB; Jonathan Schoop, 2B ($3,700 DK; $3,100 FD) vs. CHW; Starlin Castro, 2B ($3,500 DK; $2,600 FD) at NYM; Howie Kendrick, 1B ($4,000 DK; $2,500 FD) at NYM; Josh Harrison, 2B/OF ($2,900 DK; $2,100 FD)
Lineup Stack: Nationals at Mets (LHP Steven Matz)
There are a decent amount of fun spots to pick on tonight and while Coors is always my favorite to attack, I wanted to highlight an under-the-radar spot. FTN’s Lineup Optimizer has the Nationals at a 4.8 implied team total, which is the 11th-highest on the day. I already mentioned when talking about Patrick Corbin that the weather in New York favors hitters. On the year, the Nationals rank second in wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Mets’ starter Steven Matz has struggled to open the year, allowing five homers over three starts including two taters in his last start against these Nationals.
The cherry on top for the Nats is they’re pretty affordable. I’m looking to play Howie Kendrick ($4,000 DK; $2,500 FD), Starlin Castro ($3,500 DK; $2,600 FD), and Josh Harrison ($2,900 DK; $2,100 FD) to save some salary and can sprinkle in Trea Turner ($4,800 DK; $3,300 FD) and Juan Soto ($5,000 DK; $4,100 FD) to complete the stack. If I roll with those five batters, plus Gibson and McCullers, I’m left with $4,333 per position to finish out my team on DraftKings. Not terrible at all and they’re even more affordable on FanDuel. Good luck today!
Honorable Mentions: Rockies vs. Diamondbacks; Diamondbacks at Rockies; Astros vs. Giants; Tigers vs. White Sox; Red Sox vs. Rays
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)