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Happy Monday! We have 8-game slates on DraftKings and FanDuel. We have the Brewers and the Phillies back in action after COVID layoffs. We also get two great pitching matchups in Jacob deGrom vs. Mike Soroka and Walker Buehler vs. Chris Paddack. The cherry on top is Coors being on the slate. So let’s take a look at the top plays, as well as a couple of value plays from Fade The Noise for the day’s slate.
Top SP: Gerrit Cole, NYY ($11,000 DK, $11,000 FD) vs. PHI
Before we get started, let’s discuss why Walker Buehler isn’t here despite a great matchup in San Diego. This is technically Buehler’s third start of the year, but he threw just 56 pitches in his last start against the Astros. Until he’s fully built up, we can’t even think about rostering him without a big discount. Buehler’s the third-highest priced pitcher on both DK and FD, so he’s a pass for me.
Gerrit Cole gets the privilege of welcoming the Phillies back to the diamond. You know, the Phillies that dropped two out of three to the Marlins to open the year and then had to quarantine for the week. To say I expect the Phillies to be behind the other teams is an understatement. Now they get to face a fully stretched out Cole. The reigning AL Cy Young uncharacteristically allowed three earned runs to the Orioles in his last start. He managed to make up for it by striking out seven and pitching into the seventh inning. If you’re paying up at pitcher, Cole’s my man today.
Value SP: Alec Mills, CHC ($8,000 DK, $7,000 FD) vs. KC
There are a surprising number of value arms on today’s slate. I’m not one to pick on the Dodgers, but the price on Chris Paddack over on DK is just too cheap to ignore. That being said, I wanted to focus on a value arm that would help out on both sites. Alec Mills missed out on a start against the Pirates last week due to a rainout, but he still gets a home matchup against the Royals. Mills survived his first outing against the Reds, going six IP while allowing two earned runs and striking out three batters. Not quite the strikeout numbers we’re looking for, but we can make this work.
Against right-handed pitching this year, the Reds have struck out at a 20.9% rate. That’s the fifth-lowest rate in the league. The Royals on the other have posted a 25.5% K% against righties, which is seventh-highest. As of this writing, the wind is forecasted to be blowing in from leftfield at 16 mph. That gives a big bump to the pitching in Wrigley Field.
OF David Dahl, COL ($5,300 DK, $3,900 FD) vs. SF
There isn’t a ton of value in Coors tonight unless you count Brandon Belt ($4,500 DK, $3,600 FD) who has zero hits over his first 10 plate appearances this year. So I’m turning to David Dahl, who’s served as the Rockies’ leadoff hitter to start the year. While he’s struggled against lefties, Dahl has hit righties well (.296 AVG) and has hit well in Coors to start the year (.308 AVG). As per usual, the game in Coors tops the projected runs over at FTN’s Optimizer at 13.4 runs. I definitely want a piece of this game, but you’re going to have to be creative to get multiple bats.
2B DJ LeMahieu, NYY ($4,100 DK, $3,700 FD) vs. PHI
DJ LeMahieu got a late start to the season but has been absolutely raking. LeMahieu’s been batting atop the Yankees lineup and is batting .400 with a minuscule 12.9% K%. The Yankees will face Jake Arrieta, who’s a pitch to contact guy at this point in his career. That means LeMahieu will have plenty of opportunities to put the ball in play and get on base. With sluggers Judge, Stanton, and Torres behind him, the run-scoring opportunities should be aplenty for the Yankee’s leadoff man.
Value Batter: 3B Josh Donaldson, MIN ($3,900 DK, $2,900 FD) vs. PIT
You’ll have to keep an eye on the lineup, as Josh Donaldson was absent from the lineup on Sunday, but he’s way too cheap on both sites. Donaldson’s gotten off to a slow start, but hopefully, a day of rest does him good. The Twins get a matchup against Derek Holland, which I touch on in the “Stacks” choice in more detail.
There aren’t a ton of cheap bats in good spots today. That makes it pretty difficult to get Cole and Coors bats, but you might be looking at punting a position today to save some cash. On the catcher front, Austin Nola ($2,800 DK, $2,100 FD) is cheap and projected to hit second in the Mariners lineup. I usually prefer him when facing a lefty, but by using the punting strategy, you’re expecting to take a zero, so any points are a bonus. Once line-ups are in, take a look at the cheapest options and see if you can find some upside in your punt play.
Lineup Stack: Twins vs. Pirates (LHP Derek Holland)
You already know that we love bats at Coors, so I figured I’d highlight a non-Coors stack for you to get a little different. Can I interest you in the team that set the MLB record for home runs in a season? How about if none of their batters are priced over $4,700 on DK? The Twins get Derek Holland, who fared well in his first start against the Brewers. Holland went 5.2 IP, allowing two earned runs while striking out five. Nick had some nice things to say about Holland’s first start in his SP Roundup – “He still has whiffability (11/90 whiffs!) as his knuckle curve consistently fell down-and-away from left-handers, while he peppered the top of the zone with sinkers effectively.” That being said, he gets a really tough matchup with the Twins in Minnesota.
From a stacking standpoint, the Twins stack has to start with Nelson Cruz ($4,500 DK, $4,200 FD). Cruz already has three homers on the short season and sports a .733 OPS. From there make sure to check out FTN’s Lineup page to see who’s atop the lineup against a lefty. The Twins have only faced one lefty starter this year on July 25th when they faced Dallas Keuchel. Mitch Garver ($4,400 DK, $2,500 FD) topped the lineup that day. Garver was followed by Josh Donaldson ($3,900 DK, $2,900 FD), Cruz, Jorge Polanco ($4,000 DK, $3,400 FD), and Miguel Sano ($4,700 DK, $3,100 FD). Good luck today!
Honorable Mentions: Rockies vs. Giants; Giants at Rockies; Yankees vs. Phillies
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)