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The weekend is upon us! We have 13-game slates on both DraftKings and FanDuel. There’s a lot I like about this slate, including a value pitchers duel in Seattle. Yusei Kikuchi squares off with Antonio Senzatela in the “who’s adjustment is better” matchup. In LA, we get Julio Urias against a Giants team who just left Coors. Finally, it’s a Boyd Boy Day, as Matthew Boyd will look to right the ship against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. It looks like the only weather we have to keep an eye on is in New York for the Marlins/Mets game, where there’s a chance of rains towards the end of the game. So, let’s start your weekend 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: Julio Urias, LAD ($9,600 DK, $8,100 FD) vs. SF
There’s a lot to like when it comes to pitching today. Trevor Bauer ($10,600 DK, $11,400 FD) tops sites price-wise, and I’m not trying to take anything away from how dominant he’s been to open the year – I’m just cheap. Bauer’s posted an insane 42.5% strikeout rate through his first two outings. He also draws a matchup against a Brewers team that has looked relatively lost at the plate. In fact, the Brewers as a team have struck out at the third-highest rate this year. If you’re willing to pay the freight, I think Bauer’s a great option today.
Since I’m looking for a little bit of a discount on my ace, I’m turning to Julio Urias. On DraftKings, Urias is the third-highest priced pitcher, while on FanDuel he’s the fifth-highest. Urias has been good to start the year, allowing just three earned runs through his first two starts. One negative for Urias has been his strikeout rate, which sits at just 17.8% to open the year. I do believe there are brighter days ahead though, as indicated by his 13.1% swinging-strike rate. Urias gets a matchup with the Giants who just finished a four-game set at Coors. I’m expecting a “Coors Hangover” for the Giants tonight, which should lead to continued success for Urias.
I want to touch quickly on Matthew Boyd as well. I’ll always be a Boyd-Boy, but tonight’s matchup against the Pirates is sneaky tough. The Pirates are so bad against right-handed pitching, putting up an eye-popping 37 wRC+ against righties to start the year. That’s insanely terrible. However, when they face left-handed pitching, it’s a different story. They strike out at just a 16.7% clip and have put up a 137 wRC+, which ranks sixth this year. If Boyd was rolling and looked good to start the year, I wouldn’t be worried about a matchup against Pittsburgh, but he’s struggled some. Check out FTN’s Lineup Page to make sure the Pirates roll out a lineup full of righties, which would make this a matchup I’m going to pass on today.
Value SP: Griffin Canning, LAA ($8,200 DK, $7,200 FD) at TEX
The 2020 season looked bleak for Griffin Canning back in March as an elbow injury threatened his season. However, thanks to the delayed start, Canning had time to heal and has opened like a phoenix rising from the ashes. We last saw Canning working into the seventh inning against the Astros as he allowed one earned run while striking out five. He threw 86 pitches that start, which should put him in line to top 90 this time out. Canning heads to Arlington, to pitch in the new Globe Life Field. The Rangers have played five games at their new home and so far the park has played as a pitcher’s paradise when the roof is closed. In fact, there have been just 29 total runs scored over those five games for an average of 5.8 runs per game. While the Rangers haven’t struck out at a high clip against righties – 20.6% – they’ve also put up the fourth-lowest wRC+ at 67.
If you’re looking for even deeper bargains, I’d look to Seattle, where Yusei Kikuchi ($5,000 DK, $7,200) faces off against Antonio Senzatela ($5,800 DK, $7,500 FD). These two combine for a 6.00 ERA in 2019, but both have entered the 2020 season with adjustments that make them very intriguing. Last year, Senzatela leaned on his fastball, throwing the pitch 63.1% of the time. That’s okay if you’re Lance Lynn, but Senzatela’s fastball earned a -17.0 pitch value. This year, he’s shaken things up a little over his first two starts, fading the usage of that fastball some, while throwing his changeup and slider more often. The results have been decent as he’s allowed just three earned runs over his first two starts – one of which came in Coors. Kikuchi on the other hand has seen a near 3 mph jump in his fastball velocity. He’s also added a cutter which has been key in keeping righties off-balance. He’s nearly doubled his strikeout rate due to the changes. While I’m not looking to play either of these guys on FanDuel, both of them are options for me as my SP2 on DraftKings.
OF Bryce Harper, PHI ($5,600 DK, $4,000 FD) vs. ATL
The last time we saw Braves’ starter, Kyle Wright he threw 3.1 scoreless innings against the Mets. However, he allowed nine baserunners over those 3.1 IP. For the year, Wright has allowed 16 baserunners in just six innings of work. Last year, in addition to struggling with his control, Wright allowed a ton of hard-contact – 42.6%. So, I’m turning to Phillies slugger Bryce Harper as my top outfielder today. In his seven games played, Harper has posted a 25% walk rate and has slugged two homers. I expect Harper to be able to pile up the points against Wright tonight. The Braves bullpen has been good to start the year, but if the Phillies pile up some runs early against Wright, they should see the non-high leverage Atlanta arms, which should lead to continued success.
SS Corey Seager, LAD ($4,500 DK, $3,700 FD) vs. SF
Have you seen how incredible the Statcast Page for Corey Seager is? The Dodgers’ shortstop, who was tied for the league lead in doubles last year despite playing in just 134 games, has been mashing. For the year he has seven extra-base hits in his 12 games played and he’s lowered his strikeout rate to a 9.4%. Not only is Seager mashing, but he also gets a matchup with Jeff Samardzija, who’s struggled to open the year. Shark (that was Samardzija’s nickname when his pitches had some bite) has struck out just two batters in his first two starts combined. In that time he’s gone 9.2 IP and allowed 10 earned runs. That’s with both of his starts coming in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park. I expect the Dodgers to hang a big number on the Samardzija today, as does FTN’s Optimizer, which has the Dodgers at the second-highest team total on the day.
Value Batter: OF Brandon Nimmo, NYM ($3,400 DK, $3,000 FD) vs. MIA
There’s a decent amount of value lead-off hitters today, including Brandon Nimmo. In addition to Nimmo, Phillip Ervin ($3,100 DK, $2,400 FD) and Kyle Tucker ($3,300 DK, $2,900 FD) are also reasonably priced if you fancy their matchups. Nimmo has been an on-base machine against righties to start the year, walking 28.6% of the time, which has led to a .514 OBP. Getting on base so often has led to him being among the league leaders in runs scored. The FTN Lineup Optimizer has the Mets at a 5.7 team total. Keep an eye on the weather in this game, but it looks like the rain should hold off until after the game is over.
Lineup Stack: Phillies vs. Braves (RHP Kyle Wright)
While there are a decent amount of spots that I like tonight, I think my favorite stack is the Phillies. Kyle Wright has allowed a ton of baserunners and the Phillies currently lead the league in walk rate (13.2%). Last year, Wright allowed hard contact to both sides of the plate, so we don’t even have to be picky with our hitters. I could see myself going to anyone in this lineup and I love that there are value bats in Jay Bruce ($3,100 DK; $2,600 FD), Didi Gregorius ($3,700 DK, $3,300), and Jean Segura ($3,400 DK, $2,600 FD). Good luck today!
Honorable Mentions: Blue Jays at Red Sox; Dodgers vs. Giants; Twins at Royals
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)