Welcome back to DFS plays of the day, Friday edition. We have a 10-game main slate tonight with three games to sweat out west. There are three pitchers priced as tier one guys but one seems a bit questionable to me. Tony Gonsolin is that guy for me. His 1.58 ERA is best in the majors for qualified starting pitchers and his .233 wOBA is second to Shane McClanahan. His 8.2% BB rate isn’t good and his 42% GB rate is average. But the main reason I don’t think he belongs in the same category as Burnes and Cole is he hasn’t reached seven innings or eight strikeouts yet this season. Until he hits that 55+ ceiling on FanDuel he’s not worth the same price as those other guys, especially tonight vs the Padres with Machado back in the lineup.
Milwaukee and Minnesota are two of the best hitting teams in the majors over the past two weeks and both have good matchups tonight. We also have Arizona in Coors Field for a new series and the Pirates play tonight for a chance to add another player to the 3-homer game list. Should be a fun night. Let’s get to it!
It’s important to have a process when playing DFS so I’ll share a few things I do every time I build a lineup.
Selecting a Pitcher
- To get a lot of fantasy points a pitcher needs to rack up the Ks. I look at a pitcher’s K% and the team K% of their opponent.
- Take a look at the lineup for the opposing team. Are all the regulars starting? How many L vs. R are there?
- Where is the game? Coors Field, Fenway Park, and Great American Ballpark are places to try and avoid.
- Look at the implied run totals for teams. Selecting hitters from teams with high IRTs is a good start.
- Look at the opposing pitcher’s stats. What is their weakness? LHH or RHH?
- Where in the lineup are they hitting? Finding cheap pieces batting near the top of the order is idea.
- Provides the best chance to win GPP tournaments
- 5-3 for DraftKings and 4-4 or 4-3-1 for FanDuel
- Diversify your stacks. Don’t always go for 1-4 in the batting order. Mix it up with the bottom of the lineup.
On to the plays…
Timmy’s Top 3 SP
Corbin Burnes, SP, MIL
The Pirates lead the majors in homers with 15 in the past week, which includes multiple players with a 3-HR game. They also have a league-worst 28.9% K rate and .217 batting average in that span. Burnes is top-10 in multiple pitching categories and has the second-best SwStr% at 17.9%. Burnes has thrown 95 or more pitches in every start this season and could be in line for another Cy Young. He faced the Pirates earlier this season and had 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work. I’m using Burnes in all cash games and single entry on both sites.
Gerrit Cole, SP, NYY
I don’t need to tell you the Cole is elite but I will anyway. His 97.7 MPH fastball is 3rd best in the majors and his 17% SwStr rate is just slightly behind Corbin Burnes. A workhorse like Burnes, Cole has thrown over 100 pitches six times this season and is in play for a quality start every time. Cole gets the Guardians who are hard to strike out as they have a major league low 18% K rate. It’s hard to say if that matters against an elite pitcher like Cole. This current Guardians roster has 30 strikeouts in 73 at-bats vs Cole, that’s a 41% K rate. That 18% K rate doesn’t concern me too much. Cole’s Achilles heel is the long ball as he’s given up 12 on the season but even if JRam takes him deep, he still has potential for double-digit strikeouts and big fantasy numbers tonight. Cleveland has an 80 wRC+ in the past two weeks.
Lance Lynn, SP, CWS
Lynn has made three starts since returning from the IL and has increased his pitch count in every start – 88, 99, and 109. I’d say he’s stretched out. He’s been knocked around a bit but what’s important is that his control is there, only walking three in the three starts, and his velocity was up to 93.2 which is close to last year’s 94. So today, his velocity could hit 94 and we could see a flash of 2021. The Giants are solid, but Lynn won’t be this cheap for much longer and I’d like to take advantage of this value regardless of the opponent.
The Brewers have been one of the best offenses over the past two weeks hitting 25 home runs with a 127 wRC+. Urias, McCutchen, and Rowdy Tellez are on the cheaper side which will allow for a max-stack on either site. Contreras is a young pitcher who throws hard at 96.3 mph but his 10.4% BB rate and 29.5% HC rate are going to get him into trouble tonight. Stack the Brew Crew!
The Yankees are the best team in baseball led by Aaron Judge’s league-leading 29 HR. Aaron Civale doesn’t throw hard, he doesn’t miss many bats, and his GB rate is only 36.2%. Combine these three attributes and you get chaos on the mound. Civale has given up 6 ER three times this season and one of those games was against the Yankees back in April. We’ll have to wait and see what lineup the Yankees put out but we should be able to get some value with Jose Trevino, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Hicks. Judge and Rizzo will be included in any stacks I make.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Antonio Senzatela
Coors Field can be overrated sometimes depending on the pitching matchups, but tonight I think the thin air will produce the runs we want and need. Senzatela does a good job limiting fly balls and more specifically long balls but he throws to contact. His 35% HC rate is bad and his .363 opponent batting average is the worst on the slate by far. I don’t know if we’ll see a lot of homers tonight but the Snakes should have no problem scoring runs. David Peralta, Gavin Smith, and Jake Hager are where I’m going to start my stacks.
Here are some of the best value bats for tonight. We will see some value pop up once lineups are announced so use this as a reference and pay attention to the news, as there are always one or two guys batting at the top of a lineup that are not there on the regular.
Good luck tonight and I hope you win some beer money for the weekend!
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)