First, I hope everyone had as wonderful of a holiday as I did. Fireworks were booming and the grill was sizzling. We kick off this Monday with a nine-game slate starting at 6:05 PM EST. Additionally, we have terrific weather in the forecast and none of the games will be impacted by rain. The warm weather has a few games with higher run totals but nothing very lopsided, so perhaps a balanced approach is the best way to go. Good luck!
Implied Run Totals
|Tier One: Aces Gonna Ace|
|Brandon Woodruff||at NYM||$10400||$11400|
The slate features 18 SPs, but sadly, only one true ace takes the mound. Due to the lack of lockdown options, Woodruff will likely be rostered heavily in any format (GPP or cash games). If you’re looking to take down a tournament, you may have to make Woodruff your SP but get different by using a less chalky stack.
- Brandon Woodruff does all the things you want from your top arm. He goes deep into games, does not walk batters, and strikes out many at a high clip. His vast arsenal contains four pitches with a CSW rate of over 30%. In fact, batters are hitting under .200 against every pitch: four-seamer (.179), curveball (.138), changeup (.162), slider (.179). While he is basically matchup-proof, there is a bonus element because the Mets have struggled immensely vs. RHP. Over the last 30 days, against RHP, the Mets have a 77 wRC+ and 28% K-rate.
|Tier Two: Safe with High Upside|
|Max Fried||at PIT||$8500||$9100|
|Joe Musgrove||vs WAS||$8700||$9300|
|Rich Hill||vs CLE||$9100||$7000|
|Dylan Cease||at MIN||$9600||$8400|
This tier is made up largely of solid SPs with the best chance to score the most points on the slate. Now, if Woodruff is going to be the heavy chalk, using any of these options as your SP1 is a legitimate option:
- Max Fried trades strikeouts for groundballs to be an effective pitcher. This strategy might play exceedingly well today because the Pirates are a pesky bunch. By that, I mean they don’t strike out a ton but also don’t make much hard contact. Against RHP over the last 30 days, the Pirates have a .279 wOBA and 76 wRC+ with a 21% K-rate. Fried’s success will come from keeping his pitches low in the zone and letting the bats make outs while he goes deep into the game.
- Joe Musgrove’s start gets a lot easier if Trea Turner can’t find his way into the lineup. And if I am guessing, Turner likely sits another day. Musgrove features an array of pitches with high CSW rates that help bolster his 30% K-rate. Due to the reliance on throwing any portion of his arsenal, batters are left guessing what is next. However, Musgrove has scuffled slightly lately and hasn’t looked like the future ace we were expecting. Although, what we should expect is an excellent outing with plenty of Ks to play him tonight.
- Rich Hill has been lousy since the middle of June. That is pretty concerning because you have to wonder if age is taking its toll. Additionally, much like Musgrove, his night is a little dependant on whether José Ramírez makes his way into the lineup. We can expect Hill to be a filthy curveball with a near 30% CSW rate and 48% groundball rate. That pitch plus limiting the free passes to first base will be the key to a big game for Hill.
- Dylan Cease does something we love in DFS. He throws a ton of pitches each start and racks up the Ks. While the strikeouts come larges from breaking balls, the setup comes from his fastball. If he will live up to the hefty price tag from today’s slate, the fastball needs to continue to sit 96-97 mph and find the zone as much as possible. He draws the toughest matchup in this tier against the Twins, who showcase a .184 ISO(third-best in MLB) and 102 wRC+.
|Tier Three: Low Floor with Upside|
|Kolby Allard||vs DET||$7900||$8000|
|Mike Minor||vs CIN||$7600||$7300|
|Tylor Megill||vs MIL||$7200||$6200|
When you scroll over these names, you likely want to keep moving. However, with the lack of viable arms, these are perfect options that could make the difference. DraftKings users need to roster an SP2. If you’re going with the heavily chalked Woodruff as your SP1, this might be the SP2 tier for you. I would expect less roster% in this tier, and they could pay off heavily in the end.
- Kolby Allard gets an enticing matchup against the Tigers, against LHP on the season with an 84 wRC+ and 28% K-rate. However, they have shown more signs of life by putting up a 107 wRC+ and 24% K-rate in the last 30 days. What makes Allard a bit more alluring is the Rangers let him throw 90 pitches regularly, and he rarely walks batters. If he can stay ahead in counts, his breaking balls have a decent enough O-Swing% to rack up five to six Ks over as many innings pitched.
- Mike Minor gets a matchup against the Reds, which you think would be a bit tougher than most. However, the Reds are a free-falling offense lately. In the last 30 days vs. LHP, the Reds carry a .298 wOBA and 84 wRC+. Minor’s last two starts have resulted in negative fantasy points, and I am sure any DFS player who rostered him remembers both of those. He is not a bad pitcher, so if his roster% is lower and he can go deep enough into the game against a struggling offense, the 23% K-rate will work up enough points to play.
- Tylor Megill is fresh off an excellent start that features eight Ks through five innings pitched. For those who don’t know much about Megill, he leans on a fastball that pounds the zone and then uses his secondaries(slider+changeup) for whiffs. Both of those secondaries have high CSW rates. The Mets trust him enough to leave him on the mound for 85-92 pitches, and so should we today. Additionally, Megill squares off against a Brewers offense that has been nothing more than meh on the season.
Nothing crazy jumps off the page as being the heavily chalked stack. This slate aspect is not a terrible thing as roster% over the 18 available offense might be a bit more even than usual.
- Cleveland is an exciting stack because Rich Hill has been erratic lately. However, the stack might rely a bit on whether José Ramírez is handling the hot corner. Cleveland did get HR machine Franmil Reyes back in the mix, and his salary is laughably low. The implied run total might only be 3.49, but if Hill can’t find his rhythm, things could get out of hand quickly. An even better aspect, the Cleveland lineup is so inexpensive today. You could grab any four or five batters and stay under $20K, leaving plenty of room for Brandon Woodruff and anything else you wanted. The core stack players to consider would be Franmil Reyes, Amed Rosario, and of course J-Ram.
- The Philadelphia Phillies don’t have an implied run total but get a decent matchup against Zach Davies. We know about Davies because he doesn’t strike out many batters and relies on balls in play for outs. The Phillies lineup is getting back to full strength, and additions like Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius will help bolster that lineup. Consider stacking this squad, especially because you can fill the catcher position with one of the best, J.T. Realmuto.
- If we had to pick the safest stack to put up a big point today, the San Diego Padres would be the one. Over the last 30 days, they have slaughtered southpaws. Their 111 wRC+ is fueled by a .227 ISO and .330 wOBA. If you’re looking for studs from this lineup, it’s not difficult to find. Core plays have to come from the top of the lineup: Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Tommy Pham, and Jake Cronenworth. They are very pricey, so you will have to pay down at SP to make them all fit.
|Phil Gosselin||1B/OF-DK, 2B-FD||$2800||$2000|
|Jean Segura||2B-DK, 2B/3B/SS-FD||$3200||$2800|
|Ryan O’Hearn||OF-DK, 1B-FD||$3200||$2600|
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)