Welcome back to DFS plays of the day, Friday edition. We have a 12-game slate tonight on DraftKings and an 11-game slate on FanDuel as they decided not to include the second leg of the double-header between the Phillies and Nationals. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET in Pittsburgh for the Giants and Pirates. We have four games out west tonight including a matchup between José Ramírez and Clayton Kershaw, two of our highest-priced players on the slate. There are 13 hitters priced above $4,000 and four pitchers priced above $10,000 on FanDuel.
We have a battle of American League East teams in Toronto as the Blue Jays play host to the Yankees and their seven-game winning streak. We have two good pitchers on the mound in this one with Jordan Montgomery and Ross Stripling but these are also the two best offensive teams in the majors. In the National League, we have the San Diego Padres who have scored 37 runs over their last three games, and what do they get as a reward? A trip to Coors Field to score even more runs. Their 6.8 implied run total is currently the highest on the slate. Selecting a few Padres in your lineup is a good place to start a build.
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.
Ok, now that you know where to start, let’s get to my favorite plays and stacks so YOU can finish in the green with ME.
Timmy’s Top 3 SP
Some really good arms tonight led by my guys listed above and we’ll get into why they are my top three but some other guys I’m looking to take a shot on in large field GPPs are as follows. Robby Ray could get shelled by the Angels but he could also rack up the strikeouts. The Angels strikeout out the most of any team in the majors with a 25.5% K rate and over the past two weeks have a .198 batting average, the worst in the majors. I’ll likely also have some shares of Frankie Montas, Tarik Skubal, and Zach Thompson who are real cheap, below $6,900 on both sites.
Carlos Rodón, SP, SF
Rodon comes in hot after striking out eight Dodgers on his way to a win after throwing six innings with 0 earned runs. His 30.6% K rate and 14.1% SwSt rate don’t bode well for the gold smugglers. The Pirates are one of the worst offenses in the majors sporting an 83 wRC+ on the season with a 27% K rate over their past 12 games. Reynolds and Hayes are the only two guys on the Pirates that hit LHP well but Rodon isn’t just any LHP, he’s elite, and I’m not worried about these Pirates at all.
Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD
After missing a month of baseball Kershaw came off the IL last week to throw 71 pitches vs San Francisco. He had 2 ER, 2 BB, and 4 K in 4 innings. The stat that stood out to me? A 15.5% SwSt rate. Cleveland is a solid team and they just got Franmil Reyes back in the lineup for some more power. However, the Guardians have an 88 wRC+ and a .109 ISO vs LHP, which rank 27th in the majors. Another thing to keep in mind is that Cleveland is flying from the high altitude of Denver to LA which may impact their play some. Kershaw will likely not be rostered by many on FanDuel and should be a sneaky play if Dave Roberts lets him go to 90 pitches.
Jon Gray, SP, TEX
Jon Gray is one of the hardest pitchers to figure out, especially when he was in Colorado. Now that he’s in Texas we are getting more of a glimpse of who he can be. In two of his last three starts, Gray has recorded 10+ strikeouts. Gray has a 30% CSW and a 24% hard contact rate, both great numbers. His 10% BB rate concerns me a bit but if he can limit the free passes he has the potential for a ceiling game against the worst offense in the majors. The Tigers have a .096 ISO and a 70 wRC+ on the season and over the past two weeks have been even worse, scoring a league-worst 25 runs. Likely rostered as an SP2 on DraftKings but on FaDuel with so many aces going, we can play Gray in any contest for leverage.
The Padres have scored 37 runs in their last three games and now get the friendly confines of Coors Field. Jorge Alfaro, Jake Cronenworth, Jurickson Profar, and Luke Voit all have a wOBA over .354 over the last 12 games. Manny Machado hits LHP really well with a 169 wRC+ and a 45.6% hard contact rate. Opponents are hitting .304 with a .371 wOBA against Freeland in Coors Field this season.
Oakland A’s vs. Daniel Lynch
If you look at season-long stats you’ll see Oakland ranked 30th with a .211 batting average. Lucky for them, Daniel Lynch has a 39% hard contact rate and has allowed a .282 batting average to opponents, both worst on the slate. The A’s have five players with a wRC+ above 117 vs LHP. Christian Bethancourt is on a tear, Murphy and Pinder hit LHP well, and Matt Davidson could be rejuvenated on a new team. Really like the A’s in this spot today at cheap prices.
LA Dodgers vs. Zac Plesac
Plesac has a 33% hard contact rate and does not miss many bats with only a 10% SwSt rate and a 16% K rate. He also limits free bases posting a solid 4.9% BB rate. This is great news for the Dodgers to put the ball in play and or over the fence. The Dodgers should have four starters under $2700 on FanDuel and but will be a bit trickier to stack on DraftKings since their prices are much more expensive. Tre Turner has 3 SB and 3 HR in his last 10 games and Gavin Lux is hitting the ball well at the bottom of the order.
Here are some of the best value bats for tonight. If you see a guy on this list, it’s safe to play other players from their team. 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)