Welcome back to DFS plays of the day, Friday edition. We have a 14-game slate main slate tonight while the Mets and Marlins were left off as they start a little earlier than everyone else. For those of you lucky enough to be in contention at the end of the night you’ll have three games in California to sweat out.
We have an awesome series between the Braves and Dodgers starting in Atlanta while Oneil Cruz will get his first taste of inter-league play as the Pirates visit Tampa Bay. Your chance to get him at minimum price is over as he’s priced above $3,000 on both sites against lefty Jeffrey Springs, who’s sporting a 31% K rate, tied for highest on the slate with Michael Kopech. There are three pitchers priced over $10,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel while we have six hitters priced above $6,000 on DraftKings. Today is my birthday and I plan on waking up Saturday morning slightly hungover, full from late night cake, and a nice chunk of change added to my FanDuel and DraftKings accounts. You ready to win some money with me? Let’s go.
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
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 Alex Manoah, Julio Urías, and Merrill Kelly.
Aaron Nola, SP, PHI
Aaron Nola currently ranked 11th on “The List” has a 28.7% K rate, a 31.9% CSW, and a tiny 3.2% BB rate. He’s been the consistent pitcher we all hoped, even with a bad defense behind him. This guy is a work horse throwing over 100 pitches in six of his ten starts. He’s given up 4+ runs three times but still is our best bet to get that quality start. The Padres are a solid offense but Manny Machado is likely still sitting and possibly Luke Voit who sat out last night due to hamstring soreness. If they both sit, this Nola should be on cruise control.
Jeffrey Springs, SP, TBR
Jeffrey Springs has emerged as the best pitcher on Tampa Bay the past few weeks. Springs doesn’t get as many ground balls as we would like, but he makes up for it with his elite 15% SwSt rate and 26.8% K rate. If you combine his stats from his starts against Toronto, St. Louis, and the Yankees you get 16.2 innings, 2 ER, and 13 K which are pretty damn solid against three of the best offenses in the majors. Tonight Springs gets a much easer matchup against the Pirates. The Pirates had an exciting weekend with the debut of Oneil Cruz but came back to earth yesterday against Keegan Thompson. Thompson is not the same pitcher as Springs. The Pirates have a 24.8% K rate vs LHP which ranks 28th while they stand at a 84 wRC+ for the season, also 28th. If Springs goes 6 innings we could be in line for some major points.
Alex Cobb, SP, SF
There are a lot of good pitchers on the slate tonight especially in the top tier, but I like to offer a value play as well. Cobb is that guy for me tonight. His surface numbers are bad, a 5.62 ERA and 1.48 WHIP, but if you dig deeper Cobb should have much better results. A 31.7% CSW, 19.8% Hard Contact rate and a 62.3 GB% are elite. His xERA of 2.40 tells us that if he keeps pitching this way we’ll get the results we need to cash in DFS. The Reds just got Jonathan India back but Tyler Stephenson and Tyler Naquin are both out. This team has some upside but over the past two weeks have a .132 ISO (28th) and on the seaso, a 88 wRC+ (26th). This is a good spot for Cobb to right the ship in San Francisco.
Boston Red Sox vs. Cal Qauntrill
We know the Sox have power and maybe, just maybe, have found their lead-off man in Jarren Durran who’s hit safely in five of six games. Bogaerts, Devers, and Martinez are all in the top-20 in hitting this season while Trevor Story is likely the best 6-hole hitter in the majors. I had hopes for Quantrill to be a solid SP 4 for me this season and still could be, but this is DFS and his numbers for this matchup don’t look good. He doesn’t miss bats with a mere 8.3% SwSt rate and a 24.6% CSW and he walks guys at a rate of 7.7%. This is not a good combo to have vs Boston. Franchy Cordero and Alex Verdugo are both really cheap pieces to stack with the big boys tonight.
LA Angels vs. Chris Flexen
The Angels are hitting a combined .305 vs Chris Flexen in 68 at-bats. Flexen has been bad this season with a 2-8 record and a 1.43 WHIP. His hard contact rate of 31.3% is better than his GB% at 36.2%. His 24% CSW ranks toward the bottom of starting pitchers and his last start was against these same Angels. He actually pitched respectable only allowing 2 ER in 5.1 innings but he didn’t seem to show any major improvements. When facing the same team two times in a row I tend to give the edge to the offense especially when they have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Jared Walsh is smoking the ball right now while Rengifo and Ward have hard contact rates above 50% over the past week. Good spot for the Angels to score tonight.
Texas Rangers vs. Paulo Espino
There are a number of good offenses playing tonight as we have a full-slate and you can’t go wrong with the Yankees, Astros, or Dodgers tonight but if you’re looking for a sneaky stack the Rangers are that team. Corey Seager will always be rostered a bit due his name but the rest of this team will be untouched on such a massive slate. Over the past week Texas has a .210 ISO and a .347 wOBA, both top-five in the majors over that span. Paolo Espino is pitching for the Nationals and he throws a lot of strikes. His 5.7% BB rate is solid but his 9% SwSt rate is not. His last outing was the first time this season he pitched five innings and hit the 80 pitches mark. This tells me the Nationals are comfortable letting him go 5-6 innings tonight. A team that’s 25-47 and last in the NL East probably isn’t doing their best to win games so they will likely let Espino go five innings, even if he gives up 5 ER after two. Nathaniel Lowe, Mitch Garver, and Kole Calhoun are cheap and playable with Garcia, Seager, and or Semien.
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)