Happy Monday! Today’s slate drops nine games upon us. Included in those outings are a bunch of weather concerns. Luckily, the Cubs will face off in Milwaukee’s dome, and Baltimore squares off against Houston in hitter-friendly Minute Maid. However, the midwest is getting pounded by rain, and if you’re rostering any players from those areas, please keep an eye out for PPDs. Outside of those issues, I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and good luck today!
Implied Run Totals
|Tier One: Cash Game + GPP SPs|
|Trevor Bauer||vs. SF||$10900||$11000|
|Freddy Peralta||vs. CHC||$10500||$9500|
|Lucas Giolito||vs. MIN||$10300||$9800|
Tier one is loaded with a trio of elite-level talents. For the DraftKing players, I would highly recommend choosing one of these players as my SP1. The high strikeout upside paired with the ability to go deeper into games will allow any of them to be highly successful plays in cash or tournament formats.
- Trevor Bauer might be the top-priced SP on the slate, but I would bet he won’t be the most rostered of the bunch. The decrease in spin rate has the world thinking the sky is falling, but it is not. Sure, he gave up three HRs in his last outing, but it was against a hot Slam Diego ballclub. Beyond that semi-lackluster performance, Bauer touts an 11.42 K/9 over 101.2 IP with 3.43 SIERA. Lastly, is he worth nearly an extra $2K on FanDuel? Probably not, so fading him on that sportsbook will likely be how the field looks at it.
- Freddy Peralta will likely be the chalkiest SP of the bunch. He gets to face a Cubs team that is striking out 35% over the last two weeks. Additionally, Anthony Rizzo left last night’s game with a lower back tightness, which could prompt a day of rest. Furthermore, Peralta’s dominance comes mainly from his ability to make batters whiff. Milwaukee’s SP carries a 12.67 K/9 and 0.86 WHIP that indicates the basepaths should be clean all day.
- Lucas Giolito is back to throwing over 100 pitches consistently. That is extremely important because he will allow the occasional walk and strikes out a ton of batters. Without those high pitch counts, we wouldn’t get enough IP to drive up the point totals. Now, he draws an exciting matchup against Minnesota, who has plenty of thunder to make Giolito pay for mistakes but also plenty of K% (24.1%). Lastly, Giolito likely has the most risk because of the 1.75 HR/9 and 2.99 BB/9. Again, the field knows this and could be slightly off of Giolito, resulting in a great leverage upside play.
|Tier Two: Cash Game Only SPs|
|Zack Greinke||vs. BAL||$9400||$8700|
|Kyle Hendricks||@ MIL||$9100||$9300|
These are our safer SPs that we tuck under our pillows for comfort. While they wield the skills to put up a big game, they have lower ceilings due to limited strikeout upside. On the flip side, both offer a safe floor and will likely give a solid return on investment. Perfect for double-ups and 50/50s.
- Zack Greinke is doing his usual Zack Greinke things. Limiting walks (5.1% BB-rate) and allowing an abnormally quiet amount of loud contact (35% hard-hit rate, 7.3 barrel%). Due to his typical wizardry, the season has resulted in an 8-2 record with 3.56 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. However, the slight concern is with the dip in K% (17.9%). Throughout a touted career, we have become accustomed to a near 25% K-rate. This is precisely why Grienke is slotted in the cash lineup plays. He will toss enough innings and rack up enough points to be productive, but the days of substantial point totals might be in the rear-view mirror. Although, he does get a beautiful matchup against Baltimore, who carries a 76 wRC+ fueled by a 27% K-rate in the last two weeks.
- Kyle Hendricks has won his last eight games started. That’s an incredible feat when you consider how lost he looked to begin the season. In fact, his 5.07 FIP is still the second-highest in all of the MLB. Now, it’s been a tale of two halves for Hendricks so far. From Opening Day until early May, Hendricks served up dingers at an alarming rate (10 HRs in his first five games). And while he still lives on the edges of the strike zone with subpar fastball velocity, the HR issue creeps up at times but nowhere near as frequently. Altogether, Hendricks is a solid cash SP today because he constantly goes deep into games and strikes out enough batters to make his salary usable. The matchup against Milwaukee should help boost Hendricks because the Brewers have the fifth-highest K% against RHP over the previous two weeks.
|Tier Three: GPP Upside SPs|
|Anthony DeSclafani||@ LAD||$7300||$8300|
|Kenta Maeda||@ CWS||$7500||$7100|
This tier is made up of SPs with loads of talent or great matchups.
- It’s hard to gloss over when you see Kenta Maeda at such a reasonable salary. Or even Anthony DeSclafani’s groovy pricing on DraftKings. However, both of these SPs come with enormous risks as they face off against offenses in the top five against their respected handedness. Sure, they could shove today and put up point totals that rival the high-priced SP, but there is a much higher risk of them tossing a dud. If you decide between those two SPs, Tony Disco earns the nod because he has been dealing as of late. In June, DeSclafani has only given up three earned runs on 27 IP with 26 Ks. The success has mainly come from his 32.6% CSW slider that batters are hitting just .174 against.
- The chalkiest stack will be the Houston Astros, and by quite a bit. They are the only team with an implied run total of over six runs. What makes them such a dynamic bunch is the ability to make lots of contact and rarely strike out. In fact, against RHP in the last two weeks, Houston has the second-lowest K% (19.3%) paired with the third-highest ISO (.234). Higher-priced values in this stack include Kyle Tucker and Michael Brantley, as both hitter’s salaries are under $5K on DraftKings. Additionally, if you’re looking for a less expensive bat in this stack with upside, Abraham Toro is your play. Chalky stacks are better for cash game plays or paired up with a tier-three GPP upside SP.
- My mid-range stack would be Cleveland. With a 5.11 implied run total, that seems a bit higher than they usually receive. But the team with no name does get an enticing matchup against Matt Manning. The Detroit prospect flashes an arsenal that will one day be MLB ready but at the moment is not. Manning will likely go five underwhelming innings and then turn the ball over to a bullpen with a 10.2% BB rate and 4.22 FIP. Furthermore, the terrific aspect about a Cleveland stack is you’re able to stack four or five people and still stay under $20-$25K. Let’s hope the roster% stays low enough, and the ballclub makes right on the implied run total. The core of the stack has to include José Ramírez, Bobby Bradley, and Eddie Rosario.
- My outside-the-box stack that projects for a poor implied run total (3.20) is the Baltimore Orioles. They face off against Zack Greinke in Minute Maid. Sure, Greinke knows how to pitch in his home park, but something is missing this year—the strikeouts. Unlike most of his career, Greinke is not putting batters away but instead relying on batted balls for outs. Batted balls in the bandbox known as Minute Maid? Not ideal! Now, if you want to stack this bunch, I would suggest going with a much chalkier pitcher from tier-one. That way, you increase your projected point total while trying to keep your entire builds roster% lower. The core of this build needs to be focused on right-handed bats because Greinke is slaying left-handed hitters (1.64 ERA, 26:8 K/BB, 0.86 WHIP). My core targets would be Ryan Mountcastle, Trey Mancini, and Austin Hays. Also, Anthony Santander is dirt cheap but struggling mightily.
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)