Happy Monday, everyone! We have quite a small slate for you today. On FanDuel, it is a three-game ticket, and over on DraftKings, it’s just a two-game affair. As far as weather is concerned, there are no foreseen issues in the future. However, the MIA@BOS game is played significantly earlier and nearly 30 degrees warmer. Furthermore, that game has the highest implied run total. The biggest issue playing against us will be the lack of options. This problem will cause roster% to shoot up higher than usual, and the outcome will be very chalky lineups. But, no worries, we got you! Good luck today!
Implied Run Totals
MIA(4.12) at BOS(4.88) 9.0 O/U
KC(4.05) at LAA(4.45) 8.5 O/U
CHC(3.6) at SD(3.9) 7.5 O/U
Cash Game Starting Pitcher
If we are speaking in terms of lockdown ace-type pitchers, the slate is absent of any. However, Pablo López ($9,200 DK, $9,600 FD) at BOS, and Adbert Alzolay ($8,800 DK, $9,900 FD) at SD, have been reasonably consistent on the season. I know what you’re thinking, DraftKings players; you need an SP2, and López is not available for the main slate. Total bummer! So, because the field will be hefty on Alzolay, you’re left with Dylan Bundy, who is far too erratic, Ryan Weathers, who the Padres rarely let go deep into games, and Jackson Kowar, who is making his MLB debut.
I suggest going with Dylan Bundy ($7,100 DK, 7,300 FD) vs. KC for a couple of reasons. A 3.95 SIERA and 3.98 xERA are significantly off of Bundy’s actual 6.49 ERA. This difference tells us that Bundy has been unlucky at times, not every time but enough to throw his underlying metrics out of whack. To sum it all up, save the salary for more established hitters, make your SP2 Bundy, and pair him with Alzolay on DraftKings.
GPP Starting Pitchers
GPPs are large field contests with payout structures that tilt heavily towards the top. Finishing near the middle of a contest will lead to a depleted bankroll. This is where things get tricky because you want to build a lineup with upside potential to finish among the top while also selecting the rostered players less than others. These types of formats are great ways to measure your risk tolerance. Build a lineup with minimal risk (chalky), and you have a greater chance of finishing outside the payout. Build a lineup that is too much risk, and you could suffer from no one scoring because you’ve rostered poor players. I know it doesn’t sound straightforward but remember: you don’t need to beat a high score, you just need to score more than the field.
Again, this slate is an odd one because of the lack of options. So the field will likely roster the obvious SPs like Adbert Alzolay, Pablo López, and Nick Pivetta. I would expect the roster% to be well over 30% for each of them. For FanDueler, this makes for an easy selection because you only need one SP in your build. However, DraftKing lineups require two SPs. So, your options are to select two from the trio mentioned earlier, get a little different in the bats, or grab one of the big three and get crazy at your SP2.
Royals’ uber-prospect Jackson Kowar enters the discussion because he is a total wildcard play. This is where things get a little more fun! Over 31.2 innings of Minor Leauge work, Kowar has a robust 11.65 K/9 and a minuscule 0.85 ERA. However, we are yet to see how it will translate to MLB-level talent. Herein lies why he is a gritty GPP play! Kowar’s range of outcomes comes with extreme variance. So, if you slot Kowar in, buckle up because he could dazzle us with a gem or get blown out of the waters in less than two IPs. Sadly, FanDuel did not get him into the system for today, and he is only available on DraftKings ($6,000) at LAA. Perilous play but could come with a big point total and lower roster%!
If Kowar is too risk-averse for your SP, take a stab at Dylan Bundy ($7,100 DK, 7,300 FD). The Angels’ SP has been a disaster at times and even dropped negative DFS points in three straight outings-yuck! However, he wields a massive arsenal with high whiff rates that help propel his 24% K-rate. So, if Bundy can keep the ball in the yard with minimal traffic on the basepaths, there is a chance of a successful outing.
Cash Game Stack
Any time you play cash games, the focus is to score the most points possible. This makes cash game stacks much more difficult because it limits your exposure to games with big run totals. However, today’s slate is so tiny that we can stack a few players from one team. Furthermore, my suggestion in cash game stacks is never to roster more than three or four from a given team. Look at the Implied Run Totals section if you’re looking for an easy starting point to focus on for cash game stacks.
The Boston Red Sox has the highest implied run total on the slate at 4.88 but one of the tougher SP matchups. If you’re going BoSox stack, J.D. Martinez ($5,400 DK, $4,100 FD) must be a part of it. He looks back to his typical mashing self, and the 91st percentile in xwOBA makes him a contender for the highest-scoring option of all outfielders. Two names also reign supreme in the Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts ($5,300 DK, $3,500 FD) and Rafael Devers ($5,000 DK, $3,800) have high expected batting averages and barrel the ball over 10% of the time. These options are some of the more dynamic players on the slate, so their roster% will be higher than most. If we want to get a little different and save some salary, Danny Santana ($2,900 DK, $2,400 FD) gets the nod at leadoff and could be a catalyst for that offense.
It should go without saying that you should never stack against your pitcher, but sometimes we have to state the obvious things in life. So, for today, if you’re starting Adbert Alzolay, don’t stack the Padres. Likewise, if you’re starting Ryan Weathers, don’t stack the Cubs. So there, now that is out of the way, let’s focus on the stacks!
The Los Angeles Angels have the second-highest implied run total on today’s slate at 4.45 and a matchup against a starting pitcher making his MLB debut. Additionally, the Angels have faired well against right-handed pitching, as shown by their 102 wRC+ and .171 ISO. Unfortunately, Mike Trout won’t be in the mix, but there is plenty of thumb in that lineup. For starters, Shohei Ohtani ($4,100 DK, $4,100 FD) has already mashed 16 dingers and carries a .500 xwOBAcon over the last two seasons. His .270 ISO vs. RHP also means there is an excellent chance of adding to that HR total. Also, Justin Upton ($3,900 DK, $3,200 FD) is a reasonable salary, especially when considering is the lead-off hitters with a 15% barrel rate. Lastly, Anthony Rendon ($4,000 DK, $3,400 FD) has been a monster against RHP throughout his career. However, 2021 has been a year of struggles for him, and his roster% could be lower due to recent efforts.
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)