Happy hump day, everyone! Both FanDuel and DraftKings feature 10 game main slates starting at 7:05. The weather’s looking dry today, so let’s dive into the plays!
Top SP: Zack Wheeler, PHI ($9,500 DK, $9,400 FD) at WAS
The last time Zack Wheeler took the mound, we saw a complete-game shutout against the Brewers with eight strikeouts. While I’m not guaranteeing a repeat performance, Wheeler’s in a good spot again today. His opponent, the Nationals, have been one of the best teams in the league against left-handed pitchers. The only problem is that Wheeler is a righty, and the Nationals are in the bottom four of the league in both ISO and wRC+ against righties. Wheeler has topped six strikeouts in all but one start this year, and I expect another gem from the Phillies ace today.
Value SP: Julio Urias, LAD ($8,700 DK, $9,700) vs SEA
When I looked at the schedule, I expected to be talking about Danny Duffy against the Tigers in this space today, but then I saw he was priced like an ace, and I had to move on to other options. Value is a little thin today. Julio Urias is kind of at the top end of that “value” on DraftKings. He gets a great matchup against the Mariners and should be in line for the win.
The other value arm that I wanted to mention is Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Blue Jay’s lefty got roughed up a little in his last start against the Athletics, but I’m not too worried about that as it was his first start off of the IL. Today, Ryu faces the Braves, and while this is a pick that could certainly blow up in my face, the Braves have been really bad against lefties to start the year. Like, really bad. There’s only one team below them in wRC+ against lefties, and it’s the Tigers. Keep in mind we’re testing fate a little bit here because the Braves have historically hit lefties well, but if you need to save some cash, I don’t hate Ryu.
Honorable Mention: Hyun-Jin Ryu, TOR ($7,100 DK, $7,900 FD) at ATL.
SS Corey Seager, LAD ($5,600 DK, $3,700 FD) vs SEA
This is a pretty tough slate in terms of pricing. There isn’t a ton of value in terms of pitching, and the stacks that I want to play – Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees – are priced up. So, I’ll talk about a few of my favorite higher-end bats from those stacks, and I’ll try and scrounge up some value later. Every time I see a pitcher taking the mound with a 4.5% K-BB rate, my interest is piqued. Then you tell me Justin Dunn is pitching against one of the best offenses in the game, and I’m all in. I love the Dodgers bats today, but they’re so expensive. Mookie Betts and Justin Turner are $6k or above, while Max Muncy, Will Smith, and Corey Seager all top $5.5k. All of them I love, but you’ll have to get creative to fit them in. Maybe rolling a Dodgers three-man stack is the way to go. Seager is my favorite of the bunch. You get a little discount off Turner and Betts, and Seager has shown better plate discipline than in the past but has continued hitting the ball hard.
Honorable Mentions: Rafael Devers, BOS ($5,900 DK, $3,900 FD) vs OAK; Vlad Guerrero, Jr., TOR ($5,200 DK, $4,000 FD) at ATL.
OF J.D. Martinez, BOS ($5,600 DK, $4,200 FD) vs OAK
After an off-year in 2020, J.D. Martinez has returned to his mashing ways to start the year. The Red Sox slugger already has three more homers than he did in 2020 in 19 fewer games and is showing no signs of slowing down. Today the Red Sox will face former Yankees prospect James Kaprielian, who will be making his 2021 MLB debut. Talk about getting thrown into the fire. Like the Dodgers, though, the Red Sox that I want are priced up pretty good. Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are both priced over $5,700, though you could roll with Marwin Gonzalez or Alex Verdugo. That pair is hitting one and two in the Red Sox lineup and are priced at $4,100 or below, though they don’t have the ceiling that the expensive trio does.
Value Batter: 1B Dan Vogelbach, MIL ($2,500 DK, $2,400 FD) vs STL
There are three value stacks that I don’t hate today, the first being the Brewers. While the lineup certainly is hurting from not having Christian Yelich, getting a matchup with John Gant should help. People may glance at Gant’s 2.16 ERA and move along, but that ERA has regression coming. Gant currently sports a 5.93 SIERA, an 84.9% left on base rate, and a .8% K-BB rate. He’s essentially walking as many batters as he’s striking out. I consider the Brewers a vomit stack because the names are not going to excite you, but the whole lineup is priced below $4k. Dan Vogelbach, Kolten Wong, and Travis Shaw are my favorite options. The other two value stacks that I like are the Diamondbacks and the Royals.
Top Sneaky Stack: Royals at DET (RHP Casey Mize)
Yes, I had to change the title of this section because I wanted to talk about the Royals. If I left it as “Top Stack,” it would’ve been disingenuous, but with “Top Sneaky Stack,” I don’t feel like I’m lying to you. Thus far, Casey Mize has not lived up to that 1.01 hype, and the Detroit bullpen has been the worst in the league. That’s a scenario that I want to attack. While the Royals do have a handful of pricy bats in Whit Merrifield, Carlos Santana, and Salvatore Perez, there’s plenty of value in Andrew Benintendi, Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier, Michael Taylor, and Hanser Alberto.
Good luck today!
Honorable Mentions: BOS vs OAK (Kaprielian); NYY at TB (NBD); LAD vs SEA (Dunn); ARI vs MIA (Castano); MIL vs STL (Gant).
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