Welcome back to plays of the day, Friday edition. We have a doozy of a 13-game slate and it’s Friday the 13th! First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET in Washington, DC for the Astros and Nationals, while we have three late games on the West Coast. With 26 teams in action tonight and just about everyone’s ace on the mound it’s a tough lineup build. Let’s make this easy and discuss my favorite plays and stacks that give us the best chance to finish in the green tonight.
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, ready to win some money? Let’s go!
Timmy’s Top 3 SP
To be honest this might the hardest pitching decision to make all season, especially on FanDuel where we can only pick one. The pitching is so good today that I have Gerrit Cole ranked 6th for value today. Let me break it down for you.
Max Scherzer, SP, NYM
Scherzer is the highest-priced pitcher on the slate and for good reason. Max has had a CSW% over 33% in five of six starts and sports a 34.3% K rate, the 8th best in the majors. Seattle has been decent this season but over the past two weeks, they sport a 90 wRC+ and a mere .221 average. Suarez, Kelenic, Torrens, and Rodriguez all have a K% over 33%. This is a good spot for Mad Max vs. a Mariners team that is 2-8 in their last 12 twelve games.
Kevin Gausman, SP, TOR
Gausman has been elite this season with a 34.4% K rate and a 20% SwStr rate. He gets Tampa Bay today who have six starters with a K rate over 25%. Manuel Margot, their best hitter this season, is expected back in the lineup tonight after missing some time. If he does play, it doesn’t change the play. It’s a tough choice between Kevin and Clayton (Kershaw) tonight but I’ll take Kevin with a slight discount.
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, DET
Detroit is struggling, 9-23, the worst record in the American League. With only 83 runs scored on the season, also a league-worst, here’s hoping for a W for E-Rod. E-Rod has good stuff and can rack up the strikeouts as he did in his last outing against Houston when he had eight! He’s had a tough schedule to start the season – White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, and Astros. Finally, E-Rod gets a soft matchup with Baltimore which has a 27.7% K rate vs LHP. The Orioles will be without two of their best hitters, Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays, who got hurt yesterday. E-Rod has the potential to hit double-digits in strikeouts tonight and at this price, we don’t want to miss it.
Colorado Rockies vs. Zack Greinke
The Rockies are back at home where they thrive with a .355 wOBA and a .281 average (best home BA in the majors). Greinke does not have the strikeout stuff anymore. Greinke sports a 2.2 BB% with only 3 BB in 33 innings of work. He throws a lot of strikes and when you do that a lot of balls will get hit. He has a career-worst 35% hard contact rate and gave up 10 hits to Baltimore in his last outing. This is a great spot for the Rockies and Hampson and Daza are cheap pieces to include in a five-man stack.
LA Dodgers vs. Kyle Gibson
The Dodgers just lost a tough one in the 9th inning 9-7 to this same Phillies team. We saw the Phillies bullpen give up a six-run lead. Gibson has been solid this season with a 2.94 ERA and 29 Ks in 33 innings. His career vs the dodgers has been not so good. In 16 innings of work, he has surrendered 10 BB, 16 ER, and 4 HR vs the Dodgers. We can start our stacks with the top and Mookie Betts who is 8-for-20 with 3 HR off of Gibson.
LA Angels vs. Daulton Jeffries
This team is straight fire right now. Ohtani, Trout, and Taylor Ward have been smashing the ball. LAA leads the majors in HR and wOBA. Jeffries has a mere 15% K rate which just isn’t going to get it down against these Angels. Rengifo, Wade, and even Wallach are good options to diversify this stack with Trout and Ohtani.
New York Yankees vs. Vince Velazquez
The best record in baseball, 8-2 in their last 10 and so much firepower. Judge, Rizzo, and Stanton are all in the top-1o in HR while Judge hit his league-leading 10th last night. The Yankees blasted Dylon Cease for 6 ER last night and Vince is a poor man’s Cease if you want to compare. His surface numbers look ok with a 3.97 ERA and a 28% CSW but his K% is down and his hard contact rate is up from his career numbers. Could be another big day for the Bronx Bombers.
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)