Buckle up; today’s slate is going to be an interesting one. The weather is going to play a significant role in tonight’s outcomes. I will do my best to offer up plenty of pivots, but you really need to keep an eye out for PPDs and player swaps. On the pitching front, we have a slate that is rather top-heavy in terms of aces. This means there will be loads of value bats and high potential stacks. Good luck!
Top SP: Gerrit Cole, NYY ($11,200 DK, 12,200 FD) at DET
When searching for your pitching anchor, the main factors we want to focus on are strikeout upside and length of outing. In Cole’s case, his 12.80 K/9 and 6.42 IP/GS reign supreme for today’s slate. Additionally, the matchup against the Detriot Tigers is a very enticing one. Detroit strikes out 32% of all ABs while only mustering up a .084 ISO. Furthermore, their 67 wRC+ a call that even nearly everyone can see coming. We don’t need to go into too many specifics to figure you why Gerrit Cole is so dominant; I know he will be the chalk today but likely worth it.
So, If you want to get a little different and save some capital, taking a shot at Ian Anderson or Walker Buehler as your anchor might be a smooth decision. Both have a tremendous ability to strike out the opposing batters at a high rate; however, Ian Anderson gets a slight bump due to matchup. He faces the Mets, who have a 2.99 implied run total that is the second-lowest on the slate, only behind Detroit.
Value SP: Martín Pérez, BOS ($8,700 DK, $8,400 FD) vs MIA
We are going with a little bit of a wildcard play by rostering Pérez. Miami has been a surprise offense capable of putting up a solid number but lately laying duds vs. LHP. In the last two weeks, the Marlins have an 80 wRC+ and striking out nearly 38% of the time. Sure, it could be a small sample size, but those are staggeringly bad numbers.
On the flip side, Pérez has elevated his game by striking out more batter this year. As a result, his K/9 has risen to 8.67, and the ground ball rate is north of 40%. All significant indicators if he can pump the zone with fastballs and keep the batted balls slow and low.
I prefer Ohtani, but he isn’t available on FanDuel. If he pops up on the site later, we will happily make him our value SP. Like I mentioned in the opening, stay updated today!
Honorable Mention: Shohei Ohtani, ($7,800 DK) at OAK; Robbie Dobnak, ($5,800 DK, $7,700 FD) at KC.
1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR($6,200 DK, $4,600 FD) at CLE
Vladito is above and beyond the top-priced 1B on the slate. That’s not entirely a bad thing, and you would be surprised by the number of times the better players go under-owned on a slate, merely because people will pay down for a better value. So we will throw value to the side in this build and focus on raw point potential.
Vlad is one of the most polarizing players in MLB – and for a good reason. His batted ball Statcast metrics are elite: 94th percentile or better in xBA, xwOBA, Barrel%, max exit velocity, and SLG%. Not to be funny, but that is like every single stat you want to focus on for predicting which batter could break the slate.
3B Josh Donaldson, MIN ($4,000 DK, $2,900 FD) vs KC
Donaldson fits for two reasons. One, he can take any pitcher deep; and two, his salary is so affordable. For my Gerrit Cole at SP crowd, we need a power bat like this to help make room for all the other pieces in our build. Keep in mind and no one player can win a GPP. We need the entire roster working together. Stripe the cheap salary aside, and let’s scope out his Statcast metrics for a minute. Donaldson is sporting a 15.2% barrel rate and a 48.6% hard-hit rate while making more zone contact than he has in the past five years-yes! And that, my DFS friends, is why Donaldson is a perfect 3B.
Value Batter: SS Willy Adames, MIL ($3,200 DK, $2,100 FD) at WAS
Adames looked lean and mean with the new team last night by going 4-for-5 with a dinger. On FanDuel, his salary is stuck at nearly the player minimum. So he garners extra attention for the builds on that site. The best part of Adames’ game is the power potential. On the season, Willy harnesses a 14.4% barrel rate and .471 xwOBAcon. So it’s safe to say when he makes contact, we can expect success. Now, that’s where things get tricky because the success will depend on him limiting those pesky Ks. The great news, his matchup is against Jon Lester, who is only striking out 16% of batters while also allowing a ton of contact. This could be a perfect one-off position to save down on.
Top Stack: Minnesota Twins at KC (LHP Kris Bubic)
The Minnesota Twins should have all the thumpers in the lineup today (Donaldson, Cruz, Sano, Kirrilloff, Garver). Those prolific power hitters are terrific against LHP, as shown by the teams .191 ISO (2nd in MLB). Furthermore, if we are already rostering Donaldson at the hot corner, we should build around him with a correlated stack.
You won’t have enough salary-cap space to jam all those bats into your lineup. I think you’re best is to grab Donaldson and Garver as your sluggers from the lineup, then surround them with cheaper pieces. Look into uber-value OFs like Trevor Larnach and Robert Refsnyder. Maybe even smash in Kevin Garlick if you want to make it a five-person stack on DraftKings.
A good guideline for your stack is to keep them under half of your initial salary. For DraftKings, since we start with $50,000, the stack salary target is $20K-$25K, and on FanDeul, the stack salary target is $15K-$17K. Keep in mind and I would only use this as a guide, not a rule. There are infinite ways to win, so don’t be too regimented on how you go about your process.
Honorable Mentions: MIL vs WAS(Lester), CWS vs BAL (Harvey), SEA at TEX (Lyles).
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)