Welcome back to another Monday slate breakdown. Today has a slightly different feel, and that is because the options won’t be the same, depending on the sportsbooks. DraftKings elected to use the CWS@CLE game, while FanDuel went with WAS@ATL. It’s worth noting that CWS@CLE is the first game of a double-header and will only be a 7-inning affair. Keep in mind that any bats from that game might see fewer ABs. Finally, the weather shouldn’t play a factor in some of the games’ outcomes. The opening acts start early today (1:05 EST), so get those lineups in early, folks. Good luck!
Top SP: Corbin Burnes, MIL ($9,900 DK, 10,600 FD) vs DET
Pinch me; I must be dreaming. Do we really get an SP with 14.37 K/9 and a 37.9% CSW for less than $10K on DraftKings? Wait, it gets even better! Burnes also gets a matchup that includes a Detroit squad that already strikes out 27% of the time vs. RHP. Furthermore, this game is in an NL park, so the Tigers will lose the DH. Even for $10,600 on FanDuel, this has the makings of a scorching day for Burnes.
The chalk SP will be Burnes. For new DFS players, chalk means the majority of the field will likely have him on their roster. In this case, Burnes has a great matchup and a weaker opponent; we should expect him to be heavily rostered in lineups.
For my contrarian friends, fading Burnes will be a tall task but getting different is a part of DFS. So, this is where we examine Rich Hill. The Rays know how to squeeze every ounce of pitching ability out of a player. A 3.61 SIERA and 10.04 K/9 backs Hill’s 3.63 ERA. The backbone of his arsenal is a curveball generating a 13.8% SwStr% and 56% ground ball rate. Expect Hill’s roster% to be far lower than Burnes, but potentially fewer points as well.
Value SP: Dylan Bundy, LAA ($7,000 DK, $6,400 FD) at SF
The matchup alone has the makings for a big afternoon for Bundy. First, his arsenal features two killer breaking balls. Both his slider and curveball have CSWs over 38%. Those two offerings help balance out a fastball that lacks elite velocity but is still very effective. Additionally, the fastball is used as an early setup pitch because it has a 70% F-strike. Enough about how Bundy does it, more about what Bundy will do, right?
For starters, the matchup is a bit more enticing than you would imagine. The Giants have the highest K% (27.8%) of all teams in the MLB vs. RHP. So now, we are looking at a matchup that includes an opponent with significant whiffs rates plus a lower-salaried SP with massive strikeout upside? Say no more, sign me up!
1B Rhys Hoskins, PHI ($5,000 DK, $3,600 FD) at CIN
The 1B options are lacking today. Top-salaried José Abreu is only available on DraftKings and part of a seven-inning doubleheader that will limit his plate appearances. And with IL tags to other typical bargains 1B, let’s not get too cute. Hoskins barrel% is well above league-average at 13.6%, and a near 50% hard-hit rate means half of his batted balls have a good chance of big scores.
On the other side, his pitching opposition is Wade Miley. We love using right-handed batters against Miley because he struggles by giving up loud contact. In 36 IP vs. right-handed hitters, Miley has given up 16 earned runs and three dingers. Lastly, the game is at Great American Ballpark, one of the more hitter-friendly environments not named Coors Field.
OF Jesse Winker, CIN ($4,600 DK, $4,000 FD) vs PHI
Jesse Winker is emerging as one of the top-hitting outfielders in the game. The 27-year-old is a Statcast legend, as shown by his 94th percentile or better in xwOBA, hard-hit%, and xSLG. Furthermore, he is a nightmare for opposing pitchers because he doesn’t chase pitches out of the zone. This stellar plate approach helps keep Winker ahead of counts and able to crush fastballs. Against fastballs, Winker has 18 extra-base hits (seven 2Bs, one 3B, and 10 HR). The good news for Winker: he faces off against Vince Velasquez, who leans heavily on his four-seamer nearly 50% of the time.
Value Batter: Wil Myers, SD ($3,200 DK, $2,200 FD) at CHC
The value bat of the day is, without a doubt, Wil Myers. However, sometimes one of the best ways to spot a great value play is to look for the weakest pitcher. On today’s slate, that pitcher is Keegan Thompson. He is a long reliever that gets the nod at starting due to injury. Bullpen games are tougher to predict, but we are hoping the Cubs push him out there a little too long.
Again, we try to get a little different with our plays, especially if the SP combo is Burnes/Bundy. Myers is reverse-split hitting this year. Four of his six HRs have come off RHP, and he is slugging nearly 200 points higher as well. Let’s hope his patient plate approach helps him grab hold of one today while he sits in fewer lineups than usual.
Stacking against Jorge López is usually a winning strategy. The Orioles SP sports a 5.80 ERA and 1.47 WHIP that is putrid. The main reason to attack López is his propensity to give up long balls. In his ten games started, López has allowed nine HRs. Furthermore, he is pitching another home game in Camden Yards with some of the shortest porches in all of baseball. This matchup could explain by the Twins have the highest implied run total at 5.08 on the slate.
Hopefully, we have left enough salary on the table to get plenty of Twins in the lineup. Of course, any time you’re stacking the Twins, we must consider the ageless wonder, Nelson Cruz. However, there are some new blood barreling balls at an alarming rate as well. Keep an eye on the lineup cards when they come out, but Trevor Larnach is a steal at his salary. Oh yeah, Alex Kirilloff is destroying baseballs as well! Remember, though, we need to get a little different so target some of the back ends of the lineup. Rob Refsnyder is a sneaky little option with pop that very few are noticing. All said, the Twins are the MLB leaders in barrels and project to put up plenty of runs to pay off the stack salary.
Honorable Mentions: CIN vs PHI (Velasquez); OAK at SEA (Gilbert).
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)