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SP: Jameson Taillon, PIT ($7,900) vs. STL
Sometimes you just have to fall in line. This will be a really chalky play, but it’s hard to look past this price point for Jameson Taillon. It’s not the greatest matchup in the world against the St. Louis Cardinals, but Taillon had all the makings of a legitimate breakout last year, including a career-best K-BB% of 16.9. With his new slider in tow, there is no reason not to expect more great things from Taillon this year. The price is just too cheap. Regardless of the format, I think you just take the discount here and move along.
SP: Julio Teheran, CHC ($7,000) vs. CHC
Julio Teheran is coming off a great spring. I know, I know, spring training who cares? But he’s been pitching solely from the stretch and the results are impressive. He’s coming off a middling start against a tough Philadelphia Phillies lineup, but the seven strikeouts were encouraging. He’ll get the Chicago Cubs here so it’s not a matchup most will be clamoring for and to be clear this is a risky pick — this is just a very appealing price point. Pairing Teheran with Taillon is an intriguing way to go that allows you some excellent flexibility with hitters.
OF: Corey Dickerson, PIT ($4,300) vs. CIN
This is entirely an ownership play. Most will shy away from bats in this game and rightfully so, as there are two very good pitchers going head to head here in Taillon and Miles Mikolas. Corey Dickerson has always hit RHP really well, as evidenced by last year’s .348 wOBA against them.
3B: Justin Turner, LAD ($4,200) vs. SF
This just seems like too cheap of a price for a hitter as talented as Justin Turner. He was 14th on the xwOBA leaderboard last year: right behind Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman. He’ll get Derek Holland here. Now to be fair, the Dutch Oven actually had a pretty decent K rate of 25.7% against RHB last year, but thankfully for us, Turner doesn’t strike out too often himself (he had just an 11% K rate last year). All of the 19 home runs allowed by Holland last year came off of RHB, so righty power is still the best way to attack here.
OF: Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($4,600) at ATL
You got me I’m cheating here. I just mentioned Teheran as a pitcher I’m interested in. And I still am. But if you’re fading Teheran thinking he gets hit here, it stands to reason it’ll come from the lefty power that he has struggled with throughout his career. In which case Kyle Schwarber is a really nice boom/bust option for tournaments.
Tournament Stack: Braves vs. CHC (LHP Jon Lester)
The Boston Red Sox should be very popular going against Marco Estrada in Oakland. Estrada was a disaster last year, accumulating an 8.5 K-BB% rate and a 5.45 SIERA. But it’s worth mentioning that Estrada was pitching through a hip injury last year, which may have played a part in his noticeably down year. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him bounce back this year and pitch reasonably well, now that he’s in a much more pitcher-friendly venue at Oakland. It’s hard to argue against the Red Sox anytime they are going against a suspect pitcher, but considering the likely ownership, I think they at least make for an interesting fade in tournaments.
The other likely high-owned spot should be the Houston Astros in Texas against Mike Minor. He struggled in his first start against the Cubs and he’ll face a bevy of talented righties here in what is the best hitter’s park of this short five-game slate.
I’m very interested in the Atlanta Braves tonight in their matchup against Jon Lester. The skills with Lester have been steadily deteriorating over the past year plus. 2018’s 19.8% K rate was his lowest since his last full season with the Red Sox way back in 2013. I think he still carries some name value, so there is a reasonable chance that Braves bats could be a little lower owned than they should be in this spot. Worth pointing out too that as of this writing the Cubs are very modest (-110) road favorites here. It begins and ends with Ronald Acuna Jr. who is also a great stand-alone play if you don’t want to stack this spot. And of course, Josh Donaldson adds some good power from the right side here. Freddie Freeman in a lefty-lefty matchup also figures to be low owned here too.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sammybaugh) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.