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What’s up everybody! We’ve got just one FantasyDraft slate for us on this Thursday, but with ten different games within the slate, we’ve got tons of lineups to create. Contests start at 7 pm EST, so get your lineups set before then.
Must Play SP: Zack Godley, ARI ($18,500) at SF
You’ve got your choice of three aces on Monday in Max Scherzer, Noah Syndergaard, and Justin Verlander, and none of them are back picks by any means. However, all three are quite expensive, so if you want to save some payroll space but still have a strong first starter, go with Zack Godley. Godley dominated last year with a 3.14 Deserved Run Average, including a 26.3% K-rate and a 52.4% groundball rate. He has continued that success into 2018, throwing a seven inning, one earned start against the Dodgers. He faces the Giants in San Francisco, one of the best pitching environments in baseball. If I were Drake, I would call this “Godley’s Plan.”
Honorable Mention: Noah Syndergaard, NYM ($24,100) at MIA
Value SP: Miles Mikolas, NYY ($14,700) vs MIL
Mikolas looked better in his first start than his stat-line would suggest, racking up 10 swinging strikes and flashing some impressive stuff. Mikolas was hurt by the three home runs he gave up, but that was probably aided by Miller Park. Mikolas gets the same Brewers lineup that he faced in his first start, but in a much friendlier ballpark on Monday. If he continues pitching well, he’ll probably never be this cheap again, so invest while you still can.
Honorable Mention: Jon Gray, COL ($15,000) vs SD
Any time that Trevor Story or any other hitter is playing in Coors Field, they’re worth looking at in DFS. Coors is the best hitter’s park in all of baseball, and Story’s already homered twice in the three games he’s had there this season. Besides the ballpark, Story also destroys lefties, as evidenced by his career 140 wRC+ against southpaws. Padres starter Clayton Richard has a 4.50 ERA through two starts and had just a 17.6% K-rate in 2017, so Story’s chances of striking out are much lower. It’s always a smart idea to play as many Rockies as you can when they’re at home, but FantasyDraft has correctly raised their prices. If you can only get a few, try to make Story one of them.
Honorable Mention: IF Dee Gordon, SEA ($7,200) vs KC (Junis)
yelling out my window at 4 am “CONFORTO IS BACK!!!”
Conforto is already back after his breakout 2017 was ended early, when he put up a 146 wRC+ with 27 homers in just 440 plate appearances. He’s already homered this year, and he should have a big day against Marlins starter Jose Urena. Urena had a 5.20 FIP in 2017 and greatly outperformed his peripherals, so he’s not nearly as good as his ERA might suggest. Conforto is insanely cheap for the kind of hitter he is, and he has a great matchup. He’s a lock in almost all of my lineups on Monday.
Honorable Mention: OF A.J. Pollock, ARI ($8,800) at SF (Holland)
Kendrys Morales basically only does one thing that’s worth anything in fantasy: hit homers. So when he’s playing in Baltimore, one of the easiest parks to hit a dong, Morales is worth considering. Dylan Bundy has looked great this year, but he still had a 1.38 HR/9 last year, so Morales can capitalize on a mistake. Morales should primarily be used in GPP contests, where his high upside and low price can pay off, but avoid him in cash games, as he could drop an 0/4 on you.
Honorable Mention: IF Luis Valbuena, LAA ($6,300) at TEX (Fister)
Top Stack: Phillies vs Reds (LHP Cody Reed)
Cody Reed had an atrocious 5.09 ERA in his major league stint last year, and he’s making his first start of the year in Citizens Bank Park, an incredibly hitter-friendly park. The Phillies are looking to drop another 20 runs, and while they probably won’t score that many, they can still have a big day against Reed. Rhys Hoskins ($11,000) has been one of the best hitters in baseball this year, and he would be a nice pairing with leadoff man Cesar Hernandez ($8,200). Maikel Franco ($7,200) is a great value at his price and Scott Kingery ($6,700) is a strong play if he’s in the lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Nationals vs Atlanta (Teheran); Astros at Minnesota (Lynn)