Happy Friday! Today is a massive 15-game slate, although it has quite a few challenging aspects. First, the weather looks like it’ll be a concern in several areas. Pay close attention at lock times throughout the day. Next, we have quite a few exciting matchups for SPs and a lack of value hitters. From the looks of it, there will be so many ways to attack this slate. My best advice is to start with the SPs you feel the most comfortable with and build your stack around that. Pitching should be the key to today’s winning lineups. Good luck!
Implied Run Totals
The first thing you notice is a lack of offense. Sure, we have many games with undecided lines, but outside of TB, no one has that massive Implied Run Total(IRT). If I had to guess who would be the “No Line” team that will end up scoring the most, HOU and LAD would be my top choices. Lastly, when you see this many IRT under 4, it’s best to stick to the chalkier stacks since we may not see any double-digit scores tonight.
As far as the pitching goes today, I tried keeping the suggestions to SPs at certain salary levels. While I am a Shane McClanaFAN, I’m not too fond of his salary at five figures. He was so much better of a play when he was going in the $7-8K range. Speaking of other fades, Kevin Gausman has the potential to smash this slate but coming off the COVID-19 list gives me too much concern on a 15-game slate.
Gerrit Cole and Aaron Nola are basically a pick’em since the salaries are close (on DraftKings). Even if you look at the matchups, both OAK and ARI have high strikeout numbers and relatively similar amounts of thump in the lineup. The question is, which one should you select as your SP1? My suggestion is Cole with the slightest advantage, mainly due to the better park to help suppress his pesky HR issues. However, both are terrific options in cash games.
After the six-run drumming against Arizona, it was a tremendous sign to see Joe Musgrove toss a nine K gem against Philly. I love him today for the discounted salary and high K potential. Once you start looking past Musgrove for an SP, the options drop off quickly. Consider him a cheaper SP1 option to Cole and Nola that can put up similar numbers. I like Musgrove today because you get a little saving and a healthier stack to chase down a GPP.
Sean Manaea gets the daunting task of facing the Yankees. This makes him a much lower floor that I like for my SP. However, you can’t overlook the cheaper salary ($8400 DK, $8600 FD). The one aspect that worries me is the strikeouts have not been there since August. But the Yankees love to swing-and-miss baseballs at times. So, consider him a nice SP2, but only useable in GPPs. There is a bit of risk in playing Manaea; can you stomach it?
Another GPP cheaper option at SP is Logan Gilbert because he has over a 20% K-rate against both sides of the plate. However, if he gets hit, it’s against right-handed power bats. Outside of Salvador Perez, there isn’t much power from the right-side in the Royals lineup. At his salary and strikeout upside, he might be a chalkier play. I love the idea of pairing a Cole/Nola with Gilbert and finding the right stack for tonight’s action.
With a full 15-game slate, I would have expected more viable stacks than I found. There are quite a few more one-offs and secondary stacks, but let’s keep it to these three.
- This stack has much less to do with stacking against Matt Harvey and more to do with the overall matchup. For starters, the park is a hitter-friendly environment that has been putting up crooked numbers for teams with much less talent than the Rays. Second, the Rays have quite a few players that thump against right-handed pitching. It’s not difficult to see why they have the highest IRT on the slate. Core stack targets: Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe, Nelson Cruz, and Mike Zunino.
- Now, this stack has much more to do with the matchup. We haven’t seen Logan Allen in quite a while. And when we did, he was pretty ineffective, and both sides of the plate feasted on his fastballs. He is running into an absolute buzzsaw of an offense that puts the ball in play a ton. Even more so, they get Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman back. As far as DFS purposes, both of them are extremely inexpensive today. Go large and stack five-person stacks in all your GPPs. Core stack targets: Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve.
- Let’s not get too over ourselves; Keegan Thompson is not a good SP. He has done a great job keeping right-handed bats down so far, but this is a much more difficult test for him. Furthermore, Thompson has yet to go past the fourth inning in a start. So, we could see the Chicago Cubs bullpen for a majority of the game. To make matters worse for Cubs’ pitching, this game is at Guaranteed Rate Field and will have the DH. There are too many warning signs pointing in the wrong direction. Core stack targets: Eloy Jimenez, Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, and Tim Anderson.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the value hitters are players under $3300 on DK and under $3100 on FD—just a step below my cash players. Use these players to smash into your lineup when you need to save some salary.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)