We have a five-game main fantasy baseball slate tonight, and the Rockies are no longer at Coors Field. That’s going to make finding ownership pivots just a little trickier than it normally would. Additionally, we have a couple of weeks of information on the 2019 season. A majority of fantasy gamers will be quick to overreact to that. Diverting from what has happened in this small sample will be key to taking down GPPs.
It’s important to note that you should always keep an eye on the news and lineup notes from @DKLive in order to best prepare for each slate. In addition, feel free to get at me on Twitter with any questions — @amicsta.
1. Boston Red Sox
Boston sticks out like a sore thumb as a stack. The Red Sox have a tremendous 5.6 team total, which is second-highest on the slate behind Chicago. Aaron Sanchez ($6,500) was phenomenal in 2016 but has been a total disaster since then. In the past two seasons, he owns a 5.22 xFIP and has walked more than 12% of opposing batters. He also has allowed over a .340 wOBA.
The saving grace for Sanchez has been his ground-ball rate of close to 50%. It has allowed him to limit opposing power and keep his ISO allowed under .160. This has been driven mostly by his sinker, which he has thrown 28% to left-handed hitters and 45% to righties. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the Red Sox have crushed sinkers in the past. They have seven different hitters in the projected lineup with a wOBA over .350 against sinkers, and five with an ISO over .220 since 2016.
Players to ConsiderAndrew Benintendi ($4,600)
Mookie Betts ($5,400)
Mitch Moreland ($4,500)
J.D. Martinez ($5,200)
Rafael Devers ($3,900)
Jackie Bradley ($3,700)
2. Colorado Rockies
Now that the Rockies are outside of Coors and in a very pitcher-friendly park, it is likely they will go under-owned in tournaments. Their implied run total is just four runs, but that is up 0.4 runs from when it opened at 3.6. This makes them an attractive stack in large-field GPPs, especially given the factors pointing in their favor.
For starters, pun intended, opposing pitcher Jeff Samardzija ($7,500) is coming off of a dreadful 2018. He lasted just 207 innings due to injury but walked 12.6% of opposing batters and had a 6.41 xFIP. He especially struggled against lefties, allowing a .388 wOBA and .219 ISO.
Samardzija is another heavy sinkerballer, deploying the pitch more than 40% of the time. The top four batters in Colorado’s lineup all have a wOBA of at least .398 against sinkers and an ISO of at least .191 since 2016. In addition to the statistical advantages, there is projected to be a 20 mph wind blowing out of the ballpark. This is a perfect matchup for the Rockies to have away from home.
Players to ConsiderCharlie Blackmon ($4,400)
Raimel Tapia ($3,600)
Nolan Arenado ($4,700)
Trevor Story ($4,500)
Josh Fuentes ($3,500)
Tony Wolters ($2,900)
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
The wind is blowing out in Wrigley today, which means everyone likely will be flocking to the aforementioned Cubs, who own the highest team total on the day at 5.7 runs. However, a strong contrarian option could be the Pirates, who still boast a run total of five but are often overlooked because of an overall lack of power in the lineup. I like taking advantage of the park factors here at potential low ownership.
Opposing pitcher Jose Quintana ($7,900) is typically tough to stack against because he induces a lot of ground balls. However, he struggles with walks against right-handed batters, allowing 9.5% of them a free pass the past two seasons. The Pirates overall walk more than 10% of the time, meaning there could be plenty of baserunners against Quintana this evening. If a ball leaves the yard with the wind, it has a strong probability to not be a solo shot — great for the correlation of stacks.
The Cubs’ bullpen is also not very good. Should Pittsburgh be able to knock Quintana around early, it potentially could open up some larger scoring later in the game. And though the Pirates do not hit a ton of home runs, they are fourth in the majors in steals and boast multiple threats to swipe bases in the lineup. Those events are not quite as valuable as homers, but still can help accrue a high number of fantasy points.
Players to ConsiderStarling Marte ($3,800)
Francisco Cervelli ($3,200)
Josh Bell ($3,600)
Jung-ho Kang ($3,300)
Melky Cabrera ($3,000)
Pablo Reyes ($2,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is amicsta) 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.