WATCH: MLB IN 90 SECONDS – MIKE MOUSTAKAS
Tonight’s “main” slate is a small one, with just six games on tap after a busy afternoon of baseball. The first few weeks are always a bit strange in terms of scheduling, but that just gives us an opportunity to play more slates. As of now, it doesn’t look as though we have any rain to worry about, but check again before lock. Find me there @RyNoonan. Let’ dig in.
Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs. COL – $12,500 – MadBum will likely be a popular option tonight, and rightfully so. The Rockies get the worst park shift in the game, going from Colorado to San Francisco, and their slate-low 2.9 implied team total backs that up. Bumgarner has both the floor you want in cash games, and the ceiling you want in tournaments, and it’s going to be difficult to pivot off of the big left-hander on Thursday.
Other Options – Jon Gray ($10,000)
Robert Gsellman – NYM vs. MIA – $7,000 – We don’t have a many, if any, viable discounts at pitcher tonight, but Gsellman may be one of them. He wasn’t great last time out, but he’s shown the ability to miss bats, and that’s what we’re looking for. He struck out seven Marlins last time out, and he profiles as a K per inning guy.
Russell Martin – TOR vs. BAL – $3,800 – Russell Martin has been a fairly split neutral hitter over his career, which makes this spot against Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman one worth exploiting in my opinion. Gausman has struggled with right-handed bats in his career, with a .350 wOBA-against over the past few seasons.
Josh Phegley – OAK vs. KC – $3,200 – We’ll likely see Josh Phegley behind the plate on Thursday against KC lefty Jason Vargas, starting in place of the left-handed hitting Stephen Vogt. Phegley has flashed excellent power against left-handed pitching since his debut, and saving at catcher is always my preferred approach.
Joey Votto – CIN vs. MIL – $4,900 – Joey Votto is my favorite “stud” on the slate. He’s playing in a hitter-friendly park against a pitcher in Jimmy Nelson who’s an extreme split pitcher who’s allowed left-handed bats to compile a .356 wOBA against him over the past few seasons. That pales in comparison to Votto’s .436 wOBA against right-handers over that same time frame.
Trey Mancini – BAL vs. TOR – $3,000 – It’s no sure thing that Trey Mancini is in the lineup, but it’s likely he is with left-handed Francisco Liriano on the mound for the Blue Jays. Mancini helped his cause with a two-homer outing on Wednesday night, so if he’s starting he’ll likely be a popular punt play.
Other Options – Greg Bird ($3,500)
Jonathan Villar – MIL vs. CIN – $4,700 – The table-setter for the Brewers is in a great spot for cash games, leading off on the road against Bronson Arroyo in Cincinnati. The Brewers are a big swing-and-miss team, but the acoustically gifted Arroyo’s ship sailed many moons ago.
Other Options – Dee Gordon ($4,300)
Wilmer Flores – NYM vs. MIA – $3,300 – I think the Mets’ clean-up hitter against left-handed pitching, Wilmer Flores, is a plug-and-play on this slate. His .273 ISO against left-handed pitching is not accounted for in his price, and you can play him at either second or third base.
Josh Donaldson – TOR vs. TB – $4,600 – Everyone uses Josh Donaldson against lefties, but he’s nearly just as dangerous against right-handed pitching, and it usually comes with less ownership attached. Kevin Gausman’s struggles against right-handed bats was noted earlier when discussing Russell Martin.
Ryon Healy – OAK vs. KC – $3,600 – In his first 76 major league at-bats against left-handed pitching, Ryon Healy has posted a .370 wOBA and .257 ISO. That’s pretty, pretty, pretty good. He’ll be in the middle of the A’s lineup, and he feels $400-$500 too cheap in this spot.
Other Options – Travis Shaw ($3,800)
Manny Machado – BAL vs. TOR – $4,700 – I’ll always consider Manny Machado when he’s under $5,000. He’s just too damn good not to. A career .364 wOBA against lefties is an elite rate, and he’s a better contact hitter than most superstars, which helps against a pitcher like Francisco Liriano.
Marcus Semien – OAK vs. KC – $3,600 – The A’s hit Marcus Semien all over the lineup, but I believe he’s in play regardless because of his massive power potential against Jason Vargas. I think he’ll hit second, and that only helps improve his stock.
Billy Hamilton – CIN vs. MIL – $4,300 – Stolen bases are an under-utilized target in DFS, simply because there’s more variance in steals than any other offensive event. There’s an increasingly good amount of data that’s helping change that though, and it comes into play here with Hamilton against Jimmy Nelson. According to Baseball Prospectus’ swipe-rate-above-average metric, Nelson was the third-easiest pitcher to steal off of in 2016. That bodes well for Hamilton and his elite speed tool.
Other Options – Yoenis Cespedes ($4,800), Ryan Braun ($5,100)
Corey Dickerson – TB vs. NYY – $3,700 – Yankee Stadium is the premier place to use left-handed power, and the Rays’ lead-off man has power in spades. As a lead-off bat on the road in a hitting-friendly environment, Dickerson’s floor is raised with the assurance of nine innings worth of at-bats for his team, making Dickerson a viable option in both cash games and tournaments.
Other Options – Rajai Davis ($3,900)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RyanFix) 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.