Plays of the Day
Value: Chris Owings is batting .317 against the platoon after hitting .306 with a 25.8% Line Drive Rate against LHP last season and faces a somewhat vulnerable southpaw tonight in Alex Wood, who is 2-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 5 homers allowed over his last 7 appearances against the D’Backs, which isn’t surprising considering Arizona led the Majors with a collective .348 wOBA against lefties last year.
Fade: Mookie Betts and the Red Sox are starting to collectively heat up, but they face a surprisingly efficient RHP tonight in Dylan Bundy, rather than previously announced SP Alec Asher. Bundy’s been excellent so far this season and could elicit a few ground balls from Mookie to keep the MVP candidate down.
Team Target Stacks
Astros: Jose Altuve, George Springer, Brian McCann
Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Yasmany Tomas, Chris Owings
Rangers: Nomar Mazara, Carlos Gomez, Rougned Odor
Blue Jays: Devon Travis, Troy Tulowitzki, Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar
Cardinals: Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty, Yadier Molina
Chance of delays in Cincy, Baltimore and Philly tonight.
Jon Lester: (CHC) @ CIN DK: $10,600/FD: $10,600
Lester seems a bit under priced because of a lack of strikeouts over his first 3 starts this season, yet he’s been stingy as ever with a 1.00 ERA and a 47.8% Ground Ball Rate thus far and as hitters try to make adjustments they may wind up striking out more often against the Cubs southpaw. Tonight he’ll face a Reds team that posted the fourth-lowest collective batting average (.242) with an above average 22.6% K-Rate against lefties last season and Lester held the Reds to a .212 average while going 2-1 against Cincy in 2016. He has a very solid floor and could flash upside if the Cubs offense wakes up and makes it easier for him to earn that Win bonus.
Justin Verlander: (DET) @ MIN DK: $10,300/FD: $9,400
If Verlander struggles in a second consecutive start, we can call it a trend, but at the moment his 9-run implosion against the Indians can be chalked up to an outlier. After all, he had posted a Quality Start in 17 of his last 18 appearances prior to that outing while posting a sterling 1.96 ERA and .179 BAA during the second half of last season. He struggled against the Indians lefty-heavy lineup, but Minnesota really only has a couple of platoon specialists in Max Kepler and Joe Mauer, who is a shell of his former self, so you can roll Verlander out without much concern tonight.
Bartolo Colon: (NYM) @ PHI DK: $6,900 / FD: $7,800
There are a couple of appealing veterans slated to pitch tonight including C.C. Sabathia, but the ageless wonder is probably the best of the bunch. When Colon gets going, he can eat through innings and mow down any National League lineup, as the sole blip in his age 42 campaign has been a rough outing against a Marlins team that’s owned him in the past. Current Phillies are batting a collective .205 (32-for-156) with just 1 HR and 40 K’s in their careers against Colon, who is 10-3 with a 3.01 ERA and 7.83 K/9 ratio over the last 3 seasons against Philadelphia.
Johnny Cueto: (SF) @ COL DK: $8,100/FD: $8,300
Cueto is dramatically under priced for obvious reasons as he travels to notoriously hitter-friendly Coors Field, but he’s actually been great in the thin air with a 1.23 ERA and .208 BAA to go 3-0 over his last 3 trips to Colorado. Cueto’s been reliable to open the season with 3 consecutive wins and he’s priced over $2K cheaper than his previous low in price tag on DK. Current Rockies are sporting a 21.3% K-Rate in their careers against Cueto and Colorado has somehow been awful with the third-lowest collective batting average (.207) and second-fewest runs scored (18) at home so far this season.
Yasmani Grandal: (LAD) @ ARI DK: $3,500 / FD: $2,800
You may as well swing for the fences at this position with a catcher who literally swings for the fences almost every time he comes to the plate. Grandal hit just .229 against righties but posted a .268 ISO Mark and a 25% HR/FB ratio when facing the platoon last year, so if he grabs a hold of a fastball it’s going a long way. Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker is off to a good start this season, but he posted a 19% HR/FB ratio along with a stunning 2.13 HR/9 ratio when facing lefties in 2016.
Manny Pina: (MIL) vs. STL DK: $2,800 / FD: $2,400
Still hitting for average, Pina makes for a solid cash game play against declining RHP Adam Wainwright.
Jonathan Lucroy: (TEX) vs. KC DK: $4,100 / FD: $3,000
He’s been ice cold to open the season but draws a great matchup against RvR deficient SP Nate Karns.
Matt Carpenter: (STL) @ MIL DK: $4,700 / FD: $2,900
He may be off to a good start this season, but Peralta faces an all too familiar foe tonight in the Red Birds. Current Cardinals are batting a collective .303 (54-for-178) with 9 XBH and 5 HR in their careers against Perlata, while Carpenter (19-for-41, 5 doubles, 3 HR) leads the charge in that respect. The dangerous lefty started the year cold but is sporting a .321/.429/.536 slash line with 2 HR while drawing 6 walks over his last 10 appearances and that’s the type of floor-ceiling combo we’ve come to expect from him.
Kendrys Morales: (TOR) @ LAA DK: $3,500 / FD: $3,000
One of the few Blue Jays who isn’t slumping, Morales could burn his former team and inexperienced RHP Alex Meyer.
Mitch Moreland: (BOS) @ BAL DK: $3,700 / FD: $3,600
The Sox are facing a somewhat vulnerable RHP at a hitter-friendly ballpark and that makes Moreland worth a look.
Jose Altuve: (HOU) @ TB DK: $4,500 / FD: $4,200
Altuve is really starting to heat up with a .432 batting average, 4 doubles and 6 SB over his last 10 appearances and he draws a great matchup tonight. Rays RHP Alex Cobb has struggled over the past couple seasons as he attempts to come back from elbow surgery and he gave up 4 ER on 11 hits in his last outing. With his low-arm angle delivery, Cobb is susceptible to a contact hitter such as Altuve who is comfortable hitting low line drives and finding the gaps in the infield. Cobb has also allowed a startlingly 86% success rate on 66 stolen base attempts throughout his career, which is where Altuve derives most of his upside.
Yolmer Sanchez: (CWS) vs. CLE DK: $2,200 / FD: $2,300
At essentially the bare minimum, it’s worth using the White Sox 2B in a tough matchup against Indians ace Corey Kluber.
Dee Gordon: (MIA) @ SD DK: $4,300 / FD: $3,100
Love Gordon’s upside against a ground ball pitcher who can’t hold runners on first very well in Tim Cahill.
Kris Bryant: (CHC) @ CIN DK: $5,200 / FD: $4,100
The Cubs face a homer-prone pitcher tonight at a venue in Great American Ballpark that has a very high HR Factor, so it’s worth hoping that they break out of their collective power slump. Bryant’s been doing just fine with 3 doubles and 2 homers over his last 10 appearances and faces a RHP in Tim Adleman, who posted a 4.59 ERA with a 6.21 FIP and 2.16 HR/9 ratio at home last year. He’s sporting a 16.7% HR/FB so far this season after posting a 5.30 FIP with a 1.68 HR/9 ratio last year and is more vulnerable than his ERA might indicate.
Travis Shaw: (MIL) vs. STL DK: $3,600 / FD: $3,400
Shaw continued to rake last night and he draws an appealing matchup against Adam Wainwright this evening.
Chase Headley: (NYY) @ PIT DK: $3,000 / FD: $3,600
Still can’t understand Headley’s price tag after he homered again last night and is batting .396 on the young season.
Chris Owings: (ARI) vs. LAD DK: $3,500 / FD: $2,800
The D’Backs young utility man has flashed plenty of upside as a dual threat in the past, but he’s starting to put together a consistent season with a .304 batting average over 15 appearances. He’s batting .317 against the platoon after hitting .306 with a 25.8% Line Drive Rate against LHP last season and faces a somewhat vulnerable southpaw tonight in Alex Wood, who will re-enter the Dodgers rotation due to an injury to Rich Hill. Wood is 2-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 5 homers allowed over his last 7 appearances against the D’Backs, which isn’t surprising considering Arizona led the Majors with a collective .348 wOBA against lefties last year.
Troy Tulowitzki: (TOR) @ LAA DK: $3,700 / FD:$3,300
He’s been somewhat reliable this year and draws a great matchup tonight against RHP Alex Meyer.
Corey Seager: (LAD) @ ARI DK: $4,600 / FD: $3,500
Another power-hitting lefty who is worth a look against RHP Taijuan Walker.
Bryce Harper: (WAS) @ NYM DK: $5,200 / FD: $4,800
Playing Harper or Trout in MLB DFS is similar to playing Westbrook or Harden in NBA DFS this year in that you either pay up for their tremendous upside or you hope that balance carries the day. Harper’s back to his MVP form with a ridiculous .432/.543/.865 slash line that includes 4 homers and more walks (9) than strikeouts (6) over his last 10 appearances. Tonight he faces a solid RHP in Jacob deGrom, but happens to be 7-for-18 (.389) with 2 doubles and a homer in his career against deGrom, who appears to have lost a step after a down year in 2016.
Billy Hamilton: (CIN) vs. CHC DK: $3,900 / FD: $3,300
If you want to consider one hitter alone against Lester, it should be Hamilton. The biggest flaw in Lester’s game is his inability to hold runners on or even to throw over to first, which has led to a 75% success rate with 88 successful stolen bases off him over the last 3 seasons. Hamilton, who is obviously one of the premier speed threats in the game, is 6-for-6 stealing off Lester during that span and he’s been able to reach with 6 hits over 10 career at-bats against the southpaw.