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One of my favorite things about Razzball besides the glorious mustaches, amazing daily recaps and the best projections/rankings on the net is the community we’ve got here.  We’re all huge nerds around these parts and I love striking up intelligent fantasy baseball discussions with my fellow Razzballers.  Come on into the comments section and let’s talk shop.  These conversations and debates are where the fun is and where real answers can be found.  I’ve chatted with a few folks recently and conversations have gone something like this:

Me: So, have you tried DFS yet?

Anonymous Nobody: Yea, I tried it once, but I lost and haven’t played again.

Me: Oh, well, you should give it another go.

Anonymous Nobody: Ya, maybe

So, in a season that spans 7 months these Anonymous Nobodies have played 1 day of DFS, lost and never went back.  I’m here to tell you, that is just not enough action to make a decision on this great game.  Baseball has more variance than any other sport on a night to night basis and even on a night where you make all the “correct” plays, you’re going to lose.  It happens.  It’s what makes bankroll management so key here.  Playing 5-10% of your roll per night is critical to surviving.  A friend of mine who just got into baseball side of DFS recently joined the Razzball Framily Plan $2 league and won the whole kit and kaboodle.  He e-mailed me after saying what a confidence boost that was and I completely understand that sentiment.  Winning early is probably the biggest factor in people sticking with this.  I’d just like to suggest you give yourself enough rope to play for 20-30 days.  Track your results and then make a decision.  Don’t make the call to quit after one day.  If your process is a good one over the span of 30 days, you’ll see a profit.  That, over the long haul of the baseball season, really adds up.  Now, let’s get to some picks that will get you winning early and hopefully winning often.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Pump the brakes!  Something I told myself I wanted to do when I took this gig was to shoutout the previous week’s winner of the contest posted in my article.  I’m starting that this week and hope to keep it going.  So, if you take down the Framily Plan on a Tuesday night, look for you name here the following week.  Everyone likes to see their name in print.  This week, it’s a shout out to my aforementioned friend, Joshyb714 who squeaked out a 4 point victory to take home the top prize.  Let’s see if you can earn yourself a shout out next week, hop on in.

Travis Wood, SP: $6,500 – I’m grasping at straws for starting pitchers on tonight’s slate.  There’s a bounty of bad pitchers with bad match-ups, good pitchers with bad match-ups and wild cards with OK match-ups.  I’m feeling frisky and double-dipping with Travis Wood.  I was all over him for his last start and was rewarded for it and I’m going back to the well.  Grey alluded to his increased slider usage and in turn his increased K-rate.  I’m a believer in Wood.  With a group of pitchers like this it’s best to grab something cheap and hold on tight.  Wood’s got the park factor in his favor and a recent track record of increased Ks and success.  Hop on before the price skyrockets and you can’t bring yourself to do it anymore.

Carlos Carrasco, SP: $8,300 – How can you not be head over heels for this guy?  I’m hoping the recent hit to the melon keeps people away and I can reap the benefits.  Carrasco’s stuff is nasty, and besides Coors field, is matchup proof if you ask me.  The White Sox, the Cell and the effects of the head shot don’t bother me at all.  Wood with a side of Carrasco sauce sounds like a good night to me!

Jason Vargas, SP: $6,500 – I told you, it’s not pretty on the pitching side today.  I’ll be loading up on Wood and mixing and matching depending on game type.  Vargas is a nice cash game compliment.  He’s not very exciting, but vs. the Twins, he’s about the safest bet on the night.  I’m going to call my shot here with 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 Ks, or about 20-21 DraftKings points.  Sound usable?  I think so.

Taijuan Walker, SP: $6,700 – Taijuan has the highest upside and the lowest downside of the bunch tonight.  One of the best match-ups to go along with the early season’s most erratic pitcher.  Taijuan is the poster child for not reading into spring training stats.  I’ve been digging and trying to uncover the cause for his early season troubles and best I can find is that he may be tipping his pitches based on his release point.  The speed differential between his FB and CH isn’t huge and his CH still averages around 90 MPH.  If batters can tell when the change is coming and can sit on that, well, it’s not good.  Graphs of his release point don’t seem to suggest anything is off, so it’s just conjecture at this point.  The Astros have the most strikeouts in the majors so far though.  For the upside, he’s worth a GPP flyer and if the Astros crush him, he’ll be dead to me until he shows some signs of life.

Derek Norris, C: $3,900 – Oh, why hello there, are you new around these parts?  Let me tell you a little secret, the Rockies are at home for an extended stay and you should get as much exposure to them and their opponent as you can handle.  I’m going to try to not post the entire Padres starting lineup here, but when in doubt, lean towards Coors.

Justin Morneau, 1B: $3,900 – This seems like a huge miss on DraftKing’s part.  Morneau at home in Coors and facing a righty is about as good as it gets.  This price for that potential production is just giving away points.  I see no way Morneau isn’t in every one of my lineups tonight.  He’s the closest thing there is to a must play.

Adam Lind, 1B: $4,500 – Lind has been off to a just dandy start; .300 batting average, .391 OBP and a dinger.  As a long time Braves fan, I honestly though Jason Marquis was out of baseball.  TJ surgery kept him away from the majors in 2014 so that explains how his name escaped my memory.  With 8 runs, 7 earned in 10 innings of work, I think maybe he should consider being out of baseball.  In the mean time, target any and all batters facing him and enjoy the results.

Yangervis Solarte, 2B: $3,800 – DraftKings does a pretty good job of adjusting player prices based on match-ups.  This makes the full on Coors stack a bit tricky and requires some digging.  What I mean is, Jedd Gyorko and all his awfulness costs $4,100 tonight.  Meanwhile, the infinitely more productive Solarte is $300 cheaper.  Gyorko is HR or bust with a far greater chance for bust.  Make the smarter/cheaper play and roll with Yangervis.

Brett Lawrie, 2B: $3,500 – This is a pure DFSBot pick.  With Scooter Gennett being attacked by a shower (not kidding) I’m struggling to find a 2B outside of Coors.  So, shameless plug for Rudy’s awesome tools.  The new and improved Bot has this section called “Upside Points”.  It is a projection of a player’s 86th percentile outcome.  Pretty neat.  You can scroll along and see where a number jumps out.  Lawrie has almost the same upside point potential (0.3 point difference) as Robinson Cano tonight.  For $3,500, I’d take that.

Will Middlebrooks, 3B: $4,100 – Coors, power hitter, Creeper of the Week.  Defense, I rest my case.

Jake Lamb, 3B: $4,300 – I’ve seriously got a thing for Jake Lamb.  He’s got a lot going for him and he’s off to a blistering start.  He’s got the great ballpark, he’s been hitting either 2nd or 5th in the lineup, he’s got pop, he’s got a great name and did I mention he’s facing Nick Martinez?  I know picking on this fella didn’t work out well the last go around (thank a lot Halos) but I can assure you, Nick won’t get away with that black magic twice.  He’s had one of his two good starts this season, time to turn back into the pitcher we know and love.

Everth Cabrera, SS: $3,400 – The Oreos have finally been giving Everth the leadoff spot vs LHP and it’s about time.  Mark Buehrle has been working some voodoo while rocking a 1.50 WHIP and somehow only a 3.75 ERA.  The 6+ FIP tells the real story here.  He’s ready to unleash a barrage of fantasy points to an opposing offense and when that happens, I want the guy hitting leadoff.

Whoever Fits, SS: – Beyond Everth SS is going to be the last position I fill on a night like this.  I’m going to set my roster the way I like it and see what I have leftover.  Most likely that will mean hitting the bargain bin.  When this happens I typically wait until all the lineups are out and find the SS hitting the highest in the lineup for the cheapest price with anything save for a completely horrendous match-up.  It’s not a pretty exercise, but sometimes it has to be done.

Wil Myers, OF: $4,800 – Speaking of leadoff hitters, I’ve got a trio of them here for you.  I told you I couldn’t help myself when it came to suggesting Padres hitters.  Wil’s been moving the needle from the leadoff spot and I’ve been drooling over him making a trip into Coors field since the trade was announced.

Ender Inciarte, OF: $4,000 – Ender has been ripping the cover off the ball and has stolen the leadoff spot from AJ Pollock.  Ride him while he’s hot and especially when Nick Martinez is visiting the desert.  If Lamb is in the two hole these guys will be a fixture in my evening’s lineups.

Christian Yelich, OF: $4,500 – The final of the leadoff trio is my attempt to make sure you’re aware of Jerome Williams on the mound in Philly.  Any and all Fish are welcome.  In case it’s not incredibly obvious, the reason I’m pointing out these leadoff hitters is the strategy of maximizing ABs.  This is a similar process to picking out batty calls in RCL leagues, you want to get as many ABs as you possibly can.  ABs mean opportunities and opportunities mean counting stats.  In DFS, counting stats mean points which means dollars in your bankroll.  Long story short, Yelich equals money.

Mark Canha, 1B/OF: $3,300 – Finally, we’ve got ourselves a two hole hitter.  Still plenty of ABs and some power upside to boot. Canha gets to face a lefty, which he slugs slightly better against and provides a huge price break.  This is mostly a price play, but the power upside and hit tool are a big bonus.  Given the recent production, I’m shocked his price is so low.  Don’t ask questions, just fit him in so you can add more Coors bats.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

I think we just might have our first clean weather slate in what seems like forever.  All the sprinkles are happening in cities that have embraced the modern day technology of the retractable roof.  Score one for technology.

Doing Lines In Vegas

Besides the massive 10 o/u for the Coors game we have the NYY @ DET and TEX @ ARI sporting 9 each.  There’s a slew of 7 run games but I want to draw attention to the HOU @ SEA affair.  McHugh vs Walker is a 7 run o/u with Taijuan as the favorite by a scosche (-110).  Does Vegas know something we don’t?  This makes me even more inclined to toss Taijuan in a GPP.  The biggest favorites on the evening are super-boring Jon Niese and Jason Vargas.  Fun times.

   
  1. Cram It says:
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    The first year I started playing (2 seasons ago), I profited from the first 3 contests I entered, won one of those $27 big tourney tickets for free and placed in said tourney well enough to come out well ahead that year. I was like, wow, this is easy enough. I haven’t profited since! I think it’s getting harder, with DFS becoming more popular, with more resources and sites promoting their “insider” advantages. It’s passed me by already!

    • McNulty says:
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      @Cram It:

      I think there’s more uncertainty at the beginning of the season vs. in the middle. That may or may not explain some of it.

  2. Cram It says:
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    What’s the consensus strategy when you sa ‘by game type’? Like if you’re in a smaller pool size, you want to go with the most reliable SP’s? And in a bigger GPP size pool, you want to take upside risks at SP so you can afford big bats?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Yea, it’s mostly cash games (ie: 50/50, H2H) vs. large field tournaments when I speak of game type. Cash games you’ll want to pay up for the more solid SPs. They are easier to predict and yield more points, so it makes sense to base your low risk games around a solid foundation. GPPs though, man, it’s anything goes. You throw crap at the wall and hope it sticks. Taijuan has that huge upside, but if he craps his pants it’s better if he’s on one $5 GPP ticket vs on $50 worth of H2H games. I typically pay down for pitchers in GPPs, but it’s all match-up driven. my biggest score of the year last season featured Kershaw in the lineup. Kershaw and a then still cheap Carrasco.

      I think I remember when you hit that big tournament 2 years ago. Didn’t we have a Razzball league that paid out a ticket to that thing that you won? I played in that I believe is why I remember. Recall you mentioning your win to Grey the next day. I remember weird things though.

      • Cram It says:
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        @MattTruss: Makes sense. That inspires me to do more head to head and build a bank roll for a big tournament instead of putzing around with these $3 GPP’s and seemingly always being one goose egg bat looking in from the outside.

        Yeah man. Your memory is not deceiving you! I did win a ticket through Razzball. I remember a few Razzball people were in that tourney. That was a good year.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Absolutely, I play 85% cash games probably. I like to kinda hang out in the area where, if I sweep my cash games, I make a little profit and cover my GPP buy-ins. This causes me to hover right around break even for the most part. The goal being to stay right around that point and just bide my time until that one night where I hit big and really grow that bankroll. So, for every $3 Moonshot you enter, get into 3 $1 50/50s and play 2 $1 H2Hs. That’s a perfect mix for say a $150 starting bankroll.

          • MattTruss

            MattTruss says:
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            Actually, probably more around 70% cash games, now that I think about it some more.

          • Cram It says:
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            @MattTruss: Right on. Thanks for the pointers!

            • McNulty says:
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              @Cram It:

              I’m 100% on 50/50s and I like to stay in the $3-$10 games, playing in multiple games with the same lineup (or a small variation). I assume the competition gets stiffer over $10, so I just do multiple low dollar games if I want more money out there.

              How much do people typically wager per night?

              • MattTruss

                MattTruss says:
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                5-10% of your bankroll on a given night is my suggestion and what I try to stick to. If you’re winning 50/50s at a 100% clip though, feel free to push more into the middle and don’t be afraid of higher limits.

  3. Scott says:
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    Not sure I’d want to put Tabasco on my Wood.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Coward

  4. Nate says:
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    What is your feeling on Flores today as a SS option? Does Cahill give some Mets extra value?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Totally, Cahill’s a train wreck. I like Flores, he fits the “whoever fits” bill to a tee. Power upside there too. The only knock on him is he typically hits 8th (if he plays), right in front of the pitcher. Check his lineup spot and if Terry Collins has moved him up at all he’s all systems go. Even hitting 8th, though, you could do worse.

  5. JoshyB714 says:
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    Thanks for the shout out man!
    It was indeed a nice confidence boost after a week of trying to figure out what I was even doing playing DFS Baseball.
    You, along with the great Razzball tools, have provided great insight into the DFS world, so thank you for that.
    To everyone who donated to the cause last week…Thank you! I’m more than happy to return the favor today!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Hey, no prob man, you earned it. That Harvey/Green combo was good stuff. Welcome into the comments section, I was hoping to lure you in and good luck tonight, should be a fun one.

  6. GhostTownSteve says:
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    Jose Ramirez seems like a good play against Noesi if you’re struggling for a SS.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Agreed, @$3,600 he’s right in the “usable” range, great match-up, just a bad lineup spot. I had Brandon Moss featured here until DK pricing came out and they jacked him way up. All Indians are in play, only thing is they might be facing Rodon by the third inning :)

      • GhostTownSteve says:
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        @MattTruss:

        Good call on Rodon.

  7. Scott says:
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    Gyorko? Isn’t that He-Man’s sidekick?

  8. GhostTownSteve says:
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    Got a wild card starter for you, especially if you want to zig against all the zaggers: Jason Marquis.

    He’s got a new change up he’s been featuring. In a small sample size his k/9 is at 11.70. Brewers not hitting.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      It’s Ryan Braun and a bunch of guys right now, that’s true…It is Jason Marquis though, he of the 4.86 career ERA. It would certainly be contrarian. Vegas only has MIL as a small favorite (-130), might be onto something there.

      • GhostTownSteve says:
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        @MattTruss:

        Played Maquis and an all star team in a cheap Fanduel tourney. C’mon terrible pitcher.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Nice! Let me know how it goes, curious what his ownership percentage will be.

  9. Spammer Jay says:
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    I think because they moved Morneau down to 6th they deducted value.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      $200 cheaper than Jedd Gyorko though, it’s a steal if you ask me.

      • Spammer Jay says:
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        @MattTruss: I’m with you! Let’s see from fireworks @COL tonight!

  10. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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    Lineup cards say Lamb and Inciarte riding the pine tonight. Bogus.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Booooooooo!

  11. mike says:
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    DFS bot has Walker ranked pretty dang high and Wood pretty far down the list, for a $200 difference to me that says Walker hands down.. right?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      I touched on both above, it’s risk reward and I think Wood is safer. Taijuan is a fine tournament play, just don’t put the mortgage on him.

  12. J-FOH says:
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    There are only 6 months to the regular season.

    In a tourney you going with the mets rookie making his debut?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Yea, DFS sticks around til the WS though, for the true degens.

      Plawecki vs. Cahill? Absolutely! Cheap catchers are my jam.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @MattTruss: I didn’t know that about DFS, I turn off baseball as soon as the regular season is over so i have no idea of these things.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Haha, I love how much you hate real baseball!

          • J-FOH says:
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            @MattTruss: Any time you have to change the game to make it more exciting means you didn’t love it in the first place. Expanding inclusion equates to the modern everyone gets a trophy society. I have more hate for pro sports than you will ever know.

  13. Hans says:
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    With Lamb out, Middlebrooks or valbuena for the next few weeks til lamb or Rendon return?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Bummer on Lamb, can you play match-ups? Middlebrooks for the next 3 days easy though. After that, flip a coin. Probably lean Valbuena though.

  14. Wake Up says:
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    Solarte out again…my “genius” pickup foiled again…

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      So lame…

      • @MattTruss: On Walker, you were almost there IMO, he was just too amped and over throwing…we will see

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Or he just needs to face the Astros every start…

          • @MattTruss: Astros can hit what they know is coming too…I watched him and think he was over throwing his secondary pitches…Occums Razor

  15. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    Matt i still havent quite gotten around to trying this out but i have been reading all your post,thanks great job

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Thanks Kelly, here to help if and when you do.

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