Loyal readers of this blog will know that I am a strong believer in #respecttheleadoff in DFS – the notion that when in doubt, play leadoff hitters as they are guaranteed the most opportunities to score points in contests that, at their core, are about volume (most points wins, not best rate of points per opportunity). And since I monitor each team’s leadoff hitter (or hitters), sometimes I notice some interesting trends. For example – right now the White Sox offense is essentially Jose Abreu (of the 45.9% career GB-rate) hitting fly balls (because when he does get the ball in the air, it goes far), and Yoan Moncada. They’re both off to solid starts this season – Yoan has a .371 wOBA and Abreu has a .393 wOBA. For those who enjoy the Statcast batted ball stats, Jose Abreu is 5th overall in average exit velo with 96.2 and Moncada is 8th with 95.4. Moncada is 22nd in barrels per PA and Abreu is 43rd. Moncada is 4th in Hard-Hit Ball %, and Jose Abreu 6th. Shifting back to their roles in the overall White Sox offense, they’re the only two White Sox hitters with OBPs over .350, they’re the only two White Sox hitters with SLGs over .500, and as you might expect, the only two with a wOBA over .360. But in the last few games, Yoan has shown an impressive ability to be either the entire White Sox offense, or one of only two relevant batters, with Abreu being the other one. On the 24th, the White Sox lost 1-0. The only member of the White Sox to get an extra base hit the entire game? Yoan. On the 23rd, the White Sox won 10-4 – Jose Abreu had 10 Total Bases, Yoan had 9, no other member of the team had more than 4 (this was the game where Yoan needed just a single for the cycle, but failed twice. Even he’s not perfect). While the entire White Sox team didn’t show up for the previous 3-game series against the Astros, in the game before that one, the White Sox scored 11. Yoan had a grand slam, Abreu had 2 RBIs, and no one else had more than 1. And the previous day, the 17th, the White Sox lost 10-2. Yoan had a 2 run-HR. What does this ultimately mean? To be honest, not much. Yoan’s a decent hitter, Abreu’s a good hitter, and the White Sox don’t have much else on offense, particularly against righties, so there’s bound to be many times this year where Yoan and Abreu are carrying the entire offense for one or two weeks. But just because something isn’t “relevant” in terms of helping you win your DFS contests doesn’t mean it still isn’t something interesting to note and worth pointing out (especially on a four game slate with a clear cash pitcher). Unfortunately, FanDuel jacked up Yoan’s price to $3,900 today since their algorithm puts a ludicrous amount of emphasis on the past week (when increasing prices and then takes forever to come back down), so he’s probably not a play for the next few days until his price gets back down into the $3,000-$3,400 range. However, if the White Sox lose 7-3 today, and those 3 runs come courtesy of a Yoan 2-run HR as well as a Yoan single, steal, and being driven in by an Abreu hit, I fully plan to pretend that I knew it was coming all along.
On to the picks…
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Please, blog, may I have some more?