Good day, Razzball DFS-ers!
I’m excited because tonight we get a cute little four-gamer from DraftKings that locks at 8:07 p.m.
Small slates like these are all about game theory and leverage, so I’ll be breaking this down a bit differently than in previous weeks.
The players in the best matchups will draw extremely high ownership. On a four-game slate it’s not uncommon to see 80% owned pitchers and 40% owned hitters.
This slate represents a great exercise for us, as it’s less about “plays” and more about lineup construction and finding leverage over the field. Let’s get at it!
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The Chalk (Players who will be highly owned):
Bryce Miller, P: $10,400 – The kid is electric. He’s had five starts in the bigs and he’s surpassed 23 DraftKings points in four of them. The metrics support what he’s doing. He’ll be very highly owned today, and he should be.
Bobby Miller, P: $5,400 – In his debut, he baffled the mighty Braves with his hundred-mile-an-hour heat and his electric slider. Now he gets a much weaker opponent in the Nationals at a laughable price tag.
Freddie Freeman, 1B: $5,700 – Since 2022, Trevor Williams has struck out only 10% of left-handed batters he’s faced while surrendering a high .352 wOBA and .191 ISO. But this is more about lineup construction.
Miller and Miller should be the most popular starting pitcher pairing on DraftKings. Playing them together leaves an average of $4,250 per hitter. That’s a lot. The expensive hitters in great spots will be easily attainable, meaning Freeman, Matt Olson, Mookie Betts, Will Smith, Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and Ronald Acuna, Jr. should all see heavy ownership.
Austin Riley, 3B: $5,000 – And the Braves stack. I’ve talked for weeks about how it’s advantageous to stack against the A’s and their historically-bad bullpen, a fact that won’t go unnoticed by the field on a four-game slate.
The Pivots (lower-owned plays I’ll take a chance on):
Luis Garcia, 2B: $4,000 – and the Nationals stack. On an eight-game slate, we’re not likely to consider stacking an offense like the Nats. They don’t hit a lot of home runs, and they’d have to have a remarkable streak of luck to beat fifteen other offenses and become the tournament-winning stack.
On today’s four-game slate there are only two teams who are projected to score one whole run more than the Nationals. Offensive output is volatile day-to-day. Their opponents, the Dodgers, gave up 11 runs to the Rays yesterday, and they’re sending a rookie to the hill (an impressive rookie, but still a rookie).
Stacking the Nationals is not only a viable option but one that provides direct leverage against the likely highest-owned pitcher of the slate.
Domingo German, P: $8,500 – He returns from his sticky-stuff suspension in time to face the Mariners, who rank 18th in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. If you tell me you know how this start is going to go, I’ll call you a liar. There’s a path where German is the highest-scoring pitcher on the slate. However…
Michael Kopech, P: $8,800 – Combining Bryce Miller with either German or Kopech will force you off of some of the expensive hitters and put you on a different lineup construction than the Miller/Miller crowd will have. Kopech, by the way, has put up 77 DraftKings points over his last two starts.
Aaron Judge, OF: $6,400 – If you have the guts to get away from Bryce Miller, Judge makes for great leverage. You might not see him at ownership this low all year, and we know he can double-dong on anyone.
Tim Anderson, SS: $4,500 – Given the poor state of shortstop on this slate, Anderson might be highly owned as a one-off, but the White Sox stack shouldn’t be. Last time out Griffin Canning was everything we hoped he could be as he dominated the Red Sox. He’s shown flashes before and more often than not he’s crashed down to earth right after. On a short slate, I’ll look past recent results and bet on the trend continuing.
Esteury Ruiz, OF: $3,000 – Ruiz should be batting leadoff with the platoon advantage against a pitcher coming back from a lengthy absence due to injury, and he’ll be unowned. An added dimension is his low salary. We discussed how it’s easy to fit in high-priced hitters today, and leaving a bit of salary unused is one more way to get different.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
We’ve only got four games tonight, so thankfully we shouldn’t be losing any of them to weather.
Doing Lines In Vegas:
The 8.5 run total in the Braves/Athletics game looks just plain low. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Braves put up nine on their own, but I also think the A’s can chip in a few against Mike Soroka and the Braves’ pen.