Happy Friday, Razzball readers! It’s high school graduation weekend at many schools across the country, kicking off graduation season for all of the future Leaders of America ™ . My oldest daughter is graduating Sunday (congratulations, I love you, and I’m incredibly proud of you!) but another graduation I’m pondering is that of Milwaukee Brewer starting pitcher Eric Lauer (DK: $10,400)–is he graduating from nice rotation depth into an ace?
The big change for Lauer has been his fastball velocity–up 1.5 mph from 2021. He’s not locating it any better, getting more chases on it, and his GB%/FB% isn’t too different from last year. He’s just getting a few more called/swinging strikes on it. He’s been a bit unlucky as his HR/FB% is much higher than his career line (by 7%), but he’s been extremely lucky with his LOB%, as he’s stranding over 90% of the baserunners he allows (the MLB average is about 72%). So where does that leave us? With a really nice pitcher who has shown some real pitch gains, but with an xERA of 3.57 rather than the 2.60 actual ERA he’s currently sporting. Ace? Not yet; don’t order the potato salad for the graduation party, Mr. Lauer. Worthy of starting in DFS vs. the Nationals and their 24th-ranked offense vs. LHPs? Absolutely.
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Chase Silseth, SP: DK $7,800 – If you want to “chase” some cheap rookie nookie, this is your play tonight. Silseth sounds like something Harry Caray would garble after his 14th Budweiser, but it was crystal clear how terrific he was in his first career start, going 81 pitchers over six strong innings, giving up only one hit, and striking out four against the Oakland A’s. Guess who’s coming to dinner again tomorrow? The last-place team in OPS vs. RHPs, the Oakland A’s. With these bats, they resemble a minor league roster. The Oakland Single-A’s, perhaps. It’s only been six innings and one start, so there’s always the possibility of a roofie, but he’s done it once to Oakland, so if you prefer to save on pitching and load up on big boppers, go ahead and bet he can do it again.
M.J. Melendez, C: DK $3,400 – Now that Salvador Perez is on the IL, Melendez doesn’t have to worry about regular playing time and ABs. He’s homered in two of his last three games and is sporting a 37% hard contact rate. Is Minnesota’s Devin Smeltzer the guy who’s going to cool him off?
Pete Alonso, 1B: DK $5,400 – Hittertron’s top-rated 1B for the night slate of games is the Polar Bear, who gets to face German Marquez in Coors Field. Marquez is giving up the highest HC% of his career thus far. In a small sample size of six games played in Coors, Alonso has three homers there and a SLG of over .900.
Trevor Story, 2B: DK $4,400 – Many times batter vs. pitcher stats are in such small samples that you just have to disregard them. Buttttttt, if you’re into that sort of thing, Story has a .607 career slugging percentage vs. Robbie Ray, with three HRs in 28 ABs. For his career, Story torches lefties to a .991 OPS, and this one is in Fenway. The wind will also be blowing out to LF at around 10 mph.
Eugenio Suarez, 3B: DK $4,200 – Suarez is prone to whiffs, but he’s facing Michael Wacha tonight. Wacha has had a terrific year as judged by his ratios, but he is 185th in MLB in CSW%, so he isn’t missing many bats. Suarez may only have to listen to Chubbs Peterson and just taaaaaaaap it up and over the Green Monster.
Kike Hernandez, OF: DK $3,700 – Kike is hot, hitting safely in his last six games. But here’s the kicker–over 52 ABs vs. Robbie Ray, Hernandez has 9 XBH (five HRs, three doubles and a triple). Should I just say I don’t like it if you play Robbie Ray today? (I can’t wait for somebody to play Ray, Ray shoves, the reader takes down a big tourney, and roasts me in the comments.)
Aaron Judge, OF: $6,100 – Judge has four homers in the last week, a .977 OPS vs LHPs, and a 1.012 OPS in Yankee Stadium. Judge is at home and facing LHP Keuchel, who is pretty much (Dall)ass on the mound at this point. Is there a price that would be too high for you to put Judge in your DFS lineup right now?
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
It could be a windy one out there in the Bronx, but especially in Cleveland, where sustained winds of 16+mph are going to be blowing out to CF/R-CF.
Doing Lines In Vegas