Tonight, the main DFS slate is a short one with three games that lock at 7:10 pm EDT. Because it is such a short slate, instead of doing the typical article with several of the best DFS picks, this is going to be more of a strategy article about how to attack a short slate with a couple of picks along the way. 

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Slate Context

Knowing the context of the slate is huge along with deciding what type of contest you want to play. On this slate, Houston has the highest implied run total (5.1 runs),  facing Texas with the lowest implied run total (3.6 runs). The rest of the implied run totals are Boston (4.8 runs), Seattle (4.4 runs), Arizona (4.2 runs), and Chicago Cubs (4.0 runs). Additionally, the wind will be blowing out at Wrigley Field slightly tonight.

Slate Strategy

In a cash game on FanDuel, Framber Valdez ($9,700) could be the most popular pitcher chosen. Texas has the lowest run total, and Houston is the largest favorite on the slate. Quality starts and wins are important on FanDuel and Valdez has the highest likelihood on the slate to get a win and a quality start. From there, one will likely take the best bats they can from Houston, Boston, and Seattle. Zac Gallen ($10,600) might be somewhat popular as well given that the Chicago lineup isn’t particularly dangerous. He is expensive but has more strikeout upside.

In a tournament, one has to take a different approach. The first thing would be to consider stacking Texas or Chicago (or both) to directly attack the two most popular pitchers on the slate. Marcus Semien ($2,500), Corey Seager ($3,200), and Adolis Garcia ($3,300), all hit right-handed pitching better than lefties but have respectable power upside against lefties and their splits are somewhat balanced. Semien has been bad (.173 average with a 0.050 ISO), so I would not play him in cash games at all. In a tournament though? You know he will have no ownership. On the Cubs, I like Rafael Ortega ($2,600) and Ian Happ ($3,300). Want to throw in a Willson Contreras ($3,700) or Seiya Suzuki ($3,100) to make a stack? Go for it.

In general, George Kirby ($8,500) is a good pitcher that I am considering rostering in tournaments as well. I personally am fading Boston tonight but do what you want to do tonight! On a small slate, what opponents will do becomes more predictable but that can also mean getting different from that can feel uncomfortable.  With three games anything goes!

But I Don’t Want To Play Texas or Chicago

If you insist on playing Boston Red Sox or Seattle Mariners tonight a way to get different is to attack different spots in the order. Trying to stack from lineup spots 1-4 on these teams will make winning a tournament very difficult. Alex Verdugo ($2,800), Trevor Story ($3,400), and Franchy Cordero ($2,200) are all inexpensive and batting outside of 1-4, which means they are less likely to be stacked. For Seattle, Eugenio Suarez ($3,000), Luis Torrens ($2,100), and Steven Souza ($2,200) won’t be popular either batting in the second half of the lineup as well.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains

No weather concerns from the three games tonight. The weather in Boston and Chicago look good. Houston has a retractable stadium if the weather were to be an issue.


Doing Lines In Vegas

A nine-run total in Boston seems pretty high. George Kirby has a 0.90 ERA and a pretty good 3.31 xFIP. He is not some gas can to target. Rich Hill has a 2.89 ERA and a 4.32 xFIP. He is someone pitching better than expected. Seattle has scored the 20th most runs this season and has the 17th highest ISO. Boston has scored the 22nd most runs this season and has the 23rd highest ISO. The highest run total on the night features two teams in the bottom 1/3 of the league in scoring. I’m taking the UNDER 8.5 runs tonight (+100). I’d like to take UNDER 9.0 runs if it wasn’t so juiced. I definitely don’t want to take OVER 9.0 runs though.

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