The Reds are in Coors. They’re too cheap. They’re facing some dude named Connor Seabold. And they’ll be the highest-owned bats on the slate, by a bazillion.

We’ll give the Reds a night to learn how to breathe at 5,200 feet and switch our focus to Oakland, where the air is heavy and the stands are empty. 

Ketel Marte (2B, $5,000) is riding a 9-game hitting streak, and I’ll happily ride with him all night against Drew Rucinski and whomever else the Athletics trot out.  

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Before we get into the rest of the picks for the slate, I want to touch on a strategy point in the form of a specific stat: wRC+.

wRC stands for “weighted runs created,” and the plus sign means it’s an indexed stat, where a score of 100 is average. So if a hitter has a wRC+ score of 120 it means his overall offensive production is 20 percentage points better than league average. It also adjusts for home parks.  The >lineup Builder recently did a piece on this stat, breaking it all down, HERE.

wRC+ can also be applied in a team context, and I find this useful to get a snapshot of how good or bad a pitcher’s matchup might be for DFS. We’ll touch on some applications as we examine today’s DraftKings slate, which starts at 7:07 p.m. ET: 


The Fades (Highly-owned players I will mostly avoid):  

Framber Valdez, P: $10,700 – As the best pitcher on tonight’s slate, Framber will be highly owned, but he faces a tough test in the Cubs (120 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitching). Given the matchup and heavy price tag, I’ll let others poke the bear.

George Kirby, P: $9,400 – He’s an absolute technician on the mound, but the Red Sox are a different animal at home (124 wRC+). 

Jonathan India, 2B: $5,600 – And the Reds offense. It’s an ownership thing. If you play cash, you’ll probably want four or five Reds. But we’re playing tournaments, and there are plenty of other quality spots to find bats.  


The Core (Players who will appear frequently in my lineups): 

Freddy Peralta, P: $9,000 – The Cardinals are no pushover (109 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitching), but Freddy is in good form, having put up 22+ DraftKings points in three straight. I’ll take the $1,700 savings over Framber and apply it to my bats. 

Corbin Carroll, OF: $5,200 – So many DraftKings lineups will feature Framber, Kirby, and the Reds. By saving money at Pitcher we get to spend up on a few more luxuries including Carroll, who’s in a smash spot, and the full Diamondback’s stack.

Juan Soto, OF: $5,300 –  After a slow start, Soto is beating up right-handed pitchers to the tune of  a .255 ISO.  

Manny Machado, 3B: $4,700 – Brad Keller has a strikeout rate under 17% to hitters on both sides of the plate, bringing the full Padres stack into play. 

Brandon Belt, 1B: $2,200 – He’ll be batting 6th or 7th for the home team, and he may get pinch hit for.  He also faces Jhony Brito and costs just $2,200. Easy money. 


The Pivots (low-owned plays I’ll take a chance on): 

Tanner Houck, P: $8,100  – Most will focus on his 5.26 ERA, but I see an expected ERA (xERA) of 3.64 and a surprisingly mediocre opponent (98 wRC+ vs. RHP).  On a slate with no safe ports at pitcher, I’ll steer a ship or two to Houck Island.  

Hunter Greene, P: $8,300 – Thanks to Coors Field the Rockies have an 8th best team home OPS of .786.  However, their 84 wRC+ at home is second-worst, which shows that the offense just isn’t particularly good. 

Greene, however, is good. Greene is a pitcher that relies heavily on a slider, which is one of the pitches least affected by the altitude in Denver. Couple that with his electric fastball and I think Greene can rack up a solid point-per-dollar score tonight.  

William Contreras, C: $3,800 – When John Flaherty is off, he tends to be way off. The back half of the Cards’ bullpen is also pretty bad, making the Brewers a great low-owned stack. 


I’m Only Happy When It Rains

The Cardinals and Rockies games may see some rain. It’s especially important to keep an eye on these games because we’re looking to use pitchers there. 


Doing Lines In Vegas

Yesterday was Alek Manoah bobblehead day at the Rogers Centre. The notorious Yankee killer should be riding high today and I’ll take the Jays to beat the Yankees.

I’ll take the Reds to beat the Rockies as well.