That’s what we’re all chasing here, right? The White Whale. We’re all obsessing over this silly little game in the hopes of hitting that four…five…six figure payday. We pour over stats from wOBA to z-swing % and everything in between hoping to glean some hidden gem that gives us an edge over the rest of the field. I can only imagine the number of hours I’ve put into looking at match-ups, fiddling with lineups, checking the weather, checking Twitter and pondering game theory. Well, tonight will be no different. Friday nights are one of my favorite nights to play DFS. It’s always a full or nearly full slate, game times are typically 7 EST and all the 10 EST lineups are out by the time lineups are due. Tonight is no different, and tonight, I’m looking to clobber Tim Melville. You’re darn tootin’ I went with a Moby Dick reference on a night I’m stacking against Melville. If you caught that before this point in the paragraph, give yourself a hearty pat on the back for reading a book or two. This call doesn’t take a lot of pondering. Tim Melville’s AAA numbers last year were a lovely 4.63 ERA with a 6.1 K/9 and a 4.0 BB/9. You know how Grey uses K-rate minus BB-rate to determine how good a pitcher is real quick? 10 K/9 – 3 BB/9 = 7 = Borderline ace = Chicken diner, or something like that. Quick math gives us Tim Melville’s difference of 2.1. If a difference of 7 is a borderline ace, a difference of 2 is a borderline “doesn’t belong in the major leagues”. All of your Cardinal batters are in play, righties and lefties alike. Melville was equally generous to both handed batters in the minor leagues. So, stack ‘em up, hope they hit and let’s see what else can find to help you catch your whale tonight.
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Zack Greinke, SP: $10,000 – There’s nothing like a trip to Petco to cure what ails a pitcher. Trying to guess the ownership levels of Greinke is tough. I’m sure he’s burned a lot of people his first two starts. However, after seeing what Vince Velasquez did to the Padres yesterday and the fact they’ve been shutout five times in 10 games, they are prime targets. My initial thought was you could get an ace on the cheap and have it be a contrarian play, now I feel like you’re just getting an ace on the cheap.
Garrett Richards, SP: $9,300 – Speaking of aces on the cheap, we’ve got hard throwing Garrett Richards going tonight in a match-up I love. Big Magoo just dropped his Garrett Richards fantasy on you. He wrote it while reading The Story of Ferdinand. Great minds think alike in this case as I’m also bullish on Richards. I’m also bullish on attacking the Twins right now. The Twinkies look completely lost and currently sit 4th in the league in team strikeouts and are tied for the 4th worst total team wOBA. Jump all over that.
Wei-Yin Chen, SP: $8,200 – Going back to that wOBA stat for a second, the Braves are currently the second worst team in terms of total wOBA. Only the Phillies are worse. No one is worse vs. lefties though where the winless Braves take the cake with a pathetic .191 wOBA. Chen got knocked around in his first start and with any luck that will keep some people off him. The Braves are no Tigers. In fact, they aren’t even kittens.
Edinson Volquez, SP: $7,600 – Volquez gets no respect. I’ve been able to pluck him off waivers for each of his first three starts in almost every league of mine and I’ll look to use him on the DFS front as well. With any luck he’ll be getting no respect there as well, which would be a mistake. Tonight he draws the Oakland A’s. To say the A’s are struggling to start the year would be an understatement. They currently hold the 2nd lowest wOBA vs. RHP and sport a pretty healthy 23+% K% vs. them as well. It’s a perfect recipe for a great start for Volquez while saving a few DFS bucks.
Salvador Perez, C: $2,800 – It seems like something is out of whack with the DraftKings pricing algorithm when Josh Thole ($2,900) costs more than Salvy. Sure, he hasn’t been great, but my goodness, it’s only been two weeks. He’s also got back to back games with a hit including a HR. Lock in the discount before they notice!
Mitch Moreland, 1B: $4,100 – The [email protected] game shares the highest over/under on the night with the [email protected] game. I have a feeling more people will gravitate to the game at Fenway, but I plan on having plenty of exposure to Arlington. I’d prefer Fielder in this spot, but it’s no fun giving you the highest priced player at the position as a play. Instead, if you need to save some cash, check out Moreland.
Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF: $4,100 – Or, if you’d rather, for an equally great price tag you could have the red hot Mark Trumbo. Trumbo’s been doing his thing, playing awful defense and mashing taters. He launched one out of Fenway Park earlier this week that nearly landed on I-95. I like the R/L match-up vs Perez and Trumbo to keep launching bombs.
Rougned Odor, 2B: $4,100 – Around this time of year I like to take a look at preseason darlings that are off to slow starts and target them. Odor fits the bill perfectly here. Everyone was all over the 22 year old coming into this year and a dozen games does not a player make. That won’t stop some folks from seeing his .167 batting average and turning away. Don’t be those folks, stick with the kid and hope he can tee off on Vance Worley.
Kolten Wong, 2B: $4,000 – Attack Melville!
Yunel Escobar, 3B: $3,300 – I’m typically paying up for 3B this year and tonight is no different. I’m likely playing Donaldson, Beltre or bust. If I did decide to dig deep, though, Yunel would be my guy. This is a silly low price for a leadoff hitter swinging a good bat and Tommy Milone doesn’t exactly make me shake in my boots. For what it’s worth, Yunel is 4/8 with a HR off Milone.
Xander Bogaerts, SS: $4,000 – If for some reason you can’t spare the extra $400 for Machado, Xander is a nice consolation. Batter vs pitcher data is hotly debated. I do think with a unique pitcher such as a knuckleballer, there’s something to it. Xander, in his short time in the majors, has already faced Dickey 30 times and has 11 hits to his credit with one leaving the park. Something to chew on.
Jose Bautista, OF: $4,900 – I also feel like BvP has some value if the numbers are overwhelming and help support an obvious plus match-up. That said, Joey Bats absolutely owns Rick Porcello and Porcello hasn’t been wonderful to begin with. Bautista hits him at nearly a 0.500 clip (13/28) and that includes 3 HRs and a SB. Fade at your own risk.
Randal Grichuk, OF: $3,600 – I could have also gone with Piscotty or Holliday here, but Grichuk is the cheapest of the STL bunch that I would fully stack my OF with in at least one lineup.
Nomar Mazara, OF: $3,300 – I love the time in between when a prospect gets called up and he completely breaks out and everyone realizes he should have a higher price tag. Right now you get a 2 hole hitter with upside, in a great match-up against a bad pitcher for a Yunel Escobar price tag. Yes please.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright, bright sunshiny day.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I mentioned above that [email protected] was tied with [email protected] for the highest over under of the night. That number sits at 9. Kershaw vs. Bumgarner part deux gets the crazy small 6 over/under. If we don’t count the Cubs as -200 favorites in the lone early game it’s Carlos Martinez and Dallas Keuchel that get top favorite honors at -180 tonight. Right behind them are Chen (-172) and Kershaw (-165).