One of my favorite things about Razzball besides the glorious mustaches, amazing daily recaps and the best projections/rankings on the net is the community we’ve got here. We’re all huge nerds around these parts and I love striking up intelligent fantasy baseball discussions with my fellow Razzballers. Come on into the comments section and let’s talk shop. These conversations and debates are where the fun is and where real answers can be found. I’ve chatted with a few folks recently and conversations have gone something like this:
Me: So, have you tried DFS yet?
Anonymous Nobody: Yea, I tried it once, but I lost and haven’t played again.
Me: Oh, well, you should give it another go.
Anonymous Nobody: Ya, maybe
So, in a season that spans 7 months these Anonymous Nobodies have played 1 day of DFS, lost and never went back. I’m here to tell you, that is just not enough action to make a decision on this great game. Baseball has more variance than any other sport on a night to night basis and even on a night where you make all the “correct” plays, you’re going to lose. It happens. It’s what makes bankroll management so key here. Playing 5-10% of your roll per night is critical to surviving. A friend of mine who just got into baseball side of DFS recently joined the Razzball Framily Plan $2 league and won the whole kit and kaboodle. He e-mailed me after saying what a confidence boost that was and I completely understand that sentiment. Winning early is probably the biggest factor in people sticking with this. I’d just like to suggest you give yourself enough rope to play for 20-30 days. Track your results and then make a decision. Don’t make the call to quit after one day. If your process is a good one over the span of 30 days, you’ll see a profit. That, over the long haul of the baseball season, really adds up. Now, let’s get to some picks that will get you winning early and hopefully winning often.
New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.
Pump the brakes! Something I told myself I wanted to do when I took this gig was to shoutout the previous week’s winner of the contest posted in my article. I’m starting that this week and hope to keep it going. So, if you take down the Framily Plan on a Tuesday night, look for you name here the following week. Everyone likes to see their name in print. This week, it’s a shout out to my aforementioned friend, Joshyb714 who squeaked out a 4 point victory to take home the top prize. Let’s see if you can earn yourself a shout out next week, hop on in.
Travis Wood, SP: $6,500 – I’m grasping at straws for starting pitchers on tonight’s slate. There’s a bounty of bad pitchers with bad match-ups, good pitchers with bad match-ups and wild cards with OK match-ups. I’m feeling frisky and double-dipping with Travis Wood. I was all over him for his last start and was rewarded for it and I’m going back to the well. Grey alluded to his increased slider usage and in turn his increased K-rate. I’m a believer in Wood. With a group of pitchers like this it’s best to grab something cheap and hold on tight. Wood’s got the park factor in his favor and a recent track record of increased Ks and success. Hop on before the price skyrockets and you can’t bring yourself to do it anymore.
Carlos Carrasco, SP: $8,300 – How can you not be head over heels for this guy? I’m hoping the recent hit to the melon keeps people away and I can reap the benefits. Carrasco’s stuff is nasty, and besides Coors field, is matchup proof if you ask me. The White Sox, the Cell and the effects of the head shot don’t bother me at all. Wood with a side of Carrasco sauce sounds like a good night to me!
Jason Vargas, SP: $6,500 – I told you, it’s not pretty on the pitching side today. I’ll be loading up on Wood and mixing and matching depending on game type. Vargas is a nice cash game compliment. He’s not very exciting, but vs. the Twins, he’s about the safest bet on the night. I’m going to call my shot here with 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 Ks, or about 20-21 DraftKings points. Sound usable? I think so.
Taijuan Walker, SP: $6,700 – Taijuan has the highest upside and the lowest downside of the bunch tonight. One of the best match-ups to go along with the early season’s most erratic pitcher. Taijuan is the poster child for not reading into spring training stats. I’ve been digging and trying to uncover the cause for his early season troubles and best I can find is that he may be tipping his pitches based on his release point. The speed differential between his FB and CH isn’t huge and his CH still averages around 90 MPH. If batters can tell when the change is coming and can sit on that, well, it’s not good. Graphs of his release point don’t seem to suggest anything is off, so it’s just conjecture at this point. The Astros have the most strikeouts in the majors so far though. For the upside, he’s worth a GPP flyer and if the Astros crush him, he’ll be dead to me until he shows some signs of life.
Derek Norris, C: $3,900 – Oh, why hello there, are you new around these parts? Let me tell you a little secret, the Rockies are at home for an extended stay and you should get as much exposure to them and their opponent as you can handle. I’m going to try to not post the entire Padres starting lineup here, but when in doubt, lean towards Coors.
Justin Morneau, 1B: $3,900 – This seems like a huge miss on DraftKing’s part. Morneau at home in Coors and facing a righty is about as good as it gets. This price for that potential production is just giving away points. I see no way Morneau isn’t in every one of my lineups tonight. He’s the closest thing there is to a must play.
Adam Lind, 1B: $4,500 – Lind has been off to a just dandy start; .300 batting average, .391 OBP and a dinger. As a long time Braves fan, I honestly though Jason Marquis was out of baseball. TJ surgery kept him away from the majors in 2014 so that explains how his name escaped my memory. With 8 runs, 7 earned in 10 innings of work, I think maybe he should consider being out of baseball. In the mean time, target any and all batters facing him and enjoy the results.
Yangervis Solarte, 2B: $3,800 – DraftKings does a pretty good job of adjusting player prices based on match-ups. This makes the full on Coors stack a bit tricky and requires some digging. What I mean is, Jedd Gyorko and all his awfulness costs $4,100 tonight. Meanwhile, the infinitely more productive Solarte is $300 cheaper. Gyorko is HR or bust with a far greater chance for bust. Make the smarter/cheaper play and roll with Yangervis.
Brett Lawrie, 2B: $3,500 – This is a pure DFSBot pick. With Scooter Gennett being attacked by a shower (not kidding) I’m struggling to find a 2B outside of Coors. So, shameless plug for Rudy’s awesome tools. The new and improved Bot has this section called “Upside Points”. It is a projection of a player’s 86th percentile outcome. Pretty neat. You can scroll along and see where a number jumps out. Lawrie has almost the same upside point potential (0.3 point difference) as Robinson Cano tonight. For $3,500, I’d take that.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B: $4,100 – Coors, power hitter, Creeper of the Week. Defense, I rest my case.
Jake Lamb, 3B: $4,300 – I’ve seriously got a thing for Jake Lamb. He’s got a lot going for him and he’s off to a blistering start. He’s got the great ballpark, he’s been hitting either 2nd or 5th in the lineup, he’s got pop, he’s got a great name and did I mention he’s facing Nick Martinez? I know picking on this fella didn’t work out well the last go around (thank a lot Halos) but I can assure you, Nick won’t get away with that black magic twice. He’s had one of his two good starts this season, time to turn back into the pitcher we know and love.
Everth Cabrera, SS: $3,400 – The Oreos have finally been giving Everth the leadoff spot vs LHP and it’s about time. Mark Buehrle has been working some voodoo while rocking a 1.50 WHIP and somehow only a 3.75 ERA. The 6+ FIP tells the real story here. He’s ready to unleash a barrage of fantasy points to an opposing offense and when that happens, I want the guy hitting leadoff.
Whoever Fits, SS: – Beyond Everth SS is going to be the last position I fill on a night like this. I’m going to set my roster the way I like it and see what I have leftover. Most likely that will mean hitting the bargain bin. When this happens I typically wait until all the lineups are out and find the SS hitting the highest in the lineup for the cheapest price with anything save for a completely horrendous match-up. It’s not a pretty exercise, but sometimes it has to be done.
Wil Myers, OF: $4,800 – Speaking of leadoff hitters, I’ve got a trio of them here for you. I told you I couldn’t help myself when it came to suggesting Padres hitters. Wil’s been moving the needle from the leadoff spot and I’ve been drooling over him making a trip into Coors field since the trade was announced.
Ender Inciarte, OF: $4,000 – Ender has been ripping the cover off the ball and has stolen the leadoff spot from AJ Pollock. Ride him while he’s hot and especially when Nick Martinez is visiting the desert. If Lamb is in the two hole these guys will be a fixture in my evening’s lineups.
Christian Yelich, OF: $4,500 – The final of the leadoff trio is my attempt to make sure you’re aware of Jerome Williams on the mound in Philly. Any and all Fish are welcome. In case it’s not incredibly obvious, the reason I’m pointing out these leadoff hitters is the strategy of maximizing ABs. This is a similar process to picking out batty calls in RCL leagues, you want to get as many ABs as you possibly can. ABs mean opportunities and opportunities mean counting stats. In DFS, counting stats mean points which means dollars in your bankroll. Long story short, Yelich equals money.
Mark Canha, 1B/OF: $3,300 – Finally, we’ve got ourselves a two hole hitter. Still plenty of ABs and some power upside to boot. Canha gets to face a lefty, which he slugs slightly better against and provides a huge price break. This is mostly a price play, but the power upside and hit tool are a big bonus. Given the recent production, I’m shocked his price is so low. Don’t ask questions, just fit him in so you can add more Coors bats.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
I think we just might have our first clean weather slate in what seems like forever. All the sprinkles are happening in cities that have embraced the modern day technology of the retractable roof. Score one for technology.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Besides the massive 10 o/u for the Coors game we have the NYY @ DET and TEX @ ARI sporting 9 each. There’s a slew of 7 run games but I want to draw attention to the HOU @ SEA affair. McHugh vs Walker is a 7 run o/u with Taijuan as the favorite by a scosche (-110). Does Vegas know something we don’t? This makes me even more inclined to toss Taijuan in a GPP. The biggest favorites on the evening are super-boring Jon Niese and Jason Vargas. Fun times.