Happy Friday fellow DFSers! As you all likely know, Friday is the day of the biggest and best DFS contests of the week. This makes sense, it’s a full slate day with all the games pretty much starting at 7 ET (Naturally we have 2 games starting early today…WTF Philly? 6:35, really?) and it’s basically the weekend, so everyone is fake working while researching and building their DFS lineups. Hence, more action. So let’s get started with the first piece of the puzzle as we try to get our piece of that big action, starting pitcher. If you’re trying to win a GPP tournament where 100,000 of your closest friends are all trying to do the same, it helps to uncover that low owned play that scores big. It’s always nice if that play is a pitcher so you can pay up for big bats in a good match-up, especially when Coors field is on the slate. Tonight, I’m looking at James Paxton ($9,200) to be that play. Most people will go towards Max Scherzer as the “safe” bet tonight. That’s well and good but if you’re looking to differentiate yourself a bit, I’d look to Paxton instead. The Braves are actually the 4th hardest team to strikeout this year. Sure, Mad Max is an alien, but something has to give and I think his upside might be a bit limited. Paxton of course has been less alien, more Jekyl and Hyde this year. He does however, get a home date with the Oakland A’s, MLB’s 3rd most K-happy team. It would not surprise me in the least if Paxton strikes out out as many A’s in 6 IP as Scherzer does in 8 IP, at which point the Nationals closer, Matt Blake Enny Sammy Solis Albers Treinen will surely lose the win for him. So, stray from the pack a bit tonight and take a chance on Pax.
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Drew Pomeranz, SP: $8,600 – You’ll notice a theme when I pick my pitcher’s. I like them at home and I like them facing a team with high Ks and a low team OPS, preferably against the hand my starter throws with. As Meat Loaf once said, “two outta three ain’t bad”. I actually prefer my Red Sox starters (not named Chris Sale) to pitch away from Fenway, particular the lefties, so I’m a little more keen on Pomeranz at the Trop. The Rays are the most strikeout prone team in the bigs and happen to be towards the bottom (21/30) in team OPS vs. LHP.
Dan Straily, SP: $8,300 – I’m up for just about anyone facing the Giants these days, especially at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. Straily has been a boon off the wire this year compiling a 9 K/9 and solid 3.51 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Despite theses stellar numbers, he’s not getting much respect from the DFS salary makers, but I’m all aboard the Strai-train. San Fran has the league’s worst team OPS and have really packed it this year. Deploy Straily with confidence.
Nick Pivetta, SP: $7,300 – If you happen to play the all-day slate, Nick makes a great play. Ralph gave you his Nick Pivetta fantasy just over a week ago and I concur with his analysis. The K’s are real, but the flyballs, especially in Philly will hurt him. Lucky for us, he’s facing the San Diego Padres today. Here’s the dirty little secret about this match-up, the Padres have the fewest flyballs in all of baseball so far (of course, they also have the 5th fewest groundballs, so they really just hate putting bat to ball in general). Pair that with them having the 5th most strikeouts in all of the baseball and you’ve got the makings of a great start here. The fact that they have the second lowest team OPS hardly even matters. Pivetta is at home and should improve on that 9.17 K/9. I’ve already grabbed him in every league I could stream him in for tonight, might as well go all-in for DFS as well.
Welington Castillo, C: $2,500 – I’ll be looking at a pair of cheap catchers tonight, but Wely is my first choice. He’ll be facing off against Felix Jorge, who for some reason, when I see his name written as F.Jorge makes me want to call him “fjord”. Anyway, Castillo’s price has dropped a smidge with a recent cool stretch, but I’m not deterred. Besides, cheap catchers are our jam.
Wilson Ramos, C: $2,500 – If you find yourself with a completed roster and an extra $500, jump up to Ryan Hanigan at Coors. If not, and you’re not playing Drew Pomeranz, Ramos is a cheap option, who has been hitting well, has the platoon advantage and is cheap.
Mark Reynolds, 1B: $3,900 – Typically, the Coors crew gets the Coors adjusted pricing. Jose Abreu is at $4,500 for example. Reynolds, for some reason, seems to not be inflated. I’ll take it as he faces off against the lefty Holland. Coors is a wonderful place, where fantasy points are born, that makes it tough to get off Reynolds.
Cody Bellinger, 1B: $3,700 – If you must fade Reynolds, maybe you can explain to me why Bellinger is priced the same as Yuli Gurriel. No? Me either, especially since he’s facing Jason Hammel with his 5+ ERA.
Daniel Murphy, 2B: $3,900 – I’ll be honest, there’s no way I’m paying up for Murphy with DJ LeMahieu sitting there at $300 cheaper, but I can’t just list the entire Rockies roster here for you either. Take note of Murphy’s 4 for 6 with 2 HRs against RA Dickey. BvP vs. a knuckleballer tends to sway me a bit more than normal.
Alen Hanson, 2B: $3,000 – It’s hard to say who might get the nod in Chicago’s infield/outfield mix, but Hanson is dirt cheap for some Coors action at middle infield.
Manny Machado, 3B: $3,100 – I refuse to believe that Machado is going to hit .215 all year. Machado has, rightly so, taken a massive hit in pricing across all DFS sites. I will be exploiting this until it corrects, because I want to be there when it does. Maybe the “Fjord” will be what helps him flip the switch.
Miguel Sano, 3B: $3,500 – If you’re not feeling like waiting on Manny, Sano is ready to go. We’ll stick with the same game where Miguel Sano already has some nice BvP data against Kevin Gausman. You can believe Gausman has flipped the switch with two decent starts, or you can bet on him falling back to his 6+ERA ways of two weeks ago. As mentioned Sano has already taken Gausman deep twice in the past, so he likes what he sees.
Chris Owings, SS: $3,100 – Again, it’s going to be very hard to get off of Trevor Story ($3,500) or Tim Anderson ($3,400) for just a few hundred more. Tim Adleman in Arizona is almost as good as a Coors factor though. Owings has been hot, with three homers in the past week.
Nelson Cruz, OF: $4,200 – Nelson is typically too rich for my blood and not a guy I jump on, but his BvP vs. Sean Manaea really stands out, 4 for 8 with two HRs and a steal! I’m curious how that steal transpired. Nonetheless, I felt like it was worth noting.
Avisail Garcia, OF: $3,800 – If this game in Coors had happened two weeks ago, Avisail would be priced at $4,500, easy. His knee ailment has knocked him down a few hundy and I’m on that bargain like it’s some Zubaz at Goodwill.
Cameron Maybin, OF: $3,100 – Here’s our real BvP special of the night. Cameron Maybin vs. Cole Hamels is a sweet 13 for 38 (.342) with 3 steals. Maybin has been a steal machine with 4 in his last 15 games. Steals are worth 6 points, or half a HR. Look for more tonight at a very nice price tag.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF: $3,100 – I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, when Choo is facing a righty, he’s in play. When said righty is Ricky Nolasco who’s begging for a visit from the regression fairies, take heed!
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
It looks like the only game to keep an eye on is the [email protected] tilt. There’s a chance of storms all day long, because, summer. Besides that we look to be free and clear of Mother Nature.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Scherzer and the Nats are the big favorites tonight at -270. I expressed my concerns over Mad Max above. Carlos Carrasco, Kenta Maeda and Jordan Montgomery all check in as -200 favorites tonight. I touched on none of them above, so let’s go lightning round style: Carrasco – Has been erratic and has rain delay issues, Maeda – Might go 3 innings, Jordan Montgomery – That game has an 11 over/under, only the Rockies game (12.5) has a higher projected total. Vegas has apparently caught onto the juiced ball theory and there isn’t an over/under under 8 runs tonight. [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] all feature that 8 run total.