Hey there! Thank you for returning after my inaugural debut here on Razzball and hope this week you got your bankrolls a little more plentiful. I bet if that’s the case you had to decide to start a lesser owned player or two that wasn’t getting the “buzz” before the games that day on Twitter or some of the other DFS sites you frequent and you went your own way. Well good for you! I hope you have learned by now you have to do that to gain that edge on the other players out there that are also waking up at 7:00 in the morning to do their research on the day’s games as well. Finding those diamonds in the roughs and those forgotten guys are must haves in your lineups these days. The days of getting your lineup in 10 minutes before the start of the games are not working out for the most part I’m sure for you. You need to be watching these games yourself and put in the time to do your own research and get familiar with all the terms that are out there in evaluating players these days. This week I’m going to focus on hitting on some of those lesser owned guys that most likely won’t be targeted but you want to have in your lineup. Now this being said, you are going to have to roster players that are going to be heavily owned to get that floor for your team but there are always going to be one or two players that are in the winning lineups that hardly anyone has, that’s the difference between you cashing and not.
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A busy slate today and boy I like it. Lots of room to be creative and be different here. Let’s dive in and see what we come up with. First, we have aces galore (Darvish, Cole, Glasnow, Alcantara, Rodon (Ha! just kidding more to come on him later.) I left one out purposely because we got to have at least one ace in our lineup today and it’s Mr. Zack Greinke ($9800) I know you probably are in several leagues where you didn’t draft him so why would you want to in DFS when there are other flashier options. This guy simply knows how to pitch and is smarter than most if not all the batters he’s going to face today on the Tigers. So far in two starts (Athletics, Angels), he’s only allowed 2 ER in 13 INN with only one BB. He’s limited the hard contact and has only given up one HR(Mike Trout) in the first inning his last start and then proceeded to pitch lights out the rest of the way facing only one more than the minimum the rest of the way. As far as I know, the Tigers do not have anyone close to Mike Trout’s ability so I think the HR’s will be kept to a minimum here as well. His xwOBA and BB% are at the top of the leaderboard so far and you can expect the floor to be 7+ innings, with 7-8 K’s, and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see goose eggs in the column for the Tigers in Runs and BB’s. Take the discount for Greinke today, it will be worth it to get some high-priced batters in your lineup.
Carlos Rodon, SP ( $8,300) The mystery man Carlos Rodon who I’m sure some people had in their starting lineup on the last day of the season in 2018 only to give up 8 ER in 1 INN and dash any chances of winning your league that year. Welp, he’s back folks and relevant again. He’s throwing heat (95 MPH) at the top of the K zone and mixing in a nice slider down and away to righties to keep the hitters off-balance. His first time out this year against the Mariners he went 5 INN with 9 SO’s and only 2 BB with 0 ER. Now his opponent the Cleveland Indians do employ some heavy-hitting righties to potentially cause some trouble for Rodon but I think he shows enough deception here and can get out of jams if he is encountered with any.
Matt Olson, C/ 1B ( $2,800) DFS players seem to still be sleeping on Olson as they still are angry about his performance last season where he struck out a ton and didn’t hit much either. Well, let’s give him the ole pass for that debacle and start getting him in lineups again. His hard-hit rate is up and avg and max exit velocity is at 95% and 98% respectively. He faces Madison Bumgarner who is giving up runs like never before (well like last year) and even if Madison gets him out once or even twice the relievers from Arizona will be in between the 4th and 6th inning which gives plenty of chances for Matt to tee one off. Bonus points for anyone who can give me the names of more than two relievers from the Arizona bullpen these days. (That’s what I thought).
Jose Altuve, 2B ($3,700 ) Jose seems finally to be getting some DFS respect on his salary as you will be paying a top-shelf price for him but you can afford it since you saved some dough rostering the pitchers above. Jose doesn’t K and has a great xwOBA so far which is sustainable since he has done it before. I know you might not like the Astros still but this is DFS so who cares right. Jose is batting 1st for a well-stocked lineup in Houston so his floor is very good and will provide you the points you need from him tonight against the Tigers and Casey Mize who had a nice 1st start but only went 4 INN so the bullpen will be in full effect this game after Mize has departed.
Manny Machado, 3B ($3,400) Manny is hitting the ball extremely hard so far this season but doesn’t have too much to show for it in the way of stats. He has a top-end avg exit velocity and max exit velocity so it is just a matter of time before he starts to really find his groove. The Padres are scheduled to face Trevor Cahill and the Pirates. Cahill had an awful 1st start against the hot-hitting Reds and I expect the Padres to follow suit and get Cahill out of the game by the 5th inning then the vaunted Pittsburgh Pirate bullpen will take over and ya all know how that will end up.
Dansby Swanson, SS ($2,400) Dansby has gotten off to a slow start this year but has hits in his last two games with runners on and has driven them in each time. It is a matter of time before he gets going so be on the forefront of his hitting streaks while his price is still relatively low. He faces Sandy Alcantara who is off to a good start this year but Swanson is due for a good game here and no one will be on him today.
JD Martinez, OF ($4,000) Boy or Boy, The old JD is definitely back (watching all the videos he wants) and showed it in full display against the hapless Oriole pitching staff yesterday. Today the Red Sox play the Twins in an early game so you would have to play the all-day slate to get him in your lineup but it’s worth the escalating price and you are saving up using your pitchers above so you got plenty of cap space! Dooo it. Max Exit Velocity and Barrel Rate % are in the top echelon of players so far if you needed any more reason.
Lorenzo Cain, OF ($3,000) The wily veteran hasn’t played consistently so far but did play back-to-back games last week and had a 2 HR game against the Brewers and the Brewers play the Cubs again today at home. What a coincidence right. Cain faces Adbert Alzolay (Who else thought his name was Albert before today) who gave up 2 HR in 5 INN last time out and you got to think Cain who hits righties well (Both HR he has hit off a righty) will lay off his off-speed pitches and wait for that 92 MPH fastball to come high in the zone and tattoo it.
Dominic Smith, OF ($3,100 ) Dom will be chomping at the bit to get out on the field today as they got rained out yesterday. The Mets play the Phillies who have a night game on Sunday then have to travel to New York to play the Mets at home. I feel the Mets will be rearing to go today and Dom Smith who hits righties very well (.331 with 8 HR’s last year in 135 plate appearances) will have no problem sizing up a Chase Anderson cutter and hitting it out today. Smith’s barrel rate and xwOBA are at an elite level so far and he’s got the bat tool to have a great day today.
Didi Gregorious, UTL ($2,600) Didi is such an underrated hitter every year and always seems to come out at the end of the year with great stats and you are left wondering why you didn’t put him in your lineup more often. Today he has a good matchup against David Peterson and the Mets. Peterson offers middling stuff and got posted by the Phillies last time out. Peterson does throw left-handed and Didi does not necessarily hit lefties great (.203 avg last year but 4 out of his 10 HR’s were off lefties). I just don’t feel Peterson has the skills to throw by Didi or fool him with his off-speed pitches. I think Didi will get the better of him and no one will be on him today.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Doing Lines In Vegas
Arizona +110 at home against the Oakland Athletics just doesn’t look right to me. Now Oakland didn’t even play yesterday (Weird right?) so who knows what they spent their day doing. I know MadBum is on the mound and he doesn’t look great but I think he keeps it close enough for them to get into each team’s bullpen and I think the Dbacks find a way to pull off a victory here.