Happy Coors Day! Beers flow, hits and runs are plentiful, can it get any better? Coors Day, unfortunately, is on the Early Only Slate and not the Main, which we’ll get to later. Just like almost every Coors Slate, you’re just trying to jam as many Coors bats into your lineup as you can with whatever other value you can find. But what do you do when Fanduel puts the value at Coors? Well, you play them everywhere, obviously. Today, Fanduel has graced us with the mispriced trio of Dodger lefty mashers all under 3k. Franklin Gutierrez (.363 career wOBA vs lefties), Kike Hernandez (.361 wOBA vs lefties) and Scott Van Slyke (.364 wOBA vs lefties) all hit like Adrian Beltre vs. lefties, and now they are at Coors and each priced under 3k? Are you kidding me? If any of these guys are in the lineup, you play them, and then sit back, drink your adult beverage and watch as the money rolls in. If you only want to use one, I’d probably keep it simple and just go with whoever hits highest in the order.
Now, on to the picks.
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Max Scherzer, SP: $10,300 – Normally, building a lineup on FanDuel with a slate that features both an expensive pitcher (that you want to roster) and a home game at Coors Field requires either limiting the number of hitters from Coors or dropping down to someone besides the elite pitcher. That is not the case today – the aforementioned mispricing of the Dodgers outfielders means that you can easily fit 4 or 5 Coors Field hitters alongside Max Scherzer. I’m not sure I need to break it down any further than this. But just in case you need some reminders – Max is projected to strike out 10.9 batters per 9, and the 3rd best FIP among starters this year. Yeah. He’s good.
Ivan Nova, SP: $6,900 – Some of you may want to roster more than 5 bats from Coors, and if that’s the case, Scherzer’s probably too expensive. We are not expecting Nova to outscore Scherzer, but the goal here is to find a guy who might score enough FP to keep up with the Scherzer lineups, allowing your 7-deep Coors Field offensive juggernaut to power you the rest of the way. Nova may be the one to fit that bill. Nova does 2 of the 3 things that you need to be a great pitcher, and he does them well. He pounds the zone (projected 2.15 BB/9) and gets groundballs (career 50.8% GB rate). And it’s not like the Braves offense is any good (projected to score 3.43 runs). With a decent win probability (Pirates are currently -143 in Vegas), you’ve got exactly what you’re looking for in a mega-cheap pitcher.
Nolan Arenado, 3B: $4,700- While it is true that his overall reputation is aided by the fact that he gets 81 games at Coors Field, this happens to be one of those 81 games, so frankly, sometimes you just keep it simple. The guy mashes lefties at Coors (career .336/.410/.668) and he’s the best hitter on the Rockies – the obvious play is the obvious play for a reason, right?
Francisco Cervelli, C: $2,200 – This play here is about two things – the price ($ 2200) and the team Vegas total (again – 4.4, the highest on the slate besides Coors). Cervelli, however, has one extra benefit that Frazier does not – whereas rostering Frazier requires you to fade Seager and Story, rostering Cervelli only means fading Grandal and whichever half of Dusony Garters that Bud Black decides to throw out there. For the next 3 days, Catcher is going to almost certainly be the spot to find values to let you load up on Coors bats in other positions – and today, it’s Cervelli.
Josh Bell, 1B: $2,400 – Same thing as Cervelli – cheap, high team total, and plays a position that isn’t a premium Coors position. The only difference is that 1B is only not an attractive spot today because Adrian Gonzalez is facing a lefty. Bell hit righties last year to the tune of a .356 wOBA and Folty struggled a bit more vs lefties (12.8 K-BB% and 31.9% GB rate compared to 15.9 and 49% vs righties), so he’ll make a nice cheap option on the Early Slate to fit in all the Coors bats.
Yasiel Puig, OF: $3,500 & Logan Forsythe, 2B: $3,600 – Yasiel Puig and Logan Forsythe should be cash game locks. Both mash lefties (.363 wOBA and .354 wOBA respectively) and both should bat high in the lineup and are inexplicably way too cheap for their caliber of hitter at Coors. Just like Arenado, some plays are just obvious and you don’t think too hard about it. And you now know why the 3 headed OF monster for under 3k is a complete head scratcher.
Victor Martinez, C: $2,900, Freddie Freeman, 1B: $3,500 & Wil Myers, 1B: $3,500 – In case I haven’t made this clear enough – the opportunity cost of using a 2B, 3B, SS, or OF outside of Coors is far, far greater than using a C or 1B. While none of these three guys just jump off the page today, they’re all solid and play the “low-opportunity cost” positions – although to be fair, Victor hasn’t caught since 2014, but FanDuel doesn’t seem to care, so neither do I.
Zack Wheeler, SP: $6,500 – Wheeler is too cheap for a pitcher with his combination of strikeouts (projected 9.13 per 9) and ground balls (career 50%). Wheeler hasn’t pitched in a regular season game since 2014, but he touched 97 in the spring and looked like the old Zack. I wouldn’t have any problems throwing him out there, even with the likely pitch count, mostly on account of the pitchers in the Main Slate being fairly ugly
Mike Leake, SP: $6,600 – I like big time velocity, I like curveballs that break 2 feet, 93 mph change ups that drop off the table, Greg Maddux and Mariano Rivera like command. And right now I’m watching Mike Leake for you guys. I’m watching a 6-1 righty who throws low 90s and averages a touch over 90 MPH. This is the type of pitcher we’re recommending today. Leake throws a ton of pitches, pounds the zone and gets ground balls and both Teamonator (3.42) and Vegas (3.5) have Cincinnati as one of the worst offenses on the slate.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B: $4,000 – Hello everyone, my name is Anthony Rizzo, and I have Razz’s 2nd highest projected HR probability (31%). I’m facing a pitcher in Jimmy Nelson who has no way to get lefties out (career 6.1% K-BB%), I have the platoon edge, and my team has a 5.1 Vegas team total. In short, I’m a fairly good pick.
Kyle Schwarber, OF: $3,400 – Me even higher (32%). Me crush ball from throw-man. Me cheaper too. Me like stealing jokes from other people’s twitter accounts.
David Peralta, OF: $2,600 – In 2015, Peralta murdered the baseball (.380 wOBA). In 2016, Peralta got hurt and did not murder the baseball (308). In 2017, Peralta is healthy, has the platoon advantage and is in Arizona vs Josh Tomlin who gives up home runs in bunches. Yes please.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF: $2,700 & Nomar Mazara, OF: $3,100 – Choo’s cheaper price and excellent plate discipline (career 12%) make him a slightly better cash play than Mazara, whereas Mazara’s raw power make him a bit more appealing for GPPs, but honestly, both are solid, affordable picks (not that you need to worry that much about price on a slate where the most expensive pitcher is $8000).
Rougned Odor, 2B: $3,300 – Take Mazara, give him some more power, and make him 2B eligible. Voila – Odor. All three of these guys stack very nicely as well.
Mike Trout, OF: $5,000 – It takes guts recommending the best player on the planet, but I’m here to remind you that Yovani Gallardo is terrible and Mike Trout is not. Gallardo’s velocity has been tanking and is becoming more of a fly ball pitcher. Mike Trout hammers everyone, but takes special delight in hitting fly ball pitchers.
Seth Smith, OF: $2,600 & Hyun-Soo Kim, OF: $2,600 – Given the wealth of good OF options on the main slate, I can only recommend using one of these two if they’re batting either leadoff or second in the lineup. But there’s a good chance one of them will bat up at the top, so if they do, both these guys can rake righties (Smith hits righties to the tune of.357 wOBA and Kim .363 wOBA). Be warned, however, – both are liable to be pinch-hit for in late-innings, or replaced defensively as Buck Showalter tries to limit the number of innings that Kim and Seth Smith spend in the outfield.
Jedd Gyorko, 3B: $2,600 – After showing power in the Minors and his rookie season, Gyorko struggled to find his power stroke in the black hole that is Petco Park. He was then sent packing to the St. Louis Cardinals for Jon Jay and finally out of San Diego, Gyorko broke out with 30 homers and a career high walk rate and a career low strike out rate. Whether or not he’ll repeat remains to be seen, but he’s a pretty decent low owned GPP target against lefties, especially for the price. And a bonus if Matheney moves him up in the order, which he seemingly randomly does.
Matt Joyce, OF: $2,100 – if you believe last year’s walk rate (20.1%, 12th highest since 2002, and keep in mind, Barry Bonds has 5 of the seasons above Joyce) is even somewhat repeatable, you’ve now got a solid hitter with great patience facing an extreme homer prone pitcher (projected for 1.72 HR/9) for $2100, likely batting 2nd. Even if you think he’ll revert entirely to his career norms, he’s a career .251/.353/.448 against righties, and AJ Grifin loves to give up homers. He’s a solid cash punt to fill out your lineup – particularly if you think that the walk rate is somewhat, if not entirely, sustainable.
Greg Bird, 1B: $2,400 – There’s nothing really that complicated here, Ubaldo’s declining velocity combined with Bird’s power (projected .489 slugging), platoon edge, spot in lineup and price make a very nice upside play.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Looks like no real PPD questions as of this writing, but there are some wind factors that are worth noting. Generally I feel that anything less than 15mph is not worth considering, but once you get to 15mph or higher, it’s at least something that should be factored into your decision-making process. Atlanta @ Pittsburgh features 20mph winds, blowing out to CF, so those punts from earlier in this article get a small boost, and you may need to be cautious with Ivan Nova a bit more. Boston @ Detroit is forecasted to have winds as high as 21mph, blowing out to CF, so don’t be surprised if one of these teams drops a bunch of bombs. Nationals @ Phillies features 21 mph winds, but it’s straight to the 1st base side, so unless you think it’s a strong enough wind to blow Tommy Joseph over when he stands in the field, it’s not something worth fretting over. The same conclusion holds for Yankees @ Orioles and Marlins @ Mets – high winds (20mph or so), but blowing straight to the first base side, so no real advantage.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I’ll take the over on the Cubs implied total of 5.1 on the strength of Schwarber and Rizzo.