Welcome to the first hump day of the 2021 season, we made it! It is an interesting slate to say the least as many teams have their ace on mound as well as a mix of back-end starters.


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Every week I going to drop a little general DFS knowledge to start my articles every week. Let’s start off with the something simple. Fantasy sports as we know is all about playing time and opportunity. DFS is not any different but how it applies often gets overlooked. First thing to acknowledge is the universal DH is gone. Which means pinch hitting and double switches are back as regular practice in the NL. Essentially, we want to be weary of strict platoon players and guys who frankly stink defensively. Should we automatically fade these guys? No, but context is important and we don’t want to be losing ABs because of oversight in our lineups.

Starting Pitchers:

Trevor Bauer, (High $) SP: $11,000– When I was doing my research for this article it was before the slate was available. I was ready to draw a line through his name and move on as I expected him to be the obvious chalk. An elite starter vs a scuffling opponent in the A’s in a pitchers park. However, frankly there is so many front-line starters with criminally low salaries that he is back in the fold. He should be the highest scoring pitcher on the slate but you’re going to have to pony up.


Hyun Jin Ryu, (Med $) SP: $8,200 – Texas has surprised some folks early on this season, myself included. However, this team is going to be very boom or (mostly) bust. The boom should be mitigate here. In 2020 Texas was 28th in wRC+ while striking out 26% of the time and only walking 6.3% of the time against LHP. Ryu has quietly put together the 10th best fWAR for pitchers since the start 2019. Ryu’s price is too hard to pass up in this spot and will draw plenty of ownership but don’t overthink this one.


Kyle Hendricks, (Med $) SP: $7,700 – Hendricks has thrown 136.1 Innings in his career against the Brewers. A number that a lot of pitchers will be aspiring to throw in the 2021 environment. Over that time, he’s sporting a 2.84 ERA and a 2.99 FIP. Combine that with the fact that the Brewers offense is as inept as I have ever seen and a genuine aptitude for pitching, he sets up nicely for a quality start at minimum.


Catcher/First Base:

Jose Abreu, (High $) C/1B: $3,800 – .372, .400, .446. Those are Jose’s wOBA against RHP’s 4 seamers from 2018-2020. Justin Dunn has been horrible in 52.1 career innings with a 17.5% BB rate and a 6.44 FIP. It gets better as he happens to throw his 4-seamer 53.6% of the time with an xWOBA of .380 on that pitch.


Mitch Garver, (Low $) C/1B: $2,400 – Insert Matthew Boyd joke here. Joking aside Boyd can give up homers with the best of them, he also leans on his 4-seamer and slider a combined 70-72% of  the time. Pitches that Garver has feasted on from LHP the last two years.


Second Base:

Wilmer Flores, 2B: $2,600- 150 and 149, that is his wRC+ in 2019 and 2020 respectively against LHP. Blake Snell is a good pitcher don’t get me wrong but I like this play as a low owned, high upside play.


Jorge Polanco, 2B: $2,500 – Polanco will draw the eyes of many as players will stack the Twins against Boyd. Polanco has been better from the right side in his career so if you’re going to stack, Polanco is good option.


Third Base:

Yoan Moncada, 3B: $3,100 – See Jose Abreu for Dunn’s 4-seamer usage, a pitch that even in Moncada’s COVID-ridden disaster season still had a .469 wOBA against RHP.


Jose Ramirez 3B: $3,600 – Jakob Junis is scheduled start but its most likely he doesn’t last longer than a couple of innings. Should be a bulk bullpen game for the Royals and betting against that bullpen is a juicy proposition.


Short Stop:

Tim Anderson, SS: $3,000- Continuing my love affair with White Sox bats against Dunn, .403 wOBA in ’19 and .397 in ’20 against RHP 4-seamers. Unfortunately, I doubt he will play if I am honest with the hamstring injury, but if he does plug him in.


Andres Gimenez, SS: $2,000 – Gimenez was something of a fantasy darling towards the end of draft season. However he’s struggled early and is hitting at the bottom of the lineup. Not great for fantasy but the talent is there if you’re paying up for Bauer you need to save somewhere. This is as good a punt as any. With opportunities against a below average starter and some not-so-great middle relievers.



J.D. Martinez, OF: $3,600 – So maybe it was because of the no video rule? If you’re lost on that statements it’s a reference to JD being unusually vocal about how that affected him last year. Well, whatever the reason he is mashing right now, .476/.522/1.000. Oh, and he has an xSLG of 1.048 with 2 HRs in 17 PA against Yarbrough in his career if PvB is your thing.


Teoscar Hernandez OF: $3,400 – Kyle Gibson has had an xERA under 5 twice in the last 6 years and last in 2018. All Teo does is hit the ball hard with 43.8% hard hit in ’19 and ’48.8% in ’20. Should be a good day for the middle of this talented Jay’s roster


Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF: $2,500 – Arguably the better hitter between him and Hernandez, and well… Gibson.


Brandon Lowe, OF: $3,000 – Lowe has yet to tally a HR but that changes here. He’s going up against Nathan Eovaldi, a guy who throws a cutter and 4-seamer combined almost 70% of the time last year: Two pitches Lowe mashes vs RHP.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains;

The only the weather concern is the White Sox at Mariners, forecast calls for low 40s and a ~30% chance of rain.

Wind forecast of note:

Brewers v. Cubs at Wrigley Field – 12 mph winds going out to left field

Analysis: Woodruff if elite despite his poor last start and is a ground ball/strikeout pitcher. I am more likely to start him than to stack against him. Finally, to say the Brewers have left much to be desired offensively is an understand and as I mentioned above. Best to stay away from these offenses today.


Blue Jays v Rangers at Globe Life Field – 13 mph winds from right to left field.

Analysis: From what we have seen from Globe Life Field to this point is that the ballpark plays drastically different when the roof is open. When closed it has shown to be a tremendous pitchers park. Conversely when it is open it is a good hitters park (follow John Blake on twitter @RangerBlake for roof updates and lineups).


Doing Lines In Vegas

Giants v Padres at Petco Park (Gausman v Snell) – What if I told you that the Giants, yes, the lowly Giants had the 3rd best wRC+ against LHP last year? Not only that but they were 2nd in ISO and sported a healthy 10% BB rate as a team. Sure, that COULD be 60 game fodder but their platoons against LHP seem to be the real deal, give me the Giants ML which I’ve seen in the +140 range.


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