We have eight games to consider today when playing the FanDuel Main Slate. When looking over the options it seems we can find all kinds of creative ways to avoid paying up and starting Justin Verlander, SP: $11,900. Darvish is pitching with the wind blowing in to a fairly beat up Brewers team. Corbin is facing the terrible Marlins lineup. Morton is pitching at home. But there are times when overthinking the best option is detrimental, and this is likely one of those times. We just need to not over think it, and do the obvious. Start Justin Verlander.

Verlander faces a strikeout-prone Blue Jays team. That point potential is too much to resist. What we do need to be concerned with is the park factor and Verlander’s season long struggle with the long ball. If things click today, he’ll put up 60. If not, rostering him could look like a very bad idea because of just one or two mistake pitches. It is risky on that level, but worth the risk because of his upside.

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Danny Duffy, SP: $7,400. Duffy is in a great spot today coming back from his hamstring injury. The main concern is whether he will be allowed a full workload, or if the five innings in his most recent rehab start are indicative of his expected limit today. If we hear anything about a pitchcount or innings limit we want to reevaluate, but as of now Duffy is looking like our best value option of the slate for SP. He faces an Orioles team that strikes out at a well above average rate and walks at a well below average rate, all with a low team ISO. It’s a great combination for opposing pitching. We just hope Duffy gets to take full advantage.

Here is a stack of stacks for you:

Tampa Bay Rays – Stacking the Rays today is mostly a response to their value, as we are preferring some expensive SP options, not the raw expected output of their lineup. They are in the lower half of expected run totals, and are facing a very decent pitcher in Adam Plutko. Plutko has faced the Rays once this year and given up seven runs, but that was way back in early April, so it should not count for much of our analysis. However, it does count for something, and if the Rays can jump on him again they can provide us with the value we need to take down a GPP. Order of preference:

Austin Meadows, OF: $3,500

Tommy Pham, OF: $3,400

Kevin Kiermaier, OF: $2,500

Eric Sogard, 2B: $2,600

Ji-Man Choi, C/1B: $2,600

Avisail Garcia, OF: $2,900

Willy Adames, SS: $2,300

Joey Wendle, 3B: $2,100

Travis d’Arnaud, C/1B: $2,900

Milwaukee Brewers – Picking the Brewers today vs. Darvish, wind blowing in, on the cooler side for early September, is a contrarian play. This is not a stack to trot out in a large chunk of your lineups, but on days like today it makes sense to own some. Darvish is looking like a world beater, but he can have control issues. The weather conditions look favorable for pitching, but not that favorable. The Brewers have the offensive potential to put up numbers with the best of them. Go against the grain here, just not too much:

Trent Grisham, OF: $2,600

Christian Yelich, OF: $4,600

Travis Shaw, 3B: $2,200

Yasmani Grandal, C/1B: $3,100

Lorenzo Cain, OF: $2,800

Mike Moustakas, 3B: $3,200

Ryan Braun, OF: $2,900

Hernan Perez, 3B: $2,100

Houston Astros – Houston has the highest implied run total of the slate, at just under six runs. While they are an expensive stack, there are still some value pieces here depending on who they start today vs. Wilmer Font and Zach Godley, and Godley’s ungodly 6.17 ERA. Stack the Astros:

Alex Bregman, SS: $4,100

Yordan Alvarez, OF: $4,100

George Springer, OF: $4,200

Michael Brantley, OF: $4,000

Josh Reddick, OF: $2,600

Jose Altuve, 2B: $4,300

Aledmys Diaz, 2B: $2,800

Yuli Gurriel, C/1B: $3,700

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

No great risk of PPD today. Detroit is the one potential area of concern with rain moving through this morning, but there should be enough of a gap to get in a full game.

Doing Lines In Vegas

There is no over/under in Chicago right now, but the wind blowing in coupled with occassional lingering showers could make this more of a pitchers’ game than early September typically provides. Given there is no option of a choice there, let’s instead go back, once again, to St. Louis. Here we have an over/under of 8.5 with Mahle and Mikolas on the mound for the early game. Let’s take the over.