Justin Verlander, SP: $12,000, is locked in. He is so locked in he is our super-duper, locked and loaded, slam dunk, touchdown goal of the week. He transcends sports. He will win you a NASCAR tournament. He will make your burrito taste better and your skies less cloudy. That’s how good he is right now.
Not that Justin Verlander needs factors in his favor to dominate – so don’t mistake the intention here, no disrespect, ever – but there are reasons to believe he could treat this Mariner lineup like a little league B-lineup. Worse than the no-hit performance they’re coming off yesterday. They might quit baseball after this, and here’s why:
• Park factor: Minute Maid Park is usually neutral, but today is the most pitcher-friendly park on the slate for a right-handed pitcher.
• Weather: There is no rain risk, as they have a roof, but air density still affects the travel of the baseball, and today the conditions in Houston are the best of the slate for pitching. Higher air density provides more resistance to a baseball traveling through the air, which increases spin rate and movement (at the expense of a little velocity, yes, but it’s worth the tradeoff), and decreases the distance a batted ball travels. It’s science.
• Visual Memory Index: This is a Razzball Premium feature that measures the change in conditions from one game to the next. The exact same pitch will move differently depending on the density of the air in which it is thrown. How much differently is what VMI aims to quantify for us. Negative numbers are worse for hitting and better for pitching, and just the opposite for positive numbers. Today, the Mariners have the most negative VMI number of the slate, so we should expect their hitters to require the greatest adjustment compared to recent conditions. Uphill battle against Verlander.
• Strikeouts: The Mariners strike out a lot, more than any other team in baseball.
• Caveats: The way this could go wrong is pretty clear. The Mariners are top 5 in the league in team ISO and team walk rate, and Justin Verlander gives up the majority of his runs allowed through home runs, and also walks about 2 hitters per 9 innings pitched. If things fall apart, this is the likeliest reason why.
Enough said. Play him in a crazy percent of your lineups today and enjoy.
And guess what? There’s more! Read on for our top picks of the day. Have a great one!
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Yonny Chirinos, SP: $7,900. Miami has among the worst team OPS of the past two decades, and their strikeout rate is well below (above? [it’s bad]) league average. Let’s look for Yonny to regain form here and put up a quality start with a handful of strikeouts. Anything on top of that is gravy. Or frosting.
Yu Darvish, SP: $8,300. You gotta love Yu here. The way he’s been pitching, the wind blowing in. It could be a magical sight on this site. He could be a pitcher who’s pitching just right. At the end of the night, he could be a knight, and turn all the Brewer’s to brewers. $8,300 seems cheap here, as well.
Honestly, there are plenty of pitchers to like today. Smyly against the White Sox, Odorizzi vs the Royals, Shane Bieber against anyone Shane Bieber is pitching. Syndergaard and Sonny Gray. Geez. It’s overwhelming. To help with the clutter, here is a rough draft list based on the likelihood they hit value – it’ll change a little as we know the lineups they’ll face:
Jimmy Yacabonis – BAL opener, don’t start him
Now let’s look at hitters:
Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays are in Baltimore today, facing sub par pitching in a ballpark that loves watching hitters hit home runs. And guess what? The Blue Jays are good at hitting home runs. So, some will probably be hit. So, we need to own these Blue Jays. Here is our order of preference based on players’ values:
Cavan Biggio, 2B: $3,700
Randal Grichuk, OF: $3,100
Derek Fisher, OF: $2,400 – hit in the face yesterday, but hopefully he starts today vs the RHP
Bo Bichette, SS: $3,500
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B: $3,900
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF: $3,500
Justin Smoak, C/1B: $3,300
Freddy Galvis, SS: $3,000
Chicago White Sox – Yeah, yeah, yeah, we like Drew Smyly, too. We can’t love everyone, it doesn’t work like that, obviously. But, it’s okay to have it both ways sometimes, and here we are hedging our bets. Smyly could dominate this lineup, sure, but the potential is also here for the White Sox to return great value. Just don’t stack the White Sox in your Smyly lineups. Order of preference:
Eloy Jimenez, OF: $2,900
Tim Anderson, SS: $3,000
Jose Abreu, C/1B: $3,500
Seby Zavala, C/1B: $2,000
Yolmer Sanchez, 2B: $2,200
Adam Engel, OF: $2,300
Cleveland Indians – As has recently been the case, we like the Indians stacks based on their value potential. The Indians are at home today vs the Angels and Jaime Barria’s 6.28 ERA. The wind is blowing in a bit, but it’s not enough to deter us much at all. Order of preference:
Francisco Lindor, SS: $4,100
Jose Ramirez, 3B: $3,600
Yasiel Puig, OF: $3,200
Franmil Reyes, OF: $2,800
Tyler Naquin, OF: $2,300
Carlos Santana, C/1B: $3,900
Jason Kipnis, 2B: $3,200
Jordan Luplow, OF: $2,400
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
No serious PPD concerns today, though conditions in Atlanta can go south any time with the potential for lingering popups. Not sure I’ll give up Cincinnati stacks over it, but worth monitoring.
Doing Lines In Vegas
With the over/under at 10, let’s take the over in Minnesota. The wind is blowing out to left and the air density is lower than normal with temps in the upper 80’s. Lock it in (don’t, it’s still basically a coin flip).
Happy DFSing, DFSers. Enjoy your Sundays!