Good Sunday to you. We have a relatively small 8-game FanDuel Main Slate, providing us only some 250 billion possible lineup combinations, without salary cap considerations, compared to our usual 1-10 trillion. It’s quite the lack of options we’re facing.
But, there are actual limitations we face today, not just exaggerated ones, as the majority of games provide us with far better hitting conditions than pitching, leaving us little in the way of potential starting pitcher value, and an abundance of potential value for hitters. More than usual today, we’d like to reach for cheaper starting pitching in order to pay up for hitting.
Our preferred reach is Asher Wojciechowski, SP: $6,700, who has flashed high upside over the past couple months and has a favorable matchup today against Detroit. While he can struggle with control, which results in his higher than average hard contact and walk rates, the Tigers are near the bottom of the league in both measures. Pair that with this game being played on the road, virtually guaranteeing a more favorable pitching environment than the bandbox of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and it’s reason enough to confidently deploy him. We do not need to rely on a world-beating performance here, above average will do us perfectly well, as the scoring fireworks today are likely to be predominantly hitter-driven.
Keep on keeping on, and read below for additional Razzball picks.
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One additional value starter is Rick Porcello, SP: $6,500. While the matchup is not as favorable as Wojciechowski’s, Porcello faces an average Phillies lineup for the second time in a month. The first time was in Boston in humid conditions with the wind blowing out. Today is in Philly with the wind blowing in. We’ll risk it.
Some smoking stacks:
Atlanta Braves – While not the most affordable stack on the slate if we’re set on using Bieber, the Braves offer great value potential for a combination of factors. Anibal Sanchez has a poor strikeout to walk rate, facing the Braves who are among the best in the majors in strikeout to walk rate. This means we can expect a high rate of hitters reaching base. Pair that with the Braves’ top 10 extra bases per at bat rate, the better park factor for runs and extra base hits that Nationals Park has to offer, and we can expect much better than average production out of the Braves, thus, much better than average value. Our order of preference:
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF: $4,100
Josh Donaldson, 3B: $3,500
Ozzie Albies, 2B: $3,500
Dansby Swanson, SS: $2,600
Freddie Freeman, C/1B: $3,700
Brian McCann, C/1B: $2,200
Nick Markakis, OF: $2,700
Matt Joyce, OF: $2,500
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs have scored 17 and 14 runs the past two days in similarly great hitting conditions at Wrigley. Today the humidity is high and the winds are expected to be out to center at 10-12 mph. Stack those bats:
Kyle Schwarber, OF: $3,300
Kris Bryant, 3B: $4,200
Nicholas Castellanos, OF: $3,800
Ian Happ, 2B: $2,500
Anthony Rizzo, C/1B: $4,300
Ben Zobrist, OF: $2,700
Willson Contreras, C/1B: $3,400
Jason Heyward, OF: $3,000
Houston Astros – The benefit of going cheap on starting pitching today is allowing us to pay up for otherwise unaffordable stacks, such as the potent Astros lineup. Though Kauffman Stadium typically plays as a pitcher-friendly park, today the conditions should make it one of the better ballparks for hitters, even considering its dimensions. The Astros should be able to take full advantage of these conditions given they’re facing Jake Junis, who typically struggles with hard contact allowed.
Kyle Tucker, OF: $2,400
Alex Bregman, SS: $4,000
Michael Brantley, OF: $3,800
George Springer, OF: $4,400
Yordan Alvarez, OF: $4,200
Aledmys Diaz, 2B: $2,800
Jose Altuve, 2B: $4,400
Yuli Gurriel, C/1B: $3,200
Josh Reddick, OF: $2,400
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Rain should spoil zero lineups.
Doing Lines In Vegas
While conditions in St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago all look to heavily favor hitting today, and we could take the over in each case hoping for at least two of three to hit, the over/under in Kansas City is moving toward the over at 10.5, it’s a lofty 11.5 in Chicago, leaving the St. Louis total as the most attractive for our betting purposes. The over/under here has been moving toward the under, and currently sits at 9 runs. We like the over here because of the weather conditions – temperatures in the 90’s, winds blowing out – and because both starters have well below average strikeout to walk rates. So, we should expect hitters to put the ball in play at above average rates.