I don’t have any particularly insightful thoughts to put in an introductory paragraph, so let me just talk about how bonkers yesterday’s FanDuel slate was in regards to offense. The Cardinals had a Vegas Implied Total of 5 and they were the 11th highest offense on the slate. Five teams (Atlanta, Boston, New York (Yankees), Cleveland and Chicago (Cubs) all were projected by Teamonator to score 6 or more runs. A sixth team (San Diego) wasn’t too far behind at 5.96. It was truly bizarre. Well, actually, I’m not sure it’s bizarre anymore. With the summer months approaching and everything we know so far about the increased HR rates and increased offense (such as the ball or the emphasis on launch angle/exit velocity), these types of slates may become more and more common. Should make for an interesting year.
On to the picks…
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Patrick Corbin, P: $9,800 – The pitching slate today is abysmal and there isn’t an easy choice today. Corbin might be the best of a bad lot. 29.4% strikeouts, 6.7% walks and 47.8% groundballs. Even though his opponent the Marlins don’t strikeout, they really don’t have any offensive skill other than not striking out. While normally that’s a problem in DFS, it’s not nearly the problem it is today when the pitching slate is so bad.
Matthew Boyd, P: $9,400 – Boyd’s strikeout matchup is much better than Corbin as the Rangers have a bunch of higher strikeout hitters including Joey Gallo, who has a robust 40% strikeout rate vs lefties. They should have a good number of lefties in the lineup who Boyd dominates (27.2% strikeouts and 3.7% walks) and even the righties who don’t strike out aren’t good hitters (Elvis Andrus and Delino DeShields). Boyd doesn’t normally belong in cash game consideration, but again because of the slate, he’s firmly in play.
Houston Astros – Dario Agrazal’s highest Minor League strikeout rate is 20.3%, so we know he’s a guy who won’t strike guys out, but he hasn’t had a walk rate above 5.2% since 2013 and his groundball rate ranges from 47% to 54%. So we have a ground ball strike thrower who doesn’t get any swings and misses, so we’re looking for power guys who hit the ball in the air. Yordan Alvarez ($4,300) does nothing by hit the ball a long ways and in the air (16.7% groundballs so far in his young career) and Alex Bregman ($4,000) (35.8% groundballs) are the 2 top plays. The other Astros who hit the ball in the air are Josh Reddick (36.7%) and Robinson Chirinos (32.8%) with Tyler White (39.9%) being OK at it. I would prioritize the big power bats and if you need the savings, I would be OK with landing on Reddick, Chirinos or White provided they bat in the top 6 or 7.
Mike Trout, OF: $4,600 & Shohei Ohtani, OF: $3,500 – Tanner Roark vs lefties gets below average strikeouts (20.1%) and below average-ish walks (8.6%) and can’t keep the ball on the ground (33.5%). Shohei Ohtani (.406 wOBA and .308 ISO) is the lefty we want here and his price is still too cheap. And on a slate that doesn’t have a lot of must plays, it’s never wrong to play the best hitter in baseball (.474 wOBA and .346 ISO).
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds are pretty cheap for the matchup vs Jaime Barria. Barria has had reverse splits the last few years, but he’s been bad enough vs both that it shouldn’t matter. Vs lefties he’s had 20.4% strikeouts, 7% walks and 39.8% ground balls, and vs righties he’s had 16.3% strikeouts, 9.5% walks, 33.3% ground balls. As you can see, anyone with a bat is dangerous. Jesse Winker (.380 wOBA and .188 ISO) leading off at $2,800 is the best point per dollar play, but Joey Votto (.380 wOBA and .163 ISO), Eugenio Suarez (.347 wOBA and .225 ISO), Derek Dietrich (.359 wOBA and .216 ISO), Yasiel Puig (.360 wOBA and .238 ISO) and Nick Senzel (.332 wOBA and .202 ISO) are all good plays if you need some savings or just to plug in a spot you don’t like the rest of the options.
Ryan Braun, OF: $3,000 & Jesus Aguilar, 1B: $2,400 – Wade LeBlanc is a strike thrower (6.6% walks) vs righties who has no ability to keep the ball on the ground (37.3%) and little ability to get the all important swing and miss (17.3% strikeouts). Braun hits 50.6% of his balls on the ground but still hits for power (.236 ISO) and gets a bit of a boost because LeBlanc doesn’t get ground balls. Aguilar is too cheap for a hitter who’s still pretty solid (.366 wOBA and .233 ISO) and can be used as the savings to get Bregman and Trout.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
It doesn’t look like there’s going to be much rain, but it’s starting to get warm and humid so you’re going to have to pay attention to weather.
Doing Lines In Vegas
As of this writing we only have four lines released, which is quite odd. Anyway, from what we do have, I’ll take the Phillies at -148 to win; their offense can put up runs in a hurry, and while Vargas isn’t that bad, he’s also not good. Plus, he threatens reporters in a very non comical way, so it’s fun to bet against him and the disaster Mets right now. What, exactly, is a comical way to threaten reporters? I’m not sure there is one, but this may be the closest we’ve got.