We must really love baseball. Today we have an 11-game FanDuel Main Slate, but the large format contest sizes have been chopped by about 90%, I’m guessing because today is National Hug Your Hound Day and FanDuel figures people will be too busy celebrating. Maybe. Just a quick aside, while we may enjoy it, our hounds definitely do not enjoy being hugged and are likely, at the very least, confused by this action. Ask them. It’s true. Let us not hug our hounds, even on National Hug Your Hound Day, it’s a selfish expression of affection we assume they appreciate, but the benefit is wholly one-sided. Instead, try showing affection for by licking. They love it.

So, our large-format contests are not so large. What do we do? We can adjust our lineups to incorporate more safe plays, such as we would for cash contests, and fewer of the high risk, high upside plays we need to have a shot at soloing a 50k+ tournament, without reducing our expected value.

A player like Gerrit Cole, SP: $12,000, fits the bill nicely. He is very expensive, so we’d better have good reason he’ll be worth the expense. The reason he should be acceptable today is he is facing a strikeout-prone Mariners lineup, which has proven to be overmatched by Cole. The last time he faced the Mariners, back on June 30th, Cole managed 58 points from 10 strikeouts over 7 innings. This performance seems like the average outcome we should expect today, which is right in the range of value we are seeking.

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Enjoy your Sunday!

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Sandy Alcantara, SP: $6,800. Very inexpensive, so he’d better be average. The reason he should be average is he is facing a Royals lineup sporting a bottom four team ISO vs right handed pitching, and he is pitching at home, and home happens to be a pitcher-friendly park. Pitching Alcantara would also have the side benefit of allowing us to stack an expensive, but potent, Astros lineup.

Speaking of stacks:

Los Angeles Angels – The Angels offer great value today against Dylan Cease, and mostly Dylan Cease’s 6.75 ERA. On August 18th the Angels managed five runs over five innings and two home runs against Cease. Look for more of the same today. Order of preference:

Mike Trout, OF: $4,600

Shohei Ohtani, OF: $2,900

David Fletcher, 3B: $2,700

Justin Upton, OF: $2,900

Justin Bour, C/1B: $2,300

Andrelton Simmons, SS: $2,800

Texas Rangers – Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been a fantasy boon this season. With the Rangers facing Wojciechowski we should expect a higher than average walk rate coupled with the ability to make hard contact. Put this combo into one of the friendliest parks for home runs this season and it provides outstanding stack potential. We prefer the lefties today against the right hander with poor L/R splits:

Rougned Odor, 2B: $3,000

Nomar Mazara, OF: $2,900

Shin-soo Choo, OF: $3,400

Willie Calhoun, OF: $3,600

Elvis Andrus, SS: $3,200

Nick Solak, 2B: $3,200

Danny Santana, C/1B: $2,900

Other thoughts on stacks:

Though Baltimore will potentially sport a fully right-handed lineup against LHP Mike Minor, and they do benefit when facing left handed pitching, Minor is roughly even against hitters from either side. Thus, this matchup is not as enticing as it seems.

Weather conditions look awful for hitting in Minnesota, with light rain in the area, game time temperatures in the 50’s, and the wind blowing in. So, even though we usually like the potent Twins lineup, and the value the Indians would typically provide against a Twins bullpen game, this is not the spot to dedicate a lot of resources. Let’s take our chances elsewhere.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

While rain may delay the games in Minnesota or Chicago, we are unlikely to see any postponed.

Doing Lines In Vegas

With the conditions how they are in Minnesota, the over/under currently at 9 seems high. We should favor the under, even with these lineups.