Welcome to the home stretch. One silver lining of this shortened season, with expanded rosters from the beginning, is fewer question marks at this point. We aren’t worried about teams resting players for the playoffs, or how expanded rosters will juggle playing time. It’s pretty much business as usual. We start pitchers against the worst offenses and we start visiting hitters at Coors. Tonight is no different. The pitcher lucky enough to grab a start against one of those worst offenses tonight is rookie Jose Urquidy, P: $6,300, who is our top value play of the day. Urquidy is just getting started this season, but threw nearly 90 pitches in his most recent start, so he shouldn’t be restrained much by a pitch count. He is facing the Rangers, the worst offense of the slate by wOBA. We are hoping for a repeat of his performance against the Rangers last season, when he threw 7 innings of two hit ball with 9 strikeouts and no walks. Any performance even approaching that will see Urquidy return exceptional value.
For additional reading material, including our other top pitching choice for FanDuel Main Slate contests, keep on keeping on, and read below.
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Yu Darvish, P: $11,200 – While expensive as all get out, he has a great matchup tonight, and is worth the cost. Darvish faces an Indians team that is fourth worst in the majors in wOBA this season, and he has continued to deal at a Cy-Young-winning rate. This is a set it and forget it situation, as Darvish has simply been phenomenal.
Matthew Boyd, P: $7,900 – Another pitcher of note, facing a Royals lineup that hasn’t been much more potent than the Indians or Rangers this season. The issue with Boyd is unpredictability. He faces the Twins and is lights out, 14 strikeouts and no walks over two starts; but he’s also given up seven runs in fewer than five innings in a third of his nine starts this season, including his most recent start at home against the Brewers. So, you’ve got to ask yourself one question.
A stack of Coors:
The A’s travel to Coors field tonight. This provides them the single greatest boost to expected offensive production possible, more than doubling the expected run production than if this game were played in Oakland. This generally means the A’s are undervalued, as they have the burden of playing half their games in the toughest park in the majors for scoring runs. When they play in the easiest park in the majors to score runs we should expect them to hit value with much greater ease. So we stack them. The order listed below is our preference based on predicted value, should they start:
Marcus Semien, SS: $3,500
Khris Davis, OF: $3,400
Tommy La Stella, 3B: $3,600
Stephen Piscotty, OF: $3,600
Ramon Laureano, OF: $3,700
Tony Kemp, 2B: $2,800
Mark Canha, OF: $3,400
Matt Olson, C/1B: $3,900
Vimael Machin, SS: $2,600
Robbie Grossman, OF: $3,500
Sean Murphy, C/1B: $3,000
The best of the rest:
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF: $4,400 – Acuna will likely be leading off for the Braves against the Orioles in what will likely be somewhat of a bullpen game. Relief pitcher Tom Eshelman is slated to make the start. Camden Yards is one of the friendliest parks for home runs, and against Eshelman and company we like Acuna’s chances here.
J.D. Davis, OF: $2,600 – Hitting in the middle of the order, facing a struggling Jake Arrieta in a homer-friendly park. Though he’s having a down year compared to last season, we like Davis in this matchup.
Austin Riley, 3B: $2,600 – Though likely hitting near the bottom of the order, the Braves should be able to feast on a Baltimore bullpen game. So the production opportunity should be there, and Riley has the raw power to take advantage.
Mike Trout, OF: $4,500 – Believe it or not, we like Trout in our lineups. Against a very hittable Madison Bumgarner tonight we like him even more than usual, and we should be able to afford him given the starting pitching options available. Hot take: he’s an above average hitter with the potential to really make something of his career. I think this kid’s got it.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
There might not even be a cloud in the sky tonight across the Main Slate games.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Take the under 12 at -110 in Coors. This is contrary to our DFS strategy, but while we want to stack Oakland for the likely boost to their individual production, we also recognize the tendency for teams to take some time to adjust to differences in air density. This is especially the case tonight, as the A’s are coming off a series in the dense air of Seattle. This means the ball will move dramatically less than they are accustomed, so we expect the adjustment time to have a negative effect on offensive production vs. expectation. Thus, the bet.