With an 11-game Main Slate on FanDuel this afternoon we should have plenty of options from which to choose, yet one play stands out above the others. His name is Aaron. Aaron Nola, SP: $10,700. King of the wild frontier. As good as he has been and can be, Nola as our top play today is far more about his opponent than him.

Nola goes for the Phillies in Miami today, against the historically bad Marlins lineup. We usually want to start any pitcher facing the Marlins because, as hitters, the Marlins are a unique combination of bad this game has not seen in a very long time. They strike often. They do not walk often. They do not hit for power. They do not like green eggs and ham. All told, they are a dream matchup for opposing pitchers. Today is no exception with a far better than average Nola on the mound. We want to take full advantage of this ideal matchup.

I will personally have Nola in about half of my lineups, knowing full well it means giving up exposure to the more expensive stacks today. I’ll take my chances.

May the winds blow your hit balls out and keep your pitched balls in. Best of luck today, and keep reading below for additional picks of the day.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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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!

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Does anybody else remember the Adventures of the Gummi Bears? It was on the Disney Channel back in the day and it was THE Saturday Morning jam. Medieval, personified bears, that bounce like kangaroos. Where do I sign up, right? In one of the sloppiest and more unconnected openings in Razzball history, starting pitchers are nothing like Gummi Bears. No, they are not my Saturday Morning jam. They’re my Saturday Morning job, digging into numerous deep dives, for hours on end, trying to figure out which players are trending where. The results of these Saturday Morning exercises are below. As a reminder these rankings are for 5×5 roto with value focused on rest of season value for 2018. So, a player like Michael Kopech is ranked for his value over the entirety of the 2018 season. Not just the next month. In previous seasons, this post was a weekly ranking with a pitching profile included. This year we will continue the weekly pitching profile, but once a month we will update the rankings. Because honestly, how much can happen in a week? One or two starts? So there’s changes coming for 2018, but they’re slight, and you’ll still get the same quality profiles, notes, and ranks. You might also get a cupcake or a venereal disease, but no telling which one. The expiration dates will just be a little longer. On the rankings not on the cupcakes or your fresh batch of herpes.

Here’s my Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2018 Fantasy Baseball.

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