MLB DFS Picks - Million Dollar Musings: Friday

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Friday, August 23rd

Happy Friday! This is a strange looking slate, and at first glance, it would not be surprising to see another down night for offense. We have a large pool of good pitchers and the majority of the games being played in stronger pitching environments. Only two games are opening with a total at 10 runs or higher and at least half the slate is immediately dropped into multi-entry GPP range only. We’ll start by breaking down this deep pitching pool.

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Friday Night Pitching

There is a lot of good pitching tonight, and the salaries are spread out such that it’s hard to draw specific lines around tiers. I’m going to start with a list of all the pitchers at $7k or higher on FD/DK that I’m considering with their K/BB numbers and then start narrowing things down.

Jacob deGrom vs Braves – 31.1% K, 6.1% BB, 3.43 SIERA
Zack Greinke vs Angels – 23.3% K, 4.4% BB, 4.05 SIERA
Jose Berrios vs Tigers – 22.7% K, 5.8% BB, 4.31 SIERA
Lance Lynn at White Sox – 27.1% K, 6.7% BB, 3.90 SIERA
Jack Flaherty vs Rockies – 28.3% K, 7.9% BB, 3.94 SIERA
Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Yankees – 21.9% K, 3.1% BB, 3.81 SIERA
James Paxton at Dodgers – 28.8% K, 9.0% BB, 4.03 SIERA
Eduardo Rodriguez at Padres – 22.8% K, 8.9% BB, 4.56 SIERA
Mike Foltynewicz at Mets – 20.6% K, 8.1% BB, 4.90 SIERA
Vince Velasquez at Marlins – 25.3% K, 9.0% BB, 4.44 SIERA
Chris Paddack vs Red Sox – 26.0% K, 5.6% BB, 3.94 SIERA

This is a big old list of pitchers, and it doesn’t even include more names like Anthony Desclafani, Zach Plesac, Jake Junis, Jordan Lyles, Dylan Cease, Trevor Richards and others that could be considered. I’ve just got to get my pool narrowed down further than this, because as you well know, it is a safety hazard to have too many people in a pool.

NARROWING DOWN THE ACES

I’m going to start with the eight pitchers who are the highest priced on DK and FD and make some cuts, and then we’ll move on to the next pricing group.

Jacob deGrom vs Braves – There are very few matchup proof pitchers left in the league, but deGrom is one of them. But that is not to say that he is guaranteed a great start or that matchup is not relevant. It just means that he is so good that he should be expected to win every matchup. You have to go back 16 starts to find the last time he allowed more than three runs and he has double digit strikeout games against teams like the Phillies and these same Atlanta Braves. But, even with all that awesomeness, it’s still reasonable to say that he is not an elite upside ace in the mold of a Cole, Verlander, Scherzer. His 31.1% strikeout rate is excellent, but he’s still more about control and innings, with 7-9 strikeouts being more common than spiking a huge game. This is the surest thing on the slate for raw points, but I don’t immediately see him as a must play at the high salary.

Zack Greinke vs Angels – Greinke’s strikeouts have not spiked since moving to Houston. This looks like the same real life ace, who is a good, but not great DFS pitcher. We shouldn’t expect any more strikeouts than usual against the Angels, although it is important to note that this is basically an average strikeout lineup at this point, and not the elite contact team that they were earlier in the season. There are a couple of up or down games, but Greinke has been a mostly consistent pitcher giving us something in the range of 20-25 DK points and 30-40 FD points on a regular basis. I don’t see any reason to expect an outlier from that range tonight, though it’s certainly possible on either side. I have no interest at all on him at his FD salary and very little on Yahoo, but on DK/FDRFT, he’s been dropped to the 8th most expensive pitcher on this slate. He looks like a very solid cash game option at a fair price point with his consistent skills.

Lance Lynn at White Sox – Lynn has started showing some cracks in the foundation after his strong run this summer. He has walked 11 batters in his last three starts, and now has multiple walks in six straight outings. The good news here is that his poor start last weekend came against Minnesota, and he goes from that tough matchup to a more ideal setup tonight. The White Sox offer all kinds of strikeout upside, and even more importantly, this is the lowest walk team in the league against righties. We’ve got a strong enough slate tonight that I don’t think we have to mess with him in cash games, but for GPP purposes, I’m willing to give him a pass on his last outing and hope that this matchup gets him back to that elite form that he showed for most of the summer. He is a top three tournament pitcher for me tonight.

Jose Berrios vs Tigers – Along with Lynn, the other clear matchup boost tonight goes to Jose Berrios against the Tigers. We can hope for an outlier start for strikeouts because of how bad Detroit is against righties, but that is just not Berrios’ game. He has topped eight strikeouts just three times in 25 starts, so it would be silly to expect that at any point. But we can more realistically expect to see him get back to one of his longer outings with the low walks and low power of Detroit playing into his hands. He is very similar to Zack Greinke, and with Berrios having the much better matchup tonight, I will play the salary game with them. That leaves Greinke as the better choice on DK/FDRFT, but Berrios as the standout value on FD, where he is my cash game choice if I can’t get up to deGrom. On Yahoo where they are just separated by $1, I lean Berrios with the matchup.

Jack Flaherty vs Rockies – For the full season, Flaherty trails only deGrom and Paxton in strikeout rate and since the All-Star Break, the 33.1% K rate of Flaherty tops everyone on this slate. His control continues to be better than average, staying under the 8% walk mark and sustaining his dominance against right-handed batters. This isn’t the most ideal matchup for strikeouts if the Rockies put five lefties in the order, but as always, their strikeouts are significantly higher away from home. We’ve always known Flaherty has strikeout upside, but now that he’s added the ability to pitch deep into games, he’s added to both his floor and his ceiling for DFS purposes. He has pitched seven full innings in five of his last eight outings, and is still just the 5th highest priced pitcher on this slate on DK/FDRFT and 7th on Yahoo. His upside matches anyone on this slate, and while I would certainly prefer deGrom for raw points and safety, the salary gap looks too big. On FD, he’s in the cash game mix for me, in between deGrom and Berrios. On DK/FDRFT, he’s my top tournament play, and possible to pair with Greinke for a strong cash game duo, while on Yahoo, his salary is too low and I would play him in all formats.

Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Yankees – You can still make a case that Ryu is the best real life pitcher on this slate, or at least second behind deGrom, but this is not real life. You are not reading this, you are not even here. This is a simulation. Seriously though, Ryu has just a 17% K rate since the All-Star Break and hasn’t topped five strikeouts in his last four outings. Because he’s so good in reality (where we are not currently residing), his salary remains high. I just can’t make a case to play him tonight with so many other options in this price range with higher upside.

James Paxton at Dodgers – Over the long run, Paxton is arguably the best DFS pitcher on this slate, but much like this is not real life, this is also not the long run. We are running a short distance tonight. The last time Paxton pitched seven innings? April. He’s not even been artificially limited in pitch count- he just hasn’t been good enough to get deep into games. His walks have been borderline and his strikeouts have been fine, but down compared to his past self. The talent is always in there, but a huge start would be the outlier. The Dodgers are a low strikeout, high walk team with power, and this is a multi-entry tournament dart only. He can stay in the pool, but only in the shallow end close to the steps.

Eduardo Rodriguez at Padres – Since the All-Star Break, we’re looking at a below average 19.9% K rate with high 12% walks from Rodriguez. He is back to his old style of nibbling around the edges, which is good for limiting hard contact, but it leads to too many walks and often too many pitches. Sometimes it works out, like last weekend against Baltimore, but even there he struck out just four batters with two walks. The Padres are not as bad against lefties and the top five batters in their lineup are below average strikeouts. He’s a fine play at a fair price, and I would not try to talk you out of him in any format. I would just tell you that for me, he falls well behind Greinke and Berrios for safety, and well behind Lynn and Flaherty for upside. That leaves him alongside Paxton as a multi-entry dart only.

A LITTLE BIT CHEAPER NOW

There is not a significant gap in some of these salaries, but this range does open up a few more opportunities to spend salary on the bats, so let’s take a look at this trio.

Mike Foltynewicz at Mets
Vince Velasquez at Marlins
Chris Paddack vs Red Sox
Mitch Keller vs Reds

On DK/FDRFT/Yahoo, there’s no real discount to Chris Paddack, and we’re looking at a kid on a limited pitch count facing the Red Sox. His strikeout rate has fallen to barely above average recently, and I just don’t see the reason to mess around here. His FD salary is nicer, but we’ve got the other two pitchers in this tier in much better matchups, so for me, Paddack has to go sit in one of those weird tri-fold lounge chairs while the others are still swimming in the pool.

Paddack is absolutely a better pitcher than Vince Velasquez, but the recent numbers are very similar, they have the same issue with innings getting in the way of the strikeout upside, but Velasquez is pitching in Miami while Paddack has to deal with the Red Sox. We’ve seen Velasquez hit 100 pitches twice in the past five starts, so he’s not necessarily on a short leash if he pitches well. It’s just a matter of finding that control. With a 26% K rate to right-handed batters and his biggest issue being hard hit fly balls, this looks like the ideal matchup for him. There is no matchup where Velasquez doesn’t have risk, but it’s more than priced in enough for me here. I would not call him necessary in cash games, though viable as an SP2, but in tournaments, this is one of the best points per dollar options on the slate.

Mike Foltynewicz is even cheaper than Velasquez and has similar issues with control getting in his way. His strikeout rate is back up to 25.3% in the second half, but he’s walked multiple batters in six straight starts, including games of 3, 4 and 5 walks. That has naturally cut into his innings as well as he hasn’t topped six innings all season. The matchup with the Mets is decent, but nothing like what Velasquez gets. There’s a reasonable chance for an affordable quality start here, and he does have enough strikeout ability to get back to the 7-8 K level, which would all be a nice profit at this salary. But it’s mostly wishful thinking that he suddenly hits any sort of new level beyond the kind of OK pitching we’ve seen recently. He’s cheap enough on two-pitcher sites that if you have to get down this low in cash games, it’s acceptable, but I’d prefer to find a way to get up to Velasquez.

Zach Plesac vs Royals – In my initial run through, I didn’t have Plesac listed, but after looking at Folty, I think Plesac deserves a little attention at a similar salary. My problem here is that he is supposed to be a pitcher with elite control based on the minor league numbers, but he has a simply average 9% walk rate, and his strikeouts have dropped below 20%. I am still expecting to see that strong control show up and get him to some more quality starts, but until it happens, I can’t really bank on it. The Royals have a very similar stat line to the Mets, and I am still slightly on the side of Folty here, but I think you could mix and match the two of them in tournaments.

I’ve added Mitch Keller into the mix as well as a tournament option. We haven’t yet seen him live up to the hype, but this is a good prospect with a 28% K rate in Triple-A facing a Reds team with plenty of strikeouts in the lineup. He’ll make my GPP pool.

Feel free to add Jordan Lyles to this mix as well, but he’s been hit extremely hard with poor control recently and I am on the side of Arizona bats tonight. You could also have Trevor Richards in the mix, but he just hasn’t been pitching deep enough into games for my liking.

CHEAP NONSENSE

Justus Sheffield vs Blue Jays – Sheffield was a top prospect, but he has continued to slip as he moves up the ranks. He has been downright horrendous at Triple-A this season with 18.3% K and 15.6%. His only skill has been a 53% ground ball rate, but low strikeouts and high walks in the minors are just not a good sign. I would say it’s viable to just throw a blindfolded darts based on this weird situation – His awful numbers at Triple-A were followed by a demotion back to Double-A, where he dominated with a 28% K rate and 6% walks. I don’t know why we should expect that he is great at Double-A, terrible at Triple-A and then good in the majors, but anything is possible. He is completely off my board on FD, but on DK/FDRFT, this is a place I’ll throw some tournament darts. I’ll be blindfolded, just like my darts.

Trent Thornton at Mariners – On the other side of Sheffield, we have Trent Thornton with a respectable 21.1% K rate and 9.5% walks this season. But the numbers have been slipping, and he’s all the way down to a 13.7% K rate over his last six starts with the same borderline control. He’s approaching his career high in innings pitched, and his fastball has lost a little steam since early in the season. I like the matchup and salary based on the full season numbers, but I am concerned that it’s time for them to shut him down for this season. I’ll leave him in a max entry pool, but will definitely make sure there’s a lifeguard on standby.

Ty Blach vs Rays / Hector Noesi vs Phillies / Peter Lambert at Cardinals / Jose Suarez at Astros – These jabronis are all very cheap. They are cheap for a reason. Just don’t do it unless you really have to.

Pitching Cliff Notes

This is a very good slate, with reasonable options in a few different pricing tiers. Jacob deGrom is clearly the best pitcher on this slate, and even against Atlanta, another strong start is likely. However, this is not a Cole/Verlander vs the Tigers type of situation, and with a lot of good pitchers at lower salaries, I do not see him as a must play in cash games. This is just going to come down to how many value bats we end up liking. If deGrom fits, fantastic. If not, I’ll be fine going down to someone like Jack Flaherty or Jose Berrios on FD, with Zack Greinke on DK/FDRFT. Vince Velasquez and Mike Foltynewicz are also on my radar if needing to go even cheaper.

Tournament lineups can be spread out as wide as you want them, but I do have some dividing lines on my list tonight. Hyun Jin-Ryu, Chris Paddack and James Paxton are all missing my first cut, with Eduardo Rodriguez also lagging near the back of the line. You can absolutely play any of those guys, but I prefer deGrom, Flaherty and Lance Lynn. Vince Velasquez gains even more steam in tournaments, and then at the low end, I’ll probably throw a few darts at Justus Sheffield, but this is a risky option with plenty of downside.

Friday Night Bats

There are a small handful of spots jumping quickly to the top of the list tonight, and then a whole bunch of leftovers that will allow you to get some differentiation in tournaments. It’s pretty easy to find some bats to spend on, the key here will be deciding which of the values to start cash game builds with. Let’s dive on in, starting with those Houston Astros at home against a lefty.

Houston Astros vs Jose Suarez

Suarez has pitched to a 6.75 ERA in his first 53 career innings and has struck out just 18.3% of righties while allowing a .278 ISO on 46% hard hits. That’s a bad stat line anywhere, but against Houston, Yikes! Alex Bregman (.331 ISO, .437 wOBA, 13.7% K) and George Springer (.218 ISO, .412 wOBA, 19.3% K) are my two top bats on this slate and priority spends in cash games. Both of their skill sets hold up favorably against the righties in the bullpen as well. From there, it’s on to Jose Altuve (.393 ISO, .497 wOBA, 13% K) and Yulieski Gurriel (.227 ISO, .337 wOBA, 6% K). That gives Houston four righties with low strikeouts and power, and then if you want to be different within a chalky Houston stack, you can consider the lefties, Yordan Alvarez and Michael Brantley. Suarez has a more impressive 29% K rate against lefties, but the same hard hit and fly ball issues in addition to them being likely to see a couple AB against righty relievers. We are not going to know what the bottom of the lineup looks like, but whatever salary saving options we get will be cash game viable. This is the type of spot where I am happy to play any near-minimum salary bat due to the team context.

Tampa Bay Rays at Ty Blach – Blach has allowed 21 earned runs in 15 innings this season. That seems sub-optimal. If we give him the benefit of the doubt and look instead at his 2018 larger sample size numbers, his ground ball rate of 52% gives him a little hope, but that is still the only skill to be found anywhere against righties. With the 2018-2019 data, he has a low 15.6% K rate to righties, and while those 52% ground balls are OK, 40% hard hits do him no favors. Through 56 righties faced this season, the ground balls have not remained and the hard hits have come up even higher. I’m definitely on board with a full stack here, but to play it cautious, I would try to start with fly ball righties, which put Travis d’Arnaud at the top of the list with his 44% FB and 44% hard hits against lefties. Tommy Pham, Jesus Aguilar, Matt Duffy and Willy Adames all have plenty of hard hit ability and upside, but all lean to ground balls, so I would not be targeting them as individual tournament plays. After d’Arnaud, my favorite play here is Austin Meadows. Blach’s strikeout rate is even lower to left-handed batters, and Meadows has the highest fly ball rate and ISO on the team against left-handed pitching. Nobody plays lefty vs lefty. Love, love, love.

Minnesota Twins vs Drew VerHagen

This game was originally scheduled to be a Matt Boyd start, but he has been pushed back to this weekend, leaving us with some underpriced Twins lefties. Drew VerHagen has been pitching fairly well in real life recently, but with very low strikeouts, while relying on a moderate 50% ground ball rate to lefties to overcome the low strikeouts. That has worked against some weaker competition, but these Twins lefties are too loaded with fly ball power to expect that to continue. VerHagen has struck out just 14.7% of lefties with 48% hard hits allowed. 50% ground balls is not going to scare me off the trio of Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco, who are all above 45% fly balls and 39% hard hits with ISO’s above .215. I also love Jason Castro as a tournament catcher with his fly balls and 53% hard hits. By all means get Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano into your stacks, but I’m starting with the lefties.

Diamondbacks at BrewersMerrill Kelly at Jordan Lyles

The Brewers are the main target here, but let’s look at the Arizona lefties first. Jordan Lyles has allowed a .288 ISO on 42% fly balls and 39% hard hits to lefties and this is a significant park boost for left-handed power. Even before factoring in that there are a couple of good lefties in the Milwaukee bullpen, the switch hitting Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar are the top bats to look at here with a .234 ISO for Marte and .239 for Escobar. I like David Peralta (.211 ISO) plenty as well, but it’s a strong lean to Marte and Escobar first. Lyles’ strikeout ability to righties has been high enough to knock Christian Walker and the other righties down into multi-entry stacking territory for me tonight.

The Brewers may end up being pretty chalky tonight, especially the lefties. With Merrill Kelly having allowed 47% hard hits and 30% line drives to lefties with just 15.6% strikeouts, he is all kinds of attackable. He has allowed just as much power to righties with hittable pitches in the strike zone. I’m going to start with playing against those low strikeouts to lefties, with Christian Yelich (.393 ISO, .500 wOBA) challenging Bregman and Springer for top overall play on the slate. Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas both have hard hits, low strikeouts and patience that make them cash game playable, and if we see Trent Grisham back in the lineup, he’ll be another viable option. Eric Thames joins the tournament pool along with the righty bats for high upside stacks. I would assume that the lefties dominate the ownership, so I would be looking to get at least one of Keston Hiura, Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain into stacks just to get a little differentiation.

St. Louis Cardinals vs Peter Lambert – Lambert is a low strikeout pitcher who is going to continue to be completely dependent on BABIP. His 55% ground ball rate to righties comes with low 31% hard hits, and that’s enough for me to drop Paul Goldschmidt, Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong down into stacks only. But against lefties, this is just a terrible skill set from Lambert with 15.4% strikeouts, only 39% ground balls and 48% hard hits leading to a .411 wOBA and .261 ISO against. Dexter Fowler, with his strong hard hit and line drive numbers against righties is a cash game option from the top of the lineup, and whichever lefty bats second between Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman will also be cash game viable. If Matt Carpenter gets back into the lineup tonight, he is in play as well.

Cleveland Indians vs Jake Junis – Junis is one of those pitchers with completely average skills across the board who is playable in good matchups, and playable against in tougher matchups. This one falls more to the hitting side with Junis throwing so many strikes to a team filled with contact, hard hits and fly balls. It’s certainly viable to stack here, but I would be starting by hunting for individual home run power. Junis has allowed a 1.95 HR/9 outside of Kansas City this season and the Indians have four hitters in the middle of the lineup with over 42% fly balls and 40% hard hits with even more hard hit ability around them. My first lean here would be Carlos Santana with his team high .283 ISO and .407 wOBA against righties. Almost everyone here is viable, but my rankings after Santana are Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Yasiel Puig, Franmil Reyes.

Philadelphia Phillies at Hector Noesi

We almost never see any ownership on teams in Miami on full slates. Between awful starters and an awful bullpen, I think this ballpark gets more respect than it deserves and gives us a chance to get in situations that would be wildly chalky in a different environment. Noesi has alone made three starts this season, but he’s allowed two home runs in each of them after allowing a 1.94 HR/9 in Triple-A. He’s also shown shaky control since being called up, so walks plus homers = yes please. It’s still quite a bit of guesswork on the splits, but with the extreme fly balls and hard hits he’s given up to righties even in a very small sample size, I want to start with Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and Scott Kingery, while adding Bryce Harper and Corey Dickerson into stacks. Harper is certainly playable on his own as well, but I would be expecting walks before anything, so give me the righties first, but mostly, I’ll be stacking.

Reds at PiratesAnthony Desclafani at Mitch Keller

This game falls into the abyss where I could make a case to play either pitcher or either offense, but none of them stand out on this slate. Desclafani has continued to allow home runs while seeing his control begin to slip. With a .264 ISO allowed to lefties this season on 49% fly balls and 46% hard hits, I have a good amount of tournament interest in Josh Bell (.329 ISO) and Bryan Reynolds (.208 ISO). Even Colin Moran is of some interest, and if you get to that point, then maybe it’s reasonable to add Adam Frazier and Starling Marte and just call it a stack and hope that Desclafani’s control issues continue.

With Mitch Keller, we just don’t know yet. This is a very good prospect who had a 28% K rate at Triple-A, but has not yet been able to carry that over to the majors. He could get it figured out at any time and is a viable GPP pitching option for that reason, but there’s also enough question on his control and innings that the Reds are a fully stackable tournament team. My lean here is just to put Eugenio Suarez and Aristides Aquino in the tournament pool and leave the rest of this alone on both sides.

Texas Rangers at Dylan Cease – Much like Mitch Keller, we just haven’t seen enough of Dylan Cease to know what we’re getting. This is another good pitching prospect with upside, but one that has shown control issues so far and has not been able to maintain his strikeout numbers from the minors. He’s only faced 75 lefties so far in his career, but he has a scary bad 12% K rate with 12% walks and a .308 ISO allowed. Given how much I like these Texas lefties even against pretty good righties, I am going to be heavily invested here tonight. I want to focus on hard hits and not worry about the strikeouts, so give me Shin-Soo Choo (50% HH), Danny Santana (45% HH) and Rougned Odor (41% HH) early and often in tournaments, and then throw in some Willie Calhoun and whatever cheaper lower of the order bats make it into the lineup.

A WHOLE BUNCH OF OVERLOOKED WEST COAST STUFF IN WEIRD SPOTS

This is just a strange trio of games for DFS purposes, and in those cases, this is the kind of stuff that typically just gets overlooked.

Blue Jays at MarinersTrent Thornton at Justus Sheffield
Yankees at DodgersJames Paxton at Hyun-Jin Ryu
Red Sox at PadresEduardo Rodriguez at Chris Paddack

We’ve got three of the best offenses in the league all facing good opposing pitchers with the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers. The Yankees righty power bats are cheap enough on DK/FDRFT to leave in the player pool, but I cannot prioritize anyone against a pitcher as good as Ryu. Gary Sanchez would be my top bat if going there, followed by Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge.

James Paxton has been off enough that Dodgers are viable, but this is still a high strikeout pitcher with a good bullpen behind him. My path here will simply be to build a Dodgers stack or two for large field multi-entry tournaments just in case, but this is so far down the list I can barely see it.

Chris Paddack has slipped enough in addition to allowing home runs that I am putting the Red Sox ahead of the Yankees and Dodgers on my list tonight. For the season, even before the slowdown, Paddack had just an average 22.3% K rate along with his fly balls and hard hits to lefties, while his strikeouts are a tougher 30% to righties, but with the same hard hits and fly balls. With those splits, Rafael Devers (.281 ISO) is the bat I would pick out individually here, while both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez have enough contact to be in play with their extreme power. I’m going to have some Boston stacks, centered around Devers.

The Padres have enough right-handed power to take a few swings against the falling strikeouts of Eduardo Rodriguez. They are a better team overall against lefties, but I still wouldn’t be getting here outside of max entry as a stack. We need hard hits against ERod, and that gives us the .413 ISO and 49% HH of Hunter Renfroe and the .354 ISO and 50% HH of Manny Machado.

The most intriguing game out here is the Blue Jays-Mariners. I mentioned Justus Sheffield in the pitching section, and this is going to be interesting to watch. We have a pitcher who has dominated at Double-A, but struggled anytime he’s come to a higher level. It still looks kind of weird that they are skipping him past Triple-A again, and makes it even tougher to guess what he does tonight. Between his earlier struggles and a bad Mariners bullpen, this is a very strong and affordable stacking option with the Blue Jays. Sheffield is a lefty, so if looking to pull out individual bats, start with the righty power, but I’m much more seeing this as a full stack and hope for the walk filled disaster.

Trent Thornton is also showing signs of wearing down, with a K% all the way down to 13.7% since the All-Star Break and an ERA up to 6.92. The Mariners are not a thrilling offense, but Dan Vogelbach is pretty high on my list with his .293 ISO, and I do see a full stack as worth a shot in large field tournaments. Even with far better teams in the other west coast games, this game is where I’m looking for my late night hammer.

Hitting Cliff Notes

I ended up liking a lot more offense than I thought I was going to, and can already tell you that I am going to spread out pretty far in tournaments tonight. In cash games, I’ll spend my money on Houston righties, and Milwaukee lefties, and in a perfect world, I’d be able to start with Alex Bregman, George Springer and Christian Yelich. I am also seeing much more that I like in terms of full stacks rather than individual bats in tournaments tonight, so that will be my starting point. I assume Houston, Tampa, Minnesota and maybe Milwaukee will be the most popular spots, but I think we’ve got enough to like that ownership should not be the deciding factor. These are my top overall stacks for tonight:

1) Houston Astros
2) Tampa Bay Rays
3) Minnesota Twins
4) Milwaukee Brewers
5) Philadelphia Phillies
6) Texas Rangers
7) Toronto Blue Jays

Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images

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About the Author

  • Dave Potts (CheeseIsGood)

  • One of the preeminent baseball minds in all of fantasy, Dave Potts, aka CheeseIsGood, has won contests at the highest levels of both season-long and DFS. He is a two-time winner of a million dollar first place prize in DFS; having won the 2014 FanDuel baseball live final and following that up by taking down a DraftKings Millionare Maker Tournament in 2015. In addition, he’s won the Main Event championship in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship and the NFBC Platinum League, which is the highest buy-in entry league. His consistent success in the NFBC tournaments recently earned him a prestigious spot in their Hall of Fame. Dave can also strum a mean guitar while carrying a tune and if you’re lucky, you’ll see him do so on one of his GrindersLive appearances. Follow Dave on Twitter – @DavePotts2.

Comments

  • papemerson

    No love for trevor Richard’s playing against Baltimore? With his K rate and matchup I’d figure hes the far better play than Lyles and folty, and if u really wanna get up there on tbe bats a Velasquez Richards pairing on DK has to be enticing no??

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    @papemerson said...

    No love for trevor Richard’s playing against Baltimore? With his K rate and matchup I’d figure hes the far better play than Lyles and folty, and if u really wanna get up there on tbe bats a Velasquez Richards pairing on DK has to be enticing no??

    If you trust that they are going to treat him like a starter, yes. He got up to 71 pitches last time out, so maybe they increase him, but I just hate dealing with these Tampa pitchers who don’t get any leash at all. Even in the minors they were throwing him 2 innings at a time, and it just seems like they see him more as a Jalen Beeks type 4-5 inning max kind of pitcher.

  • madik88

    I like your unique breakdown of players. Real and to the point.

  • ChrisGimino

    • 2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • 2016 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

  • rickkain29

    Cheese which do you prefer in Yahoo tournament?

    Cave/Kepler/Polanco/Sano/Castro with Bell/Merrifield/Grichuck or

    Cave/Kepler/Polanco/Sano/Castro/Cruz with Panik/Vogelbach?

    Thank you!

  • btmaresca

    Having a tough time with value bats on this slate for cash games. Anyone you like in particular?

  • CheeseIsGood

    MLB Premium Director

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    @btmaresca said...

    Having a tough time with value bats on this slate for cash games. Anyone you like in particular?

    Tampa is the place to go for cheap cash game bats

  • CheeseIsGood

    MLB Premium Director

    • 41

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #34

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • x2

      $1M Prize Winner

    • x2

      2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    @rickkain29 said...

    Cheese which do you prefer in Yahoo tournament?

    Cave/Kepler/Polanco/Sano/Castro with Bell/Merrifield/Grichuck or

    Cave/Kepler/Polanco/Sano/Castro/Cruz with Panik/Vogelbach?

    Thank you!

    If you’re stacking the Twins, put Cruz in there

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