Million Dollar Musings: Thursday, July 12th

Is your lineup Premium Approved? In this space, either CheeseIsGood or STLCardinals84 will break down the slate from top-to-bottom like no one else in the industry can – exploring the matchups from every angle, steering you toward the best plays on the day, and helping you become a better and more complete DFS player as you continually expose yourself to the “process” and the “why,” rather than just looking at the “what.” Have a boat? We’ll teach you how to fish.

Thursday, July 12th

Happy Thursday! We’ve got a slimmed down seven-game slate tonight, but even with fewer games there is once again no shortage of strong pitching options tonight. There are enough top pitchers to fill a full slate, and choosing between them tonight will likely be quite a chore. With so many good pitchers, that also means the offensive ownership is going to be very clustered around a couple teams. I’ll do what I can to point out some places to be different, but there really just isn’t much there.

THURSDAY NIGHT ACE PARTY

THE BEST OF THE GREAT

Max Scherzer at Mets – Even on a loaded slate, Scherzer stands alone at the top with a 35.4% strikeout rate that is easily the highest on the board, along with a low 6.4% walks rate. He has nine or more strikeouts in 14 of his 19 starts and even more remarkably, has allowed more than two runs only three times all year. Even more crazy than only allowing three runs on three different occasions is that two of those came against the Marlins. Baseball is weird. But, outside of those wonky Marlins starts, he has just been lights out and there’s no reason to expect any different tonight. Adding to the fact that he’s the clear top option is a Mets team that isn’t very good. Tonight’s projected lineup has a 24.5% strikeout rate and only a couple bats that will be any threat to his fly ball style. With his salary and so many other great pitchers, he is not an absolute must play by any means, but he’s definitely the guy you want if you can afford him.

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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 he followed that up with a win at the 2015 DraftKings baseball live final. 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. He can also strum a mean guitar and carry a tune and if you’re lucky, you’ll see him do so on one of his GrindersLive appearances.

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Comments

  • Thanks for the breakdown once again, Cheese. Much needed on a loaded pitching slate. Regarding Kluber and his decrease in strikeout rate for this season: Are you seeing anything specific that is causing this? Plate IQ seems to believe he’s relying on the fastball/sinker more this year in terms of pitch selection. I’m curious to know if you think this lower strikeout rate is something we can expect to see moving forward or if you’re seeing any improvements lately that may lead to him getting back to the Klubot of old. Thanks again!

  • Jchab87

    Great write up I’m just trying to figure out how Stripling is an easy play in cash as an sp2 with Max. Which positions are you completely punting at to fit in some decent bats? Thanks

  • CheeseIsGood

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    @Slip_Jimmy_Wet_Boy_Slerm said...

    Thanks for the breakdown once again, Cheese. Much needed on a loaded pitching slate. Regarding Kluber and his decrease in strikeout rate for this season: Are you seeing anything specific that is causing this? Plate IQ seems to believe he’s relying on the fastball/sinker more this year in terms of pitch selection. I’m curious to know if you think this lower strikeout rate is something we can expect to see moving forward or if you’re seeing any improvements lately that may lead to him getting back to the Klubot of old. Thanks again!

    The important thing to note here is that Kluber is not pitching poorly, and this lowered strikeout rate is not anything bad. In fact, it’s the exact opposite in real life. The very best pitchers in the league, of which Kluber belongs, can do whatever they want. I don’t know if this was his decision or something the team told him to do, but he just doesn’t appear to care about strikeouts, like you say he is throwing more sinkers, pitching to a little more contact, lowering the walks even more than usual, and the results have been outstanding in real life.
    Anytime he wants to ramp up the strikeouts, he can do it, and that adds some danger to fading him, but unless there’s a clear change in his approach, I’m just going to go on assuming that he is not concerning himself with strikeouts right now.
    The 2017 34.1% K rate was the clear outlier in his career, as the only year where he wasn’t throwing over 30% sinkers. The rest of his career, including this year he has been between 25-28% K, and I’m assuming that is just who he will continue to be.
    Elite ace in real life, very good DFS pitcher, but not in the Scherzer/Sale category.

  • Kttulu

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    Is it crazy to play Happ tonight? Red sox still arent amazing against lefties besides the big boys and they’ve struggled against him in not too small of a sample

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    @Kttulu said...

    Is it crazy to play Happ tonight? Red sox still arent amazing against lefties besides the big boys and they’ve struggled against him in not too small of a sample

    Not crazy on DK. He’s basically the same salary as Skaggs/Price, and he has almost the same skill set as Skaggs this season, and has more raw strikeout ability than Price. Between the ballpark, his shaky recent form and the top of the Red Sox lineup, he missed my cut, but not by much.

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    @Jchab87 said...

    Great write up I’m just trying to figure out how Stripling is an easy play in cash as an sp2 with Max. Which positions are you completely punting at to fit in some decent bats? Thanks

    “easy” is probably not the right term, I simply mean that he is the only one in that second tier of aces that is workable. I’ll post a list of some of my favorite values when lineups come out, but I’ll be happily punting several positions with subpar plays to make it work.

  • mbunner23

    It’s going to be hard to find bats with a Max/Stripling combo in cash. Would you rather take a chance on Skaggs or Taillion as an SP2, with some bigger bats such as Pederson/Rendon/Turner, or use Stripling and reach for some value plays?

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    @mbunner23 said...

    It’s going to be hard to find bats with a Max/Stripling combo in cash. Would you rather take a chance on Skaggs or Taillion as an SP2, with some bigger bats such as Pederson/Rendon/Turner, or use Stripling and reach for some value plays?

    If you’re going to punt SP2, I’d just punt it all the way to Taillon. I prefer Skaggs in tournies, just becasue there is some risk with the return from the DL.

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