Flipping the Script (MLB) - Thursday 4/11
I am just your average DFS player who has found a way to become profitable in a cash game setting. For most of us, DFS is a losing battle and I am here to give an easy break down of the top plays in both the NBA, NHL, and MLB on larger slates.
Thursday, April 11
Happy Thursday everyone! We’re a day closer to the weekend but before we get there we have two more MLB slates to cover. Hopefully you followed along to my write-up yesterday as three of my four stacks absolutely crushed, with the only dud being the Phillies getting hammered 15-1 by the Nationals. Tonight we have a smaller five game slate starting at 7:10pm ET so I will be smaller on my entries and focusing more on lower owned, high upside GPP plays. As mentioned in my first MLB article, the format of the blog will be similar to that of my NHL articles, with three separate categories: Pitcher (High, Mid, Lower-Tier), Top Teams to Stack, and Best One-Off Plays. Before we get to it, let’s take a quick look at my cash-game MLB lineup for 4/10:
- P – Noah Syndergaard (NYM) – 36
- C/1B – Matt Adams (WAS) – 23
- 2B – Brian Dozier (WAS) – 18.6
- 3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – 47.1
- SS – Marcus Semien (OAK) – 15.4
- OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – 47.4
- OF – Robbie Grossman (OAK) – 6
- OF – Mallex Smith (SEA) – 25.2
- UTIL – Jay Bruce (SEA) – 12.2
230.9 —- 180.2
Recap: As I mentioned yesterday the top arm of the slate was going to by Noah Syndergaard if you could afford him. After that I was targeting Robbie Ray, who was highly owned, and Jordan Lyles, who was facing a free swinging team with the wind blowing hard in from centerfield. I ended up sticking with Syndergaard as he felt like the safest option on the board. He ended up pitching well but ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth inning, giving up all four of the runs he allowed on the night.
My top team stack of the night was the Oakland Athletics as they had a juicy matchup against Dan Straily, who quite frankly does not belong pitching on a major league baseball team. I plugged in Matt Chapman and Khris Davis as my top two plays and then ended up finishing the full team stack when I saw Marcus Semien would be hitting second with Robbie Grossman leading off. As expected, the stack worked out as Chapman and Davis both put up 47+ FDP, accounting for nearly half of my team’s points on their own.
After going with my Oakland Stack, it was then a toss-up for me whether I was going to go with the Mets or Seattle as my next target. I ended up going with Mallex Smith and Jay Bruce and looking back they scored similar points to what I would have gotten from the Mets. With barely any money left I was left to decide whether or not to play Chris Davis at first base and eat the 0 for just $500, but when it was announced Matt Adams would be starting and hitting fifth at the minimum price of $2,000 it made that decision easy. I quickly paired Adams with Dozier as I expected both teams to hit the ball around and Dozier was one of my top one-off plays of the day yesterday so I felt confident in those selections. By 10:30pm ET it was 15-1 Nationals, with Dozier and Adams playing a pretty large role in the beat down as they both crushed their price-per-dollar valuation.
Overall we finished with a final score of 230.9 which cashed in double-ups, quintuple-ups, as well as my one GPP lineup. Like I have mentioned before, stick to the process even when things do not seem to be going right because sometimes everything finally works out as it should and you finish with scores like I did last night.
With that being said, let’s get to today’s top MLB tournament plays of the day:
1. Joe Musgrove ($9,000) vs. Chicago Cubs – Musgrove is the most expensive pitcher on the main slate tonight as he faces off against a struggling Chicago Cubs team that has started the season 3-8. None of the stats jump off the page when looking at Musgrove, but we saw what Jordan Lyles was able to do last night and Musgrove has far better stuff than Lyles. His projected ownership is not as high as I thought it would be, so Musgrove stands out as a solid GPP pitching option tonight.
2. Jon Gray ($8,500) vs. San Francisco Giants – Ownership percentages is one of the biggest factors in winning a GPP on smaller slates like this one. Gray projects to be one of the highest owned arms tonight as he has a 24.8% strikeout rate to go along with a high swinging strike rate and high ground ball rate. When you combine that with the ballpark upgrade going from Colorado to San Francisco and the lack of dangerous hitters in that lineup, it is no wonder Gray sits atop the projections. Luckily if we decide Gray is the play at pitcher, there are still plenty of ways to diversify our lineups enough to try and take down that elusive tournament.
1. Nathan Eovaldi ($6,800) vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Nathan Eovaldi is what we would consider an average major league pitcher. His statistics back that claim as he does not have any numbers that really jump out as negatives or positives. The reason I would consider using him tonight is due to his cheap price with a matchup against a Blue Jays team that has struggled all year (aside from roughing up Chris Sale) to hit the baseball. I will continue to target pitchers against this offense until they prove that they’ve turned their misfortunes around. With a $2,200 discount off of Joe Musgrave, Eovaldi allows you to play some of the more expensive bats on the slate which is something I will be looking to do.
Jeff Samardzija ($5,900) vs. Colorado Rockies – I doubt I will be reaching down this far at pitcher tonight, especially when looking at Samardzija’s statistics, but this Rockies offense has been struggling and now have to go on the road to try and turn things around in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the MLB. It really is a dart throw and I definitely would rather pay the extra $900 for Eovaldi, but I am sure there will be some trying to catch lightning in a bottle with Samardzija one last time before he decided to hang up his cleats for good.
Top Team to Stack
1. vs. Aaron Sanchez (TOR)
From a tournament standpoint this is not really a sneaky stack. However, with just five games tonight and Vegas giving the Red Sox the highest implied run total tonight, I just don’t see how you can completely fade this game with so many big bats in the Boston lineup. Sanchez is by no means a terrible pitcher, but the last time he was truly relevant was back in 2016. His first two starts of 2019 have looked good, but the high walk rate, low strikeout rate, and high SIERA tell us that the Red Sox are in a good spot against Sanchez. The splits favor left-handed hitters so I would start your strategizing with Andrew Benintendi ($3,600), Mitch Moreland ($3,700, and Rafael Devers ($3,100). As always, Mookie Betts ($4,800) and J.D. Martinez ($4,600) are matchup proof so they are both viable options as well if you can afford them.
2. vs. Jose Quintana (CHC)
Vegas currently has the O/U set at 10 right now, but I am honestly not sure if it should be that high. It is definitely windy again in Chicago but the wind are blowing right to left rather than in or out. Therefore, the conditions do not seem like they will affect hitters or pitchers too much. With such a high implied game total, plenty of people will flock to the Cubs lineup as they’re also a pretty heavy favorite. These are all the things that make me want to stack this Pirates team even more than I already did. Quintana has struggled to find his form in the early going, but that has been the case for most of the Cubs starting pitching. The Pirates have a couple of right handed bats I will be targeting tonight starting with one of my favorite plays Starling Marte ($3,400). His price has come down quite a bit and the power/peed combination he gives us is what we are looking for to help carry our lineup. After Marte I would be looking at a guy like Jung Ho Kang ($2,600) who is also cheap and has plenty of power potential. The last hitter on my radar from this Pirates team is Pablo Reyes ($2,000), who is 8-25 with three home runs, a .360 ISO, and .450 wOBA in his short career against lefty pitchers. For the minimum price you could do worse.
3. vs. Pedro Avila (SD)
For the longest time Arizona was always considered to be a mini Coors Field, as there were often offensive fireworks night in and night out in the desert. Those times have passed us by and this Diamondbacks lineup is nowhere near as scary as it once was. However, they are a pesky bunch and get to face a 22-year-old who is making his first major league start after only pitching one game in AA this season and never having pitched above high-A ball before that. When we look at his minor league stats the first thing that jumps out to me is that his ERA was inflated due to an extremely high BABIP. Despite this, I always want to pick on guys making their first start in the bigs especially when they have not had time to pitch at a high minor league level. I don’t mind targeting both righties and lefties in this matchup, but I will be focused on Jarrod Dyson ($2,700) if he leads off, as well as Eduardo Escobar ($2,700) and David Peralta ($3,700). If you’re completing a full stack you can also consider Adam Jones ($3,800) or Ketel Marte ($3,600).
Best One-Off Plays
Michael Conforto ($4,000) vs. Kevin Gausman (ATL) – Michael Conforto has been one of the most consistent hitters to start the season and gets to take on Kevin Gausman tonight in a park that favors left-handed power bats. With that, I honestly would not shy away from considering a full Mets stack tonight as they were my fourth favorite team to target. However, I am planning on using at least Conforto as a one-off, but also would not be surprised if a guy like Robinson Cano ($3,200) or Brandon Nimmo ($2,700) also found their way into my lineup with Conforto.
Charlie Blackmon ($3,700) vs. Jeff Samardzija (SF) – As I briefly mentioned earlier, Samardzija’s peripheral statistics are atrocious. He does not strike anyone out, walks too many hitters, gives up plenty of fly balls, and does not induce weak contact. Despite this game being played in San Francisco, you can make a case that the Rockies could go as one of the lowest owned teams with one of the best matchups on paper. The ballpark does limit the upside but with Blackmon at only $3,700 you’d be rostering a guy with power and speed upside for far less than his usual price.
Fernando Tatis ($3,300) vs. Zack Godley (ARI) – Godley is a guy who’s velocity has decreased and with that so have his strikeouts and weak contact. What has gone up is his walk rate and hard contact, which does not bode well when taking on a team with some power. Tatis stands out to me as one of the better tournament plays of the night as he is just $3,300 but as we have seen so far this season, he can crush value at that price due to his raw ability to hit for power. Shortstop is a relatively weak position tonight, so I will be locking in Tatis in my tournament lineups.
Wil Myers ($3,200) vs. Zack Godley (ARI) – If you are in need of another outfielder with power and speed potential, Wil Myers is a great choice at a price under $3,500. He has hit safely in each of his last three games and is looking to finally have a full, healthy season under his belt as injuries have slowed his once promising career. If you’re really trying to get sneaky, a mini stack of Myers and Tatis is firmly in play.
Billy McKinney ($2,300) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) – Although I think Eovaldi is in a good spot against Toronto tonight, there is still the potential that another Red Sox starting pitcher gets hit around. Even if that is not the case, McKinney has been swinging the bat well and is one of the Blue Jays top prospects. He should be hitting close to the top of the order and at just $2,300 saves you plenty of salary to go out and get the Mookie Betts of the world.
I hope all of this information helps those who have been struggling a bit and I look forward to continuing to cover the NBA, NHL, and MLB. Best of luck tonight flipping the script! As always, leave any comments or suggestions below.