MLB Grind Down: Thursday, June 20th - LAA @ TOR
LA Angels at Toronto – 7:07 PM ET
The fact that Jose Suarez is $8,800 on DraftKings (the 5th highest priced pitcher) tells you this is not a normal slate. Suarez is only $6,300 on FanDuel and just $28 on Yahoo, so you’ll want to get your exposure to Suarez on those two sites instead. Suarez is a 21-year old lefty who has impressed in his 16 innings this season. His minor league numbers weren’t eye popping, but he’s held his own so far. The main appeal here is the matchup against a below-average Blue Jays team. The Jays are actually league-average in K% against lefties, but they own a team wRC+ of just 79, meaning it wouldn’t shock me if Suarez had some success here. Even against this Blue Jays team I can’t get myself to pay $8,800 in any format for Suarez. I think he’s still a bit too risky in GPPs even at $6,300 on FanDuel, but I can see some merit to using him at just $28 on Yahoo as an SP2.
Quick Breakdown: We don’t have much of a sample on Suarez and the main appeal here is the matchup against the Blue Jays. He’s too expensive for me on DraftKings and I think he’s too risky on FanDuel, but $28 on Yahoo is at least intriguing. For the most part I’ll likely be underweight on Suarez.
The Angels have the lowest strikeout rate in the league against left-handed pitching while Clayton Richard has an ugly 12.6 K% and 13.7 BB%. The Angels also have the best hitter on the planet, and they have Mike Trout (I was referring to Tommy La Stella if you were wondering). This is a pass for me.
Quick Breakdown: The matchup, low strikeouts and high walk rate are enough red flags for me with Clayton Richard.
Batter Grind Down
The Angels have so many good players they basically told Cesar Puello to go away and banished him to Miami via a trade. The Angels are one of my favorite stacks on this slate given they should make a ton of contact against Richard, and their lineup is so deep from top to bottom. Mike Trout is expensive, but if you can find a way to get him into your cash game lineup, I would just do it. Trout is right there with a cheap Jose Altuve as my favorite cash game options.
Justin Upton, Albert Pujols, David Fletcher and Jonathan Lucroy will also hold the platoon-advantage over Richard, and I like them in that order. I suspect the lefties of Shohei Ohtani, Tommy La Stella and Kole Calhoun may go a bit overlooked, but I would absolutely include them in my Angels stacks.
My plan is to build multiple Angels stacks on Thursday and rotate my exposure so that I’m getting pieces of everyone regardless of their handedness.
Stackability – BLUE
As a team, the Blue Jays have not been good against left-handed pitching this season. While I normally have interest in stacking against a 21-year old rookie, the Jays have so many holes in this lineup. The Jays profile as a better team to pick one-offs from to fill out your rosters as opposed to a full stack. Lourdes Gurriel has the best numbers against lefties so I’m fine with him as a GPP dart throw. Lefties Eric Sogard and Rowdy Tellez have actually hit lefties well this season, and I would include them in a Blue Jays stack. People will see the lefty-on-lefty matchup and they’ll probably be unowned on this slate, but they each have ISOs of .230+ against southpaws. The most appealing options on the Blue Jays are Randal Grichuk and Vlad Guerrero Jr, as they are cheap across the industry and will hold the platoon advantage.
I don’t see any Elite plays on the Blue Jays, with Grichuk and Vlad being the closest things to cash game options. I suppose even Danny Jansen at his eternal dirt-cheap price is fine if you wanted to punt the catcher position with someone holding the platoon advantage. I don’t mind a full stack in large-field tournaments, but I would have to be building 15-20 teams before I got to a Blue Jays stack.
Elite Plays – None
Stackability – ORANGE