MLB Grind Down: Thursday, June 20th - TBR @ OAK
Tampa Bay at Oakland – 10:07 PM ET
The same argument I just made for Jake Odorizzi is the same argument I’m going to make with Charlie Morton. He’s by no means a bad pitcher and probably carries the highest floor out of any pitcher on this slate. But at $11,300 on DraftKings / $10,500 on FanDuel against against an A’s team that ranks among the bottom third of the league in K%, it just feels overpriced. It’s kind of like when you go on a date and there’s a guy selling $10 single roses outside the restaurant. The rose isn’t worth it, but there’s safety in buying it.
You can certainly use Morton in cash games as he does have a 30.6 K% and is probably the best real-life pitcher on today’s slate, but like Odorizzi, I just feel like it’s better to pay down today and hope one of these other pitchers can outperform him from a point-per-dollar perspective. I’m planning to keep Odorrizi and Morton in my pitcher player pool, but neither are options I’m trying to be overweight on.
Quick Breakdown: Morton feels overpriced and unnecessary in cash games, and is someone I’m really only looking at if you want the floor. The matchup itself isn’t an elite one and I’d rather pay down and chase the upside of some cheaper pitchers.
Let me just admit my bias in that I’ve never been a Frankie Montas guy, but perhaps I need to change my stance on him. He had a 15.2 K% last season but it’s climbed up to 25.7% this season. He’s also cut his walk rate from 7.4% to 6.1%, and his HR/9 ratio remains low at just 0.66. My problem with Montas here is that he’s being priced as an ace and I’d rather just find the extra funds to go up to Odorizzi or go down and take the savings with someone in the mid-tier. The matchup against the Rays isn’t a great one either, as they own a team wRC+ of 111 against right-handed pitching this season. Montas is someone I plan to be underweight on for these reasons.
Quick Breakdown: With the matchup being tough and his price point in no-man’s land, I don’t see myself targeting Montas on this slate as I’d rather go up and get Odorizzi or pay down for a cheaper option in a better matchup.
Batter Grind Down
While I likely won’t have many shares of Montas tonight, I don’t plan on picking on him much either. The Rays have the third lowest projected team total with just the Giants and Marlins behind them. Montas has been slightly worse against lefties, which puts Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe, Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermaier at the top of my list. We aren’t getting much of a price discount on them either despite the tough matchup with Montas, meaning I expect them to be very low owned. If your goal is to find a 5% owned stack and hope it goes off, then feel free to give the Rays a look. I probably wouldn’t even consider the stack until I got to 20+ lineups, but the main reason to target them here is more because of their low ownership as opposed to this matchup or ballpark factors being good.
Elite Plays – None
Stackability – RED
Charlie Morton isn’t a pitcher I want to go out of my way to pick on for a 10-game slate. He’s been fantastic against both sides of the plate and has reduced both his HR/9 and BB% rates this season. He’s been slightly worse against left-handers meaning Matt Olson would be my main target here, but he’s not someone I’m going out of my way to roster. Khris Davis also remains too cheap at just $3,800 on DraftKings / $10 on Yahoo, so I am fine with some tournament exposure to him. For the most part, I’m just crossing off Oakland from my list of targets. If they beat Morton and I don’t have much exposure, I can live with that as I think that’s the right process play.
Elite Plays – None
Stackability – RED