Just 10 games in total on this travel Thursday with seven on the main slate. Just one main spot where weather could affect the game and our DFS play – that’s in New York where the Red Sox come to visit.
There is only one game with a total greater than 9.0 and that is in Arlington (KCR vs. TEX: 10.5) where the temps will lie in the mid-80’s and the Rangers the ultra-chalk with their massive 5.8 implied run total. Secondary chalk will be those high-flying Dodgers’ bats and the Indians against lefty gascan Manny Banuelos where they’re coming off a 14-run outing (kudos to Jose Ramirez for getting his average up above .200, sigh).
As of late Wednesday night, conflicting info regarding whether Felix Pena or Tyler Skaggs will get the start and that clearly makes a difference for our target bats among the Mariners, whether lefties or righties. Though both have are solid starters, it’d be better for our M’s stacks if it’s Pena the righty on the mound. There’s actually one SP on this slate with a lower groundball rate than Banuelos’ 35% and that’s the Brewers’ Chase Anderson (32.5%).
Not the best hitters’ weather, but that doesn’t seem to bother the scorching-hot Josh Bell whose tag is up to 5.7k on DraftKings.
Chalky Stacks: Rangers, Dodgers, Indians
Lower Percentage/Sneaky Stacks: Mariners, Red Sox, Pirates
Contrarian/Value Stacks: Angels, Royals
Favorite contrarian mini-stack: weather permitting it’s JD Martinez/Xander Bogaerts/Steve Pearce (BOS)
Core 4 for Cash:
DraftKings: Turner (LAD) + Pearce as OF (BOS) + Martinez (BOS) + Bell (PIT) – if BOS/NYY rains out then go Mallex Smith (SEA) + Shin Soo Choo (TEX)
FanDuel: Moran (PIT) + Choo (TEX) + Martinez (BOS) + Polanco (PIT)
*Indicates weather concern
Travis d’Arnaud (RH/TBR), Omar Narvaez (LH/SEA), Roberto Perez (RH/CLE), Yasmani Grandal (RH/MLW)
Interested in d’Arnaud because of price alone. He’s our resident punt today at just 2.2k and should be in the lineup. The former Mets’ project who couldn’t stay healthy is hitting just .133 in a small sample of 65 PA but has power and should flex some of that this season. Well, that is until Zunino and Perez are back from IL. Narvaez and Grandal are two guys we can trust in cash because of high walk rates (Omar: 9.9%, Grandal: 14.4%) and because they’re in good matchups. Grandal gets his preferred RHP and Narvaez his RHP as well. Perez much prefers righties as witnessed by his 55.6% HH and .265 ISO.
Carlos Santana (SW/CLE), Daniel Vogelbach (LH/SEA), Ronald Guzman (LH/TEX), David Freese (RH/LAD), Bell (SW/PIT)
PUNT: *Steve Pearce (RH/BOS)
You don’t really need me to write up Bell nor Cody Bellinger. Consider them always in play. Bell is hitting .390 with 4 HR in his last 10 and Bellinger is baseball’s best hitter to date. Lefties like Jason Vargas don’t faze him since he’s got a .459 wOBA against them this season. Oh, and 7 HR / 20 RBI in 80 PA against them.
Going down a bit cheaper, Santana is projected for a hefty point total but has much less power against lefties (.123 ISO compared to .233 vs RHP). But Banuelos is a walks-machine and Santana is one of the best at taking free passes with a walk rate near 17 percent. Vogelbach is your best power play as he’s been smashing with abandon, Freese is in play as he may be the cleanup guy against Vargas and Pearce is your DK punt option in a spot where BvP actually matters (11-for-35 with 6 HR against J.A. Happ).
Whit Merrifield (RH/KCR), Michael Chavis (RH/BOS), Rougned Odor (LH/TEX), Max Muncy (LH/LAD), Mike Moustakas (LH/MLW), Adam Frazier (LH/PIT)
Not a bad group at all. We could include Kike Hernandez (2B/OF on DK) if he leads off since he could certainly hit a bomb but he’s been putrid in May (hitting .162). Merrifield isn’t hitting lefties as well as we’re used to seeing (just .220 this season) but that can’t last long. His career average against LHP is .314 and he carries 70 more career ISO points against them (.203). Mous and Chavis are the ‘safe’ cash options while Frazier can fit on our PIT stack and Muncy is a nice contrarian play since it’s a LvL matchup for him. Muncy has been hitting lefties well though (.276 wOBA / .360 ISO) and we’ll have to hope Dave Roberts gets him in the lineup today.
Justin Turner (RH/LAD), Kyle Seager (LH/SEA), Asdrubal Cabrera (SW/TEX), Colin Moran (LH/PIT)
Moran was someone I told the season-long folks over at FantasyGuru to pick up for the last two weeks. He’s been playing every day and hitting well, including a three-run bomb yesterday. Love this matchup for him, and even more so, the $2400 tag on FanDuel. Turner and Asdrubal are your cash plays. Turner against a lefty is quite often an auto spot for us and at $3400 FD / $4200 DK, it’s very easy to stick him into the lineup. Seager is only a few games into his season and is still looking to go yard for the first time. He’s only $3400 on DK (but I still prefer Moran for just $3500 there).
Elvis Andrus (RH/TEX), Francisco Lindor (SW/CLE), Adalberto Mondesi (SW/KCR), *Xander Bogaerts (RH/BOS)
Andrus is usually a solid cash game play but it’s been a minute since he’s put up a nice score – last time was a couple weeks ago (21 DKP on 5/12 @ HOU). This feels like a good spot for the .313 hitter to get he and Stella their groove’s back. Lindor projects at the top today based upon matchup and other options listed. Mondesi is a swipes machine but he’ll have to get on base against Mike Minor – something that’s been hard to do these days. Bogaerts is almost always worth price of lineup admission when he’s facing a lefty. His .415 ISO against LHP ranks fifth in the majors behind teammate JD Martinez, Luplow and a couple 3B’s named Arenado and Chapman.
EXPENSIVE: *J.D. Martinez (RH/BOS), Christian Yelich (LH/MLW), Mike Trout (RH/LAA), Joey Gallo (DTD: wrist so keep an eye out) +Shin Soo Choo (LH’s/TEX)
Really don’t want to name every pricey hitter on the slate here because that’s not fair. Stands must be made. I’m doing that today with JDMart who is the league’s top lefty crusher of the past three seasons. Six dingers in just 45 PA against them and his .500 ISO just isn’t fair for any poor southpaw he may have to face. Most important thing here is that the weather holds up. Yelich has a good shot at hitting a bomb while Trout always does as well, but with a bit of a tougher matchup against Kikuchi. Though Kikuchi has allowed nine homers through his first 12 starts (not too shabby).
MIDRANGE: Nomar Mazara (LH/TEX), Pham/Avisail (RH’s/TBR), Mallex/Haniger (LH/RH/SEA), Polanco/Marte (LH/RH/PIT), Jordan Luplow (RH/CLE)
We’re looking to pair guys up here with some duos or mini-stacks (add a third; two hitters is NOT a mini-stack). Mallex and Haniger could work well as a contrarian combo with most focusing their lineups on Rangers, Indians and Dodgers. Though Mallex might be a popular one-off since he’s on a two-game hot streak and is just $2500 on FD. Haniger has fallen into mid-range territory price-wise since he’s had a rough patch this past month and has seen his average tumble down to .228 as we get ready to head into June. On the bright side, Haniger hit three homers this past week taking his total through these first 9.5 weeks up to 14. The Pirates guys are in play too because Chase Anderson has had some rough starts in his career against the Pirates. Polanco has 5 HR in 33 AB and Marte hits .481 (13-for-27) against him. Pair those two up with Frazier and Bell, and boom – there’s a stickity stack for ya! Luplow is in play anytime there’s a lefty on the mound. He has 6 HR in 49 PA against them this season to go with a whopping .477 ISO. Tough matchup for Banuelos and the lefties in this White Sox bullpen for sure. Don’t forget Pham who has been smashing and has the league’s sixth best average exit velocity (93.5 mph) and the third-most hard hits behind only Devers and Bell.
CHEAP: Chris Taylor (RH/LAD), Eloy Jimenez (RH/CHW), Greg Allen (SW/CLE), Jake Bauers (LH/CLE)
After hitting .171 in March and April, Taylor is doing damage at a .313 clip with 3 HR, 10 RBI in 70 plate appearances and is always in the lineup when there’s a lefty on the mound. Eloy is still far too cheap, Allen gives us exposure to a different part of the Indians’ lineup (yep, the bottom) but he’s a good baserunner and could swipe a bag or two at very low cost. Bauers has been one of baseball’s worst hitters but strangely enough has been hitting his fellow lefties better (.167 ISO vs LHP, .109 vs RHP). Either way, one of the worst power bats so far this year coming in 222nd in average exit velocity out of 321 qualified. Taylor is my preferred play from this batch.
Last, but not least, a BvP play others may use who you may want to fade and that’s Guillermo Heredia of the Rays. He’s 10-for-22 lifetime against Perez but most of that life was a previous one. A life where Martin Perez was not the dominant son of a bitch bad ass that he’s transformed himself into today.