We’ve got a big 12 game slate to kick this week of MLB DFS action. The AL East is representing hard today with the Red Sox having a monster 7+ team total, while the Yankees come in second with a 6.6 team total and a game total in double digits. I really can’t argue against either of those options. I think both teams end up chalky today. On a 12 game slate, I’m always a tad more willing to play chalkier teams, even in a GPP. The number of options tends to spread ownership out more than you would expect it to be and these really are the best spots on the day to target if ownership wasn’t a concern. My early cash teams are heavy on both of these lineups, but it’s not the easiest build to make, as none of the main pieces we like are cheap on either team.
For a day with this many games, we don’t really have a ton of team totals much above 5. The Brewers are at 5.4 against the Pirates. I’m not in love with ballpark downgrade in Pittsburgh for them, but they do profile well against the youngster Agrazal. The Indians are at 5.2, the Rays and Mets at 5.1 and we are still waiting on the totals for the Yankees/Orioles and Angels/Reds. I doubt the Angels get above 5 against Luis Castillo, leaving the Reds as the only other team we have to consider here. The matchup is not bad for them against the young lefty, but without Puig the lineup against southpaws is weaker than it has been all season. With so many teams projected for decent, but not great production it only makes the Red Sox and Yankees totals stand out even more.
Chalky Stack I Like: Yankees, Red Sox
Sneaky Stack: Rays, Indians, Dodgers, Royals
Top HR Call: JD Martinez
10% HR Call: Freddie Freeman
5% HR Call: David Peralta
- Yasmani Grandal – $3K on FanDuel actually makes me a tad interested as I think the Brewers are under looked tonight. Still I probably won’t play a catcher outside of a stack on FD, but Grandal would be one of the few I’d consider and one of the better options to pay for on DK. In Pitt and against a GB pitcher I wouldn’t go heavy on him, but I do think the lefties in that lineup profile well today
- Travis D’Arnaud – As long as he keeps that C eligibility, he’s a viable option. D’Arnaud is a legit hitter, which is why they have found a spot for him at DH/1B to keep that bat in the lineup. The young pitcher Waguespack from Toronto hasn’t been horrible, but he has not been lights out either. This is a very tough matchup for him and I do expect the Rays to get some runs. D’Arnaud is the rare catcher eligible player that doesn’t hit 7-9 in his order. In fact he’s been hitting clean up, right in the middle of the action and producing.
- Brian McCann – I debated McCann v. Stephen Vogt, as both are cheap on FD and relatively cheaper on DK as well. One thing we know about Odorizzi is that you can tag him for a HR and McCann has power. He is also hitting 5th or 6th lately, which makes him another guy with rare good lineup real estate for the catching position. I trust him a tad more than Vogt, because I’d rather have a guy hitting in Minnesota than one hitting in SF.
- Freddie Freeman – I have Freeman as one of my HR calls today against Jake Odorizzi in a hitter friendly Twins home ballpark. Odorizzi is known to allow the occasional home run, which is why I think this is a pretty solid play. His splits this year are outside of his norm. He’s been known more as reverse splits guy over the years, but has been tougher on RHBs and struggling more with lefties this year. Freeman is an elite lefty against right-handed pitching and has a 150 wRC+ since 2016 with over a .400 wOBA and a big .256 ISO score. All of those are very good numbers.
- Josh Bell – This is going to be very low owned, but I like Bell a lot today. His price is mid range compared to many of the other high-end options and he should go overlooked playing at home in Pittsburgh tonight. Jordan Lyles is Jekyll and Hyde with alternating good and bad starts. His HR/9 is way up this year though and his struggles have come mostly against lefties. Bell is becoming an elite lefty bat and one other people tend not to play, which gives him great GPP appeal based on his upside and likely low ownership.
- Sam Travis – Travis does one thing well and that’s crush left-handed pitching. He’ll likely end up hitting 6th or 7th tonight for the Red Sox with that high 7+ team total. Travis faces a lefty in Montgomery that he should be able to score fantasy points against. Add in the dirt-cheap price and you can understand why he makes the list of you need to save some salary.
- Gleyber Torres – So the Yanks have the second highest team total on the day at 6.6 and they are missing most of the guys who normally hit in the middle of the order (Stanton, Sanchez, Voit, Encarnacion). That leaves a void I expect Gleyber to step into. You don’t get many 2nd baseman with upside and even less of them with upside and good lineup real estate. Gleyber seems underpriced for his new role due to all the injuries and in a matchup this good in a ballpark this good, you have to respect that.
- Max Muncy – Again, the position is so weak that when you have a guy with upside who hits up in the order you jump on it. The matchup and ballpark are nowhere near as good for Muncy as they are for Torres, but the ownership is likely to reflect that. We have less than a handful of second baseman that can go off for big numbers on this slate and given the difference in projected ownership, Muncy is a very solid GPP option vs. the much chalkier Torres.
- Scooter Gennett – I debated Scooter v. Adam Frazier and frankly it was very close. Frazier just lacks upside and at least I can see Gennett having a bigger game. The trade took him from one of the best hitter’s parks to one of the worst in SF, so his numbers will suffer, but the guy does always hit righties well. Wacha has been real bad this year. His HR/9 is over 2 vs. under 1 for his career and that has led to the ERA and xFIP over 5 from under 4 in his career. Righties do and have tended to hit Wacha better, but right now I don’t trust Wacha against any hitter
- Rafael Devers – I love Devers, but not usually in the same handed spots or at this price point for it, but I can’t ignore my projections which still have him projected as the highest scoring player on the slate at the position. I do think we have to many good options in the upper tier to go cheap here today. I didn’t even include a guy like Kris Bryant who I also like a lot on this list and he could easily end up the top scorer at the position too. Still if you do decide to pay up, the Red Sox total just stands out and not having some exposure to Devers makes little sense if you expect that offense to go off like I do.
- Eugenio Suarez – Always lower owned than he should be and he draws his preferred split matchup in his homer friendly home ballpark today. Suarez has elite numbers against lefties and he draws an Angels youngster making his debut on the road in a good hitter’s park. The Reds don’t have enough firepower for me to love the stack, but Suarez projects as the best bat to attack the rookie with.
- Justin Turner – So one thing that has always been an issue with Wacha is his ability to get out righties in same-handed matchups. He’s actually tougher on lefties this year and throughout his career. Justin Turner is one of those righties that also crushes in same-handed spots. He owns a 136 wRC+ with a .372 wOBA since 2016. He is even cheaper than Suarez and well below Devers. He should also have low ownership.
- Xander Bogaerts – Red Sox heavy yes, but Bogaerts has a dream matchup. He draws a weak lefty and he crushed lefties his whole career. Since 2016 he owns a 125 wRC+, although he does lack power. Still the Red Sox huge team total and the lineup spot behind Mookie and Devers and in front of JD is a dream play to be.
- Didi Gregorious – With the Yanks middle of the order players dropping like flies (Sanchez, Stanton, E5, Voit) you should see Gleyber and Didi batting in those spots until everyone gets healthy. That is why I love the Yankee duo up the middle today as they are still priced like back end of the order hitters (Although not cheap), despite now being in line for major lineup real estate upgrades. Throw in the fact they have one of the softer matchups against a Baltimore team we love to pick on in a ballpark we love to pick on them and it’s not hard to see why Didi will be popular.
- Corey Seager – Seager is cheap and I really like the Dodgers today as I have very little faith in Wacha. I have a lot more of the top two guys even though I think they both end up a tad chalky. Francisco Lindor and Brandon Crawford also made the short list, but they too were far behind Didi and Bogaerts for me. There’s a list of possible names to play, but I would be heaviest on the top two at the position.
- JD Martinez – JD Martinez against a LHP is an auto-play for me. Not only does he have a ridiculous season going against them, but over the last few years dating back to 2016 he owns an eye popping 185 wRC+ with a .450 wOBA and a .345 ISO score against southpaws.
- Mookie Betts – Not as elite as JD, but a 140 wRC+ over the same period of time is still amazingly good. He has a .386 wOBA with a .246 ISO score to get there against lefties and remember the Red Sox have the towering team total.
- Aaron Judge – About the only elite bat left for the Yankees, at least at the high end. Judge’s numbers are still ridiculous, the Yanks have the second highest team total, and it’s against the Orioles and that suspect bullpen in Baltimore. That’s a lot of positive check marks.
- Christian Yelich – 37 homers is elite, the 153 wRC+ against RHP is elite, the .402 wOBA since 2016 is silly. I know the kid he faces is a heavy GB guy so maybe the upside is sapped in a good pitcher’s park like Pittsburgh, but Yelich should never be low owned and with a lot of other high end options today he may slip through the cracks a bit.
- Franmil Reyes – I like Yasiel Puig and even Oscar Mercado too as both guys project well here, but for the price Reyes is my favorite of the Cleveland Outfielders. He is good, although not super elite against lefties, but at the price he offers the best bang for the buck. I have all three of the Indians outfielders on my short list today, so feel free to play them all, but I wanted to mention Reyes because at $3K on FD, he is the one I have used a bit already this morning.
- Kevin Kiermaier – The FD price is what really had me interested in him today. He has HR and SB upside, although not elite. He does have the ability to be elite though and is priced like a scrub getting a one-time start on FD. Kiermaier has a good matchup as I expect the Rays to crush Waguespack kid from Toronto and get into that bullpen early.
- Juan Soto – Soto is going to be one of my favorite plays today and is very likely to go overlooked. Samardzija has shown the inability to get out lefties. Now this ballpark is not good for lefties, but even without a power shot I think Soto can rack up some hits and RBI/runs scored and be a viable option.
- David Peralta – If you need a punt with upside today, I love me some David Peralta. Vincent Velasquez has always sucked with lefties and HRs. He gives up tons of fly balls and many of them end up over the fence. His HR/9 this year is over 2 and while power does come from both sides of the plate against him, lefties have the higher BA and wOBA.