We have a smallish seven game slate for MLB DFS tonight and we actually have a little more time than normal to get our teams done. The first game is scheduled for 7:40 EST instead of the normal 7PM or 7:05 starts. Gives us an extra 30 minutes or so to tinker with lineups before lock.
As for the games, we do have a Coors game on this slate between the Mets and Rockies. The Mets have a very soft matchup against Senzatela and the Rockies bullpen and project for the largest run total today by over a run at 7.5. On the flip side, the Rockies project for the third highest total at just over 6.
We also have a couple other high totals to note. The Oakland Athletics are at 6.3 runs today against the gas can known as Glenn Sparkman and the Royals. The Twins are a tad below the Rockies for the fourth highest total at 5.83, and then we have a drop off to the Diamondbacks at 5.5 and the Brewers and Cubs right above 5. Everyone else projects for under 5 runs on the day and a few of those teams face some top level pitching like Strasburg, Ray, and Berrios.
On such a small slate it is hard to avoid the obvious Mets chalk in Coors, so make sure you get some cash game exposure to them. In GPPs, it’s always a solid idea to fade uber-chalk, which the Mets will be on a small slate without a ton of options to swerve to. I still don’t think the Mets are a bad team to have exposure to even in GPPs, but just understand if you stack them, you won’t be alone in doing so.
Top Stacks: New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics
Sneaky Stacks: Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers
Top HR Call: Pete Alonso
10% HR Call: Aristedes Aquino
5% HR Call: Eugenio Suarez
Wilson Ramos – Ramos and Yasmani Grandal are about the same price on DK and I have Ramos projected much better. Grandal is viable as a GPP play, but he never goes unowned and the Brewers lineup is weaker with Yelich going down. Ramos hits in the middle of the Mets order and draws a weak matchup and one of the best park upgrades in baseball. He’s the only catcher I have on DraftKings projected for over 10 points today, including Grandal, so he makes sense as the number one option to pay up for.
Yasmani Grandal – This is a weak position, so I can’t ignore the fact that Grandal is on this slate, at home in a HR friendly park, and facing a weak RHP in his preferred split. I can’t find a cheap catcher option I like as anything other than a punt, so it looks like a position to spend up on for me today.
Mitch Garver – Not the ideal split for Garver, but Reynaldo Lopez can be bad. He has a Jeckyll and Hyde performance pattern where sometimes he is really good and sometimes he just flat out sucks against everyone he faces. That makes Garver a GPP option for me today as bad Lopez could get slaughtered here against a potent offense. He’s well below both of the guys above him here in cash games, but also way better than the slew of punt options I would have to use below him. Normally I try to hit different price points for you guys to have some options for lineup building, but these three are clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field and I can’t justify using any cheap options as more than a punt for salary saving purposes.
Pete Alonso – No surprise here as my top HR call today ends up as my #1 1B option. The Mets have the highest team total on the board and face one of the worst starters on this slate along with one of the worst bullpens behind him. Expect him to be chalky as hell, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has the highest expectation and ceiling.
Matt Olsen – Glenn Sparkman is a guy I always like to pick on and Vegas agrees that it’s a good idea with the Athletics having the second highest total. Olsen has power and hits in the meat of the A’s order. He’s a discount to Alonso and likely comes in way lower owned. For a guy on a high expected total team, you may end up seeing him at under 15% on a seven game slate, which is nice if it turns out as expected.
Daniel Murphy – Again here at 1B on DK I don’t see much I am willing to drop down for. On FanDuel, however, I think Murphy is mispriced at $3300 against his old team. I know it’s not an ideal matchup in a LvL spot, but I don’t envision Matz going deep into this game. I also think the Rockies can get to him, and with Murphy’s spot in the middle of the lineup and some high on base RHBs in front of him, he should at the very least have a lot of RBI opportunities. Murphy is coming off a series vs. SD where he went 6-for-10 with multiple extra base hits and a bunch of RBI, so he appears locked in at the moment.
Robinson Cano – I am not likely to pay up for Cano outside of Coors game stacks today, but he does project as one of the highest owned guys and one of the top scorers. I just think in GPPs, this is the kind of guy you might consider fading. He’s hit safely in six games, so I’m not saying he hasn’t been better, but it’s been a tough season for him as his average is still just .265. On DK, you can also play Jeff McNeil at second base and I like him a lot more than Cano at nearly the same price. On FD, McNeil is OF only and we’ll discuss him later.
Ketel Marte – With a lot of viable options in the same price range in games people will target more, I think Marte flies a bit under the radar here. I like the matchup for him against Pablo Lopez who seems to be struggling in his last few starts. Lopez has not only been giving up more hits, but has allowed six homers in the last four games, too. Arizona is a much better park for hitters, so this is a downgrade for Lopez. Marte has shown some pop in that bat this year that I did not think he had. The underlying numbers (ISO, wOBA, HR/FB rates) all show that it’s not really a fluke. Not many 2B options have high upside, but Marte not only has it but his team has a high total and he may go a bit overlooked on this slate.
Luis Arraez – We have a slew of guys who are cheap and we could use like Yolmer Sanchez, Greg Garcia, or Kolten Wong. When you look for the softest matchup and the best overall player at a cheap price point, Arraez stands out from the bunch. I know he may lack elite upside, but the guy is consistent, and the Twins project to put up runs today. Garcia and Sanchez lack upside too and Wong has a much tougher matchup with Strasburg, so Arraez just fits. Lopez struggles with giving up homers, struggles with lefties, and projects to give up runs here today. Some of those other guys hit higher up in the order, but I think that benefits Arraez today as he may see some RBI opportunities the other lead off men likely will not see.
Nolan Arenado – Arenado at home against a lefty has been a near autoplay over the years. I see him projected for 16-18 points on FD and a few lower than that on DK. That is not only the highest projection at the position but also the highest hitter projection I have for the entire slate at any position. His numbers vs. Lefties are ridiculous over the years with a wOBA over .400 and an ISO score hovering over .300. He is likely the chalk 3B but you can’t ignore or fade the #1 overall projected bat in the best hitter’s park on a seven game slate.
Eugenio Suarez – Suarez is not the caliber of Arenado nor does he have the same numbers, but he is elite in his own right against LHP. Cole Hamels is not as dominant as he was in his younger days and Eugenio Suarez is arguably having his best season ever, including seven homers over the last 10 games in 38 at-bats. His ceiling is the only one I can compare to Arenado’s today, especially with him being red hot at the plate.
Eduardo Escobar – This is arguably the most stacked position today as the names we didn’t mention include Machado, Moustakos, Bryant, and Rendon. Even Moncada, Sano, and Chapman for slightly cheaper are excellent plays. The guy I’m using though is Escobar. The D-Backs project well here, and with Lopez serving up homers lately, I’m looking to capture some of that positive upside. The power numbers are surprisingly better for Ketel Marte today, but Escobar has also been solid. I like the idea of mini stacking the two of them together and maybe even adding a third bat like Christian Walker to that mix. Chapman is the other guy down in that low $3K range on FD, and like I said, the depth of talent at this position makes me think using a 3B in the Util spot on FD to get exposure to two of them is a good idea.
Trevor Story – Although not as elite as Arenado, Story is not far off and neither are his projections here. He is another guy with absolutely elite numbers against lefties and they are even better when he faces a lefty at home in his hitter friendly park. I debated whether or not to include a guy like Trea Turner as a GPP swerve, but, honestly, I have a tough time not finding the extra couple bucks to just get up to Story today. On paper he is just elite in this matchup and his team has one of the highest totals on the day. He’s pricey, and you have to choose which elite options you want today, but I can’t knock his production or matchup.
Adalberto Mondesi – Definitely more of a GPP play, but if you want to get off the chalk and still have a chance to end up with the highest scoring player, he’s the guy to go to. At $4300 on DK and $3300 on FD, he is a big discount to Story. Mondesi has not been getting on base like we hoped he would, but when he does, it’s often fireworks. He has a very min/max kind of return to his fantasy days as the good ones are slate winners with 20-30 fantasy point upside, but he has a lot of zero’s and low single digit numbers too. This is the kind of guy you avoid in cash for the lack of consistency, but his ceiling games can win you a GPP if you get him on the right day where he gets on a few times, steals a few bases, and ends up scoring a couple runs.
Jose Iglesias – We have two cheap options with decent lineup real estate here and neither really has a soft matchup. I prefer Iglesias to Miguel Rojas though as I prefer to pick on Hamels v. Robbie Ray. Both guys have identical batting averages, but Iglesias has slightly better numbers v. LHP. He also has double the homers although neither guy is really a power threat. The final kicker was that Cincy does project for half a run more than Miami tonight. Neither projects for over 4, so it’s not like either is in a great spot, but Iglesias is also a couple hundred cheaper. Nothing moves the needle huge for me, but a lot of things slightly favor Iglesias, which also makes me slightly favor him if you are looking to go cheap.
Michael Conforto – I have Conforto projected over Blackmon as the top overall outfield option on this slate. Remember the Mets have the huge team total so it’s not crazy to see so many of them on the list. Conforto hits in the heart of that order that is expected to put up runs. He projects well in his preferred split against Senzatela, and the Rockies bullpen is garbage, so he should have a chance to keep racking up fantasy points even in late inning at-bats.
Jeff McNeil – Remember he is 2B eligible on DK if you want to use him there, but he also has OF eligibility, which is the only place you can play him on FD. He projects for another good game today and I like him in all formats. The matchup gives him added upside potential and his consistently solid production make him a top cash game play even at the elevated price and projected ownership today.
Charlie Blackmon – This is a guy I am willing to fade today. It’s not that I don’t like his skill set, but LvL is not his best split and you can’t fit in every expensive bat in Coors today. I’m not going to pretend you don’t want to play him, just that I like other guys more. With that said, he does project for the second most points on this slate even in what is a less than ideal spot. I’m going to fade him in GPPs, but I have to mention him as he is projected to be a top play on the day.
Aristedes Aquino – I know the sample size needs more before we can look at it realistically, but the early returns on Aquino against lefties is off the charts. I doubt it remains this high as that would make him the best statistical hitter in baseball against southpaws, but it does show that even in limited ABs, this guy rakes. His mid range FD price really stood out to me. I think he is even safe enough to play in cash, but the real reason I love him is HR upside and the ceiling that could lead to.
Nelson Cruz – The Twins are also in an elite spot here and so far a tad under appreciated in this write up. That’s because the meat of that batting order all play the OF positions. Cruz is the most expensive, and even though it’s his weaker splits, the numbers are still elite against righties over the years. Lopez does serve up a lot of homers and few guys have shown the power Cruz has over the last decade.
Max Kepler – Nowhere near as elite as Cruz or as consistent, but he does draw his preferred split. The projections for all of the top Twins bats in the order are elite and Kepler is a big upside guy with HR power. In cash I’m not trying to jam him in, nor am I targeting him as a top one off play. Still if you make a Twins stack and don’t include Kepler I think you are living dangerously as he does have upside and faces a guy that has served up upside to hitters like him.
Kyle Schwarber – Always a boom or bust kind of guy, but I like the matchup here for a boom. I don’t know how long Gausman stays in this game, but targeting lefties with power against him was something I did with success when he was in Baltimore and even Atlanta after that. Gausman has worked mostly out of the bullpen, so we may only see him for one or two at-bats against the top of the lineup before giving way to a slew of relievers to finish this off. Still it only takes one swing for upside from a guy like Schwarber and he has been better lately. Still a boom or bust guy with a lot of zeros, but multiple hits in three of the last four games for him and he does have power as evidenced by the 36 HRs on the year. More GPP than cash, but definitely a guy with a good ceiling.
Ian Desmond – I said I’m fading Blackmon today because of the price and wrong handedness of his splits. The opposite is true of Desmond who I have used more. Desmond prefers lefties and they get Matz here today. Desmond also is a lot cheaper than Blackmon and you need some cheaper options with so many higher priced guys in better spots we want to jam in from this Coors game.
Eddie Rosario – I love the FD price of $3K and I also love the matchup we spoke of already against Reynaldo Lopez. Rosario had cooled off a bit before exploding the last two games for 4 hits in 8 ABs with three of them being home runs. He now has over 30 on the year and is sitting on 99 RBI. I’m willing to bet he gets number 100 today as the matchup is ideal and he’s swinging a hot bat for a high projected total team.
Trent Grisham – One of my favorite cheaper options today is Trent Grisham. He doesn’t have the power behind him that he used to, but guys like Grandal and Moustakos can still drive in runs. Grisham had a good year at AAA before his call up, and with the Brewers OF options being banged up, he has filled in with some decent games. I like him more in cash and more on FD at that sub $3K price. At $4K on DK he is nowhere near as good a bargain and remember he is not an elite upside guy either. A couple hits, some runs scored and maybe an RBI or so is about the best we can hope for. On FD at sub $3K he doesn’t need to be great to get value. On DK, it feels like he might. He has the right splits and all to make some noise, but he’s mostly on the list as a cash salary saver.