- The Essentials
- Daily DFS
- SaberSim Observations
- Tomorrow’s Targets
1. The Essentials
I spent last night up with a sick partner and a needy dog. I’m running on fumes so today’s column will be stripped to the bare essentials. These are not to be confused with the bear necessities. I believe those are meat, salmon, berries, water, and a winter cave. I don’t intend to expound any further on the subject.
2. Daily DFS
Early: Five games are early, and the pitching talent is certainly front loaded. Jake Arrieta, David Price, Carlos Carrasco, and Justin Verlander headline a slate that also includes Gio Gonzalez at Atlanta and Anthony DeSclafani versus Jameson Taillon.
Arrieta is the easy top choice, but he also costs the most. The Cubs ace is opposed by a strikeout prone Brewers roster. A complete game, 12 strikeout start is within reach for Arrieta. Of course, the Brewers do have a certain degree of explosiveness, and the Cubs are playing second string lineups.
The Carrasco-Verlander start should be an exciting both game. Both aces are slightly homer prone, and both lineups have a knack for launching big flies. It’s notable that the game will be played in Cleveland. Progressive Field is very friendly to left-handed power (i.e. the Indians lineup) and stingy to right-handed power (i.e. the Tigers lineup).
Late: We’re left with 10 games for the evening slate. The lonely ace is Yu Darvish. He’s tasked with slowing down a hot Athletics lineup. Despite failing to pitch beyond the seventh inning, Darvish is still posting ace quality numbers. He isn’t quite hitting the big upside point totals, but he’s been consistently above average. Perhaps today’s the day Darvish posts 10 strikeouts and more than seven innings.
Chris Tillman is a frustrating DFS asset. Just check his scores for the last three games: 39, -12, and 39 points on FanDuel. A matchup against the Rays should work in his favor, but they have a few lefty bats well suited to Camden Yards.
Seth Lugo and Ervin Santana square off in the “sure why not?” battle. Santana occasionally pitches deep into a game with a decent strikeout total. Lugo has the sexy spin rates. Neither offense is scary.
My preferred bargain play is Jon Gray at Coors Field against the Padres. Gray has experienced plenty of success at home, although he’s faded down the stretch. Five of his last seven outings have been ruinous to DFS owners including starts against the Marlins, Phillies, and the self-same Padres.
3. SaberSim Observations
SaberSim is experiencing some hiccups this morning. Arismendy Alcantara is the top rated pitcher (preserved for posterity), followed by Arrieta, Carrasco, Darvish, Gonzalez, and James Paxton. Even though I own Paxton all over the place, I can’t quite trust him in large slate DFS contests. Or maybe it’s because I own him in so many formats.
The Coors game, Pirates, Cubs, Nationals, Reds, Orioles, and Red Sox look like the best stacks. I’ll throw the Rangers in the hat since I don’t expect Arismendy nor Raul Alcantara to pitch that well.
4. Tomorrow’s Targets
Pitchers to Start: Tomorrow features a trio of rookie studs, an old guy, and Robbie Ray. The Diamondbacks (dare I say) ace draws an entirely left-handed Dodgers lineup. He should chew through the L.A. lineup with minimal resistance.
Pitchers to Exploit:
Brock Keyvius Sampson looks to be having a decent season on the surface. A 3.41 ERA with 9.73 K/9 is a vast improvement on his past work. Unfortunately, he remains homer prone (1.70 HR/9), and he’s walked 5.59 BB/9. Most of his work has been out of the bullpen too. The Pirates lineup should have no problem ripping into the soft underbelly of the Red bullpen.
Also consider: Keyvius Sampson, Daniel Norris, Trevor Bauer, Kyle Gibson, Wade Miley, Matt Wisler, Andrew Cashner, Alec Asher, Wily Peralta, Ross Detwiler, Alex Meyer, Albert Suarez, Jarred Cosart, Chad Bettis, CC Sabathia
Hitters (power): The Athletics have found a small treasure in the form of Ryon Healy. The righty slugger is an opposite-handed facsimile of Jake Lamb, one with much lower walk and strikeout rates. The end result should be a higher average than Lamb, comparable OBP, and similar home run numbers.
Hitters (speed): Rajai Davis‘ ownership is still up around 40 percent, but he’s available in leagues with aggressive owners. The Indians have been using him less and less against right-handed pitchers. Davis is a power-speed double threat when facing a southpaw like Norris.
You can follow me on twitter @BaseballATeam