- Debate Cancelled
- The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
- Daily DFS
- SaberSim Observations
- Tomorrow’s Targets
- Factor Grid
1. Debate Cancelled
Today’s debate, aka” The RotoGraphs Chat” is cancelled. If you have last minute questions pertaining to winning a league championship, hit me in the comments or on Twitter. If you’re just itching to resolve your keeper picks four months early, I suggest you put them out of your mind for awhile. Revisit them in January with a fresh perspective and a new ream of offseason analysis.
2. The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
It was an ugly day for 14 of us in the TDG Invite, but FantasyJude had no issues. He got double-dongs from Jonathan Villar and Robinson Cano en route to 187 points. And if he hadn’t taken a stiff negative from Jaime Garcia, he could have easily eclipsed 200 points. Many Congrats. The leaderboard is updated.
Same ol’ same ol’ on DraftKings tonight.
3. Daily DFS
All 15 games are in the main slate. Even though there’s a quint-ace of Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, David Price, and Noah Syndergaard, there’s really only one I see as a viable play. Any guesses? The Tigers are in desperation mode which means relying on their horse to carry them to victory. Scherzer and Price are making tune up outings and Sale showed mortality against the Phillies last week (I’m sure not paying $14,000 for him again). Thor is probably limited for health reasons.
Fortunately plenty of second tier options exist. Julio Teheran, John Lackey, Jerad Eickhoff, Kevin Gausman, Ian Kennedy, Felix Hernandez, Aaron Sanchez, Adam Wainwright, and Jose De Leon are all viable.
Like Detroit with Verlander, the Orioles have a horse, and they need him to win this likely preview of the Wild Card game. Unlike Detroit, Baltimore has a lot of trust in their bullpen. Gausman is returning from an intercostal strain. If he’s fully healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go eight innings. Then again, they might turn to the pen at the very first sign of trouble. As we all know, the Blue Jays offense is dangerous. This should be a pitching duel between two young up-and-coming stars.
I’m usually wary of Kennedy. If you’re on FanDuel, he’s a very good bet to earn a victory while tossing six innings. That’s an easy 30 points with upside for more. I’m less enamored on DraftKings where the win is only worth four points.
De Leon will be everybody’s favorite wild card. The righty has the stuff to slice through the Padres lineup like a scalpel. All young pitchers are volatile, and De Leon has had some trouble with serving up fat pitches. He’s not my first pick for a DFS pitcher.
Bargain hunters may consider German Marquez. The righty posted excellent numbers in the minors, but he’s had some trouble with command in 10 major league innings. I wouldn’t count on strikeouts or a long outing. On the plus side, he’s facing an icy Giants offense.
4. SaberSim Observations
Scherzer, Sale, Syndergaard, De Leon, and Matt Moore top the charts today. SaberSim is tossing De Leon the highest odds for a win despite a (correct) projection for fewer than six innings. I’m not buying Syndergaard as the guy with the longest outing. That has to be Verlander – at least on paper. Moore’s matchup against the Rockies is fine. He’s just so infuriating.
Nationals, Red Sox, Trout, Cus, White Sox, Tigers, Dodgers, Rangers, Blue Jays, Brewers, and Astros look like the top stacks by projection.
5. Tomorrow’s Targets
Pitchers to Start: Yep, I’m the crazy guy who keeps recommending Adam Morgan. The thing is, he has a 3.86 ERA in 42 innings since adding a sinker. The pitch itself is still below average, but that’s a vast improvement on his double-minus four seamer. It’s allowed his plus changeup and above average slider to play up. Now he can actually post quality starts. He’s not immune to meltdowns, but he’s no longer an automatic dumpster fire.
Pitchers to Exploit: Sonny Gray returns to a major league mound near you (if you happen to live near L.A.). He was so terrible earlier this season. Everybody will be watching for some sign of recovery. Keeper decisions will be made from this start. I’m anticipating a very low pitch count.
Hitters (power): The Diamondbacks are facing a mediocre lefty which means you should load up on Welington Castillo, Rickie Weeks, Mitch Haniger, Yasmany Tomas, and others. Weeks has been sitting more often than not despite an OPS above 1.000 versus southpaws.
Hitters (speed): Cameron Maybin remains a fantastic, well-round option on the wire. With his high average ahead of the Detroit big boppers, he’s a lock for three category production.
6. The Factor Grid
The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.
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