Joey Ricotta| June 24th, 2019
A small slate of games on deck for tonight with one potential rain out. The New York Yankees are huge favorites at home. Meanwhile, the wind should be blowing heavily straight out to center at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Let’s take a look at some core plays and stacks for tonight that can help us maneuver around the madness we call DFS.
At first glance, I really wanted to play Adam Plutko because of his price tag and a softer match-up against the Kansas City Royals at home. Taking a second look, I still want to play him, but the weather has me scared off. The game in Cleveland has potential to postponed or delayed, meaning at the very least the pitchers could get pulled early. So, we had to dive a little deeper to gather some backup plans.
Jon Gray ($9,800 on DK and $8,500 on FD)
Jon Gray has the type of swing and miss stuff that we are looking for. Earlier in the season, against these San Francisco Giants, Gray racked up 20.2 Draftkings points after going 6.2 innings, allowing only one run, and striking out six. The Giants have the third-worst wRC+ (80) and wOBA (.290) against righties this season. They strikeout 23.2% of the time, enough to be fantasy relevant.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,700 on DK and $8,400 on FD)
E-Rod gives us a nice solid floor for cash games. Over his last five starts, he has gotten no fewer than 13.4 Draftkings points and averaged 20.66 points during that stretch. He has a good 9.73 K/9 and an excellent 29.1% hard hit percentage against. According to Fangraphs Sabersim projections, he is projected to throw a little over six innings and gather 17.61 DK points tonight. I’ll take that as a floor on a night where the pitching match-ups aren’t the greatest across the board.
Other Targets: Clayton Kershaw, Lucas Giolito (GPP Only), and CC Sabathia.
2B Robinson Cano ($3,200 on DK and $3,000 on FD)
I watched a lot of the past series against the Chicago Cubs and while Cano faced some tough lefty-lefty match-ups, he got a little unlucky at times. When he hit the ball hard, the BABIP gods were not on his side. Cano still has extra base-hit and power potential and albeit a small sample size, he is 3-5 with a home run against Zach Eflin who is projected to get the ball tonight for the Phillies.
SS Didi Gregorius ($3,700 on DK and $2,900 on FD)
The New York Yankees are getting healthy and that’s terrifying for the rest of the league. Sir Didi is projected to hit towards the bottom of the Yankees order, but when you’re surrounded by mashers and facing an ineffective pitcher, we don’t need him to get five at-bats to pay off his salary. He still might end up getting that many at-bats, if the Yankees produce how I expect them to tonight. Gregorius is 5-13 lifetime vs Sanchez with three extra base-hits.
OF Kyle Schwarber ($3,900 on DK and $3,100 on FD
When I put him in the daily article, you put him in your lineup. It’s as simple as that. Besides all of the research that goes into these things, Schwarber just seems to be one of the guys I always get right. Knock on wood. He’s in a great spot tonight at home against Julio Teheran and the Braves. The wind should be howling out to dead center at Wrigley Field. Schwarber is 4-9 with a double lifetime vs Teheran. His 52.5% hard hit% ranks eighth in all of baseball.
Other Targets: Anthony Rizzo, J.T. Realmuto, Scott Kingery, Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, and Josh Donaldson.
Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, and Justin Turner vs Zack Greinke
They have combined to go 27-77 (.351) with six homers, 15 RBI, and nine doubles.
ATL @ CHC
Again, the wind is expected to be blowing out to dead center at 15 MPH+. Julio Teheran hasn’t been bad, but he has a 5.08 xFIP and is walking too many batters at an 11.5% clip. His 0.93 HR/9 is a solid number, but the wind blowing out at Wrigley will bring any pitcher’s home run rate up. The Cubs bats should be licking their chops, especially the lefties. Left-handed batters have a .336 career wOBA vs Teheran. Other than Freddie Freeman (who crushes lefties), the Braves are loaded with right-handed bats. Jon Lester has a 4.84 FIP and 1.88 HR/9 rates vs righties this season. 12 of his 14 home runs allowed have been to that side of the dish.
NYY vs Aaron Sanchez
Sanchez owns a 3-9 record with a 5.49 ERA and 5.48 FIP, indicating that he is getting lit up exactly how he should be. The Yankees are getting healthier and even stronger. Scary. Especially since they’ve homered in 26 consecutive games now. Sanchez doesn’t strikeout many, only a 17.9% K rate and walks too many, with a 12.4% walk rate. Even if he doesn’t get lit up, he probably won’t last long if he racks up the pitch count, and the Blue Jays bullpen isn’t exactly a team strength.
LAD vs Zack Greinke
The BvP numbers are definitely working in the Dodgers favor with the three players aforementioned. The Dodgers are one of the best offenses in baseball and they have a 116 wRC+ vs right-handers which ranks the best.
COL vs Drew Pomeranz
When you hear many people throughout the industry liking a pitcher or player for that matter, the caliber of Drew Pomeranz, it’s an easy fade for me. Sure, if he helps your lineup construction salary-wise and you feel good about it, go ahead and plug him into some lineups.
PHI vs Steven Matz
The Phillies profile well vs Matz. They have a 40.7% team hard contact rate vs southpaws and Vegas has the over/under for this game set at 10, with the Phillies as the favorites to win the game. Matz has faced the Phillies twice already and seen mixed results. The last time he went six innings, allowing only one run on three hits. The first time he faced them was in Philadelphia where he got yanked in the very first inning, after allowing six earned runs and two homers. My gut tells me his second trip to Philly will be much like the first one, unpleasant.
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