It’s Monday which means a smaller than normal slate, so maybe today we build a lineup together and you get some insight as to how this whole DFS thing works — at least in my mind. Feel free to comment with how you would have done things differently!
First, let’s look for vulnerable pitchers we can key in on:
- Grayson Rodriguez – after being sent down to the minors he’s back with the big club, so he and his 7.35 ERA have the task of taking on the NL West-leading Dodgers.
- Quinn Priester – Welcome to the Show. The Pirates prospect will make his big league debut today against the Guardians.
- Brandon Williamson – this game has an over/under of 10 runs and with Logan Webb on the hill for the Giants, it seems like perhaps the damage will come at the expense of Williamson.
- Jordan Lyles – Lyles takes his 1-11 record and 6.42 ERA into Kauffman Stadium today against the visiting Tigers.
- Luis Severino – Severino and his 7.38 ERA and 1.80 WHIP visit the Angels today.
- Paul Blackburn – Blackburn and his 4.86 ERA and 1.54 WHIP are at home today against the Red Sox.
Surely there will be plenty of runs scored in the other games not listed here, but we have to narrow it down somehow, right? Well, we pull up FanDuel and see that sure enough all of the pitchers listed above are the cheapest options (with the exception of Xzavion Curry of the Guardians will likely just be an “opener” as opposed to a “starter”), with Rodriguez being the highest priced one at $7700 and Williamson being the lowest priced one at $6400. It seems like we’re on the right track, so what now? While we’re here let’s identify a starting pitcher to target (listed highest cost to lower cost):
- Logan Webb – 8.5 K per 9 IP : SF -156 ML
- Jesus Luzardo – 10.1 K/9 : -104
- Logan Gilbert – 9.0 : -142
- Sonny Gray – 8.0 : +120
- Mackenzie Gore – 11.7 : +132
- Griffin Canning – 9.9 : -130
- Dane Dunning – 5.2 : +110
- Matt Manning – 6.0 : -134
- Emmet Sheehan – 9.0 : -102
- Miles Mikolas – 7.3 : -112
- Drew Smyly – 8.7 : -156
We want our SP to get as many strikeouts as possible, while also providing a chance to win the game and/or chalking up a Quality Start. I’m not a fan of using the highest-priced pitcher unless it’s a slam dunk (i.e. high strikeout pitcher Spencer Strider vs Twins which is the team that strikes out most per game in the MLB). In this case, Cincy has a stout lineup in a hitter’s park so I’ll shy away from Webb, and despite the Giants’ record, they do not have a formidable lineup that gives me confidence that they’ll win. Gilbert goes against those Twins, but he’s probably going to be the most highly rostered pitcher and we want to differentiate our lineup a bit. I like Jesus Luzardo who has a high strikeout rate and gives us a decent shot to win according to Vegas, but the price tag is too high ($10,300). Let’s go with Mackenzie Gore who has the highest K per 9 rate on the board and is cheaper at $9200. Vegas doesn’t give him a great chance at a W at +132, but the Cubs are middle of the pack as far as team batting averages go against LHP (.261) while the Nats are fourth best (.278) and going against LHP Drew Smyly so maybe we can rack up the K’s and get a quality start. If we get a W it’ll be gravy.
So who are our hitters? I’m looking for an offense I can stack, so that means I won’t be using the Tigers against Lyles or the Giants against Williamson. I like the Red Sox lefties against Blackburn, but with the game being played in cavernous Oakland Coliseum, we’re going to pass. That leaves us with the Dodgers, Guardians, and Angels.
The LAD @ BAL game has the higher O/U at 9.5 runs and has the better hitting conditions according to BallparkPal.com, so let’s look there first. There’s no history between Rodriguez and the Dodgers’ hitters, but when we look at his splits we see he’s much more generous to lefty hitters. Does anyone come to mind???? Of course, Freddie Freeman. He’ll cost us ($4300) but his ownership isn’t crazy high at around 11% and he’ll be the cornerstone of our offense. Optimally we’d also use the leadoff hitter, but in this case, it’s Mookie Betts. He’s red hot but we won’t be able to afford all the most expensive options in the same lineup, plus his ownership will be pretty high (projected to be around 15%). Max Muncy has 21 HR on the year so you could use him at 3B, but there’s a hotter hitter for the Guardians that I like more. Honestly, there isn’t much more in this lineup I love so let’s go to the other games and see what’s what.
As I mentioned, Quinn Priester will be making his MLB debut and conditions should be good enough at PNC that we can use some Guardians hitters. With Priester being a righty, you know I love Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor. Ramirez is on the high side as far as projected rostership goes (13%) but I’m penciling him in; Naylor is projected to be at about 9%. I’m throwing in the leadoff hitter for the Guardians too, Steven Kwan (7%).
The Angels’ lineup is where I’m going to save money. Zach Neto is back from injury and is projected to be the leadoff hitter (about 11% ownership). Even without Mike Trout we want to focus on the top of the order, especially with Ohtani hitting behind him. Mickey Moniak (4% ownership) has been great as long as an RHP is in there and that is what we have tonight in Severino; he’ll likely bat cleanup.
We still need a cheap OF option so I’m going back to the Dodgers. Jason Heyward might not play, so I’m looking to veteran David Peralta (1%) to provide some production. It’s not optimal since he’s likely batting 6th in the order, but we need a cheap option and I wanted it to come from the Dodgers.
I’m left with $3000 to spend on my 2B, so who is available? Well, he’s not on the Dodgers, Guardians, or Angels, but when I see the league leader in hits sitting there it’s hard to pass him up. I’ll take Luis Arraez against Miles Mikolas; he’s another leadoff hitter and at just 4% ownership. He probably won’t give you power, but a few base hits and a couple of runs will rack up the points too.
The DFS Lineup (Fanduel)
So that’s it! Here it is:
- P: Mackenzie Gore (WAS) – $9200
- 1B/C: Freddie Freeman (LAD) – $4300
- 2B: Luis Arraez (MIA) – $3000
- 3B: Jose Ramirez (CLE) – $3900
- SS: Zach Neto (LAA) – $2800
- OF: Steven Kwan (CLE) – $2800
- OF: Mickey Moniak (LAA) – $3200
- OF: David Peralta (LAD) – $2500
- UTIL: Josh Naylor (CLE) – $3300
This is a FanDuel lineup built for more of a GPP game as opposed to a cash game, so roster construction could look different depending on what sportsbook you use, what type of game you play, and how much risk you want to take.
Jesus Luzardo ALT 6+ K/Logan Gilbert ALT 6+ K parlay (-104 at FanDuel)
SF @ CIN ALT under 10.5 runs (-138): the Reds offense is due for a breakout after scoring a total of 3 runs in 3 games since the AS break, but not so sure it will come against Webb, plus I’m not sold the Giants hitters can hold up their end of the bargain
Nationals Moneyline : I like the Nats and Gore to shut down the Cubs and the Nats to get some runs off of Smyly