Tonight, the MLB has seven games scheduled on the main DraftKings slate. These seven games could easily go down to four due to weather concerns. It looks like the Dodgers at Giants game is almost certainly going to be postponed. There are also concerns in Pittsburgh and Texas. We will break the slate down as if the games are a go, but be sure to monitor the weather accordingly.
I decided to change up the format of the article. I will provide you with my favorite top-tier, mid-tier, low-tier, and low-owned sneaky/risky pitcher.
Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU): $12,300 vs. SD
The highest priced pitcher on the board should also put up the most fantasy points. The Astros hurler is coming off a 10 strikeout game in just five innings pitched. Houston is picking up right where they left off and are rolling. The win and high strikeout upside make McCullers a must play in cash and a hard fade in GPP’s. The only reason to pivot is the price tag. $12,300 is steep on a night where the good hitters are expensive.
Luis Castillo (CIN): $8,700 @ PIT
The young Reds ace got lit up in his first start of the season against a tough Nationals team. Hopefully, this will lower ownership. He didn’t look great, but the talent is there and he should not be overlooked. Tonight, he will be pitching in one of the best pitchers ballparks in the MLB. The weather (if the game plays) will be cool which limits the hard contact and distance. Of all available pitchers this evening, Castillo had the highest strikeout rate at 27.3% in 2017. He owned a respectable 3.63 SIERA and 3.41 xFIP. Pittsburgh is not usually a team we like to pick on, but the upside is there tonight for Castillo.
Kevin Gausman (BAL): $5,600 @ NYY
A terrifying matchup, absolutely. The Yankees have an extremely powerful lineup. Not to mention Gausman gave up three homeruns in his season debut. But Kevin Gausman is a very intriguing pitcher. You will know early whether or not the good Gausman is on the mound. If he is, there is hardly any big leaguer who can hit him. If he’s off, he might as well be throwing beach balls. He has electric stuff with a ton of movement on his fastball. He can, however, lose his command and leave hanging pitches up for the taking. Quick note; Kevin Gausman has incredible split stats whenever Caleb Joseph is catching him behind the plate. This goes back to last year. It is the only constant variable I have found after an outing. If Joseph is starting, roll with Gausman. If Chance Sisco starts, stack the Yankees. Good Luck 🙂
Marco Estrada (TOR): $7,500 @ TEX
The best GPP pitcher on the board is Marco Estrada. The Texas Rangers have an implied run total of 4.97 which is not going to happen. Estrada is an off-speed pitcher who throws one of the best change-ups in the game. Disclaimer – Only start Estrada if Russel Martin starts. Estrada will defer to Martin and make the catcher call every single pitch. Martin is a veteran who knows how to mix up every different pitch in the arsenal. As a change-up specialist, Estrada has reserve split stats. He fairs much better against left-handed hitters than righties. The power-hitting bats to be scared of on the Rangers are all left-handed. With the high implied run total, the righty-lefty matchups, Texas will be a high-owned stack. Starting Marco Estrada is a great leverage pitcher to maximize fantasy production.
Chalk – High Owned Stacks:
1.) Houston Astros
The whole lineup will be high-owned. Paying down at pitching will give you exposure to the expensive studs. If you pay up for pitching, then the bottom half of the order is still affordable. Hard to fade against a bad pitcher who gives up a lot of homeruns in a good hitting ballpark.
2.) New York Yankees
They will be highly owned because they are the Yankees. On any night, they have five players who can each hit two homeruns. The risk is Kevin Gausman. If we get good Gausman, the Yankees make for a great fade. If we get gas can Gausman, your night is over early by fading. At 20%+ ownership, fading is the more wise choice.
3.) Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Moore is terrible. In 2017, Moore had a .438 wOBA to LHH with a .326 wOBA to RHH and a 1.39 HR/9. The Blue Jays are expected to score a lot of runs and are cheap to roster which will garner a fair share of ownership. With how bad the bullpen is, and the fact they are on the road, the Jays are in a great spot to stack.
Low Owned Stack
Los Angeles Angels
The Chicago Cubs are also a great stack as well, but due to the high cost, they might see the fourth most ownership. That puts the Angels in a very intriguing position. No one will be on them because of the late start and the other teams to target. However, Daniel Gossett is a pretty bad pitcher and the Angels have big power upside. Last year, Gossett had a 17% K rate, 4.76 SIERA, 21.2 HR/FB rate and 2.07 HR/9. Both right and left-handed batters hit him hard last year and the Angels have an improved lineup. This is a great late-night hammer team to stack at incredibly low-ownership.
Mike Trout $5,500 vs. OAK
Aaron Judge $5,300 vs. BAL
George Springer $5,100 vs. SD
Gregory Polanco $4,400 vs. CIN
Justin Upton $4,300 vs. OAK
Josh Reddick $4,000 vs. SD
Randal Grichuk $3,700 @ TEX
Kole Calhoun $3,400 vs. OAK
Steve Pearce $2,800 @ TEX
*Giancarlo Stanton has purposely been left off this list. I have watched every Yankee game this year (I’m not a Yankee fan, just a baseball fan) and feel like Stanton is going to struggle with adjusting to the AL pitching. Sure, he will get his homeruns, but he will also have a career high in strikeouts. Gausman is a strikeout pitcher who can get the better of Stanton. It is a bit of a hot take, but I will be fading him in all lineups.