The main-slate on DraftKings this evening brings us nine games with a lot of projected offense. There are four games set at a 9 o/u, with a few more at 8.5. Looking at the starting pitching options, it is quite clear as to why there are a lot of runs expected.
A lot of value is available, which is perfect for taking down GPP’s. Usually, people pay up for the expensive studs and will punt at a position. Making sure to find important value players will set us apart while shooting up the leaderboard. Let’s dive into the slate and find out which players will win us all the money!
Clayton Kershaw is starting tonight which means he is always in consideration. At $12,200 lineup construction becomes uncomfortable. This is concerning with how many great hitter options are on the board. Arizona is a tough matchup and Kershaw did not look elite in his first outing against the Giants. There is a reason to fade. Verlander and Anderson are in the second tier. Verlander has an incredible matchup against an Orioles team who love to strike out. He’s a great start when building a cash game lineup, but we need to get a little weird and contrarian.
Top 5 GPP Pitchers (point per dollar):
Zack Godley (ARI): $9,000 vs. LAD
As a salary saving option from the top tier, Zack Godley becomes a top pitching option, in order to fit in high priced hitters. Godley is one of the more underrated starting pitchers in the MLB. In 2017, the young hurler posted a 26.3% strikeout rate and 3.67 SIERA. Although this is definitely a tough matchup, against Kershaw no less, Godley will be significantly lower owned with GPP winning upside. Arizona has a great offense to help with run support. There is risk attached to Godley, no doubt. But he should be able to produce a high enough floor in a low-scoring game.
J.A. Happ (TOR): $7,900 vs. CWS
Most will look at the first game Happ pitched and shy away from rostering the lefty. He had the displeasure of taking on the Yankees on opening day. He faired pretty well allowing just two earned runs on four hits while striking out five batters through 4.2 innings. Happ is a precision pitcher who won’t overwhelm anyone with velocity or breaking stuff. However, he can hit the corners and freeze inexperienced hitters. The White Sox are a very young and raw team with a lot of talent. They do strike out a lot though. Happ could get tagged for a homerun or two, but he will limit the number of hits and walks which should give him a nice fantasy point floor.
With a ton of offense expected tonight, paying up will be important. There are a few who stick out more than others. The Astros will undoubtedly be one of the higher owned stacks, for good reason. The Blue Jays should also see a healthy amount of ownership, being the second team with an implied run total over five. In GPP’s it is important to fade the highest owned hitters because as we know, the best batter can give us a zero on any given night.
Top 5 GPP stacks:
1.) Colorado Rockies
2.) Atlanta Braves
3.) Milwaukee Brewers
4.) New York Mets
5.) Philadelphia Phillies
Chris Iannetta (COL): $3,500 @ SD
The west-coast games usually go under-owned in main slates because of the late start time. Hopefully, this is the case this eveing as well. Colorado could also go overlooked due to the “pitchers park” mentality of Petco Park. The park has seen a lot more homeruns in recent years, playing as a neutral ballpark in 2017. Chris Iannetta slugged 17 homers last season in 316 at-bats while owning a .257 ISO and 285 wRC+. He has great power and will take on a very poor starting pitcher, Tyson Ross.
Eric Thames (MIL): $4,100 vs. STL
Be sure to check the starting lineup before rostering Eric Thames tonight. The Brewers are rotating through a few hitters, giving everyone an opportunity. Thames crushed his first homerun of 2018 campaign yesterday off righty Miles Mikolas. Tonight, he will stare down another right-handed pitcher, Jack Flaherty. The starting pitcher had extreme splits in 2017 and there is no reason to believe he has made drastic changes. Against right-handed batters, Flaherty owned an impressive .266 wOBA. Against lefties though, a terrible .448 wOBA. Thames should have no problem going yard again today if he is in the lineup.
DJ LeMahieu (COL): $4,300 @ SD
At second base and the second piece to a Rockies tack, LeMahieu is a great low-owned option. Right-handed batters destroy Tyson Ross and LeMahieu is one of the best hitters in the game. He is not a power hitter, so a homerun shouldn’t be expected. He will, however, get on base, potentially swipe a bag, and be driven in. It is important to stack teams on the road because you are guaranteed the extra 9th inning at-bat.
Nolan Arenado (COL): $4,600 @ SD
Arguably the best player on the night is third baseman Nolan Arenado. While Charlie Blackmon will garner the most ownership in this game (righty-lefty platoon), Tyson Ross is a reverse splits pitcher. Meaning he gives up far more power to the right-handed hitters. In 2017, Ross had a .338 wOBA to lefties and a .410 to righties. Arenado has the power to hit a homerun in any ballpark. In this matchup, he can easily go double-dong at what should be fairly lower ownership. Considering Kershaw and Verlander are in good spots, along with the Astro bats, and this is a west-coast game, in San Diego… the high-priced Rocky hitters should go overlooked. If this remains the case leading up to roster lock, do not hesitate to stack Colorado heavily.
Trevor Story (COL): $3,600 @ SD
The fourth member of the Colorado Rockies to consider is Trevor Story. Sure his average is never going to be elite and he will strikeout a lot. He will be frustrating to watch. But, we all know the power this kid has. Tyson Ross and the Padres bullpen will allow runners on base all game, giving the shortstop plenty of opportunities to drive them in.
Ian Desmond (COL): $3,300 vs. SD
The final piece to the Rockies stack you should consider is Ian Desmond. Always forgotten about, Desmond is primed for a big season. The veteran is on fire right now. Homering last night and driving in three runs, Desmond now has two homeruns and five RBI’s on the season. He has a .538 ISO, .622 wOBA, and 274 wRC+ (very small sample size). Look for Desmond to continue raking tonight against the terrible righty in a high-event game.
Lorenzo Cain (MIL): $4,200 vs. STL
The newly acquired Brewer is off to a sizzling start this season. Hitting his first homerun yesterday, the outfielder is batting a .500 average to go along with four RBI’s, three stolen bases, and one walk in just 19 plate appearances. The Brewers look like they are an ace starting pitcher away from being a true World Seris contender this season. Cain will be a huge part of their success moving forward.
Christian Yelich (MIL): $4,800 vs. STL
Although much more of a cash-game player, Christian Yelich should have GPP winning upside tonight against a weak starting pitcher. Flaherty struggles against left-handed hitters. In 2017, he owned a brutal .448 wOBA to lefties. Most people may avoid Yelich due to his lack of power. However, he has moved from a very pitcher-friendly ballpark to one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the MLB. Miller Park, when the roof is closed, ranks second among all ballparks to homeruns per game. Coors Field is the only place which averages more. Look for Yelich to take advantage of a weak righty.
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