Welcome back to DFSOnDemand! Today we have two pretty healthy slates to break down, and we know where the chalk plays will be, but it is going to be about lineup construction.
I believe that Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner will be the chalk plays in a game that features a 6 run total. That low total is going to draw a ton of attention, but Kershaw is super expensive at $14,200. That is going to make it difficult to fit other bats into your lineup in a slate that could have some great offensive options. On the other hand, Bumgarner is no lock for a win going against the best pitcher in baseball. While Bumgarner is cheaper at $11,600 on DraftKings, that feels a little expensive to me. I’m not going to go too deep on this because they’re both top options and great in cash, but it maybe worth pivoting in tournaments to help fit some bats in your lineups.
Early on I am going to take a look at Chris Sale, who comes in at $12,100 and features Kershaw upside today. The Indians have a strikeout rate over 27% early this season. Last year’s 18% rate against lefties is a little low, but remember, this current lineup is nowhere close to what they ran out last year. The same goes for their wOBA, which was top-10 in the league last season. This isn’t the same team and they’re striking out a ton in the early season. As a pivot off Kershaw, I believe that Sale makes a great option. Sale is a -157 favorite today, and will face a lineup I don’t fear any opposing bats.
My second favorite option for the early slate is Gerrit Cole, who is $10,200 and will face the Reds. In 2015, Cole held opposing left-handed hitters to a .283 wOBA, so he should be able to hold down Votto and Bruce in the middle of the Reds order. If he can hold down Votto and Bruce, the bottom four in the Reds lineup is not scary and there is some strikeout upside. As a team, the Reds are currently striking out over 20% of the time, and they haven’t faced an arm the caliber of Cole this season. The total is 7.5 and the Pirates are favored to win, according to the Vegas line. It does appear that the wind is blowing out to right field, so that is the lone concern for me in this matchup. I like Cole early as a pivot away from Kershaw and Bumgarner.
In the late slate, the pitcher that I would target is Cole Hamels as he will be getting a park upgrade heading to L.A. The Angels had an 18% strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers in 2015, which is flattering. However, Cole Hamels is a strikeout pitcher and held right-handed hitters to a .294 wOBA. Along with that, Hamels features a devastating change up that could present some issues for the Angels and keep their right-handed hitters off balance. I would watch the weather in that matchup as a lot of games have rain in their forecasts.
The Blue Jays are the top stack of the day and they will face Rick Porcello in Toronto. As we know, the Jays rake at home and are facing a pitcher who they’ve faired well against. Porcello finished 2015 with a .351 wOBA to left-handed hitters and .327 to right-handed hitters. There is opportunity there with the Jays lineup. To my surprise, Justin Smoak isn’t in the lineup, but we could find some value in Ezequiel Carrera, who is just 2.9K on DraftKings. Carrera doesn’t feature too much power, but as a punt on a slate that is pitching heavy, it makes sense. As much as people hate BvP, Jose Bautista has faced Porcello 30 times with 11 hits, a home run and five RBI. I think that is where I would start my Blue Jays stack today. This will be popular early, but the surround pieces like Carrera could help differentiate.
It is common, but Coors is going to be a popular target again today. I tend to side with the Padres in today’s game, depending on their lineup. I think Matt Kemp and Wil Myers will have big games versus De la Rosa, who allowed a .328 wOBA against right-handed hitters last season. Again, your lineup construction will come down to your pitchers, but this stack starts with Kemp and Myers for me. I would also consider Norris if he is behind the dish.
The Astros are going to play today since they are in Milwaukee and they’re a good stack against Wily Peralta, who struggles against both left and right-handed hitters. In 2015, Peralta allowed a .376 wOBA to lefties and .349 to righties. Miller Park is also a great run scoring environment, and I am going to bet that this is the highest scoring team today! The park plays well for their bats and the run total is set at 8.5, which may be generous consider Doug Fister was not good last year either. Once the lineup is out, I will tweet out my favorite plays, but right now, I think Rasmus and Valbuena are great options.
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