FanDuel DFS: 7/29
Aces are on the docket tonight. Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Charlie Morton, Chris Paddack, and Brandon Woodruff take the hill. There are plenty of value bats, so my general strategy is to pay up for a stud pitcher with a good matchup. There’s also one homer-happy pitcher on the slate whose opponents might feast on the long ball in a surprisingly good hitter’s park.
Value Plays: Pitcher
Andrew Heaney (LAA ) vs. SEA: 7,100
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risk: Low
Joe Musgrove (PIT) vs MIL 7,700:
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐Risk: High
Heaney had a decent first start (by 2020’s standards) against the A’s, pitching 4.2 innings while allowing just two baserunners and striking out six. I expect him to get a little more leash in his second start, and he is again pitching in an extreme pitcher’s park against a weak offense. His velocity was slightly down, but I expect that to change as he continues to get stretched out.
Musgrove’s velocity was also down, but the Pirates’ velocity has been down across the board. It may just be a radar gun problem. Musgrove still had seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings during his first go-around, so he’s still able to get the swings-and-misses that are necessary in DFS. The Brewers’ lineup isn’t as intimidating in years’ past, and PNC Park is one of the best pitcher’s parks in the league.
Catcher/ First Base
Gary Sanchez (NYY)@BAL: 2,900
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risk: Medium
Salvador Perez (KCR)@ DET: 2,800
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risk: Low
C.J. Cron (DET)vs. KCR: 3,100
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risk: Medium
Miguel Sano (MIN)vs. STL: 2,700
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risk: High
There are tons of options at C/1B today. Sanchez is going to face a bad team in a great hitter’s park that hasn’t played since Sunday. He hasn’t gotten a hit yet this year, but he was among the league leaders in barrel rate last year. Did I mention that he’s facing Asher Wojciechowski in Camden Yards?
Perez gets a matchup against Matthew Boyd (that homer-happy pitcher mentioned above), and Comerica Park was a sneaky good hitter’s park last year. Perez is also 9-for-28 against Boyd in his career with seven doubles and two homers.
Cron gets the same sneaky good park as Perez, and he also posts solid numbers against Danny Duffy. He’s slashed .375/.400/.857 in 14 at-bats. Duffy wasn’t great in his first start, and I expect Cron to take advantage.
Sano is dirt-cheap, and he’s been crushing the ball despite a poor start to the season. He will face Daniel Ponce de Leon, who may not get a lot of run. The Cardinals’ bullpen is weak at the moment, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Sano was a top points-getter Wednesday.
Adam Frazier (PIT)vs. MIL: 2,200
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐Risk: Medium
Luis Arraez (MIN)vs. STL: 2,800
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risk: Low
Tommy La Stella (LAA)vs. SEA: 2,900
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐Risk: Low
Frazier has slashed .400/.500/.600 against Woodruff in 10 at-bats and will likely bat leadoff or at the top of the order. That means more opportunities to score. His low price offers a chance to beef up at starting pitcher or other positions, and he will probably be minimally owned in both cash games and tournaments.
Arraez has been on fire to start the season, collecting five hits in 12 at-bats. While he will bat in the lower third of the order, Target Field is a great source for runs. Arraez is priced low because of his lack of power, but he has a safer floor than any other second baseman.
La Stella could bat in the upper third of the order, and there’s a chance that rookie starting pitcher Justin Dunn isn’t ready for the moment. La Stella combines the floor of Arraez due to his lack of strikeouts with runs potential like Frazier by batting near the top of the order.
Jeff McNeil (NYM)vs. BOS: 2,800
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Risk: Low
Gio Urshela (NYY)@ BAL: 2,700
McNeil has been crushing baseballs; he hit three balls over 100 mph on Opening Day. He will bat in the upper third of the order, and he is facing Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi got hit hard and didn’t strike many out in his first start, so he doesn’t appear to be back to his 2018 levels. The only downside is that he is likely to be highly owned at this price. But that’s just fine for cash games.
Everything about Gary Sanchez above applies to Urshela. If Urshela doesn’t start, Miguel Andujar at $2,500 also is a value play. Wojciechowski has a 5.76 ERA and 5.13 FIP in 161 big-league innings. Using these types of players is a great contrarian stack with many DFS players preferring the Yankees’ stars.
Dansby Swanson (ATL)vs. TAM: 2,900
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐Risk: Medium
Amed Rosario (NYM)vs. BOS: 2,600
Swanson has been on fire to start the season, hitting two homers in five games. He will face Charlie Morton, whose velocity was significantly down in his first start. He gave up six runs in just four innings on Opening Day. Swanson, despite the great start, may not be highly owned due to facing an ace. Stacking Braves against Morton could work in GPPs, as they will be under the radar.
Rosario gets to face Eovaldi, making him an attractive option for a cheap Mets stack. Rosario will probably bat in the bottom of the order, which limits some of his upside. Shortstop is the weakest of the value plays, so I recommend paying up, which you’ll see below.
Aaron Hicks (NYY)@ BAL: 2,500
Matchup: ⭐⭐⭐⭐Risk: Medium
Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)vs. BOS: 2.600
Matchup:⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risk: Medium
Hicks is off to a very slow start, but playing the Orioles should wake him up. Keep in mind that he is normally a 25-30 home run hitter and should have plenty of run and RBI opportunities if he’s in the lineup.
Cespedes hit the game-winning homer on Opening Day, and he is 4-for-11 against Eovaldi. Limited sample size, sure, but this fits right in line with targeting a rusty pitcher.\
5 Studs Worth Their Salary