The Main Slate on FanDuel has 11 games and begins at 7:05 ET.
There are two heavy favorites on this slate:
Stephen Strasburg ($11,600) is a -240 favorite at home against Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants. The run total in this one is 8.0 and the Giants are projected to score 3.05 runs, the lowest on the slate at this time. The only downside here is that the San Francisco bats only strikeout 17.0% of the time against RHP—but Strasburg does have an elite 30.2% K-rate. In my rudimentary brain, that still evens out to an above average K-rate and the Nationals hitters should get to Matt Cain, thereby giving Strasburg an excellent shot at a win today.
Carlos Martinez ($9,300) should be a heavy favorite against the artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona (now Roberto Hernandez) and the Atlanta Braves today. I don’t see a line yet because the Braves were initially slated to face Mike Foltynewicz (Foltynewicz has since been announced as the Sunday starter). Hernandez has been lit up in three starts at Triple-A Gwinnett with a 6.14 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. He is a 35 year-old ground ball pitcher facing one of the best offenses in the league. Martinez should be pitching with a lead and have a great chance at a victory today. You can save a ton of money by using him instead of Strasburg. I would, if I were paying up at pitcher. I’m not, though.
There are a pair of games that have a projected 7.5 run total, and it is from those two that I will likely find my tournament pitcher. My two favored options pitch in the same game, however. I do not plan to use Aaron Sanchez against Kansas City when I can get Martinez for $100 more. I also do not plan to use the southpaw Danny Duffy against Toronto. Why shoulder the risk when I like one game in particular for pitching?
Taijuan Walker ($7,400) of SEA vs. Tyler Skaggs ($6,500) of LAA is my game.
Taijuan Walker made it 69 pitches in his one rehab start at Triple-A, so he may be on a bit of a pitch count in this one. For his low price, however, I think he has a sneaky shot at the win in what should be a pitcher’s duel. Skaggs has been solid since his return to the MLB, but the Mariners hit left-handed pitching very well (collective .171 ISO). One solo home run could be the difference in this one, and the Mariners have hit 55 home runs against southpaws this season, which is tops in the league. The second-place Cubbies have hit 44 home runs against LHP so far, for your general information.
On the flip side, if I’m not rolling out Walker or a Mariner as a one-off play, I am good with Tyler Skaggs at his low price point. Did I mention I like this game for pitching? Skaggs was dominant while on minor league assignment and has not allowed a run in the majors since his return. If he shuts down the powerful Mariners, you should get him at very low ownership. I told you, I’m GPP-only. This pick is not for the faint of heart. I think I love it today, though.
There is a game in Coors Field today. Plan accordingly.
Outside of Coors, the Detroit Tigers play Logan Verrett and the New York Mets. I expect the Tigers stack will be a popular pivot away from the Coors game. Verrett has actually been solid over his last four turns, though, with a 3.86 ERA and a 16:8 K/BB ratio. For Detroit, Matt Boyd has been very good lately, with a 2.21 ERA over his last four turns. This game feels like the letdown of the day, so let us dig a little deeper.
Houston Astros vs. Lucas Harrell
I think I like the 1-2-3-4 stack against Harrell today, which are the usual suspects (Springer, Altuve, Correa) and Alex Bregman, who should hit in the two-hole. This is a game theory thing, but on nights when Coors bats are highly owned and the game ends 5-3 (like last night) you have a real opportunity to get ahead of the massive crowd. If Coors hits, then my night is likely over. If it doesn’t, though, I might be in for a fun ride. Lucas Harrell only has a 12.5% K-rate against RHH so far this year and all of the 1-2-3-4 Houston hitters are right-handed. If for some reason Bregman doesn’t go, then I’ll use Evan Gattis, who is also right-handed. Bregman has been in a funk, so perhaps Gattis is the play anyway. But I'll go with the 1-2-3-4 if Bregman is in the two-spot.
And that’s all she wrote. In summation, I like Taijuan or Skaggs today, but after digging into it I like Skaggs more. I also like Matt Boyd against the Mets, as I expect the Detroit game to be a bit of an offensive letdown. Finally, the Houston Astros offer tons of toolsy upside, and Lucas Harrell is a guy we can safely target. I’ll be sure to add my final lineup or two in the comments section. I think I mainly want shares of Skaggs and Boyd today.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Good luck, champs!