The Main Slate on FanDuel is comprised of nine games and begins at 1:05pm ET.
There is no shortage of pitching today, as Madison Bumgarner, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Yu Darvish, and Gerrit Cole will all toe the rubber.
I do not understand the pricing on MadBum, as the Nationals are tops in the league in ISO against LHP (.207) and rank fifth in wOBA (.341). Only eight teams strikeout less than Washington against lefties, as the Nats have a 20.1% K-rate against southpaws. I just don't see the upside with Bumgarner, who is the most expensive pitcher on the slate at $11,400.
Yu Darvish ($9,600) and his 34.6% K-rate look great against the Houston Astros. Darvish should push for double-digit strikeouts today, giving him a safe floor and tons of upside. In his last start, Darvish only threw 15 sliders and curves, as better command of the fastball allowed him to use his four-seamer and two-seamer more often. There are some very solid options at lower price points today, but none can match Darvish's ceiling. I think we are past the point of most sharps being afraid of the Houston Astros as a tough matchup, though, so don't expect to get Darvish extremely low-owned today. Guessing ownership this season has been an exercise in futility anyway. I think it's best not to worry on the idea. If you can manage to get even one bat in your lineup for a minuscule percentage, then you've done your job. Just give me the pitcher who has the highest ceiling. Today, against the team with the third-worst strikeout percentage (24.2%) against RHP, I think that guy is Darvish.
Dylan Bundy ($7,100) is on fire, as he has taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning in both of his last two starts. He should be a popular play against James Shields and the Chicago White Sox today. He feels a lot like today's Skaggs--cheap and lots of upside--except Bundy has a better matchup than Skaggs did yesterday. Skaggs was over 20% owned in my GPP yesterday. I like Bundy's upside and his chances for a victory, but I think he will be one of the most popular GPP plays today.
Marcus Stroman ($7,700) struck out 13 Astros in his last turn. Doesn't Darvish keep sounding better? Anyway, Stroman has been pretty solid against RHH this season, as righties are slashing .251/.293/.389 against him with a .295 wOBA. LHH are slashing .281/.336/.456 with a .340 wOBA, but the good news is that the Royals aren't swimming in quality left-handed hitters. Stroman has healthy ground ball rates to both handedness of hitting, too, which should aid his cause today. He opposes the blowup-prone Yordano Ventura, so he is a pretty solid -150 favorite at this time. I think Stroman is a quality price-per-point play today if he can grab the victory. You'll need the win on FanDuel, though, because Stroman has a pretty average strikeout rate.
Cleveland Indians @ Masahiro Tanaka
I like this call a lot because Tanaka's name is (theoretically) going to drive some people away. But this is a prime hitting environment for left-handed hitters, Tanaka is coming off of a rough start (7 ER in 6 1/3 IP), and Tanaka has bad career splits for the month of August (career 4.24 ERA). Maybe he just doesn't like the heat. At any rate, if the Indians get to Tanaka early, this one could turn into a bloodbath. I'll take Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, and Tyler Naquin. It pains me to leave off Mike Napoli, but Santana should hit first in the order and has the splits advantage. Both have solid BvP totals, though, and Napoli's makes you want to use him instead of Santana. I suppose I'll dig more into those two later and come up with a conclusion. But my gut is to use the lefty bat against the RHP at Yankee Stadium.
Baltimore Orioles @ James Shields
I can't get away from the Orioles if I am choosing to stack today. I know Big Game James has been much better of late, but his last start at Detroit was disastrous in the fifth inning (six runs). Right-handed hitters also fare much better at U.S. Cellular Field, which is a boon to this cause as the Orioles are littered with such hitters. I'll take Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Chris Davis. It is painful to leave off Jonathan Schoop, but 'Crush' has some solid BvP going on and I don't want to miss out on what could be.
As always, as I dig farther into things I'll aim to chat to myself in the comments section. Feel free to add to my loneliness. Good luck today, champs.