I sure am glad I added a Rays stack to half of my RAD shares yesterday. Full disclosure: I only made two lineups, so that was easy to do. Dickey and Baltimore was one, Dickey and Tampa the other. My Baltimore group topped out at 99.1 FDP in a GPP, but my Tampa squad scored 181.1 FDP and I took down my 20-man contest. Making your money back and then some is always fun.
As you can tell, I am backing down my MLB play in a big way. The season has been a bit of a grind and sometimes it is nice to slow down. That doesn’t mean I put less effort into my picks, it just means I am playing less personally. Know thyself, people. Otherwise your bankroll will wither faster than it should. Anyway, currently I am becoming more interested in researching where to plant my proverbial flags in fantasy football than I am at grinding away on more MLB...I’m looking at you, Bob Turbin (more on that another day).
Anyway, the Main slate on FanDuel is comprised of 10 games and begins at 1:07pm ET. Let’s get to it so we can all get back to drinking our coffee.
Target: Jeff Samardzija ($8,900) @ Pittsburgh Pirates
“The Shark” ranks seventh among National League starters with 105 innings pitched so far in 2017. He’s also managed at least six innings in 13 of his 16 starts this year—and two of those starts were way back in April. He went 5.1 innings in each of those, one at Arizona and one at Colorado. Hardly the best of environments to pitch in. The other short outing was a four-inning affair against the powerful Washington Nationals on May 30. Again, a tough assignment. Other than those three turns, Samardzija basically gives you an average of six innings, two or three earned runs, and seven to eight strikeouts every time out. If he can approximate that today with the quality start and the win against Trevor Williams and the Buccos, I’ll be happy. I do worry a tad about losing some strikeouts against the slap-hitting Pirates (only an 18.5% K-rate against RHP) but Jeff does get to face the opposing pitcher, too. For Samardzija’s part he has 117 strikeouts against 13 walks this season...that is a stellar ratio and I love his chances in the spacious confines of PNC Park.
Stack Against: Kevin Gausman ($7,100) with Tampa Bay Rays
Right back to the proverbial well for me, as the Rays were big for me yesterday. Plenty of people will feel the same, too. Nevermind that, though. Until further notice I will stack against Gausman with regularity and without second-guessing. Unlike most DFSers, I am fine “eating chalk” if that is what it takes. This is such an obvious situation to attack and I need to have a piece of the pie. The bats to consider are your 1-7 guys in Mallex Smith, Corey Dickerson, Evan Longoria, Logan Morrison, Steve Souza, Wilson Ramos, and Tim Beckham. I am ignoring Trevor Plouffe and Adeiny Hechavarria, as we prefer those two guys against southpaws. There is a chance Ramos takes a seat today as the Rays ease him back into things...there’s also a chance Beckham’s ankle isn’t fully ready. That would only narrow our choices and make things a little easier.
Logan Morrison had a double-dong day on Saturday, so he’s hot. Steve Souza has hit a home run each of the last two days, so he’s scorching. “C-Dick” has had a tough trip to Baltimore, going a combined 1-for-8 with one run, one RBI, and one walk in two games. Perhaps this just means we should have all the Dickerson today, but if you want to be contrarian you can let it ride once more and roster Ramos or Beckham instead. I am feeling a 4-5-6-7 stack today (LoMo, Souza, Ramos, Beckham). I like that I get three right-handed hitters, since those guys have really lit Gausman on fire this season (.356/.407/.545 and .404 wOBA). If Beckham misses Sunday’s game with his ankle ailment, that just makes it easier to work in the right-handed Longoria, which would give me the 3-4-5-6 stack. Again, check the lineups and see what happens. We’ll have more clarity in a little while.
I’ll go ahead and share a (somewhat) chalky lineup:
The Shark, Salvador Perez, Logan Morrison, Whit Merrifield, Evan Longoria, Tim Beckham, Steve Souza, Lorenzo Cain, Jorge Bonifacio.
I’m assuming Ramos takes a seat today. I can’t be too chalky if I’m incorporating the Royals, right? I’ll probably have some other iterations where I work in Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas—the LvL split against Hector Santiago doesn’t worry me much if the hot-hitting Royals get to the Twins bullpen early on.
Lastly, I think you have to take a shot on Jose Quintana today. The Rangers have the worst K-rate against southpaws in the MLB at 27.5 percent. Other marks like a .145 ISO (23rd) and a 73 wRC+ (29th) are completely non-threatening and speak to the solid matchup. Quintana has been a popular name to throw shade at this season, but most of his numbers are in line with career averages...he’s been unlucky on some fly balls becoming home runs with a 12.2% HR/FB rate...that mark doesn’t seem high but “The Q” has a career 9.1% HR/FB rate and hasn’t had a season above 9.5% since 2013. Quintana has had some issues with issuing walks this year, but the Rangers are pretty average at taking walks (8.3%) so I am not overly concerned. I’ll build around The Shark, but I have to take a shot on “The Q.”
Good luck out there today. Happy Sunday!