Welcome to another terrible weather day for MLB DFS. Get your weathermen hats on today, and pay attention to New York, Pittsburgh, and Texas.
The Main slate on FanDuel has six games to choose from, as the Dodgers/Giants has already been postponed.
Elite Pitcher: Lance McCullers ($8,600) vs. San Diego Padres
Yours truly ranked McCullers as the 17th starter heading into the season, a move that is looking good after one start. Let’s all do dances and hang garlic and do whatever else is necessary to ward off the injury gods, okay? McCullers is the second-highest priced pitcher on FanDuel, as Maeda is $400 more. Weird. DraftKings knows what’s up, as McCullers is the top choice at $12,300, a cool $1,100 more than Maeda. For what it’s worth, Yahoo ranks McCullers at the top as well.
The Padres are hitting .228 against right-handed pitching, and rank 17th thus far in walk rate (8.4%) and strikeout rate (22.2%). Their .141 ISO vs. RHP ranks 16th and is below average, not good news in the pitcher’s park that is Minute Maid. Interesting stat, though—the Padres are making hard contact 39.3% of the time vs. RHP so far, the third-best mark in the league. It’s something to note, but not something to get me away from McCullers, who had 10 strikeouts against one walk in his first turn against Texas. That game was at Globe Life, too—now McCullers gets to come home to a cushy opponent. All over it.
Mid-Range Pitcher: Luis Castillo ($7,100) at Pittsburgh Pirates
This game opened as a pick’em but has already shifted towards Castillo and the Reds, as they are now slight road favorites at -120. Castillo got knocked around by Washington in his first turn, surrendering six earned runs due to not being on-point with fastball location. He reported that he was happy with his secondary pitches, though—and his six strikeouts against one walk are pretty encouraging. Last year, Castillo had a .245 ERA and 14:2 K/BB ratio against the Pirates.
Castillo’s opponent, Trevor Williams, had a no-hitter through six innings against the Tigers, but was yanked due to living way out on the edge with five walks against one measly strikeout. I like the patient Reds hitters to get to him today. Can’t do that dance forever, Trevor. Get em, Eugenio! (shout-out to my TGFBI squad)
Value Pitcher: C.C. Sabathia ($6,800) vs. Baltimore Orioles
I don’t love it, but I’m sticking to the format. Sabathia has morphed into the wily veteran presence that still remains useful, as he’s been over 50% with his ground ball rate in each of the past two seasons. He shut down lefties to a 14.3% hard contact rate and staggering 31.2% soft rate. I don’t even know who else can play first base for Baltimore, but “Crush” Davis looks like more of a lost cause than normal tonight. Unfortunately it’s right-handed bats that get to C.C. more, as they managed 1.39 HR/9 and a .244/.306/.415 slash. 19 of the 21 home runs allowed by C.C. in 2017 were to right-handed hitters, something we all know the Orioles have in abundance.
In Sabathia’s favor is the 48.1% ground ball rate allowed to RHB, and a paltry 29.9% fly ball rate. That, and his epic Yankee bats get to tee off against Kevin Gausman today, who was shelled by the Twins in his first turn (4.0 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 5 SO, 6 ER). Good luck in New York, Gausman. It could be a clunky, eating-innings sort of affair for Sabathia, who I could definitely see walking away with the win (and some usefulness). But the ceiling here is low—I couldn’t talk myself into Woodruff in Milwaukee (I tried).
Elite Stack: Houston Astros vs. Luis Perdomo
Welcome to the “duh” moment of the day. There’s no other true option here, as Perdomo allowed a whopping 10 hits to lefty bats Yelich, Cain, and Shaw in his first turn of the season. You could literally consider the World Champs every night. Just don’t forget about the smoking hot Josh Reddick (a lefty) who is 5 for his last 8 with a pair of home runs. Derek Fisher is starting and batting ninth, and at $2,800 on FanDuel he won’t be owned much. Just sayin’.
Okay, sure, the Yankees are another elite option. Again, “duh.” I’ll be curious to see how you work in those salaries, though.
Mid-Range Stack: Toronto Blue Jays @ LHP Matt Moore
At first glance, this appears to be the game many DFSers will stack up tonight. The run total is set at 10.5, with both teams projected to score over five runs. Moore allowed a 1.24 HR/9 to right-handed bats last season, and from what I can tell he’ll face nine of them tonight. Yikes.
Value Stack: Texas Rangers vs. Marco Estrada
Estrada is a fly ball pitcher (career 48.2%) who posted a mark of 50.3% last season. He showed reverse splits in 2017, allowing a .286/.364/.500 slash and .366 wOBA to righty bats. Lefties fared much worse, slashing only .215/.268/.418 with a .291 wOBA. So, who are the prominent right-handed Rangers? Allow me to direct you to wily veterans Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre, who will never die. If I were Bannister I’d hit Andrus leadoff today. But I’m not. Last year I’d have given Robinson Chirinos a shout-out as a punt option ($2,100) but this year I’m looking for more power in that C/1B slot on FanDuel.
Right now I’m just building around the two pitchers in McCullers and Castillo. That, and watching the crazy weather. I’ll post updates if I have them. Good luck out there.