Week 4 of MLB DFS Wars kicks off tonight, but I’m bummed because I can’t play Austin Riley. Even the legend that is Austin Riley can’t hit a home run when his game is postponed.
Aside from ATL @ NYM, MIL @ WAS has also been postponed. MIA @ BOS also looks really, really rainy. There are other wet and cold issues, so be sure to find your favorite weatherman (or woman) wherever your normally do that. I am not that person.
Returning tonight are Giancarlo Stanton, Starling Marte, and Tim Anderson. Anderson was obviously a day-long stint. Marte is in a way rainy game at Boston. Stanton definitely lengthens the New York lineup, so if you were thinking of rolling out Casey Mize, you have one more reason to reconsider.
It’s a top-heavy group tonight, without a lot of middle-tier options to trust. On top of that, weather issues have cost us, as Ian Anderson doesn’t get a chance to take on the Triple-A Mets in a game that is canceled.
There’s a clear-cut top two in Gerrit Cole ($11,200) at Detroit and Walker Buehler ($10,400) at home against the strikeout-prone Giants. On top of these two being bona fide aces, the Tigers (27.5%) and Giants (27.8%) have the two highest strikeout rates against right-handed pitching this year. The Giants walk more and have an ISO about 30 points higher, but it’s still safe to say that these are juicy matchups for pitchers of this caliber.
Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,400) gets a soft matchup against Cleveland, in a chilly game that should favor pitching. Cleveland’s .163 ISO versus LHP isn’t scary, but they do have a solid 22.1% strikeout rate in the split (a top 8 mark). But again, the weather should help. That, and Ryu has made it into the seventh inning in each of his last three starts, with a 1.31 ERA over that time frame. So the weather may be cold, but Ryu is heating up! Outside of the top two, he’s the top arm I’m drawn to on tonight’s slate.
There are some other interesting names, like Shohei Ohtani (but he probably won’t go deep), Anthony DeSclafani (but the Dodgers shelled him last time), and Casey Mize (the aformentioned Stanton returning). If I was digging deep, however, I’d consider the lefty Justus Sheffield against the Rangers. Texas has a 24.9% K-rate and .147 ISO versus lefties, and Sheffield has shown flashes of productivity this year. That’s a GPP-only sort of play, though. Sheffield still has a 5.45 ERA and 1.68 WHIP on the season, after all. But the Rangers did just get blanked by Chris Flexen and the Mariners ‘pen last night, so...
Adalberto Mondesi ($2,800) is batting fifth at Minnesota, against Randy Dobnak. It doesn’t really matter who he’s up against, though. For a guy with his tools, when he’s this cheap I’ll just ride the wave until he goes bananas. It never feels great to stack Royals, but I think it’s in play.
I’m going right back to Yasmani Grandal ($4,600) tonight, at home against Matt Harvey. I would up with more Grandal than Mercedes last night, and that was a mistake. But that two-hole batting order slot is too tempting. It will probably be popular though, FYI.
1B/OF Andrew Vaughn FINALLY gets some respect and is batting third against Matt Harvey tonight. You know what to do, ladies and gents. Lock. Him. In.
1B/2B Max Muncy is one of the hottest men in baseball. The $5,100 price point is steep, but the Dodgers have roughed up Anthony DeSclafani this year. Muncy beats up on righty pitching, that much should go without saying. And the flexibility is nice!
I wasn’t going to go down to Josh Donaldson at 4K, but he is facing a lefty and Austin Riley isn’t available to me. The Bringer of Rain is batting .306/.419/.500 with a .194 ISO against lefties this year. It’s not often you see a .300/.400/.500 slash line, folks. And for only 4K against Kris Bubic? Sign me up.
As for the outfield ranks...I feel like there are tons of names to mix and match. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Tucker, Josh Rojas, Adolis Garcia, Kyle Lewis, Kyle Garlick (batting leadoff), Anthony Santander, Dylan Carlson, Aledmys Diaz (batting 2nd)...you get the idea. Of that list, Santander and Dylan Carlson both being 3K really stands out. Kyle Tucker getting chance to bat third against Lamet does as well—that should be a game turned over to the San Diego bullpen sooner rather than later.
In general, I’m not messing around with pitching tonight. There’s enough value under 3K to make two stud pitchers work...just sayin’. That’s likely the route I’ll go for MLB DFS Wars tonight...but we’ll see!
Who are YOU playing in your lineups tonight, ladies and gents? Let me know who I shouldn’t miss out on!