Happy Sunday, gamers! Here’s what stuck out to me in my first glance this morning:
If I’m paying up, I’m going all the way to Shane Bieber or Carlos Rodon. The matchups are swiss cheese for both hurlers, with Bieber in his home park against Seattle and Rodon getting a better park to pitch in in Detroit.
The WORST play in this tier looks like Chris Paddack, who is on the road against the Mets. I don’t know why he is still priced among the elites at $9,400. He’s got a nice 1.18 WHIP, but an ordinary 4.27 ERA. He’s got only ONE 20-point DK effort all year, and that was against the nonthreatening Mariners. He also faced the Mets in his last turn, on June 6th. I’m just not interested, and I’d rather go down a bit for Domingo German ($8,900) against the Phillies if I needed a pitcher around that price point. German hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his 10 starts this year. I don’t love his ceiling against Philly given that he’ll have to navigate a lineup that includes a healthy JT Realmuto and Bryce Harper—but that’s how much I don’t like Paddack.
Framber Valdez ($8,200) looks like the best play, on the road to Minnesota. He’s finally healthy, and he’s stretched out, but too cheap for my liking. He’s got 30-point DK efforts in his last two turns, both starts where he worked into the eighth inning. Over those two starts (both against Boston) he pitched 14 1⁄3 innings with two walks against 18 strikeouts. The Twins do lead the league with a .197 ISO against southpaws, but they strike out more than the Red Sox (24.5% to 21.1%) and they walk at similar rates (6.8% to 6.6%). It’s not a swiss cheese matchup, but I’m leaning into Valdez having more control over the outcome than the Twins hitters. Also, some of that damage against lefties was from Mitch Garver, whose five home runs against southpaws still leads all Minnesota hitters. As Garver is still currently sidelined, this team is a wee bit weaker in the split, at least. There’s also no Max Kepler still, and Byron Buxton isn’t due back is still rehabbing. This team isn’t a full strength, and I like the price point on Valdez.
Those are the arms that stick out to me, though I’ll also consider Pablo Lopez at home against Atlanta. The Braves are always scary, but Lopez is coming in hot and the Braves do strike out enough to be worth attacking in a GPP. The Braves are second in the league with a .189 ISO against right-handers, but they also strike out at a 25.5% rate.
I’m a fan of both Florida teams today, honestly. Drew Smyly has been super-hittable of late, and he’s allowing tons of homers to both handedness. I love the Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Starling Marte two-man stack, but I could also be into Jesus Aguilar and Adam Duvall (and Duvall homered yesterday). That’s a cheap crew that lets you pay up for pitching today, which is what I want to do. Of note is that Smyly has negative splits so far this year, meaning left-handed hitters are faring better, with a robust .304/.328/.696 slash line against him, as well as a 4.05 HR/9. So don’t sleep on Jazz in the LvL matchup...Jazz has a .318/.375/.500 slash and .182 ISO against lefties. The stars are aligned.
The other Florida squad gets the lefty Bruce Zimmerman, so pieces like Manny Margot at leadoff and Yandy Diaz in the two-hole are super-affordable and can again let you afford whatever high-end bat you like and/or whatever big arm you are into. I do think you can consider fading Austin Meadows, who is very expensive but with .164 BA and .060 ISO in the split against southpaws. Randy Arozarena is cheaper and has fared better (.170 ISO). Mike Zunino brings a ton of swing-and-miss to the equation, but he also has a .420 ISO against lefties, including a team-leading six home runs in the split.
Who are YOU playing in your MLB DFS lineups today, ladies and gents?