I can take solace in the fact that Chris Paddack was 40% owned in my mid-level GPPs last night...right? I mean, I still cashed with some Paddack lineups. Thank God for throwing a dart or two on Johnny Cueto at the last minute, as he allowed me to grab bats I wanted.
Anyway, I’ve said it before—luckily, this is a daily game and we can move on from yesterday. Today, there’s likely some weather issues in the CLE/MIN game, and there’s some potentially impactful winds in multiple places, or at least double-digit winds in these spots as of this morning—SEA/CWS, PIT/STL, BAL/TOR, ATL/CIN, and PHI/NYM.
Best play: LHP Shane McClanahan vs. Los Angeles Angels ($9,400)
I’m just reading the tea leaves here. if we lose Maeda in the CLE/MIN game, things get pretty dicey. Luis Castillo has been a roller coaster this year, and one Ronald Acuña Jr. has returned to the Atlanta lineup to make it more formidable. Lance Lynn is in consideration, but is coming off of one rough start and a sub-par one before that—while the Mariners are pesky as hell right now (every Mariner had at least one hit last night). Ryu has a decent matchup, but he’s in Toronto’s launching pad against a pesky Orioles offense. By my count, the best options not named deGrom are McClanahan and Kyle Gibson, and those guys are on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as upside is concerned—though there’s plenty of reason to consider Gibson’s sturdiness as an SP2 given his low price point of $6,500.
As for McClanahan, aside from Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon, this isn’t an offense we fear. And yeah, Ohtani is a wrecking ball all by himself. The Angels are actually fourth-best with a .179 ISO against lefties this year, but Justin Upton’s .333 ISO and six homers in the split are on the shelf. While Upton’s six dingers rank second in the split (Ohtani has 8), it’s Jared Walsh next with four, but that comes with a .174 BA. Rendon has a pair of dingers but a .167 BA, too. McClanahan enters this one coming off of the best start of his rookie season, when he went six innings (longest outing so far) and struck out eight against only one walk. I’m not saying you SHOULD get off of Jacob deGrom today...but I think McClanahan has plenty of upside if he can build on that last turn.
Honorable mention goes to Kyle Gibson, who is at home against the Royals. KC has a .144 ISO (23rd) against right-handed pitching, though the 22.1% K-rate is the fifth-lowest mark in the split. The Royals’ 10.5% HR/FB rate is third-worst in the league—and while some of that could be their home park coming into play, some of it also is the quality of their bats. Salvador Perez (9 HR, .276 BA) has been a force against RHP so far, but Carlos Santana’s nine homers comes with a .213 BA, Andrew Benintendi (7 HR, .305 BA) is on the shelf, and neither Jorge Soler or Hunter Dozier are even hitting .200 against right-handers this year. With Mondesi also shelved, this is essentially a Merrifield/Perez show. It’s a winnable matchup for Gibson.
Worst play: Luis Castillo vs. Atlanta Braves ($10,500)
Can’t do it, won’t do it. He’s been decent over his last four turns—18.1, 26.2, 17.8, 23.1—but I’m not buying in at that price point, in that park, against that Atlanta offense. I hope tons of people roster Castillo today. And maybe they’ll be correct. But it’s not for me. You guys want to get all hot and bothered that he scored 20+ points against the Cardinals in St. Louis and the Brewers in Milwaukee? Have at it. I’m not buying. Can’t make me do it.
Best play: Miami Marlins vs. LHP Patrick Corbin
I can’t get away from this idea today, so I won’t try to do so. The Blue Jays could be listed in this space every day, and that would help no one. So here we are. Garrett Cooper ($3,000) returned with a BANG last night, totaling 34 DK points thanks to a homer and a pair of doubles. In lineups where I’m paying up for quality pitching at both spots, this is the stack I’m rolling with. Over the last week of action the Marlins have a .164 ISO (15th), 23.9% K-rate (14th). That’s pretty middling, but Cooper’s return is a boost, as well as Miguel Rojas (who also homered last night). Look, I know it isn’t sexy, but sometimes these teams are what we need to use to get some value. I like doing that against Corbin, a two-pitch pitcher who has been really up-and-down in recent years. Corbin’s 1.64 HR/9 is the highest of his career, as is his 5.40 ERA. He hasn’t shown the same swing-and-miss stuff in Washington that he did in Arizona, and the falling swinging strike rate on his slider is the most damning part to me. Hitters are making more contact on the pitch than ever before, and while it’s still not bad, it’s not elite enough to carry him. Corbin has had two solid turns against the middling Mets and the lowly Pirates, but I could see him getting stung here by the Marlins.
Honorable mention goes to the Minnesota Twins, at home against a bad lefty. If that game actually plays, that’s a TON of low-owned upside. But you’ll have to have the freedom to monitor that weather right up until lock.
Worst play: Chicago White Sox vs. RHP Logan Gilbert
The Sox are floundering offensively, and Yoan Moncada’s injury means I think I need to push Logan Gilbert into consideration as an SP2. This is NOT a good offense right now, with Jose Abreu struggling and Tim Anderson not showing much power recently. Over the past two weeks, the White Sox have a .119 ISO (28th). Jose Abreu (.104 ISO) and Tim Anderson (.085 ISO) have been no-shows for power, as has Moncada (.071 ISO). Yasmani Grandal (.171 ISO) did hit a rocket of a home run last night, so maybe he’s a one-off if you’re looking for upside at the catcher position. But that’s a lot of dough to spend if you’re paying up for pitching, too.
Value plays: Luis Arraez, Jeff McNeil
This talk begins and ends with a $3,500 Luis Arraez, so long as the CLE/MIN game plays. He’s up to a .295 BA on the year, and despite only having one homer, he can fill up the stat sheet due to his ability to rack up hits and score runs. Last night he was 3-for-4 with two triples and a double, with two runs scored and three RBI...a monster 31.0 point DK performance. He’s hit safely in all eight starts since returning from the IL, and has three multi-hit games over his last four. You can slot him into second or third in your lineups, too. And you don’t need 31 points to pay off a 3.5K salary. What a stud play if that game happens. I love riding streaks!
Jeff McNeil ($3,200) is a nice way to pivot off of Luis Arraez if you’re hoping the Twins actually get to play today. He’s still rounding into form after a recent return from the IL, but he does have a three-hit performance already, should bat leadoff for New York, and his a career .310 hitter. I’ll buy that at the keystone for only 3.2K.