This is the smallest slate of the season that I can remember as there are only 4 games on the docket today – one in the afternoon and three in the evening time. The pickings are slim, but, as always, there is some value to be had in today’s slate.
If you are a multiple lineup guy who plays stacks, a good strategy for a day like today is to play a few variations of the same stack. For example, if you are making 3 lineups you can stack a team’s 1-5 hitters in line-up one, 2-6 hitters in line-up two, and hitters 1,2,3,4 and 6 in line-up three, thus making sure that more bases are covered.
Alternatively, on a short slate like this with the same multi line-up strategy, if you feel strongly about a pitcher, I don’t mind 100% exposure to that pitcher and then pivoting a few stacks around that pitcher. In short, while some people would look at a slate like this and choose not to play, I instead narrow my focus onto either one team or one pitcher that I like and use that as a base for all of my lineups. Let’s see who I like today.
As always, all stats are courtesy of rotowire, rotogrinders, fangraphs, baseball-reference and ESPN. Here are your quick hits of the day.
Batter versus Pitcher Warriors:
- Avisail Garcia vs. Ervin Santana – 5/13 with a double and a homer
- Adam Eaton vs. Ervin Santana – 4/9 with a double and a walk
- Freddie Freeman vs. Jarred Cosart – 4/11 with a homer and a walk
Stacks to Target:
- Cubs vs. Jeff Samardzija – Samardzija’s win-loss record is pretty good and his ERA is not terrible, but in reality, he has been no better this year than his disastrous 2015 season. In fact, Samardzija has allowed a career high in hard contact (31.6%) and SIERA (4.34) – excluding seasons where Samardzija briefly pitched as a relief pitcher. The Cubs are not a great match-up for him as their .330 wOBA against righties leads today’s slate, and they have been even better in August where their .807 OPS ranked 2nd in baseball, behind only the Coors Field aided Rockies. This could be a big day for the Cubbies.
- Braves vs. Jarred Cosart – Cosart has actually pitched reasonably well in the 2nd half, and I don’t hate taking a flyer on him as a pitcher in GPPs (the slate is small). But I will have some exposure to his opponent as well. The Braves’ offense has been quite respectable recently as they ranked a very solid 10th in OPS in the month of August. They also knocked Cosart around earlier this season, putting 10 runners on base over 5.2 innings and scoring 4 runs.
Pitchers of the Day:
- Jacob deGrom vs. Marlins – Most of this article has focused on GPPs, but if you are a cash game player, DraftKings has given you no option but to play deGrom. He is inexplicably only the 4th most expensive pitcher (out of 8) on DraftKings at $9,000 behind guys like Mike Foltyniewicz ($10,000) and Ervin Santana ($9,200) despite being the best or 2nd best pitcher on the slate (depending on your opinion of Jose Quintana). The Marlins are projected to score the lowest amount of runs today by a fair margin at 3.20 runs – the next lowest is San Francisco at 3.90. This is with good reason as the Marlins’ offense has been dreadful, ranking only 28th in OPS in the month of August. deGrom’s ownership in cash games on DK will probably be over 80% and it will probably hover around 60% in GPPs. With the likely high ownership in GPPs, I don’t hate a contrarian fade, but as stated above, you have to play him in cash games on DraftKings. On FanDuel, deGrom is actually the most expensive pitcher, so while I still like him, he is not a must play in either cash or GPP.
- Jose Quintana vs. Twins – Quintana is the model of consistency as he has 8 straight quality starts and has had only 3 starts all year under 6 IP and 1 start of under 5 IP. He has been especially potent against the Twins against whom he has gone 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA, a 1.008 WHIP and 27 Ks in 26.2 IP. I actually think that he is the safest pitcher on today’s slate and is a solid base for your lineups in both cash games and GPPs. On FanDuel I actually prefer Quintana to deGrom in cash games.
Weather to Target or Avoid:
- None! Play Ball!
Platoon Split Hitters:
- Buster Posey vs. Mike Montgomery – Posey always hits lefties well, and this year is no different with a .379 wOBA and 142 wRC+.
- Anthony Rizzo vs. Jeff Samardzija – Rizzo is respectable against lefties (.365 wOBA and 128 wRC+), but he is truly elite against righties with a .408 wOBA and 156 wRC+.
Any more questions? Hit me up on Twitter @AssemblyNeil
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