Hey everyone, and welcome to DFS baseball 2017. Where has the first few months of the year gone? This will be my first year writing about fantasy baseball, but I hope to give you, the reader, my input on the most optimal plays on any given slate.
In baseball, I am a tournament player, and because of the variance that the sport has to offer, I try to find a contrarian approach to my lineups. That doesn’t mean I simply pivot low owned guys for the sake of doing so. There are edges to be had when you’re smart about it.
Just a few housekeeping items. I have not yet settled on the exact days and frequency of this article. If you have any feedback on your favorite days, by all means, leave a comment below or let me know on twitter at @mrclutchdfs. Typically I will only be playing, and therefore writing about, the main evening slate. Finally, we will be using DraftKings pricing as a reference, unless otherwise noted.
Okay, enough, let’s get on to baseball!
Pitchers to target
The first thing that stands out to me about pitching is YUCK! This will be one of the worst crops of pitching for the entire season on a slate this big because every team is on their fourth or fifth starter right now – hence, no aces. The highest price pitcher is Francisco Liriano at $8,900. Liriano is as safe as they come on this slate. That’s two things I never thought I would say in the same sentence – Liriano and safe, but that’s the hand we’re dealt.
With this set of pitchers, I will be looking for the highest upside, and Liriano is the definition of upside. He struck out 18 batters in 9.2 innings this spring. He is going to be heavily owned, but on Draftkings, where you have to have two pitchers, I don’t think I’ll be able to fade. We’ll differentiate elsewhere.
For your second pitcher, good luck! There is no safe option. Hopefully you got that when I referred Liriano as the “safest” option. I’m doing air quotes with my fingers as I say that. At first look, Zach Wheeler intrigues me a little. He is returning from 2015 Tommy John surgery, but he threw hard in the spring and his opponent, the Marlins, are only expected to score 3.5 runs. He probably won’t set the world on fire, but on this slate, we just want to avoid the pitcher blowing up and sinking our lineup.
Mike Leake is in a good spot against the Reds, who are only implied to score 3.5 runs. He’s at home, so that’s a plus. Not much else I can say about him; we’re just looking for our SP2 to not self destruct.
Stacks to Target:
Indians vs. Shelby Miller – The Indians jump from one solid hitting environment to the next. Miller was 0-8 in 10 starts last year at Chase Field with a 7.40 era. One thing I noticed in my preseason research is that opposing teams at Chase Field were outstanding last year – even better than in Coors if you look at it from a price per dollar standpoint. Coors opponents are always priced up, but Draftkings hasn’t caught up on Chase yet. It will be interesting to see if they start to catch on. Until then, load up on opponents. Just know the Indians will probably be the most popular stack. I’ll be keeping an eye on this.
Texas Rangers vs. Raul Alcantara – Alcantara is a volcano waiting to explode. It is going to be warm in Texas, and if the Rangers can string together a few hits, I think the wheels will come off and the Rangers will put up quite a few runs.
Batters to target
Jake Lamb – Lamb smashes right handed pitching, and Josh Tomlin loves to give up the long ball. Lamb’s biggest issue is that he strikes out a lot, but Tomlin only averaged a 15.6% strikeout rate to lefties last season. Lamb is a strong candidate to go deep in this game, and is very affordable at $4,200.
Kyle Schwarber – If I’m paying up for someone it’s Schwarber. Great park, and smashes right handed pitching. I respect Jimmy Nelson at home, but Schwarber is simply the better half of that equation.
Be sure to check back in the afternoon for an update. I will dig a lot deeper in the afternoon and will share anything I feel relevant or interesting.
Any more questions? Hit me up on Twitter @mrclutchdfs
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