What a start to the MLB season. If you’ve been playing DFS or even season long for that matter, you’ve likely been very frustrated. There are injuries abound and multiple postponements daily. This is my first article of the MLB DFS season and I didn’t initially have anything planned today, but had a few minutes and wanted to give you a few of my thoughts as I’ve dug into this slate. I haven’t settled on a format for this season yet, but will likely do that soon. I’m open to any feedback you have of what you’d like to see and what would be helpful for your daily research. Feel free to reach out to me on twitter here: @mrclutchdfs
My first child (a girl) is due any day now, so my DFS articles will likely be sporadic through the next couple weeks before we settle into a routine into May. The last thing that I will mention is that as of right now, I am primarily playing on Draftkings, so most of the pricing I mention will be related to that. With that said, let’s jump into it.
Pitchers to Target
Jacob DeGrom – DeGrom is the guy who is likely to be the cash staple tonight. His matchup isn’t the easiest, but he gives you some security, as he’ll likely find his way to six or seven strikeouts, while limiting the damage against him. While I think he’s fine in all formats, I haven’t decided whether to go with him for cash or use a couple cheaper options and get in all the bats. He has thrown over 100 pitches twice now in three starts, but he hasn’t made it past six innings. I’d like to see him get into the seventh or eighth, but so far it just hasn’t happened.
Blake Snell – Snell is the guy I’m leaning towards as my cash game staple tonight. His price is more than fair, and he’s been pretty solid strikeout wise, with 17 K’s in 15 innings. The knock on Snell so far has been his walks. He’s walked 10 batters while only allowing eight hits. If he can keep the free bases down, he should have a great game. His first three opponents were tough. He opened up against the Red Sox and the Yankees, and followed them up with the White Sox, who quietly hit the ball really well against lefties. Now, he gets a great matchup against the Texas Rangers, who strike out a ton and don’t hit lefties well collectively. There are a couple bats he’ll have to navigate around, namely Adrian Beltre and Robinson Chirinos, but I think he has a safe floor and a very high ceiling here.
Luis Castillo – I’m taking a long hard look at Castillo tonight. He has not been the pitcher that many of us expected him to be so far in the young season. Last time out, he appeared to be turning things around. He generated 10 swinging strikes in 89 pitches and lasted through the sixth inning. I think positive regression is right around the corner. As of right now, I think of Castillo as a TOURNAMENT option on this slate. However, if Ryan Braun and Eric Thames end up sitting this one out, I think he moves into cash territory.
Batters to Target
Matt Olson – Olson should be sneaky on this slate. Reynaldo Lopez has been a solid pitcher to start the year, but Olson profiles really well against him. He is my choice to knock one out of the park today. Lopez has relied on his fastball 60% of the time so far this season, and averaged 95.4 mph. Since 2016, Olson has a wOBA of 0.373 against fastballs between 94-96 mph and a 0.308 ISO. Even better, Olson has a massive 0.532 expected wOBA. For what it’s worth, Lopez has also added a slider this season and is throwing it 20% of the time. During that same time span since 2016, Olson has a 0.353 wOBA and 0.182 ISO with a 0.504 xwOBA.
Steve Pearce – Pearce has been locked into my early lineups, but we need to keep an eye on the situation in Toronto, as they’re having an issue with falling ice around the stadium. Go figure. An indoor game is at risk of getting PPD. If this game plays, Pearce is an excellent value play at just $3,100 on Draftkings. He should leadoff against Eric Skoglund. I stacked against Skoglund yesterday and we got a late PPD in Kansas City, so he owes me here. For what it’s worth, I also don’t mind Teoscar Hernandez for even cheaper than Pearce, especially if he’s hitting second.
Rhys Hoskins – This is an ironic recommendation, because yesterday, I had Julio Tehran locked in my cash lineup against the Cubs before that game was PPD. Today, I love Hoskins against him back home in Atlanta. As you may remember from last season, Tehran was okay on the road, but bad at home. While the sample is very limited, Tehran has struggled against right handed hitters to start the season, especially at home. He’s faced 19 righties at home, given up two home runs, with a massive 0.643 wOBA. Okay, that will obviously regress. But for a pitcher giving up a 40% fly ball rate, facing a hitter who has nearly a 50% FB rate, something has to give. In his young career, Hoskins has raked against right handed pitchers. He is sporting a 0.424 wOBA with a 0.311 ISO. He’s a solid candidate to leave the yard tonight.
Any questions? Hit me up on Twitter @mrclutchdfs
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