Wednesday’s main slate is a nine-game affair as we welcome back the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles after a two-day hiatus. The slate begins on both DraftKings and FanDuel at the usual time of 7:05pm ET
This is Plan of Attack. We’re here to provide advice and recommendations to help you build successful daily fantasy lineups. We’ll be loosely guided by the tenants of our DFS Manifesto – namely a single lineup build designed to improve your enjoyment of the game while giving you a chance to beat the rake.
Don’t be surprised if the column evolves. This is a living creature, and it’s sure to adapt in Darwinian fashion. If there are features you especially like or believe need tweaking to be actionable, please reach out to us. Since this is written early in the day, certain important details will be left for you to find on your own. In particular, weather, lineups, and umpires are all things you should verify within three hours of contest-lock.
For clarity, when I reference “value,” I’m referring to projected points divided by cost.
1. The RotoFanatical Challenge
We will be hosting a daily 20-entry, $3 contest on DraftKings. It’s an excellent low-cost testing ground against fellow RotoFanatic fans. A level playing field is always nice. Today’s 9-game slate begins at 7:05pm ET. Reserve your spot for the contest.
2. Weather and Park Factors
There is around a 25% chance of rain in the matchups between the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians in Cleveland and the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers in Detroit. One matchup at risk due to the weather is the one between the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves in Atlanta. However, there is a chance they can get on the field but it may be a delayed start that could leave you sweating players in that matchup.
There are two parks today which should see a boost for hitters with the weather. The first in Comerica Park in Detroit, where hitting out to left field ranks 9th in the league in terms of home runs when it comes to right-handed hitters. With a left-handed pitcher on the mound and a solid breeze expected to be carrying the ball out in that direction, we could see some value in right-handed hitters who can mash lefties.
The other park that is fascinating on today’s slate is Angels Stadium, where the wind is expected to be blowing straight out to center field. Centerfield in Angels Stadium is already a very favorable home run area for both right- and left-handed hitters. With a slight breeze blowing straight out, we could see a lot of balls clear the fences in that direction today.
3. Building Block Bats
In this section, we’ll look at top hitters with strong projections before moving on to a detailed analysis of deeper picks.
The top hitters are mostly who you’d expect. They’re priced accordingly.
Mike Trout ($6200 DK, $4500 FD)
Christian Yelich ($5900 DK, $4300 FD)
Keston Hiura ($4800 DK, $3200 FD)
Paul Goldschmidt ($4200 DK, $3700 FD)
Trout and Yelich both crushed right-handed pitching over the past two years. However, a name that is surprisingly right up there in terms of numbers is Hiura. Now he is not quite on the same stratosphere as Trout and Yelich but he is not a million miles away. His .418 wOBA, .415 BABIP, and .314 ISO was a really good return in 2019. He is off to a slow start this season but has a nice matchup with Joe Musgrove in a solid park for hitters with favorable weather conditions. As the fifth and sixth highest priced second baseman on FanDuel and DraftKings respectively he offers value on Wednesday.
Goldschmidt has really good numbers against left-handed pitchers in the past two years. Over that period he has a .401 wOBA with a .302 BABIP and a .283 ISO when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound. With Rich Hill making his first start of the season, Goldschmidt could have the opportunity to jump on him early.
Also consider: Christian Yelich
C.J. Cron ($3200 DK, $3100 FD)
Mitch Moreland ($3000 DK, $2700 FD)
Both Cron and Cabrera have matched up extremely well against left-handed pitchers in the last two years. Cron has the slightly better numbers, with a .400 wOBA and an ISO of .276 in that period. Cabrera does not bring the same power to the table but his BABIP when facing lefties over the past two years sits at a very promising .394.
Both should be able to get after Danny Duffy, who has a tendency to get hit hard from time-to-time and could be vulnerable against two right-handed hitters that will like this matchup. The wind blowing out to left field should help both hitters in terms of potentially hitting the ball out of the park.
Jorge Soler ($3600 DK, $3700 FD)
Sticking with the same game and we have another favorable matchup with a left-handed starter. Matthew Boyd struggled horribly out of the gate against the Cincinnati Reds in his first start and a hitter of Soler’s quality will make him pay if he struggles again. Over the past two years, Soler has crushed left-handed pitching, with a .385 wOBA, a .331 BABIP, and .279 ISO.
Boyd was also hit hard by right-handed hitters last season, allowing 32 home runs with a slugging percentage of .474. That makes Boyd a great target for all right-handed hitters with power this season.
Also consider: Starlin Castro, Howie Kendrick, Adalberto Mondesi
Wednesday’s slate is very top-heavy as we see the return to action of both Jacob DeGrom, who are unsurprisingly the highest priced pitchers on both sites. With the struggles at the plate that we have seen from the Red Sox and the Orioles when a decent right-handed pitcher is on the mound, both could still be good plays despite the extremely high price points.
On DraftKings Charlie Morton is priced in a similar region, but given the way he struggled on Opening Day and the weather concerns he is a pitcher that you should look to avoid on this slate.
Other pitchers in a similar price range to Morton on FanDuel and in that next-tier on DraftKings are Mike Soroka, Matthew Boyd, Chris Paddack, and Brandon Woodruff. The only pitcher of those that grabs my attention is Paddack on DraftKings, who was impressive against the Diamondbacks to open the season.
This may very well end up being a day in which targeting the higher-priced pitchers is the play and then hunt for values when it comes to hitting. The slate is extremely weak on the bottom end with every pitcher having serious question marks entering this start.
Andrew Heaney (DK $7900, FD $7100)
The wind out to center field does present a risk for Heaney, but there are some factors in his favor in this matchup. The Seattle Mariners really struggled against left-handed pitching in 2019. They ranked fourth from last in batting average, and in the bottom half when it comes to both slugging and ISO. There is always a risk when selecting a pitcher who matches up with the Mariners and their big bats. However, Heaney has the potential to be a good value play on both sites on Wednesday.
Also Consider: Nathan Eovaldi
Connectors are cheap guys who offer a tangible upside and enable you to explore top-heavy builds. FanDuel offers an embarrassing quantity of these players (their pricing model is drunk) so I’ll focus on DraftKings first and foremost.
Brandon Nimmo ($3500 DK, $2400 FD)
Nimmo’s numbers against right-handed pitchers from 2018 mean he offers great value. He is capable of hitting both consistently and for power when a right-handed pitcher is on the mound. His 2019 numbers were somewhat disappointing but those numbers from 2018 are hard to ignore when he currently possesses a .375 batting average against right-handed pitching in 2020. It is a small sample size but given the way 2019 went, those numbers hint that we could be set to see Nimmo return to the strong numbers we saw in 2018.
Jordy Mercer ($2800 DK, $2100 FD)
A left-handed pitcher on the mound for the Kansas City Royals means that we should see Mercer in the lineup for the Tigers on Wednesday. Mercer owns strong numbers against lefties (.340 wOBA and .336 BABIP), meaning that he could be a good low-priced option at third base on this slate.
Also Consider: Niko Goodrum (Only a value on FD), Harrison Bader, Michael Brantley