It’s a stacked slate of 11 games today. Quality arms are in ample supply, and finding value bats will be the key to unlocking DFS riches this evening.
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 are 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 11-game slate begins at 6:05pm ET. Reserve your spot for the contest.
2. Weather and Park Factors
Fortune is smiling upon us as there is no real threat of weather canceling any games today. Few clouds in the northeast, but no cause for concern.
Today’s park factor insight about Camden Yards. As you glance at the chart below, hitters have the advantage of either side of the dish. That is where we will look to exploit the matchup and stack a few of the elite values-we will get to that later. The recommendation is to play right-handed hitters that hit the ball to LFC and CF. There should be a lot of score in TOR @ BAL.
Check out our park factors HERE.
3. Building Block Bats
Vladimir Guerrero Jr ($5400 DK, $4000 FD)
Teoscar Hernandez ($4700 DK, $3200 FD)
A couple Blue Jays bats will do the trick when starting your build. For starters, they face off against left-hander, Wade LeBlanc, who has faired very poorly this season. LeBlanc has tossed 17.2 innings pitched and has less than one strikeout per nine with a 7.13 ERA. Now put the two elite value bats in Camden Yards very hitter-friendly ballpark for a massive advantage in your lineup.
Guerrero Jr started out ice cold to begin the season but has recently picked things up. He has hit safely in three of his last five games, including a home run in two of them. The biggest concern coming into 2020 was the launch angle woes. He isn’t elevating the ball enough for how hard he is hitting it. The excellent news is Vlad is still hitting the ball hard as usual and in the last hot streak, starting to elevate the ball. Grab him now while the value on this big bat is down.
Teoscar Hernandez is on a tear to start the year. In only 19 games this year, he’s put up a .299 batting average with seven HRs, 14 RBI, and 10 Runs while swiping two bases. Production is oozing out of him these days. Hernandez is also demolishing lefties this year with a .722 SLG% and 1.066 OPS.
Juan Soto ($5900 DK, $4700 FD)
Until further notice, Juan Soto has to be in any lineup you build. He might be the most expensive player on the slate, but outside of two goose eggs on the year, he has been immaculate. Soto is averaging 20.86 DFS points per game on the year so far with a .409 batting average and seven HRs. Soto is just on a level that forces him into your lineup to build around.
Also consider: Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Luke Voit, Eloy Jimenez
Freddy Galvis ($3100 DK, $2800 FD)
Galvis is a switch hitter that fairs well from both sides of the plate, but he hits for more power against right-hand pitching. In 42 at-bats this year, Galvis has three HRs and a .262/.367/.524 slash line with a .891 OPS. He sees the ball extremely well from that side of the plate with his 6:8 BB/K ratio. I’m a sucker for cheaper bats that are striking out less and walking more than their career numbers, while also hitting the ball harder.
UPDATE: CIN@KC has been postponed.
As an alternative choice, take a look at Willy Adames ($3600 DK, $2700 FD). Adames has been red hot as of late, putting up double-digit points in four of his last five games. Both of his HRs this year have come off RHP and he is a great swing choice.
Jose Abreu ($4500 DK, $3000 FD)
It’s been an HR-fest on the south side of Chicago in the past few days. Jose Abreu needs to start joining in on the fun more. Making his MLB debut is up-and-coming Detroit pitcher, Tarik Skubal. The word on Skubal is he is only going 50 pitches at most today, so look for Abreu to take advantage of the youngster’s jitters. Detroit also has a horrendous bullpen behind him as well. Should be plenty of opportunities for Abreu to be very productive in his hitter-friendly home park. He is hitting the ball hard, just need to elevate the ball more for a big day!
Also consider: Hunter Dozier, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Reyes
Yu Darvish (DK $10500, FD $9900)
Darvish continues to build on his second-half success of last season. He has a 1.88 ERA and 0.75 WHIP through 24.0 innings pitched in 2020. Yu has won his previous three decisions and cruising through seven innings in his last two starts. He faces off against the St Louis Cardinals, who Yu has handled well in his career against. The slate is extensive and has many great pitching options to consider. If you want a sure thing, go with Darvish.
Kenta Maeda (DK $9700, FD $8800)
Maeda was yo-yo’d back and forth from bullpen to starting rotation in LA over the past few years. The Twins have planted him in the rotation, and he is flourishing before our eyes. In 23.2 innings pitched, Kenta has a 2.66 ERA and sub 1.00 WHIP with 21 strikeouts. He has been remarkably consistent as he has put up a quality start in the last three straight. He draws a great matchup in the Milwaukee Brewers, who have been striking out 30% as a team. Another excellent play for guaranteed production here.
Also Consider: Carlos Carrasco, Blake Snell
Austin Voth (DK $8300, FD $6400)
Voth is yet to record a win in 2020, so why suggest him? In 14 innings pitched, Voth has a 3.21 ERA and 1.00 WHIP and has looked good so far. The big knock is he hasn’t been able to go deep enough into games yet. His pitch count is ramping up; however, Voth has gone from 70 to 73, to 86 pitches in his starts. That’s a good sign today as he pitches against an Atlanta Braves team with Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr in it.
Zach Eflin (DK $6900, FD $7900)
Eflin has been my sneaky value play in his last few starts. He made a pitch mix change and went sinker heavy last year that made him much more effective. He ditched his four-seam fastball for a sinker, he has a bit more feel for. The sinker is keeping the ball in the yard, a problem that Eflin had early in his career, and become his top strikeout pitch. He pairs it nicely with a slider that has a .093 xBA, .261 xSLG, and .139 xwOBA. His opponent, the Boston Red Sox, has a 27.9 K% while only a 5.9 BB% against RHP this season.
Also Consider: Masahiro Tanaka, Dylan Cease
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.
Luis Garcia ($2100 DK, $2000 FD)
Tip of the hat to my colleague, Brad Johnson, for calling this one out yesterday. Garcia went deep and produced big time for a connector. I am going to roll the dice on Garcia again as well. Second base is a tougher place to squeeze players into for production. He draws Josh Tomlin, that is on a nice run to start his season, but the Nationals have a 126 wRC+ against RHP and below-league average strikeout rate. He bats sixth in the lineup after some solid OBP players, so I am looking for a few RBI chances today.
Tucker Barnhart ($2700 DK, $2000 FD)
Punting the catching position is something I often do. The position has not shown a sustainable place to pickup DFS points this season or in years past. You can pay up for studs like Realmuto or Gary Sanchez today, but given the amount of quality starting pitching, I would suggest paying down. Barnhart should not be overlooked today. He has put up double-digit points in his previous two games out. It doesn’t take much for a sub $3000 player to return value, and Barnhart sports a .467 OBP because he walks a ton as well. Not the sexiest pick, but it will allow you to get an extra bat.
UPDATE: CIN@KC has been postponed.
As an alternative option, the suggestion is Austin Romine($3400 DK, $2200 FD). Romine squares off against Dylan Cease, who is having big problems finding the strike zone with his fastball. For a catcher, Romine is prouductive with two HRs, 10 RBI, 6 Runs with a .300 batting average.
Also Consider: Jason Heyward, Matt Davidson, Isaac Paredes, Victor Caratini