This Saturday brings us ten games to choose from with no real aces and an ample supply of bats. It’s a bizarre slate: the pitchers are suspect, the hitters have little park factor help, and the matchups are so-so. Don’t worry, we got you.

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, specific essential 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 lovely. Today’s 10-game slate begins at 7:05pm ET. Reserve your spot for the contest.

 

2. Weather and Park Factors

 

The only major threat of rain comes from the MIA/WSH doubleheader, but good news, it’s not in the mix for the mains. There is a slight chance at the BOS@BAL game but nothing to alter lineups. As always, monitor your lineups before lock time.

Much like yesterday’s Plan of Attack, the matchups don’t put many batters into hitter-friendly stadiums. Outside of BOS@BAL, all the games are played in pitcher-friendly parks that could suppress scoring a bit today. It might be a good day to focus on hitters with high contact rates or riding a hot streak.

Check out our park factors HERE.

 

3. Building Block Bats

 

Elite values:

Anthony Rizzo ($4900 DK, $3400 FD)
Kyle Schwarber ($4000 DK, $2700 FD)

The Chicago Cubs bats have cooled down slightly since the massive outputs to begin the season. However, they still have a 109 wRC+ and .331 wOBA in the previous seven days. The team needs to slow down on the strikeouts as they have a 35% strikeout rate, but a 15.7% walk rate as well. Rizzo and Schwarber are very effective against RHP and should put up substantial numbers to return elite value.

The significant advantage these two bats have is they square off against Reynaldo Lopez. He is returning from an IL stint and has only made one start on the season. We can’t look entirely at his stats due to the small sample size, but it’s not pretty. Throughout Reynaldo’s career, he has walked too many batters and is prone to giving up the long ball. It could be an ugly game out there for Lopez, thanks for Rizzo and Schwarber.

Rafael Devers ($5300 DK, $2700 FD)

It has been a bumpy ride for Devers in 2020. His start was beyond awful and makes his overall stats look very poor. The excellent news is ownership percentage has faded, and the salary has dipped a little. Devers is starting to show usual form with a hit in eight of his previous ten games. The issue with Dever was the number of times he was striking out in at-bats. It was an uncharacteristic 25% of the time, but in his last ten games, he has only struck out three times. He is hitting much better away from Fenway this year and will be facing Alex Cobb in Camden Yards, the only hitter-friendly park on the slate. As a team, Boston has kicked it up a notch and has a 125 wRC+ when facing RHP. The sudden outburst could lead to opportunities for counting stats this evening.

 

Also consider: Rhys Hoskins, Anthony Santander, Kyle Seager

 

Unlikely heroes:

 

Franmil Reyes ($4500 DK, $3300 FD)

He is riding a dominant hot streak and putting up multi-hit games, and extra-base frequently hits after a terrible start to the year. He is batting over .500 with four HRs in his last nine games. While the team is struggling immensely vs. LHP with a 28 wRC+ over their previous seven days, Reyes has looked on point. He faces up against LHP Matt Boyd, who we all know is the master of giving up hard contact.

freesnippingtool.com_capture_20200822070941

Travis d’Arnaud ($3500 DK, $3000 FD)

d’Arnaud has been getting more days off as a catcher to preserve his bat. In his 15 games played, he has a .344 batting average with four home runs, 17 RBI, and eight runs. d’Arnaud has been making all kinds of quality contact over. He has a hit in all but one of his previous 12 games played. His exit velocity, hard-hit %, and xwOBA are all in the top 90th percentile. Slot him into your catcher spot on DraftKings and he is serviceable as a UTIL on FanDuel if you need to save a little salary space.

Also consider: Dylan Moore, Miguel Cabrera, Phil Gosselin

 

4. Pitchers

 

“Safe” Picks: 

 

Dustin May (DK $9100, FD $7000)

May is quite inexpensive compared to the usual suspects in the safe section, but there is not a ton to go with today. Let’s start with one reason to love Dustin May, he does not walk a lot of batters. In five starts, he is not allowing more than two walks. May sport a 19:5 BB: K ratio across 14 innings pitched.

His opponent is the Colorado Rockies, who are a tough draw at home, but the game will be played in Dodgers Stadium. The Rockies have a 53 wRC+ and .270 wOBA against RHP over the last seven days. They are striking out 1/4th of the time and only walking about 8% of at-bats. Pitching against stats like these is undoubtedly safe for me.

 

freesnippingtool.com_capture_20200822070554

Also Consider: Zack Wheeler

 

Value Targets: 

 

Randy Dobnak (DK $8600, FD $7200)

Dobnak is kind of a dull pitcher, he pitches to contact and doesn’t strike a lot of batters out. What is not boring is the level of success he is experiencing so far. Dobnak boasts a 4-1 record with 1.42 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. This is telling up batters are not getting on base at all, and when they do, they are not crossing home plate. On the other side, in 25.1 innings pitched, he has only struck out 14 batters. Dobnak is a true essence of a groundball pitcher, as shown by the chart below.

freesnippingtool.com_capture_20200822071235

Dobnak faces the Royals this evening. In the last seven days, KC has a 29.8% strikeout rate and only walks 7.4% of the time. This is why they have a meager .288 team on-base percentage. They have been able to put a few balls into the bleachers, as their OPS is .665, and .154 ISO supports this. However, they carry an 80 wRC+ and .290 wOBA. Both of these numbers are nearly dead last in the MLB right now.

 

Zach Davies (DK $8900, FD $8000)

Davies never jumps off the page as a pitcher to select, but he is having great success this year. He is coming off of a nice three-game run that includes a 17:4 K: BB ratio in 19.2 innings pitched. Davies has done a terrific job keeping runners off the base paths and showcases a 0.89 WHIP. When Davies does get hit, which we have shown isn’t that often, it’s not hard. There is only an 86.4 MPH exit velocity returned on him.

He plays Houston today, who just lost Alex Bregman. The Astros were struggling before then, and this loss makes matters worse. They have 93wRC+ and .304 wOBA over the last seven days vs. RHP.

Also Consider: Brandon Bielak, Triston McKenzie(dice roll)

 

5. Connectors

 

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.

 

Alec Bohm ($2800 DK, $2800 FD)

Bohm has handled himself very well at the plate since being called up. He has eight hits in nine games played with three of them being multi-baggers. Bohm has a 93 mph exit velocity on his batted ball event and hits the sweet spot of the bat to the tune of 40% of the time. He shows tremendous plate discipline as well, 16.1 BB% to 19.4 K%

 

Isaac Paredes ($2400 DK, $2100 FD)

Paredes has only played in four games so far, but showing a knack for production. He has been on base all four of those games with a hit in two of them. Paredes is fresh off a massive game, where he smacked his first HR and put up four RBI. At his salary price, its an excellent connector piece to allow extra bats in the builds today.

 

Also Consider: Joey Bart, Ryan Mountcastle, Scott Kingery, Chris Taylor