Welcome to the start of our weekend! We have a 9-game slate tonight with one PPD. The deck is short a couple of cards, specifically aces, so load up on the bats and count up the home runs. Enjoy!

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 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 9-game slate begins at 7:05pm ET. Reserve your spot for the contest.

 

2. Weather and Park Factors

 

The weather doesn’t look to impede any game today, with three being indoors. The only place to monitor is in the northeastern area in New York for the Mets/Marlins series. Otherwise, we have smooth worry-free baseball today.

New ballpark Globe Life Field was deemed a pitchers park by Joey Gallo. This remains to be seen still with such a small sample size of 2020. I wanted to highlight on this park because it plays very well for power, specifically to CF, RFC, and RF. This leads many to think about grabbing all the left-hand bats, but that’s not the case here. Batted ball data collected tells us to look at the right-handed bats instead. Keep this tip under your hat and exploit the misnomer.

 

freesnippingtool.com_capture_20200808062414

 

There is plenty of options in the LAA/TEX game to take for this reason. Notable right-handed bats in this game: Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Albert Pujols, Todd Frazier, Nick Solak, and Justin Upton. Let’s use this top-secret info and start our lineup build!

 

3. Building Block Bats

 

In this section, we’ll look at top hitters with strong projections before moving on to a detailed analysis of more in-depth picks.

 

Elite values:

Mike Trout ($6000 DK, $4600 FD)

It always feels like cheating, putting Trout into your lineup. Let’s not forget, he is the best playing in the MLB and does come with a massive price tag. He is in play today because the slate lacks many high priced arms and will allow you to load up on expensive bats. Trout’s batting .317 with five HRs and 11 RBI in only ten games. He is riding a six-game hitting streak with a home run in three of his last four. Too hot of a stretch for me to keep Trout out.

 

Nick Castellanos ($4500 DK, $3900 FD)

Nicky The Bat is red hot as well. For elite-level bat construction, you cannot ask for a better player to start at this price. He is putting up double-digit points every other night and, in many cases scoring over 20. Castellanos has a gaudy stat line with seven HRs and 16 RBI with a .340 batting average. An absolute must-play!

Also consider: Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, Anthony Rendon.

Unlikely heroes:

 

Christian Vasquez ($4100 DK, $3000)

Rarely do I enjoy paying up for a catcher, but the pickings are pretty slim. The Boston catcher started the year off smoking and cooled off on the long road stretch. The right-handed batter will look to play some wall ball off the Green Monster. He faces off against Chase Anderson, who is making his 2020 debut, a good time to throw Vasquez in the lineup, and see if he can take advantage.

 

AJ Pollack ($3100 DK, $3000 FD)

Pollock flashes glimpses of the uber-productive player he once was. So I will say, keep an eye out to make sure he stays in the lineup. Its been a substantial resurgence for him in 2020 as Pollack boasts a .316 BA with three HRs and six RBI. The price is right for the ability, and there is a fair chance he goes very under-owned.

Also consider: Kyle Seager, Todd Frazier, Justin Upton, Albert Pujols.

 

4. Pitchers

 

“Safe” Picks: 

 

Chris Paddack (DK $7900, FD $9100)

Paddack may end up being the most played starter on the slate. The price of DK seems very low compared to the options above him. He is definitely stretched out as he has gone five or more innings pitched in all three starts. Paddack draws a favorable matchup against the struggling Diamondbacks with a pitcher-friendly home park advantage. Don’t get cute, Paddack is going to pile up the strikeouts and score you plenty of points.

 

Clayton Kershaw (DK $10500, FD $10600)

Kershaw is finally back. He made his 2020 debut last week and looked very sharp. Clayton only threw 81 pitches but was incredibly efficient as he struck out six and only allowed three hits. His price has ballooned all the way up to over $10K, compared to his Opening Day $9000. Still, he is the lone ace on the slate and warrants your attention.

Also Consider: Jake Odorizzi

 

Value Targets: 

 

Zack Godley (DK $5800, FD $7200)

It’s been a tale of two starts for Godley. He looked like every capable starting pitching against the Mets to open his season and then struggled immensely against the Yankees. I will repeat, the slate is pretty weak for starting pitching, and the options get muddy quickly. Toronto puts up fireworks one night and looks like it can’t hit its way out of a paper bag the next. The Blue Jays have struggled right-hand pitching this season and have the seventh-worst wRC+ to start. Godley’s value price will allow you to load up on big bats.

Also Consider: David Peterson, Danny Duffy

 

5. Connectors

 

Connectors are cheap guys who offer a tangible upside and enable you to explore top-heavy builds.

 

Jake Cronenworth ($2700 DK, $2500 FD)

Cronenworth is getting full-time plate appearances with Hosmer going on the IL. He is mashing as of late, two HRs in his last three games. The Padres lineup is putting up crooked numbers on a nightly basis, and grabbing a piece of that with a deflated price is very helpful. The first base position for today does not have elite options today, so the recommendation is to pay down for Cronenworth.

 

Marwin Gonzalez ($3200 DK, $2500 FD)

In the absence of Twin’s slugger, Josh Donaldson, the team has turned to veteran corner infielder, Marwin Gonzalez. The Twins lineup still features a ton of firepower, even though it has cooled off a little. Gonzalez is swinging a hot bat in his last few games, including one HR and five hits in four games. Marwin has a career .162 ISO vs. LHP and a 119 wRC+ against them this year. Tonight’s matchup is lefty vet, Danny Duffy. Stable value at a low price.

Also Consider: Alex Verdugo, Edwin Rios