Today’s Sunday special of games features an eight-game slate with a bevy of useable arms that will lead to lots of possible lineup builds. Good Luck!
WARNING: A point of note is the ATL vs. PHI game will only be seven innings, as it is a doubleheader.
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 9-game slate begins at 12:05pm ET. Reserve your spot for the contest.
2. Weather and Park Factors
Weather won’t play a noticeable factor in today’s slate. Humidity and precipitation levels are in-line to keep all baseball as scheduled. Three games are being played indoors: Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, and Texas.
Long-standing park Fenway has some of the craziest dimensions and the infamous Green Monster in left field. These aspects create many different factors in selecting your hitters. The park is shorter than most to the corners and very deep in centerfield, so doubles are usually seen here. Left-handed pull hitters that can also should the ball into the Green Monster make their way into the lineups often.
Expect plenty of fireworks in Boston. The pitching matchup isn’t the strongest on the slate, and runs will be aplenty. Stack Red Sox with Blue Jays and sprinkle in some decent matchup plays.
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.
Xander Bogaerts (DK $4300 DK, FD $3600)
Xander is a great start when building a lineup. He is a multi-tool talent and can put up stats in every category, from home runs to stolen bases. In 13 games, he is slashing .333/.404/.619 with three home runs, nine runs, and nine RBI. Bogaerts has double-digit points in four of his last five games, including a 40-point explosion against the Yankees on 8/2. Get this hot elite bat in your lineup!
Aaron Judge (DK $6000 DK, FD $4500)
It’s tough to call Aaron Judge a value at that price tag, but it’s not difficult to call him elite. His eight home runs lead the MLB along with this robust 19 RBI to go with them. Judge is averaging 12.3 points per game, and when he goes off, it’s a considerable lineup boost. He squares off against Charlie Morton today, who is still looking to find his groove to the season. If you want beautiful things, you have to pay for them.
Also consider: JD Martinez, Nelson Cruz, JT Realmuto.
Cavan Biggio (DK $4900 , FD $3400)
Biggio is a very unique profile in a hitter, lots of walks, and selective power in the right circumstances. Since moving him into the leadoff role for Toronto, his production has increased. He draws a favorable matchup against the right-hander, Nathan Eovaldi, in Fenway Park. Biggio has been pulling the ball more this year and should take advantage of the short porch down the line. The expectation for ownership will be low due to his slow start. Plug him in the lineup.
Mitch Moreland (DK $4500, FD $3100)
Moreland is a left-handed platoon masher that gets called upon whenever a right-hand pitcher steps on the bump. He’s experienced great success against RHP already this year with four home runs, nine RBI and a 1.123 OPS in only eight games started. Moreland has put up double-digit points in five of those contests and looks to continue against RHP, Matt Shoemaker. He has struggled with command this year and has a putrid 5.91 ERA with a 1.31 and only six strikeouts.
Also consider: Jorge Soler, Renato Nunez, Vlad Guerrero Jr
Sonny Gray (DK $9400, FD $10800)
Sonny Gray has been as consistent as any starting pitcher in the MLB this year. He sports a 3-0 record with 28 strikeouts in only 18.2 innings pitched. All his pitchers are working in perfect harmony, and batters haven’t stood a chance yet. He matched up in Milwaukee against the struggling Brewers. Christian Yelich and the team have been striking out over 30% of the time recently and not putting up many runs. Gray may be one of the safest plays in DFS at the moment.
Jacob deGrom (DK $11600, FD $11100)
Future Hall of Famer, two-time Cy Young winner, Jacob deGrom is a league of his own sometimes. Due to a lack of run support, he only has a 1-0 record, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up elite numbers. In his last start, he struck out ten Atlanta Braves and cruised to a 29.9 game. deGrom looks to be in peak form already and will mow down the 7-1 Miami Marlins. This is another safe play for big fantasy points.
Also consider: Lance Lynn, Jose Berrios.
Pablo Lopez (DK $7000, FD $7100)
Pablo Lopez looked incredible in his season debut against the Orioles. He put five batters down on strikes while giving up only two hits and walking no one. He features one of the best changeups in the MLB and looks to continue fooling hitters against the New York Mets. The Mets are a good offense but have a bit of a strikeout problem with their 24.5 K%. Getting a valued arm like Lopez will open up plenty of budget for explosive bats.
Spencer Turnbull (DK $8000, FD $8100)
Turnbull has the fastball and sliders working to begin 2020. He has 14 strikeouts in only 11 innings pitched with a 1.00 WHIP. Spencer has done a tremendous job keeping batters off the base paths. In two starts this season, he has put up 23.1 and 21.1 points against a good Cincinnati Reds lineup. Today he draws the weary Pirates that have struggled to produce at the top of their lineup. The Pirates have the third-worst wRC+(63) in the MLB. Start Turnbull and get a very healthy return on investment.
Also Consider: Asher Wojciechowski, James Paxton.
Connectors are cheap guys who offer a tangible upside and enable you to explore top-heavy builds.
Jeimer Candelario (DK $2500, FD $2100)
After a horrible start to the season, Candelario has found his groove in the past few starts. Back-to-back three-hit games against the Pirates have boosted his confidence. Today’s matchup brings him to Steven Brault, who walked three batters and gave up four earned runs without recording an out in his last appearance. Any player this hot with a price tag this low needs to be looked at. He will allow you to play a safe ace and even an elite bat or two.
JaCoby Jones (DK $3100, FD $3000)
Jones is another Tiger that is scorching baseballs all over the stadiums. In over half of his games, he has produced double-digit points. His Statcast data backs up the blazing start with the 92nd percentile in barrel% and 90th percentile in xwOBA. Jones bats on the wrap-around nine spot in the lineup and looks to take advantage of Steven Brault’s struggles. Finding 3X production in a connector is a huge advantage, exploit this one for a big payday.
Also consider: Alex Verdugo, Byron Buxton.