After a monster day of Friday baseball, we return to a more normal slate. The trickier part of today is selecting the correct pitchers to start. Plenty of great hitting matchups available as well!

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.

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 12-game slate begins at 6:05pm ET. Reserve your spot for the contest.

 

 

2. Weather and Park Factors

The weather looks like it won’t play a factor in today’s slate. A 10% chance of rain is listed for the MIA@TB game, but the roof will be closed anyway. There are two games with an enhanced wind presence; STL@CHC has strong winds blowing in on Wrigley-so watch for it to be a pitcher’s duel. MIL@CLE is also showing strong winds blowing to RF/1B that could make things interesting.

Hitters Parks to consider: Minute Maid(LAA@HOU), Camden Yards(NYY@BAL), Wrigley Field(STL@CHC)

Pitchers Parks to consider: Oakland Coliseum(SD@OAK), Kaufman Stadium(CWS@KC)

Check out our park factors HERE.

 

 

3. Building Block Bats

Elite values:

Josh Donaldson ($3700 DK, $2800 FD)

Donaldson feels like a forgotten man. He is back handling the hot corner for the Twins and swinging a hot bat since returning. In his first two games back, Donaldson has an extra-base hit in both, including a home run. He sat out the second doubleheader last night so he could be full go tonight to face Tarik Skubal. It’s a minimal sample size, but Skubal is getting crushed against RHH.

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The price is far too low for an elite level talent like Donaldson.

 

Jose Abreu ($5400 DK, $3800 FD)
Tim Anderson ($5600 DK, $3600 FD)

Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson are a significant reason for the White Sox being in first place in the Central. Quietly, Tim Anderson is competing for the batting title again. Anderson is riding another heater this week with a .400/.424/.567 slash line with a .991 OPS. His teammate, Jose Abreu, is putting up huge power numbers. He tied for second in the MLB with 13 home runs and atop the leaderboard in RBI(38). These two definitely come with a heft price tag, but the production is elite.

Also consider: Teoscar Hernandez/Randall Grichuk, Kyle Tucker, Marcel Ozuna, Michael Conforto/Dominic Smith

 

Unlikely heroes:

Jacob Stallings ($3100 DK, $2200 FD)

A comfortable position to punt on is catcher due to the position scarcity. When I’m not paying up for JT Realmuto or Yasmani Grandal, a target to look for is Jacob Stallings. He is providing a safe floor at the position with a 12.4% walk rate. Another reason to target Stallings is he makes a lot of contact-89.9% z-contact puts him in the top-10 of all catchers seeing at least 30 plate appearances. Lastly, Stallings typically bats in the 5/6-hole and gets a few more chances to drive in a run than other catchers at a similar salary.

 

Tyler Naquin ($3400 DK, $3000 FD)

Naquin is a platoon bat that needs to be considered when Cleveland faces a right-handed pitcher. In the last two weeks, he has a .316/.325/.737 slash line with a 1.062 OPS and four home runs. The numbers are pretty loud for such a quiet player.

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Also consider: Brian Goodwin, Sam Haggerty, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Encarnacion, Jay Bruce

 

 

4. Pitchers

“Safe” Picks: 

Lucas Giolito (DK $10500, FD $10400)

Lucas Giolitto followed up his no-hit performance with a solid outing against the Twins. He continues to pile up the strikeouts with 66 in only 48.2 innings pitched. He looks like the safest high-priced player because of the matchup. Giolito squares off against one of the worst offenses on the slate, the Kansas City Royals. In the last seven days, the Royals are striking out 25.3% of the time and have a 69 wRC+. Put those numbers in with the .614 OPS and .292 OBP, this should be a high scoring game for Giolito.

 

Aaron Civale (DK $9400, FD $9100) 

Civale has struggled in his previous two games on the mound. Although his control has been there and he still is yet to walk more than two batters in a start. Civale has been a mark of consistency as he has made it at least six innings pitched in every start this year. He makes his eighth start against a struggling Milwaukee Brewer’s club, who has a 75 wRC+ and .287 wOBA vs. RHP. In the last seven days, the Brew Crew is striking out an alarming 26.1% of the time and has a sub .800 OPS.

Also Consider: Gerrit Cole, Max Fried

 

Value Targets: 

Justus Sheffield (DK $5700, FD $6300)

Sheffield gets to pitch against the Texas Rangers today, who is a dreadful offensive squad. They have a 25.0% strikeout rate and a 5.9% walk rate when facing a southpaw on the season. In over 450 plate appearances, the Rangers have a .223/.280/.361 slash line vs. LHP. Yikes! Sheffield’s last outing didn’t go according to plan due to the number of walks. If he can keep those under wraps, the rest should take care of itself.

Also Consider: Chase Anderson

 

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.

 

Edwin Rios ($2900 DK, $2200 FD)

Rios was activated when Justin Turner went on the IL. This one is a little bit of a dart throw because the Dodgers have been sporadic with playing time on players- so monitor the lineup before lock time. Rios destroyed right-handed pitchers in the minor leagues, as shown in the splits below.

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Rios should face off against German Marquez, and his rostered% could be deficient. This would also be a great GPP/Tourny play because of that.

 

Cedric Mullins ($2000 DK, $2400 FD)

Mullins draws the very tough matchup against Gerrit Cole, but will likely get the leadoff at-bats. Cole has looked human at times, and Mullins is swinging a hot bat with a hit in each of his previous four games. It won’t take much production to pay for his low salary, and the opportunities should be there today.

Also Consider: Jose Trevino(catcher punt), Daniel Robertson, Andres Gimenez