The MLB season has gotten off to a bumpy start, but the DFS action is in full swing. With PPDs all around up, we find ourselves in a small slate this afternoon. We are using a seven-game main slate for DraftKings and FanDuel.
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.
1. The RotoFanatical Challenge
We will be 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 7-game slate begins at 1:05 PM ET on DraftKings. Reserve your spot now.
2. Weather and Park Factors
There are some cloudy games on the slate, but no humidity of note to warrant a rainout. The assumption should be all games played at their regularly scheduled time. Update: There is one PPD (STL @ MIL)
Looking at RotoFanatic’s Park Factors, there are parks to pay attention to. The most hitter-friendly park on the planet is Coors Field. Its the best park to play for hitters and the worst park for any pitcher. When we scale every ballpark to 100, Coors Field sits at a whopping 122 to all batter and a 128 to LHB.
This chart allows for great insights on how to construct your lineup today. The obvious? STAY AWAY FROM THE PITCHING! Next, grab as many of the Padres and Rockies; specifically one’s that bat from the left-hand side. Double bonus points if they pull the ball hard down the line.
3. Building Block Bats
Charlie Blackmon -OF, Colorado Rockies ($5600 DraftKings, $3900 FanDuel)
David Dahl -OF, Colorado Rockies ($5300 DraftKings, $3700 FanDuel)
As we found in the Weather & Park Factors section, you want to stack players in Coors Field. With a small slate like today, you’ll want to take this advantage on your side. This series is the first homestand of the Rockies, so no better time to firmly plant these two in your lineup than now. In 2019, Blackmon his 22 of his 32 HRs in Coors Field and nearly every HR to LF. David Dahl has potential for days if he could just stay healthy. Great news, he is healthy and brings his lefty swing to Coors. These two bats should be a solid foundation for your lineup today. They’ll face Zach Daves, who is a very soft-tossing right-hand pitcher that doesn’t have a pitch above 90-MPH. Colorado should feast on Davies pitches with Blackmon and Dahl having massive days. Must plays!
Ozzie Albies ($5,000 Draft Kings, $3500 FanDuel)
Albies has one massive game to his credit in 2020 so far. On 7/26, he put up a 32 point game, which has contributed to nearly all his DFS points this year. There are a couple of significant factors to consider for playing Albies: 1) His salary has steadily declined since that explosion on 7/26. 2) He gets to face off against David Peterson, who until last week had never pitched above double-A until besting the woeful Red Sox lineup. 3) The statcast numbers still like Albies, his 2020 MLB percentile rankings in xBA, xSLG, and barrel% are all above league average. He has a .194 BA with a .275 xBA, and there should be some positive regression coming his way.
Also consider: Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Trent Grisham
Brandon Nimmo ($4100 DraftKings, $2700 FanDuel)
The New York Mets should deploy Brandon Nimmo to the top of the lineup often when they face a right-hand pitcher like David Peterson. Makes an incredible amount of sense to me, Nimmo has a career .395 on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers in his career. In this season’s small sample size, Nimmo has 17 plate appearances with seven hits(two XBH) and scored five runs. Double-digits points in three of his last four games mean you have to keep this hot bat in your DFS lineup.
Franmil Reyes ($3900 DraftKings, $2400 FanDuel)
Boom or bust plays belong in the “Unlikely Heroes” section. After launching 37 HRs last season, many dubbed Franmil as the guy to take the title of most HRs in 2020. He has started to make better contact and currently rides a three-game hitting streak. Fingers crossed that Reyes can find last year’s power stroke that boasted better than the 94th percentile in exit velocity, hard hit%, and barrel%.
Also consider: Yandy Diaz, Hunter Renfroe, Dominic Smith.
Aaron Civale ($9600 DraftKings, $8400 FanDuel)
Civale winds up being the most expensive on the slate. Should be a lock-in most lineups due to the small slate. In his first regular-season start, he tossed six scoreless innings with a 9:1 K/BB ratio and only two earned runs. The cutter, curve, and slider were very sharp, and Civale sliced up the potent Chicago White Sox lineup. He faces the dangerous Twins lineup that most likely will be down a significant piece, Josh Donaldson.
Yonny Chirinos ($8600 DraftKings, $7900 FanDuel)
Chirinos will step on the mound to face the weary Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles lineup does have some boppers, but as a full unit is nothing too scary. Yonny did a great job mitigating runs against the Braves, as they only managed one unearned run over 4.0 innings pitched. He managed to strike out four batters on 68 total pitches. Reports suggest Chirinos is looking to get up to 80 for this go-around. It should be an excellent play considering the rest of the field available.
Also consider: Homer Bailey.
Dylan Cease ($8400 DraftKings, $5800 FanDuel)
Cease struggled mightily in his first start on the season. The fastball command wasn’t there, and he couldn’t find the strike zone all afternoon against the Indians. Luckily for Cease, he faces the Royals lineup that doesn’t know how to take a walk. The Royals lineup is very top-heavy, and he needs to get past them to meet some of the weaker bats. The pricing is super affordable on FanDuels(that’s not a typo), and I like the strikeout upside as a value play.
Kyle Wright ($6200 DraftKings, $7500 FanDuel)
Another youngster that’s Opening Day didn’t go as planned. Very little was working for Wright in Tampa Bay last week as he walked three batters and gave up five earned runs in a short 2.2 innings pitched. On a positive note, he did strike out three batters in that quick stint. The potential is there, and he has been strong ability to put up high numbers like in triple-A last season. Again, not a typo, Wright’s salary is very low in DraftKings.
Also consider: Tommy Milone.
Connectors are cheap guys who offer a tangible upside and enable you to explore top-heavy builds.
Nico Hoerner ($3000 DraftKings, $2600 FanDuel)
Nice Hoerner has been a sneaky play in DFS this year. His salary dips under $3000 often, and he ends up batting in a reasonably productive offense. In two of his last five games, he has managed to put up double-digit points. Hoerner has put up 7.2 points per game with a few multi-hit games under his belt.
Leury Garcia ($2900 DraftKings, $2800 FanDuel)
Tim Anderson winds up on the IL and opens the door for Leury Garcia. Last night Garcia posted three hits and is currently batting .296 with two HRs on the season. He squares off against Jakob Junis, who, in 175 innings pitched last year, had an ERA above 5.00 and 2.98 BB/9.
Also consider: Steven Souza Jr, Nick Madrigal