Today we have a nice small slate of 3 games starting at 7:15 EST and an additional game at 10:10 EST. Small slates are a good time to think about the strategy behind the lineups you are playing. I will give a rundown of all 4 games and my thoughts in cash games and GPP’s.
Miami @ Washington:
This game features two elite pitchers in Max Scherzer and Wei-Yin Chen (I kid). Chen has been pretty good his last 2 outings and I hope that will keep some people off of the Nationals bats here. Chen is a major flyball pitcher that is much better in the friendly confine of his own park than he will be in Nationals Park. The Nationals offense is getting healthy and when healthy, they are a top 5 offense in baseball. This spot is prime for multiple home runs from the Nationals bats and they are one of my favorite teams to stack on the slate. Trea Turner has been hitting well lately and will probably be a popular option in this stack and in cash games if people can afford him. Bryce Harper appears to be banged up and gets a lefty v. lefty matchup here. I like Harper in GPP’s because I want to be a day early on a guy like him. He has elite power and that is Chen’s biggest weakness.
Max Scherzer is clearly the best pitcher on the slate. Little analysis needs to be done to tell you to play Mad Max in cash games. If you want to pay up for Nationals bats, you can easily fade Scherzer for other options on the slate. Understand you are giving up upside in pitching for the bats, but I think that is okay to do on a small slate like this where all of the cheaper bats may bust. I have no interest in Miami at all.
Dodgers @ Angels
Ross Stripling is a really good pitcher facing an above average offense. I will probably stay away from Stripling in cash because of his price and matchup, but I like him in GPP’s for less ownership because of Max Scherzer. The Angels bats are in a bad spot here, but a small slate punt on one of the guys that show up in the bottom of the lineup is fine. If you somehow have the money, I hear Mike Trout is good at baseball.
Deck Mcguire is not a gas can and I will not suggest for you to stack against him. It IS viable to play Deck in a GPP trying to play Nationals and Red Sox with another top-tier pitcher. I assume this build will be contrarian and Mcguire will probably less respected than he should be. I expect the Dodgers to be popular, so I will fade for other offenses on the slate
Boston @ Kansas City
David Price just isn’t as good as the guys around him and I have no interest in him on this slate. The Royals bats are fine as one-offs, but Price is still a solid pitcher, so I won’t stack against him very often. This side is pretty much just a pass
Uhhhh, Brad Keller is good? EHH, Brad Keller has been good. I don’t think I want to mess with Keller because people will want to find a cheap pitcher and Keller’s game logs are the most inviting. Keller’s game logs and the price tags on the top pitchers should keep people far away from one of the best offenses in baseball. I will have lots of Red Sox stacks tonight in GPP’s to target this ownership. I may also have a share or two of Keller, as he has flashed a massive upside for the price.
San Diego @ Arizona
Robbie Ray may be my favorite pitcher on the slate. Ray is coming off of injury and struggled his last start, but he threw 94 pitches. That should allow him to be fully stretched out from this point forward. Ray gets on of the best matchups in baseball in a bad park for hitting post-humidor. Ray has the upside to compete with Max Scherzer and the only way the Padres get to him is the lack of control. I will roll the dice in GPP’s and roll Ray to get to spend up on some bats.
Tyson Ross is a league average pitcher. The D-Backs offense is around league average as well. The ballpark favors pitchers and he’s about an average price. That being said, he’s fine? I would be okay with locking in what should be a decent performance instead of paying all the way up twice or all the way down. I think Ross’s price will force his ownership higher than people would like it. Ross is in a tier of his own and this will cause a lot of people to build a lineup where Ross ‘just fits.” I’d fade him in GPP’s because of that reason, but he is a fine play in all formats if the ownership is okay. The Arizona offense will probably score, but not a ton. I don’t mind one or two guys in your lineup coming from here, but it is not a stack spot.