Today’s baseball slate sets up like a slate that has a lot of different directions and I think this is a great slate to find a core group of plays and make multiple lineups around it hoping that it hits. I have a few plays that I really like today that I don’t think will be the most popular options in the world because of certain limitations that exist within daily fantasy sports. I like the two-pitcher sites better for today’s contest, so that is what I will be focusing on today.
The strategy for me today at pitching is capture as much upside as possible without breaking the bank. I have a few bats that I just LOVE tonight, which isn’t normally a stance I take, so getting in the pitchers with upside with some cap space is really important to me tonight. I have 2 pitchers that will anchor my core and a few others sprinkled in to capture the upside I believe that they possess.
Masahiro Tanaka is my favorite pitcher on the slate in terms of raw fantasy points and I think that the price is reasonable enough to pay for tonight. Tanaka’s upside is undeniable and he has shown that recently. Tanaka has finished the season strong in recent seasons, posting a lower ERA, wOBA, and opponent batting average in the second half. This appears to be a real trend with Tanaka and the upside vs. the Rangers is outstanding. I think Tanaka has a real shot at 10 K’s here tonight and I cannot pass that up in GPP’s or cash games.
I know I said I want some room to spend up on bats, so here we go. My second favorite pitcher is Clay Holmes, who is basically minimum salary around the industry. Holmes isn’t a top prospect, but his numbers seem to show that he has tinkered with something in his arsenal. Holmes’ K/9 this season in the minors is more than 2 K’s higher than it has been in previous seasons and those seasons were at much worse levels of baseball than AAA. Holmes’ fastball/sinker projects as an above average major league pitch and his groundball rate is great. If I get a minimum salary pitcher in AT&T Park, who limits flyballs, has a K/9 around 9 in the minors, and a 3.33 xFIP, I’m going to play him. Holmes has the potential to have a really solid performance in this spot and he is a pitcher that just limits damage unless a bunch of ground balls get through the infield. I’ll take that “risk” at minimum salary every day of the week.
I will be sprinkling in both Coors Field pitchers because they are both extremely talented pitchers. Coors hurts pitchers, but it’s not impossible to have a great outing there from time to time and both of these pitchers have more than enough talent to pay off their rather low salaries tonight. I won’t have a ton, but if I use a cheap stack and want to go up from Holmes, I can do that with either of these guys and hope for the talent to overcome the park. Kevin Gausman also fits this category. Simply put, Gausman needs to throw his splitter lie 30% of the time. When he does that, he is a very good pitcher. In his first start with the Braves, he threw it 7% of the time. That is scary enough to not have him as a core play, but it is viable to sprinkle him in and hope they call that splitter more often.
The bats are interesting on this slate. I will be building around a few individual bats tonight, along with stacks of their team or others. Let’s talk about a few of my favorite bats on the entire slate.
Matt Carpenter has been a beast for the last few months and this is a great spot to attack a struggling pitcher that has struggled to prevent the home run ball this season. Burch Smith isn’t a HORRIBLE arm, but he’s on the negative side of the good/bad conversation. Regardless of that, Carpenter should probably be in play vs. any pitcher in the league right now. Carpenter is hitting over .310 since the start of June and should be in a great spot to produce again tonight
Giancarlo Stanton has also been on a tear for the last few months, but I think it has been much more under the radar than Carpenter. Stanton has hit. 313 since the middle of June and has killed left-handed pitchers all season. Mike Minor should struggle tonight and I think that Stanton should be right in the middle of it all tonight.
The other stacks I want, along with the Cardinals and the Yankees, are as follows (in order)
Phillies, Angels, Red Sox, Tigers, and Indians