MLB DFS picks for FanDuel: 8/1

Yes, the season may be on the rocks. Yes, your season-long team doesn’t matter. But daily fantasy sports still matter. We only have to commit to one day for each foray, and that’s darn appealing to me given the current pandemic environment.

Yours truly spends his time on FanDuel…sue me. Picking one pitcher is easier than picking two, and given my time constraints I like anything that lessens my decision-making process. I’ll pass over pitching first, but spend a little more time on hitting stacks, and then wrap this thing up at the end. So feel free to skip around.

Pitching Options

(9800) RHP Tyler Glasnow at Baltimore Orioles – We could begin and end here, yes? Glasnow was lights out in his first turn against the Braves, but he got the early hook after his team opened up an eight-run lead. Perhaps the same thing happens here. Perhaps not. But with the Orioles rolling out the rotting carcass of lefty Wade LeBlanc, Glasnow is a heavy -235 road favorite. Against the vaunted Braves lineup he cruised through four innings, allowing one hit, two walks, one run, and amassing a whopping nine strikeouts. The Orioles actually aren’t striking out much so far, only 20.6% of the time, a top five mark. But they haven’t seen Glasnow yet. I know it’s a park downgrade, but Glasnow is definitely on my short list.

(8000) RHP Tyler Chatwood vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Who wants to pay 8K for Chatwood? I mean, really. But it might be a mistake given the strength of his first turn against the Brewers (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 SO). That, and the Pirates are batting an ice cold .170 against righties thus far, the second-worst mark in the league after the Rangers (.169). Similarly, a .133 ISO (20th), 27.7% strikeout rate (26th), .234 wOBA (30th), and ridiculous 48 wRC+ (30th) are ghastly marks. Chatwood is a -175 favorite at home. I’d like him a bit better if it wasn’t Mitch Keller opposing him, but as an SP on your two-pitcher sites it may make sense. I may be paying up or paying farther down, though.

(7800) LHP Julio Urias at Arizona Diamondbacks – I’d be more bearish on his prospects if the Dodgers weren’t a little banged up in the rotation and if Urias hadn’t given us five innings in his first turn. The D-backs have an absurdly low .050 ISO (29th) against southpaws, and are bottom third of the league in wOBA and wRC+. Of course, that’s only on 44 plate appearances in this split. Overall, the D-backs are floundering. Last in ISO at .086, 29th in wOBA (.263), and 28th in wRC+ (65) are appealing. The 21.0% strikeout rate (8th) is about all you can hang your hat one. For what it’s worth, last year the D-backs ranked sixth in K-rate (21.0%), fifth in ISO (.213), fourth in wOBA (.349), and fifth in wRC+ (114) versus southpaws. Maybe it’s only a matter of time.

(7700) RHP Michael Wacha at Atlanta Braves – No, I don’t think it’s a great play. But it’s worth mentioning if the price is right on a given site. His velocity was up against the Red Sox in his first turn, and he stymied Boston’s lineup with a solid enough line: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 ER, 1 W. I don’t want to play him tonight, but I also may not go crazy stacking Braves after their 11-run affair last night. Don’t take the bait.

(6200) Mitch Keller at Chicago Cubs – And here’s the reason I can’t go all-in on Chatwood. Although, going all-in on Chatwood would probably be silly, anyway. Keller was notably unlucky in 2019, and his first turn against St. Louis was encouraging: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1 ER, 1 W. Sure, more walks than strikeouts isn’t sexy. But he’s a formidable enough opponent to not go nuts on Chatwood–plus, cheap enough on Fanduel that he has to be in consideration. In my humblest of opinions..

In all, I’m not loving pitching today, not with Glasnow yet to be stretched out and Flaherty’s game postponed.

Stacks and Ownership

With the right leverage, and the proper application of strength, the door will lift free!”

Perhaps not immortal words uttered by one Will Turner to an imprisoned Jack Sparrow. But hey, at least we got “why is all the rum gone?” Anyway, I’m focusing mostly on ownership projections here. I’d love to have you comment with where you derive yours from. I was on this morning.

Given that we’ve got a Coors game tonight, we can safely expect the Padres and Rockies to pave the way in popularity. It follows that if you’re going to play either of those teams, you’ve got to go heavier than the field to do right by yourself.

Yours truly isn’t a high-volume DFS player. Mostly I just dabble. In general, I’m avoiding the wildly popular teams when I can. So the immediate leverage for tonight is….drumroll…

New York Yankees vs. RHP Zack Godley (BOS)

Look, man. I watched Godley pour cold water on my Mets stacks a few days ago. It was the same night Mike Foltynewicz got beaten so badly that Cyler Glasnow got pulled early. Folty and Godley cost me some money that night.

Anyway, you can’t tell me that Godley is the savior of this Boston rotation. No matter how crazy 2020 has been, I can’t sign off on a world where Godley continues to pitch well. And even if he does, would tonight reallyyyyy be the night for it? At Yankee Stadium? Against those power bats? C’mon, man. Interestingly enough, six of his seven strikeouts were against lefty bats in his appearance against the Mets. Maybe that’s a symptom of the Mets more than anything else. In 2019 he was around 18% to lefties and only 15% to righties. It’s been a long time since Godley mattered in fantasy baseball circles–2017, to be exact. Anyway, while the Padres (6.49) have the highest implied total of the night, it’s the Yankees (6.02) coming up next, followed by the Rockies (6.01). I’m trusting “Vegas” in this one.

By count, Godley is bad to both sides, so we can just pick our favorite Yankees. The 1-4 hitters is simple enough, but I did have some luck with Brett Gardner last night, who popped his first homer of the year. Just cut ’em up a bunch of different ways.

Tampa Bay Rays at LHP Wade LeBlanc (BAL)

A 5.52 implied total and a road matchup in the hitter-friendly confines of Oriole Park. Against the lefty Wade LeBlanc. Sign me up. I won’t pretend like I know who in the hell the Rays will start where, but there are a lot of right-handed platoon bats that bash lefty pitching, starting with Jose Martinez and Hunter Renfroe. But you already know this, man. I won’t be forgetting about Brandon Lowe or Willy Adames, either.

Oakland Athletics at LHP Yusei Kikuchi (SEA)

Here’s a guy we’ve seen just go off the rails before. I’m most interested in the 1-5 hitters. And while Matt Olson struggled against southpaws in 2019 (.223/.289/.478), that kind of goes out the window if a guy is a bad pitcher. Also, Olson still popped 11 homers (out of 36) against lefties, with a .255 ISO and startling 55.6% pull rate. So he’s not a zero. Don’t forget about him.

Overall Strategy

As of right now, okay people? It’s only 4:00 PM, so no need to go hating on me if some of these guys test positive for COVID-19 between now and go-time. You’re always welcome to hit me up @HeathCapps on Twitter if you want my two cents on anything.

Tonight it’s the Yankees and Glasnow from the jump, and I’ll see who I can weave in from there. I’m going to monitor the Rays lineup to see which values pop up, and I’ll be weaving in Oakland guys. And I’m not wed to Glasnow. In my initial hand-made lineups, I actually keep landing on Chatwood. Mostly, with Glasnow not stretched out all the way and Jack Flaherty (PPD) not playing, I’m focusing on the bats that I like tonight, and working outward from there.

I’m also going to see what bats I can manage to afford while also running out a couple of Mitch Keller lineups. Perhaps he’s turned the corner and can go a bit deeper tonight. At his price point, if he gives us a solid line and tonight’s pitching mostly sucks, it’ll be great to have used the extra savings to buy more bats…

Some days I land on a pitcher that I feel like I can really roll with…today is not that day. So good luck out there, and I’ll accept any feedback on these thoughts if you have any!

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