The 7 games tonight are all pretty similar, as they all offer mediocre/poor pitching options. This makes selecting pitchers impossible, and differentiating batters equally as tough. When I began writing for tonight, I quickly found myself lost for giving you guys distinct options at each and every position. I don’t know if I’m just not in the mood to write, but honestly, this slate is just boring to me.
Selecting your pitchers will dictate your bats, of course, but you won’t be able to avoid feeling a little unsettled by some of the guys you fade because your pitcher is facing them. It’s really a night to take off from daily fantasy. Go outside. Spend time with your friends and family. Read a book. Paint a wall and experience the cliche of watching paint dry. But seriously, cash games should be avoided if you value your bankroll. GPPs and tournaments are never ruled out, but really, go do something else and look forward to tomorrow’s slate.
Pitching tonight is scary bad. So to begin this writeup, I want to point out that finding any edge here is damn near impossible. Gio Gonzalez is the top priced option at $8,900, but since my cash game exposure will be at a minimum tonight, I probably won’t be using Gio. He has gotten rocked in his past three outings, and his recent history suggests that his starts will rarely get him into the 7th inning. Gonzalez does offer up solid strikeout potential, but the White Sox are not a strikeout-prone team necessarily. He’s a safe option considering the slate, but I suspect his ownership percentage will be high because he is the highest priced option. Jimmy Nelson is similarly priced at $8,700, and the Mets are a team I feel much better targeting against. Is Nelson a great play? No. But I prefer him over Gio.
Today is the first day of the season that I am truly bored when researching pitching options. Pricing is so low across the board, making fades off of pricey plays impossible, and nobody, and I mean nobody, excites me. Considering this, I think projecting who will be the highest owned pitchers will be crucial to differentiating your lineups. So let me list in order who I think will be the highest owned pitchers tonight:
- Gio Gonzalez- Fading, only due to projected high ownership.
- Jimmy Nelson- In play.
- Adam Wainwright- In play. The Reds have a sneaky good offense, however.
- Nathan Karns- In play. Better at home, not much upside.
- Bartolo Colon- In play. Will be higher owned than I like, but you gotta play someone.
- Marcus Stroman- Fading. Has little K upside and has been poor as of late.
- Josh Tomlin-Fading. Seattle has a hot lineup, and K upside isn’t there.
- Tom Koehler- Fading. Because it’s Tom Koehler.
- Ivan Nova- Fading. The Angels just don’t strikeout.
- Jhoulys Chacin- In play. The Yankees offense is nice to target.
- Ervin Santana- Fading. Miami offense is a little broken, but just no upside.
- Tyler Wilson- Fading. Toronto strikeouts a lot, but he doesn’t strikeout anyone.
- Miguel Gonzalez- Fading. Don’t get cute.
- Brandon Finnegan- In play. St. Louis will suppress ownership %, St. Louis much better vs. righties.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t make a strong argument that any one of these guys is a better option than the other. Nobody has any elite strikeout upside, making nobody an elite GPP play. Tyler Wilson(+145) and Brandon Finnegan (+155) are the two biggest underdogs tonight according to Vegas lines, which isn’t really too much of an underdog. Seattle and Cleveland have the smallest run total at 8 (everyone else is a 9 pretty much), but both teams don’t strikeout very much.
Milwaukee has ranks 2nd in most strikeouts this season, but do you see Bartolo Colon taking advantage of that? Not really. But he is probably my first option after Nelson and Gio Gonzalez.
For me, I’ll be building my offense first, then looking to see what pitchers will fit in my lineups. Fading The higher owned pitchers will be the strategy tonight as I don’t see much risk in missing out on anything spectacular from them. Everyone is in play. Literally everyone. Some of these guys will bomb and none will stand out. That’s my assessment. It’s a broad, unhelpful take, but I really have nothing for you here.
With pitching being so cheap, pretty much everyone will have the luxury of paying up at every position. Jonathan Lucroy is on a tear, and considering this slate, I’m fine with paying up for him. Brian McCann will be the top option tonight, so fade him in GPPs/tournaments if you want.
Besides these two players, wait for lineups to come out and pick whoever fits your stacks.
Chris Davis is crazy cheap tonight, but I’m concerned about his thumb injury that kept him out of the lineup last night. If he plays, you can still consider him, but be cautious. Joey Votto is in play even at a crazy price, but I’ll be looking at the mid tier price range at first base tonight. Byung Ho Park has a lot of power upside, and so far this season it has shown mostly when facing a rightie, so consider him. Alex Rodriguez is at hitter friendly Yankees Stadium, Adam Lind is a risk but he gets a platoon advantage tonight, Justin Bour as well, and hell, throw Pedro Alvarez into this class. Risky plays in terms of boom or bust. Carlos Santana is a nice option if you want to stack Indians, as well as Ryan Zimmerman for Nationals stacks.
Daniel Murphy has to be considered right now no matter what he’s priced at. Derek Dietrich is a nice play for Marlins stacks, as well as Jason Kipnis for Indians stacks. For your Mariners stacks, you have to get Robinson Cano in.
I mean, the slate offers close to nothing if you are avoiding stacks. So just try to match up players one the similar teams in your lineups.
Todd Frazier has a platoon advantage in a hitter friendly park, but Gio isn’t a pitcher that gives up many long balls typically. I don’t think that really should scare you off of a guy with immense power upside, though. Josh Donaldson has been cold of late, but last night he showed he’s not dead. When will Manny Machado be suspended? I’m not sure, but as long as he’s playing, he’s an option. Kyle Seager is a great option.
Eduardo Nunez is $5,200, which is unbelievable, yet justified. You can use him at 3rd base as well, and you really should be looking to get him in your lineups no mater how little you believe in him. Same goes for Jonathan Villar, only without the power upside that Nunez brings. Brewers stacks should be including Villar.
Aledmys Diaz is a nice option, but I’ll be using Finnegan in my lineups, so fading Diaz and Jhonny Peralta will be my route tonight, even though both are great plays.
First bit of advice here: build on your stacks. It’s hard to really argue one player over the other when suggesting outfielders, so let me suggest some players to avoid:
Yoenis Cespedes. He’s admitted that he feels lost at the plate. That’s not promising. Ryan Braun has been ice cold. If you are stacking Cardinals, I suggest avoiding Matt Holliday. He’s been fine so far this year, but I rather choose other St. Louis bats over him. Giancarlo Stanton seems so lost, and if you are going with a few Marlins, don’t be tempted by the name value here.
The one name I will suggest is Robbie Grossman. He is back to minimum salary for no reason that I can point to, and he will allow you to really pay up at every other roster spot.
I won’t give you a list of playable names here, as pretty much everyone appears to be a fine play. This is an ugly slate tonight, and I would strongly suggest not playing if you don’t feel comfortable with any specific stack.