Please note: today’s article takes on a bit of a different format than previous articles. Please leave feedback @tbadger23 on Twitter to let us know if you like the change!! We are going to look at all DFS plays for your early slate of action today. Usually we focus on large field tournament plays but wanted to provide all options for this Saturday morning.
Vegas Says: O/U: 8.0 Favorite: NYY -118
Pitching Outlook: Both pitchers come in to today’s game with great success to start the season. Chen’s ERA sits at 2.83 (career ERA of 3.81) while Chase Whitley sits at 0.75, allowing just 1 run in 12 IP. Whitley not only has started off well in his 2 starts with the big league club but posted a 2.12 ERA with Scranton-Wilkes Barre–the Yankees AAA club. Chen has allowed 3 ER or less in all 5 of his starts. However, he also has yielded 1 HR or more in 4 of those 5 starts–including 2 HR to the Yanks back on 04/13.
Offensive Outlook: The Yankees are in the top 10 vs. LHP thus far this season and are ranked 4th in HR’s vs. LHP. The Orioles are ranked 7th vs. RHP and have hit the 2nd most HR’s vs RHP.
BAL: Chris Davis — Davis is a true boom or bust option pretty much anytime he takes the field. He’s very, very streaky and while he may not be on a huge hot streak right now, he’s been respectable, and that’s enough for me 🙂 Davis’s power is tremendous and he gets the chance to take advantage of the short porch in right. Davis should remain priced at a reasonable level and it should be mentioned that he’s 2 for 3 against Whitley with 1 HR. Approach with caution as always as he’s struck out in 40% of his AB’s which is major league leading–by a lot. I see him as a GPP Only play, especially on FanDuel where you receive -.25 for every out.
NYY: Chris Young — I love statistics because they make my articles easier 🙂 Young has EVERYTHING going for him today. His OPS currently sits at a whopping 1.458 and his ISO is at .500 (league average is typically around .135). Now, I know he cannot maintain these incredible numbers but let’s face it: Young has always hit LHP well throughout his career and his new home park and advantageous spot in the lineup only boost his value. Young has faced Chen 6 times, only recording 1 hit, BUT it did leave the ballpark. I honestly do not care what his price is today because he is a Must Start for me. Fade at your own risk.
Pitching Recommendation: Chen could prove me wrong, but the threat and probability of the long ball scare me too much. I would NOT recommend Chen in any format today. As for Whitley, I like what I’ve seen so far. I see him as a medium-high risk guy today but with a high ceiling, making him a potential solid GPP play.
Stephen Drew, Mark Texiera, Brett Gardner, & Jacoby Ellsbury have combined to go 17/49 (.347) vs. Chen with 6 XBHs– 2 of which were HR’s. Certainly a potential mini stack with very low ownership with 3 LBHs in the mix.
Vegas Says: O/U: 9.0 Favorite: TOR -128
Pitching Outlook: If you were ever looking for reasons to not put any weight on “wins” for pitchers, look no further than Drew Hutchison who is 2-0 with…wait for it… a 7.47 ERA. Joe Kelly will oppose him with an ERA of 5.72 in 5 starts. Both righty’s have combined to allow 9 HR’s over 59.2 IP. Hutchison’s strike out numbers are down and Kelly’s are up. I am not going to go much further here because you would be taking a BIG risk to use EITHER pitcher in this one, especially in Toronto.
Offensive Outlook: The Red Sox come into today ranked 13th in the league vs. RHP while the Jays come in ranked 16th. Toronto has been excellent at home (as usual), blasting 18 home runs at Rogers Centre, 3rd most in the league at home. The Jays have sprung into May on fire, while the Sox are wishing April had not gone. Despite the Red Sox’s May struggles, Hutchison does not scare me one bit. Both of these teams should have solid offensive days with two average right-handers on the mound.
BOS: Pablo Sandoval — Pablo has had no problem adjusting to his new home and he also has been terrorizing RHP so far this season. Sandoval has posted a .384 / .364 / .521 line VS. righties and a very nice .434 wOBA and .419 BABIP. The power hasn’t quite been there like I’d like to see it but the consistent production makes him a very nice Cash Game Play with potential upside to be rostered in GPP’s as well. it should also be noted that Sandoval is 3 for 3 vs. Hutchison in his career. I see him as low risk, medium upside today.
TOR: Devon Travis — I absolutely love this guy. First off, he’s been batting first during Jose Reyes’s absence which is more than fine by me and two, he’s hitting for power. Devon has enjoyed hitting at Rogers Centre, batting .356 in 12 games. He’s hit 7 long balls, including 2 vs. RHP at home. Joe Kelly has actually been worse (much worse) vs. RHB as opposed to LHB allowing 3 HR’s in just 12 IP to RHBs. The odds are in Travis’s favor today and I like him in ANY format today. I see Travis as a low risk, medium/high reward guy for the day’s slate.
I would not recommend using either of these pitchers for the day’s slate.
Russell Martin will more than likely be the highest-owned catcher of the day (barring any exceptional value plays) but don’t let that scare you. He’s 4/8 vs. Kelly in his career, with a double, HR, and 5 RBIs.
Vegas Says: O/U: 9.0 Favorite: DET -148
Pitching Outlook: After a rough start to the beginning of the season, Anibal Sanchez has posted 3 straight quality starts, striking out 18 in 20.2 IP. Sanchez & the Tigers are a heavy favorite for today’s contest vs. the Royals. Jeremy Guthrie had a rough start to the season and it’s still going. As usual, his Ks are low and he’s allowed at least 3 runs every time out. He comes into today’s game with a .313 BABIP and 1.55 HR/9 rate.
Offensive Outlook: Both teams come into today’s game having much success vs. RHP this year with the Royals leading the way followed by Detroit in 4th. The Royals are batting .302 / .354 / .436 away from Kauffman Stadium while the Tigers are batting .281 / .349 / .426 at home. Look for a LOT of offense in this one.
KC: Eric Hosmer — I don’t like too many Royals today–in fact, Hosmer may be the only one. He’s batting .375 his last 7 games with 3 2Bs, 1 3B, and 2 HRs. He’s got 6 hits vs. Sanchez in his career, with 2 doubles.
DET: **STACK ALERT** — Looking at the Tigers active roster, they have posted a .311 / .359 / .498 line in 251 ABs. Notables include Alex Avila, Miggy, & J.D. Martinez who all have multiple homers vs. Guthrie. Ian Kinsler has had a good bit of success going 15 for 45 (.333) against Guthrie. Bottom line: the Tigers would be a very nice option to STACK but beware, many Tigers will be highly-owned. Fading the Tigers stack would be contrarian to an extent, while fading ALL Tigers (which I do NOT recommend) would be extremely contrarian. At least find a way to get 1-2 Tigers in your lineups.
I am very high on Anibal Sanchez today. He’s a strong favorite and has looked much better as of late. His K numbers are up a bit from last year, currently at 8.51 while posting a 7.29 rate last year. I like him as a CASH GAME play today (which may put me in the minority) but he’s also very close to a MUST START on DK in ALL FORMATS with the two-pitcher requirement. I have a feeling he’ll be under-owned with the Royals being the top team vs. RHP so far this year, but that only makes him a better play today in my opinion. I see Sanchez as a medium risk with high upside today. Obviously, I do not recommend Jeremy Guthrie in ANY formats.
Those currently on the Royals active roster have had 168 ABs vs. Sanchez only notching 32 hits (.190) with no homers. Most people could care less about that (or most BvP stats for DFS purposes) but I’m not one of those. ^Just something to be aware of when selecting your team.
Vegas Says: O/U: 7.0 Favorite: WAS -154
Pitching Outlook: Julio Teheran is coming off a very nice start his last time out, allowing just 3 hits & 2 walks. It was much needed for the righty who had been hit hard his previous 3 games. Teheran has logged 26 IP in 4 starts in Nationals Park posting an ERA of 3.46. Doug Fister has had a bit of a roller coaster y ear thus far beginning with 2 solid starts, then 2 outings where he got roughed up. His last outing returned him to the successful side and he looks to continue that vs. Atlanta. Back on 4/27, Fister allowed 10 hits & 4 ER.
Offensive Outlook: Atlanta comes into today’s game ranked 10th vs. RHP while Washington comes in 19th. Vegas has this game at a low total and I would expect the game to more than likely end with a score under 7. With that said, there are a couple of options to target as seen below.
Washington: OF Bryce Harper — To say Bryce Harper is seeing the ball well may be an understatement. He has 5 homeruns his past 2 games and 2 of the 9 he’s hit vs. ATL in his career have come against Julio Teheran. I expect Julio to pitch well today but I’m having a real hard time fading Bryce Harper. It only take one big fly. What I’m trying to say is: Harper is a MUST PLAY in ALL formats. I expect him to be very highly owned so in the event that he does struggle, it shouldn’t ruin your team.
Atlanta: 1B Freddie Freeman — Freddie has tortured WAS this year, going 8/13 with 2 doubles. It’s a relatively small sample size but he’s been hot lately, batting .385 over his past 7. Freeman is a safe CASH GAME option with a high floor and medium ceiling against Fister,
Vegas really likes WAS today as I was shocked to see them as a heavier favorite than Detroit. With that said, the most I could see Doug Fister doing for you is picking up a W and some innings. His K/9 rate sits at 4.06 and he hasn’t gotten through the 7th inning one time this year. There’s just not a whole lot of upside here aside from potentially picking up the W–something you don’t want to bank on for success. Julio turned to his fastball last time out and had much more success. He’s averaging over 1.5 HR per 9 innings so the long ball certainly scares me. With that said, he has the K potential and upside and I see him as a GPP ONLY play today.
Denard Span has faced Julio Teheran 30 times, recording 12 hits including 2 doubles, 2 triples, and a long ball. He’ll more than likely be batting at the top of the order and provides nice upside potential.
Vegas Says: O/U: 9.0 Favorite: EVEN -107
Pitching Outlook: Let’s welcome Bruce Chen back to the Majors! His career 4.58 ERA leaves much to be desired but has performed well at the AAA level to begin the year posting an ERA of 1.74 over 31 IP (5 starts) including 2 complete games. He’s never been a huge strikeout guy but did manage 23 in his 31 innings which is respectable. However, lest us not forget that this all came against AAA hitters. Phil Hughes is not quite having the year he had hoped to have. He;s allowed 21 runs in 37.2 IP including a whopping 8 homers. Yikes.
Offensive Outlook: Offense will be aplenty on this Saturday afternoon and this game is no exception. Oddly enough, Phil Hughes has been quite successful over the past 3 seasons (2011-2014) posting a 2.05 ERA against them over 22 IP. Cleveland has struggled vs. RHP this year, only good enough for 10th in the league. The Twins on the other hand have been successful against LHP good enough for 8th best in the league. The stats are all over the place in this one but it’s very difficult to ever go against Vegas, and I will more than likely have exposure to at least a couple players from this game.
Pitching Recommendation: An over/under of 9 is never good for starting pitchers and the threat of the long ball will cause me to avoid Phil Hughes altogether. Bruce Chen could be a DEEP GPP PLAY on DK and other multi-pitcher sites. I’d rather take a wait-and-see approach in his return to the big leagues but it could pay off as a contrarian play if he can post a solid stat line and pick up a W.
Yes, that is stacks, as in plural. I’m liking the Indians stack vs. Hughes simply due to his struggles with the long ball. It only takes 1 to do damage, and I’m thinking the Tribe will hit more than just one today. The Twins stack is a little less inviting to me, but still a potentially viable option with a lineup that has several guys who hit LHP very well (or significantly better than they hit RHP) — Brian Dozier & Trevor Plouffe particularly.
Should catcher Roberto Perez get another start for the Tribe, he has had great success against Hughes in his brief MLB tenure. Despite only a 7 AB sample size, he’s 5/7 in those ABs with a double and a long ball.
DK is including the TAM/TEX game in their “early” contests. Ross Detwiler burned a lot of DFS players his last time out, but don’t expect that to continue. Several Rays make viable options today, including Evan Longoria, Steven Souza Jr, and Joey Butler (at nearly MIN salary). Texas has been an offensive firepower lately scoring 5 or more runs in 5 of their last 8 games and will face a below average RHP in Matt Andriese. Shin-Shoo Choo is starting to heat up and is worth a look.
Thanks to everyone for reading today! My apologies for the lack of in-depth coverage on the Rays/Rangers game. I have been battling limited internet access on vacation this week. I will see everyone next week! Good luck today!