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We’ve got a four game early slate today on both FanDuel & DraftKings. We have some solid pitchers and some really good offenses but something has to give.

Weather to Monitor:

NONE 

Pitchers

SP1s are the more expensive pitching options. SP2s are the cheaper options.

SP1s

Charlie Morton

Cash Games

Morton is a strong cash game candidate in the game with the lowest implied total on the slate, against the team with the lowest implied total on the slate, in a really good park for pitching. Morton has a 3.45 xFIP with a 30% strikeout rate and a 13% swinging strike rate in 2019. The Diamondbacks can be a tough team to strikeout but Morton’s 27% hard contact rate helps ease those concerns.

Jack Flaherty

Cash Games, GPPs

Flaherty has a big time 29% strikeout rate fueled by a 13% swinging strike rate. Flaherty has a 3.16 xFIP but he also has a 41.7% hard contact rate most of which coming from lefties. The Phillies have some strikeouts in their lineup but they also have power. Flaherty has big upside but he also comes with some risk, consider him a GPP or cash game pivot.

Robbie Ray

GPPs

If you want to go high risk/high reward, Ray would be the ultimate today against the Rays. He gets a great park for pitching but he also gets a Rays lineup that has been very boom or bust against lefties. Robbie Ray has a 27% strikeout rate with an 11.7% swinging strike rate, his 4.73 xFIP and 39% hard contact rate add plenty of risk and the Rays have been one of the best offenses in baseball which of course intensifies that risk however this Rays’ lineup also has a 31.5% strikeout rate against lefties in 2019. The Rays have some of the highest hard contact rates in the league even against lefties but their production has been significantly lower against lefties than to righties. Again Ray is you’re high risk, high reward GPP pivot.

SP2s 

Jared Eickhoff

GPPs

Eickhoff has looked really good in 2019 sporting a 3.34 xFIP, a 31.4% strikeout rate and a 12.3% swinging strike rate. What maybe more impressive is his 25.5% hard contact rate that he’s maintained thus far. Eickhoff gets the Cardinals today who are typically pretty right-handed heavy, Eickhoff has been a lot better against righties with a 52.6% ground-ball rate, a 23.7% hard contact rate and a 33.3% strikeout rate. The Cardinals are expected to have three lefties at most however they have been a tough team to strikeout. Eickhoff has one of the tougher match-ups on the board so consider Eickhoff as a GPP option.

*** Brandon Woodruff ***

Cash Games, GPPs

Seems like a no brainer here for SP2 against the Nationals. They have Rendon back which is a big plus for their offense but they are still missing Soto, Turner, Adams and Zimmerman. Woodruff has a solid 3.49 xFIP with a 28% strikeout rate and an 11% swinging strike rate. Woodruff is particularly good against righties and outside of Eaton and Difo the Nationals don’t really have any. Woodruff will also be backed by a powerful offense with Jeremy Hellickson pitching against them in a game where Milwaukee would like to rest their pen as much as possible.

Top Cash Game Bat(s)

Christian Yelich (MIL)

Yelich is at home against a righty who has struggled against lefties this season. After seeing Scherzer and Strasburg this should be a nice change of pace for Yelich and his teammates.

Travis Shaw (MIL)

Shaw is extremely cheap today. Taking the value between him or Kang seems like a good way to go in cash and Shaw has the park advantage over Kang so I’m leaning towards Shaw as the cash game value play.

GPP Stack(s)

I am a stack believer in MLB GPPs. On DraftKings you can stack up to five hitters and on FanDuel you can stack up to four. Whether it be 5/3, 5/2/1 or 5/1/1/1 I will almost always have at least one stack in every team I have.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have a tough park for hitting but they get a juicy match-up against Shelby Miller today. Miller has a whopping 7.67 xFIP with a 10.8% strikeout rate, a 5.5% swinging strike rate and a 45.9% hard contact rate. Miller has been pretty awful to both sides of the plate and he’s giving struggling to keep the righties on the ground with a 28% ground-ball rate. Miller should get a little more protection in the larger park but that can only get you so far. Miller is throwing over 70% fastballs and it’s not working great for him, he will be followed by a bad Ranger bullpen as well. PIT – Polanco, Bell, Kang, Tucker, Cabrera/Marte.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers get Jeremy Hellickson and his 5.04 xFIP, 18.3% strikeout rate and his 6.4% swinging strike rate. Hellickson has avoided hard contact pretty well posting a 27.3% hard contact rate so far despite the poor surrounding numbers. The Brewers park is great for hitting and after seeing Scherzer and Strasburg in the first two games of this series, Hellickson should be a favorable change of pace for the Brewers. Hellickson has actually been good against righties but he has posted a .438 wOBA with a .304 ISO against lefties this year and the Brewers have a lot of lefty power bats. Hellickson has a 32.5% ground-ball rate to lefties so far this season. Hellickson will be followed by a bad Nationals bullpen which adds to the upside here. MIL – Yelich, Shaw, Grandal, Moustakus, Thames.

Texas Rangers

Nick Kingham showed some upside last year but he has consistently shown struggles against lefties. Kingham has a 15% strikeout rate, a 20% walk rate, and a 46.2% hard contact rate against lefties this season. If there is one thing the Rangers have plenty of, it’s left-handed power. Choo, Gallo, Caberera and Santana all have ISOs well over .200 this year against righties and Mazara and Odor should eventually improve as well. TEX – Choo, Gallo, Odor, Mazara, Cabrera/Santana.

Tampa Bay Rays

For those who have decided not to pitch Robbie Ray, the Rays a pretty affordable on both sites. As mentioned above when we discussed Ray, the south-paw has big time hard contact rates so the upside is there if the Rays can make contact. They have a lot of high strikeout players (versus lefties) in their lineup but they also have massive hard contact rates. It’s not a good park for normal offenses but last year the Rays were one of the best home team offenses in the game. TBR – Pham, Zunino, Robertson, Garcia, Adames

Positional Rankings

C – Diaz (PIT), Zunino (TB), Molina (STL), Realmuto (PHI)

1B – Bell (PIT), Hoskins (PHI), Goldschmidt (STL), Thames (MIL),

2B – Odor (TEX), Moustakus (MIL), Santana (TEX), Robertson (TBR)

3B – Shaw (MIL), Kang (PIT), Diaz (TBR), Cabrera (TEX)

SS – Tucker (PIT), Newman (PIT), Adames (TBR), DeJong (STL)

OF – Yelich (MIL), Choo (TEX), Gallo (TEX), Polanco (PIT), Cabrera (PIT), Marte (PIT), Harper (PHI), Mazara (TEX), Garcia (TBR), Pham (TBR), Braun (MIL)

My GPP Core:

Players I’ll have the most exposure too.

Brandon Woodruff

Josh Bell

Melky Cabrera

Favorite Stack

Pittsburgh Pirates