Welcome to today’s MLB FanCave Full Look, covering the early-only 9-game slate on Fanduel starting at 4:05 EST. This full look will target the slate as a whole. I will highlight my top pitchers, one for cash games and one for GPP, followed by my top stacks, and my favorite value bats that I will be building my lineups around. I will be filling in for Chris on the weekends with the Full Looks, so let’s get to it!
Charlie Morton – Houston Astros – $10,800
Many, including myself, are still bullish on Morton when it comes to DFS, but it’s come time to realize that he’s pitching like an ace and has the peripherals to back it up. He’s posted an elite 31.5% strikeout rate backed by a 3.21 SIERA and a 3.03 xFIP. The most impressive feat, however, is the fact that he’s limited opponents to a measly 24.4% hard-contact percentage.
He comes in as the largest favorite on the board (-297) and the White Sox are only implied for 2.9 runs. On the season, they rank 21st in wOBA (0.308), 17th in ISO (0.165) and have the 5th highest strikeout percentage (25.1%), giving them good reason to be the massive underdog.
Even with Kluber, Severino and Paxton on the mound, Morton clocks in as the safest investment and one of the highest ceilings.
Blake Snell – Tampa Bay Rays – $9,900
Yet another pitcher that people are expecting to regress but won’t is Blake Snell. He’s finally living up to the hype that surrounded him for the last two season, posting a 28.6% strikeout rate, 3.59 SIERA and a 3.54 xFIP. His 34% hard-contact percentage and lack of run support raise some concern, but the matchup negates it.
The Mets are just about as bad as you can be against left-handed pitching, ranking 29th in both wOBA (0.280) and ISO (0.119) and have the 2nd highest strikeout rate (26%) while having the 6th worst hard-contact rating (32.1%).
Add all of that to the fact that Snell is pitching in Citi Field, and you get arguably my personal favorite pitcher of the day, an elite GPP/cash game play.
Milwaukee Brewers (1B – Jesus Aguilar $3,900, OF – Christian Yelich $3,800, 3B – Travis Shaw $3,500, SS – Tyler Saladiño $2,200)
While the Astros and Indians both find themselves to be elite offenses in plus matchups, the Brewers clock in as my personal favorite stack.
Anibal Sanchez is currently pitching way over his head posting a 2.89 ERA (backed by 4.16 SIERA, 4.40 xFIP) so far this season after posting a 6.41 ERA last season. Yeah, that won’t last long. If there’s any team that can smash a pitcher back to Earth, it’s the Brew Crew.
Jesus Aguilar has been an All-Star caliber 1B this season and deserves consideration, while he, Yelich and Shaw all have wOBAs over 0.380 and ISOs over 0.200 against right-handed pitching this season. Tyler Saladiño was hitting over 0.300 before his DL stint, and has already gone 2-5 with a home run in his 2 games back. This stack is relatively affordable and easy to pair with a top ace, making it even more attractive.
Houston Astros (2B – Jose Altuve $4,600, 3B – Alex Bregman $4,500, 1B – Yuli Gurriel $3,300, OF – Josh Reddick $2,700)
Another individual pitching over their head this season is James Shields. While his ERA is rather mediocre at 4.12, his 5.17 SIERA, 5.13 xFIP and 16% strikeout rate indicate that he should be getting shelled more than he has been.
The Astros are one of the most powerful offenses in baseball right now with Alex Bregman arguably being the hottest hitter in the league. Jose Altuve has recorded 4 hits over his last two games and Yuli Gurriel has 6 hits in his last 4 with 5 RBIs. Im’t typically not a BvP guy, but Josh Reddick has torched Shields, going 9-28 (0.321) with 3 home runs.
While Altuve and Bregman may be hard to pair with an ace, getting the cheaper exposure with Gurriel and Reddick could be a very easy way to one of the highest scoring offenses on the slate.
Top Value Plays:
C – James McCann – Detroit Tigers – $2,200
McCann will go overlooked on this slate thanks to the rise of John Hicks, but he’s posted a 0.363 wOBA and a 0.240 ISO against left-handed pitching and gets to take on Cole Hamels and his struggles with the long ball today.
2B – Alen Hanson – San Francisco Giants – $2,500
Hanson isn’t the most consistent player, but whenever you get a player for this price that hits out of the leadoff spot, they deserve consideration. Hanson also brings speed upside to the plate against a pitcher that has struggled mightily with command issues this season in Carlos Martinez.
1B – Josh Bell – Pittsburgh Pirates – $2,500
My third and final value play is Josh Bell of the Pirates. He’s had a down season, but has recently bumped his batting average up to 0.254 from just around the Mendoza line. Jake Arrieta has also showed signs of age lately and Bell is also a career 7-17 with 2 home runs off of him. This could wind up being a great #CriminalOwnership play of the slate.