What’s up my fellow daily fantasy baseball mainliners? ‘Weekend Whims And Warriors For Daily Fantasy Baseball’ will be a pre-weekend glimpse at various bats, stacks, and strategies that are entertaining plays for [mostly] the early and main slates featured on the upcoming Saturday and Sunday.
Keep in mind that player pricing and all projections aren’t available that far in advance, so I’m strictly wingin’ this from the hip for the sake of some angles to consider before diving into your lineups early each weekend. Let’s have some fun.
Every Friday evening after I finally come home from work and settle down (from the oft-cinematic uproar of joy stemming from having two full days off dedicated to baseball and bullshit), I attempt ignoring the current main slate in play by pre-occupying myself with what the weekend daily fantasy investments have in store. Otherwise known as “Things I’ll Over-Consider And Under-Play By The Time Slates Lock.” A very familiar chapter in my life wedged conveniently between “Stacks You Shouldn’t Play But Do Anyhow” and “Picking On Popular Pitchers.” Hey, we’ve all got our vices.
But that works out great for you because you don’t have to be the person wasting money on any of it. You just need to latch onto one of the ideas that stick best in your scheme.
Hell, it worked for my brother earlier this week when I went on a tangent about heavy game-stacking the Royals/Astros on the day Colin McHugh was popular for reasons unbeknownst to me. He grabbed the Royals, faded the ‘Stros, and pieced together $25 off a $1 entry.
I love hearing when that kind of thing happens, and considering I’m typically far too eager to not try many different approaches (and a stack for every team per slate), I’m more than happy to play guinea pig with suggestions. Here’s some of what stands out right now:
Obvious Field Favorite: Boston Red Sox Stacks vs. Felix Hernandez (Cash Game Plays)
Looking at Saturday morning first, this matchup stands out like a sore thumb…and it’s really difficult to see anything going wrong here, besides the fact that every DFS player will be playing them.
While what’s guaranteed to be the most popular stack on the Saturday early slate has all the anticipation of an over-hyped letdown, let’s not forget who’s taking the mound for Seattle. Felix Hernandez is posting a 5.20 ERA, 4.22 xFIP, a 20% Home Run to Fly Ball average, and an 8.6% swinging strike rate. Couple that with the fact that the Red Sox are back to smashing the ball out of the park after a bit of a rough start to the season.
Boston ranks 25th in the league in strikeout percentage at 20.8% and 23rd in the league in swinging strike rate at 10.6%. The last outing for Felix was on May 6th against the Yankees where he had a $7,300 DraftKings price tag, and I have no idea who would pay for that.
While you can count on the pricing for the Red Sox bats to have skyrocketed, it’s the lefties I’m going to be heavily rostering from this affair. Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, and Rafael Devers will all be among the top of my player pool at each of their positions respectively. Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts will also find their ways into my full stacks, but the first three are my primary.
One approach I use for roster differentiation is to aim for more three-man stacks with the pricey, heavily-owned teams in scenarios like this. It allows for you to spend more toward cheaper, lesser-owned value featured elsewhere while stapling in the exposure you deem necessary enough for the popular team stack.
At the same time I’m more than guilty of entering four/five-man expensive and popular team stacks, they can easily kill you by cementing your lineup into a spot that’s far too popular and with too much exposure if it goes under the anticipated run total.
Interesting Hot Garbage: Matt Harvey vs. Dylan Bundy (GPP Plays)
How in the hell did we luck out with this one?! Now I’m no Ms. Cleo, but I’d confidently say that Vegas over/under is going to be pushing well past the 9 mark.
And I can definitely find myself getting to both sides of this matchup, especially regarding the bats. Besides Mike Trout, everybody is nearly assured to be affordable and will fit in nicely with some of the more expensive stacks you’ll be rolling out (such as plenty of the Red Sox I just mentioned if it’s included on the same slate).
Matt Harvey is currently donning a whopping 6.94 ERA, 5.07 xFIP, a 17.6% Home Run to Fly Ball average, and a 10.2% swinging strike rate. Dylan Bundy on the other hand is dragging a 5.30 ERA, a 5.02 xFIP, an 18.8% Home Run to Fly Ball rate, and an 11.9% swinging strike rate.
Both of these offenses don’t strikeout an insane amount and have lots of pop in their respective lineups with Trey Mancini, Jonathan Villar, and Dwight Smith Jr. for the Orioles, while the Angels tout Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and the highly anticipated return of Shohei Ohtani.
On the other side of the coin you’ve got a very, very intriguing GPP play on your hands by stacking the pitching here. The obvious play is to stack the bats, and it will most certainly be the wiser angle to indulge in between the two angles.
But Matt Harvey took the Royals seven innings and allowed only one run while posting five strikeouts. And Bundy recently went 7 1/3 scoreless innings with the heavy-handed Tampa Bay Rays while earning four strikeouts. I say I’m throwing down on all accounts here, but there’s no need to follow me down that rabbit hole entirely. The safer angle is the bats, the crazy side is the pitching.
While there are plenty of other wonky matchups this weekend worthy of discussion, this is just the tip of the iceberg touching on a bit of the obvious alongside some of the potentially ignored initial elements. I highly encourage you to JOIN our public Slack channel to join in with us along with create any of your own discussions, hit me up on Twitter anytime to talk shop, and best of luck over the weekend with your wagers.