Pitchers to Use
I am probably going to recommend Paddack every time he pitches. He is one of the most talented young arms in baseball and has shown he can succeed at the major league level.
Paddack is sporting some really good peripherals that suggest his success is sustainable. His xSLG currently sits at .260 which should help mitigate some of the power the DBacks possess. He also has an 81% zone contact rate and a 21% whiff rate. So while his K rate sits at 33%, I expect that to decline a bit because of his lower whiff rate. However, the nice thing about Paddack is he hasn’t been allowing any hard contact. He has allowed a total of zero barrels through two starts.
Vegas also likes Paddack here as he is favored on the road and the total is 8.5. I am making Paddack my preferred target for my SP1 tonight.
This is a tourney only pivot for SP1, or makes an interesting contrarian SP2 if you are rolling a contrarian cheaper stack. E Rod has shown in the past that he has strikeout ability and gets a favorable matchup against the Orioles. They are striking out around 25% against lefties to start the year and only have an ISO of .132.
Perhaps the most important part of this Orioles matchup though is that they are walking at only an 8% rate against lefties. E Rod struggles with control occasionally, as evidenced by his 13% walk rate to start the year, but the matchup could help alleviate some of that.
Again, this is a tourney only play, but there is upside here for a reasonable price.
Attacking the best offense in baseball right now is not ideal. However, pitching is a mess on this slate once again, so we have to try to find any diamond in the rough that we can. Through two starts, Miley sports some really respectable peripherals. His xSLG sits at .351 and his xwOBA is at .268. His zone contact is also currently down 5% from last year at 81% and his whiff rate is up to 26% from 22% last year.
The Mariners have been middle of the pack in strikeout rate against lefties at 23%, but they have one of the highest ISOs against lefties. Something Miley can hopefully mitigate here based on his xSLG.
Possibly the most impressive part about these numbers mentioned above is Miley has faced two of the hottest offenses in baseball to start the season in the Rays and the Athletics. So while the matchup looks gross on the surface, there is actually some promise here with Miley as an SP2 if you need a mid-range guy.
I mentioned that pitching is a mess on this MLB DFS slate. This is my death train tourney only SP2 tonight that will allow you to pay up for all the bats you want. The matchup is gross against the Yankees, but they do at least have a watered down lineup which helps some.
Giolito’s issue is he struggles with control occasionally and will issue free passes, which is part of the reason he is a risky play here. However, he has had some success in the early going regardless. His xSLG currently sits at .371 and his xwOBA sits at .316.
The most important part for me though is his ability to miss bats through his first two starts. He has a 78% zone contact rate which is down 7% last year from 85%. His whiff rate is also up to 28% from 21% last year. The matchups have been really tough in terms of strikeout matchups too as he has faced the Royals, who rank 27th lowest strikeout rate to righties and the Mariners who rank 19th lowest.
So while the Yankees matchup is terrifying and they can hit dingers against anyone, I like the signs Giolito is showing in terms of the ability to miss bats. On top of all these stats, the Yankees should run out a righty-heavy lineup, which is where Giolito’s ground ball rate spiked to 50% last year compared to 39% against lefties.
Pitchers to Pick On
Hess showed his true colors against the Yankees in his last start. His velocity on all of his pitches are up this year, but that didn’t seem to help him as he gave up multiple homers. He now faces another team with power in the Red Sox who have been heating up recently as well.
Hess owns a .451 xSLG and only a 21% whiff rate. So the Red Sox should be able to make contact here often and do damage when they do.
The Mets are going to continue to go underowned every night and I am going to continue to stack them. They are my favorite tourney stack on the board tonight for that reason.
Wright sports a .573 xSLG and a .417 xwOBA. His zone contact rate sits at an abysmal 91% and his whiff rate is down at 22%. Wright is going to allow a ton of contact here to a lineup that has a lot of power in a hitter-friendly ballpark. With all the big name teams in good spots tonight, I expect them to go overlooked.
Drew Smyly and Mike Fiers
This Rangers/A’s game is going to be the chalk game of the night and I would highly recommend going here in cash games. These two arms aren’t good and they play into the strengths of the opposing offenses. The A’s mash lefties and the Rangers mash righties and both pitchers allow a lot of home runs.
The downside to playing these stacks in tournaments is the ownership that they will carry. Vegas has this game at a 10.5 run total, and for good reason.
There are two stacks that should be virtually unowned tonight that I have interest in and the Padres are the first of the two. Weaver isn’t that good of a pitcher as he allows a ton of hard contact and doesn’t miss many bats. The Padres have a lineup of guys that contain a lot of power throughout the order and they are starting to swing the bat better. This is a really intriguing tourney spot at no ownership.
The White Sox are my other unowned stack that I like tonight. Happ has been pretty bad to start the year and has all of the makings that we attacked Eovaldi with last night. His xSLG is currently sitting at .685 which is bottom 3% in the league and his xwOBA is at .432 which is bottom 9% of the league.
He really struggles with righties as he allowed 25 homers to them last year which was good for 1.6 HR/9. The White Sox have the ability to go right-hand heavy as well in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium where Happ pitched much worse last year.
I expect Happ to possibly carry some ownership tonight too due to name value and this presents a really nice leverage spot. The other nice thing about the White Sox is they are really cheap and allow you to pay up for two pitchers.
Matt Dickason has been playing DFS NFL, MLB and NBA for 3 years now. I have been in season long football leagues since the age of 10, so football has always been a passion of mine. Outside of fantasy sports, I played baseball for 19 years including college and eventually Semi-Pro. MLB and NFL are my two strongest sports when it comes to betting and DFS.