Change is hard for people to make.
It’s especially difficult for me.
Routines are easy, comfortable and sometimes difficult to break, especially when you don’t realize the routine you are in is negatively affecting you.
But when you do finally have that metaphorical slap to the face, you realize change is imminent.
And change is exactly what is going to happen for the Value Index and DFS baseball content for me on DailyOverlay moving forward.
Heck no, I am not leaving!
I am changing to a new mothership for the majority of my DFS action. Thus, my thoughts, analysis and recommendations will be applied to a new home – FanDuel.
I have been pretty irritated with DraftKings’ pricing for certain pitchers this season, and I have been extremely irritated with their pricing for hitters.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s very difficult to find a starting bat $3,200 or below, maybe even under $3,300 or $3,400 on some days. If they are going to be “smarter” about the pricing of potential starters, they might as well get rid of the $2,500 minimum price tag and up it to $3K, at least. I am just not a fan of the tight pricing and then pricing up starting pitcher who have little to no experience in the majors.
I am going to venture over to FanDuel for the majority of my play. I may play one lineup on DK from time to time and stick to Showdowns (where I actually like the pricing even though I hate you can’t play relievers anymore).
With that said, starting Monday, I will provide FanDuel pricing as part of the Value Index, but also keep DK pricing and percentages of salary cap for both. The idea behind the new addition is to show the differences in pricing for players on both sites.
So, one more DraftKings only Value Index (and one more freebie), then change is gonna come.
Joe Musgrove – vs. Cincinnati Reds – $7,600
Analysis: People are going to flock to Joe Musgrove. For some reason there’s a misconception about how good he is. For fantasy, he’s not a huge upside guy. He’s a better real-life pitcher that gets the benefit of playing in a pitcher’s park for roughly have of his starts. Today is one of those days. And he is facing a team in turmoil, the Cincinnati Reds. Against RH pitching this season, the Reds are striking out 26.7% of the time, own a .236 wOBA and a putrid .074 ISO. Yes, those numbers will change, but I certainly will hop on the pitchers vs. Reds bandwagon that has burst out of the gate this early. Musgrove limits hard contact and induced ground balls to RH bats 41% of the time and 50% to lefties in 2018. Musgrove’s strikeout rate is stronger versus RH batters by almost two Ks/9, but there could be some extra Ks against lefties tonight as the Reds continue to make contact with the baseball.
Brandon Woodruff – vs. Chicago Cubs – $6,800
Analysis: Max Fried made the Cubs look silly last night, and now they might be down Javier Baez in their lineup tonight as they travel to Milwaukee to get a rested Brewers squad. While Miller Park is one of the better hitters’ parks, Brandon Woodruff gets to face the likes of Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, maybe David Bote, Mike Zagunis, Albert Almora, Jr., and likely Daniel Descalso should Baez sit. That’s not an intimidating lineup. Woodruff pitched well in his first start and in 2018, he struck out lefties at a 12.60 K/9 rate while righties hit ground balls 56.3% of the time while striking out 7.66 batters per 9 innings. Woodruff is under $7K and should see a watered down Cubs lineup in front of the home crowd.
Trent Thorton – at Cleveland Indians – $6,200
Analysis: I would imagine very few of you knew who Trent Thorton was heading into the season. In spring training he was whiffing guys left and right, but also susceptible to giving up runs. As a tournament flyer, Thorton, who should be about $5K on DK, draws the worst offense on the slate – the Cleveland Indians, which is not something I thought I would be saying a week into the season. Here’s how bad Cleveland has been against RH bats – .210 wOBA, .154 BA, .087 ISO and 30.3% strikeout rate.
Rhys Hoskins – 1B – Philadelphia Phillies – $4,600
Analysis: The Phillies are one of the top stacks on the slate. While I love Bryce Harper, he’s one of the more expensive guys. Philly is second in team wOBA and Hoskins has been a great contributor to that, sporting a .406 wOBA and .286 ISO with 50% hard contact against right-handed pitching so far. He and his teammates get Jake Odorizzi, who is always susceptible to walks, home runs and allowing lots of runs. Odorizzi used to be a big time reverse splits pitcher, but in 2018 he was actually worse to lefties than righties, but only by a small margin. Odorizzi is a fly ball pitcher in a hitter’s park. If there’s any wind that could be of help to some of those balls, Odorizzi could be in for a short outing.
Jorge Polanco – SS – Minnesota Twins – $3,900
Analysis: Polanco has hits in each of his last four games and draws a great matchup in Nick Pivetta, who was great to target lefty bats against. In 2018, Pivetta gave up a .335 wOBA and 1.52 HR/9 to lefties. Polanco is crushing RH pitching early on in 2019 with a .383 wOBA, .235 ISO and 50% hard hit rate…and most of those games were in pitcher’s parks. Now he gets to hit in a hitter-friendly park.
Max Kepler – OF – Minnesota Twins – $4,000
Analysis: Kepler has been the lead off guy this season for Minnesota. He’s also a road bat against a lefty-friendly starting pitcher in a hitter-friendly environment. Kepler, as a left-handed bat, has been struggling against RH pitching since last season, but there’s definitely some regression favoring Kepler against RH bats (.219 BABIP vs. RH pitching in 2018).
Andrew McCutchen – OF – Philadelphia Phillies – $4,300
Analysis: The leadoff man for the Phillies is raking to start the season, compiling a .441 wOBA, .389 ISO and 40% hard contact rate against RH pitching this season. McCutchen hits a lot of the check boxes for this recommendation tonight. He’s a great pair with Hoskins, who both feel underpriced considering their matchup. I imagine that Odorizzi is being looked at some kind of competent pitcher based on his price and opposing hitter prices.
Lorenzo Cain – OF – Milwaukee Brewers – $4,000
Analysis: Cain is perennially a guy who takes lefty pitchers to the woodshed and in limited appearances against them this season, Cain is already headed in that direction. In 2018, Cain led the team in wOBA versus southpaws at .422 with a .155 ISO and 44% hard contact rate. Tonight he draws Jose Quintana at Miller Park. Cain always is a threat to swipe a bag on the basepaths, too. While $4K may not seem like a value, it is when you factor in the price bumps for the guys we normally reserve for punts.
Michael Brantley – OF – Houston Astros – $4,200
Analysis: People are going to overuse Frankie Montas this season and I will not be one of them until I see some consistency. In years past, one of my DFS rules is to never play the Astros’ bats at home. They always seem to run cold when in Houston, which is odd considering how hot and humid it is in Houston over the summer. But I will make an exception to the rule tonight as it is the Astros’ home opener. Brantley will be one of my big targets in this game against Montas, who owned a whopping 5.12 xFIP, .375 wOBA and 49% hard hit rate against lefties last year. As for Brantley, he crushed RH pitching in 2018, sporting a .380 wOBA, .187 ISO and 41% hard contact rate.
Kole Calhoun – OF – Los Angeles Angels – $3,900
Analysis: Calhoun went yard in yesterday’s game against the Rangers and in the lead off spot once again, Calhoun gets a dream spot against Lance Lynn, who routinely struggles against lefties in his career. Lynn is a solid pitcher against RH bats, but when it comes to lefties, he really struggles, as evidenced by his 5.10 xFIP, .366 wOBA and 36% hard contact rate against LH bats last season. Calhoun isn’t going to hit a ton of home runs or hit for power, but he’s certainly capable and he can swipe some bases, too, if given the green light.
Shin-Soo Choo – OF – Texas Rangers – $3,900
Analysis: Lefties vs. Matt Harvey, a great theme to stand by every year and every matchup. And that paid off last night if you rostered lefty Rangers. You can do it again here as they continue to take on the Angels in Anaheim. Tonight, Texas draws Felix Pena, another pitcher I don’t understand why he will get ownership, but here we are. Against lefties last season, Pena allowed a .338 wOBA with a 41.6% hard contact rate and 1.25 HR/9 while carrying around a 4.59 xFIP, which is nearly a run higher than his ERA against lefties. Choo is Choo – realiable lead off bat with pop and some stolen base upside.