As I sit here writing this article, I look outside at snow on the ground — in April — in Illinois. I’m not complaining (too much), but it’s a theme for Wednesday’s main slate: cold weather.
FanDuel’s six-game slate locks at 6:10 p.m. ET, which is one hour earlier than usual. DraftKings’ slate features seven games. It includes the second game of the Tigers-Pirates doubleheader. Take note of that and remember that contest will only be seven innings.
Only one pitcher requires a substantial amount of salary on FanDuel.
Adam Civale (R) $10,200, CLE vs CHW
Civale was tasked with shutting down the White Sox following Carlos Rodon’s no-hitter last week, admirably doing so. He has been the best starter not named Shane Bieber for Cleveland, and is the only pitcher on the staff with three wins and three quality starts so far this season. Civale has two concerns: walks and strikeout upside. The righty has five walks in 20 2/3 innings pitched (2.18 BB per 9) and 6.97 strikeouts per 9.
Chicago is top 10 in Walk and Strikeout Rate, plus the team walked twice and struck out four times against Civale last week. How much of Chicago’s poor production against Civale was due to the excitement and assumed “hangover” of the no-no?
It is going to be cold in Cleveland – projected 38 degrees – and with wind projected to be blowing in at 11 miles per hour. Those are great pitching conditions, but there is also a chance this game gets banged because of subpar playing conditions. The two teams combined for 13 runs Tuesday in poor conditions.
Tyler Mahle is the second-highest priced pitcher on the slate, but represents a 92% Bargain Rating on FanDuel. He is second among all projected starts in Consistency and Upside ratings using the Bales Model and leads all pitchers with eight Pro Trends.
There is also highly rated savings between the Mets and Cubs. Zach Davies and Drew Peterson are the top-rated pitchers on FanDuel and DraftKings, respectively in part because of price discrepancies between the two sites. This matchup also has the lowest projected game total. Peterson’s strikeout upside is much more enticing since the Cubs strike out at the second highest rate in baseball.
For DraftKings players, Spencer Turnbull is making his season debut. You would think there is upside here, but I doubt he pitches long enough to factor in the decision and the Pirates have a top half offense, according to Offensive WAR.
Hard pass on Garrett Richards and Trent Thornton in Boston. The two offenses top the Team Value ratings, and neither is projected to pitch long. Thornton is more of an opener for the Blue Jays.
This was not the first FanDuel stack I thought would pop, but it makes sense:
- Freddie Freeman (L)
- Ozzie Albies (S)
- Marcel Ozuna (R)
- Ronald Acuna Jr. (R)
Total Salary: $21,800
Ronald Acuna Jr. will more than likely sit with an off day Thursday, but the rest of the stack still stands. Corey Kluber has been a shell of himself for the Yankees, failing to meet the Bales Model projections in each start. The wind is also projected to be blowing out to right field at 17 mph.
If you are a player that prefers to stick with a four-man stack, look to Cincinnati against Arizona. Merrill Kelly is another low strikeout pitcher that also gives up a lot of hits. I bought in to a Reds offensive bounce back and have not been disappointed.
The top-rated hitter on both sites is Enrique Hernandez. He has also been consistent (57% to start the season) and has a reasonable price on both sites. Hernandez is one of numerous players from this game to target, especially if you pay up for Braves’ hitters.
The limited home-run upside of Tim Anderson swung in DFS players’ favor this week. He has two longballs in three games and has seen his price drop $600 on FanDuel due to a stint on the 10-day IL. I would pay up to $4,000 for Anderson’s bat and you can get him for $200 less than Francisco Lindor (.171 batting average, zero home runs).
I am good rostering Nick Senzel despite his early season struggles. He batted in the middle of the Reds’ lineup on Tuesday with Nick Castellanos serving a two-game suspension and should do so again. He is a cheap dart throw in a good offense.
J.D. Davis did his best give-and-take on Tuesday in Chicago. He hit a home run and scored New York’s only run and committed an error that led to Chicago’s first run. The bat is always in play, but will the glove keep him out of the lineup tonight in another good matchup for Mets hitters? He is underpriced considering his power and the Mets having few options at third base.
Both Reds catchers have been great when called upon. Tucker Barnhart has played the most as a left-handed hitter, but if Tyler Stephenson gets the odd start against the righty Kelly, roster him.