Wednesday features an 8-game main slate on FanDuel and DraftKings, starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Note: The PIT vs. STL game has been postponed.

With the exception of Zack Greinke, the remaining pitching options on today’s slate are all priced below $9,000. There are a number of cheap options available that will allow you to pay down tonight and fit in some big bats in good spots. Given some of the bottom-tier pitching options throwing tonight, it’s a good night to pay up for offense.

Pitchers

Studs

  • Zack Greinke (R), $9,800, HOU vs. SFG
  • Kenta Maeda (R), $8,700, MIN @ MIL

Zack Greinke has been strong over his last two starts, allowing just two earned runs and striking out nine batters over 11 innings pitched. There is reason for concern, though, as his average fastball velocity so far has only been 87.2 mph, down from an average of 90 in 2019. He’s also throwing it more often (46.7% of the time versus 41.1% last season), something the rest of the league will certainly catch onto sooner rather than later.

On Sunday, he has the fortune of taking on a San Francisco Giants team that has been hitting to an incredibly poor .247 wOBA so far. The projected lineup does only strikeout 22.9% of the time, though, so it’s unlikely we see Greinke improve on his pedestrian 6.6K/9 in this one. He’s a safe option for cash games given the matchup, but he lacks the upside we look for in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).

Kenta Maeda has been solid for the Minnesota Twins so far over his first three starts, pitching to 2-0 record and a formidable 3.20 FIP to go along with 8.47 K/9. His strikeouts have been down so far versus 2019 (9.9 K/9), but his velocity and swinging strike rate have been about the same, signaling the punchouts should creep up as the season progresses.

On Wednesday, he takes on a Milwaukee Brewers team that has been about league average at the plate thus far (.324 wOBA), but that has been striking out at an above-average 28.3% of the time. While he’s thrown 80 pitches in each of first three starts, he very rarely went over 90 last season with the Dodgers, so there is a risk we don’t see much length out of him again in this one. At $8,700, he’ll need to pitch extremely well to hit value on FanDuel.

Values

Tony Gonsolin is making the spot start for the Dodgers tonight against the San Diego Padres. In his only start of 2020, he threw four scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while notching one strikeout. He was also effective across 40 innings last season, recording a 3.28 FIP and punching out 8.32K/9.

He gets an optimal matchup against a projected Padres lineup that is hitting near league average (.329 wOBA), but that is also striking out 29.8% of the time. He threw 63 pitches in his last start, so even if they extend him just a little bit, he should have enough runway to pay off his low salary. He’s only $5,800 on FanDuel and comes in as the highest rated pitcher on the slate in the Bales Model.

There’s no way around it, Jordan Lyles has struggled so far this season. He’s pitching to a 4.88 FIP and has collected just 6.35K/9 so far, compared to 9.35 K/9 from a season ago. He’s been average at best over his major league career, but he has also shown a propensity to take advantage of strong matchups when presented with them. In 12 of his 28 starts from last season, he recorded a K/9 above 10.

On Wednesday, he gets a plus matchup against the Seattle Mariners, a team with a projected lineup hitting to a .251 wOBA and striking out 28.7% of the time against righties. Lyles is just $6,600 on FanDuel and is the second highest-rated pitcher and has 5 Pro Trends working in his favor.

 

Fastballs

Blake Snell’s 15.75 K/9 so far in 2020 is elite, but he’s yet to pitch more than three innings or exceed 59 pitches in any of his three starts. The Tampa Bay Rays will likely extend him a bit more in this one, but until he’s cleared for a full workload, he should be avoided in all formats (particularly at his $8,500 price tag).

Masahiro Tanaka was dominant in his last start, pitching five scoreless innings and allowing just one hit while striking out five. Like Snell, Tanaka is still building up his pitch count after beginning the season on the IL After throwing 59 pitches last time out, he’ll still need a few more starts before the New York Yankees will allow him a full pitch load. The projected lineup for the Atlanta Braves does strike out 29.1% of time, so there is an outside chance he could hit value. At $8,300, however, it’s very risky given the workload limitations.

Notable Stacks

With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS lineups. Today’s top five-man on DraftKings (per the Bales Model) belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies:

1. Andrew McCutchen (R)
2. Rhys Hoskins (R)
3. Bryce Harper (L)
4. JT Realmuto (R)
5. Didi Gregorious (L)

The Philadelphia Phillies take on home run machine Wade LeBlanc on Wednesday night. After averaging more than 2.2 HR/9 in each of the past three seasons, LeBlanc hasn’t strayed in 2020, allowing 2.51 HR/9 over his first three starts. Bryce Harper has been eating lefties alive so far this year, hitting an absurd .633 wOBA and .538 ISO with a 50% hard hit rate. Rhys Hoskins has also been very good, posting a .450 wOBA himself against southpaws thus far. Hoskins is a steal at just $2,900 on FanDuel.

The Phillies have the highest implied run total on the slate (5.5), so they’ll undoubtedly be chalky tonight. Even so, it would be wise to get some exposure to one of the big bats in GPPs if you can afford it.

Total Salary: $22,600

The Houston Astros also rank highly as a four-man stack on FanDuel (per the Bales Model):
1. Kyle Tucker (L)
3. Alex Bregman (R)
4. Michael Brantley (L)
5. Yuli Gurriel (R)

Total Salary: $12,700

The Astros have been hitting the ball well of late, scoring six runs in each of their last two games. On Wednesday, they take on Trevor Cahill, who will be making his first start of the season. Cahill struggled mightily last season with the Los Angeles Angels, pitching to a 6.13 FIP and allowing 2.2 HR/9.

That won’t work against a powerful Astros lineup that appears to be clicking at the plate. While technically his weaker split, Alex Bregman has been strong against righties, hitting a .322 wOBA and .222 ISO against them thus far. Michael Brantley has been even better, collecting a .361 wOBA himself. The San Francisco Giants also have the second-worst team FIP in all of baseball at 5.23, so the Astros should also find success against the bullpen as well.

Other Batters

Aaron Judge has been on an MVP-level tear lately, smashing a league-leading nine home runs over his first 17 games of the season. He matches up well again on Thursday against Huascar Ynoa, a righty with only 5.1 big-league innings in the books thus far. Ynoa has struggled over that period, allowing a home run in each of his three innings last season. Judge has an impressive .383 wOBA and .362 ISO against righties so far this year. He’s the most expensive player on the slate on FanDuel at $4,500, but his 92% bargain rating illustrates just how dominant he’s been. He’s worth spending up for in all formats.

Mookie Betts has four homes runs and a strong 149 wRC+ so far in the young season. He’s also hitting the ball hard, collecting a 52.6% hard contact rate. He’ll take on righty Zach Davies in this one and has been stellar versus right-handed pitching so far, hitting to a .446 wOBA and .367 ISO. Despite his $4,000 price tag, he registers as a 92% bargain rating in Bales Model. He also has 6 Pro Trends. He’s great as a one-off or paired in a mini-stack with Joc Peterson and/or Cody Bellinger, both of whom also grade out well in this one.

Austin Meadows brings strong splits into his matchup on Wednesday against Zach Godley. He’s demolished righties so far this season, hitting to the tune of a .471 wOBA and .313 ISO against them so far. He’s projected to lead off and has a very reasonable $3,200 salary on FanDuel. He clocks in at an 88% bargain rating.