We are 1/3 of the way through the regular season and here is what we have learned ...
- Yankees and Red Sox are both very, very good.
- Indians and Astros should be in the playoff mix this fall.
- Several bad teams with a long summer ahead of them: Orioles, Royals, White Sox, Marlins, and Reds.
So what does this mean for daily fantasy baseball? Well if you are playing the main slate, forget about the Red Sox and Astros. They will play against each other on Sunday night baseball and compete with the NBA Finals for viewership. Good luck with that ESPN but at least your parent network ABC has the NBA Finals. The Yankees might get rained out again so it's not worth the trouble. Indians are interesting. They finished off the month of May on an insane hot streak by winning 6 games in a row and scoring an absurd 52 runs. They have cooled off some the last two games by losing both of them at Minnesota and scoring just 5 runs. The prices for most of the top Indians bats would make roster contruction nearly impossible and not worth it unless they get back to their double digit scoring ways. It is plausible with Kyle Gibson on the mound who has an awful history against the Indians top hitters but for most of this season Gibson has been somewhat decent.
So where they go with our roster construction? Washington, Detroit, and Chicago. All murder capitals in the US but let's focus on something happier: baseball! The offense for Washington and Detroit look solid and Jon Lester will be the man for the Cubs. Here are our reasons why.
- Anibal Sanchez is simply an awful pitcher. He has nothing left in the tank. His splits for the last three years show that he has given up a lot of production to the #1, 3, 4, and 5 hitters. That means we will be stacking Turner, Rendon, Adams/Reynolds, and Soto. Leave out Harper since he is not hitting value in a GPP unless he scores 30+ points on FanDuel. My guess is that Sanchez will just walk Harper and try to attack the other hitters.
- The game in Atlanta will be hot and has the lowest air density index of all games in the main slate at 56 according to dailybaseballdata.com. This bodes well for the long ball.
- Sanchez is a reverse splits pitcher meaning that righties are hitting him harder than lefties. OPS to righties from 2015 - 2017 is 0.908 while it's 0.750 to lefties. My guess is that Adams doesn't play after leaving the game early yesterday so the best righties for Washington are Turner, Rendon, and Reynolds. Even more reason to leave Harper out.
- The game yesterday went 14 innings and exhausted the bullpen for both teams. No way Sanchez lasts more than 5 innings so Washington is due to rack up some runs and they have shown a propensity to exlpode on offense when the situation is right. Atlanta could too but Jeremy Hellickson has been decent for the Nationals. He hasn't given up more than 3 earned runs in any start this season and just 4 earned runs in his last 5 starts.
- Don't expect the Tigers to pop off a lot of runs but this is more about value. We get to pick on another Sanchez, this time Aaron Sanchez. While he is better than Anibal Sanchez, he is not great. His WHIP, SIERA, and FIP are all high.
- Detroit is fully healthy again with Cabrera and Candelario back from injury and Detroit offense is not bad. They are in the middle of the pack in most offensive categories and can make a push for the AL Central lead.
- The weather should cooperate at Comerica Field after a long winter and it has played like a hitter's park this season ranking #6 in runs scored and #2 in HRs.
- If you go with our Washington stack, you can squeeze in Cabrera, Castellanos, Machado, and Jones and have enough money for the pichter we are ready to discuss.
- There are not many big arms to select in the main slate so we will have to be careful. When we go through all of the options Lester appears like the right choice.
- Mets bats are awful, especially against lefties and at Citi Field. Look at the splits: OPS of 0.608 against LHP and 0.748 againt RHP. OPS of 0.676 at home and 0.739 on the road.
- Lester has a strong history against the current Mets bats. The Mets hitters who have given him trouble in the past are all on the DL and happen to be righties: Cespedes, Flores, and Frazier. Even more reason why the Mets have struggled against LHP this season.
- Citi Field has played like a pitcher's park this season ranking 3rd to last in runs scored. The weather should be cool with the highest air density index on the main slate at 68 and the wind blowing in from right field at 17 mph according to dailybaseballdata.com.
Sum it all up and you can get the following lineup with $300 to spare on FanDuel.
P - Jon Lester
C/1B - Mark Reynolds
2B - Dixon Machado
3B - Anthony Rendon
SS - Trea Turner
OF - Juan Soto
OF - Nicholas Castellanos
OF - Jacoby Jones
UTIL - Miguel Cabrera
If Matt Adams plays tomorrow, then just switch him with Reynolds and you will still have the salary cap space to do so on FanDuel. Good luck to you and enjoy the start to summer!