In this article, I’m going to lay out the groundwork to build off in three to five entry max contests. When playing these types of contests, I find that I have the most success when I have a core, (generally one pitcher on FD and two on DK with a three-player stack and one to two one-off bats) that will find their way into 100% of my lineups. The idea of locking in a core is to limit, for lack of a better term, “randomness” across our lineups. By mixing and matching a few bats around our core across all lineups, we’re able to rule out some tough lineup decisions we may face while not getting completely overwhelmed with a large pool of players.
Below I’ve outlined the pitchers, stacks, and one-offs that I’m considering incorporating into my core for tonight.
Zack Wheeler (NYM)
Wheeler has shaped up as a reliable rotation piece for the Mets, who of late have supported their starters with some offense. Wheeler takes on the team that traded him a number of years ago for Carlos Beltran in the San Francisco Giants, a team that has struggled against right-handed pitching and were dominated by Luis Castillo on Sunday. On the season the Giants have struck out 23.5 percent of the time against righties which is ninth in the majors. They also have just a .302 wOBA and .138 ISO as a team against righties this season. Wheeler has tossed a quality start in four of his last five outings and at 9.1K and 9.3K on FD and DK respectively tonight, he’s a top option for me on both sites.
Chris Archer (PIT)
Things haven’t exactly gone smoothly for Archer since being traded to the Pirates, but his last start was his best even if the box score and fantasy output say differently. Archer left his start against the Twins with a four to three lead leaving two runners on base only to see the bullpen spoil the quality start and win for him. The Braves travel to Pittsburgh after finishing a four-game home series against the Rockies in which they were swept and managed to score just 13 runs. Archer has generated a plus-50 percent groundball rate over his last two starts as well as a 33 percent K rate in his last outing. The park shift will be in Archer’s favor as will his salary on both sites at 7.9K on FD and 7.8K on DK.
Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw, Mike Moustakas
Donger Bailey is back on the bump for the Reds and that means batting practice for the Reds’ opponent, in this case, the Brewers. Against lefties, Bailey has allowed 2.09 HR/9 and a 19.5 HR/FB rate. Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas immediately come to mind. Shaw has a .344 wOBA and a .285 ISO against right-handed pitching to go along with a 42 percent hard-hit rate. Over his last nine games overall, The Mayor has a 48 percent hard-hit rate and a 52 percent fly-ball rate over his last nine games. Moustakas has a .342 wOBA and a .228 ISO against righties this season and over his last 11 games has a 59 percent fly-ball rate with three doubles and two home runs. Bailey has struggled against righties as well, specifically against Ryan Braun over his career. Braun has 17 hits in 50 at-bats against Bailey with five doubles and four home runs. Bailey, the Reds bullpen, and the hitting conditions of Miller Park are all in the Brewers’ favor tonight.
Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, Matt Olson
The A’s have been the hottest team in baseball over the last month-plus and get a home matchup against the Rangers and Bartolo Colon. Colon has allowed 2.47 HR/9 to righties this season putting Matt Chapman and Khris Davis, two guys with great reverse split numbers, great opportunities to put up some big-time production tonight. Chapman has a .372 wOBA and .240 ISO against righties while Davis has a .376 wOBA and .310 ISO with three doubles and seven home runs over his last 13 games. Olson in the hammer from the left side of the plate that will get to Colon and the Rangers bullpen. He has a .349 wOBA and .247 ISO against righties this season and over his current seven-game hitting streak has five doubles and a home run. The cleanup hitter Davis and the cornerstones of the A’s Chapman and Olson are a stack that is nearly impossible to ignore tonight.
Top One-off Bats
More often than not these are value/underpriced high upside bats, otherwise, they could be bats that I simply have to have in all of my lineups. At times they’ll serve as salary relief allowing you to mix and match some exposure with higher-priced bats throughout our lineups.
Curtis Granderson (TOR)
Grandy had the day off on Sunday but in his last three games is five for nine with two doubles and a home run. Over his last nine games, Grandy has posted a 97 mile-per-hour average exit velocity with a 45 percent fly-ball rate. Andrew Cashner has allowed lefties to post a .352 wOBA and has allowed 1.52 HR/9. Granderson has a very manageable salary on both sites in a spot against a bad starting pitcher, a bad bullpen, and more than likely in the leadoff spot.
Eddie Rosario (MIN)
Rosario has a home run in two of his last three games and has hit in seven straight overall. The White Sox and Lucas Giolito have seen Rosario accredited with nine extra-base hits against them this season. Giolito has allowed a .374 wOBA and 43 percent fly ball rate to lefties this season. Rosario has hit 17 of his 21 home runs against righties this season to go along with a .371 wOBA and .225 ISO against righties.