The Arms and The Stacks: April 15th

Recently we’ve had some small Daily Fantasy Baseball main slates.  This has made it a bit easier to narrow down decision making, but today we’re forced to sift through a 14 game main slate.  Today you will have a few different options for how you want to approach your lineups and that starts with deciding how much of your salary to allocate to pitching.

The Arms

Clayton Kershaw is pitching today and unsurprisingly he projects to score the most fantasy points.  Kershaw is in a league of his own, but he may be an unnecessary pick today.  With so many games, we have some other really strong options priced a bit less than Kershaw.  Other pitchers are expected to approach the fantasy production of Kershaw, while being priced significantly lower, allowing you to fill out the remainder of your lineups with better batters (and secondary pitchers on DK).  That being said, if you can find a lineup you like with Kershaw in it, he’s a solid play in a vacum.

The second most expensive pitcher is Chris Sale.  While a solid option, I view him as being priced in a bit of a “no man’s land”.  On Fanduel where he’s priced so close to Kershaw, you might as well just go up to Kershaw if looking for pitchers in that price range.  On DraftKings I’d prefer paying all the way up to Kershaw or going with the bolded options below.  He’s definitely viable in tournaments and if things fit right, he can be played in cash.

Zack Greinke

Zach Greinke’s projection approaches Kershaw and Sale, while being priced $3,700 and $2,200 cheaper respectively on DraftKings.  He has the right combination of salary, value, and safety leaving him as my top option.  While Greinke doesn’t have the highest strikeout upside of the day, he’s close to the top in nearly every category we look for in pitching options.

Greinke faces off against the San Diego Padres today.  The opposing Padres have the second lowest run total of the day (after the Giants who face Kershaw) and Greinke is a -137 favorite.  While Arizona games typically have very high temperatures, today’s game will feature just high 60s temperatures and have wind blowing in from the outfield.  The Padres had the second lowest wOBA last year, and today’s lineup in particular gives Greinke a great chance to limit players getting on base.  As mentioned Greinke doesn’t have the highest projected strikeouts today, but he is in our top 4 pitchers, and I view him as having a decent shot of surpassing strikeout projections today.

Carlos Martinez

Of the pitchers I view as viable DFS options, Carlos Martinez is currently the biggest favorite of the day.  The St. Louis Cardinals are -185 favorites against the Cincinnati Reds +170.  In addition to high probability of a win, Martinez projects as our 5th highest scoring pitcher.  At a price of only $9,000 on both DraftKings and Fanduel, Martinez ranks as our top value of cash viable pitchers, from a pure projected fantasy points per dollar perspective.

The Rest

There’s a pretty large list of secondary viable pitchers today.

Madison Bumgarner is someone you could look to in tournaments.  Priced between Kershaw/Sale and our bolded options, Bumgarner doesn’t make much sense for cash games, but he is an elite pitcher always capable of big performances.

I really like Jake Shields K upside, but am reserving him for tournaments as well.

Garrett Richards, Jake Odorizzi, Joe Ross, Jeff Locke, and Wei-Yin Chen all rank somewhere between secondary cash options and tournament plays.

Rich Hill is another cheap option I like, particularly in tournaments.

The Stacks

Yesteday our top stack, the Houston Astros, performed rather poorly.  While a disappointing result, we’re looking to go at them again tonight.

Houston Astros

The Astros again come as perhaps, the “easiest” team to stack.  Once again individual Houston players come as appealing values.  Opposing pitcher Mike Pelfrey is priced as the second cheapest starting pitcher for good reason.  Houston has the highest run total of the slate (it’s moving upwards since open).  While Pelfrey is a right handed pitcher, he posted poor numbers against both righties (.313 allowed wOBA) and lefties (.367 allowed wOBA).  Strong wind gusts (assuming the roof is open) out to left field will add some extra home run upside to the right handed batters of Houston, while the lefties will have a very favorable split.  I like all batters towards the top of the Astros batting order.

astros logo

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox currently have the second highest run total of the day, and their players are also priced well.  Playing in Boston is a favorable park environment, as from 2012-2015 the Red Sox had the second highest percentage of their runs at home.


percentage of runs scored at home 2012-2015

Additional stacks I like for tournaments include, Marlins, Texas, The Cardinals, Orioles, Yankees and to a lesser extent Anaheim, Cleveland, Toronto, and Detroit.

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