If you were like me growing up, your Grandma always made your favorite dishes. We’d show up on her doorstep and she was always willing to whip something up for her boys. With a cold glass of soda, we’d sit down at the table and watch her go to work. The ingredients would magically appear on the counter, sounds of metal spoons on metal bowls would fill the air, and the old oven would begrudgingly wake from its peaceful rest…oh what a memory. My favorite was a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Sounds plain right? Not in my Grandma’s house. The surprise was to be found inside.
My brother and I would slowly cut through the cake hoping to hit something with the knife. If we didn’t, we’d fight over who got that piece and who got to cut the next one. See, one of my Grandma’s favorite tricks would be to wrap coins in wax paper and put it in the cake. She didn’t do it all the time, but you can envision a young boy’s face when your fork hit something hard in your piece of chocolate cake. Every now and then, she’d put in a Kennedy half-dollar and we knew this one was extra special!
So, what’s that got to do with DFS? Well, my Grandma, and I suspect many of yours too, never used recipes. We’d ask, “how do you know what ingredients to use and how much?”. She’d always say, “I just put a pinch of this, a dash of that, and this is what comes out.” Perfection every time. Perfection…isn’t that the reason we keep coming back to DFS?
Unfortunately, there’s no set formula to building a perfect lineup every time. Some DFS’ers follow recipes while others spend a lot of time studying the ingredients (i.e., advanced stats). When it comes down to it though, you take as little or as much information as you’ve gathered, especially reading our Razzball columns, and throw a lineup into the bowl. A sprinkle of superstars here. A dash of inexpensive role players there. Throw it in the oven and hope for a magical dessert later in the day. Sometimes it’s delicious but other times it’s undercooked. Either way, we tweak our “recipe” again and again, always looking to create a masterpiece.
So, here is the result of my latest go in the DFS kitchen. I always use quality ingredients, primarily provided by the Razzball Streamonator and Hittertron and the other DFS tools available on our site, but not a set recipe. Today, you’ll get a pinch of “La Piedra” here and a little dash of “Carita” there. Now, let’s get to baking, err, building some winning lineups…
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Luis Castillo, SP: DK: $9,400 / FD: $10,800 – The Mariners new Ace has quickly endeared himself to his new teammates and fans since the July 29th trade with Cincinnatti. From a DFS perspective, he continues to roll with a string of 40+ point (FanDuel) outings, which is now up to 8 in a row. He’s averaging about 8 Ks per game during that stretch as well. The A’s will need to step up significantly if they hope to break this streak. I’m banking on 9…
Joe Ryan, SP: DK: $7,400 / FD: $8,800 – It’s been a minute since Joe Ryan was the darling of MLB and DFS players everywhere. The love for Joe peaked on April 27th when he put up 58 points versus Detroit. It’s been a roller coaster ride ever since. Peeling back the onion a bit though finds Joe usually pitches very strong at home, averaging over 30 points per game in 5 of 7 home tilts since the Detroit game in April. The road starts tend to be a little more troublesome. Luck for us, Joe pitches at home today versus the Rangers who rank in the bottom half (or worse) in most offensive categories. The only slight downside I see is the fact that the Twins are managing his pitches per game between 85-90. Despite this, he’s reaching 6 or more K’s in 4 of his last 5. With some of the other bigger-named pitchers tossing the pill today, I suspect Joe will have low ownership in most formats. Take advantage of the cost savings.
Salvador Perez, C: DK: $4,600 / FD: $2,700 – We all know what Salvador Perez can do at the plate. What if I told you Sal’s OPS is .200 points higher versus LHP like the Ray’s Ryan Yarbrough? Well, it is so he’ll be in my lineups today.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B: DK: $5,000 / FD: $3,700 – There’s no doubt the Yankee bats are ice cold these days but a thaw is inevitable. With pending matchups against Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom on the horizon, now is the time to turn up the heat. Anthony Rizzo is one of the bats Jays SP Alek Manoah has more trouble with. There are a lot of real nice 1B bats to pick from but if anyone is bound to put their team on his back today, Rizzo is the guy for me.
Thairo Estrada, 2B: DK: $9,800 (Showdown) / FD: $3.900 – If you read my articles regularly, you know by now that I like to target players who have favorable splits against the opposing SP. Today, the Giants face LHP Kyle Freeland at Coors. Thairo Estrada has an OPS almost 200 points higher versus LHP (.864 versus .685). Playing in Coors is just a bonus. Let’s go Thairo!
Rafael Devers, 3B: DK: $11,000 (Showdown) / FD: $3,800 – If you have a minute, go back and read my Easter Sunday DFS article on April 17. Don’t sweat it, I’ll save you the time. Here is what I wrote about Rafael Devers that day. “This pick is as easy as finding a brightly colored Easter egg on the middle of the family room floor. Devers historically mashes RHP like Bailey Ober and his ’22 wOBA suggests more of the same today. Pay up and start with confidence.” Well, time has proven me right as his OPS is a cool .970 versus RHP this season, with 21 HRs and 45 steaks. Like the prophet with the initials “L.B.” once said…”pay up and start with confidence.”
Kevin Newman, SS: DK: $3,200 / FD: $2,900 – For my reasoning for picking Kevin Newman, see the Thairo Estrada explanation above. Newman’s splits are .850 versus LHP and .623 versus RHP. It doesn’t hurt either that he’s on a mini-tear lately with 3 games above 18 points (FanDuel) in the last 5 coming into the weekend. Same some dough here with Newman.
Kyle Schwarber, OF: DK: $5,900/ FD: $3,200 – After missing a handful of games due to a calf injury, Kyle Schwarber didn’t waste much time getting right back into the swing of things with a pair of hits and RBIs on Friday night. Prior to the injury, he had been slashing .298/.377/.574 with 3 HRs in the previous dozen games. Without Bryce Harper, Schwarber has been the catalyst for the Phillies lineup and can be the same for your DFS lineup today. Monitor the starting lineups though since he played both games of the double header on Saturday.
Starling Marte, OF: DK: $4,900 / FD: $3,500 – Staying in the same game, my second OF recommendation is Starling Marte. Marte has put together a fine season for the Mets with a .290/.339/.465 slash on the season. He has also been on a nice run lately, including a 2-HR game on Wednesday versus the Braves. Both dingers came off RHP, which is the matchup today in Philly. To further bolster our pick, Marte has a .429/.500/.571 slash in head-to-head matchups with Kyle Gibson. Yes, please!
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
The highest chance of rain today is in the Sunday Night tilt between the Red Sox and the Orioles. There is also rain in the forecast in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta so keep an eye on these games as well as you build your lineups.
Doing Lines In Vegas