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)
The Giants offense, which is now without Andrew McCutchen after he was traded to the Yankees last night, have been absolutely putrid offensively over the last two weeks. Over that span, they have an MLB low .239 team wOBA and 0.90 ISO to go along with a 25.7 percent K rate and a 6.3 percent walk rate. Wheeler has been fantastic for the Mets going at least seven innings in five of his last eight starts totaling 46 innings over that stretch with 44 strikeouts and just six earned runs. He should carve up the Giants, the team that traded him away a few years ago, who he just dominated two starts ago to the tune of seven innings, 10 strikeouts, and one earned run.
Luis Severino (NYY)
Sevy has bounced back in his last two starts after a rough stretch and should fare well against the Tigers tonight who has the worst team wOBA against righties at .288 and a fourth-lowest team ISO at .135 against righties. Severino has struck out eight batters in back to back games and had the same result against the White Sox two starts prior to those outings. He and Wheeler are both priced similarly to each other on FD and DK.
*I'm not locked in on one SP2 on DK, however three guys to consider are Anibal Sanchez, Brad Keller, and Andrew Suarez.
Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong
I'm not going to go too far in depth on how terrible Donger Bailey is. He sucks. Matt Carpenter has hit him well with a .452 batting average over 42 at-bats and Bailey has allowed 2.30 HR/9 to lefties. Yadi Molina has a .404 average against Bailey with three doubles and three home runs and is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak with three doubles over that span. Paul DeJong is a reverse-splits guy with a .204 ISO and 12 of his 14 home runs against righties this season.
Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw, Ryan Braun
I have no confidence at all in Tanner Roark or any Nats pitchers at this point outside of Max Scherzer. With that being said, the Brewers have been destroying the baseball as a team over the last two weeks with a .358 team wOBA and .217 ISO. Christian Yelich has been leading the charge with a 63 percent hard-hit rate and a 97 mile-per-hour average exit velocity over his last 15 games. Furthermore, he's 14 for his last 33 (.424) with two doubles, a triple, and six home runs. Travis Shaw should be back in the lineup tonight against the righty and has hit the ball well of late and is a major power threat in the middle of the lineup against righties. Ryan Braun is a good piece to add as a value play that should find himself in the middle of the lineup for the Brew Crew who should put up some runs 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.
Matt Olson (OAK)
Olson has hammered righties all season to the tune of a .342 wOBA, .244 ISO, and a 48.7 percent hard-hit rate while hitting 20 of his 24 home runs against righties. Over his last 15 days he has a 44 percent hard-hit rate and a 52 percent fly ball rate. At 3.3K on FD and 3.9K on DK, Olson is underpriced for the upside he brings to the table.
D.J. Lemahieu (COL)
Lemahieu is more of a core play for me on FD but that's not to say he isn't in play on DK, I just love his 3K price tag on FD. Lemahieu is seven for his last 21 with to doubles and a home run and has hit well in San Diego with a .309 average lifetime. Brett Kennedy has been hit hard by righties over his brief stint in the majors to the tune of a .542 wOBA, a 47 percent hard-contact rate, and a .485 wOBA against righties at home.