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The Wheelhouse: DFS Thoughts - 5/3

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Director of Media for RotoWire.com, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).

A Wednesday that looks like a Tuesday?

Hopefully, itís just what the doctor ordered to help me get out of this current dry spell. While Iíve had plenty of useful pieces in the mix during the last week or so, I havenít played enough combos to optimally get them all paired together for a big payoff.

One game -- Brewers-Cardinals -- has already been postponed, while the Aís-Twins and White Sox-Royals games are not completely out of the woods from a rain standpoint. The forecast for the Bronx has significant winds blowing out to the short porch in right field, making things a bit more difficult for Marcus Stroman and CC Sabathia on Wednesday.

The Arms



After a minor scare with a groin strain Tuesday night, Miguel Cabrera is back in the lineup for Wednesdayís tilt against Carlos Carrasco and the Tigers. Even without Miggy for a stretch, J.D. Martinezís absence all season, and a slow start from Victor Martinez, the Tigers have been an offense to fear this season. While that may lower the ownership rate on Carrasco, I am going elsewhere on the mound.

Is Jake Arrieta broken? The velocity appears to be down across the board, but the K% is back up at pre-2016 levels.

Even if heís in danger of taking a big step back the rest of the way, a lesser version of Arrieta should be able to navigate this lineup effectively:




Itís a toss-up for me with Jacob deGrom on the other side of the coin. deGrom has a 17.6% (!) swinging-strike rate supporting his career-high 34.4% K% thus far. From a physical (see also: velocity) standpoint, he looks like the guy we saw in 2015, and with the major injuries that have befallen Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner, deGrom has moved up a few chairs in the NL Cy Young hunt.

As a slate, Wednesday is oddly difficult with so many pitchers having tough road assignments (Carrasco, Stroman, and Robbie Ray), and the ownership rate on deGrom may be elevated as a result. My gut says I should just use deGrom exclusively on FanDuel and not overthink the game theory benefit of using Arrieta instead.

Both Drew Pomeranz and Gio Gonzalez have fared better than I expected to this point. Iím just not ready to trust them in a 14-game setup, even with Gonzalezís matchup against an Arizona club that has ranked 28th in road wOBA through the first four-plus weeks of the season.

In DraftKings and other two-pitcher scenarios, Iím looking for reasons to avoid Jameson Taillon and am struggling to come up with any.

The cheeky GPP call of the night might be Antonio Senzatela on the road at Petco, where the Padresí swing-and-miss tendencies elevate the rookieís K-floor enough to at least think about using him in a big-field lineup.

The Bats

Targeting Rookie Davis

Stacking Pirates isnít rocket science, as their No. 1-5 hitters can be obtained at a very modest price. Admittedly, Iím not usually inclined to use Josh Harrison against a right-handed starter, but heís leading off again and the Redsí pitching is just that bad.

Following a day off Tuesday, Gregory Polanco returns to the clean-up spot at $3,200 on FanDuel. Heís priced up a bit at $4,100 on DraftKings, slightly lowering his appeal.

On DraftKings, Josh Bell is just $3,300, and his .806 OPS against right-handed pitching since the start of last season is a little better than you might think. The drawback of rostering Bell, however, is that higher ceiling options at first base are always available, so heís more of a contrarian GPP piece than anything else.

Targeting Jered Weaver

Colorado on the road is usually a situation to look away from on a big slate. FanDuel is particularly soft with the pricing of Rockies bats today, and exposure can be had at a variety of price points with Nolan Arenado ($4,300), Trevor Story ($3,500) and/or Ian Desmond ($3,000).

Left-handed power gets stifled at Petco, but I am a sucker for the discounted, big-talent laggards like Carlos Gonzalez ($2,800) as a way of obtaining salary relief in the outfield.

Targeting Nick Martinez

I was hoping to see Evan Gattis in the lineup for the Astros today, but he appears to be on the outside looking in with Brian McCann getting the call instead. At ($3,100/$3,400), McCann is one of the best options behind the dish. Josh Reddick is still cheap ($2,800 on FanDuel) for his place in the Houston lineup ($3,700 on DraftKings), Jose Altuve is slightly discounted on FanDuel, and Carlos Correa is only $3,700 on FanDuel. The middle-infield combo will run you $9,800 on DraftKings.

Targeting Mike Pelfrey

Remember, Kauffman Stadium squashes left-handed homers by 20 percent, but it increases runs overall. Pelfrey makes Eric Hosmer useful again at $2,800 on FanDuel, while Mike Moustakas is slightly cheaper on DraftKings ($3,700) on the other corner.

Odds and Ends

Cody Bellinger is automatic in cash, and arguably too good to fade in GPP scenarios as well. Wednesdayís matchup comes at home against Jeff Samardzija ($2,600 FD/$3,100 DK).

On days like today, I wish Martin Prado was still a second baseman.

How much exposure -- if any -- are you looking to have against Kevin Gausman with Red Sox hitters tonight?

Steve Pearceís two-homer game came one day early. Considering the damage that Kendrys Morales did against lefties last season, can you pass up on a top option at first base and roll him out there against Sabathia in GPPs?

Are you still buying into Brandon Guyerís multi-year track record against left-handed pitching? Heís hitting seventh for Cleveland on Wednesday, but Matt Boyd is very susceptible to the long ball (1.46 HR/9 since the start of last season).

Kole Calhoun is on the short list of Angels who benefit from the park factors at Safeco, which boosts left-handed homers by 10 percent (Anaheimís home park suppresses left-handed homers by 13 percent). It certainly doesnít hurt his cause that Hisashi Iwakuma is starting for the Mariners this evening.

Prefer audio? Check out the RotoWire DFS Podcast episode for today in the player below.

Good luck tonight!




The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Derek VanRiper plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: RotoWireDVR, DraftKings: BentleysChair, Yahoo: d.vanriper,.