A short, afternoon slate is set to begin at 1:10 p.m. ET. It’s the only real slate of the day, as tonight only features two (maybe one, depending on the weather) games. Let’s get you set for this afternoon and the four games on the schedule.
Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox at San Francisco Giants, $8,400 - Once upon a time, Chris Sale ($7,500) against a team like the Tigers would be a no-brainer. But, not here in 2023. Instead, we’re going with Lynn against the strikeout happy Giants. You always have to take these early season samples with a grain of salt, but boy are the Giants striking out a TON. They’re one of only two teams with an overall K% of 30%+, sitting at 31.7%. The offense has been downright dreadful, scoring only 22 runs. I don’t expect them to be this bad for long but they’re an offense to target against currently. Lynn wasn’t sharp in his first start, but he still managed 16 DKFP against a tough Astros lineup while striking out six through 5.2 innings.
Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies vs. Washington Nationals, $7,300 - Value at pitcher is a bit tough to come by when you’re choosing between eight pitchers. Of the “lower” priced options, Freeland is where I’m landing. Granted, he’s pitching at Coors Field but it’s against one of the lightest hitting offenses in the Nationals. They’ve only managed to push across 17 runs thus far while slashing .233/.312/.306. They don’t strikeout much but they also don’t hit for much power. Pitching Freeland at Coors, where he didn’t find much success, is a bit risky. He did have an ERA of 6 to go with a 4.54 FIP and a 1.14 HR/9. This is more of a knock against the Nats and their lack of offense. I’m ok with taking a flier on Freeland here.
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals, $5,200 - Bichette has gotten off to a nice start thus far for the Jays. He’s been hitting for power early on and has nine hits overall through six games. He gets a juicy matchup against Orioles legend Jordan Lyles, who is now a starter for the Royals. Lyles was bailed out defensively against the Twins his first time out, giving him what looks like a decent start allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits through 5.1. I think he’ll have a tough time out this time around. Lyles allowed a .322 wOBA with 11 of the 26 home runs allowed to righties last season. He also can get real shaky with his command, which puts men on base in front of the stronger bats.
Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies vs. Washington Nationals, $4,200 - McMahon has bounced between batting fifth and sixth in the handful of games played thus far. Either way, he’s in a great matchup against Nats starter Josiah Gray ($6,200). Once regarded as a top prospect in the Dodgers system, Gray hasn’t seen it click at a major league level. His kryptonite has been left-handed bats, whom have giving him fits throughout his career. They’ve tagged him for a career .393 wOBA and a 3.1 HR/9! Thus, this makes McMahon an easy target at second base for only $4,200.
Spencer Torkelson, Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox, $2,100 - It’s not very often we see a cleanup hitter thats priced only $100 over the minimum salary. That’s what we’re getting with Torkelson today against Sale. After getting lit up in his first start, Sale stated that he’s never been more embarrassed on the mound than he was in that start. He’ll without a doubt have something to prove today but I’m more than willing to take a shot with Tork at this price and spot in the lineup. While it’s still early, Tork has been displaying some solid swings, registering a 55% hard-hit rate.
Romy Gonzalez, Chicago White Sox vs. San Francisco Giants, $2,300 - I’m thinking Gonzalez will earn the start today with lefty Alex Wood ($8,000) on the mound. Gonzalez drew the start over top prospect Oscar Colas ($2,100) when they faced lefty Framber Valdez on Opening Day. If Gonzalez is in, he can be slotted in either the second base or outfield position. We haven’t seen much of Gonzalez at a major league level but he is slashing .340/.347/.532 in 49 plate appearances against lefties.
Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies vs. Washington Nationals , $4,300 - We’re looking to play Blackmon for the same reason we are McMahon. A lefty going up against Gray, especially at Coors Field, is a must. Blackmon has gotten off to a really solid start this season, averaging 8.3 DKFP through the first eight games which includes two doubles, a home run and four runs scored. Hitting third in the lineup that should get a quick jump on Gray is ideal, especially when you consider he’s only $4,300. This feels like a steal at this price point.
Luis Robert Jr., Chicago White Sox vs. San Francisco Giants, $5,400 - I think people forget how good Robert is because of all the injuries he’s endured. When he’s on the field, he’s an absolute force. When he’s healthy, he’s a throne in the side of left-handed pitching. Last season, he posted a solid .390 wOBA with a .162 ISO and a 158 wRC+ against them. While Wood did a good job of keeping the ball in the park, the majority of the home runs he allowed did come on the road last season, with 12 of the 17 leaving the park. Robert should be slotted near the top of the lineup this afternoon.
Alex Call, Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies, $2,500 - Call has found himself in a starting role after the Nationals placed Corey Dickerson on the IL with a calf injury. He’s not a power bat but he does have a knack for getting on base. Throughout his time in the minors, Call has seen his BB% in double-digit territory throughout different seasons and levels. While it’s not the flashiest for fantasy purposes, Call has quickly averaged just under 7 DKFP in the four games he’s played. It wouldn’t take much for him to return value at this price, especially if he’s hitting second.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.