Starting Nine 5/19/17

Greetings Gamers!  We wanted to give you a free sneak peek at some of our premium baseball content and with our special Cinco de Mayo promotion, who better to get some information from than tournament expert Manny Lora (aka mjordantmac) himself?!?!

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Now let’s get down to business with some insight from Manny!

Tonight on FantasyDraft, we have a very solid $11,000 Home Run with a reasonable $25 entry fee and a 15 entry limit so we will not see the field overrun by any one player with deep pockets.  With 28 teams in action, we have a wide variety of pitching options available.  Here are three that I am looking to target in tournaments tonight.

The data displayed in the accompanying chart will be a combination of 2016 and the start of this 2017 season. I like displaying this information on one page so I can see which pitchers have the most strikeout opportunities on a given night. We know strikeouts are huge in MLB DFS and looking at this information as lineups come out help me pinpoint which pitchers have the best matchups. With this info in front of us, here are the pitchers I think are in the best spots tonight.

Chris Sale – BOS at OAK – $25,200 – You can never go wrong with Chris Sale. He has been the best pitcher in baseball this year and the numbers are simply astonishing. Tonight he will square off against an Oakland team that typically rolls out six below-average hitters. Outside of Khris Davis and Yonder Alonso (who is dealing with a minor knee injury), there isn’t much to worry about. The projected Oakland lineup is set to have eight right-handed hitters but as locked in as Sale is, we should not worry too much about that. On the season, Sale has limited righties to a .271 wOBA dating back to last year and is striking them out at 28%. Regardless of who he goes up against, he always possesses the highest upside amongst all starting pitchers. Chris Sale is my number one in all formats tonight.

Luis Severino – NYY at TBR – $17,100 – It’s no secret how good Luis Severino has been this season. He is number one in average fastball velocity this season and has an outstanding breaking ball to complement the hard stuff. Severino faced this Tampa team in his second start of the season where he went seven innings and racked up ELEVEN strikeouts! We love the park shift as Tropicana Field favors pitchers greatly and I love the matchup against all these lefties. On the season, Severino has limited lefties to a .264 wOBA and is striking them out at 23%. With so many good arms today and his rough outing last time out, Severino most likely will not reach the level of popularity he deserves, making him one of my favorite tournament options.

Lisalverto Bonilla – CIN vs COL – $10,200 – With so many hitters that we want to target, it makes sense that one strategy will be to look to a cheap, albeit risky play in tournament.  The kid is not an ace by any means, but he does let me roster my top two or three hitters and also use Chris Sale as my staff ace.

This is a price play only and one that I’ll use sparingly in tournaments. There are so many expensive bats in good spots and I would love to roster a few of them in the same lineup. It’s tough because I also want Severino, Sale and of course Jacob deGrom, but with the salary cap, we can’t have the best of both worlds.

Lisalverto Bonilla will go against a ton of righties from a Rockies team that is average at best, in my opinion. Outside of Coors Field they don’t perform and Bonilla is a guy who can capitalize on that. The best hitters in this Rockies lineup come from the right side, a side that Bonilla has struck out at 29% in the limited innings he’s pitched. For $10,200 on Fantasy Draft, he makes a nice high-risk tournament option.

Feel free to message me on Twitter (@MLora) with any questions regarding todays slate. I will confirm these plays and more on the Deeper Dive later today. I’ll also be in the premium slack chat answering questions leading up to lock. Till next time, party animals!

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