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.
Mike Clevinger (CLE)
Clevinger is coming off a great start against the Orioles and faces another pathetic offense tonight in the Royals. Clevinger’s numbers have been good all season and especially good on the road. He’s gone at least six innings in three of his last four outings and outside of a start against the Reds has kept his walk rate very low over his last five outings. The Indians will come back off of a shutout loss yesterday against the Red Sox and give Sunshine adequate run supports propelling him to a quality start and win at a fair price on both sites.
Mike Foltynewicz (ATL)
Folty has been fantastic in his last two starts, one of which came against the Miami Marlins. He’s gone seven and eight innings in his last two outings with nine and seven strikeouts. Walks are always a worry with Folty, but against a Marlins team that has walked just 6.4 percent of the time over the last month, it becomes somewhat of a mute point. Over that same month’s span, Miami has just a .278 wOBA and a .115 ISO and this park shift will be in Folty’s favor. He’s the highest priced pitcher on DK, as he was in his last start when I said he would pitch well, and I was right. He’ll pitch well tonight again and is in play on both sites.
Michael Fulmer (DET)
Fulmer is almost certainly my guy at SP2 tonight if I’m playing DK taking on the White Sox at 7.7K. He faces the White Sox for the second time this season after pitching well against them on July 7th. Chicago continues to be without Jose Abreu helping Fulmer who will be pitching for the first time since July 14th. With a strong groundball rate and great salary Fulmer is at the top at SP2 for me.
UPDATE: Fulmer may be limited to around 70 pitches tonight which diminishes his upside a little bit.
Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, Matt Olson
The A’s have been one of the hottest, if not the hottest team in baseball over the last month and I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon against Jake Odorizzi. Not so much this season, but Odorizzi has a history of being susceptible against the reverse-split and in a ballpark like Target Field, a park that caters to right-handed power hitters, is in a bad spot against Matt Chapman and Khris Davis. Chapman has a .250 ISO, .378 wOBA, and 44.6 percent hard-hit rate against righties. Davis is no slouch either with a .327 ISO, .387 wOBA, and 46.3 percent hard-hit rate. Matt Olson has killed righties all season long with a .239 ISO and .342 wOBA. The A’s get the guaranteed extra at-bat on the road and have a positive park shift to deal with putting them at the top for me tonight.
David Peralta, Eduardo Escobar, Daniel Descalso
The Dbacks have scored 14 runs in their last three games and face Erasmo Ramirez who’s due to get beat up a bit. He’s allowed a 45 percent hard-contact rate over his four starts this season but has allowed just one earned run over his last two, against the Astros and Dodgers, two solid offenses. Tonight he takes on another solid offense in the Dbacks who as I said are scoring runs at a high rate right now. Peralta continues to destroy the baseball out of the three hole, Eduardo Escobar has hammered righties all season, and Descalso has a 92-mile-per-hour exit velocity and 62 percent fly-ball rate over his last nine games. I like the lefties in this spot.
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.
Starling Marte (PIT)
Over the last two seasons, Wade Miley has allowed nearly two HR/9 to right-handed hitters. Marte has hits in nine of ten games against the Brewers this season, including two doubles, five home runs, and two stolen bases over that stretch. With his ability to steal bases (28 on the season) and power upside (17 home runs, .186 ISO which is a career high), Marte is priced well as a good one-off to plug into your lineups.
Ender Inciarte (ATL)
In a game in which the Braves should score some runs, Inciarte comes in as a nice value play and should be hitting second in the batting order once again. He has hits in each of his last six games including a 2-4 effort with a home run last night against these same Marlins. What separates Inciarte here is his ability to steal bases. He has 24 steals on the season and Dan Straily, the Marlins’ starter has allowed a 62 percent success rate to opposing base stealers over the last two seasons.