Welcome to another edition of Ben’s Building Blocks! In this article, I will outline the players I’m looking to build my main lineup around for today’s slate. If you want access to my core plays for every main slate, as well as one of the best discord communities in the industry, click here.
Tyler Glasnow- Glasnow comes in priced lower than Carlos Carrasco, but he is far and away my favorite option. Not only does he get a better matchup than Carrasco against the Orioles, he also has higher strikeout upside in my opinion. Glasnow looked dominant in his first start, aided by his nasty curve ball that generated over a 50% whiff rate. Only Renato Nunez has an expected wOBA above .320 on this Orioles team against curve balls…
Yusei Kikuchi- Kikuchi is definitely a scary proposition, but there are reasons to be encouraged and I will do my best to sell you on him. First of all, he’s only $5,100 on DraftKings, on a slate where we are looking to jam in tons of expensive Coors Field bats in cash games. Secondly, he gets Bill Miller behind the plate, who adds a near 17% strikeout boost to pitchers. He is one of the most pitcher-friendly umpires in the entire MLB. Kikuchi is known as a “soft-tossing” lefty after averaging 92 mph on his fastball in 2019. That changed in his first start, where that number was up to almost 96 mph. He’s never going to rack up a ton of K’s, but tonight is the chance for a ceiling output with Miller behind the dish and he manages to get ground balls with the best of them. He’s projected to see eight righties in the A’s lineup tonight…in 2019 he managed 62% ground balls in the split. He’s my top punt SP2 on the slate.
SuperDraft Play: Julio Urias 2X- Urias is over-priced for me on some sites, but on SuperDraft we can grab him at a tasty 2X multiplier for double points. It feels like this kid should be old considering we have been hearing out him since he was 16, but he is only 23 and finally getting his shot in the Dodgers rotation. I was encouraged to see him go for over 70 pitches in his first start, which means he should be able to approach 85 on Saturday night. He has generated around 12% swinging strikes in his career, and has the ability to rack up punch-outs quickly even against a stingy DBacks offense.
Also Consider: Kenta Maeda on DK and FD.
Coors in cash- We have a pair of lefties on the mound in Colorado tonight, and we will obviously be looking to stack this game in cash games. Both sides have some exceptional batters against southpaws, so it’s going to leave for some tough decisions on a site like DraftKings. I have them currently ranked as: Nolan Arenado, Fernando Tatis, Tommy Pham, Trevor Story, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon for the spend-ups. I also like jamming in guys like Matt Kemp, Chris Owings and Wil Myers who are affordable options in all formats.
Maikel Franco + Salvador Perez- Franco was 50% owned in some contests earlier this week, so I find it funny he gets a lefty tonight and is projected for sub-5%. Gio Gonzalez is just not a good pitcher anymore, he allows plenty of power and hard hits to right-handed batters, while Franco hits lefties really well. Perez is another guy with plenty of pop against lefties, and he’s been seeing the ball really well to start the season. Perez ranks 20th in the entire MLB in barrels per plate appearance, providing a ton of upside at a typically low ceiling position.
Hunter Renfroe- Wade LeBlanc is another pitcher that loves to allow power. He surrendered a .170 ISO to both sides of the plate in 2019 with over 40% fly balls as well. The Rays lineup projects for over a .190 ISO against left-handed pitching, so they should have no problem getting to him this evening. Renfroe was the best hitter on the team against southpaws last season, sporting a .373 wOBA, .339 ISO and over 50% fly balls.
SuperDraft Play: Fernando Tatis Jr 1.45X– Tatis Jr, like Perez, loves to barrel the ball up which is a common theme on this Padres team. The fact that we can get the majority of their team at 1.3X or better multipliers make them a must stack for me on Saturday night.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)