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Every Friday night, I’m entered into a DFS tournament on FanDuel with about 40 other Tout Wars participants.

The top 10 cash in, and while it sounds like a 1-in-4 shot at bringing home some dough, it still ends up being more difficult than your average tournament.

In this league, I’m going up against some of the best minds in the business, so I’ve been happy to finish in the top half of the field. Finally, after five weeks, I finished eighth last night.

It’s like that time I got a C in school and bragged to all the neighbor kids!

Games start at 1:35pm today (NYY at BOS), and there are three 2pm games, aand three more 4pm games, before we get to the eight nighttime games. By the time I get this article gets written and posted, it’s useless for the early game players, so we’ll be focusing on the nighttime games.

Saturday’s Weather Notes

It should be a pretty nice evening across the country – there are no games with a 50-percent chance of precipitation (or higher). (Even the daytime games look great, weather-wise!)

  • Washington at N.Y. Mets: 20% chance of precipitation

You should always check the weather, but it looks like the nighttime games will go off without issue.

Injury Notes: It’s always smart to check day-to-day injuries before you fill out a lineup, and we like the injury chart at MLB.com the most. They break it down by teams, and share what side of the body the injury is, as well as some notes on the injury and their progress in coming back from it. Here are five players shown as day-to-day:

  • Albert Pujols, 1B, L.A. Angels: Left hamstring
  • Devon Travis, 2B, Toronto: Bruised collarbone
  • Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee: Right hamstring (Expected back today)
  • Chris Denorfia, OF, Chicago Cubs: Left hamstring
  • Denard Span, OF, Washington: Sore abdominal muscle
  • Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay: Left knee soreness
  • Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati: Left hip impingement
  • Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado: Illness
  • Jordan Schafer, OF, Atlanta: Right knee MCL sprain

Vegas Lines: I’m a bigger fan of using VegasInsider.com over OddsShark, as we check to see which games have the heavy favorites, and which games have the highest expect run totals (over/under lines).

Of the eight nighttime games, there aren’t any big favorites or underdogs, with just one game with a moneyline greater than (-150), and that’s the Dodgers (-152) over the Giants. But putting your faith in SP Scott Baker seems odd.

There are two afternoon games with over/under lines set at 9 or 9.5 (NYY at BOS and CHW at MIN), but of the nighttime games, the OAK at TEX (8.5 O/U) game and the ARI at LAD (8.0 O/U) games are the only ones above 8.

There are no games with over/under lines below 7, which tells you today should be excellent for offenses.

Probable Pitchers: Doug shares a link to ProbablePitchers.com where you can keep up to date on tonight’s hurlers. And you can check FanDuel for that info as well.

It’s also interesting to note that of the 16 starting pitchers going in tonight’s games, there are six left-handers, including:

  • Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado at SD
  • Gio Gonzalez, Washington at NYM
  • Jon Niese, N.Y. Mets vs. WAS
  • Drew Pomeranz, Oakland at TEX
  • Eric Stults, Atlanta vs. CIN
  • David Price, Detroit at KC

Batter vs. Pitcher: Doug and I are in the same boat on how this information has become noise in the industry – although, we were both slow to convert. He wrote a great piece on why batter vs. pitcher stats aren’t something you should pay much attention to. But if you’re still into reading about BvP stats, you can check DailyBaseballData.com for that fix.

Rather than target hitters against certain pitchers, look at hitters vs. right- or left-handed pitchers. Doug put together two awesome charts for your perusal:

FanDuel Strategy for the Day

I’m a big fan of punting on catchers, since even the above-average catchers are still relatively weak offensively, so I’ll often grab one of the minimally priced catchers going against an opposite-handed pitcher. I’m not trying to get home runs out of him, but I’m just hoping to avoid negative points or a zero. The money I save will go toward hitters I DO expect to hit home runs.

Top Stacking Options for the Day

As I mentioned, there aren’t any expected blowouts, but of the games with high over/unders, the only one I’d consider for a stacked lineup is:

  • L.A. Dodgers vs. RHP Jeremy Hellickson, ARI: The right-hander has been inconsistent so far with his new club, with just one quality start in four tries this season. Even so, Hellboy doesn’t give up a ton of home runs, so stacking against him means looking for strings of basehits against him. The Dodgers have the most home runs (31) and the best OPS (.873) against right-handed pitchers in the majors. I side with the hitters on this one.
  • San Diego Padres vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa, COL: Load up your right-handed hitters vs. De La Rosa, who has allowed a 1.210 OPS to right-handers this season.

FanDuel Picks for Saturday, May 2

Top Starting Pitchers for Saturday, May 2

The following rankings take into account skill of pitcher, quality of opposing offense, quality of opposing pitcher, ballpark factors, and of course price at FanDuel.It’s a weird day with some solid, top-notch starters – and then the rest of the field. You HAVE to get a win from your pitcher to compete on FanDuel, so I’m spending money on the mound today.

You might be tempted to roll with David Price this afternoon against the Royals, but know that Kansas City has the third-best team OPS .801 against left-handed pitching.

Price’s former teammate, Chris Archer, might be calling your name, too. But he’s the second-most expensive pitcher on the night, and he faces an Orioles lineup that hit two home runs off him in his first start of the season. He has allowed just three earned runs this year – all to the Orioles in that first game.

Collin McHugh, RHP, Houston vs. SEA ($8,400): McHugh is 3-0 in four starts this season, and this is just his second home start of the year. He has shown great command, with just four walks, and he faces a Mariners team that is batting just .218 on the road (third-worst in the majors).

Brandon Morrow RHP, San Diego vs. COL ($6,900): In Morrow’s three home games this season, he has allowed just three earned runs in 21 innings (going seven deep in each start). Granted, his lone bad start of the season was against the Rockies – but it was in Colorado, not like tonight in Petco Park.

Scott Baker RHP, L.A. Dodgers vs. ARI ($5,800): Yeah, I’m as surprised I’m putting him here as you are! But he’s on the team that’s the biggest Vegas favorite, pitching at home in a great pitcher’s park, and he’s the cheapest pitcher on the night. All of that spells a pretty good tournament play in GPP games!

Top Hitters for Saturday, May 2

Here are two choices at each position; one is the best bet for production and the other is a lower priced option with a favorable outlook.

Catchers

Derek Norris, San Diego ($2,800): Norris is batting .329 on the season, which is bound to drop off, and he’s at a palatable price, hitting at home.

Jason Castro, Houston ($2,200): He has two home runs and five RBI in 46 at-bats against right-handers this season, and Taijuan Walker has a 6.75 ERA against lefties, and he’s allowing them to hit .327 against him. Castro has the cheapest price tag among catchers, and he’s one of the few left-handed hitting catchers in the game.

First Basemen

Adrian Gonzalez, L.A. Dodgers ($4,400): He’s one of my favorite plays any time he’s going against right-handed pitchers, considering he’s hitting .380 with eight homers and 18 RBI against RHP this year. (Six of those home runs came at Dodger Stadium).

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta ($2,700): Not a ton of great cheap options at first base today. Freeman’s batting .302 with three home runs against right-handed pitchers, and he’s facing Jason Marquis, who has given up three HR in four starts.

Second Basemen

Robinson Cano, Seattle ($3,700): If you didn’t choose McHugh for your starting lineup, think about a discounted Cano, who is batting .318 against right-handers this season.

Eric Sogard, Oakland ($2,200): Definitely not a great option, but if you’re punting the position, he’s hitting .293 against right-handers this season. Nick Martinez has been great for the Rangers, but he had a 5.24 ERA at home in 2014.

Third Basemen

Brett Lawrie, Oakland ($2,500): A good chance to save some money at third base today. Lawrie faces a red-hot Nick Martinez, but Lawrie has nine RBI in his past five games, and he has 13 RBI this season against RHP.

Alberto Callaspo, Atlanta ($2,200): The switch-hitter hits second in a lineup full of lefties going up against right-hander Jason Marquis, who has allowed a .319 batting average to lefties. Callaspo is batting .294 against RHP.

Shortstops

Jimmy Rollins, L.A. Dodgers ($2,800): The switch-hitter isn’t off to his best start, but he does have 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 SB and 9 runs scored against RHP this season.

Brad Miller, Seattle ($2,400): I like Miller against RHP because he’s always cheap, and he hits them well — .327 vs. RHP this season.

Outfielders

Matt Kemp, OF, San Diego (3,700): With eight RBI and a .455 batting average against LHP, plus a matchup against De La Rosa in San Diego, Kemp is a solid play.

Joc Pederson, L.A. Dodgers ($3,600): The rookie has a 1.144 OPS vs. RHP this season, and he has three homers in his past four games.

Josh Reddick, Oakland ($3,500): Again, going against Martinez who is pitching above his pay grade, Reddick has 2 HR, 13 RBI and a .377 batting average against RHP this season.

Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay ($2,400): He faces a right-hander tonight, and he’s batting .289 with two homers and six RBI against RHP this season. Solid bargain hitting oppo-handed pitching at home (even though it’s listed as an away game).

Hopefully, we hit more homers than GIDPs with our FanDuel picks for Saturday, 5/2, and you come out a winner!

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