The Chris Sale train just keeps chugging along! Four straight games of 7+IP to start the season including 35 total Ks over his last three starts. It’s no surprise that his K/9 (12.74) and his xFIP (2.07) are both the best on the slate. He’s going to face the rival Yankees tonight who actually own the league’s best wOBA to this point (.340) but drop down to .318 against LHP, which is about middle of the pack. On a slate that includes Noah Syndergaard in a prime matchup for less money, I wonder how overlooked Sale will be.
Today’s Projections | 2017 Game Logs | Player Scoring Calendar
Don’t forget that Julio Urias will be making his season debut for the Dodgers today. The 20 year old lefty made 15 starts for LA last season, posting a solid 9.8 K/9 and only surrendering five homers in 77 IP. He never looked out of place in the Bigs and really settled in towards the end of the season. Over his last 8 appearances (33.2 IP), he boasted a 1.34 ERA while striking out a better per inning. He should benefit from the pitcher friendly park in San Francisco while facing a Giants team that has scored the 6th fewest runs in the league this season with the third worst ISO.
There’s something that doesn’t add up for Jeremy Hellickson. By all accounts, he’s having a great year, but the advanced metrics can’t figure out why. He has a 1.88 ERA but a 5.48 xFIP which is the second worst on the slate. That would indicate there is some type of correction coming for Hellickson who is pitching well above expectation. He’s the type of pitcher we like to target as he only strikes out 3.75 batters per nine (worst on the slate) and his GB% is only 28.8%, second worst on the slate. I mean it’s really amazing that he’s had such a good start to the season because this makes no sense! He will face the Marlins today who are, by most accounts, a very average team but should benefit from the ballpark tonight. The Marlins have scored the 5th most runs on the road this season.
I’m interested in the Houston Astros who have the highest batting average (by far) on the road this season, while scoring the 6th most runs. For the entire season, they check-in with a .329 wOBA which is 7th best in Major League Baseball. There are few road parks more beneficial than Progressive Field which allows the 2nd most fantasy points last season, behind only Coors Field. I suspect the Astros to be significantly under-owned as they face Corey Kluber who is coming off an absolute dime — complete game shutout worth 44.3 DraftKings points. Yes, that is giving me pause, but we’ve seen volatile Kluber this young season as in his first three starts of the year he allowed 13 ER in 18.1 IP.
There are only three pitchers on this slate who have more than 10Ks per nine innings this season. They are Jake Arrieta, (our friend) Michael Pineda and Robbie Ray. It’s Ray that leads the slate in this category with a whopping 11.78 K/9 in his three starts this year. He’s fired back-to-back solid outings with 29.6 and 27.3 DK points in his last two starts with the latter coming against the LA Dodgers. That Dodgers team will be his opponent again today with a quick turnaround from whiffing ten times against Ray just five days ago. Plenty of concerns with Ray including that this game is at hitter friendly Chase Field but the Dodgers have been miserable against LHP this season and he’s pitching too well with too many K’s to overlook.
Today’s Projections | 2017 Game Logs | Player Scoring Calendar
If you need some value, consider Lance Lynn. Remember that he missed the entire 2016 campaign after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. It’s not shocking that he started slow in his first two starts, getting knocked around a bit (in his defense it was against CHC and WAS) but was rather impressive five days ago against Pittsburgh. Lynn scattered three hits over seven innings and returned his owners 26.2 DraftKings points. Again, I don’t love this matchup with the potent Milwaukee offense, but they are striking out at an incredible 26.9% this season, the second worth rate in the league.
This is a fairly weak pitching slate in my opinion, so this sets up for plenty of stack options today. A really interesting situation
The Mets present an interesting option against Gio Gonzalez. If there’s anything we know about Gio, it’s that he’s just as likely to give up ten runs as he is to throw a shutout. One of the more volatile pitchers in the league will make his first road start of the season against the Mets who will certainly be up to the challenge. The Mets own the league’s third best wOBA against LHP this season. Yoenis Cespedes is technically day-to-day so I suppose there’s a chance he plays today, but probably unlikely. If he does sit, that would certainly make the lineup less potent but should open up potential value.
Speaking of volatile, which version of Steven Wright are we going to get today? In his last outing, he was solid, turning in six innings with only one earned run and notched the win. However, in the outing prior, he was SHELLED for eight hits, eight runs and four dingers in only 1.1 IP. That outing was against the Baltimore Orioles who…Wright will have to face again today.
What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope everyone had a profitable, if not enjoyable, RBC Heritage weekend! I apologize for not including Wesley Bryan in my article, but if you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen he was one of my highest owned golfers of the week! I will do better to include the winner in this article going forward…
It’s back to Texas for the Valero Texas Open hosted by TPC San Antonio. This is a long and tough 7,435 yard Par 72 course. Distance off the tee will be important, and could put some longer hitters in good spots to reach these Par 5s in two. This course is known to favor the longer hitters, but if you aren’t super long, you better be fantastic around the green to try and make up for it. I personally will be targeting bombers with good ball striking skills. A stat that is starting to pick up steam across the DFS Golf industry is strokes gained off the tee PLUS strokes gained approach. This will highlight players who are reaching the green in the most efficent manner possible, eliminating the scrambling portion of strokes gained T2G. I will also be focusing on birdie or better percentage like usual, as well as ball striking and green in regulation stats, especially from 175 yards and out.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Charley Hoffman – $10,700
Take Charley Hoffman in Texas. It has been a narrative for quite a while now and it showed last year when Hoffman won this event. In his four trips prior to his win last year, Hoffman had three top 15s and a T3. The best part about Hoffman this week is that it isn’t just his course history that makes him appealing. He missed the cut last week at the RBC Heritage, which will still be fresh in DFSer’s minds and might scare a few people off. He played very well at Augusta and the two weeks leading up to the Masters. He ranks 8th in strokes gained off the tee and 18th in birdie or better percentage. Charley is a course horse with good recent form and the stats this season to fit the course.
Brendan Steele – $9,900
Brendan Steele is the highest ranked golfer in my model this week, with good reason. He has the complete package when it comes to figuring out who will be my highest owned golfer. In this field, he ranks 1st in strokes gained T2G, 3rd in ball striking, 2nd in bogey avoidance and 14th in birdie or better percentage. His recent form is great and he hasn’t missed a cut since the PGA Championship. Steele won this event back in 2011 and since then has two top 10s and a T13 last year. Steele will likely be the highest owned golfer on the slate, but I am willing to put him in 60%-70% of my lineups this week.
Tony Finau – $8,400
It’s a bombers week, so Tony Finau has to be considered especially at his reasonable $8,400 price tag. Finau has been playing solid this season with two top 5s in his last seven events. His stats line up perfectly for this course, ranking 2nd in strokes gained off the tee plus strokes gained approach. He is an elite ball striker and his hitting a ton of greens in regulation this season. Finau has been known to struggle on Bermuda greens, but this course has allowed bad putters to win in the past. Finau will very popular this week, so if you want to reap the rewards of a high Finau finish, you will need to roster him in over 30% of your lineups.
Sung Kang – $7,400
You know it’s an ugly week when Sung Kang is being considered a staple play, but it is warranted for him this week. Kang has put back-to-back fantastic finishes together with a T11 at the RBC Heritage and a 2nd place finish at the Shell Houston Open. Kang ranks 13th in the field in SG:OTT + APP and 22nd in birder or better percentage. Kang makes for a great tournament play as he has top 5 upside with his current form. It will take some stones to roster Kang in cash, but if you are stuck with only $7,400 left in a nice cash lineup you made, you can definitely do worse than Kang.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Jimmy Walker – $10,500
In a week where there is no clear cut favorite at the top, or no obvious missed priced golfer at the top to hoard all the ownership, pivoting to Jimmy Walker makes a ton of sense. On FanShareSports.com, Walker has only accumulated 11 tags, 18th most this week. He is surrounded by two guys with more than twice the amount of mentions then him, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore, who will likely soak up a ton of ownership. Walker, the 2015 winner of this event, will be the least owned golfer in the $10K and up range. He is coming in with great form and his and his length off the tee will play well at TPC San Antonio. Pivoting to Walker will set you apart in GPPs.
Byeong Hun An – $8,500
Another popular range this week is in the mid $8,000s. Tony Finau and Ryan Palmer are drawing a lot of attention this week according to FanShareSports. Stuck in the middle of those two is Benny An, who never draws a lot of ownership regardless of the field he is in. His strokes gained off the tee plus strokes gained approach ranks 3rd in the field. Where An struggles is on the green, but you do not have to be a good putter at this course to win. An will be overlooked, even though he is one of the best talents in the field.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Patrick Reed – $9,700
Patrick Reed has been on the struggle bus all season long. His last top 15 finish was at the CareerBuilder in January and has yet to finish inside the top 20 since. He has missed his last two cuts, at the Shell Houston Open and the Masters. The reason Reed is priced so high this week is because of his name value, which will still draw people towards rostering him. His price is way too high to take on the risk he presents right now.
Soren Kjeldsen – $7,500
Length and the ability to make birdies will be major factors this week. Soren Kjeldsen possess neither of these attributes. In this field, he ranks 137th in driving distance and 115th in birdie or better percentage. Soren’s game translates well to a grinders course, where closer to even par will likely be a solid score. But at a course that requires plenty of length off the tee, Soren will be battling to make pars while the leaders are filling the cup with birds.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Luke List – $7,600
Oh, it’s a course set up for bombers? Is Luke List in the field? Sold. Add the fact that List missed the cut last week when a lot of people thought he’d be a sneaky play at Harbour Town. List ranks 3rd in my weighted rankings model due to his elite strokes gained stats relative to the field. He has been dominating Par 5s this season and has the second best birdie or better percentage in the field. I am praying enough people got burned by List last week to suppress his ownership a bit, because he sets up perfectly for this track.
Stewart Cink – $7,400
Everyone was onboard Stewart Cink last week. Everyone suffered from his missed cut last week. Now, Cink is merely an afterthought heading into the Valero Texas Open. Cink is still having a phenomenal season for his standards, consistently finishing inside the top 30 and making 11 of his last 13 cuts. He may not possess the winning upside you are looking for a GPP option, but he is still worth a flier in a few lineups due to his knack for playing on the weekend. Need a low owned cut maker with top 20 upside? Cink is the play.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.
Harold Varner III – $7,800
At first glance, Harold Varner III seemed overpriced. If that’s how I saw it, then I assume there is a ton of others in the same boat. However, HV3’s high price is a perfect way to keep his ownership reasonable at a course that will suit his game. Varner and List are very similar types of players, which means most people will gravitate towards the cheaper List. HV3 can bomb it and when he is on with his irons, he is one of the best ball strikers in the field. Taking a few fliers on HV3 is well worth the upside.
Scott Piercy – $6,900
Caveat to this pick is that I am a sucker for Scott Piercy. He has shown the ability to compete with the best players in the world at majors and other full field events. For him to be priced at $6,900 this week is absurd. Obviously it is because he hasn’t been playing well this season, but he is still the third best birdie maker in the field. He has the distance required to get around this course, and showed it with a T18 finish all the way back in 2012. I will be loading up on Piercy in GPPs and am willing to tie my success this week to his play.
Valero Texas Open Research Spreadsheet
Note that this spreadsheet is FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, use code “ERIC” for 15% off:
Thanks for reading my Valero Texas Open preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most, translating to an excellent ownership guide.
Good luck this week everybody and enjoy the best week in golf!
Welcome to “The Charts”, a series that will take a deep dive on a weekly basis into PGA salaries, Vegas odds, Expected Ownership, and last but certainly not least; value. In a world where the edges in daily fantasy are so slim, every informational advantage possible needs to be exploited aggressively without hesitation. This series is designed to help you find that edge.
Salary Vs. Vegas Odds
While I don’t suggest making decision based purely on Vegas Odds when it comes to golf, I think it’s a useful way to determine where you might find golfers with unexpected value. This week we find a standout in a golfer who I have been very intrigued by over the last few weeks.
A staple on the Latin American tour Rafael Campos has made over $100,000 in each of the past two seasons in only two events on the PGA Tour. Campos is quickly raising my eyebrows this year however as he continues to make cuts in a string of gutsy performances. His 100:1 odds at only $6,200 makes him one of the biggest standouts in value we’ve seen this season. I am not 100% sold on Campos, but clearly he can play on the big stage and has shown oddly consistent upside which makes him perfect for GPPs. The only other true standout is Daniel Summerhays who comes in with a lack of strong finishes recently, however has some of the best course history in the field. Summerhays hasn’t finished outside the top 30 at this event in five years and as such probably serves as both a GPP and Cash consideration.
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Salary Vs. Ownership Projections
For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, each week I do ownership projections that have stood the test of time, and been proven accurate for over a season now. The ownership projections you see here are my initial projections and will be updated as the week goes on so be sure to follow me on twitter to find out where you can get all the most updated ownership information.
While it’s still early, this week Patrick Reed looks to be a good candidate if you’re looking for low ownership. While it’s clear he isn’t playing great now, his price has continued to drop and at some point you can expect Patrick Reed to bounce back. If he’s going to come at a discount and low ownership that makes him a phenomenal GPP consideration. The only other notable worth mentioning at this point is Chris Kirk which comes as no surprise given he hasn’t finished better than 39th in nearly three months, however it is worth mentioning that his last two appearances have resulted in 13th and 8th place finishes.
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Salary Vs. OWGR
Do you wonder how quickly the salaries are adjusted as a result of player’s performance? Ever wonder if there are players who’s prices don’t reflect their overall skill? These are questions you should be asking every week if you are serious about DFS, and now you can get the answer in one easy chart.
This week is very interesting as Roberto Castro stands out in a massive way in value based on the OWGR. Castro is 88th ranked in the world and comes in at a serious discount at nearly the minimum salary. I won’t be touching Castro in cash game formats but based on talent and price alone I feel compelled to ignore his recent form a bit and take a small percentage of him in my lineups. The other standout comes in Ryo Ishikawa however I will be steering clear of Ishikawa who has recent form that even I can’t ignore.
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Valero Texas Open Research Spreadsheet
Note that this spreadsheet is FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, use code “BRAD” for 15% off:
Do you want to see a different set of charts? Let me know if there is information you want to see and how you want to see it, I’m always looking for new ways to analyze information. Get more updates, analysis, and answers to all your questions by following me on twitter.
Defending Champ, Charley Hoffman, will head back to San Antonio, TX to defend his title. This week’s Research Spreadsheet includes:
*NEW* Key Stats – Breakdown and ranking of “Key Stats” for the this tournament, with new scoring system.
Past Performances – How players have fared at this tournament in the past, broken down by year (since 1986)
Historic Performances – How players have fared at this tournament in the past, by totals (since inception – min three appearances)
Recent Performance- Full stats for the L5 years at this tournament and L10 weeks on TOUR.
Full Box Scores – All final performance stats for years 2016, 2015 and 2014.
Betting Odds – Odds for each player to win and top 10
Note that this spreadsheet is FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, get started below: