MLB Sim Sports Picks for 7/9/20 on FanDuel

Adrian Houser was able to get some strikeouts as a starter last year and provides hope on a thin simulated pitching slate. Who else can we target in MLB DFS?

If the point of the simulated MLB DFS slates on FanDuel is to give us practice for when the real thing is back, we've gotta deal with some muck. There will be slates during the regular season where the pitching selections are thin, forcing us to make sub-optimal decisions.

Thursday's our re-introduction to this delight.

With only five games on the simulated slate, we're going to naturally have fewer palatable options. But things here are straight up gross. We just have to decide which route is least vomit-worthy.

Here's a rundown of the starters sorted by their FanDuel salary. The individual numbers are from starts they made in 2019, and the opposing numbers are based on current active rosters against that pitcher's handedness.

Pitcher Salary Opponent SIERA Strikeout % Walk % Opp. K % Opp. wRC+
Alex Wood $9,000 SDP 4.67 19.6% 5.9% 24.5% 108
Mike Fiers $8,000 SEA 5.19 16.7% 7.0% 25.9% 88
Patrick Sandoval $7,800 DET 4.89 22.8% 11.4% 24.9% 98
Kendall Graveman $7,300 OAK -- -- -- 22.8% 109
Kyle Freeland $7,000 MIL 5.19 16.7% 8.3% 20.7% 102
Adrian Houser $6,600 COL 4.08 24.2% 7.5% 22.1% 88
Garrett Richards $6,300 LOS 4.93 26.8% 14.6% 20.2% 122
Daniel Norris $6,300 LAA 4.50 21.2% 6.1% 19.8% 102
Jhoulys Chacin $6,100 TOR 4.91 21.7% 9.7% 25.1% 85
Tanner Roark $6,000 MIN 4.57 21.9% 7.1% 20.9% 119

Of note, the Milwaukee Brewers' game with the Colorado Rockies is in Milwaukee rather than Denver, allowing us to pluck Adrian Houser ($6,600) at a bargain salary.

Houser's ERA as a starter was just 4.57, which isn't great, but he had solid plate-discipline numbers. He's facing a Rockies offense that goes limp when it faces atmospheric resistance, as evidenced by their 88 wRC+ against righties. On a bad pitching slate, we have incentive to spend as little at the position as possible, and Houser helps us achieve that while still bringing decent expectations.

Patrick Sandoval ($7,800) is at home against the Detroit Tigers, a good enough situation for us to ignore some of the downsides around him. Sandoval's impressive numbers in the minors are likely factored into the simulations, meaning we can potentially give him an expectation boost from the numbers on the table above. This is a matchup-centric play, which is usually bad process, but the composition of the slate forces us to change things up a bit.

The salary on Houser and the abundance of below-average pitching makes stacking pretty easy here. Among the tempting options, the Brewers seem to stand out most against Kyle Freeland.

Even if we look just at what Freeland did on the road last year, his ERA was still 19.1% with a 4.61 ERA. He also gives the platoon advantage to Ryan Braun ($3,300), Avisail Garcia ($3,300), and Keston Hiura ($3,300), and he's not scary enough to push us off Christian Yelich ($4,400) despite the left-on-left matchup. All four should be in play thanks to Houser's salary.

After the Brewers, we should turn to the Los Angeles Angels. They're facing Daniel Norris, who had better numbers than Freeland but allows a bunch of balls in play. The low strikeout rate allows us to bump up our view of Justin Upton ($3,700), and his left-handedness means we can click Albert Pujols ($2,000) if we're in need of value.

The Oakland Athletics aren't in a great park, but it's better than their home spot, and they get to face former teammate Kendall Graveman. Graveman was struggling in 2018 before eventually getting Tommy John, and the sims are unlikely to view him in a positive light. Any time we can afford the massive pop of Matt Olson ($3,800) and Matt Chapman ($3,500), we should take advantage, and that's precisely the case here.

The author of this article has no involvement with the MLB Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of tonight’s contest.