Good evening all and happy Thursday to all the MLS Fanatsy managers! K-Manner back at ya as always with our weekly Parsing the Percentages piece! I’ve scanned the betting landscape to come up with the picks to help you optimize your lineups coming into the Round 26 weekend.
Sporting KC (vs. Minnesota)
FiveThirtyEight: 78% chance to win vs MNU
OddsShark: Sporting KC Win -176 (vs MNU)
OddsPortal: Sporting KC Win -169 (vs MNU)
What was already a very attractive home matchup just got even more attractive with Minnesota ruling out Darwin Quintero and Tyrone Mears this weekend. With Quintero missing, SKC’s defensive prospects just got even juicier. If you can afford them, Matt Besler (8.5m) and Graham Zusi (9.0m) are phenomenal options on the back line – Besler for the defensive BPS floor, and Zusi for the attacking potential. Pairing one of them with Tim Melia (7.5m), who you can set in a switcheroo with Brad Guzan, should be strongly considered as well if you didn’t opt for Luis Robles this round.
On the attacking end, Diego Rubio (8.2m) has been on fire and is very reasonably priced for a forward. We would limit him to our bench though, as some advanced analytics seem to indicate that he’s been extremely fortunate with his goalscoring this season, and we’re not entirely convinced Peter Vermes trusts him for a full shift. We’re much more comfortable with Felipe Gutierrez (7.6m) and Daniel Salloi (6.7m) as attacking options this weekend, given their higher likelihood of playing a full shift and Minnesota likely offering a plethora of opportunities for both players.
Philadelphia Union (vs. New England)
FiveThirtyEight: 78% chance to win vs NER
OddsShark: Philadelphia Win -168 (vs NER)
OddsPortal: Philadelphia Win -164 (vs NER)
One of the hottest teams in the league right now, Philly have won four of their last five across all competitions, including a convincing 2-0 defeat of one of the best teams in the league in NYCFC. Their young defense has led the way, with Jack Elliot (5.3m) and Keegan Rosenberry (6.6m) coming in as the best defensive options for fantasy managers to consider against New England. Andre Blake (5.7m) is also very generously priced, and could be a nice switcheroo option to pair with Guzan if Melia is too expensive for your squad.
Similar to SKC, Philly personnel have also struggled with producing consistent attacking returns for fantasy managers in 2018. Borek Dockal (10.4m), of course, is the lone exception this season – the Czech No. 10 has six assists over his last five matches, and manages to rack up the bonus points even if he doesn’t find the scoresheet. At the forward position, Cory Burke (7.8m) is the hot hand at the moment, and should continue to be the main target man up top. He’s a decent switcheroo play off of the bench if you’re looking for a value play as a third forward.