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4/10 MLB DFS: Stack the Cards on Friday

4/10 MLB DFS: Stack the Cards on Friday
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MLB DFS Daily Fantasy Rundown – April 10th, 2015

Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Daily Fantasy Rundown with “leonem”, “dinkpiece” and “thenumbersguy”. Each day throughout the MLB season our daily MLB scouting reports will highlight the best top, value and cheap plays of the day based on the Daily Fantasy Industry’s pricing for salary cap games. The goal of our analysis is to help you improve consistency and become a better player long-term.

Weather: The short story is we shouldn’t have to worry about any cancellations tonight, but there are a couple of games that could be affected in some way by weather. Please see Meteorologist Mark Paquette’s game by game weather forecasts below the Analysis.

If any weather situations shift drastically, we will keep you updated with lineup alerts so make sure to check your email inbox up until roster lock.


Top Play:

Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) – Oh goodness, here we go again with the Brewers – another favorable home matchup. We aren’t as high on them as earlier in the week due to pricing and opportunity cost, but in general this group should have success today. They are better suited against LHP due to the amount of RHBs in their lineup (regardless of what last year’s results say), although removing Adam Lind and Scooter Gennett‘s effectiveness does hurt the overall depth of the lineup. The best way to get exposure to the Brewers tonight is through Jonathan Lucroy. He’ll likely hit second and has absolutely toasted LHP the last few years: .396 wOBA and .207 ISO. Opposing pitcher Jeff Locke is a career 4.00 ERA pitcher with below average K and BB rates and some HR problems despite good GB rates (consistently high HR/FB rates, out of PNC Park for this one).

Value Plays:

Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – Grandal has hit fifth in both of his starts against RHP and should be slotted there again this evening. He gets a nice park shift playing in Arizona’s Chase Field and will hold the platoon edge throughout due to his switch hitting. Grandal hasn’t quite lived up to his hype offensively but still managed to post a decent .175 ISO and .324 wOBA with San Diego last season. The young catcher (26) should take a step forward due to natural development, being out of Petco Park and even if you don’t believe in lineup protection, a stronger supporting cast can’t hurt. He’ll begin this game facing Arizona’s Chase Anderson, who has decent K upside but struggles to keep the ball in the park.

Yadier Molina (STL) – I’ll keep this brief since we’ll cover the Cardinals rather extensively throughout today’s Rundown. The short answer: The Cardinals are in a great spot getting a big park shift playing in Cincinnati and facing Jason Marquis (36), a career 4.56 ERA pitcher who only pitched in the Minor Leagues last season. Molina is one of the better offensive catchers in the game due to strong line drive and contact rates year in and year out. His lineup spot (seventh) hurts some of his value in cash games, so it makes sense to diversify off St. Louis here. Still, he’s a secondary cash game play and great tournament option.

Additional catcher notes: I’ll stick to that core group of catchers in cash games and look to the following names if I want some diversification in tournaments: Chris Iannetta (LAA) (high power and walk rates against LHP and Jason Vargas is as bland of a lefty as you’ll find), Devin Mesoraco (CIN) (better suited against LHP but still has some of the highest HR upside at the position) and Wilson Ramos (WAS) (decent offensive catcher, good park shift, really bad opposing pitcher in Jerome Williams).

First Base

Top Play:

David Ortiz (BOS) – We won’t have to worry about Ortiz being out of the lineup as the Red Sox are back in an American League park. Ortiz gets a rather massive park shift playing in Yankee Stadium. Boston isn’t as hitter friendly as many people think (fourth worst park for LH HRs last season), and the short porch in right led to Yankee Stadium being the second most favorable park for LH HRs last season (just behind Coors Field). Ortiz will face Nathan Eovaldi, who I’m more bearish on than a lot of people. I’m done projecting the Ks to increase and waiting for it to actually happen before I evaluate him differently than what the numbers say (4.14 career xFIP, BB rate was only plus skill last season). Eovaldi has allowed a .338 wOBA and 24.2 LD rate to LHBs in his career and now shifts from a pitcher friendly home park to a hitter friendly one. Mike Napoli (BOS) is a secondary value/tournament option for a Boston offense we are fond of tonight.

Next in line: Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) (absolutely crushes LHP and is at home keeping him in play but expected team success and price aren’t great)

Value Play:

Matt Adams (STL) – Look for Adams’ power to improve this season. His ISO last year dipped from .220 to .169, but the drop was mostly due to bad luck as his HR/FB rate plummeted from 21.8 percent to 8.7. That masked the fact that Adams’ FB rate actually grew to a career best 41.2 percent, which adds to his power upside. Remarkably the LD rate also rose to a career best 24.3 percent, so these gains all came at the expense of ground balls (a great thing for a hitter of his profile). With some expected positive regression on the HR/FB rate for Adams (keep in mind he’s 26 years old), he’s going to hit 25 homers with health. Today is a good spot for him to get started. Great American Ballpark ranks fourth in HR park factor for LHBs (Busch Stadium is below average). On top of all this goodness Adams has the platoon edge on Jason Marquis, who ZiPS projects to post a whopping 5.29 ERA and 1.80 HR/9. Even if the price tag appears to be inflated, Adams is a great option and the third ranked first baseman (price aside).

Additional first base notes: The best alternative value plays are Joey Votto (CIN) (home against a RHP and underpriced based on last year’s disappointing season) and Albert Pujols (LAA) (particularly viable on DK where park factors are factored into the pricing a bit more; has the platoon edge against Jason Vargas). On the cheap side of things, CJ Cron (LAA) has a lot of upside in the power department and is hitting fifth, although I’m not sure how necessary the cap relief he offers is. Pedro Alvarez (PIT) continues to have big time power upside, once agains with the platoon edge in a park representing a big positive shift in power potential. Mike Fiers could K Alvarez three times, but he’s also heavily fly ball oriented. Mark Teixeira (NYY) is an okay tournament option as well. Adrian Gonzalez‘s (LAD) price tag took such a hefty jump forward that I’m hesitant to even use him in tournaments, although sometimes that’s what it takes to get a high upside player at a low ownership level.

Second Base

Value Plays:

Neil Walker (PIT) – Yawn. Another day with Neil Walker listed in the value section. While it may be getting repetitive, Walker has the same contextual factors working in his favor: big positive park shift and facing a RHP. He has more pop than your average second baseman, consistently approaching 20 HRs year after year. He’ll get a chance to hit one out against the fly ball oriented Fiers today.

Howie Kendrick (LAD) – Kendrick is a touch expensive for my tastes but a fine alternative and cash game play if you aren’t impressed with Walker/Wong or simply want to diversify. While Kendrick does not have the platoon edge, he has a good lineup spot (hitting cleanup) for a solid Dodgers offense that is expected to have success tonight. Kendrick will benefit from the park shift (played home games in Angels spacious stadium last year). He’ll face Chase Anderson who allowed a surprisingly high .363 wOBA to RHBs last season. That’s expected to regress (xFIP was 3.04) but still deserves to be pointed out, especially since it came with a lot of hard contact allowed (30.5 LD rate, 16.1 HR/FB rate). He’s a great value on FanDuel but becomes more of a tournament option on DraftKings with the price tag escalating.

Kolten Wong (STL) – Wong has actually posted some really gross numbers against RHP for his career (.275 wOBA) but ZiPS is expecting that to be a bit more reasonable going forward (.311). He showcased more pop than expected last season (12 HRs in 113 games, .139 ISO) and ran (20 stolen bases in 113 games). With the elite matchup he has today, the only thing preventing him from being the top second base play is lineup spot. With Wong expected to hit seventh or eighth, you have to defer to Neil Walker where the two are closely price. Still, I like this matchup so much for the Cardinals that I wouldn’t remove Wong from cash game consideration solely based on lineup spot.

Additional second base notes: Dan Uggla (WAS) is a cheap tournament option if in the lineup. Rickie Weeks (SEA) could hit leadoff again for the Mariners with the team facing a LHP, which would also make him a tournament option.


Top Play:

Ian Desmond (WAS) – Desmond hitting sixth so that the ever dangerous Yunel Escobar can hit second is among the more baffling lineup decisions we’ve seen so far this year. Yet, he still rates as the top shortstop. Desmond churns out 20/20 seasons like clockwork, with his high K rate (leading to low BA) representing the flaw in his offensive game. The park shift he gets is probably neutral today (better for homeruns but worse outside of homeruns), but we’re really focused on the skill (or lack thereof) of the opposing pitcher. 33 year old Jerome Williams will take the mound for the Phillies. He’s coming off a 4.77 ERA, has posted 4.50-plus ERAs in three consecutive seasons and has a ZiPS projected 4.84. ERA. I won’t stretch my budget to force in Desmond, but he’s definitely on my radar.

Value Play:

Jhonny Peralta (STL) – Peralta is an excellent option at shortstop on FanDuel ($2,800) but just okay on DraftKings ($4,400), where it might make sense to go a different route. As mentioned a couple of times already, we love the Cardinals offense today. We’ve covered a couple of guys with the platoon edge (Adams, Wong), but what makes the Cardinals offense so stackable is that their right handed hitters surrounding the lefties don’t have big negative platoon splits against same handed pitching (Molina, Peralta, Holliday). Peralta has been passable offensively against same handed pitchers the last few years (.321 wOBA) with a little bit of pop (.149 ISO), while Jason Marquis projects to have problems against just about everyone (ZiPS projected .351 wOBA against RHBs).

Cheap Play:

Jean Segura (MIL) – While it’s possible to fit in a ton of high powered offense tonight (especially if you use Brandon Morrow on FanDuel), it’s not realistic to expect that to be the case everywhere (especially on DraftKings where they’ve clearly been more aggressive pricing based on park and matchup). As a result, you may need to punt a position, and shortstop is always one of the top positions to do that with. With not being able to get a lot of exposure to the Milwaukee offense at some of their better positions due to opportunity cost (3B, OF), you might want to kill two birds with one stone and use Segura. The lineup spot is disappointing (seventh or eighth), but it’s a nice home matchup with the platoon edge against the underwhelming Jeff Locke. Segura should bounce back from a down season where he had to endure a personal tragedy and got absolutely no help from the baseball gods on the BABIP and HR/FB rate fronts. He did make the most contact of his career and possesses stolen base upside.

Additional shortstop notes: Jimmy Rollins (LAD) is a cash game viable option leading off for a Dodgers offense in a nice overall spot. Billy Hamilton (CIN) remains an elite play in all formats on DraftKings where he maintains SS eligibility and a pretty reasonable price tag. Hanley Ramirez (BOS) also has SS eligibility on DraftKings and can be utilized for tournaments there. Wilmer Flores (NYM) is an alternative cheap option to Segura. He’s got decent pop for a shortstop (.210 and .245 ISOs at AAA past two seasons) and will have the platoon edge against Eric Stults (.335 wOBA and 22.5 LD rate allowed to RHBs past three seasons).

Third Base

Top Play:

Matt Carpenter (STL) – It makes sense that we’d want to target leadoff hitter and on base machine Matt Carpenter given how high we are on the Cardinals offense in general. Carpenter has an elite EYE (.88) and just enough pop (.135 ISO) against RHP to keep both his BA (.304) and OBP (.395) high against it (numbers from 2012-2014). The only issue with Carpenter today is an aggressive price tag, which means in cash games I’m fine saving some money on our value play suggestion and using this as a position to diversify at (still use him if you have the room, just don’t feel like you need to force it).

Value Play:

Pablo Sandoval (BOS) – Sandoval may be the best site to site value play at third base. Not only is the park shift to Yankee Stadium huge for all the Red Sox LHBs, but it is especially so for Sandoval given that he played his home games in spacious San Francisco last season. His wRC+ (park adjusted) of 128 the past three years showcases his upside against RHP with a move to a better park (for comparison’s sake, Hanley Ramirez‘s wRC+ against RHP over the same time span is 130).

Additional third base notes: Pedro Alvarez (PIT) has 3B eligibility on DraftKings and is a contender for top value play at the position there. Two other really strong value play alternatives that are cash game playable are David Wright (NYM) (whopping 167 wRC+ against LHP last three seasons) and Aramis Ramirez (MIL) (platoon edge and in the middle of a Milwaukee offense we are high on in general). Josh Harrison (PIT) and Alex Rodriguez (NYY) are tournament options.


Top Play:

Mike Trout (LAA) – With not a lot of money needed to spend on pitching, I’ve actually found Trout to be quite playable on the major sites (FanDuel and DraftKings). On FanDuel, if you go the Brandon Morrow route at pitcher, cap space is a non-issue on offense. On DraftKings, due to their pricing adjustments for park factors, Trout is actually priced right in line with the other outfielders we like tonight (Milwaukee and St. Louis guys) but still ranks higher in our hitter model. Trout will hold the platoon edge on Jason Vargas. Vargas can be frustrating to pick on at times (when his fly balls are going for long outs), but he’s not someone to be scared of at all. He has a terribly low K rate (about 6 per 9 for his career) and consistently posts GB rates at 40 percent or lower, meaning there’s a lot of extra base hit potential here. Trout is almost always a top play, but the difficult part is figuring out when to pony up the bucks for him. I think tonight is a good night to do that.

Next in line:

Bryce Harper (WAS) – Harper has a favorable price point given his skills (or projected skills). Here’s what I said about him on Opening Day: “Harper, who has a very solid .212 ISO and .374 wOBA against RHP for his career, should continue to develop this season. It’s important to keep in mind how young Harper is (yet to face a pitcher younger than him at the MLB level) and that development is not always linear. The numbers he’s put up thus far in his career may have disappointed based on unrealistic expectations, but they are phenomenal given his age. A huge power breakout is on the horizon for Harper.” All that plays into his value today as does moving from the seventh worst park for LH HRs to the eighth best. Jerome Williams (.343 wOBA and 1.15 HR/9 allowed to LHBs since 2012) will have a tough time dealing with Harper.

Additional top play notes: Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is a good tournament option (park shift, Fiers’ fly ball risky ways) but an unnecessary spend in cash games, especially since picking on Fiers can be boom or bust. Ryan Braun/Carlos Gomez (MIL) are amazing options as well. Both can be considered in cash games and are elite tournaments options. Braun’s career numbers against LHP are otherworldly.

Value Plays:

Matt Holliday/Jason Heyward (STL) – Holliday is one of the game’s most consistent hitters year to year and that consistency translates over to his splits. He definitely has a platoon split but the three year wRC+ against RHP (131) is really strong. Not only does that keep him in play against a RH starter, but it gives us confidence that there won’t be any wasted at bats when this game gets into the bullpen. He’s about an even option to Jason Heyward. Heyward, like Harper, is another big time prospect who has had some great success relative to his age but failed to meet expectations recently. Keep in mind he is also very young (25) and a change of scenery along with natural development may lead to a big bounce back year. He’ll hit second and hold the platoon edge on Marquis. Jon Jay (STL) will likely hit sixth. He’s nowhere near the offensive player that Holliday/Heyward are, but he should get a lot of RBI opportunities and benefits from the same contextual evidence. If you’re worried you don’t have enough exposure to this offense but can’t afford Holliday/Heyward, Jay is a fine alternative.

Billy Hamilton (CIN) – While a sub-.300 OBP was not ideal for Hamilton last season, he wasn’t solely a singles hitter (.105 ISO) and there’s room for his .287 BABIP to grow. Couple in any improvement in cutting down his K rate and the OBP settles into the .310-.320 range, which will leave him plenty of stolen base opportunities and runs scored upside in a good park. It’s also important to note that Joey Votto is hitting second now. Votto is known for being one of the game’s most patient hitters, and the fact that he sees a lot of pitches will only help Hamilton’s stolen base opportunities rise. I feel he’s a bit underpriced early on in the season. The matchup against John Lackey isn’t great, but Hamilton gives you pretty crazy upside at a reduced cost to the aforementioned outfield options.

Khris Davis (MIL) – Platoon splits, as much as we love them (and we do love them) can be overrated due to sample size issues (and taking away the emphasis on taking good hitters period). Still, I can’t help but factor in the extremity of Davis’ splits thus far in his career. In 187 PAs against LHP, Davis has flashed elite power, posting a .276 ISO and hitting 12 HRs. Davis is a boom or bust player because he’ll strike out a lot, but when he gets the ball in the air he does damage (17.2 career HR/FB rate, solid 21.1 LD rate and tiny 3.6 pop up rate). With a home matchup against a LHP, Davis is very underpriced on FanDuel. He’s more appropriately priced on DraftKings, but his skill set translates to their scoring system a bit more as well.

Gregory Polanco (PIT) – Overall, it’s tougher to find outfield bargains on DraftKings than FanDuel, but Polanco certainly sticks out as one of those (of the hitters discussed only Trout and Polanco don’t have a meaningfully higher price tag on DK when compared to FD). Polanco experiences a nice park shift, hits second in a solid lineup and has 15-30 HR-SB upside over a full season.

Additional outfield notes: Yasiel Puig (LAD) is an elite tournament option. If Daniel Nava (BOS) cracks the starting lineup, he’d be a source of salary cap relief in a nice matchup. He doesn’t wow you with HR/SB upside but has posted a 130 wRC+ against RHP since 2012. Jay Bruce (CIN) is a nice tournament option at home against a mediocre RHP. Mark Trumbo/AJ Pollock (ARI) and the Diamondbacks RHBs in general may be an under looked group of targets in tournaments. Many of them hit LHP well and have either HR or SB upside or both. Pollock is cash game playable on FanDuel. Michael Cuddyer (NYM) is tough to figure since his numbers last year are Coors inflated, but he walloped LHP and now faces the below average Eric Stults. Wil Myers (SD) strikes me as a tournament option and borderline cash game play on DK. It’s a R/R matchup in a bad park but Myers is facing the volatile Tim Lincecum. There’s HR/SB upside here and he’s leading off for a much improved offense. Jeff Francoeur (PHI) is purely a punt option. I don’t expect him to have much success against Gio Gonzalez, but he does hold the platoon edge in a decent park. It’s been very difficult to find minimum priced punts on DraftKings early this season, but Franceour steps in at $2,200 and should hit sixth or seventh.

Starting Pitcher

Rankings (price not considered):

Tier 1

1) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

Tier 2

2) Brandon Morrow (SD)

3) Drew Pomeranz (OAK)

4) Mike Fiers (MIL)

Tier 3

5) Wade Miley (BOS) (weather risk)

6) Tim Lincecum (SF)

7) John Lackey (STL)

8) Taijuan Walker (SEA)

9) Brett Anderson (LAD)

Top Play:

Gio Gonzalez (WAS) – The Phillies are a prime target when facing LHP as their best hitters are left handed (Chase Utley, Ben Revere, Ryan Howard). This offense in general is not very good and simply gets worse against southpaws. Last season the Phillies had the fifth highest K percentage against LHP and finished 25th in wRC+ against it. Gonzalez should bounce back this season. For his career his ERA (3.59) is right in line with his FIP (3.57) and slightly below his xFIP (3.70). However, last season his 3.57 ERA was disappointing relative to his FIP (3.03) and xFIP (3.39). The skills really didn’t change for Gonzalez as he continues to be a strikeout per inning pitcher with a slightly above average GB rate and slightly below average control. Gonzalez is the safest pitcher in action, listed as a -160 favorite (largest) in a game with a total of just 7, pushing 6.5 (lowest). On multiple starting pitcher sites, he should be utilized given the cap relief and risk that comes with our preferred value plays at starting pitcher. Ironically, I don’t think he’s a must play on one starting pitcher sites (see Morrow’s blurb).

Value Plays:

Brandon Morrow (SD) – Generally I’m very conservative with starting pitcher in cash games, especially on one starting pitcher sites, but I think risking Brandon Morrow on FanDuel (just $5,900) may actually be the higher plus-EV move, despite ranking a tier below Gonzalez and coming with more risk. That price tag is extremely low and basically lets you do whatever you want with your hitters. Furthermore, the risk is mitigated a bit by opportunity cost. It’s not as if Gonzalez is in the Scherzer-Kershaw-Felix tier of starting pitching, and once you get past him all the pitchers have risk and actually fall below Morrow in our raw rankings. Morrow can never stay healthy and had issues even when healthy last season, but he’s a strikeout heavy pitcher with a solid ZiPS projected 3.49 ERA. Morrow will benefit greatly from getting out of the AL East and moving to the NL, getting a very favorable shift in park factor in the process. He’s at home today and faces a bad Giants offense. Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence are injured and Pablo Sandoval and Mike Morse are gone from a year ago. This was already a plus matchup, but replacing Belt with Joaquin Arias or Hector Sanchez, adds even more potential for Morrow. He’s a -130 favorite in the only other game with a total as low as the Mets-Nationals game (7, pushing 6.5).

Drew Pomeranz (OAK) – Pomeranz split his 20 outings between relief and starting last season and was successful for the most part (2.35 ERA, 23 K percentage), as getting out of Colorado did wonders for him. I do have some regression concerns (expected ERAs had him closer to 3.75 and really low first pitch strike percentage puts control gains in doubt), but even after taking that into account, he’s a top five starting pitcher on a day that lacks quality options. The spread on this game is even but Pomeranz is at home and the total is low (7). He’ll face a Mariners team that is susceptible to LHP (C.J. Wilson shut them down to begin the year). The downtick in expected production from Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Logan Morrison outweighs the expected uptick in production from Nelson Cruz and Austin Jackson among their core hitters. On the platoon side of things, while Rickie Weeks and Justin Ruggiano have okay splits against LHP, they each project to strikeout more than a quarter of the time against it. The shortstop spot will be a disaster either way as it’ll be filled by the LH Brad Miller or punchless Willie Bloomquist.

Tournament Plays:

Mike Fiers (MIL) – Fiers is always a high risk, high reward play as he can rack up the Ks in a hurry (9.54 per 9 last season) and has a really good 3.68 K/BB ratio for his career. The downside is it’s impossible to tell when he’ll be bit by the long ball as he’s about as fly ball risky as any starting pitcher in the league (career 33.2 percent GB rate), which can lead to allowing homeruns and extra base hits in general in his hitter friendly home park.

Wade Miley (BOS) – While the weather isn’t as crazily favoring pitchers on the East Coast as it was the past several days, we are still seeing cooler temperatures (sub-60 degrees). I’m concerned about Miley in cash games (although the DraftKings price tag is tempting) in his first AL East start in hitter friendly Yankee Stadium but certainly spot the upside as well. Miley’s K rate took a big step forward last year (6.53 K/9 to 8.18) while maintaining elite GB rate (51.1 percent). If he can somehow hold those two skills and find the control he had in his rookie season, there could be a breakout here. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that but it does show you there is legitimate skills upside with Miley and the weather/matchup just aid that. The Yankees take a big hit against LHP as Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner Brian McCann and the middle infielders are all left handed (they were able to get seven RHBs in against a southpaw last night but not good ones and don’t anticipate that number being that high again tonight). The only meaningful boosts belong to Mark Teixeira (better hitter against LHP but loses advantage of short porch in right) and Alex Rodriguez, both of whom are seeing their skills in decline.

Additional starting pitcher notes: With how cheap some of the written up pitchers are, there’s really not much reason to get cute, even on multiple starting pitcher sites. Tim Lincecum (SF) is a boom or bust option in the vain of Mike Fiers. We could see him rack up Ks in a friendly park against a strikeout prone lineup with a lot of RH power hitters – or we could see him implode against an improving offense. John Lackey‘s (STL) second half and the ballpark scare me away from cash games, but the peripherals from last year overall were solid and his win probability today is high. Taijuan Walker (SEA) has a lot of upside in general and this game has a low total. However, I’m a bit bearish on him relative to market (lack of MLB experience, interested to see where control settles) and the Athletics don’t project to strike out a ton.

Macro Thinking, Stacks, and Tournament Notes:

This is a new section we’ve created to try and offer more dedicated macro thinking to our analysis and hopefully add more value to those playing tournaments. The format is a bit of a work in progress and we welcome feedback ( if you have suggestions.

Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:

Tier 1

1) St. Louis Cardinals

2) Boston Red Sox

Tier 2

3) Pittsburgh Pirates

4) Milwaukee Brewers

Contrarian/Secondary Stacks:

1) Los Angeles Dodgers

2) Washington Nationals

3) Arizona Diamondbacks

There isn’t much to add to the Cardinals stack that hasn’t been discussed throughout the Rundown. You’ve got a deep lineup with some key hitters having the platoon edge (Carpenter, Heyward, Adams) and the other ones hold their own against same handed pitching (Holliday, Peralta, Molina). That’s filled out by the two worst hitters having the platoon edge and decent offensive expectations (Jay, Wong). Stack away in a great park against a bad pitcher.

The Red Sox lineup is really deep and much improved from a year ago. A lot of their players get a meaningful park shift playing in Yankee Stadium, and as I mentioned in the Rundown, I’m not as high on Eovaldi as many seem to be coming into the season.

The Pirates are risky to stack in cash games due to Fier’s K rate, but I have them slightly ahead of the Brewers due to overall value (lower price tags don’t fully take into account the park boost). As mentioned over the past several days in this section, it also helps that 1-6 in the lineup all have either HR or SB upside or both.

The Brewers full stack will definitely be one I deploy tonight. It could go overlooked due to both opportunity cost and bitterness over recent performance. This is a heavily RH team with lots of good offensive players playing at home in a good hitter’s park against the subpar Jeff Locke.

It’s probably fine to make full cash game lineups using only players from those four teams, with a heavier emphasis on the top two.

The Dodgers get a good park boost and face Chase Anderson, who I like coming into the season but did demonstrate problems limiting walks and aerial contact last season. It’s also nice to get a stack from a team with top five hitters that play at scarce positions (Rollins, Kendrick, Grandal).

The Nationals lineup is not very good right now and that could cause them to be under owned (along with their early season performance). Also, I don’t think Jerome Williams is any good.

The Diamondbacks have some nice power and/or speed guys (Pollock, Goldschmidt, Trumbo) along with at least one RH MI who should hit up in the order (Hill or Owings) that will hold the platoon edge on Brett Anderson. I’m a Brett Anderson fan as he has one of the best abilities to keep the ball on the ground, but he also morphed into a pitch to contact pitcher last year, and those guys can be prone to a bad outing here and there simply due to variance in BABIP.

MLB Game Weather Forecasts

BOS at NYY 7:05: A period of rain to begin the game. The rain ends and they will get this one it. High chance of a delay to start (60-70%) but low chance of cancellation (20%). Air density is better for the hitters than previous as temperatures will be in in the mid to upper 50s throughout. Wind west-southwest 8-16 mph to begin, becomes west-northwest 6-12 mph as the game goes. This wind is blowing out to center to begin, then blowing out to right late.

Hour 1: 70%
Hour 2: 40-60%
Hour 3: 30-40%
Hour 4: 20%

WAS at PHI 7:05: 10-20% chance of showers to begin but in reality, this game will be dry and I do not expect a delay. Temps in the lower 60s falling into the upper 50s. Air density is much improved for hitters than recent games. Winds west 10-20 mph to begin lessening to 6-12 mph late. This wind is blowing left to right.

STL at CIN 7:10: Dry. Temps in the mid to upper 50s. Air density neutral. Winds west-southwest 8-16 mph. This wind is blowing out towards left.

TB at MIA 7:10: Retractable roof. Warm. Moderately humid. Dry. Air density favors hitter. Winds east 10-20 mph to start becoming 6-12 mph as the game goes on. Wind is blowing in from left.

NYM at ATL 7:35: Mild. Rain to start the game should end. A delay is likely (~60%). Cancellation is not likely (20-30%). Temps near 70 to start falling into the mid 60s. Air density slightly favors the hitter. Wind west-northwest 6-12 mph, which blows from left to right.

Hour 1: 70%
Hour 2: 40-60%
Hour 3: 30-40%
Hour 4: 20%

PIT at MIL 8:10: Retractable roof. 20% chance of showers to start the game. Temperatures in the upper 40s to start falling to lower 40s to end the game. With how chilly it is, the roof will likely be closed. If it is not, the wind will be west-northwest at 7-14 mph becoming 5-10 mph, which is blowing out to center.

LAD at ARI 10:05: Retractable roof. Dry. Warm. Upper 70s to begin dropping into the lower 70s. Air density is neutral. Wind is light and variable (no noticeable affects from the wind).

KC at LAA 10:05: Dry. Temps near 60 falling into the mid 50s. Air density neutral or slightly favors pitching. Wind west 7-14 mph dropping to 4-8 mph. This wind is blowing left to right.

SEA at OAK 10:05: Dry. Temps in the lower to mid 50s. Air density favors pitcher. Wind west-northwest 7-14 mph to begin lessening 5-10 mph. This wind is blowing from left to right.

SF at SD 10:10: Dry. Temps in the lower 60s. Air density is neutral. Wind west-southwest 5-10 mph. This wind is blowing from left to tight.

MLB Daily Analysis