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4/10 MLB DFS: The Dark Knight Returns
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4/10 MLB DFS: The Dark Knight Returns

TODAY’S SHOW OUTLINE

01:06 Starting Pitchers
05:25 Catchers
06:42 First Base
09:55 Second Base
12:01 Third Base
13:22 Shortstop
14:49 Outfield
20:30 Cash Game Roster Construction
22:38 Stacks

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April 10 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitchers

Tier One

1) Matt Harvey (NYM)

Tier Two

2) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

3) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

4) Johnny Cueto (SF)

5) Dallas Keuchel (HOU)

Tier Three

6) Adam Wainwright (STL)

Tier Four

7) Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)

8) Joe Ross (WAS)

9) Justin Verlander (DET)

10) Scott Kazmir (LAD)

Tier Five

11) Jose Quintana (CHW)

12) Jake Odorizzi (TB)

13) Edinson Volquez (KC)

14) Jered Weaver (LAA)

Matt Harvey (NYM) is our clear cut top pitcher on the slate as he faces a Phillies team that offers little resistance against RHP, despite the presence of four LHBs in the lineup on an average day. He’s a huge -260 favorite favorite in a game with a very low total (6.5).

In tournaments, we like going Jake Arrieta (CHC) who will be lower owned. The park and run totals give Harvey the edge, but we do think Arrieta has just as much upside, possibly more. He heads a second tier of pitchers flooded with talent and all can be used in tournaments. Our favorite, however, outside of Arrieta is Dallas Keuchel (HOU). Between his ability to keep the ball on the ground and limit hard contact (mitigates the park risk), he’ll go underowned. There’s massive upside if his second half K rate is his baseline this year.

The best value play on the slate is a guy who got rained out yesterday in Joe Ross (WAS), and the matchup remains the same. Ross was dominant in his rookie season against RHBs (.205 wOBA allowed, 26.3 K Rate, 3.8 BB Rate) and the Marlins have traditionally run out lineups with just three LHBs in them against RHP this season. Ahead of him in the fourth tier, however, is Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) who might be our favorite tournament option on the slate if the weather cooperates. He’ll probably come with low ownership given the weather uncertainty and playing in a night game. However, his talent combined with a heavily right handed Tigers lineup and favorable umpire for pitchers gives him significant upside.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

3) Derek Norris (SD) (may rest)

4) Victor Martinez (DET)

5) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

Buster Posey (SF) is an excellent tournament option as he obliterates LHP (164 career wRC+), but it’s an unnecessary spend in cash games given the big park and higher priorities elsewhere (Harvey, Coors, Pirates). If going the value play route, Francisco Cervelli (PIT) is a strong option if hitting fifth. He’ll give you access to a Pirates offense we like a lot. An alternative is Miguel Montero (CHC) who may move to sixth in the order with Kyle Schwarber out Montero has a career .343 wOBA and.168 ISO against RHP. The Cubs get a positive park shift against Shelby Miller (outpitched his peripherals last season) and a bad Diamondbacks bullpen.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Wil Myers (SD)

4) John Jaso (PIT)

5) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

6) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

David Ortiz (BOS) is our top option as even in his old age he continues to demolish RHP: .449/.364/.413 wOBAs past three years. He gets a big park shift in his favor playing in Toronto and has mammoth power upside given Marco Estrada‘s combination of extremely high FB rate (sub-33% GB rate last two seasons) and below average K rate). Note that Estrada was very lucky last season, posting a 3.13 ERA despite a 4.93 xFIP. Wil Myers (SD) is next in line hitting cleanup in Coors (run total of about 5.5)

First base is always a smart place to go contrarian in tournaments as it’s possible to get several low-owned hitters who rank in the top 15 overall hitters. Chris Davis (BAL), Anthony Rizzo (CHC), and Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) all fit that bill today. However, in cash games the best values are John Jaso (PIT) (great on base skills versus RHP and facing Tim Melville (6.14 ZiPS projected ERA) in Cincinnati) and Lucas Duda (NYM) on FanDuel (continue to love the price and Hellickson has historically allowed power to LHBs).

Second Base Rankings

1) Cory Spangenberg (SD)

2) Jose Altuve (HOU)

3) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

4) Robinson Cano (SEA)

5) Dee Gordon (MIA)

Cory Spangenberg (SD) is the obvious and easy choice in cash games as he’ll hit second in Coors against a RHP and is very affordable. Spangenberg is a 15-plus steal guy over a full season. The Padres square off against RHP Chad Bettis (career 5.31 ERA).

Other values include Ben Zobrist (CHC) (all the usual reasons – platoon edge, great lineup spot/surrounding lineup, positive park shift, below average opposing pitching staff), Dustin Pedroia (BOS) (very cheap hitting second for a Boston offense we like), and Brandon Phillips (CIN) (cheap for a cleanup hitter in CIN, especially for a RHB against a meh LHP in Jeff Locke).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Trevor Story (COL)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Eugenio Suarez (CIN)

5) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

Trevor Story (COL) is seeing a large increase in his price tag (and rightfully so). He still rates as a great value in a vacuum hitting second for a Rockies team with a high run total at home. However, we’re not as forcefeul about getting him into our lineup as yesterday due to the price bump/a top SP to pay for/a slightly worse matchup.

If eschewing Story/Correa up top, Eugenio Suarez and Zack Cozart (CIN) are cheap options atop the Pirates lineup who will hold the platoon edge on Jeff Locke. We like Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) and Jonathan Villar (HOU) as tournament options, and Jimmy Rollins (CHW) is a cap relief option to look at in cash games.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

4) David Freese (PIT)

5) Kris Bryant (CHC)

6) Matt Carpenter (STL)

7) Todd Frazier (CHW)

With their respective teams possessing run totals over 5, Josh Donaldson (TOR) and Nolan Arenado (COL) are clear top options at the third base position but on a day with a full slate of games, we’re able to find value here in cash games. We’ll be looking at David Freese (PIT) (not a big fan of his skills but is in an optimal lineup spot for one of our tier one stacks) and Yangervis Solarte (SD) (where cheap he’s access to the Padres offense). UPDATE: Solarte left Saturday night’s game with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to play on Sunday. 

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

3) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

4) Mike Trout (LAA)

5) Starling Marte (PIT)

6) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

7) Jose Bautista (TOR)

8) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

9) Matt Kemp (SD)

10) Mookie Betts (BOS)

11) Jason Heyward (CHC)

12) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

13) Ryan Braun (MIL)

14) George Springer (HOU)

15) Jon Jay (SD)

16) Gerardo Parra (COL)

17) Rajai Davis (CLE)

18) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

There are a plethora of high upside outfield options in good spots. Bryce Harper (WAS) tops our rankings as his elite power skill set runs into a below average RHP in Tom Koehler, who started Harper’s three-homer game last year. Most of the top 10 is flooded with high upside bats from an individual skill perspective who also happen to be in the middle of the lineups that are highest in our stack rankings (below). All are elite tournament options. In cash games, however, it’s difficult to use more than one of the top 10 options. We’d play the price game. For example, Starling Marte (PIT), Matt Kemp (SD), and Jose Bautista (TOR) have favorable salaries on FanDuel while Carlos Gonzalez (COL) and Charlie Blackmon (COL) are a bit more affordable respectively on DraftKings. You’ll likely have to surround your to outfielder with two more value conscious selections. Colby Rasmus (HOU) continues to be one of our favorites as he’s hitting cleanup for a good Astros team, which puts him underpriced right off the bat. Then you take into account his plus power against RHP and Brewers pitchers that can’t get LHBs out (today it’s Jimmy Nelson) and are backed up by a bad bullpen. After Rasmus, the guys who round out our outfield rankings are all viable. Jon Jay (SD), Gerardo Parra (COL), and Dexter Fowler (CHC) (FanDuel specific) grant you access to teams with high run totals while Rajai Davis (CLE) has strong individual upside due to his splits versus LHP and speed.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) San Diego Padres

2) Colorado Rockies

3) Pittsburgh Pirates

Tier Two

4) Toronto Blue Jays

5) Boston Red Sox

6) Chicago Cubs

7) Houston Astros

8) Kansas City Royals

Tier Three

9) Tampa Bay Rays

10) Washington Nationals

11) Chicago White Sox

12) Cincinnati Reds

In cash games, if using Matt Harvey it may be difficult to pay up for the top bats in the tier one stacks, but each lineup has one or two values in the top five of their respective orders to allow you to grab some exposure.

Whenever there’s a game in Coors Field, you don’t have to be overly contrarian stacking in tournaments as any non-Coors Field team should have depressed ownerships. As a result, we likely won’t dig all the way down to the tier three stacks in tournaments, but stick with the tier two ones, which have a higher chance at hitting at likely similar ownership levels.

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