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April 14 MLB DFS Late Slate: He Looked Like A Carlos To Me
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April 14 MLB DFS Late Slate: He Looked Like A Carlos To Me

TODAY’S SHOW OUTLINE

00:51 Difficult Small Slate
02:30 Starting Pitchers
07:56 Catchers
10:30 First Base
13:28 Second Base
15:48 Shortstop
16:49 Third Base
20:00 Outfield
23:33 Cash Game Roster Construction
25:20 Stacks

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April 14 MLB DFS Late Slate Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jason Hammel (CHC)

Tier Two

2) Cole Hamels (TEX)

3) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

4) Ross Stripling (LAD)

Tier Three

5) Raisel Iglesias (CIN)

6) Ian Kennedy (KC)

7) Robbie Ray (ARI)

This is a really ugly short slate, and we wouldn’t play a normal amount. All of the pitching options are either in bad spots or have questionable skill sets. Jason Hammel (CHC) has the best combination of matchup and skill set, leaving him as our top pitcher on the slate. He’s quite affordable and will give you solid strikeout/win upside while leaving you with cap relief to spend up on bats. Hammel has posted very strong K/BB ratios the past two seasons, which have allowed him to post sub-4 ERAs and back to back 10 win seasons. The issue is start to start volatility as a result of a fly ball tilt and consistently high hard hit rate. In the main components we look at, Hammel doesn’t dominate in any one are, but he’s the only pitcher who rates as a positive across the board, without any red flags in any one department. Most importantly he has a top three matchup-adjusted wOBA allowed and K rate.

Cole Hamels (TEX) (bad park, powerful offense), Marcus Stroman (TOR) (bad park, lots of LHBs and a deep lineup), and Raisel Iglesias (CIN) (toughest lineup in the NL) are the most talented pitchers but all have a red flag in their matchup. It’s not worth paying up for them in cash games on FanDuel, but totally fine to target their skills in tournaments, where you’re more focused on upside than downside. In cash games on DraftKings, we’re okay “overpaying” for Hamels or Stroman in cash games since there’s almost no opportunity cost in doing so (can still play pretty much any bats you want). Ross Stripling (LAD) may actually have a similar floor (favorable park, low opposing team total, great bullpen behind him) at a much lower cost, so if there is an extra bat you need to spend on, we have no qualms dropping down to him. Iglesias is a fun tournament play, simply betting on his talent at likely low ownership levels.

Catcher Rankings

1) Matt Wieters (BAL)

2) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

3) Brian McCann (NYY)

4) Welington Castillo (ARI)

5) Miguel Montero (CHC)

6) AJ Ellis (LAD)

While Matt Wieters (BAL) faces a good pitcher, it’s the sort of slate where you’re going to have to accept picking on some pitchers we might normally avoid, possibly even using a hitter against your own pitcher in the same lineup in cash games. Wieters has a very strong .343 wOBA and .236 ISO against LHP since 2013, and the bullpen behind Hamels is nothing to write home about. Aside from Wieters, Grandal is a cheap option, depending on lineup spot. Brian McCann (NYY) is our favorite tournament play. Welington Castillo (ARI) cracks the top five simply due to lineup spot and some semblance of power.

First Base Rankings

1) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

2) Joey Votto (CIN)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

4) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

5) Chris Davis (BAL)

The top three first basement all rank very similarly in our model, and we’d let price be the deciding factor there if spending up in cash games. We do prefer to get exposure to the top three in tournaments, though, as you can save a touch of money here to apply to the middle infield and still walk away with a high upside 1B bat. On FanDuel that upside bat is Joey Votto (CIN) (okay, okay he is a top three batter but the price there is particularly low) or Edwin Encarnacion (TOR). On DraftKings, Chris Davis (BAL) is way too cheap for his power upside. Even in a L/L matchup, he can do damage. Keep in mind that Hamels has allowed a .148 ISO to LHBs over his career while Davis has a .223 ISO and has homered in 5.2 percent of plate appearances against southpaws the last three seasons. His teammate Mark Trumbo (BAL) also represents cheap power upside.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

3) Brandon Phillips (CIN)

4) Chris Owings (ARI) (if top five in order)

5) Rougned Odor (TEX)

One of the reasons we’re fine taking cheaper power upside at the corner infield spots (particularly first base) is we’re high on using the Astros middle infielders. We’re not placing the same priority on Jose Altuve (HOU) as we are his teammate (Correa, below), but ideally we’d like to use both in cash games. Altuve is an elite contact hitter with top of the line speed and just enough pop. The fly ball oriented Ian Kennedy could have difficulty against this lineup in Houston, much like Chris Young had the other day. If not using Altuve, dropping down to Ben Zobrist (CHC) is fine. That lineup spot is so tantalizing for a middle infielder who always has the platoon edge. The beginning matchup against Iglesias is difficult, but he’ll have to deal with a plethora of LHBs and the bullpen behind him is trash. If you do need to go cheap, Enrique Hernandez (LAD) and Howie Kendrick (LAD) could find themselves in top five lineup spots against a LHP. Rougned Odor (TEX) is our favorite tournament options at the position.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

3) Alcides Escobar (KC)

4) Corey Seager (LAD)

5) Jean Segura (ARI)

We’re making an active effort to pay up for Carlos Correa (HOU) in cash games. On a day where values aren’t clearly defined, Correa is the one option that sticks out as a core play. He’s our top ranked hitter overall, and the next closest shortstop (Tulowitzki) ranks just outside our top 40 overall (pretty low considering only 10 teams in action). We’d likely dip to Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) (solid team total, plus park, power upside) or Alcides Escobar (KC) (leadoff spot in good park against mediocre pitching keeps him in play where priced very cheap. Corey Seager (LAD) could move up to second on our SS rankings, but he hit seventh last time the Dodgers faced a LHP so we’re being conservative until we see actual lineups.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Justin Turner (LAD)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

5) Kris Bryant (CHC)

Even in a difficult matchup vs. Cole Hamels, Manny Machado (BAL) is ranked inside our Top 10 hitters. He’s a great buy in all formats on a site like DraftKings where his price is all the way down to $3,800. Machado is followed by Justin Turner (LAD) (our favorite industry wide value option at the position; Turner will have the platoon edge on Robbie Ray, a southpaw that has allowed a ton of hard hit contact to RHBs since 2014), Josh Donaldson (TOR) (ranked inside our Top 15 hitters) and Adrian Beltre (TEX) (softer matchup vs. Chris Tillman, a RHP that has allowed a 1.21 HR/9 to RHBs in his career; Beltre is ranked right behind Donaldson). Kris Bryant (CHC) can be used in tournaments.

Outfield Rankings

1) Jose Bautista (TOR)

2) Yasiel Puig (LAD)

3) George Springer (HOU)

4) Jason Heyward (CHC)

5) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

6) Billy Hamilton (CIN) (if leading off)

7) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

8) Delino DeShields (TEX)

9) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

10) David Peralta (ARI)

11) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

12) Adam Jones (BAL) (day to day)

13) Nomar Mazara (TEX)

14) Kevin Pillar (TOR)

15) Enrique Hernandez (LAD) (if leading off)

We have three outfielders ranking inside our Top 10 hitters this evening, and one that’s ranked just outside. Jose Bautista (TOR), Yasiel Puig (LAD) and George Springer (HOU) are our Top three outfielders in this slate, with Jason Heyward (CHC) ranking just behind them (11th ranked hitter in our model). Puig and Springer have the friendlier matchups. Puig faces Robbie Ray, a southpaw that has allowed a .344 wOBA and a whooping 38 percent hard hit rate to RHBs since 2014. Springer draws a mathcup vs. Ian Kennedy, a fly baller that was tagged by RHBs last year (.338 wOBA, 1.37 HR/9). Colby Rasmus (HOU) is ranked inside our top 15 hitters, and he remains below $4,000 on DraftKings (good value on that site). Billy Hamilton (CIN) is too cheap on FanDuel, where his price tag is sitting at $2,700. We’ll take his elite speed against Miguel Montero (-5 rSB for his career) in all formats. Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones (BAL) have a tougher matchup vs. Cole Hamels, but that won’t stop us from investing where their prices are low (both are underpriced on DraftKings). Lorenzo Cain (KC) is a good tournament option (hitting in a better hitting environment than his home park and Doug Fister isn’t a dominant pitcher by any means). Enrique Hernandez (LAD) would emerge as an awesome punt if he leads off vs. Robbie Ray. Another cap relief option on FanDuel, especially as a pivot to Billy Hamilton if he doesn’t lead off (same price), is the Rangers top prospect Nomara Mazara (TEX) who should hit second at home with the platoon edge on the underwhelming Chris Tillman.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Texas Rangers

Tier Two

2) Toronto Blue Jays

3) Houston Astros

Additional Tournament Stacks

-Chicago Cubs (stackable pretty much every night due to a combination of lineup depth and power/speed potential)

-Los Angeles Dodgers (afraid to stack against Ray in cash games because he does possess talent; however, he allows hard hit contact to RHBs and may not pitch deep, leaving a bad Arizona bullpen to relieve him early)

-Baltimore Orioles (drop in our stack rankings as they face arguably the most talented pitcher on the slate in Cole Hamels; however, this is a great hitter’s park and a powerful lineup, with that aspect meshing well with Hamels’ biggest weakness – allowing power)

-Kansas City Royals (park shift, ability to make tons of contact, and uncertainty regarding Doug Fister’s baseline leads to meaningful upside)

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