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April 14 MLB DFS Early Slate: Philasquez
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April 14 MLB DFS Early Slate: Philasquez

TODAY’S SHOW OUTLINE

01:00 Starting Pitchers
05:49 Catchers
07:31 First Base
10:02 Second Base
11:30 Shortstop
12:44 Third Base
15:16 Outfield
19:14 Cash Game Roster Construction
19:57 Stacks

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April 14 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1a) Gerrit Cole (PIT)

1b) Chris Archer (TB)

Tier Two

3) Vincent Velasquez (PHI)

4) Danny Salazar (CLE)

Tier Three

5) Jaime Garcia (STL)

6) Jordan Zimmermann (DET)

Tier Four

7) Drew Pomeranz (SD)

Both Gerrit Cole (PIT) and Chris Archer (TB) have virtually identical rankings in our model. Cole gets the slight edge due to win probability, but more importantly he’s the better value (a meaningfully lower price point). He gets to face a very heavily right handed Tigers lineup that loses its best LHB in Victor Martinez due to the NL park (no DH). With the chance Cole faces eight RHBs, we’ve got him pegged for a 28 percent K rate. Archer actually has higher K upside due to his individual skill set but the several LHBs and higher team total for Cleveland add an element of risk.

Danny Salazar (CLE) has phenomenal upside given his K abilities and a matchup we’ve been targeting for the Cleveland RHPs all week. However, there’s just a touch more volatility in his skill set relative to the tier one pitchers. It’s also hard to use him in cash over Vincent Velasquez (PHI) who we actually have ranked higher and comes in at a much lower cost, making him a prime cash game target on multiple starting pitcher sites. Velasquez rewarded our faith in his strikeout upside by fanning nine batters. He can be wild but in a matchup against a really bad Padres team (best hitters are right-handed) that just got dominated by Jerad Eickhoff, we feel he’s worth the risk in all formats. In fact, it’s reasonable to even use Velasquez in cash games over Gerrit Cole on FanDuel (both are great values) to allow you to stack as much Coors Field as possible in cash games.

Jaime Garcia (STL) and Jordan Zimmermann (DET) are both safe options, but they lack the K upside of the top two tier pitchers, and their respective costs aren’t low enough to allow us to overlook that. In tournaments, using Drew Pomeranz (SD) is a way to allow you to stack Coors Field. Pomeranz is a bit risky (fly balls and walks), but he can rack up the Ks in a short outing, especially against a pretty below average Phillies lineup.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF) (day to day with foot injury)

2) Nick Hundley (COL)

3) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

4) Trevor Brown (SF)

5) Cameron Rupp (PHI)

Buster Posey (SF) is a core cash game play if he’s active. He’s the best way to get access to a Giants team total of around six runs given his lineup spot (third), his position (all the other catchers rank outside our top 50 on a short slate), and his skills against LHP (.387 wOBA, .197 ISO versus LHP since 2013). He’s our second ranked overall hitter. However, Posey has missed the last two games with a foot injury. If he sits again, we’d advise punting the position, with Posey’s replacement Trevor Brown (SF) one of the best options.

First Base Rankings

1) Jose Abreu (CHW)

2) Brandon Moss (STL) (if cleanup)

3) Matt Adams (STL) (if cleanup)

4) Brandon Belt (SF) (move up if top five in order)

5) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

Jose Abreu (CHW) has fine power skills versus both right and left handed pitchers, so lacking the platoon edge today isn’t an issue. He’ll face Ervin Santana whose combination of a below average GB rate, an average K rate, and a higher than league average hard minus soft hit rate are good signs for Abreu’s power. He’s still just a secondary value though, as our focus in cash games if spending up will be on Coors. We’re worried Brandon Belt (SF) hits sixth, but if he’s top five, he’d draw close to even to Abreu. Even in a L/L matchup the team total and park are too good to pass up. Ideally, one of Brandon Moss or Matt Adams (STL) will start and hit cleanup for the Cardinals. Moss has more power, but both would be in a great spot given Wily Peralta‘s horrid splits against LHBs (.355 wOBA, 1.30 HR/9 allowed for his career).

Second Base Rankings

1) Joe Panik (SF)

2) Brian Dozier (MIN)

3) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

4) Cesar Hernandez (PHI)

5) Cory Spangenberg (SD)

On a day where the Coors Field offenses clearly trump the alternatives, we’re building studs (Coors guys) and duds. Second base feels like a duds position given that Panik has a L/L matchup and you can get super cheap top of the order speed in either Cesar Hernandez (PHI) or Cory Spangenberg (SD). While we’re not keen on paying up for Daniel Murphy (WAS) in cash games, he’s a smart tournament play given a solid Washington team total, Teheran’s splits (.351 wOBA allowed to LHBs), and Teheran’s early season velocity dip (-1.5 mph).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Trevor Story (COL)

2) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Brandon Crawford (SF)

Trevor Story (COL) is the clear top shortstop but the quick rising price tag leaves him priced appropriately and difficult to pay up for (especially if Posey is active and you prioritize him). As a result, we’re yet again looking to punt the middle infield. Jimmy Rollins (CHW) is the best option to do this with, primarily due to price and lineup spot (second). However, we’ll be keeping an eye on the Giants lineup versus a LHP, which could provide us with some Coors Field cheap options, such as Kelby Tomlinson or Ehire Adrianza (SF).

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Matt Duffy (SF)

3) Matt Carpenter (STL)

4) Maikel Franco (PHI)

5) Todd Frazier (CHW)

We love Nolan Arenado‘s (COL) power profile, which involves putting lots of balls in play and lots of those in the air, a perfect recipe for success in Coors Field. He’s one of four Rockies inside our top 10 overall hitters (Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Story) as they face Matt Cain (big drop in K rate combined with uptick in hard hit rate last year would spell disaster in Coors if it continues). Matt Duffy (SF) is the better value, though, as the Giants higher team total and the platoon edge for Duffy (who should hit top five) make him a strong option at a discount to Arenado. Duffy doesn’t have massive upside but is a 10-10-plus guy over a full season who will put the ball in play often. Matt Carpenter (STL) should get on base multiple times leading off for the Cardinals against Wily Peralta. If you can’t pay for those three options, it’s fine to drop down to Maikel Franco (PHI) (ZiPS projected .199 ISO). He’s at home (plus park for homers) with the platoon edge on a fly ball oriented LHP in Drew Pomeranz.

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

3) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

4) Hunter Pence (SF)

5) Angel Pagan (SF) (if top two)

6) Denard Span (SF)

7) Ryan Braun (MIL)

8) Adam Eaton (CHW)

9) Miguel Sano (MIN)

10) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

11) Gerardo Parra (COL)

12) Starling Marte (PIT)

13) Corey Dickerson (TB)

14) Jeremy Hazelbaker (STL)

15) JD Martinez (DET)

16) Matt Holliday (STL)

It’s no surprise to see Bryce Harper (WAS) atop our rankings as he continues to face mediocre to below average Atlanta RHPs, which are backed up by a less than average bullpen. Harper’s skill set is elite (second most power upside in the league and is running a lot to start the year; great EYE), and today’s victim could be Julio Teheran (splits, velocity issues mentioned above). Unfortunately, the sites have caught on, which has us eyeing stud outfielders in the Coors game for cheaper prices for the third straight game. Our second through sixth hitters above are all from the Coors Field game, and we’d suggest squeezing in at least one of those bats. Gerardo Parra (COL) ranks just outside our top 10, but he’s a cost effective way to sneak in a second Coors outfield bat. Miguel Sano (MIN) hasn’t flashed the power we hope to see yet, but we’re still comfortable buying in at his current price points. Mat Latos is not a pitcher to be threatened by. Another mid-tier value to look at is Adam Eaton (CHW), while the usual suspects provide cap relief: Jeremy Hazelbaker (STL), Matt Holliday (STL), and Michael Taylor (WAS). Tyler Goeddel (PHI) is an off the wall stack filler for a tournament, while Corey Dickerson (TB) provides power upside at potentially low ownership.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Coors Field

Tier Two

2) St. Louis Cardinals (favorite tournament stack)

Tier Three

3) Washington Nationals

4) Chicago White Sox

5) Philadelphia Phillies

6) Minnesota Twins