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April 24 MLB DFS: Can’t get enough of that Stras

April 24 MLB DFS: Can’t get enough of that Stras
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April 24 MLB DFS: Can’t get enough of that Stras

01:37 Starting Pitchers
09:07 Catchers
11:56 First Base
15:35 Second Base
17:58 Shortstop
22:04 Third Base
24:40 Outfield
28:49 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks

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April 24 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

Tier Two

2) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

3) Jacob deGrom (NYM)

Tier Three

4) Michael Pineda (NYY)

5) Mike Leake (STL)

6) Drew Smyly (TB)

Tier Four

7) Jason Hammel (CHC)

8) Jerad Eickhoff (PHI)

9) Yordano Ventura (KC)

10) Matt Cain (SF)

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) is the top starter on the slate and by a very wide margin. The Twins possess the lowest implied run total on the slate (three runs) and the Braves are the only other offense on the slate with an implied run total below 3.5 runs. The Twins are running out exceptionally right handed lineups and Strasburg has held RHBs to a .287 wOBA with a 29.6 percent K Rate since 2013. Tanner Roark is one of the most contact oriented starters in the big leagues and he managed 15 strikeouts yesterday against this horrid Twins offense. Strasburg is a starter we’re emphasizing in cash games and he holds the biggest upside on the slate. We expect ownership will be hefty in tournaments, which makes him a viable fade.

Jacob deGrom (NYM) is on a pitch count in his return against the contact heavy Braves. The Mets are limiting him to 85 pitches, so the upside is capped quite a bit. With the price tag elevated, he’s in limbo. Carlos Carrasco (CLE) is a viable tournament pivot from Strasburg, but our emphasis in tournaments will be cheaper starters with similar strikeout upside that allow you to emphasize bats a bit more. Michael Pineda (NYY) and Drew Smyly (TB) fit that mold. The park environment at Yankee Stadium always comes with elevated implied team totals which keeps ownership in check. The Rays have the second highest K Rate in the league against RHP (26.8 percent) which is why Pineda ranks ahead of the more skilled Smyly. Mike Leake (STL) is your safest complementary starter on multiple starting pitcher sites. He’ll draw a Padres’ offense that projects among the worst in the league against RHP and currently ranks 29th of 30 teams in wRC+ against RHP this season. Leake should also hold the platoon advantage against the majority of the lineup and he’s held RHBs to a .298 wOBA since 2013. The K Rate is rarely great for Leake, but the run prevention should be very solid.

The fourth tier has some interesting tournament targets as well. We noted on Friday our affinity for Aaron Nola‘s dominance against RHBs against a primarily right-handed Brewers lineup and that same plan of attack is in place for Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) who has held RHBs to a .209 wOBA with a 29.9 K Rate and 4.1 BB Rate. Yordano Ventura (KC) gets a tougher matchup against a right-hand heavy Orioles’ lineup that is far more skilled than the Brewers, bringing a bit les strikeout potential. He’s a secondary tournament target.

Catcher Rankings

1) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

4) Evan Gattis (HOU) – where eligible

5) Russell Martin (TOR)

6) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

7) Welington Castillo (ARZ)

8) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

The catcher position is always in flux on Sunday. It’s a day of rest for many catchers with day games after night games and often the best approach on Sunday is to identify the best punt play. Yasmani Grandal (LAD) sat on Saturday night and seems likely to catch on Sunday. He ranks as our top catching option but is outside our Top 50 overall hitters and is fairly priced. Welington Castillo (ARZ), Francisco Cervelli (PIT), and Stephen Vogt (OAK) are the most likely value catching options as all are in favorable offensive environments with the platoon advantage and middle of the order spots. Evan Gattis (HOU) is a viable punt option on FanDuel ($2,300) but you’re taking on some mild lineup risk with Gattis in the Sunday night game. One of the Texas catching options will represent a viable punt on DraftKings, but Welington Castillo‘s cheap tag is likely your best value there.

First Base Rankings

1) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

2) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

4) Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)

5) Joey Votto (CIN)

6) David Ortiz (BOS)

7) Jose Abreu (CHW)

8) Chris Davis (BAL)

9) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

10) Carlos Santana (CLE)

11) Ryan Howard (PHI)

12) Mark Reynolds (COL)

Anthony Rizzo (CHC), Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ), and Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) all rank ahead of Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) in our model. The first three rank inside our Top 10 with the platoon advantage in great offensive environments themselves. First base is deep again with the Top Seven all inside our Top 30 overall hitters. Joey Votto‘s (CIN) got the best price tag of the top options and makes the most sense as a pivot downwards, but there are value options you can get for below the average cost of a hitter.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Chase Utley (LAD)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) D.J. LeMahieu (COL)

5) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

6) Dee Gordon (MIA)

7) Scooter Genett (MIL)

Jose Altuve (HOU) and Chase Utley (LAD) are at the top of our second base rankings but both rank in the 20-30 spots in our overall hitters. Altuve’s price tag is difficult to justify in cash games and though Utley is generally cheaper, this is likely a position you’ll have to drop down and get some salary relief if you want to afford Strasburg. The best option is Jed Lowrie (OAK) who has been hitting in the middle of the order for Oakland and as a switch hitter holds the platoon advantage throughout the game. The A’s have a healthy 4.3 implied run total and Lowrie’s capable against RHP (.324 wOBA, .144 ISO since 2013). With a near punt price tag, he’s your top value at the position.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Corey Seager (LAD)

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Trevor Story (COL)

4) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

5) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

6) Jordy Mercer (PIT)

7) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

8) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

Corey Seager (LAD) remains our top target at the position and a Top 15 hitter in our model. Jordan Lyles has allowed a .352 wOBA to LHBs as a big leaguer and Seager’s getting a huge park shift in his favor. Shortstop is deeper with options on Sunday, so there are more alternatives to Seager than the last two days. Francisco Lindor (CLE) and Jordy Mercer (PIT) are the value targets. Both hold the platoon advantage and favorable lineup spots. Lindor will face Shane Greene who has allowed a .387 wOBA to LHBs since 2013 while Mercer will get Robbie Ray who has surrendered a .341 wOBA and 36.8 hard hit rate to RHBs since 2013. Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) looks like a nice tournament target as a part of a Blue Jays stack.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

3) Justin Turner (LAD)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC)

5) Todd Frazier (CHW)

6) David Freese (PIT)

7) Anthony Rendon (WAS)

8) Manny Machado (BAL)

9) Maikel Franco (PHI)

10) Matt Carpenter (STL)

Third base looks like a position to spend on for Sunday’s slate. We have four third basemen in our Top 15 hitters overall and they all come with hefty price tags. Josh Donaldson‘s (TOR) prowess against LHP (.437 wOBA, .338 ISO since 2013) is well documented and has him as a Top Five hitter in our model. Nolan Arenado (COL) follows him and is a fine alternative in Coors Field against Alex Wood. Justin Turner (LAD) looks like the best value at the position if he’s able to make it in the lineup. A toe issue held him out on Saturday night, so you’ll want confirmation on early lock sites. Turner gets the big park shift and owns an impressive .382 wOBA and .166 ISO against RHP since 2013. If you need salary relief, David Freese (PIT) is the best bet. Freese has his issues against RHP, but against LHP he’s been quite good (.350 wOBA, .181 ISO since 2013). We’ve touched on Robbie Ray‘s issues with RHBs and the Pirates load up above average RHBs in a row with Freese in the middle of it.

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Jose Bautista (TOR)

3) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

4) Mike Trout (LAA)

5) Starling Marte (PIT)

6) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

7) Yasiel Puig (LAD)

8) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

9) Jason Heyward (CHC)

10) Ryan Braun (MIL)

11) George Springer (HOU)

12) Mookie Betts (BOS)

13) Kevin Pillar (TOR) – if leading off

14) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

15) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

16) Josh Reddick (OAK)

17) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

18) Domingo Santana (MIL)

19) Corey Dickerson (COL)

20) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

As is typically the case, our Top 10 overall hitters is filled with outfielders. Half of the Top 10 are outfielders before we get a little drop-off. If you’re paying up in the outfield, we’re looking towards the Pirates duo of Andrew McCutchen (PIT) and Starling Marte (PIT) that come with slightly depressed price tags compared to the Coors Field options or Bryce Harper (WAS) and Jose Bautista (TOR) who rank as our top two overall hitters. Both McCutchen (.422 wOBA, .229 ISO) and Marte (.367 wOBA, .158 ISO) hit LHP very well and Robbie Ray‘s hard hit rate allowed to RHBs inspires confidence. For values at the position, we’re looking to top of the order bats. We’re speculating a bit on Kevin Pillar (TOR) leading off for the Blue Jays but if he does, he’s the most cost effective way to get exposure to the Jays offense. Odubel Herrera (PHI) went nuts on Saturday night and gets another favorable matchup against Wily Peralta (.357 wOBA, 1.35 HR/9 allowed to LHBs since 2013). His price remains favorable around the industry. The Athletics are another spot to look for value. Drew Hutchison has been battered by lefties (.341 wOBA, 1.38 HR/9 since 2013) and guys like Josh Reddick (.340 wOBA, .193 ISO) and Chris Coghlan (.342 wOBA, .179 ISO) both hit RHP very well and could generate strong lineup spots.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Los Angeles Dodgers

2) Colorado Rockies

3) Toronto Blue Jays

4) Chicago Cubs

5) Pittsburgh Pirates

Additional Tournament Stacks

– Houston Astros (Henry Owens is a decent prospect but has battled command issues all the way up through the minors and he’s a lefty which gives the platoon advantage to Altuve, Correa, and Springer which is a great start to a mini-stack. Sunday night teams are always severely under-owned due to the lack of a lineup but those three are almost always in the lineup and they’re big “event” plays with stolen base and home run upside.

Philadelphia Phillies (They have plenty of left handed bats to attack Peralta and the Brewers bullpen was heavily utilized on Saturday night. They’re cheap enough to pair with Strasburg and Herrera is the only cash game value that could draw any ownership)

Arizona Diamondbacks (Francisco Liriano‘s velocity is down and his swinging strike rate is way down. He’s generating far fewer chases and the Diamondbacks are pretty good against LHP. In a great hitting environment they’ll go under-owned relative to their implied run total because of the perception of Liriano.)

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