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April 25 MLB DFS: Jaso Is The Playo
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April 25 MLB DFS: Jaso Is The Playo

02:10 Starting Pitchers
09:19 Catchers
11:32 First Base
14:43 Second Base
18:28 Shortstop
19:55 Third Base
23:57 Outfield
29:56 Stacks

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April 25 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

2) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

Tier Two

3) Chris Archer (TB)

4) Danny Salazar (CLE)

5) Chris Sale (CHW)

6) Garrett Richards (LAA)

Tier Three

7) Drew Pomeranz (SD)

8) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

9) Taijuan Walker (SEA)

10) Raisel Iglesias (CIN)

11) Zack Greinke (ARI)

12) Ian Kennedy (KC)

Both Noah Syndergaard (NYM) and Madison Bumgarner (SF) are legit top options given both their respective skill sets and matchups. However, we have to side with Syndergaard. We’ve touched on the power slider he’s added previously, and that’s helped to lead to some absurd early peripherals: 1.52 xFIP, 37.7 K percentage. The issue with paying up for either one of these aces is opportunity cost on a day where Coors Field has an even higher total than usual (somewhere between 11.5 and 12). On DraftKings, we’d try to get both Syndergaard and Coors in by going with a cheaper second pitcher, but on FanDuel it’s really tough. You’ll have to decide between Syndergaard or Coors.

Danny Salazar (CLE) is the best combination of value/upside of the tier two starting pitchers that still gets you a smattering of Coors. Salazar is always a bit volatile, but there’s immense K upside (career 26.6 K percentage) against a Twins team that projects to have a below average wOBA and above average K rate against RHP.

Drew Pomeranz (SD) loses a bit of K upside against a Giants team that makes contact against LHP. However, we’ve been impressed with the skills he’s flashed early on. While the 34.7 K percentage won’t last, most projection systems have Pomeranz striking out more than a batter an inning and the league’s best pitcher’s park should help mitigate the risk associated with his slight fly ball tilt.

Some options we like for tournaments include Chris Archer (TB) (will be extremely low owned given struggles and opportunity cost but K percentage has been there), Ian Kennedy (KC) (Angels team is really struggling, Kennedy is missing bats, defense/park are in his favor), and Raisel Iglesias (CIN) (positive park shift, awesome K/BB ratio gives him big upside if he can keep the ball in the park).

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

3) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

4) Yan Gomes (CLE)

5) Welington Castillo (ARI)

Buster Posey (SF) is a logical stack filler in tournaments where you can grab his massive skills against LHP (.375 wOBA, .192 ISO since 2013) at a very low ownership, but he’s an unnecessary spend in cash games. Francisco Cervelli (PIT) grabs you Coors exposure and a top five lineup spot, but this may be a good position to eschew Coors and save money with Victor Martinez (DET) (way underpriced on FanDuel) and Yan Gomes (CLE) (solid power upside, especially given Tommy Milone‘s .180 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2013).

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) David Ortiz (BOS) (probably won’t play in NL park)

3) John Jaso (PIT)

4) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

5) Mike Napoli (CLE)

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) is pretty much the de facto top play when facing LHP at home. However given a combination of a high actual cost and high opportunity cost, we’re looking to build elsewhere despite the fact he’s a solid value in a vacuum. David Ortiz (BOS) rates really well in our model given Julio Teheran‘s issues against LHBs, but we’re expecting him to sit with Boston losing the DH. John Jaso (PIT) is a great way to get Coors exposure. He’s looking at 5-6 plate appearances for a team with an implied run total around 5.5. He’s always been a strong on base option against RHP and has the largest drop off in K rate from last season among qualified batters. With Jaso affordable but still getting a bump in price tag due to Coors Field pricing, it’s possible to save some money on Mike Napoli (CLE) or some site specific values on either FanDuel (Freddie Freeman (ATL)) or DraftKings (Mark Teixeira (NYY)).

Second Base Rankings

1) DJ LeMahieu (COL) (if leading off)

2) Robinson Cano (SEA)

3) Dee Gordon (MIA)

4) Jose Altuve (HOU)

5) Starlin Castro (NYY) (if hitting second)

If DJ LeMahieu (COL) leads off, he’d be the best cash game option at the position given an implied team total of over 6 runs for the Rockies against Jeff Locke and a battered Pirates bullpen (coming off a 13 inning game using six relief pitchers. We like Robinson Cano (SEA) a lot due to Doug Fister’s inability to miss bats combined with around a 20 percent hard minus soft hit rate to begin the season. Dee Gordon (MIA) is a secondary value who we love for tournaments (low team total but great price for his stolen base upside). Starlin Castro (NYY) would be one of the best second base values, particularly on DraftKings, if he hits second for the Yankees against LHP Cesar Ramos in Texas.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Trevor Story (COL)

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Jean Segura (ARI)

5) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

Trevor Story (COL) is the clear cut top shortstop option. While he won’t keep up his torrid pace (super high K rate and unsustainable HR/FB rate), his combination of loft (51.2 FB rate) and hard hit rate (45.7 percent) are perfect for Coors. He’s a great option in all formats. While expensive, it’s possible to fit him in if using Drew Pomeranz at pitcher. There’s a massive drop off at the shortstop position following Francisco Lindor (CLE), so we view him as the best cash game value if unable to afford Story.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) David Freese (PIT)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Justin Turner (LAD)

5) Manny Machado (BAL)

On most sites, the third base position is all about Coors Field and paying up for Nolan Arenado (COL) if you have the cap room while dropping down to David Freese (PIT) if you don’t. However, Justin Turner (LAD) is expected to return to the lineup for the Dodgers today, and he’s well underpriced on DraftKings at just $2,900. He’s a comparable cash game value on that particular site, allowing you to pay up at other positions.

Outfield Rankings

1) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

2) Starling Marte (PIT)

3) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

4) Mike Trout (LAA)

5) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

6) Rajai Davis (CLE)

7) Jose Bautista (TOR)

8) Justin Upton (DET)

9) Brandon Barnes (COL) (if leading off)

10) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

11) Yasiel Puig (LAD)

12) JD Martinez (DET)

13) Michael Conforto (NYM)

14) Ryan Raburn (COL) (if top five)

15) Corey Dickerson (TB)

Not surprisingly, our top three outfielders come from Coors Field. While the Pirates outfielders are the best options if you can afford them, Carlos Gonzalez (COL) may actually represent the best value of the trio, despite a L/L matchup. While Rajai Davis (CLE) has been moved out of the leadoff spot recently against RHP, we’d expect him back in that spot against a southpaw, making him a particularly good value on DraftKings given his speed upside and splits. Another guy we hope to see in the leadoff spot against LHP is Brandon Barnes (COL), who would be a lock on DraftKings due to the combination of cap relief and easy Coors Field exposure he would offer. The Tigers RHBs of Justin Upton (DET) and JD Martinez (DET) rate well in our model but we view them more as secondary values/tournament options given the R/R matchup and some strong early season peripherals from Graveman. It’s really tough to find cheap outfield values on FanDuel right now. We’re hoping some pop up when lineups are released, but until then Seth Smith (SEA) and Mallex Smith (ATL) are viable. On DraftKings, the prices refuse to budge on Michael Conforto (NYM) and Corey Dickerson (TB). A couple of our favorite tournament options are Jose Bautista (TOR) and Enrique Hernandez (LAD).

Stacks

Tier One

1) Pittsburgh Pirates

2) Colorado Rockies

Tier Two

3) New York Yankees

4) Cleveland Indians

5) Detroit Tigers

The Coors Field stacks are obvious ones to build around in cash games, while it makes sense to fill in one or two value plays from either the Yankees (bad opposing pitching staff and actually a positive park shift for the RHBs) and the Indians (lots of individual power upside given how FB risky Milone is). As alluded to in the outfield section, we’re a bit lower on the Tigers offense than our model is given Graveman’s early season peripherals. It’s very possible it’s small sample size related, but why take the chance on a slate with so many teams in better, more certain spots?

Tournament Stacks

-Baltimore Orioles (Archer is missing bats, but he’s been wild and homer prone early on, which may be the result of a dip in velocity)

-Toronto Blue Jays (obliterate LHP, but matchup against Sale will allow you to stack them at home at around five percent ownership or even less)

-Seattle Mariners (our model may be overrated Doug Fister’s baseline given his low 12.7 K percentage and high 20.7 hard minus soft hit rate to begin the season)

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