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April 29 MLB DFS: Take it to the Klub on Friday
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April 29 MLB DFS: Take it to the Klub on Friday

01:33 Starting Pitchers
08:18 Catchers
10:05 First Base
12:35 Second Base
14:33 Shortstop
17:06 Third Base
19:43 Outfield
24:38 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks

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April 29 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Corey Kluber (CLE)

2) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

Tier Two

3) Drew Smyly (TB)

4) Steven Matz (NYM)

5) Aaron Sanchez (TOR)

6) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

Tier Three

7) Sean Manaea (OAK)

8) Hector Santiago (LAA)

9) Juan Nicasio (PIT)

10) Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)

11) Carlos Rodon (CHW)

12) Adam Conley (MIA)

Corey Kluber (CLE) is our top ranked starter on Friday’s slate. He has the benefit of shifting to the National League where he won’t face an opposing DH and he’s facing a Phillies offense that ranks 24th in wRC+ against RHP and has posted the 12th highest K Rate against RHP. Kluber isn’t particularly difficult to fit in on either site and represents a strong cash game foundation. He has the second lowest implied run total against (3.3 runs) and all of his early season peripherals are intact (his swinging strike rate is actually up a bit). Build around Kluber in cash games.

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) is a contrarian tournament pivot from Kluber but draws a tough matchup against the Cardinals top ranked offense. It’s viable to pair Strasburg with Kluber on multiple starting pitcher sites, but there are some cheap alternatives with more favorable matchups that currently have our lean. The third tier of starters has a few of the value options we like pairing with Kluber on multiple starting pitcher sites. Steven Matz (NYM) and Aaron Sanchez (TOR) each appear underpriced for their respective skill sets across the industry. Matz gets a tougher matchup with the Giants contact-heavy lineup (26th in K Rate against LHP) that also ranks in the Top 10 in wRC+ against LHP. Sanchez gets the softer matchup against the Rays who lead the league in K Rate against RHP (28.1 percent) and rank 22nd in wRC+. It’s a significant positive park shift for Sanchez, who looks like a phenomenal value at $7,100 on DraftKings. Juan Nicasio (PIT) is so cheap that he earns secondary consideration in cash games but is a better tournament target. The Reds offense ranks 28th against RHP and may be without Jay Bruce. They’re also getting a horribly difficult park shift. The issue with Nicasio is his big K Rate is not supported by his swinging strike rate (5.9 percent) and the command issues bring a low floor.

This slate is deep with tournament targets thanks to the young starters getting called up and some pitchers with great K Rates in tough matchups. Drew Smyly (TB) has to take on the Blue Jays elite offense against LHP but gets them at home and his incredible K Rate earns strong consideration in tournaments. Sean Manaea (OAK) looks the most “ready” of the prospect starters coming up and gets a free swinging Astros’ lineup facing a severe park downgrade. The only issue is the Astros project well against LHP. Hector Santiago (LAA) has taken a big step forward with added velocity bumping his K Rate and swinging strike rate. He’s facing a tough park shift in Texas that will leave him with a hefty implied run total against but his strikeout ability is worth targeting in tournaments. Michael Fulmer (DET) doesn’t project as ready and Vegas is giving the Twins a hefty implied run total (4.8 runs) but their strikeout tendencies bring some upside for a relatively cheap cost.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

3) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

4) Evan Gattis (HOU) – where eligible

5) Welington Castillo (ARZ)

6) Yan Gomes (CLE)

Buster Posey (SF) leads the catcher rankings but ranks outside our Top 50 hitters overall. Posey’s immense skill against LHP is carrying the ranking as opposed to scoring environment or matchup so we’re leaning on Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) as your primary value target. Adam Conley can miss bats and has been pretty good against RHBs early in his career (.312 wOBA) but he’s a fly ball oriented starter getting a park downgrade and facing a lineup that is designed to attack LHP. Lucroy ranks only a few spots below Posey in our model and is meaningfully cheaper around the industry. The other potential catcher value to monitor is Yan Gomes (CLE). We think he’ll hit sixth with Michael Brantley back in the middle of the lineup but if he’s fifth in a National League park, he’s very intriguing. Gomes owns a .343 wOBA and .173 ISO against LHP since 2013. Lucroy owns a .341 wOBA and .144 ISO against LHP in the same span. The big gap between the two currently in our model is the difference between hitting fourth and sixth.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

3) Carlos Santana (CLE) – if leadoff or fourth

4) Albert Pujols (LAA)

5) Jose Abreu (CHW)

Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) is our third ranked hitter overall and is on the offense with the highest implied run total on the slate (5.1 runs). He’s priced appropriately which has us shifting our attention to some stronger values. Miguel Cabrera (DET) is the most stable of the group. He’s facing homer-prone Phil Hughes who has been more vulnerable to RHBs (.337 wOBA, 1.33 HR/9, 31.1 hard hit rate) since 2013. Cabrera is affordable on both sites after a slow start. Carlos Santana (CLE) is another alternative to Cabrera but his value is a bit more dependent on lineup positioning. Without the DH, it’s unclear how the Indians will line up against LHP. If Santana is leading off or hitting fourth the ranking above remains, but if he hits fifth he drops back down to five or six in our rankings. Jose Abreu (CHW) and Albert Pujols (LAA) are really cheap on FanDuel and viable alternatives to Miguel Cabrera or Carlos Santana. Neither has the platoon advantage but both are great hitters against RHP and facing weak RHP in elite hitting environments.

Second Base Rankings

1) Dee Gordon (MIA)

2) Jose Altuve (HOU)

3) Brian Dozier (MIN)

4) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

5) Robinson Cano (SEA)

6) Ian Kinsler (DET)

Dee Gordon (MIA) cracks our Top 15 overall hitters. A positive park shift against a weak RHP and an unusually strong implied run total for the Marlins (4.7 runs) has Gordon in a great spot. He’s pricey on DraftKings ($4,700) but viable at a thin position. We love the tag on FanDuel ($3,300) and would consider him a building block. Brian Dozier (MIN) is a little cheap as an alternative facing the unknown in rookie Michael Fulmer. Jed Lowrie (OAK) is a viable pure salary relief target that is more viable on DraftKings than FanDuel. Jason Kipnis (CLE), Robinson Cano (SEA), and Ian Kinsler (DET) are all strong tournament targets as part of their respective team stacks.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Trevor Story (COL)

4) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

5) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

6) Jean Segura (ARZ)

7) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

8) Danny Santana (MIN) – where eligible

9) Corey Seager (LAD)

Carlos Correa (HOU) is our top projected shortstop (not counting Machado) but looks like an unnecessary spend given the strength of the value plays. Trevor Story (COL) gets a park downgrade but has the platoon advantage against a lefty prone to hard hit contact against RHBs (37.3 percent as a big leaguer). Story’s power makes for an awesome play in tournaments but it’s not hard to avoid the contact woes in cash games for better values. Jonathan Villar (MIL) is the best industry wide value. He’ll likely hit second against LHP and the Brewers are pretty strong against LHP. Villar cracks our Top 45 hitters and is priced well below the average cost of a hitter. Danny Santana (MIN) is a viable alternative on DraftKings where he’s still priced as a pure punt play.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

4) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

5) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

6) Todd Frazier (CHW)

7) Justin Turner (LAD)

8) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

9) Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

10) Yunel Escobar (LAA)

Manny Machado (BAL) and Nolan Arenado (COL) are virtual ties at the top of our third base rankings. Both have the platoon advantage in great hitting environments. Carlos Rodon has the better stuff, a better bullpen behind him, and Arenado is guaranteed nine innings of offense so our lean is slightly towards Arenado. On DraftKings, they’re both very affordable. On FanDuel, you’re going to need to dip down a bit and Adrian Beltre (TEX) serves as the next step down. While Santiago has shown improved velocity that makes him a tougher matchup, his arsenal should remain fly ball prone. Jake Lamb (ARZ) and Justin Turner (LAD) are viable salary relief alternatives if you’d rather not invest against Santiago’s improved velocity.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

4) Rajai Davis (CLE) – if leading off

5) Ryan Braun (MIL)

6) J.D. Martinez (DET)

7) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

8) David Peralta (ARZ)

9) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

10) Starling Marte (PIT)

11) Christian Yelich (MIA)

12) Jose Bautista (TOR)

13) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

14) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

15) George Springer (HOU)

16) Delino Deshields (TEX) – If leading off

17) Adam Eaton (CHW)

18) Domingo Santana (MIL)

19) Mookie Betts (BOS)

20) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

Mike Trout (LAA) jumps Bryce Harper (WAS) in our rankings for the top overall outfield spot. Trout gets a big positive park shift and faces Colby Lewis who has been homer prone (1.48 HR/9) to RHBs since 2013. It’s not hard to get exposure to Trout in cash games on DraftKings if you pay down at second starting pitcher but the depth of elite outfield values doesn’t make it a must. It’s a little harder to figure out on FanDuel. The position is loaded with values. Rajai Davis (CLE) is our favorite value as long as he’s leading off. Davis has crushed LHP (.362 wOBA, .184 ISO since 2013) and has a valuable speed component against the Phillies’ weak throwing catchers. He’s priced appropriately on FanDuel, but is an elite value play on most other sites. Domingo Santana (MIL) remains too cheap on both sites and has the platoon advantage at home. Kole Calhoun (LAA) gets a nice park shift and a favorable matchup against Colby Lewis. He’s a fine value on both sites as well. Carlos Gonzalez (COL) has a ridiculous price tag ($2,900) on DraftKings where he represents an elite value play. J.D. Martinez (DET) and David Peralta (ARZ) are Top 10 outfielders that are also a bit underpriced around the industry.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Los Angeles Angels

2) Arizona Diamondbacks

3) Miami Marlins

4) Minnesota Twins

5) Colorado Rockies

6) Cleveland Indians

7) Milwaukee Brewers

Tier Two

8) Detroit Tigers

All of these stacks are pretty clustered in our model and tournament ownership should be rather spread out on this slate as few implied run totals separate themselves from the field. The Angels get a big park shift and Colby Lewis is particularly vulnerable to the long ball so they come in at the top of our rankings. The Marlins and Diamondbacks have high implied run totals and a number of options that fall in our recommendations. The Brewers have a nice mini-stack foundation with Lucroy and Villar where you can add in Braun/Santana/Carter for the full stack. The higher ownership on the two individual pieces may make them a more popular stack in tournaments. The Twins are likely the lowest owned of the bunch as many are hesitant to pick on top prospects. None of the Twins stand out as individual great values and their RH power plays well in their home park. Add in a horrid Tigers bullpen behind Fulmer (who we don’t expect to go deep) and you have a nice contrarian tournament stack.

In the second tier, the Detroit Tigers power from the right side is an intriguing fit against Phil Hughes‘ issues with the long ball. A mini-stack foundation of J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera is a nice power start.

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