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4/7 MLB DFS: Go Cubs Go!
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4/7 MLB DFS: Go Cubs Go!

TODAY’S SHOW OUTLINE

00:35 High-Level Slate Overview
01:00 Keep Eyes on the Weather – Quick Look
01:38 Pitchers
05:45 Catchers
07:20 First Base
11:00 Second Base
12:00 Shortstop
14:03 Third Base
15:49 Outfield
18:59 Cash Game Roster Construction
20:26 Stacks & GPP Plays
22:20 DailyRoto Premium MLB General Updates

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April 7th Pro-Tips

Weather

Weather is going to wreak havoc today so keep an eye on your lineup alerts. Here are the games we’re monitoring:

-HOU-NYY (70 percent chance of rain most of the day)

-BOS-CLE (cold, with the wind blowing in; 50 percent chance of rain/snow showers throughout the day)

-MIN-BAL (40 percent chance of rain most of the day, but clears up late, so there may be a window even if we start in a delay)

-MIA-WAS (50 percent chance of rain all day)

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Danny Salazar (CLE)

2) Alex Wood (LAD)

Tier Two

3) John Lackey (CHC)

4) Jake Peavy (SD)

Tier Three

5) Hector Santiago (LAA)

6) Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL)

7) Adam Conley (MIA)

8) Mike Fiers (HOU)

9) Tanner Roark (WAS)

It’s tough sledding for starting pitching today. Our top option, Danny Salazar (CLE), has a tough matchup against the Red Sox, but remains in the top spot as he really separates himself from the rest of the field in terms of talent, particularly strikeout ability (baseline K percentage is easily the best on the slate). He’s a fine option to pay up for in cash games, but that says more about the rest of the position than it does Salazar. Alex Wood (LAD) can be frustrating to own, but he’s probably the safest of the remaining options. Wood pitches in San Francisco (best pitcher’s park). We’re expecting his K rate to rebound from a year ago, which with league average control and the ability to keep the ball on the ground gives him a somewhat stable skill set.

John Lackey (CHC) is a volatile option pitching in a hitter’s park with a somewhat high opposing team total (over four). However, he’s in a cluster of guys we have projected for the second best K rate beyond Salazar, with the other ones (Jimenez, Fiers) arguably even riskier. Lackey is tied as the largest favorite on the slate. Along with Lackey, Hector Santiago (LAA) might be the only other starting pitcher of the late slate on FanDuel that we’re remotely comfortable using, and doing so will allow you to use four Cubs hitters. If you want a bit more safety than Lackey in a full day slate as a second pitcher, Jake Peavy (SF) is an alternative, although we’d prefer to stick to the top tier if possible. A tournament option we really like is Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL). With so many risky options, Jimenez’s personal volatility is mitigated a bit since the opportunity cost is less, which shifts the focus to his potential K upside (second highest of the slate).

Catcher Rankings

1) Kyle Schwarber (CHC) (where eligible)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Brian McCann (NYY)

4) Matt Wieters (BAL)

5) Welington Castillo (ARI)

6) Miguel Montero (CHC)

On DraftKings, we’re stacking as many Cubs as we can and it starts with Kyle Schwarber (CHC) who fortunately still has C eligibility there. He has an excellent matchup against Rubby de la Rosa (more on him below, see Anthony Rizzo). It was a small sample size, but Schwarber’s 42.3 FB rate and 39.7 hard hit rate last season are great signs for his power. ZiPS is projecting a .246 ISO. Buster Pose (SF) ranks second because he’s so elite against LHP, but the value isn’t great at home at the current price tag. We’d rather dip down to Brian McCann (NYY) (platoon edge at home with the short porch in right)

First Base Rankings

1) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

4) David Ortiz (BOS)

5) Mark Teixeira (NYY)

6) Carlos Santana (CLE)

7) Albert Pujols (LAA)

8) Jose Abreu (CHW)

Our top play at the first base position and top overall hitter in our model is Anthony Rizzo (CHC). On a slate where we’re not as confident in our pitcher rankings, we’ll build a little bit from that bats out, which is opposite from usual. As a result, Rizzo is a primary cash game option for us. He’s hitting cleanup for the highest expected scoring team on the night and brings his elite skills into a plus hitting environment against Rubby de la Rosa who has allowed a .377 wOBA, .215 ISO, and 1.43 HR/9 to LHBs for his career. Meanwhile, Rizzo cut down the Ks last year while adding steals and loft. Even if you don’t use Rizzo, we’re prioritizing spending up here, and the best alternative is Chris Davis (BAL) who has mammoth upside given his personal skills (.411, .199, .350 ISOs against RHP last three seasons) and the home matchup against Phil Hughes (K rate fell off the table last year, which was death for a fly ball oriented pitcher who allows hard hit contact).

Second Base Rankings

1) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

2) Dee Gordon (MIA)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) Jose Altuve (HOU)

5) Brian Dozier (MIN)

6) Jed Lowrie (OAK)

Ben Zobrist (CHC) is the preferred cash game option at the position: platoon edge, park, pitcher with terrible splits, high team total, great lineup spot, and eligible at a scarce position. Dee Gordon (MIA) has an individual matchup that suits his skill set as Tanner Roark allows a lot of contact and keeps the ball on the ground. However, Jason Kipnis (CLE) is the stronger value where priced meaningfully lower, as he is on FanDuel; opposing pitcher Joe Kelly allowed a 16.3 hard minus soft hit rate last season.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

3) Jean Segura (ARI)

4) Jed Lowrie (OAK)

5) Ian Desmond (TEX)

6) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

7) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

Carlos Correa (HOU) is out to prove last year’s power was no fluke with three home runs already. He’s a luxury spend but a good one, projecting as a 25-25 player over a full season. On the value side of things, we continue to target Jean Segura (ARI) due to park, lineup spot, and cost. Don’t overthink the big park; Jed Lowrie (OAK) is a fine option hitting second for an Oakland team with a team total approaching 4.5 runs. He’s never fully been able to put it together (health a large reason), but high contact and walk rates to go with plus loft and decent hard hit rates indicate power upside.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

4) Anthony Rendon (WAS)

5) Todd Frazier (CHW)

6) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

If you’re paying up, Manny Machado (BAL) is our top overall third baseman. He’s shown pretty even splits on his young career, and that meshes well against Phil Hughes who allows equal power to both right and left handed batters. Kris Bryant (CHC) is an elite tournament play and cash viable. On the afternoon slate, Alex Rodriguez (NYY) is the best value. He has better power against same handed pitchers, and Mike Fiers is very fly ball oriented (just a career 35.2 GB rate). Anthony Rendon (WAS) a .354 career wOBA against LHP and is also viable in the afternoon slate or in tournaments.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Jason Heyward (CHC)

3) Bryce Harper (WAS)

4) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

5) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

6) David Peralta (ARI)

7) Kyle Schwarber (CHC)

8) Adam Jones (BAL)

9) Miguel Sano (MIN)

10) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

11) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

12) George Springer (HOU)

13) Josh Reddick (OAK)

14) Brett Gardner (NYY)

15) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

16) Christian Yelich (MIA)

Jason Heyward (CHC) and Dexter Fowler (CHC) rate as two of the top five values on the slate. We’d use at least one when building cash game rosters. Still, Mike Trout (LAA) is the top overall option, which shouldn’t be surprising against a subpar LHP. With so much focus on the Cubs, Trout could go underowned in tournaments. Likewise, people will avoid Bryce Harper (WAS) in a L/L matchup, but he made strides against them last season (.421 wOBA; more importantly a 0.94 EYE and 43.4 hard hit rate). David Peralta (ARI) continues to be in a value play position given the platoon edge (John Lackey has allowed a .327 wOBA to LHBs for his career) out of the cleanup spot in another high projected scoring home game. Along those same lines, Colby Rasmus (HOU) is simply underpriced out of the cleanup spot. He’ll face an average RHP in Nathan Eovaldi at Yankee Stadium, which is extremely favorable for LHBs. Rounding out our top 10, both Miguel Sano (MIN) and Mark Trumbo (BAL) offer significant power upside. In tournaments, some of our favorite options are Josh Reddick (OAK) and Delino DeShields (TEX).

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs (chalk stack, but on a short slate with inexpensive pitching they should be mini-stacked in cash)

Tier Two

2) Baltimore Orioles (home in friendly Camden Yards against Phil Hughes who allows a ton of power)

After Chicago and Baltimore separate themselves, the rest of the teams are muddled together. If playing in the FanDuel afternoon slate, our favorite options there are the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. Cleveland faces Joe Kelly who allowed a ton of hard hit contact last season, which led to some disaster starts and a nearly 5 ERA. The Yankees face a solid overall pitcher in Mike Fiers, but he’s so fly ball oriented that significant upside for all the Yankees LHBs at home exists. The White Sox are a contrarian stack as nothing obvious sticks out about the matchup, especially given the downgrade in park factor. However, opposing pitcher Kendall Graveman doesn’t miss bats nor does he compensate for that with great control, leaving his fate to be decided by the BABIP gods. Another sneaky stack we really like are the Washington Nationals. They’ll get pretty right handed with Michael Taylor (event type player) and Anthony Rendon (great splits against LHP) at the top of the order followed by Bryce Harper (noted improvements against LHP above).

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