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August 1 MLB DFS: The More You Cano
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Welcome to August 1 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for August 1 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. Make sure you’re using our customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!

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August 1 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
12:00 Catcher
14:57 First Base
17:40 Second Base
20:05 Third Base
23:49 Shortstop
26:23 Outfield
30:04 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
  • In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.

August 1 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

 Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

Max Scherzer (WAS) and Chris Sale (BOS) headline a deep starting pitching pool for Tuesday’s full slate. Sale draws a difficult matchup against an above average Cleveland offense that ranks sixth in wRC+ against LHP with the league’s lowest K Rate (an absurd 16.6 percent). With zero discount on Sale, Scherzer emerges as the clear cut spend should you choose to do so. Scherzer gets a park upgrade and faces a Marlins’ offense lacking LH power that typically maxes out at four LHBs. Scherzer’s dominance against RHBs (.197 wOBA, .120 ISO, 40.7 K Rate against RHB since 2016) gives him a substantial advantage over the Marlins’ key offensive players. The biggest knock on Scherzer is the presence of viable mid-tier alternatives on a slate loaded with hitting. Our optimal lineups prefer building through Scherzer on FanDuel where the price gap is a bit tighter and then building through the mid tier on DraftKings.

Jon Lester (CHC), Jose Berrios (MIN), and Jimmy Nelson (MIL) are the next tier of starters and the primary mid-tier options to consider as alternatives from Scherzer. Lester has a tricky matchup with the Diamondbacks who have three elite LH mashers in Pollock, Goldschmidt, and JD Martinez but are extremely thin after those three. The Diamondbacks do rank dead last in wRC+ against LHP this season but they’ve played most of the season without Pollock and Martinez. The price tag on Lester is such on DraftKings ($9,500) that you feel compelled to drop all the way down to Berrios and Nelson if getting off Scherzer and just loading up on offense. On FanDuel, Lester is priced a bit closer to the Nelson-Berrios group which makes him a more palatable pivot off Scherzer as the heaviest favorite of the group with the most expected innings. Berrios and Nelson draw favorable matchups against RH heavy lineups for their wide platoon splits. The Padres rank 25th in wRC+ against RHP this season with a K Rate over 25 percent that leads the league. Berrios is getting a big park shift and league shift that makes him a high upside target with a nice price tag on DraftKings ($7,700). Nelson faces a tougher matchup in Milwaukee against the Cardinals but the last two matchups against RHP they ran out just two LHBs. Nelson has held RHBs to a .299 wOBA, .115 ISO,  while generating a 55.7 GB Rate and 22.4 K Rate. Nelson is the cheapest of the bunch on FanDuel which makes him a strong GPP target and another viable pivot from Scherzer. On DraftKings, he’s got a great price tag at just $7,800 that leaves plenty of room for elite offense if paired with Berrios.

The secondary cash game targets on this slate who project as really solid tournament targets as well include: Jeff Samardzija (SF), Mike Fiers (HOU), and Carlos Martinez (STL). Samardzija gets the league shift downgrade and every park is a downgrade but the A’s strike out and it’s still a plus pitching environment. Fiers and Martinez get similar matchups with powerful and dangerous offenses that are vulnerable to strikeouts. You could reasonably add Sean Manaea (OAK) into this group against a Giants’ offense that doesn’t project for many strikeouts but also isn’t very intimidating. On FanDuel, Marcus Stroman (TOR) also enters the conversation with a softer price tag ($8,500) as a huge favorite (-230). Stroman has the potential to work deep into games against a weak White Sox offense and is the biggest favorite on the slate.

If expanding the list of potential GPP SP2 options on DraftKings, Braves prospect Lucas Sims (ATL) has big strikeout potential (28 percent K Rate in AAA this year) for just $4,600. It’s a terrible matchup with the Dodgers but it’s a price tag that simply doesn’t require much. Ricky Nolasco (LAA) and Ian Kennedy (KC) also fit this mold but are available on both sites and very cheap on FanDuel as well. If you’re looking to get lots of exposure to Coors Field, you’ll need to dip all the way down to these options in tournaments.

Catcher

Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the top projected scorer at the catcher position. We love his context (at Yankee Stadium facing Anibal Sanchez, who’s allowed a 1.96 HR/9 this season), but the full price tag on DK makes him a better target in tournaments. The $3,600 price tag on FD is a bit better and puts him squarely in the cash game conversation.

Russell Martin (TOR) is the best drop down alternative at the position. Martin’s skills are better vs. LHP, and while he doesn’t have the platoon edge tonight, he’ll face one of the worst pitchers in this slate (Mike Pelfrey followed by likely the worst bullpen in the league). Martin also hits second, which you rarely see for a catcher.

Outside of our top two plays, there’s not much in the way of cash game alternatives. Jonathan Lucroy (COL) is the exception on DK where he’s cheap ($2,900). We don’t expect Lucroy to hit in a good lineup spot and he’s been dreadful this season, but he gives you cheap access to the highest IRT in the slate. Maybe Yasmani Grandal (LAD) at $2,900 on FD if he gets a better lineup spot than sixth. We like him in tournaments regardless of the lineup spot, though (in ATL facing a rookie SP who’s making his first start). Willson Contreras (CHC) is another excellent target in tournaments. He’ll have the platoon edge and hit fourth.

First Base

There isn’t a first baseman in this slate that projects as a cash game lock, but there are plenty of good choices. Cody Bellinger (LAD) gets the conversation started as the top projected scorer, and the price tags are appealing ($4,700 on DK and $3,800 on FD). He’ll be in a perfect park for his pull tendencies (ATL has been one of the better hitting environments for LHBs this season). Chris Davis (BAL) will have the platoon edge against a pitcher that struggles to keep the ball in the park (Ian Kennedy). He comes with good price tags on both sites as well. Kendrys Morales (TOR) comes with a reduced price tag on FD where he’s just $2,800. He’ll have a matchup against Mike Pelfrey, who’s allowed a .378 wOBA, .166 ISO to LHBs with a 12.3% K rate since 2015. Matt Holliday (NYY) has been ice cold lately but as long as he stays in that cleanup spot he’ll project well vs. Anibal Sanchez in Yankee Stadium. Holliday is just $3,500 on DK, where he carries 1b eligibility. Eric Thames (MIL) will have the platoon edge in Milwaukee and he’s just $4,000 on DK.

You can dip into the names above in tournaments, but Freddie Freeman (ATL) (HHR is down over the L15 but he’s at home facing Kenta Maeda, who struggles with the long ball), Miguel Cabrera (DET) (very cold lately but he’s still free on DK) and Justin Smoak (TOR) (he’s the opposite of a struggling hitter but comes with an appropriate price tag) can be included as well.

Second Base

Robinson Cano (SEA) has those price tags that screams cash game lock on both sites as he’s just $3,700 on DK and $3,100 on FD. He’s in Texas (huge park shift) hitting third vs. Nick Martinez, who’s K rate is below 13% this season. Martinez has allowed a .353 wOBA and 1.3 HR/9 to LHBs in his career (since 2014).

The best alternative at the position is DJ LeMahieu (COL), but he comes with an appropriate price tag on both sites. We prefer LeMahieu in tournaments.

Logan Forsythe (LAD) is $2,900 on DK, where he’s an acceptable punt option. Forsythe won’t have the platoon edge, but he’ll be hitting fifth or sixth in a deep Dodgers offense that’s in a great hitting environment. Ben Zobrist (CHC) is another name to consider on that site since he’s just $3,500. We prefer getting up to Cano for just $200 more.

If Rougned Odor (TEX) hits third once again, he’ll emerge as a strong value on both sites. We have him hitting sixth in our projections though, so he projects as a secondary play. We like Neil Walker (NYM) in tournaments given his context, but his price tag is appropriate on both sites. The same thing goes for Jonathan Schoop (BAL).

Third Base

Nolan Arenado (COL) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. He comes into this awesome context with a slightly higher HHR over the L15 (27.8%). Arenado has a matchup against Steven Matz in Coors Field, and while Matz has name value, he has a 5.51 ERA/4.94 FIP and a 16.3% K rate this season. He’s coming off a disaster start against the lowly Padres (allowed six ER and failed to get out of the third inning). Arenado is in play across all formats.

The price tag on Arenado is elevated for obvious reasons, which might have you looking elsewhere in cash games. Josh Donaldson (TOR) is the most direct alternative. Donaldson homered again last night, and that gives him a couple of HRs in his last few games. If you believe Donaldson is back even a little bit, then the $3,900 price tag on DK is severely discounted. $3,800 on FD feels more appropriate, but he’s still the best value after Arenado on that site.

Kris Bryant (CHC), Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Manny Machado (BAL) have affordable price tags on DK though they’re more expensive than Donaldson. Freeman and Machado are a couple hundred dollars cheaper than Donaldson on FD, where they’re squarely in play in cash games. If you’re looking for an even cheaper target on FD to take on the Scherzer route in cash games, Nicholas Castellanos (DET) fits the bill at $2,700. Castellano has posted a career high 46.9% HHR this season and he’s in Yankee Stadium tonight.

Justin Turner (LAD) and Kyle Seager (SEA) are secondary targets that you can include in the tournament conversation.

Shortstop

Trevor Story (COL) is the top projected scorer at the shortstop position, and he usually hits no better than sixth. That projection says a whole lot about Story’s context, as he’ll have the platoon edge in Coors Field vs. a struggling pitcher and he’s part of an offense that has an IRT of 6.8 runs. Story is still striking out a bunch, but the HHR is up to 50% over the L15. He’s viable across all formats.

The price tags on Story feel appropriate on both sites, which brings Corey Seager (LAD) into the cash game conversation on FD where he’s somehow $200 cheaper than Story. Seager will have the platoon edge in Atlanta, and he’s been incredible vs. RHP (.395 wOBA and .221 ISO vs. RHP since 2015).

Jean Segura (SEA) is certainly not as good of a hitter as Seager, but he’s $3,900 on DK and $3,100 on FD. It’s a viable step down should you need some salary relief at the position while still holding decent upside (Segura can run and he’s in Texas).

If you’re thinking about punting the position, Eric Sogard (MIL) gives you a little bit of a floor given the strong plate discipline skills he’s flashed this season and he’s just $2,900 on DK. Maybe Javier Baez (CHC) can be considered on DK where he’s $3,100 with the platoon edge but he’ll need a better lineup spot than seventh.

Outfield

Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) is the top projected scorer in the OF and second overall regardless of position in this slate. Cespedes is in Coors and he’ll face Jeff Hoffman, who’s on a sharp decline (two straight disaster starts, and he’s now posted an xFIP above 5.50 in five consecutive starts). Cespedes has generated a .241 ISO vs. RHP since 2015, and that power stroke in Coors Field comes at a discount on DK ($4,300). He’s also a strong value on FD ($4,200) though it’s certainly not as discounted. Jose Bautista (TOR) projects well once again on both sites given the light price tags. Bautista is priced around the average cost of a hitter on both sites, and he’ll leadoff vs. Mike Pelfrey in Chicago.

After Cespedes and Bautista, the conversation turns to site specific targets. Michael Conforto (NYM) will cost you a bit more than Cespedes, but he’s the leadoff road hitter in Coors with the platoon edge. $5,200 on DK might be a price tag you can squeeze in from a cash game perspective. Teammate Jay Bruce (NYM) is $100 cheaper than Cespedes on FD, where he’s a viable alternative. Bruce will have the platoon edge, and he comes with plenty of power upside as well (.260 ISO vs. RHP since 2015). Nelson Cruz (SEA) is in Texas and he’s just $4,000 on DK. Matt Holliday (NYY) has been awful lately but he’s just $2,500 on FD. Even if he’s not hitting cleanup he’ll project well at that price tag given the context. Adam Jones (BAL) is $3,400 on DK and while he won’t have the platoon edge, he’ll leadoff vs. Ian Kennedy (.187 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015 – this is a steep negative park shift for Kennedy). Max Kepler (MIN) has been hitting second lately and he has cheap price tags on both sites. The context isn’t as favorable for him given the difficult hitting environment (Petco), but he’s someone you can consider as a cheap OF3 if taking the Scherzer route.

Aaron Judge (NYY) is now sub $5,000 on DK. Judge’s insane production has taken a step back post ASB, but his HHR looks fine (33.3% over the L15) and Anibal Sanchez is a perfect matchup (has allowed a wOBA over .367 to RHBs in three consecutive seasons and his main struggle is keeping the ball in the park). Judge is viable across all formats on DK and he’s a strong tournament target on FD.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

2) New York Mets

A matchup between two struggling pitchers in Coors Field generates the highest total on the slate and by a relatively wide margin. Steven Matz has allowed hard hit rates of 36.8, 60, 27.8, and 53.9 percent over his last four starts. Jeff Hoffman has been a bit better of late in terms of hard contact allowed but still hasn’t allowed fewer than four earned runs in a start since the beginning of July. We’d love to emphasize exposure to these offenses in tournaments on a slate that high-end pitching options figure to keep ownership on the hefty price tags in check.

Tier Two

3) Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are your best contrarian expensive pivot against a rookie starter with good stuff but a low GB Rate in the minors (~35 percent). The status of a “pitching prospect” with good stuff might be enough to keep ownership in check but it’s a nice park upgrade, nine guaranteed innings, and a bad bullpen.

Tier Three

4) Toronto Blue Jays

5) New York Yankees

6) Texas Rangers

7) Seattle Mariners

8) Baltimore Orioles

9) Chicago Cubs

The third tier is actually where we figure to see more pivots from Coors Field in terms of ownership. Mike Pelfrey is always a popular stack target and the guaranteed nine innings plus the porous bullpen for the White Sox should keep ownership in the double digits. Given Pelfrey’s strong performance against RHBs this season (.285 wOBA, 25 percent hard hit rate, 59 percent GB Rate allowed), we’d rather pick on one-offs for the Blue Jays lefties rather than stack against Pelfrey. The Yankees RH power bats are really intriguing against Anibal Sanchez (.393 wOBA, 2.95 HR/9, 45 percent hard hit rate allowed to RHBs this season). The Tigers bullpen is also one of the weakest in all of baseball after losing Justin Wilson. The only knock on the Yankees is they only get eight guaranteed innings and some of their power has been slumping of late. Seattle and Texas should represent popular pivots from Coors Field with two below average starters on the mound. The price tags on Seattle bats are way down on both sites which should leave them as one of the most popular stacks on the slate. It’s not without reason, although the forecast is “cooler” in Texas (mid-80s). This is one of those slates where the best stacks when accounting for ownership may actually reside in our first two tiers.

 

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