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August 11 MLB DFS: Hammer Cash with Thor
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August 11 MLB DFS: Hammer Cash with Thor

00:41 Starting Pitchers
05:06  Catchers
06:27 First Base
08:35 Second Base
10:13 Shortstops
11:30 Third Base
13:40 Outfield
17:14 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks




Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

Tier One

1) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

Tier Two

2) Jameson Taillon (PIT)

Tier Three  

3) Chris Tillman (BAL)

4) Jose Berrios (MIN)

5) Doug Fister (HOU)

Noah Syndergaard (NYM) is our top ranked pitcher, and on a slate where he’s the lone ace, he’s ranked well ahead of every other pitcher in this slate and represents a foundational piece in cash games. Syndergaard will benefit from a favorable matchup against a Diamondbacks offense that’s ranked 23rd in wRC+ and they’re striking out 23 percent of the time vs. RHP. The Diamondbacks struggle to get LHBs in their lineup (especially with David Peralta back on the DL), so their lineup will likely consist of at least six RHBs. Syndergaard has allowed a measly .258 wOBA and .118 ISO to RHBs while striking out a whooping 31 percent of those batters since 2015, so we expect him to be dominant today. Vegas agrees, pegging Syndergaard with the lowest implied run total in this slate (three runs) and he’s the largest favorite as well (-230).

On DraftKings, we’re looking to pair Syndergaard with Jameson Taillon (PIT). Taillon is the second largest favorite in this slate (-180) and he has the second lowest implied run total against (3.7 runs), trailing only Syndergaard. The starting pitcher position gets very muddy after Taillon, and while he doesn’t carry meaningful upside (he’s capped at six innings), he’s the safest complement to Syndergaard in this slate. Our third tier of pitchers, starting with Chris Tillman (BAL), draws some attention in tournaments but we’re not interested in any of those pitchers in cash games. Tillman has a matchup against an Oakland offense that’s below average vs. RHP in wRC+ and his implied team total against is below four runs, but keep in mind that this offense is only striking out 18.4 percent of the time vs. RHP. On sites where Tillman is a little cheaper than Taillon, he’s a natural pivot that will carry lower ownership in tournaments. Jose Berrios (MIN) carries some strike out upside (24.2 percent K rate in six starts at the major league level, but the SwStr rate is sitting at 9.3 percent; his K rate will likely sit in the low 20s moving forward), but you’ll have to take on risk on the run prevention side of things (his implied team total against is 4.7 runs).


1) Jonathan Lucroy (TEX)

2) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

3) Evan Gattis (HOU)

The catcher position is usually not very deep, and on a short slate the position becomes even thinner. Jonathan Lucroy (TEX) is our top catcher even if he doesn’t find himself in a top five lineup spot, but his cash game viability depends on whether he’s in a better lineup spot than sixth. Despite being cheaper on FanDuel, it’s easier to fit him on DraftKings where pricing is a bit looser. We’re more likely to use a cheaper value than Lucroy at the position in cash games, like Stephen Vogt (OAK) on DraftKings or a punt like Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) on FanDuel.

First Base Rankings

1) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Chris Carter (MIL)

4) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

5) David Freese (PIT) – if hitting second

Unlike the catcher position, first base is usually deep with high priced targets and/or mid-tier values that are worth pursuing in cash games. That’s not really the case today, as the position is more site dependent than usual. Our model loves Freddie Freeman (ATL) (coming off hitting two home runs last night and will face Matt Garza, who has allowed a .370 wOBA and .200 ISO to LHBs since 2015) on FanDuel where he’s just $3,400. On DraftKings, Freeman is fully priced, so our preferred route on that site is to rely on Chris Davis (BAL) (was ridiculously cold in our well-hit tool for a solid month, but his rating in our well-hit tool is starting to climb back to normal levels). Davis remains very cheap on DraftKings ($3,800) and will face an inexperienced pitcher (Andrew Triggs, who’s mostly been used in a bullpen role and this represents his second major league start of his career). If you’d rather avoid Davis, there’s also ChrIs Carter (MIL) who profiles similarly to Davis but has a favorable matchup for his power stroke (Roberto Hernandez allowed a 1.47 HR/9 to RHBs last season and he’s making his second start of the season this afternoon) and he’s in the better environment for hitting.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Neil Walker (NYM)

3) Rougned Odor (TEX)

4) Scooter Gennett (MIL)

5) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

Jose Altuve (HOU) remains the top ranked second baseman, but he’s priced appropriately around the industry and with our sights on Noah Syndergaard and Texas hitters, he’s not a priority for us in cash games. Scooter Gennett (MIL) is priced below $4,000 on DraftKings and he gives you access to a middle of the order bat for a team with an implied team total of nearly five runs. Gennett is our favorite value in cash games on DraftKings, but on FanDuel the position is trickier with Rougned Odor (TEX) just $100 more expensive than Gennett. We’d rather have more exposure to Texas bats, but if you need a cheaper option on that site there’s also DJ LeMahieu (COL) (The Rockies don’t usually have high totals on the road, but they have an implied team total of 5.1 runs as they get to hit in a very hot environment against a below average pitcher).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

3) Jonathan Villar (MIL) – where eligible

4) Orlando Arcia (MIL)

5) Jordy Mercer (PIT)

Carlos Correa (HOU), Manny Machado (BAL) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) carry high ceilings due to their individual skills and matchups today, but with other priorities in mind we’d rather forego their ceiling in cash games and focus on a cheaper value like Orlando Arcia (MIL). Arcia isn’t a skilled hitter but he’s shown a willingness to run in the minor leagues (15 SBs in the minors this season and 25 SBs last season) and he hits second for a Brewers offense that’s in a good spot against Roberto Hernandez today. Jordy Mercer (PIT) leads off when the Pirates face a LHP and he’s priced similarly to Arcia around the industry. He’s a fine pivot in cash games. Arcia’s teammate, Jonathan Villar, is our favorite tournament option at the position as his speed upside meets either A.J. Pierzynski or Anthony Recker (both catchers are below average in terms of controlling the running game, especially Pierzynski).

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

3) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

4) David Freese (PIT) – where eligible

5) Jake Lamb (ARI)

Adrian Beltre (TEX) is a free square on DraftKings, where his price is too low ($3,400). Chad Bettis has reverse splits (.352 wOBA, .190 ISO allowed to RHBs/.321 wOBA, .127 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015) and Beltre hits cleanup for our favorite offense in this slate (Rangers’ implied team total is approaching six runs in Texas, where temperatures are expected to reach the triple digits). Even on FanDuel where Beltre is priced more appropriately, he still represents a building block in cash games. Nolan Arenado (COL) is in the cash game conversation as well but with Beltre being so cheap, we’d rather have exposure to Arenado in tournaments.

Outfield Rankings

1) Ian Desmond (TEX)

2) Starling Marte (PIT)

3) Ryan Braun (MIL)

4) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

5) Shin-Soo Choo (TEX)

6) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

7) George Springer (HOU)

8) Jay Bruce (NYM)

9) Carlos Beltran (TEX)

10) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

Our Rangers theme continues in the outfield, as Ian Desmond, Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran (TEX) all rank inside our top 10 outfielders. Desmond is our top ranked outfielder (as well as our top value) and it’s easy to fit him in cash game formats, so he’s our top priority in the outfield. After Desmond, you can choose from the Pirates outfield of Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen (they keep letting us down in favorable spots but this offense profiles better vs. LHP since they have so many RHBs and Christian Friedrich isn’t a good pitcher), Ryan Braun (MIL) (+0.2 change in our well-hit tool over the last two weeks and Roberto Hernandez is more vulnerable to RH power) or dipping down to George Springer (HOU) on DraftKings ($3,900 is too cheap for Springer, who’s one of our favorite event players in baseball). David Dahl (COL) is just outside of our top 10 ranked outfielders and his price on DraftKings is egregious (just $2,900 on that site). Tighter pricing on FanDuel might force you to roster one or two sub $3,000 outfielders, and Ender Inciarte (ATL) (leads off for Atlanta and has a favorable matchup against Matt Garza) or minimum priced targets like Preston Tucker (HOU) or Max Muncy (OAK) (If they land in decent lineup spots) fit that mold on that site. Keon Broxton (MIL) is one of our favorite tournament options in the outfield (scorching hot in our well-hit tool with a 5.50 rating over the last two weeks and he carries some speed/power upside; a bad lineup spot will keep his ownership low).

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Texas Rangers

Tier Two

2) Colorado Rockies

3) Milwaukee Brewers

4) Pittsburg Pirates

5) Houston Astros

The Texas Rangers (implied team total is right around six runs) represents our top ranked offense in this slate and you can fit Noah Syndergaard while grabbing multiple pieces of this offense without much difficulty around the industry. The Rangers will be the chalk team of this slate, but our second tier is populated by offenses that can be used in cash games and tournaments. The Pirates have let us down all season long, but they draw another favorable matchup today (a below average southpaw). They couldn’t score a run vs. Edwin Jackson last night, so this is a good opportunity to use them in tournaments (they’ll likely be low owned).