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August 13 MLB DFS: dePlay is deGrom
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August 13 MLB DFS: dePlay is deGrom

00:41 Starting Pitchers
08:21  Catchers
09:43 First Base
11:49 Second Base
14:05 Shortstops
15:30 Third Base
17:35 Outfield
21:48 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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August 13 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jacob deGrom (NYM)

2) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

Tier Two

3) Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA)

4) Tyler Anderson (COL)

5) Matt Shoemaker (LAA)

6) Reynaldo Lopez (WAS)

7) Adam Conley (MIA)

8) Cole Hamels (TEX)

9) Dan Straily (CIN)

10) Zach Davies (MIL)

11) Jerad Eickhoff (PHI)

There’s a huge gap between our tier one starting pitchers and our second tier, which is comprised of nine starting pitcher all rated pretty closely together. Both the floor and upside of the tier two starting pitchers is a bit shaky, so we’d like to anchor cash game lineups with one of Jacob deGrom (NYM) or Madison Bumgarner (SF). Our preference is for deGrom, who we have rated ever so slightly higher (at -220 the win probability is better or else they rate basically equal in our model), but the choice is very close. deGrom labored through the first month and a half or so and then something clicked. Since May 21st when his ERA peaked, deGrom has struck out 97 batters in 90.1 IP while posting a 2.29 ERA. As the largest favorite with the lowest implied run total against and our highest projected K rate, deGrom is a core part of our cash game plans.

The second tier of pitchers is really uninspiring, making it tough to stray from deGrom/Bumgarner in cash games on FanDuel. The only other feasible option is Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA), but the upside there is pretty low. Iwakuma is a relatively safe second starting pitcher option on DraftKings, but it might make sense to simply save money since no one in that spot really inspires a lot of confidence. Reynaldo Lopez (WAS) is at a pure punt price. Lopez has been super wild in his two MLB starts, but that’s not characteristic of his Minor League career. Facing a subpar Atlanta offense he’s definitely cash viable.

In general, whenever we get a crowded tier of starting pitcher options, line movement and actual lineups may have a heavy influence on our preferences so make sure to pay attention to alerts. In tournaments, options include Tyler Anderson (COL) (a little overpriced but has pitched great and now outside of Coors in a plus matchup) and Matt Shoemaker (LAA) (recent starts and high run total keep him outside of cash consideration but price tag and K rate after developing his splitter give him enough upside to be used in tournaments).

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Jonathan Lucroy (TEX)

4) Wilson Ramos (WAS)

5) Cameron Rupp (PHI)

Catcher is a rotten position on Saturday night. You can definitely get away with filling in this position last and hoping to find a break-even option that fits into your price range. Buster Posey (SF) isn’t in a great spot overall but is a touch underpriced for his overall offensive skillset. Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) remains punt worth on FanDuel.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Joey Votto (CIN)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

4) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

5) Hanley Ramirez (BOS)

It’s a smart idea at first base to simply grab exposure to the team with by far the highest team total in the Boston Red Sox (5.7). Ideally you could pay all the way up to David Ortiz (BOS) who has the platoon edge on Archie Bradley (.359 wOBA and .170 ISO allowed to LHBs for his career), but saving money on Hanley Ramirez (BOS), especially if given a top four lineup spot, is a bit easier on overall roster construction. As usual first base is rather deep, providing plenty of upside options who will come at lower ownerships in tournaments, particularly the other top five ranked options and the powerful Chris Carter (MIL).

Second Base Rankings

1) Dee Gordon (MIA)

2) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

5) Brian Dozier (MIN)

At second base our model loves Dee Gordon (MIA) due to a combination of his individual speed upside and how terrible James Shields has been (ERA/FIP/xFIP all over 5). He’s cash viable around the industry, but we have the slightest bit of hesitation that the micro skills matchup isn’t great. If you don’t pay up here, you can go either the mid-tier route with Scooter Gennett (MIL) (home matchup against Dan Straily who despite pitching better recently has a 5.01 xFIP) or go the cap relief route with Cesar Hernandez (PHI) (simply cheap for a leadoff hitter).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

2) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Orlando Arcia (MIL)

5) Alcides Escobar (KC)

Xander Bogaerts (BOS) has become affordable and with shortstop a bit scarcer than usual (no Correa or Seager, Machado facing Bumgarner) he’s a safe mid to mid-high priced option. Bogaerts simultaneously gives you access to the highest expected scoring offense and a hot bat (+0.4 delta in our well-hit tool). With the position scarce, you could just save money with Orlando Arcia (MIL). The speedster has held his own in terms of plate discipline early on and will hit second for a Brewers team with a modest team total (4.4).

Third Base Rankings

1) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

3) Miguel Sano (MIN) (where eligible)

4) Jake Lamb (ARI)

5) Maikel Franco (PHI)

There’s quite the drop off after our top five ranked third basemen, so we’d really like to stick in this tier in cash games. Similar to last night, the Rangers have a high team total (5.4), trailing only the Red Sox. With the platoon edge, Adrian Beltre (TEX) is then a reasonable spend. Across the industry, Maikel Franco (PHI) pop as a value as someone who is underpriced given his power potential and holding the platoon edge. Tyler Anderson has been pitching so well, however, we’d probably make the easy pivot up to someone like Jake Lamb (ARI) on FanDuel who doesn’t cost that much more. Clay Buchholz has been an unmitigated disaster as a starter this season.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Mookie Betts (BOS)

3) Ryan Braun (MIL)

4) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

5) Ian Desmond (TEX)

6) Billy Hamilton (CIN)

7) Christian Yelich (MIA)

8) Carlos Beltran (TEX)

9) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

10) Miguel Sano (MIN)

11) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

12) Jackie Bradley (BOS)

13) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

14) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

15) Aaron Altherr (PHI)

Outfield strategy varies a little bit different by site. In general, it’s tough to pay all the way up for Trout/Betts. On DraftKings in cash games you’re more looking at the next level of studs, specifically Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) (elite power upside given James Shields‘ low 41.3 GB rate and high 19.4 hard minus soft hit rate) and Ian Desmond (TEX) (also comes with big time power upside as Matt Boyd is extremely homer prone and now pitching in Texas in hot weather). On the stricter pricing FanDuel, you’re likely sticking with options below $3,500. So, rather than taking the options rounding out the top five outfielders like on DK, you’ll look the way of guys just outside the top 5, most notably Billy Hamilton (CIN) (egregiously underpriced given that he’s running like crazy and should get opportunities in a favorable road matchup) and Christian Yelich (MIA) (Shields has allowed a .370 wOBA and .215 ISO to LHBs since 2015). One common thread on both sites is the cap relief option and for that we’re looking to Aaron Altherr (PHI). Despite our respect for Tyler Anderson, this is one spot where it makes sense to pay up for him, primarily because Altherr is so affordable (especially on DraftKings, Yasmany Tomas (ARI) is in play on FanDuel for a similar price). Altherr is a mini-event player, racking up eight steals and nine homers in his first 227 plate appearances, including three homers and steals each in 13 games this season. You can look to our cheat sheets for site-specific complementary options. In tournaments, cheapies Kirk Nieuwenhus (MIL) and Andrew Benintendi (BOS) are among our favorite options across the industry.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Boston Red Sox

2) Texas Rangers

Tier Two

3) Miami Marlins

4) Washington Nationals

5) Los Angeles Angels

In cash games, our focus is on the top three stacks and yet again a sizeable gap separates the tier one and tier two options. Tonight even moreso than last night we expect tournament stacks/ownership to flood the way of the tier one stacks, making most of the tier two stacks similarly low owned.

Contrarian Tournament Stacks

-Minnesota Twins (underrated power as a team, majority of team with a positive well-hit delta, Dillon Gee is homer prone)

-Cleveland Indians (may get overlooked due to Matt Shoemaker‘s strong overall season, but this is a top five offense against RHP that has a high team total; Shoemaker has really trailed off recently, posting an xFIP over 5 in an astounding six of seven starts)