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August 2 MLB DFS: Shoe-horning in Coors Field
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August 2 MLB DFS: Shoe-horning in Coors Field

00:50 Starting Pitchers
14:48 Catchers
16:14 First Base
19:43 Second Base
22:10 Shortstops
24:02 Third Base
25:49 Outfield
28:00 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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August 2 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1a) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

1b) Jose Fernandez (MIA)

Tier Two

3a) Jacob deGrom (NYM)

3b) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

Tier Three

5) David Price (BOS)

6) Yu Darvish (TEX)

7) Matt Shoemaker (LAA)

8) Gerrit Cole (PIT)

Tier Four

9) Adam Wainwright (STL)

10) Yordano Ventura (KC)

11) Zach Davies (MIL)

12) Lance McCullers (HOU)

13) Luis Perdomo (SD)

14) Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)

15) Jason Hammel (CHC)

Tuesday’s slate is filed with SP options across different price points making it a very fun slate to dissect in DFS and to play. At the very high end of the pricing spectrum, we have our top tier options: Madison Bumgarner (SF) and Jose Fernandez (MIA). Fernandez’s floor for strikeouts is nearly unparalleled as he’s struck out at least 20 percent of batters faced in every start and over 30 percent in 70 percent of starts. He’ll be tested in a difficult matchup with the Cubs who rank ninth in wRC+ against RHP, albeit with the league’s sixth highest strikeout rate. Madison Bumgarner, meanwhile, will face the Phillies who rank 30th in wRC+ against LHP with the ninth highest K Rate. If paying all the way up for starting pitching, Bumgarner has the lowest implied run total against (3.1) and is the biggest favorite on the slate at -206. He’s a relatively easy choice between the two elite options. Fernandez’s strikeout upside should be strongly considered in tournaments as this may be the lowest ownership we see on Fernandez all year.

It’s possible you won’t use either of the studs in cash games and that’s because we have a Coors Field slate coupled with a very deep slate for starting pitching. In Tier Two, Jacob deGrom (NYM) gets a Yankees’ offense that ranks 24th in wRC+ against RHP, loses their DH in an NL Park, and traded their best hitter (Beltran) at the deadline. They haven’t struck out much against RHP this season (19.3 percent), but the lineup they’ll likely run out projects as a bit more strikeout friendly. The negative for deGrom, and what keeps him out of the first tier, is the lineup should be very left-handed which does impact his K upside a bit. The Yankees have just a 3.1 implied run total which is tied for lowest on the slate. Carlos Carrasco (CLE) ranks similarly to deGrom despite a lower implied team total against (3.4 runs) thanks to a projected K Rate over 29 percent. The Twins are running out lineups that project as very friendly for strikeouts and the loss of Eduardo Nunez thins out an offense that ranks 19th in wRC+ and has the ninth highest K Rate against RHP. Carrasco and deGrom come with much cheaper price tags than the tier one options and while they don’t possess quite the same upside, they look like better per dollar spends on a slate with plenty of expensive hitting to target.

The third tier is also deep with skilled starters and largely in favorable matchups. David Price (BOS) faces a Mariners’ offense that ranks 12th in wRC+ with an average K Rate against LHP. It’s a huge park shift in Price’s favor that should help suppress run prevention and Price is a big favorite with Wade LeBlanc opposing him. The price point on David is similar to our second tier options, so he’s better in tournaments. Yu Darvish (TEX) has another matchup that is fit to attack in tournaments. The Orioles rank fourth in wRC+ but strike out at the eighth highest clip against RHP. A hefty implied run total against (4.4 runs) will keep ownership down and Darvish has struck out 33.1 percent of RHBs faced in his career. Most of the Orioles best hitters come from the right side. Matt Shoemaker (LAA) gets an Athletics’ offense that has the fourth lowest K Rate against RHP but ranks just 21st in wRC+ against RHP and just lost one of their best bats against RHP in Josh Reddick. The lineup is likely a little more K prone than the early season iterations and Shoemaker has allowed just four earned runs in his last 45 2/3 IP at home while posting a 61:2 K:BB Ratio in those six starts. Shoemaker is the cheapest of all the options in the first three tiers and that price tag makes him very compelling on both sites. Gerrit Cole (PIT) has been pitching better since returning from a DL stint and gets a rather pathetic Braves’ offense but it’s one that has gotten a lineup boost with Matt Kemp likely replacing Jeff Francoeur and they remain contact prone. Cole likely doesn’t possess enough K upside to earn consideration as a SP1 but as a second SP on DraftKings he’s a viable cash game target.

The SP list is so deep that ownership should spread out and all of the options in the first three tiers are viable in tournaments. Cole has the lowest upside of all the pitchers in the first three tiers if knocking someone out from tournament consideration. While it’s difficult to see some of the Tier Four options keeping pace with all the strong SP on this slate, Coors Field’s offensive environment brings enough upside to counter that in tournaments. We’re intrigued by the matchup for Luis Perdomo (SD), especially if Ryan Braun remains out. The Brewers’ offense projects as extremely strikeout prone and Perdomo can miss bats (9.5 swinging strike rate). He also gets a ton of ground balls (57.6 percent). Think of him as a higher upside version of Cosart who handled the Brewers well before getting pulled due to too many walks. At very cheap price tags, Perdomo is a viable tournament target to pair with Coors Field stacks.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

4) Wilson Ramos (WAS)

The catcher position is not short options. Victor Martinez (DET), Buster Posey (SF), Yasmani Grandal (LAD), and Wilson Ramos (WAS) all have favorable matchups in strong scoring environments. The question is whether you want to allocate resources to those top options on a slate with plenty of top tier starting pitching and Coors Field. On DraftKings, Posey is the strongest value as he’s underpriced at $4,000. On FanDuel, Martinez and Posey are fairly priced with Martinez earning a slight lean. Both sites have viable punt plays, should you choose to go that route with Jarrod Saltalamacchia (DET) an option on FanDuel and Derek Norris (SD) viable on DraftKings. With pretty good starters in the Coors game, our model leans towards paying for a good catcher to get a more balanced lineup and upside from more spots in your lineup.

First Base Rankings

1) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

2) Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

4) Victor Martinez (DET)

5) Carlos Santana (CLE)

6) Jose Abreu (CHW)

7) Chris Davis (BAL) – extremely cold of late

8) Joey Votto (CIN)

9) David Ortiz (BOS)

10) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

We’ve rearranged our first base rankings to accommodate our preferences at the position as our model results differ from personal preference. Miguel Cabrera (DET) is our top option and he’s priced as such on DraftKings but affordably priced on FanDuel at $3,600. James Shields‘ recent “success” has been heavily influenced by favorable luck on balls in play despite heavy hard hit rates allowed (14.3 percent, 47.6 percent, 34.8 percent, 26.9 percent, 20 percent, 38.1 percent, and 31.3 percent over his last seven starts). Vegas isn’t buying the resurrection for Shields as the Tigers have an implied run total of 5.3 runs. Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) has been bumped down in our model, but we view him as our second best option at first base. Jon Gray isn’t the easiest matchup but Coors Field is a huge park shift and Gonzalez has a great chance at five plate appearances with an implied team total approaching six runs for the Dodgers. He’s affordably priced on both sites and a fine way to get exposure to the Dodgers. If looking for cheap options, we’re comfortable with Victor Martinez (DET) and Jose Abreu (CHW). They’re both partaking in the game with the second highest total on the slate with two starting pitchers very vulnerable to home runs. Since the start of 2015, Anibal Sanchez has allowed a .380 wOBA and .235 ISO to RHBs while James Shields has allowed a .369 wOBA and .213 ISO to LHBs. Both players are priced around $3,500 on DraftKings and Abreu is below $3,000 on FanDuel.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

3) Ian Kinsler (DET)

4) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

5) Trea Turner (WAS) – where eligible

6) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

7) Chase Utley (LAD)

8) Jurickson Profar (TEX) – where eligible, if leadoff

9) Howie Kendrick (LAD) – if Top Five

10) Greg Garcia (STL)

Jose Altuve (HOU) remains our top ranked second basemen in a matchup against an average RHP in R.A. Dickey. Relative to the other second base options, Altuve remains underpriced on FanDuel but appropriately expensive on DraftKings. On FanDuel, you’re blessed with a great punt option in Greg Garcia (STL) who should lead off for the Cardinals who are getting a big park shift in Cincinnati and facing an average RHP backed by a horrid and RH heavy bullpen. Garcia is a great punt play for FanDuel cash games. On DraftKings, Garcia is pretty cheap but not priced as a punt. The pricing brings Trea Turner (WAS) and Howie Kendrick (LAD) into the mix as long as both earn strong lineup spots. All three are in great hitting environments and priced well below the average cost of a hitter. We like spending in that range on DraftKings, leaving more salary room for Coors Field exposure at other positions.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Corey Seager (LAD)

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Eduardo Nunez (SF)

4) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

5) Trea Turner (WAS) – where eligible

6) Tim Anderson (CHW)

7) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

8) Trevor Story (COL)

9) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

10) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

Corey Seager (LAD) is our top overall shortstop option with the huge park shift in his favor and the platoon advantage. Hitting second, he’s likely getting five plate appearances in Coors Field and is a very viable cash game spend. He’s priced appropriately, so on sites with strong discounted alternatives, there is a decision to be made. On DraftKings, Eduardo Nunez (SF) is a little discounted for a road matchup with Zach Eflin. Tim Anderson (CHW) is priced appropriately but a viable salary relief target on both sites. His value is helped by Anibal Sanchez‘s wide platoon splits against RHBs and the likely friendly matchup for running against Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Justin Turner (LAD)

3) Eduardo Nunez (SF) – where eligible

4) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

5) Manny Machado (BAL)

Nolan Arenado (COL) is the top option at third base and one of the top overall hitters on the slate. He’s priced appropriately on both sites, but the lack of depth for third base options makes him a compelling spend. Justin Turner (LAD) is similarly priced but grades out meaningfully below Arenado so if spending we’d rather target Arenado. On FanDuel, it’s possible we get a salary relief option if Jung Ho Kang (PIT) gets a good lineup spot against Mike Foltynewicz and a very weak Braves bullpen behind him. On DraftKings, the dual-eligibility of Greg Garcia (STL) and Eduardo Nunez (MIN) provide viable pivots from spending big at third base.

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

3) Mike Trout (LAA)

4) Bryce Harper (WAS) – extremely cold of late

5) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

6) George Springer (HOU)

7) Starling Marte (PIT)

8) Matt Holliday (STL)

9) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

10) Mookie Betts (BOS)

11) Ryan Braun (MIL)

12) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

13) Jose Bautista (TOR)

14) Jayson Werth (WAS)

15) Adam Eaton (CHW)

16) Ian Desmond (TEX)

17) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

18) Cameron Maybin (DET)

19) Denard Span (SF)

20) Christian Yelich (MIA)

Like first base, we’ve manually bumped some of the Coors Field outfield options ahead of Mike Trout (LAA) and Bryce Harper (WAS) in our model’s rankings. Charlie Blackmon (COL) and Carlos Gonzalez (COL) represent our primary spends if spending all the way up for an outfielder. They’re both very affordable on FanDuel, where the site has less compelling cheap values in the outfield. Jurickson Profar (TEX) and Jeremy Hazelbaker (STL) are viable cheap options to target but we’ll need friendly lineup spots to consider either in cash games. On DraftKings, there are far more cheap values to consider with David Dahl (COL) priced down at $3,000, Jose Bautista (TOR) at $3,200, and Trea Turner (WAS) getting OF eligibility and at $3,400 as well. The mid-tier is also flush with values from the Cardinals’ offense that is getting a big park shift for power.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Los Angeles Dodgers

2) Colorado Rockies

Tier Two

3) Detroit Tigers

4) Washington Nationals

5) Chicago White Sox

6) Texas Rangers

7) St. Louis Cardinals

Coors Field takes precedence in our stack rankings and this should largely come as no surprise. The ownership on Coors Field stacks as a whole may get subdued slightly due to the elite SP on this slate, but it’s unlikely individual studs will go under-owned because on both sites you can easily fit one, two, or three options depending on the SP you choose in cash games. As a result, while prioritizing some exposure in cash games, it makes sense to consider pivoting in tournaments to our tier two options or the contrarian targets below. The Cardinals or White Sox look like the “sneakier” of the tier two options. The Nationals are the ones we like most as a pivot from Coors Field for reasons we’ll tackle below.

Additional Stacks

– Washington Nationals – The Nationals were the stack that worked on Monday and that may influence ownership on Tuesday as they face a LHP. The Nationals rank sixth in wRC+ against LHP and with the huge park shift and the awful Diamondbacks’ bullpen (which might be worse than the Reds as currently constructed), the Nationals are one of the stronger pure pivots from spending at Coors Field.

-San Francisco Giants – The Giants get a nice park shift and face a weak opposing starter. With their offense getting healthier and adding more depth, they’re a stack that will likely fall way under the radar. Posey should attract healthy ownership due to his positional scarcity and perhaps Eduardo Nunez gets some attention, but we see very few players from the Giants as highly owned options on this slate.

MLB Daily Analysis

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