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August 27 MLB DFS: Rarefied Cabrera
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August 27 MLB DFS: Rarefied Cabrera

01:08 Starting Pitchers
07:58 Catchers
09:53 First Base
12:04 Second Base
14:03 Shortstops
17:04 Third Base
19:10 Outfield
24:36 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks




Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

Tier Two

2) David Price (BOS)

3) Dallas Keuchel (HOU)

Tier Three

4) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

5) Jameson Taillon (PIT)

6) Jose Quintana (CHW)

7) Michael Fulmer (DET)

Tier Four

8) Danny Duffy (KC)

9) Mike Leake (STL)

Tier Five

10) Jake Peavy (SF)

11) Blake Snell (TB)

Noah Syndergaard (NYM) is in a tier of his own, and there’s a huge gap between him and the rest of the pitchers on this slate. We’re mostly past the health concern with Syndergaard as he’s had a sub-3 xFIP in five of seven starts, with a max of 3.69 over that span. The batted ball data has been phenomenal in three straight starts. Just look at these hard minus soft hit rates: -29.4, -11.1, and -16.7. He’s also struck out at least 24 percent of batters faced in 10 consecutive starts. Given the recent form and Vegas lines (largest favorite, 2.8 IRTA is by far the lowest), Syndergaard is a cash game building block.

On DraftKings in particular it makes sense to build around Syndergaard. The second starting pitcher spot is a bit tougher to decipher. Dallas Keuchel (HOU) is a large favorite (-180) against a Rays team that strikes out a ton (26 percent of the time against LHP). The velocity hasn’t been particularly good recently, but he’s still put together three straight starts with strong peripherals. Mike Leake (STL) is a Vegas play if you want to save a bit more money at the second starting pitcher spot. He’s a large favorite (-240) with a low IRTA (3.5).

Jameson Taillon (PIT) is interesting in tournaments on DraftKings and cash viable on FanDuel if you choose to go the value route at starting pitcher. He’s priced much more favorably on FanDuel, which has stricter pricing overall. Taillon has pitched really well as a rookie, showing a strong combination of a 6.00 K/BB ratio and 54.9 GB rate. He does allow some hard hit contact, which is a small concern given a negative park shift, but the Brewers provide a ton of upside for opposing starting pitchers (26th in wRC+, very high 25.4 K percentage).

Some additional tournament options include David Price (BOS) (Royals dead last in wRC+ last 30 days) and Blake Snell (TB) (we’re more focused on K rate upside in this format than we are worried about run prevention).

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Evan Gattis (HOU)

4) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

5) Welington Castillo (ARI)

Catcher lacks the upside it did last night, leaving you to take decent values at below the average cost of a roster spot (ideally). Stephen Vogt (OAK) is the best option to do this with (hits third, Mike Leake struggles with LHBs), but Buster Posey (SF) is also underpriced on DraftKings. If you want a bit more upside (reasonable at a position that lacks it), look the way of Evan Gattis (HOU) as your Vogt alternative on FanDuel (Snell is wild and fly ball risky). It’s also viable to full punt tonight, simply using the cheapest possible starting catcher.

First Base Rankings

1) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

2) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

3) Brandon Belt (SF)

4) Joey Votto (CIN)

5a) Brandon Moss (STL) (where eligible)

5b) Carlos Santana (CLE)

If paying up at first base, Miguel Cabrera (DET) is our preferred option. He’s scorching hot (+0.7 delta in our well-hit tool), and more importantly will hold the platoon edge against Brett Oberholtzer, a LHP who is very bad. Oberholtzer has a 5.79 FIP as a reliever this year, and for his career has allowed a .329 wOBA and .159 ISO to RHBs (16.1 hard minus soft hit rate). The Tigers have the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.4. There are alternatives if you need to save some money. Brandon Belt (SF) should be able to take advantage of Mike Foltynewicz‘s huge splits (.386 wOBA, .254 ISO allowed to LHBs). Mike Napoli/Carlos Santana (CLE) have nice home run upside given the park shift and AJ Griffin’s fly ball tendencies (plus the poor bullpen behind him). Brandon Moss (STL) has a 5.20 well-hit rating over the last two weeks, giving him big time power upside against Zach Neal (ZiPS project 1.62 HR/9 allowed).

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Ian Kinsler (DET)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) Matt Carpenter (STL) (where eligible)

5) Jean Segura (ARI)

On FanDuel, really all four of the top ranked options are in play as there isn’t much opportunity cost in terms of mid or mid-low prices values. Over on DraftKings, pricing helps us to whittle it down a bit further as both Ian Kinsler (DET) (.352 wOBA, .170 ISO against LHP since 2014) and Jason Kipnis (CLE) (really nice way to get access to the Cleveland offense, which has a run total of 5) are underpriced. Josh Harrison (PIT) is one of the better mid-tier values on FanDuel, where stricter pricing may force you to look outside the top five ranked players at the position.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

3) Brandon Crawford (SF)

4) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

5) Tim Anderson (CHW)

While you’ve got plenty of upside and decent price tags on the top three options here, roster construction looks like it’ll force you to save some money at this position. On DraftKings, the Mets options of Jose Reyes/Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) are very cheap. Jeremy Hellickson is having a solid year and very nice second half, but you can still pick on him with the correct LHBs. On FanDuel, Tim Anderson (CHW) is too cheap given his plus home park, stolen base upside, and holding the platoon edge against Ariel Miranda, who in a very limited sample has had a tough time with RHBs (5.41 xFIP, 23.9 hard minus soft hit rate).

Third Base Rankings

1) Jake Lamb (ARI)

2) Matt Carpenter (STL)

3) Todd Frazier (CHW)

4) Jose Ramirez (CLE)

5) Alex Bregman (HOU)

Jake Lamb (ARI) (DeSclafani has allowed a .354 wOBA and .190 ISO to LHBs, bullpen is horrific) and Jose Ramirez (CLE) (large positive park shift, Cleveland has second highest team total) are the best industry wide options. Todd Frazier (CHW) is a great play for tournaments, and we’d consider him cash viable if back in the cleanup spot as he was Thursday against a LHP. If you need to save a little money, Alex Bregman (HOU) (hitting ball very well recently) and Jose Reyes (NYM) are options where cheaper.

Outfield Rankings

1) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

2) Mike Trout (LAA)

3) Starling Marte (PIT)

4) Mookie Betts (BOS)

5) George Springer (HOU)

6) JD Martinez (DET)

7) Brandon Moss (STL) (where eligible)

8) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

9) AJ Pollock (ARI)

10) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

11) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

12) Billy Hamilton (CIN)

13) Ryan Braun (MIL)

14) Marcell Ozuna (MIA)

15) Justin Upton (DET)

The outfield position is somewhat tough to attack on this slate. On DraftKings some extremely cheap pricing on some guys means the most value is going to come at mid to mid-low priced guys. AJ Pollock (ARI) remains incredibly underpriced coming off injury, although it is a R/R matchup tonight. The Rangers don’t have a good matchup against Carlos Carrasco, but he’s been more volatile this season and the game is in Texas. With the Rangers still boasting a 4.5 implied run total, Nomar Mazara/Carlos Beltran (TEX) are flat out too cheap. Others in this salary range include Kole Calhoun (LAA) (cheap but Michael Fulmer has flashed really good stuff at times so not someone we’re keen about picking on) and Josh Bell (PIT) (really good value if he hits second again as Jimmy Nelson struggles mightily with LHBs). Ideally, you could “pay up” to the mid-tier in one outfield spot, and if doing so power is our target. The best choice is a red hot Justin Upton (DET) (5.40 well-hit rating last two weeks and homered again last night), but Jay Bruce (NYM) is a cheaper fallback. On FanDuel, the mid to mid-high priced guys look a little better, especially since you don’t have a slew of extremely cheap guys in good lineup spots/parks like you do on DraftKings. That opens up mid-high guys like Gregory Polanco (PIT) (Jimmy Nelson has allowed a .359 wOBA and .187 ISO against LHBs), Nelson Cruz (SEA) (faces a LHP, albeit a solid one, in a park that’s great for RH power), Billy Hamilton (CIN) (always possesses great speed upside and will be on the road against a subpar RHP), and Marcell Ozuna (MIA) (big power gains this season and has obliterated LHP). You may still need cap relief in a spot or two over there, and the best way to get it is via Denard Span (SF) (although still priced in the mid-tier) or ideally dropping down to Matt Joyce (PIT), who would be a great value if in the lineup.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Detroit Tigers

Tier Two

2) Cleveland Indians

3) St. Louis Cardinals

Our stack rankings align with Vegas tonight as the Tigers have the highest total (5.4), followed by Cleveland and the Cardinals at 5.0. We’d really try to get a couple of Tigers in your lineup if possible. This is something that’s easier to accomplish on DraftKings given increased roster flexibility. You should be able, though, to come close to having half your hitters come from DET-CLE. We prefer Cardinals exposure in tournaments as individual values don’t rate as strongly in our model, but the team upside should be there at lower ownership levels.

Additional Tournament Stacks

-Miami Marlins (Clayton Richard historically has allowed a lot of power to RHBs despite a high overall GB rate, and this year he has struggled mightily with his control, which can be a big problem since he doesn’t miss many bats)

-Houston Astros (often on this list since they are a high event team, and this is a matchup where the upside is heightened – as good as Blake Snell is, he walks batters and gives up fly balls)

-Cheap Stacks to Complement Top SPs (on a slate where it’s tough to get in the pitching we like along with the fuller stacks of our top stacks, you can look to any team in a decent spot that works with the expensive starting pitching; on DraftKings, the Texas Rangers are a really good option for this and on FanDuel, the Giants LHBs fit)