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August 5 MLB DFS: Stanton Room Only
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August 5 MLB DFS: Stanton Room Only

00:40 Starting Pitchers
11:04 Catchers
13:29 First Base
16:50 Second Base
20:21 Shortstops
23:46 Third Base
28:08 Outfield
36:10 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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August 5 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

2) Justin Verlander (DET)

3) Jon Lester (CHC)

Tier Two

4) Jameson Taillon (PIT)

5) Blake Snell (TB)

6) Michael Pineda (NYY)

Tier Three

7) Jaime Garcia (STL)

8) Scott Kazmir (LAD)

9) Jeremy Hellickson (PHI)

10) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

11) Dallas Keuchel (HOU)

12) Ervin Santana (MIN)

13) Steven Wright (BOS)

14) Christian Friedrich (SD)

Noah Syndergaard (NYM) headlines our top tier of starters, albeit with a deflated score from what we usually see. Syndergaard has to deal with a negative league shift and park shift but gets the benefit of facing a Tigers’ offense that is almost entirely right-handed and lacks any semblance of speed. Syndergaard is vulnerable to base-stealers and he’s dominated RHBs (.258 wOBA, .118 ISO, 31.1 K Rate since 2015). The Tigers do pose a serious threat as they rank fifth in wRC+ against RHP but Syndergaard’s skills against RHP should help facilitate a strong strikeout rate. On a slate with a lot of pitching depth and two very weak starters in Coors Field, it’s difficult to justify Syndergaard in cash games. He’s a strong tournament target. Syndergaard’s counterpart, Justin Verlander (DET), ranks right behind Syndergaard in our model and could easily surpass him with a favorable lineup. Verlander finished off a vintage July (1.69 ERA, 2.24 FIP, and 28.4 K Rate) and did that largely against pretty good offenses (HOU, @BOS, MIN, KC, @TOR, TB). The Mets are an intriguing matchup for Verlander as their offense lacks RH power and Verlander has held LHBs to a .271 wOBA, and .138 ISO since 2015. This season he’s struck out 28.9 percent of LHBs and held them to a 21.1 hard hit rate. The knock on Verlander, like Syndergaard, is price tag. On DraftKings, he’s priced at Kershaw-ian levels ($13,600) which is hard to justify in any format. On FanDuel, the price is more palatable but the win probability isn’t as strong as some of the counterparts around him. Jon Lester (CHC) is a monstrous favorite (-222) on the road but is back in the AL and pitching in a park that suppresses K Rates thanks to the huge foul territory. Lester’s upside doesn’t match that of Syndergaard or Verlander, but the safety and probability earns him consideration in cash games.

In the second tier, we have big strikeout upside with Blake Snell (TB) and Michael Pineda (NYY) although both are taking on offenses that are hitting well of late. Snell is in the far better pitching environment and thus rates as the better play among the two volatile options that look like stronger tournament than cash game targets. Jameson Taillon (PIT) is a cash game target with a cheap price tag that enables Coors Field exposure and a favorable matchup against a Reds’ offense that ranks 27th in wRC+ against RHP with the 10th highest K Rate. They’re getting a severe park downgrade and they traded one of their most productive hitters against RHP at the break (Jay Bruce). Taillon is capped at six innings as the Pirates are watching his innings but he’s been exceptional at the big league level (20 K Rate, 2.7 BB Rate, 54.7 GB Rate, 3.11 xFIP) and he’s a solid home favorite (-161) with an implied run total of just 3.6 against. Jaime Garcia (STL) is another strong cash game candidate due to a cheap price tag and a relatively soft matchup with the Braves. The Braves did improve dramatically against LHP with the acquisition of Matt Kemp but they’re tied with the Athletics for the lowest implied run total (3.4 runs) on the slate and Garcia is a monstrous -233 favorite. Garcia’s K Rate upside pushes him down into the third tier, but an affordable price tag on both sites makes him cash viable.

The rest of the third tier beyond Garcia is filled with options that are more tournament viable than cash game targets and ultimately it’s assessing the price tag and commensurate upside with each play. Some potential cheaper targets with enough K Rate upside and matchups that should foster it to include in consideration are: Scott Kazmir (LAD), Jeremy Hellickson (PHI), Christian Friedrich (SD), and Ervin Santana (MIN)

Catcher Rankings

1) Jacob Realmuto (MIA) – if leadoff

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Brian McCann (NYY)

4) Willson Contreras (CHC) – if Top Five

5) Welington Castillo (ARZ)

6) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

7) Evan Gattis (HOU)

8) Jonathan Lucroy (TEX)

J.T. Realmuto (MIA) hasn’t been hitting at the top of the lineup as consistently with Dee Gordon back, but if he does land a good lineup spot he’d represent our top hitting catcher option on the slate. He’s generally priced appropriately, so we’re shifting our focus more towards the value route with Brian McCann (NYY) and Welington Castillo (ARZ) both in elite hitting environments and facing below average RHPs with reverse splits. McCann gets Josh Tomlin (.252 wOBA, .189 ISO since 2015) which isn’t great for McCann since he’s a LHB but Tomlin has also allowed a 36.7 hard hit rate and 45.6 pull rate to LHBs this season. This is another good matchup for McCann’s pull power in Yankee Stadium, although it’s probably closer to “homer-or-bust” than most matchups we take McCann in. Welington Castillo is right handed so he gets to benefit from Chase Anderson‘s wide splits (.376 wOBA, .214 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015) but his lineup spot moves all over the place. At home, we have a bit more emphasis on Castillo hitting fifth if we’re going to invest in him. Additional pivots, most likely in tournaments include Willson Contreras (CHC) and Evan Gattis (HOU). Gattis’ role seems a bit more stable while Contreras has been moving all over the lineup but both face below average lefties as a part of offenses we’re generally high on.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

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

3) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

4) Carlos Santana (CLE)

5) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

6) Wil Myers (SD)

7) Joey Votto (CIN)

8) Brandon Moss (STL) – where eligible

9) Matt Adams (STL)

10) Jose Abreu (CHW)

Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) represents our top first base option and the second overall ranked hitter in our model. Chase Anderson‘s reverse splits play well for Goldschmidt as does a depleted Brewers’ bullpen after deadline deals. The Diamondbacks are among a slew of teams with an implied run total right around five runs and Goldschmidt is the most appropriate way to access the favorable team total. Goldschmidt has been cold of late (-0.8 in well hit tool) but so have most of the other top first base options in favorable matchups. The position, as always, is very deep which provides plenty of pivots if looking for a hotter hitter. Chris Davis (BAL) continues to rate favorably in our model, although the recent cold streak has us wanting discounted price tags on Davis. We get one on DraftKings at $4,000, but he remains priced up on FanDuel. Jose Abreu (CHW) is another cheap target with a favorable matchup against Yovani Gallardo, while Matt Adams (STL), John Jaso (PIT), and Justin Morneau (CHW) represent cheaper options that rate well in our well-hit tools and come with favorable matchups.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Jean Segura (ARZ)

3) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

4) Dee Gordon (MIA)

5) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

6) Robinson Cano (SEA)

7) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

8) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

9) Scooter Gennett (MIL)

10) Ryan Schimpf (SD)

Jose Altuve (HOU) is once again a Top Five overall option on this slate and our top ranked second basemen. He faces Martin Perez who has allowed a .350 wOBA and .139 ISO to RHBs since 2015. Perez can be tricky to pick on because he’s ground-ball heavy and most of the wOBA allowed is via walks, but the power has ticked up of late against RHBs (.168 ISO over last 250 RHBs faced, .169 ISO against last 100). Altuve owns a .435 wOBA and .201 ISO against LHP since 2015 and gets a running boost against Jonathan Lucroy who is a poor throwing catcher. With a pretty significant lack of values on this slate at the second base position, we’re inclined to pay up for Altuve in cash games and with enough savings at SP it’s not particularly difficult to do. If you are in need of value at the position, Jean Segura (ARZ) is slightly cheaper on FanDuel and a viable target. If Devon Travis (TOR) remains in the leadoff spot, he’d represent a tremendous cheap way to get exposure to the Blue Jays’ offense.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

3) Jean Segura (ARZ) – where eligible

4) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

5) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

Like Altuve, Carlos Correa (HOU) rates as our top shortstop option. Correa owns a .343 wOBA and .194 ISO against LHP since 2015. He’s not quite the asset that Altuve is against LHP with wOBA or his speed upside, but he’s definitely in play in cash games. The alternatives at shortstop are thin as we’re very dependent on Adam Frazier (PIT) leading off as your best alternative. Otherwise, it’s a pure punt with Alcides Escobar (KC) likely leading off at home against Francisco Liriano. Manny Machado (BAL) is a viable pivot from Correa on DraftKings as he faces a RHP with reverse splits and fly ball prone tendencies. On the road, Machado also has a decent chance at getting a fifth plate appearance and historically he’s crushed RHP (.385 wOBA, .236 ISO since 2015).

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Manny Machado (BAL)

4) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

5) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

6) Martin Prado (MIA)

7) Maikel Franco (PHI)

8) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

9) Justin Turner (LAD)

10) Kyle Seager (SEA)

We’re finally talking about Coors Field! Nolan Arenado (COL) represents our top option at third base. David Phelps is making a spot start for the Marlins and while he’s been very good in a relief role against RHBs (.284 wOBA, .118 ISO) this is a severe park downgrade and a short outing exposes a weak middle relief for the Marlins. Arenado is priced appropriately and of the Coors Field bats, he’s our third or fourth priority as far as spending in cash games. Third base is very deep and each site has an underpriced option you can pivot towards. On FanDuel, Jake Lamb (ARZ) is just $2,800 and while we’ve emphasized Chase Anderson‘s reverse splits, lefties have generated a 31.3 hard hit rate this season and 40+ percent Fly Ball Rate. He’s not unhittable by any means and this tag is far too cheap for Lamb’s skill-set (.375 wOBA, .233 ISO against RHP since 2015). On DraftKings, Manny Machado (BAL) has third base eligibility as well as shortstop and is a bit underpriced at $4,400. Josh Donaldson (TOR) and Kris Bryant (CHC) remain great tournament pivots. Both are facing weak pitchers backed up by weak bullpens and all the expensive ownership will gravitate towards Arenado in tournaments.

Outfield Rankings

1) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

2) Carlos Gonzalez (COL) – injury risk

3) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

5) George Springer (HOU)

6) Bryce Harper (WAS) – cold of late

7) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

8) Ryan Braun (MIL)

9) Adam Eaton (CHW)

10) Christian Yelich (MIA)

11) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

12) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

13) Starling Marte (PIT)

14) Marcell Ozuna (MIA)

15) Adam Jones (BAL)

16) Jose Bautista (TOR)

17) Mookie Betts (BOS)

18) Ian Desmond (TEX)

19) Melky Cabrera (CHW)

20) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

Coors Field dominates the top of our outfield rankings and this is the position where it’s best to get exposure to the best scoring environment on the slate. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) is the top overall hitter in our model and by a wide margin. It’s a monstrous park shift for Stanton and he’s posted a ridiculous .431 wOBA and .404 ISO against LHP in his last 154 PA. Stanton is back to crushing the ball of late (4.7 well hit over last 14 days) and de la Rosa has allowed a .343 wOBA and .175 ISO against RHBs since 2015. He’s priced appropriately, but Stanton is the OF spend we’re targeting most from Coors Field. Carlos Gonzalez (COL) and Charlie Blackmon (COL) are both strong options against David Phelps and a very right handed Marlins’ bullpen. Gonzalez sat on Thursday night so we’ll need to see him back in the lineup, but it seemed like a minor injury. The Rockies have a slate-leading 6.1 implied run total and one of their outfielders are the best way to get exposure to their offense on this slate. Some site-specific values to complement the big spends include: Adam Jones (BAL), Starling Marte (PIT), Adam Eaton (CHW), and perhaps David Peralta (ARZ) – if hitting fifth as viable mid-priced targets on FanDuel. On DraftKings, Miguel Sano (MIN) and Mark Trumbo (BAL) are incredibly cheap for their power upside, while Nelson Cruz (SEA) has a compelling matchup with Tim Lincecum‘s shaky reverse splits (.437 wOBA, .226 ISO since 2015).

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

Tier Two

2) Miami Marlins

3) Arizona Diamondbacks

Tier Three

4) Chicago Cubs

5) St. Louis Cardinals

6) Houston Astros

7) Toronto Blue Jays

The Rockies, assuming full health on Carlos Gonzalez, rate as our top stack on the slate and then are followed by the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Marlins rate well below the Rockies in part due to the strength of the Rockies’ bullpen and the lack of depth in their lineup. The Diamondbacks are an intriguing tournament stack if they field a good lineup, but far too often they insert automatic outs in between all their competent hitters. In cash games, we’re looking for outfield exposure to the Coors Field game, but in general not focused on mini-stacking as there are plenty of good offenses to target.

Additional Tournament Stacks

-Chicago Cubs – Our favorite tournament stack on the slate is the Chicago Cubs. Dillon Overton has been destroyed by RHBs (.490 wOBA, .357 ISO at big league level) and he’s a fly ball extreme pitcher. The Cubs are a deep lineup that benefits from the DH and they’re loaded with power against LHP (Baez – .202 ISO, Rizzo – .214 ISO, Zobrist .173 ISO, Bryant – .268 ISO) and should field a lineup with at least five hitters with a wOBA above .380 against LHP since the start of last season. The poor hitting environment and expensive price tags will come with low ownership and they make for an exceptional pivot off of Coors Field.

MLB Daily Analysis

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