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August 6 MLB DFS: An Angel gets his Wings
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August 6 MLB DFS: An Angel gets his Wings

00:40 Starting Pitchers
06:59 Catchers
09:18 First Base
13:35 Second Base
18:30 Shortstops
20:52 Third Base
24:02 Outfield
29:52 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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August 6 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

2) Tyler Skaggs (LAA)

Tier Two

3) Danny Duffy (KC)

4) Aaron Sanchez (TOR)

5) Carlos Martinez (STL)

Tier Three

6) Carlos Rodon (CHW)

7) Taijuan Walker (SEA) – pitch count risk

8) Homer Bailey (CIN)

9) Ivan Nova (PIT)

The starting pitching options for Saturday’s evening slate are really limited. Stephen Strasburg (WAS) and Tyler Skaggs (LAA) represent our top tier and ideally on both sites you’ll keep cash game exposure to those two options. Strasburg gets the benefit of pitching at home where he’s been so dominant throughout his career but draws a tough matchup with the Giants who rank 10th in wRC+ against RHP with the second lowest K Rate against in MLB. This is not an ideal matchup to pay top dollar for Strasburg, but the lack of alternatives on the slate keep it in play. Tyler Skaggs has only made two starts at the big league level this year but they’ve both been dominant outings and the last came against a pretty good Red Sox offense. This continues the run of strong strikeout numbers that Skaggs was posting before his call-up (36.3 K Rate in AAA with a 2.54 FIP in seven starts). Skaggs was a big time prospect coming up and then ran into some arm trouble, but it looks like he’s ready to live up to the hype. Skaggs faces the Mariners who rank 14th in wRC+ against LHP with the 16th highest K Rate. It’s an average matchup on paper, but like Drew Pomeranz earlier in the week, Skaggs relies heavily on his curve-ball (30 percent usage). As we noted with Pomeranz, the Mariners are one of the worst offenses in the league against curve-balls DraftKings has priced Skaggs appropriately, but he’s incredibly cheap on FanDuel. The two sites have wildly different pricing approaches on Saturday as DraftKings is remarkably soft for hitting and FanDuel is remarkably tight, making Skaggs a strong fit on both sites. He’ll pitch in the best conditions on the slate (high 60s in Seattle) and in just one of two games with a total of 7.5.

The second tier of starters are all capable options, but they’re priced up in either difficult matchups (Duffy vs. Toronto) or matchups that are harder to generate strikeouts (Martinez vs. Braves/Sanchez vs. Royals). As a result, we’d rather emphasize Skaggs salary relief on FanDuel or his strikeout upside on DraftKings at similar prices. The second tier generally doesn’t make great tournament plays because Duffy’s immense strikeout upside is priced way up (viable as an option but difficult to build) and the other options have modest upsides. As a result, if looking for a tournament pivot, Carlos Rodon (CHW) looks like the best option. The floor is low but he can miss bats. Ivan Nova (PIT) is a salary relief option that can be utilized on DraftKings in cash games if you don’t want to pay all the way up for Strasburg and Skaggs, but his strikeout upside is also rather limited. In his favor, he’s getting a big league shift and park boost and facing one of the weakest opposing offenses on the slate (Reds rank 27th in wRC+ against RHP).

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

2) Jacob Realmuto (MIA)

3) Russell Martin (TOR)

The catcher position is miserable for this slate. Victor Martinez (DET) is a very good option in a favorable matchup against Logan Verrett (.311 wOBA, .206 ISO against LHBs since 2015) and priced at just $3,100 on FanDuel we’d lock him in. On DraftKings, there are few expensive options worth paying for and our preferred SP pairing soaks up a ton of salary, so you’re likely just punting the position.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) – cold of late

2) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

3) Joey Votto (CIN)

4) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

5) Wil Myers (SD)

6) Chris Carter (MIL)

7) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

8) Matt Adams (STL)

9) Mark Reynolds (COL)

10) Eric Hosmer (KC)

Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) ranks atop our first base rankings with another soft matchup against a weak opposing starter backed up by a bad bullpen at home. Goldschmidt has been cold of late and for the most part he’s priced appropriately so while our model loves him, you don’t have to feel forced into him. The position is deep and Miguel Cabrera (DET) is a fine pivot that has been red-hot (5.0 well hit rating, +0.5 last 14 days) with a favorable matchup against Logan Verrett. On FanDuel you’ll have enough salary to pursue a top flight first basemen with ease. On DraftKings, you may end up emphasizing salary relief in which case Matt Adams (STL), Jose Abreu (CHW), Justin Morneau (CHW), and John Jaso (PIT) all fit the mold.

Second Base Rankings

1) Dee Gordon (MIA)

2) Matt Carpenter (STL) – where eligible

3) Jose Altuve (HOU)

4) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

5) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

6) Ian Kinsler (DET)

7) Jean Segura (ARZ)

8) Ryan Schimpf (SD)

9) Jonathan Schoop (BAL)

10) Rougned Odor (TEX)

Dee Gordon (MIA) gets the platoon advantage in Coors Field, a park that’s wide gaps really enhance his power profile. Matt Carpenter (STL) is also a very strong option at home against Roberto Hernandez who last pitched in the majors in 2015 and has posted an ERA over 4.50 in AAA across the Blue Jays and Braves’ systems this year. These are fine spends once again on FanDuel, but on DraftKings you’ll likely lean towards the salary relief of Jonathan Schoop (BAL) who is just $2,900 and has hit second against LHP. Carlos Rodon has allowed a .370 wOBA and .182 ISO to RHBs since 2015 and on the road Schoop has a good chance at five plate appearances if he continues to hit second.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

4) Jean Segura (ARZ) – where eligible

Shortstop is once again pretty top heavy with few viable value plays. Manny Machado (BAL) is our top option on DraftKings, where eligible, and the price tag is pretty friendly at $4,000. On FanDuel, Carlos Correa (HOU) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) are priced similarly and both draw favorable matchups. Villar is from his better side and Patrick Corbin has been crushed by RHBs (.356 wOBA, .182 ISO since 2015). Correa is the more skilled hitter from a baseline perspective and part of a team with a higher implied team total so he outpaces Villar but the performance against Harrell is likely less power prone. We’ll keep our eye out in alerts if any salary relief options pop, but it’s likely a position you’re paying up on FanDuel and taking the mid-tier price tag of Machado on DraftKings.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Matt Carpenter (STL) – where eligible

4) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

5) Martin Prado (MIA)

6) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

7) Maikel Franco (PHI)

8) Wilmer Flores (NYM)

9) Marwin Gonzalez (HOU) – if second

10) Yangervis Solarte (SD)

Nolan Arenado (COL) tops our third base rankings but the high price tag on both sites is difficult to access and Andrew Cashner has been a bit more competent against RHBs of late, so we’re less likely to utilize him in cash games. On DraftKings, you have a few multi-position eligibility options that are cheap. We mentioned Machado whose price tag is likely sliding in at SS or 3B in our cash games, but Greg Garcia (STL) and Jake Elmore (MIL) are also viable cheap options if in great lineup spots. On FanDuel, Jake Lamb (ARZ) remains wildly underpriced ($3,100) for a matchup with a bad RHP (Garza has allowed a .370 wOBA and .200 ISO to LHBs since 2015) and is the best value among Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado, but all three are viable targets.

Outfield Rankings

1) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

2) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

3) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

4) Bryce Harper (WAS) – cold of late

5) Christian Yelich (MIA)

6) Mike Trout (LAA)

7) Ryan Braun (MIL)

8) David Dahl (COL)

9) George Springer (HOU)

10) Billy Hamilton (CIN)

11) Jose Bautista (TOR)

12) Marcell Ozuna (MIA)

13) Starling Marte (PIT)

14) Shin-Soo Choo (TEX)

15) Adam Jones (BAL)

16) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

17) J.D. Martinez (DET)

18) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

19) Cameron Maybin (DET)

20) Adam Eaton (CHW)

Once again Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) tops our overall rankings. Somehow he’s just $4,300 on DraftKings which is basically a free square. They’ve also provided another outfield free square in Coors Field with David Dahl (COL) at just $3,000. Chad Bettis is another Rockies’ starter with some reverse splits (.352 wOBA, .190 ISO allowed to RHBs) which is well suited for Stanton and Bettis has a below league average K Rate. Stanton is the primary target for us for a Marlins’ offense with an implied team total around 5.7 runs. Both Coors Field offenses have implied totals that are nearly a run higher than their counterparts on the slate so as a result we’re interested in targeting their outfielders in cash games. It’s not hard to do on DraftKings because of the silly pricing on the two options noted above and on FanDuel if you play Skaggs you have enough room to target Stanton and another high end option. On DraftKings, Bryce Harper (WAS), George Springer (HOU), and Jose Bautista (TOR) are all pretty underpriced, so there are plenty of alternatives if you need additional salary relief. On FanDuel, the outfield pricing is really tight. Billy Hamilton (CIN) is a good value at $3,000 but the Pirates are pretty good at controlling the running game and Cameron Maybin (DET) is viable as a part of exposure to the Tigers’ offense. David Peralta (ARZ) would be the best value if he landed a prominent lineup spot, but the Diamondbacks seem intent on keeping him in the sixth spot. It’s viable given the lack of options on the slate, but not ideal.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Miami Marlins

2) Colorado Rockies

Tier Two

3) Detroit Tigers

4) St. Louis Cardinals

5) Arizona Diamondbacks

6) Houston Astros

7) Baltimore Orioles

Coors Field once again takes precedence where you can get it on this slate. The 11.5 total is two runs higher than any other game on the slate. In cash games, we’re trying to fit exposure where we can but unwilling to compromise on one of our tier one starters. In tournaments, Coors ownership should remain hefty, which makes them a fine pivot as for the most part the hitters are priced appropriately. Any of the second tier stacks are good pivots in tournaments and with ownership likely concentrated on Coors no one alternative should be too heavily owned.

Additional Tournament Stacks

Milwaukee Brewers – The loss of Lucroy slightly diminishes their depth against LHP but Braun, Villar, and Carter all crush LHP and Hernan Perez has been really good against LHP this season. A nice park environment against a starter that has really struggled with lefties makes them a compelling stack. Throw in one of the worst bullpens in the league behind Corbin and the Brewers represent a fun tournament stack that should be a little contrarian.

Washington Nationals – The Nationals are a more potent offense against LHP than RHP but Matt Cain is getting a park downgrade and he’s largely been terrible all season. His last four starts since returning from the DL, he hasn’t gotten past 5 1/3 innings pitched and he’s allowing a 50 percent fly ball rate in a bunch of these starts. The power LHBs (Murphy and Harper) are expensive enough that they’ll be low owned and make for great stack fillers on Coors Fade tournament lineups.