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July 15 MLB DFS: Bummed Out? Baseball’s back!
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July 15 MLB DFS: Bummed Out? Baseball’s back!

00:45 Model and Site Updates
3:10 Starting Pitchers
11:07 Catchers
13:08 First Base
16:14 Second Base
18:54 Shortstop
21:05 Third Base
23:48 Outfield
28:28 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

2) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

Tier Two

3) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

Tier Three

4) Chris Archer (TB)

5) Justin Verlander (DET)

Tier Four

6) James Paxton (SEA)

7) Jaime Garcia (STL)

8) Bud Norris (LAD)

Tier Five

9) Michael Pineda (NYY)

10) Anthony DeSclafani (CIN)

11) Jorge de la Rosa (COL)

12) Daniel Mengden (OAK)

13) Hector Santiago (LAA)

We’re welcomed back from the All Star Break with a nice diverse slate of pitching options for Friday. Madison Bumgarner (SF) and Stephen Strasburg (WAS) sit atop our tier one rankings. Bumgarner faces a Padres’ offense that ranks second in wRC+ against LHP but strikes out at the sixth highest clip against LHP. Strasburg gets a similarly challenging matchup against the Pirates who rank 10th in wRC+ against RHP and have a league average K rate. We have the two starters projected for similar strikeout rates and Vegas has them with similar implied run totals allowed. There isn’t much separating the two starters which allows you to comfortably lean on price gaps as the differentiator. On FanDuel, Strasburg is slightly cheaper ($11,400 vs. $11,900) and on DraftKings Bumgarner gets the nod ($11,100 vs. $12,000). With plenty of value on the offensive side of this slate, we prefer to anchor our starting pitching slot(s) with one of these two starters. Carlos Carrasco (CLE) carries similar upside to Bumgarner and Strasburg but has a bit more run prevention risk against a power-laden Twins’ offense. He’s viable in FanDuel as a cheaper pivot, though we prefer paying all the way up, and is best used on all sites in tournaments while hoping to catch lower ownership due to the higher implied run total against (3.8 runs).

When looking for a starter to pair with your ace on DraftKings, we’re once again drawn to the lighter price tag on Chris Archer (TB). Archer has a tough draw against an Orioles offense that ranks third in wRC+ against RHP but they strike out at an above average clip (22.4 percent K Rate against RHP) and Archer has been far more consistent at home this season (2.70 ERA, 30.8 K Rate, 9.7 BB Rate, 3.26 xFIP). We have Archer projected for the third highest K Rate of the night and one of just three starters with a K Rate above 25 percent on this slate. If you’re uncomfortable with Archer’s volatility, the alternatives are paying a slightly higher price tag for Justin Verlander (DET) or paying down for James Paxton‘s (SEA) elite velocity that has yet to translate into elite strikeouts or Jaime Garcia (STL) whose ground ball tendencies should help neutralize the Marlins biggest strength against LHP; their power.

In tournaments, we’re intrigued by Jorge de la Rosa (COL) who draws an Atlanta offense that ranks 29th in wRC+ against LHP. De la Rosa gets a huge park shift in his favor and does have strike out potential. Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) is also an interesting tournament target given his historical dominance against RHBs (.299 wOBA, 49.3 GB Rate, 28.9 hard hit rate, and 19.1 K Rate) against a strikeout prone Brewers’ offense that is very right handed. Bud Norris (LAD) also fits this same mold but with more strikeout upside against the Diamondbacks’ who have the fifth highest K rate against RHP and Norris has held RHBs to a .259 wOBA with a 24 percent K Rate). The tough pitching environments should keep ownership down but the strikeout upside is there. Hector Santiago (LAA) is the last tournament target to consider. The White Sox get a big park downgrade and we finally get some more typical cooler nights on the west coast. Santiago’s velocity has been consistently elevated over the last six or seven starts and the price tag should also keep ownership down.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Salvador Perez (KC)

4) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

5) Brian McCann (NYY)

The catcher position is priced appropriately around the industry. Victor Martinez (DET) leads our rankings on FanDuel with a favorable matchup against fly ball prone Ian Kennedy. He’s priced appropriately, but a lack of depth may make him the best choice if you can squeeze him in. Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) has a fair price tag and a nice hitting environment in Cincinnati. The risk here is DeSclafani has been pretty tough on righties and it’s one of the few games where the Reds are favored so we’ll likely see Iglesias the one dominant reliever they have. On DraftKings, you get a slight price break on Salvador Perez (KC) which makes him a viable target. There are no obvious values at this position, so we’ll likely fill it out last or rely on any potential salary relief target that pops up in alerts.

First Base Rankings

1) Joey Votto (CIN)

2) Brandon Belt (SF)

3) David Ortiz (BOS)

4) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

5) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

Brandon Belt (SF) was one of the biggest beneficiaries of our All Star Break recalibrations as a big baseline bump for him and a significant baseline decline for Andrew Cashner has Belt as one of our top rated first baseman on the slate. He’s priced appropriately on both sites and the gap among the elite first base options on this slate is very small. It really comes down to preference as they’re bunched together in pricing as well. We’re largely looking at Belt, Joey Votto (CIN), or David Ortiz (BOS) if paying all the way up. All three have historically crushed RHP. If you need a value option at first base, Mark Teixeira (NYY) looks like a nice salary relief alternative on this slate and one of the few ways you’re comfortable targeting the Yankees (5.2 implied runs) highest team total on the slate.  Eduardo Rodriguez has been pounded by RHBs this season (.421 wOBA, 37.5 hard hit rate) and he’s allowed a 50 percent fly ball rate. All those fly balls and hard hit aerial contact bring power upside from the Yankees’ RHBs.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Robinson Cano (SEA)

3) Neil Walker (NYM)

4) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

5) Scooter Gennett (MIL)

6) Ian Kinsler (DET)

7) Jean Segura (ARZ)

8) Trea Turner (WAS) – where eligible, if leading off

9) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

10) Whit Merrifield (KC)

The second base is a tricky position between the two sites. On FanDuel, all the top options are fairly priced with Robinson Cano (SEA) looking like the best value of the bunch, albeit in a tough hitting environment, against a below average RHP. If you’re in need of salary relief, we’ll monitor Starlin Castro‘s (NYY) lineup spot as he could emerge as something slightly better than a pure punt. On DraftKings, the multi-position eligibility along with slightly softer pricing has a few potential values. Neil Walker (NYM) is underpriced for a nice positive park shift and a middle of the order lineup spot for a Mets’ offense that is approaching a run total of five. Trea Turner (WAS) got the leadoff spot last time out against LHP and while Liriano doesn’t allow a ton of power, he does surrender walks. Turner is more of a plate patience and speed player at this point in his career. Scooter Gennett (MIL) hits from the left side where DeSclafani is more vulnerable and a nice park environment for power. Howie Kendrick (LAD) was in the leadoff spot last game against a LHP and with Enrique Hernandez still rehabbing it’s possible we see it again. With a huge park shift and decent skills against LHP (.343 wOBA), Kendrick would emerge as a viable value as well.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

4) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

5) Jose Reyes (NYM) – where eligible

6) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

7) Brad Miller (TB)

8) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

9) Zack Cozart (CIN)

10) Trea Turner (WAS) –if leading off

Shortstop is a position we’re largely looking for value. We touched on Trea Turner (WAS) in the second base notes and he comes with shortstop eligibility on both sites and a very cheap tag on FanDuel. Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) is another cheap alternative on FanDuel as most of the top shortstop options are priced appropriately and we’d rather spend at other premier offensive positions. On DraftKings, the pricing is a bit softer where Carlos Correa (HOU), Jose Reyes (NYM), and Brad Miller (TB) are all also affordable options in addition to Trea Turner.

Third Base Rankings

1) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

5) Justin Turner (LAD)

6) Manny Machado (BAL)

7) Eduardo Nunez (MIN) – where eligible

8) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

9) Kyle Seager (SEA)

10) Evan Longoria (TB)

Jake Lamb‘s (ARZ) been one of our favorite targets of the first half and kicks off our second half at the top of the third base rankings. Lamb will face Bud Norris who has allowed a .381 wOBA and .213 ISO to LHBs since the start of 2015. Lamb’s very affordable on FanDuel where we’d love to fit him in. Alex Rodriguez (NYY) is still relevant against LHP (.385 wOBA, .261 ISO since 2015) and we’ve touched on Eduardo Rodriguez‘s issues against RHBs. Rodriguez is another way to get exposure to the Yankees’ largely left-handed offense which has the highest implied team total on the slate but struggles to generate compelling individual values. On DraftKings, Nolan Arenado (COL) is just $4,100. He’s not the same hitter away from Coors Field but Lucas Harrell and the Braves’ bullpen isn’t much of a threat and that price tag warrants cash game consideration. On both sites, Jhonny Peralta (STL) is viable as a salary relief alternative with the platoon edge against a fly ball prone starter.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

4) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

5) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

6) Billy Hamilton (CIN) – if hitting second

7) Jay Bruce (CIN)

8) Ryan Braun (MIL)

9) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

10) Mookie Betts (BOS)

11) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

12) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

13) Matt Holliday (STL)

14) Carlos Beltran (NYY)

15) George Springer (HOU)

Mike Trout (LAA) leads the outfield rankings with a plus matchup against Miguel Gonzalez (.334 wOBA, .161 ISO allowed to RHBs since start of 2015). He’s priced appropriately on both sites, with perhaps a very slight discount on FanDuel where pricing is pretty tight on the whole. The slate is one that presents a lot of depth in outfield values, particularly on DraftKings where mid-tier pricing is very soft. Billy Hamilton (CIN) is someone we really hope gets to hit second against Matt Garza who is fine against the running game but very weak defending bunts and throws to a catcher that is very below average at stopping the running game. Hamilton would represent a nice buy on both sites if he’s in that coveted second slot. Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Matt Holliday (STL), and Denard Span (SF) are all undervalued targets on DraftKings with price tags at $3,600 or below. On FanDuel, the values are more in the mid-tier with Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), Jay Bruce (CIN), and Stephen Piscotty (STL) all between $3,300-$3,700. If Tommy Pham (STL) drew the leadoff spot again for the Cardinals or Scott Van Slyke (LAD) was in a good lineup spot for the Dodgers, they’d represent very strong punt plays on FanDuel.


Tier One

1) New York Yankees

2) Cincinnati Reds

3) Los Angeles Dodgers

4) Tampa Bay Rays

5) New York Mets

Tier Two

6) St. Louis Cardinals

7) Washington Nationals

8) Cleveland Indians

9) Boston Red Sox

This feels like a day where ownership should be largely spread out. The Yankees have the highest implied team total on the slate but it’s hard to call them chalk with so many of their best hitters coming from the left side. In cash games, it’s a slate largely to pick apart values and in tournaments it’s a slate with a wide array of options you can lean on without fear of heavy ownership.

Contrarian Stacks:

New York Mets – Hellickson’s not viewed as one of the weaker starters on this slate but the Mets are getting a huge park shift and when the Mets strike it’s usually via power. Hellickson is allowing 1.36 HR/9 for the second consecutive season in large part because he doesn’t generate a ton of ground balls. The Mets lineup doesn’t possess a lot of core values, so we think ownership will remain in control here. As a road team, guaranteed nine innings of plate appearances, we like the power upside here.

1 Comment

  1. Joeysmooth1226

    July 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Did I miss something? Eduardo Rodriguez is not pitching today..,.

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