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July 16 MLB DFS: Shoes Dominate Sox
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July 16 MLB DFS: Shoes Dominate Sox

1:00 Slate Schedule
1:43 Starting Pitchers
8:40 Catchers
10:22 First Base
11:28 Second Base
13:15 Shortstop
14:45 Third Base
16:21 Outfield
18:55 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Matt Shoemaker (LAA)

2) Adam Wainwright (STL)

3) Jeff Samardzija (SF)

Tier Two

4) Trevor Bauer (CLE)

5) Danny Duffy (KC)

6) Tanner Roark (WAS)

7) Brandon McCarthy (LAD)

8) Gerrit Cole (PIT)

Saturday’s evening slate is without a prototypical high-priced ace, but it has a solid top tier of starters with affordable price tags and plus matchups. Matt Shoemaker‘s (LAA) turned himself into a borderline ace with a heavier reliance on his splitter. Since Shoemaker has started throwing the pitch more than 30 percent of the time (May 16th against the Dodgers), Shoemaker has posted a 2.86 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 80 K and 11 BB in 72 1/3 innings of work. He’s averaged just under 6 2/3 innings per start and in his five home starts he’s allowed just four earned runs. He remains exceptionally fly ball prone but at home the consequences of those fly balls are rarely severe. He faces a White Sox offense that ranks 24th in wRC+ against RHP and possesses the 22nd highest ISO against RHP despite playing in one of the friendliest parks in the majors for power. Of the top options, he’s our preference as he possesses the greatest strikeout skill-set and comes at the cheapest cost. Adam Wainwright (STL) and Jeff Samardzija (SF) aren’t far behind in the rankings but both come with more questionable strikeout skill-sets. Wainwright faces a Marlins’ offense that ranks 26th in K Rate against RHP and 13th in wRC+. The lineup is watered down a bit without Justin Bour and recent iterations have had J.T. Realmuto leading off which are good for run prevention but don’t bring many strikeouts. Samardzija faces a Padres’ offense that is 28th in wRC+ against RHP and strikes out at the third most frequent clip (24.4 percent). It’s a fantastic matchup for Samardzija who has already faced them three times this season and allowed seven earned runs in 20 2/3 innings while striking out 22 and walking five. The concern with Samardzija is the K Rate. He’s only topped 20 percent in one of his last eight starts and that includes a five start stretch that he didn’t top a 15 percent K rate. Samardzija opened with the lowest implied run total against (3.5 runs) and theoretically has the strongest matchup but his form has been the weakest of the three. In general, pricing is soft enough to stay in the first tier on multiple starting pitching sites.

The second tier is strictly a tier we’d consider in tournaments. Trevor Bauer (CLE) has the most upside of the group as he works deep into games and has a healthy K Rate against a Twins’ offense that has plenty of strikeouts in it. Brandon McCarthy (LAD) and Gerrit Cole (PIT) are both skilled starters with upside against their respective RH heavy opponents but potential pitch count issues limit the upside. Danny Duffy (KC) has a tough matchup against the RH heavy Tigers’ lineup and he’s backed up by a weaker bullpen without Wade Davis around. Tanner Roark (WAS) doesn’t possess a ton of upside but if he got a RH heavy lineup like Strasburg did on Friday night we could see some additional upside. Really on this slate, we’d keep our SP exposure within the first four ranked options.

Catcher Rankings

1) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

4) Salvador Perez (KC)

5) Welington Castillo (ARZ)

Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) is the top option at catcher and a Top 20 overall hitter on this slate. The price tag is pretty reasonable on both sites and without high-end spending required at starting pitcher, it’s fairly easy to fit Lucroy into cash game lineups. John Lamb has been pitching way better of late. He’s topped a 29 percent K Rate in three of his last five starts and kept the hard hit rates allowed at or below 25 percent in those three outings. Coming into the season, he was a potential breakout candidate. On the plus side, the Reds used Iglesias for multiple innings on Friday which means he’s likely unavailable and Lamb is very fly ball prone in a park that severely punishes fly ball tendencies. Without much competition at the position, we view Lucroy as a core target in cash games.

First Base Rankings

1) Joey Votto (CIN)

2) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

3) Brandon Belt (SF)

4) Eric Hosmer (KC)

5) Chris Carter (MIL)

6) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

7) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

8) Carlos Santana (CLE)

9) Kendrys Morales (KC)

10) Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)

11) Mike Napoli (CLE)

First base sets up similarly to Friday night where Joey Votto (CIN), Brandon Belt (SF), and another elite first basemen (Paul Goldschmidt – ARZ) are all at the top. They each rank within our Top Five overall hitters before a slight drop-off to Eric Hosmer (KC) who is within our Top 15. The position is very deep and both sites provide solid values to target. Votto is underpriced on FanDuel at $3,500 and will face Jimmy Nelson (.390 wOBA, .161 ISO to LHBs since 2015) who has really struggled against lefties in his career. On DraftKings, Eric Hosmer is really cheap for a matchup with Mike Pelfrey (.377 wOBA, .139 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015). You’ll have enough resources to spend however you’d like but both players are underpriced and in very strong matchups.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

2) Neil Walker (NYM)

3) Ian Kinsler (DET)

4) Jean Segura (ARZ)

5) Chase Utley (LAD)

Second base is all about Neil Walker (NYM) for us on this slate. Walker’s getting a big park shift in his favor and facing Jerad Eickhoff (.347 wOBA, .212 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2014). Walker is a good hitter against RHP (.335 wOBA, .169 ISO since 2015) and has compiled most of that production in elite pitching environments. The price tag on DraftKings ($3,100) should serve as a “free-square” for players in cash games as he’s just $3,100. He carries the same price tag on FanDuel which is closer to the average cost of a hitter. With Jason Kipnis (CLE) expensive on both sites, Walker is our focus. The only potential pivot would be if Greg Garcia (STL) got the leadoff spot for the Cardinals as he remains near minimum priced on FanDuel. The salary relief isn’t a huge priority on this slate with mid-tier starting pitchers up top, but he’d grade out as a strong value that would compete with Walker. Note: Daniel Murphy (WAS) wasn’t included in our rankings after missing last night due to injury.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

2) Corey Seager (LAD)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

5) Jose Reyes (NYM) – where eligible

Jonathan Villar (MIL) has shown pretty good skills against LHP (.353 wOBA, .140 ISO since 2015) and leads off for a Brewers’ offense that profiles as one of the stronger units on this slate. He’s priced appropriately on both sites but a little more difficult to squeeze in on FanDuel at $4,300. Fortunately we have a value play available to create some salary relief with Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) who is just $2,500 and owns an impressive .325 wOBA and .178 ISO against RHP since the start of 2015. Corey Seager (LAD) gets a nice big park shift but is priced appropriately and remains a nice tournament target or a pivot from Villar if you’re concerned about too many Brewers in your lineups with Lamb pitching well of late.

Third Base Rankings

1) Justin Turner (LAD)

2) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

3) Nolan Arenado (COL)

4) Maikel Franco (PHI)

5) Eduardo Nunez (MIN) – where eligible

6) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

Justin Turner (LAD) and Jake Lamb (ARZ) are atop our third base rankings. Turner’s price tag is appropriate on both sites but a big park shift coupled with his skills against RHP (.390 wOBA, .214 ISO since 2015) and Archie Bradley‘s weird power reverse splits (.328 wOBA, .189 ISO allowed to RHBs) makes him a really strong play. Jake Lamb remains underpriced on FanDuel ($3,400) and overpriced on DraftKings so we’ll play site-specific value with him. Brandon McCarthy is a skilled starter but he’s vulnerable to power and he likely won’t work deep into the game leaving a softer middle innings group of Dodgers’ relievers for Lamb to feast on. Nolan Arenado (COL) and Maikel Franco (PHI) are fine pivots, preferably in tournaments.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Ryan Braun (MIL)

3) Bryce Harper (WAS)

4) Billy Hamilton (CIN) – if hitting second

5) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

6) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

7) Jay Bruce (CIN)

8) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) – health risk

9) Denard Span (SF)

10) Kendrys Morales (KC) – where eligible

11) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

12) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

13) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

14) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

15) Miguel Sano (MIN)

Mike Trout (LAA) and Ryan Braun (MIL) represent our top two overall hitters on the slate. Both face fly ball prone starters that give them nice power upside. With a lot of salary relief baked in because of mid-tier starting pitching both are very attainable in cash games and we’d recommend paying up for at least one. The value plays in the outfield aren’t as deep on this slate. Billy Hamilton (CIN) remains underpriced on both sites but outside of Hamilton, few cheap plays really stand out in the outfield. Hamilton has a particularly great matchup for speed as Jimmy Nelson and Jonathan Lucroy are both terrible at controlling the running game. Carlos Gonzalez (COL) is affordable on both sites and gets a favorable matchup with Mike Foltynewicz (.404 wOBA, .286 ISO since 2015 to LHBs) who has just been mashed by lefties. Jay Bruce (CIN) is affordable on both sites and given Jimmy Nelson‘s struggles against LHBs (.359 wOBA, .191 ISO allowed since 2014) represents another strong value. In general, there isn’t much need to go beyond our Top 10 options in the outfield in cash games.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Milwaukee Brewers

2) Los Angeles Dodgers

3) Cleveland Indians

4) Kansas City Royals

Tier Two

5) Cincinnati Reds

6) San Francisco Giants

7) New York Mets

The Brewers and Dodgers will likely represent the “chalk” stacks in terms of ownership along with the Reds who profile slightly behind the first tier but will likely command heavy ownership as well. Of this top tier, the Royals should come with some of the softest ownership while we expect LAD, CIN, and MIL will represent the three highest owned stacks.

Contrarian Stacks:

New York Mets – The Mets remain a favored tournament target for all of the same reasons as Friday night. Their offense relies heavily on power and is getting a big park bump in their favor. Jerad Eickhoff has been hit very hard by LHBs and most of the Mets power is from the left side.

San Francisco Giants – The Giants are actually getting a positive park shift into PETCO and Perdomo is one of the weaker starters on the slate backed up by a very weak bullpen. The Giants always come with low ownership and this slate with two elite hitting environments that should condense ownership gives them an opportunity to represent a nice contrarian stack.