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July 17 MLB DFS: Mad Max
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July 17 MLB DFS: Mad Max

0:53 Slate Schedule
1:17 Starting Pitchers
8:30 Catchers
10:38 First Base
12:52 Second Base
15:12 Shortstop
17:25 Third Base
20:17 Outfield
24:00 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Max Scherzer (WAS)

Tier Two

2) Jacob deGrom (NYM)

Tier Three

3) Julio Teheran (ATL)

Tier Four

4) Jon Gray (COL)

5) John Lackey (CHC)

6) Michael Wacha (STL)

7) Cole Hamels (TEX)

8) Michael Fulmer (DET)

The tiers are a little funky for Sunday’s slate as we have three distinct tiers for our top ranked starters. At the very top is Max Scherzer (WAS) who carries the best strikeout rate (32.8 percent) and gets the benefit of a very right-handed Pirates lineup that is without their biggest threat against RHP (Gregory Polanco). Scherzer has utterly dominated RHBs with a .235 wOBA allowed and 36.2 K Rate against RHBs since the start of 2015. At best, the Pirates will get two LHBs in with John Jaso and Matt Joyce. Scherzer is the biggest favorite on the slate (-231) and consequently has the lowest implied team total against (3.2 runs). He comes with a hefty price tag on both sites and squeezing him in is a bit of a challenge but it’s very possible. Jacob deGrom (NYM) doesn’t carry quite the same strikeout potential (around 30 percent since the start of June) but faces a weaker overall offense in the Phillies who rank 27th in wRC+ against RHP and strike out at a league average clip (21 percent against RHP). He’s getting a park downgrade and the Mets offense is a bit depleted so he’s a more modest -163 favorite with a 3.5 implied run total against. The discounted price tag on deGrom makes him an attractive alternative to Scherzer if you can’t get all the way up to Scherzer’s price tag. On FanDuel, we feel it’s best to use one of these two as your lone starter. On DraftKings, it’s possible to pair the two thanks to a lot of values on the hitting side, but Julio Teheran‘s (ATL) softer price tag keeps him in the mix as well. Teheran gets a Rockies’ offense that is getting a huge park downgrade and more importantly they’re very right-handed. Teheran has held RHBs to a .258 wOBA with a 26.5 K Rate since the start of 2015. Two of the Rockies best hitters come from the left side (Blackmon and Gonzalez) but they struggle to sneak more LHBs into the lineup. Tony Wolters getting a start and Daniel Descalso in the outfield can get them up to four, which would hurt Teheran’s projected K Rate but run prevention looks pretty solid and he works deep into games. Teheran is best used as a complementary option on DraftKings.

The fourth tier contains our 4-8th ranked starters, but in general are better for tournaments. We always like Jon Gray (COL) away from Coors and the Braves are a friendly matchup for run prevention but they also make an awful lot of contact. An elevated price tag on DraftKings makes him more of a pure pivot from deGrom than a primary tournament target. Michael Fulmer (DET) has the same issue with an elevated tag on DraftKings and a fairly contact-heavy Royals’ offense. The Royals lineup isn’t very deep so if they rest any regulars, Fulmer could shoot up the rankings pretty quickly. The Rangers aren’t the same offense at home which is why John Lackey ranks so well but the wind blowing out and a hefty price tag makes him hard to consider. As a result, Michael Wacha (STL) looks like the best GPP option for DraftKings with a more reasonable price tag and a weakened Marlins’ offense against RHP without Justin Bour. Dylan Bundy (BAL) has big per at bat potential but won’t last long as he’s making his first start out of the bullpen. The Orioles won’t divulge a pitch count but five innings would seem around the limit. At $5,000 on DraftKings, it’s worthy of some tournament consideration given the lack of depth with cheaper SP options on the slate. On FanDuel with just one starter at your disposal, the options are much more diverse in how to attack tournament targets. Julio Teheran (ATL), Michael Fulmer (DET), and Jon Gray (COL) are all strong targets with mid-tier price points that allow you more offense.

Catcher Rankings

1) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

2) Willson Contreras (CHC)

3) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

4) Salvador Perez (KC)

5) J.T. Realmuto (MIA)

Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) is once again atop our catcher rankings but with salary relief a stronger consideration on this slate, he’s less of a core target. Lucroy has great skills against RHP (.357 wOBA, .170 ISO since 2015) and a great park but he’s fairly priced. Instead, our attention is largely focused on Willson Contreras (CHC) who has a difficult matchup with Cole Hamels (.316 wOBA, .145 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015) but gets him in ideal conditions (wind blowing out to left-center field at Wrigley and temperatures in the high 80s. We don’t have an implied team total for the Cubs yet but we’re expecting it will approach five runs even against Hamels. Contreras isn’t particularly cheap, but he’s not expensive either and he’ll get a premier lineup spot with the platoon advantage in a great hitting environment. If not looking Contreras’ way, we’d recommend a pure punt for salary relief. On FanDuel, Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) would potentially fit the bill and hit as high as sixth this week. On DraftKings, Yadier Molina (STL) isn’t a pure punt but close enough or Yan Gomes (CLE) could serve as a pure minimum salary player.

First Base Rankings

1) Joey Votto (CIN)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Carlos Santana (CLE)

4) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

5) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

6) Chris Carter (MIL)

7) Eric Hosmer (KC)

8) Jose Abreu (CHW)

9) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

10) Kendrys Morales (KC)

First base is a tricky position due to the salary constraints you’ll likely face given the required spending for high-end starting pitching. Joey Votto (CIN) tops our rankings and he’s relatively cheap on FanDuel ($3,600) but incredibly expensive on DraftKings ($5,300). Zach Davies isn’t quite the favorable matchup we had the last two nights but he’s allowed a .323 wOBA and .160 ISO to LHBs at the big league level. On both sites, most of the top tier first base options are priced at or above Votto, leaving few strong alternatives. Miguel Cabrera (DET) is a viable alternative on FanDuel ($3,400) but in general you’ll have to spend to get high-end first basemen into your lineup and funds are limited. As a result, we’re willing to take a little more matchup riskin consideration of viable alternatives. On DraftKings, Eric Hosmer (KC) and Kendrys Morales (KC) get Michael Fulmer who has held LHBs to a .254 wOBA in his rookie season but has also allowed a 32.7 hard hit rate and walked over 10 percent of them. At $2,900, they earn cash game consideration. At that same price tag and nearly minimum on FanDuel ($2,100) is Prince Fielder (TEX) who gets a difficult matchup with John Lackey but in exceptional hitting conditions. For a punt price tag, you could take a shot at a wind-aided home run from Fielder who will likely hit in the middle of the Rangers lineup.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

2) Rougned Odor (TEX)

3) Brian Dozier (MIN)

4) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

5) Neil Walker (NYM)

Jason Kipnis (CLE) sits atop our second base rankings for the second consecutive slate with a friendly matchup against Kyle Gibson. Just like last night, Kipnis is viable on FanDuel but extremely expensive on DraftKings. On both sites, there are cheaper alternatives that have our attention. Brian Dozier (MIN) is just $3,200 on both sites which makes him an extreme bargain on DraftKings and a solid value on FanDuel. Josh Tomlin has allowed a ton of power to RHBs (.342 wOBA, .238 ISO since 2015) and the Twins righty is heavily reliant on power in his own right. On FanDuel, Rougned Odor (TEX) is even cheaper and will likely hit in a premier lineup spot in those friendly conditions for power in Wrigley Field. Odor owns a .206 ISO against RHP since the start of 2015. On DraftKings, Neil Walker (NYM) remains underpriced ($3,500) and is facing another below average RHP from the Phillies. With salary relief a priority, we’re looking towards these values on either site. Ben Zobrist (CHC) is slightly more expensive on both sites, which makes him a viable tournament pivot with the home run upside in Wrigley.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

5) Jose Reyes (NYM) – where eligible

6) Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM)

7) Tim Anderson (CHW)

8) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

Eduardo Nunez (MIN) is our top-ranked shortstop as we like the reverse splits from Josh Tomlin for a heavily right-handed Twins offense. He’s priced appropriately on both sites and again with the emphasis on salary relief is difficult to justify. As a result, we’re looking for a little more salary relief and on both sites the Mets have options that catch our eye. On FanDuel, Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) is just $2,700 and his power against RHP (.328 wOBA, .178 ISO since 2015) profiles well in Philadelphia. On DraftKings, Jose Reyes (NYM) is just $3,500 and as a road leadoff hitter that is an inexpensive way to secure four or five plate appearances at a scarce position. Manny Machado (BAL) is also under-priced for his skill set and Jake Odorizzi is also a reverse splits guy (.334 wOBA, .202 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015) making him an acceptable pivot up from Reyes at just $4,000. On FanDuel, the potential pivot up is Aldemys Diaz (STL) who has seen the price tumble to just $3,000.

Third Base Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Eduardo Nunez (MIN) – where eligible

3) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

4) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

5) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

Kris Bryant‘s (CHC) power and extreme fly ball tendencies (46 percent FB Rate) are attractive with the wind blowing out at Wrigley. He’s a fine spend but with funds tight won’t be a priority on either site. On DraftKings, an incredible price tag on Adrian Beltre (TEX) at just $2,800 fits perfectly for the goal of salary relief and middle of the order power upside. On FanDuel, the position is trickier. Beltre and Jose Reyes (NYM) are priced similarly and above the average cost of a hitter. Jhonny Peralta (STL) is a little cheaper and has the platoon advantage for an offense that profiles well against LHP, but no one is cheap. We’d prefer cheap but it’s going to be difficult to find, so we’re leaving the third base position as one of our last to fill.

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Mike Trout (LAA)

3) Ryan Braun (MIL)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

5) Billy Hamilton (CIN) – if second

6) Miguel Sano (MIN)

7) Jay Bruce (CIN)

8) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

9) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

10) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

11) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

12) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

13) Randal Grichuk (STL) – if leadoff

14) Ian Desmond (TEX)

15) Ben Revere (WAS)

16) Adam Jones (BAL)

17) Adam Eaton (CHW)

18) Willson Contreras (CHC) – where eligible

19) Kendrys Morales (KC) – where eligible

20) Matt Holliday (STL)

As is typically the case, the outfield is home to a number of our top overall plays. Bryce Harper (WAS), Mike Trout (LAA), Ryan Braun (MIL), Kris Bryant (CHC), Miguel Sano (MIN), and Billy Hamilton (CIN) all rank within our Top 10 overall hitters on this slate. Hamilton remains underpriced for his upside hitting second against one of the easiest catchers in the league to run on. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s on-base skills (or lack thereof) can make his production choppy but we like him as a value on both sites. Ryan Braun (MIL) is inexplicably $3,500 on DraftKings, so he’s basically a free square over there. He and Bryce Harper (WAS) are both under-priced and good values on FanDuel but pricing in general is a little tighter if you’re paying all the way up at starting pitcher. As a result, we’re looking towards some Cardinals outfielders as values against LHP. Thomas Pham (STL), Randal Grichuk (STL), and Stephen Piscotty (STL) are all under $3,000 and two of the three at least should be in premier lineup spots. Adam Conley is tougher than your usual LHP on righties because of his change-up (.306 wOBA, .151 ISO) but these three options all rate as compelling values. On DraftKings, there is a bunch of weird pricing in addition to Braun. While Piscotty is priced in Harper territory, Randal Grichuk and Matt Holliday (STL) are hovering around $3,000 and Jayson Werth (WAS) is just $2,900 in a favorable matchup against Chad Kuhl. There is so much value in the outfield on DraftKings that you can comfortably pay up for elite starting pitching.


Tier One

1) Washington Nationals – if Murphy healthy

Tier Two

2) Cleveland Indians

3) St. Louis Cardinals

4) Cincinnati Reds

5) Milwaukee Brewers

6) New York Mets

7) Baltimore Orioles

8) Chicago Cubs

It’s difficult to see where chalk will fall on this slate simply due to the strain spending on SP has on your salary cap. The Nationals project as our top stack from a raw points perspective but come with plenty of expensive options and a lot of question marks in if that ranking will hold (Murphy’s health, will Ramos sit on a Sunday, etc). On both sites, we’d expect teams that bunch values together will be popular due to cash game ownership trickling into tournaments. The Rangers fit this bill on DraftKings, while the Cardinals could represent that option on FanDuel.

Contrarian Stacks:

Minnesota Twins – While we’re not clear where ownership will fall in terms of the chalk, we’re fairly certain the Twins won’t be it. The Twins are an all-or-nothing offense that depends on power. They have a lot of RH power and Josh Tomlin is susceptible to righties. Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano, and Eduardo Nunez is a viable mini-stack with Max Kepler as a potential add-on. If you can catch two home runs from that stack, it will likely come with very low ownership.



1 Comment

  1. shambel123

    July 17, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Houston astors, arizona diamondbacks and losangles angels was good for stacking gpp&cash lineups