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July 20 MLB DFS Early Slate: My Favorite Martin
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July 20 MLB DFS Early Slate: My Favorite Martin

00:59 Starting Pitchers
07:30 Catchers
09:05 First Base
11:13 Second Base
14:57 Shortstop
17:51 Third Base
20:04 Outfield
29:54 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks




Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

Tier Two

2) Justin Verlander (DET)

Tier Three

3) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

4) Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

Tier Four

5) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

6) Ian Kennedy (KC)

7) Daniel Mengden (OAK)

8) Chris Archer (TB)

Even on a Coors Field slate, we recommend paying up for our top pitcher, Carlos Carrasco (CLE). The tier two and three starting pitchers don’t provide much of a discount, and the risk factor increases tremendously after that third tier and again if you were to look outside our ranked starting pitchers. Carrasco has been a bit lucky in the ERA department (2.49) despite and elevated hard minus soft hit rate. However the great combination of K and GB rate are there, and if you remember, he began last season with similar contact issues before sorting it out over the second half. The K numbers are a bit down overall but consistent (20-plus K percentage in 10 of 13 starts), and given the lineups have been throwing out, we definitely view this as a plus matchup.

Justin Verlander (DET) is interesting because he always come with high upside (Ks and innings), but he walks just enough guys while allowing enough fly balls to be run prevention risky, if you believe his current HR/FB rate (around league average) is the norm (his career mark is 7.9). Verlander is a heavy home favorite in a decent matchup, so we could see pivoting his way if you don’t fully trust Carrasco (particularly on FanDuel where you’ll save a little bit of money).

On DraftKings, we’d definitely look to pay up for Carrasco since your alternative is likely Felix Hernandez (SEA). Vegas likes him a bit as it’s a solid matchup, but uncertainty surrounding a combination of his poor pre-DL peripherals and the first start back from the DL don’t provide us with a ton of confidence.

The best mid-tier value on both sites but more usable on DraftKings is Marcus Stroman (TOR). The risk is high with all the tier four starting pitchers, so we’re leaning on Stroman’s talent (even if it hasn’t shown itself this year) in an NL park as a heavy favorite (-170). The rest of the options in the tier are tournaments options, with Chris Archer (TB) (DraftKings) and Daniel Mengden (OAK) (FanDuel) sticking out simply due to pricing.

Catcher Rankings

1) Russell Martin (TOR)

2) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

3) Curt Casali (TB)

4) Willson Contreras (CHC)

5) Welington Castillo (ARI)

If you want the best value at the catcher position, the best option is pretty clearly Russell Martin (TOR) who should be priced right around the average cost of a hitter after filling out your pitching staff. Martin has a solid .354 wOBA and .141 ISO against LHP since 2014. It’s a good park and the lack of a DH should ensure a good lineup spot against Patrick Corbin, who has really struggled this season (5.25 ERA/5.20 FIP/4.38 xFIP). If you’re not using Martin, the best course of action is probably to simply punt the position, and we’ll address any potential punts in alerts. However, Welington Castillo (ARI) stands out as an option on DraftKings.

First Base Rankings

1) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

2) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

3) Steve Pearce (TB) (where eligible)

4) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

5) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) (faces a struggling LHP in plus hitter’s park) and Anthony Rizzo (CHC) (warm temperatures with the wind blowing slightly out; plus splits matchup against Bartolo Colon) are the top two ranked first basement. We prefer Edwin salary aside, but if wanting to pay up here it’s pretty easy to diversify on price by using Encarnacion on DraftKings and Rizzo on FanDuel (really not even “paying up” here). The best mid-tier value is Miguel Cabrera (DET) who remains underpriced. That’s especially the case for a day game in warm temperatures where the Tigers have a team total around 5 against Ervin Santana (4.44 xFIP). Teammate Victor Martinez (DET) is a really good per dollar value at first base on DraftKings and a secondary value at catcher on FanDuel.

Second Base Rankings

1) Logan Forsythe (TB)

2) Steve Pearce (TB) (where eligible)

3) Devon Travis (TOR)

4) Jose Altuve (HOU)

5) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

6) Robinson Cano (SEA)

The sites have really priced this Coors Field game accurately in our opinion, which is why we haven’t touched upon it much up until this point. Even at second base our model has better per dollar values, but if you’re really itching for some exposure both Logan Forsythe (TB) (.382 wOBA, .251 ISO against LHP since 2014) and Steve Pearce (TB) (career .369 wOBA, .231 ISO and outstanding current year splits against LHP) are viable on DraftKings. Devon Travis (TOR) is the best universal mid-tier value play. He should lead off for the Jays in a good spot against Patrick Corbin, and he’s got good skills (career .181 ISO, .348 wOBA). Each site has a viable punt that competes with Travis as the best per dollar value, and those are Brian Dozier (MIN) on DraftKings (Verlander has some reverse splits, allowing a .360 wOBA and .160 ISO to RHBs since 2014) and Tommy La Stella (CHC) on FanDuel (great punt as a minimum priced leadoff hitter for a Cubs team we’re expecting to have a total around 5).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

2) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

3) Carlos Correa (HOU)

4) Trevor Story (COL)

5) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

Francisco Lindor (CLE) is our top ranked shortstop as opposing pitcher Ian Kennedy continues to give a ton of power thanks to a very low GB rate (33.5 percent) and a largely elevated HR/FB rate (16.3 percent) for the second consecutive season, which is supported by a 19.6 hard minus soft hit rate. While the matchup for Eduardo Nunez (MIN) isn’t ideal, his breakout (34 combined homers and steals, good contact rate) and Verlander’s reverse splits, including high recent power numbers to RHBs, puts him at a pretty reasonable price tag industry wide. These are the top targets for us, but the rest of the top five options are secondary cash values or tournament plays depending on site pricing.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Evan Longoria (TB)

3) Nolan Arenado (COL)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC)

5) Miguel Sano (MIN) (where eligible)

6) Jake Lamb (ARI)

7) Eduardo Nunez (MIN) (where eligible)

Third base isn’t a bad spot to force spend on some Coors Field exposure as Evan Longoria (TB) and Nolan Arenado (COL) rate just behind Donaldson but possess lower price tags and similar or better per dollar values than anyone at the position. However, if you’re not quite able to squeeze them in, you can continue to consider the underpriced Twins RHBs on DraftKings (Nunez, Sano), although we’d do that for cap relief in a spot or two, not as a cash game mini-stack. On FanDuel the scorching Jake Lamb (ARI) has a mid-tier price tag and will face Marcus Stroman (.352 wOBA, .161 ISO allowed to LHBs this season).

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Brandon Guyer/Steve Pearce (TB) (if top four)

3) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC) (where eligible)

5) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

6) Steven Souza (TB)

7) Miguel Sano (MIN)

8) Josh Reddick (OAK)

9) George Springer (HOU)

10) Cameron Maybin (DET)

11) Michael Saunders (TOR)

12) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

13) Leonys Martin (SEA)

14) Seth Smith (SEA)

15) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

When all is said and done, you should be able to fit in two to three Coors hitters into your lineup, and that includes at least one spend in the outfield. On FanDuel, the clear value to get in from the Colorado game is Steve Pearce (TB) at $3,500, but on both sites you could possibly fit in two or three spends extending to Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Charlie Blackmon (COL), or Brandon Guyer (TB). Nelson Cruz (TB) has big time power upside at a vary affordable price tag (particularly on DraftKings). Opposing pitcher Miguel Gonzalez has allowed 1.41 HR/9 to RHBs over his career. His teammate Leonys Martin (SEA) will leadoff and is also very affordable for an event type player. Steven Souza (TB) has tremendous upside and the lineup spot being outside of the top five isn’t as much of a concern in Coors. While that covers the top six ranked outfielders, there are different strategies based on site for filling out your third or last two outfield spots that won’t belong to Coors. On DraftKings, there are several high upside options that rank inside our top 10 overall outfielders priced below $4k. You can look there rather than trying to punt the position. On FanDuel, those same options exist but with a higher relative price tag, which brings in to play some sub-3k options, such as the aforementioned Leonys Martin and previously unmentioned Michael Bourn (ARI), who is a great punt out of the second spot for the Diamondbacks. It’s not a huge sample due to the All Star Break, but Justin Upton (DET) has a ridiculous positive 1.7 delta in our well-hit tool. Given his reputation as a streaky hitter, Santana’s homer prone ways, and the hot weather, he’s an elite tournament option who could also be used in cash games.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Tampa Bay Rays

2) Colorado Rockies

3) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Two

4) Chicago Cubs

5) Detroit Tigers

We wouldn’t go overboard trying to full stack Coors in cash games, but if you play the smart values in the right spot you should be able to afford two to four options in this game in cash without full on sacrificing anywhere else in your lineup. The Jays are nice for supplementary value, especially in the infield.

The two tier two stacks feature two teams that can hit for power and have expected team totals around 5 runs in plus hitting environments due to warmer weather.

Contrarian Tournament Stacks

-Minnesota Twins (this is DraftKings specific, but a mini-stack of Twins gives you okay power upside and a ton of cap relief to do whatever you want around it).

-Seattle Mariners (will go underowned with all the better offensive environments, but Miguel Gonzalez is very homer prone when he goes bad, which has been somewhat masked this year by a HR/FB rate 2.9 points less than his career average; Mariners are third in wRC+ against RHP)

MLB Daily Analysis

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