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July 20 MLB DFS Late Slate: Papi Gonna Make Us Rich
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July 20 MLB DFS Late Slate: Papi Gonna Make Us Rich

00:46 Starting Pitchers
08:22 Catchers
10:39 First Base
12:25 Second Base
14:17 Shortstop
16:41 Third Base
18:05 Outfield
22:37 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks




Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Michael Pineda (NYY)

Tier Two

2) Jaime Garcia (STL)

3) Wei Yin Chen (MIA)

4) Drew Pomeranz (BOS)

5) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

6) Hector Santiago (LAA)

Tier Three

7) Jeremy Hellickson (PHI)

8) Bud Norris (LAD)

This is not a fun slate for starting pitching. Michael Pineda (NYY) sits atop our rankings on the basis of strikeout potential and the potential for a watered down Orioles lineup in part due to Chris Davis‘ illness that has kept him out of the last two games. Pineda’s inability to limit hard contact and thus home runs at home brings a terrifying downside but he’s also struck out at least six batters in 12 of his 18 starts. In addition, Pineda is cheap. On a slate with so much questionable pitching, you’re going to want a relatively cheap SP in order to afford the high-end bats against all the other weak pitchers. Pineda gives you this opportunity. In tournaments, Pineda is going to be heavily owned and while the upside is always intriguing in tournaments, he’s a relatively easy target to fade when ownership is elevated. This would fit our approach for this slate. If you’re not comfortable playing Pineda, the alternatives aren’t much more inspiring. Jaime Garcia (STL) faces a Padres’ offense that leads the league in wRC+ against LHP. They strike out at an elevated clip (24.3 percent) and do most of their damage with power, which Garcia limits with his extreme ground ball rate, but it’s not a soft matchup by any means. Garcia comes with the lowest implied run total against (3.6 runs) and he’s tied for the biggest favorite on the slate. On a site like FanDuel, where the win is emphasize more heavily, Garcia is a fine target over Pineda. On DraftKings, they make the most sensible pair for cash games.

If you’re looking for alternatives from our top two starters, Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) gets a soft matchup against the Phillies (30th in wRC+ against LHP with the fifth highest K Rate) and he makes the most sense as a pivot. He’s priced similarly on FanDuel and cheaper on DraftKings. Hector Santiago (LAA) looks like a really strong tournament target at home against a Rangers’ offense that has more viable LHBs than RHBs leading their offense. The Rangers rank just 21st in wRC+.

Catcher Rankings

1) Brian McCann (NYY)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Jacob Realmuto (MIA)

4) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

5) Cameron Rupp (PHI)

The catcher position is pretty deep for a short slate but one catcher stands out among the rest for us. Brian McCann (NYY) faces a below average RHP at home in Yankee Stadium and he’s priced reasonably around the industry. Yovani Gallardo has allowed a .351 wOBA and .164 ISO since 2015 while Brian McCann owns a .336 wOBA and .209 ISO against RHP during that span. The Yankees have the second highest implied run total on this slate and McCann is one of the easiest ways to get exposure. The depth at the catcher position leaves a lot of tournament options including: Buster Posey (SF), Jacob Realmuto (MIA), Jonathan Lucroy (MIL), and Cameron Rupp (PHI).

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Albert Pujols (LAA)

3) Hanley Ramirez (BOS)

4) Wil Myers (SD)

5) John Jaso (PIT)

David Ortiz (BOS) is pretty much a must play in our eyes. The lack of high salary starters makes the price tag irrelevant and he’s the best way to get exposure to the Red Sox offense. The first base position isn’t even deep on this slate, making Ortiz all the more attractive. We expect ownership will be immense with Ortiz against a below average/fly ball prone RHP at home, so potential pivots would be Hanley Ramirez (BOS) – getting Boston exposure at a severely lower ownership level, Albert Pujols (LAA) – red hot of late and platoon advantage, or Wil Myers (SD) – a leverage play on a high-owned SP and Myers has crushed LHP this season (.398 wOBA, .216 ISO since start of 2015).

Second Base Rankings

1) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

2) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

3) Howie Kendrick (LAA)

4) Jonathan Schoop (BAL)

5) Josh Harrison (PIT)

Second base is another position where we have a very strong lean in cash games. Daniel Murphy (WAS) is under-priced for his exceptional performance against RHP this season (.432 wOBA and .268 ISO) and an elite matchup against Bud Norris (.386 wOBA, .214 ISO allowed since 2015 to LHBs). Murphy’s the clear cut top play and the clear cut top value at the position. Like first base, we expect second base ownership will crowd around Murphy. If you’d like to pivot, Dustin Pedroia (BOS) will likely take up a lot of ownership as a part of Red Sox stacks which has us leaning towards Jonathan Schoop (BAL) as a leverage play with power against Michael Pineda who should also see hefty ownership.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

3) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

4) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

5) Didi Gregorius (NYY)

On DraftKings, Manny Machado (BAL) is just $3,600. It’s at least $1,000 too cheap for his skill-set. Xander Bogaerts (BOS) is the alternative if you don’t want Machado against Pineda but he comes at a more reasonable price tag. On FanDuel, Bogaerts is just $3,300 and a very affordable way to get more exposure to the Red Sox implied team total which is over six runs. Jonathan Villar (MIL) is priced as a viable alternative to Bogaerts on FanDuel. He’s from his better side and Jeff Locke isn’t very good against RHBs (.333 wOBA, .151 ISO allowed since 2015) but it’s a massive park downgrade. Aledmys Diaz (STL) and Didi Gregorius (NYY) look like the best tournament pivots on the short slate.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Jung Ho Kang (PIT)

3) Maikel Franco (PHI)

4) Justin Turner (LAD)

5) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

Manny Machado (BAL) is also our top-ranked third basemen, which is the position he carries eligibility on both sites. The price tag on FanDuel is appropriate, so he’s a less compelling play but we’d like him at one of the two slots on DraftKings. Jung Ho Kang (PIT), Maikel Franco (PHI), and Justin Turner (LAD) are our value alternatives on both sites and they’re priced accordingly on both sites. Kang would be a nice way to get PIT exposure in cash games, but he’s a little pricier than the others so if salary relief is important Franco or Turner are fine alternatives with the platoon advantage.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Starling Marte (PIT)

4) Mookie Betts (BOS)

5) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

6) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

7) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

8) Brett Gardner (NYY)

9) Ryan Braun (MIL)

10) Carlos Beltran (NYY)

11) Christian Yelich (MIA)

12) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

13) Ben Revere (WAS)

14) Thomas Pham (STL)

15) Ian Desmond (TEX)

The outfield is headlined by Mike Trout (LAA) and Bryce Harper (WAS) as both have the platoon advantage against weak opposing starters. Mookie Betts (BOS) doesn’t rank quite as highly but represents a viable alternative if you simply want to force more BOS exposure into your cash game lineups. On both sites, we’d recommend at least one of these studs in your outfield and it’s possible to fit both. Both sites have acceptable mid-tier values with Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), Starling Marte (PIT)/Andrew McCutchen (PIT), and Jacoby Ellsbury/Brett Gardner (NYY) fitting the bill on FanDuel. On DraftKings, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew McCutchen, and Carlos Beltran (NYY) fit the bill. These are all pieces of some of our favorite offenses and have the appropriate platoon split against their opposing pitcher. Stanton and the Pirates are facing some reverse-splits RHPs while the Yankees get a soft RHP. If you need salary relief on FanDuel, the Cardinals (Randal Grichuk/Tommy Pham) and Dodgers (Scott Van Slyke/Yasiel Puig) offer solid value, especially the punt price tags on the Dodgers if they land in good lineup spots. On DraftKings, Ben Revere (WAS) is about the cheapest outfielder ($3,100) we’d consider in cash games.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Boston Red Sox

Tier Two

2) New York Yankees

3) Pittsburgh Pirates

The Red Sox are very clearly the chalk on this slate and for good reason. Matt Cain has posted a 5.50+ ERA over his last 25 starts and that’s while pitching in the NL and with the friendliest home pitching environment in baseball. The Red Sox should be heavier owned than a typical Coors Field slate. We have no expensive pitching worth paying for and few other offenses that even come close from an implied run projection (next highest is almost a full run less)

Contrarian Stacks:

Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates rank as our third strongest stack but we don’t see ownership gravitating towards them as it should. Chase Anderson has been remarkably bad against RHBs (.373 wOBA, .220 ISO since 2015) and while he gets a big park shift, the bulk of the Pirates offense is RHBs. Throw in the return of Francisco Cervelli adding depth to the lineup and you have more ways to turn the lineup over. Most importantly for the Pirates, Jonathan Lucroy struggles wildly at holding base-runners and when Pirates’ stacks work best at home it’s usually with gap base hits and stolen bases as opposed to big power. This is also why they usually carry low ownership at home, making them an appealing contrarian stack on this short slate.