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July 28 MLB DFS: Savings At 2B Will Go Profar
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July 28 MLB DFS: Savings At 2B Will Go Profar

0:42 Starting Pitchers
10:38 Catchers
12:47 First Base
15:38 Second Base
17:09 Shortstop
19:15 Third Base
22:47 Outfield
29:30 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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JULY 28 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jose Fernandez (MIA)

Tier Two

2) Chris Sale (CHW)

3) Johnny Cueto (SF)

4) Aaron Nola (PHI)

5) David Price (BOS)

6) John Lackey (CHC)

Tier Three

7) Cole Hamels (TEX)

8) Michael Wacha (STL)

This slate is filled with starting pitching but one man stands above the rest. Jose Fernandez (MIA) has posted a K Rate above 28 percent in 15 of his 19 starts including seven of his last eight. He hasn’t had a start all season with a K Rate below 20 percent and he’s facing a heavily right-handed Cardinals’ lineup without the benefit of Brandon Moss or Matt Carpenter. Fernandez gets the benefit of pitching in controlled conditions at home and he has the lowest implied run total (three) against on the slate. Fernandez is priced well ahead of all the other strong starters on this slate, but he remains our preference. The floor with his current K Rate is incredible and he has by far the softest matchup of all the aces.

The second tier is loaded with familiar high-priced names, but most of whom are in difficult matchups for strikeouts. Chris Sale (CHW) faces a Cubs’ offense that ranks second in wRC+ against LHP and has the seventh lowest K Rate against LHP. The league bump for Sale coupled with favorable pitching conditions in Chicago have him at the top of our second tier. In our opinion, he has the biggest upside of this tier as the Cubs can strike out and they’re struggling of late. Johnny Cueto (SF) gets the benefit of an elite pitching environment at home against the Nationals who rank 17th in wRC+ and 23rd in K Rate against RHP. His K Rate relative to the top tier always trails, so matchups for run prevention and ability to work deep into games often funnel his ranking up. On both sites, these two are priced up and Cueto’s upside is questionable given the Nationals work pitchers and don’t strike out a ton. As a result, when searching for a complementary option for Jose Fernandez we’re inclined to look towards Aaron Nola (PHI) or David Price (BOS). They are both priced below $9,500 and while neither has a great matchup for strikeouts, run prevention should be solid. The Braves rank 30th in wRC+ but 22nd in K Rate against RHP. Nola gets a park boost in Atlanta but concerns over recent performance may push you in the direction of a more expensive price. Price faces the Angels who rank fifth in wRC+ against LHP and have the lowest K Rate (15.4 percent) by a wide margin. Price gets a nice park bump and friendlier temperatures in the 70s. Our lean is the price savings and potential stronger K upside for Nola. John Lackey (CHC) is another upside play as the White Sox offense projects very poorly against RHP (ranks 25th in wRC+ and now loses a DH) along with fairly strikeout prone. The challenge with Lackey is price tag remains inflated from his early season performance. On FanDuel, he’s priced as an interesting tournament target.

Cole Hamels (TEX) suffers from a weak pitching environment with hefty temperatures in Arlington but possesses a price tag that is viable in tournaments. Michael Wacha (STL) is cheap enough for DraftKings tournaments against the watered down Marlins’ offense and in a controlled pitching environment. You also could employ the “anyone against Philadelphia” strategy and consider Matt Wisler (ATL) a viable cheap tournament target. The challenge on this slate is those cheap guys don’t have the upside to make up for an elite SP on a one SP site like FanDuel, so they’re only viable on DraftKings.

Catcher Rankings

1) Willson Contreras (CHC)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Salvador Perez (KC)

4) Matt Wieters (BAL)

5) J.T. Realmuto (MIA)

The catcher position is fairly unappealing on this slate as the top options draw difficult matchups. No one stands out as a particularly strong value. Willson Contreras (CHC) has a strong enough projected skill set that he sits at the top of our rankings and comes with a relatively cheap price tag everywhere. Buster Posey (SF) has a very tough matchup for any semblance of power with Tanner Roark (.305 wOBA, .124 ISO since 2015) but is a skilled enough hitter to consider at softer price points. Matt Wieters (BAL) has the softest matchup with Kyle Gibson but gets a tough park shift for LH power in Minnesota. Salvador Perez (KC) is the cheapest of the bunch and gets a huge park shift in Arlington albeit with a tougher matchup against Cole Hamels. It’s hard to have a strong feeling at the position with so many weak options, but our model likes Contreras the most and Perez’s discounted tag on DraftKings makes for a solid combination of salary relief and upside.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Chris Davis (BAL) – extremely cold of late

3) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

4) Joe Mauer (MIN)

5) Hanley Ramirez (BOS)

David Ortiz (BOS) is very clearly the top play at first base, but it’s hard to fit the price tag if paying up for Jose Fernandez. Ortiz is getting a negative park shift but facing a fly ball oriented starter that struggles to miss bats (.346 wOBA, .191 ISO since 2015). Since it’s unlikely you can afford him, we’re looking for value at the position. Chris Davis (BAL) pops as our strongest value on DraftKings where the price is down and get gets a matchup against contact prone Kyle Gibson. It’s a massive park downgrade for power and Gibson gets enough ground balls to make the matchup less attractive than it might seem on paper. On FanDuel, Ryan Howard (PHI) is the bare minimum and facing Matt Wisler (.381 wOBA, .209 ISO since 2015). Without any elite values, it makes sense to get the most salary relief possible if Howard is hitting in a good lineup spot. Freddie Freeman (ATL), Joe Mauer (MIN), and Jose Abreu (CHW) are viable alternatives given softer price tags.

Second Base Rankings

1) Brian Dozier (MIN)

2) Jurickson Profar (TEX)

3) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

4) Rougned Odor (TEX)

5) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

Brian Dozier (MIN) is our highest rated second baseman, but the position really centers around Jurickson Profar (TEX) for us on both sites. Profar has been leading off in Choo/Fielder’s absence and gets the benefit of one of the best hitting environments in all of baseball during the summer months in Arlington. The Rangers have the highest implied run total on the slate and Profar’s price tag on FanDuel is laughable ($2,300) where he’s an exceptional value. Even on DraftKings, he rates out well at $3,700. With most of the alternatives at the position priced up and in far worse hitting environments, Profar is a building block for us on this slate.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

2) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

3) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

4) Tim Anderson (CHW)

5) Alcides Escobar (KC)

Shortstop is a tricky position on both sites as Eduardo Nunez (MIN) is fairly priced and gets one of the softer matchups of the day against Ubaldo Jimenez who also struggles to hold base-runners. Nunez projects well in our model as the Twins’ offense as a whole projects well. It’s understandable to not want to pay full price for a shortstop which brings punting the position into consideration. Alcides Escobar (KC) is priced as a punt on both sites and as a road leadoff hitter in the best environment on the slate has a decent chance at five plate appearances. The upside is low with Escobar because his skill set is very weak but the shortstop position carries little opportunity cost and he’s priced as a punt. Brandon Crawford (SF) is a higher upside alternative punt on FanDuel ($2,500) though Roark’s extreme ground-ball tendencies may neutralize much of the power upside.

Third Base Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

3) Eduardo Nunez (MIN) – where eligible

4) Manny Machado (BAL)

5) Jurickson Profar (TEX) – where eligible

6) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

7) Maikel Franco (PHI)

Third base is a nightmare position on FanDuel where all the top options are priced way up and there is no value to be round. Our model likes Kris Bryant‘s (CHC) immense skill-set against LHP (.386 wOBA, .273 ISO) even in a difficult matchup with Chris Sale but we’d rather pick on Sale with a discounted price tag if we’re going to do it. You get that opportunity on DraftKings ($4,100) but not as much on FanDuel ($4,000). As a result, we’re looking at Todd Frazier (CHW) or Pedro Alvarez (BAL) as viable alternatives. On DraftKings, you have Bryant’s discounted tag or the multi-position eligibility Twins’ to get exposure against Ubaldo Jimenez through Eduardo Nunez (MIN) or Miguel Sano (MIN).

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Mookie Betts (BOS)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

4) Miguel Sano (MIN)

5) Bryce Harper (WAS) – extremely cold of late

6) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

7) Ian Desmond (TEX)

8) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

9) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

10) Nomar Mazara (TEX)

11) Robbie Grossman (MIN) – if second

12) Adam Jones (BAL)

13) Hyun-Soo Kim (BAL)

14) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

15) Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS)

The outfield is a position you’ll generally look for value to complement your big spending at starting pitching on this slate. On FanDuel, Nomar Mazara (TEX) is practically a free square at $2,400 against Yordano Ventura (.329 wOBA, .161 ISO since 2015). The Rangers have the highest implied run total on the slate and you can get their top two hitters for a combined $4,700 with Mazara and Profar. On both sites, Bryce Harper‘s (WAS) price tag is severely discounted, putting him in the cash game conversation. The matchup with Cueto is difficult (.278 wOBA, .115 ISO since 2015) and Harper’s been exceptionally cold (-0.9 in well hit tool), so it’s fine to pass him up in favor of inferior overall hitters. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) and Miguel Sano (MIN) carry the best mid-priced tags to attack on both sites. If you’re trying to avoid the elite starters’ altogether, Robbie Grossman (MIN) and Hyun Soo Kim (BAL) are viable salary relief options that should hit second in the game with the highest total on the slate. Grossman would need a good lineup spot to be worth his current price tag.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Texas Rangers

2) Minnesota Twins

3) Boston Red Sox

Tier Two

4) Philadelphia Phillies

5) Baltimore Orioles

The Rangers, Twins, and Red Sox are the top ranked offenses on this slate but pricing will make it difficult to stack or mini-stack any offense on this slate. We’re picking apart values where we can but do like getting exposure to the Rangers and Twins where we can find cost-effective measures. It’s difficult to identify chalk stacks on this slate as so much will get determined by price tags that you can pair with elite starting pitching. The Rangers figure to be popular on FanDuel because of the exceptionally cheap price tags on Profar and Mazara. We expect tournament ownership largely to get spread out on this slate, but the tier one options along with perhaps the Orioles figure to garner the most.

Additional Tournament Stacks

Kansas City Royals – The Royals get a huge park shift in their favor and are one of the few offenses that is also priced down throughout the lineup. The matchup with Cole Hamels may be enough to keep ownership deflated, making them a potential lower ownership offense in a great park that you can pair with elite starting pitching.