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July 3 MLB DFS: Rajai The Roof
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July 3 MLB DFS: Rajai The Roof

01:39 Starting Pitchers
07:31 Catchers
09:38 First Base
11:32 Second Base
14:29 Shortstop
17:03 Third Base
19:23 Outfield
23:16 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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July 3 MLB DFS Pro Tip

Slate Note: As per usual on Sundays, the primary content will focus on the main slate on FanDuel and DraftKings, which includes the first nine games of the day. All games will be covered in alerts, and you can use our Beta Hitter Model for all day hitter rankings.

MIA-ATL Note: This game is being played at Fort Bragg Field in Fort Bragg, NC, and we don’t have any park effects for the stadium. Our beta hitter model is still assuming the park effects for Turner Field.

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

Tier Two

2) Jon Lester (CHC)

3) Noah Syndergaard (NYM) (health risk)

Tier Three

4) Vincent Velasquez (PHI)

5) Corey Kluber (CLE)

6) Michael Wacha (STL)

Tier Four

7) Cole Hamels (TEX)

8) Yordano Ventura (KC)

9) Chris Archer (TB)

10) Collin McHugh (HOU)

11) Jose Quintana (CHW)

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) will return from a short stint on the DL (back) and step into a really good spot. The line hasn’t been released yet, but he’ll likely be a massive favorite against the Reds and John Lamb in Washington. There’s always some risk in utilizing a starting pitcher back from the DL, but we’re still keen on Strasburg in cash games, particularly on DraftKings (cheaper than Lester, easy to complement with a cheaper second pitcher). The Reds are 28th in wRC+ against RHP with a 22.7 K percentage while Strasburg is having a phenomenal season (31.9 K percentage, 2.88 xFIP, 3.1 hard minus soft hit rate).

Jon Lester (CHC) seems like the safe alternative if worried about Strasburg returning from injury. He’s only a slight favorite on the road against the Mets and Noah Syndergaard (NYM). If healthy, Syndergaard would rank right up with Strasburg in our model, but he’s clearly not 100 percent. We’d only pursue him in tournament formats.

Michael Wacha (STL) is the best industry wide value play. You could use him to load up on hitters on FanDuel or as a second starting pitcher on DraftKings. Wacha has been disappointing this season (basically pitched as an average starting pitcher), but a home matchup against the Brewers should simultaneously help his run prevention while promoting more strikeouts. He’s a large favorite at -195.

Secondary values and strong tournament options both exist in the KC-PHI matchup that pits Vincent Velasquez (PHI) (always a high risk, high reward option with a big K rate) and Yordano Ventura (KC) (has pitched better recently and faces a bad offense in an NL park; particularly cheap on Draftkings) against each other. Strictly speaking tournament formats, Chris Archer (TB) is our top option. In that format we don’t care about the risk (high upside Tigers offense), but instead are solely focused on the upside (big K rate and heavily right handed lineup in Tampa Bay give him top pitcher upside despite being our ninth ranked pitcher overall).

Catcher Rankings

1) Evan Gattis (HOU)

2) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

3) Wilson Ramos (WAS)

4) Yan Gomes (CLE)

5) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

It’s an extremely thin catcher position for the Sunday main slate, and we’re eyeing in on two specific values: Evan Gattis (HOU) and Yan Gomes (CLE). Gattis’ value has been driven down due to poor lineup spots as of late and also some waning production (negative delta in our well-hit tool), but we’re expecting a top five lineup spot at home against a LHP tomorrow. While Jose Quintana is a solid pitcher, the context alone (platoon edge/lineup spot/park) and Gattis’ power relative to his peers make him the top catcher option, salary aside. Gomes likely won’t have a top five lineup spot but even hitting sixth or seventh on the road in a plus hitter’s park is fine. Similar to Gattis, Gomes has plus power for a catcher (career .178 IS), but unlike Gattis he faces a below average LHP in JA Happ (4.59 xFIP, 15.4 hard minus soft hit rate). It’s really easy to diversify ownership base on price with the two priced the same on FanDuel but Gomes meaningfully cheaper on DraftKings. In tournaments, this is a good position to punt, possibly with a low owned member of a stack.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Albert Pujols (LAA)

3) Mike Napoli (CLE)

4) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

5) Jose Abreu (CHW)

David Ortiz (BOS) is the top first basemen given his absurd numbers (187 wRC+, .342 ISO), but given his expensive price tag and Shoemaker pitching well, he makes for a better tournament option than cash game spend, although the FanDuel price tag is enticing. In the latter format, Mike Napoli (CLE) pops industry wide (.386 wOBA, .222 ISO against LHP since 2015; mentioned Happ’s struggles above even if ERA masks them) as a strong per dollar value. Alternative options exist on each site, most notably Albert Pujols (LAA) (Sean O’Sullivan is horrific, which we’ll get into more later) who is affordable on DraftKings.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Matt Carpenter (STL)

3) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

4) Logan Forsythe (TB)

5) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

We’d like to pay up for Jose Altuve (HOU) where possible as he’s arguably the most coveted DFS asset given a combination of positional scarcity, safety (high contact rate, high BA, double digit walk rate), and upside (already 34 combined homers and steals). He’ll hold the platoon edge at home against Jose Quintana, and it’s extremely difficult to pass on that price tag. If not using Altuve, there are several viable mid-tier options, with no one in particular standing out as the best option: Daniel Murphy (WAS) (lack of platoon edge but horrific Reds pitching staff still keeps him in play), Dustin Pedroia (BOS) (Shoemaker has pitched well but this is still the two hitter for the best offense in baseball at home with a high implied run total), and Jason Kipnis (CLE) (also lacks platoon edge, but this is more than accounted for in his DraftKings price tag). Brian Dozier‘s (MIN) high recent well-hit rating and plus power history against LHP makes him a fun tournament play.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

3) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

4) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

5) Brad Miller (TB)

While Correa is the top option (secondary value), Francisco Lindor (CLE) is the more valuable top end shortstop given a lower price tag. As we mentioned when discussing Mike Napoli, Happ’s 3.70 ERA is much more about luck than it is holding the skill gains he made last season. The best alternative to Lindor is simply buying low on Xander Bogaerts‘ (BOS) price, but keep in mind we’ve been somewhat skeptical of the power gains all season and the recent well-hit rating is poor. Aledmys Diaz (STL) is a nice tournament spend as he’ll likely be low owned but Chase Anderson is a big reverse splits guy (.364 wOBA, .201 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2014).

Third Base Rankings

1) Matt Carpenter (STL) (where eligible)

2) Yunel Escobar (LAA)

3) Evan Longoria (TB)

4) Todd Frazier (CHW)

5a) Eduardo Nunez (MIN) (where eligible)

5b) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

5c) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

Third base is a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s easy to go the value route here with a lack of expensive options to pay up for. On the other hand, pricing is pretty sharp across the industry meaning there are a variety of ways to go at the mid to mid-low price level. You can pick apart pricing based on site with Todd Frazier (CHW) (seems to be over his slump, positive delta in well-hit tool) and Anthony Rendon (WAS) (poor lineup spot but John Lamb has been really bad – 4.94 xFIP and 33.9 hard hit rate) looking like the best values on FanDuel. Over on DraftKings, Yunel Escobar (LAA) sticks out as he’ll be a road leadoff hitter getting a massive park shift in his favor. More importantly, the Angels are going up against Sean O’Sullivan who has amassed a 6.03 ERA in 313.2 big league innings. Trevor Plouffe (MIN) is a cap relief option across the industry.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Rajai Davis (CLE)

4) George Springer (HOU)

5) Matt Holliday (STL)

6) Mookie Betts (BOS)

7) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

8) Jayson Werth (WAS)

9) Miguel Sano (MIN)

10) Michael Taylor (WAS)

11) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

12) Shin-Soo Choo (TEX)

13) Ryan Braun (MIL)

14) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

15) Adam Eaton (CHW)

Mike Trout (LAA) is our top ranked outfield and top ranked hitter overall. If going the value route at starting pitcher, he’s the expensive spend we’re most interested in as it’s a complete mismatch against arguably the worst starting pitcher on the entire slate. Bryce Harper‘s (WAS) recent woes have made him a tough cash game spend, but the power upside is immense against the league’s worst bullpen. And while it’s a L/L matchup (one that DK has definitely taken into account with their pricing), keep in mind that against 111 total batters faced, John Lamb has allowed a .402 wOBA and .202 ISO to LHBs. The third of our top three outfielders is the most affordable, and that’s Rajai Davis (CLE). Davis is coming off a cycle last night, but more importantly he turns into an All Star leadoff guy when facing southpaws, putting up a .364 wOBA and .197 ISO against LHP since 2014. If you can’t afford Trout/Harper up top, there are plenty of mid or mid-low options to utilize in cash games, most notably Miguel Sano (MIN), who is simply underpriced base on his upside (career .245 ISO). Others exist though as Michael Taylor (WAS) (high risk/reward option in a plus matchup) and Matt Holliday (STL) (perfect even splits type hitter to take advantage of Chase Anderson‘s reverse splits) are underpriced on FanDuel, and Ezequiel Carrera (TOR) is a fine punt option on DraftKings.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Los Angeles Angels

2) Washington Nationals

3) St. Louis Cardinals

Additional Tournament Stacks

-Tampa Bay Rays (get caught in limbo a bit as pricing here is pretty good, but Mike Pelfrey is terrible – 5.39 FIP – and the bullpen behind him doesn’t do him any favors either)

-Boston Red Sox (price and Shoemaker’s recent run will keep people away, but this team leads all of baseball in wRC+ against RHP and Shoemaker is homer prone at times)

-Toronto Blue Jays (perhaps DraftKings specific where pricing takes into account difficulty of matchup, but a good spot to stack at home with virtually no ownership and a lower than usual cost)

-Cleveland Indians (a play against Happ’s xFIP/hard-soft hit rate combination with the added benefit of a large park shift and guaranteed nine innings on the road)