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July 9 MLB DFS Early Slate: Sipping some Machowder
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July 9 MLB DFS Early Slate: Sipping some Machowder

00:42 Starting Pitchers
08:05 Catchers
09:52 First Base
12:15 Second Base
15:37 Shortstop
17:47 Third Base
19:15 Outfield
22:59 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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July 9 MLB DFS Early Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Danny Salazar (CLE)

2) Jose Quintana (CHW)

Tier Two

3) Lance McCullers (HOU)

4) Carlos Martinez (STL)

Tier Three

5) Julio Teheran (ATL)

6) Robbie Ray (ARZ)

Tier Four

7) Aaron Sanchez (TOR)

8) Jake Peavy (SF)

9) Adam Conley (MIA)

Danny Salazar (CLE) and Jose Quintana (CHW) headline our top tier for Saturday’s afternoon slate. Both are above average starters who have favorable matchups against below average offenses. Salazar draws a Yankees’ offense that ranks 23rd in wRC+ against RHP but doesn’t strike out very much (fifth lowest K rate against RHP at 18.5%). The Yankees are really lefty heavy but that shouldn’t be an issue for Salazar who has held LHBs to just a .289 wOBA in his career and actually has a higher K Rate (28.1 percent) against LHBs. Quintana gets a Braves’ offense that ranks 29th in wRC+ against LHP with a league average K Rate. Salazar has a little higher K upside but Quintana’s implied run total against is a bit lower (3.9 vs. 3.4). Salazar has the more favorable umpire and the slightly higher upside overall so we’re leaning him where the prices are close on DraftKings, but it really comes down to preference. On FanDuel, Quintana is notably cheaper and makes for the better selection allowing you to upgrade offense.

The second tier of starters has two high upside arms in Carlos Martinez (STL) who faces a Brewers’ offense that leads the league in strikeouts against RHP (26 K Rate) but has the benefit of a strong home environment for their power potential and Lance McCullers (HOU) who carries a huge K Rate (28.3 percent) into his matchup with the Athletics. The Brewers are extremely right-handed which is ideal for Martinez who has held RHBs to a .260 wOBA while striking out 26.7 percent of them in his career. The concern with Martinez is the K Rate hasn’t been consistently there this season and the Brewers have a solid implied run total of four runs. Lance McCullers flashed his strikeout dominance last start but gets a contact heavy Athletics’ offense that strikes out at the fourth lowest clip against RHP. They’re not a particularly potent offense (27th in wRC+) and the implied run total against is just 3.6 runs. Both of these starters can be used as complementary options on DraftKings, or the two could be paired for a little salary relief and more per dollar upside. The only other starter under consideration on DraftKings as a secondary starter is Jake Peavy (SF) who gets a right hand heavy Diamondbacks offense that projects as very strikeout prone and is getting a big negative park shift. Peavy has his own skill risk but the implied total against is just 3.7 runs and Peavy is only $5,900.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) J.T. Realmuto (MIA)

3) Brian McCann (NYY)

4) Yadier Molina (STL)

The options at the catcher position are pretty limited on the afternoon slate and could get further limited as managers rest catchers on a day game after a night game. Buster Posey (SF) ranks as the top option in a favorable matchup against Robbie Ray (.342 wOBA, .158 ISO to RHBs since 2015). Ray is getting a nice park shift but his very fly ball and thus homer prone bringing some more upside for Posey. J.T. Realmuto (MIA) has been leading off of late and gets John Lamb (.364 wOBA, .199 ISO against RHBs since 2015). Lamb has been far more effective his last few starts with more strikeouts and less hard contact so we’re mostly interested in Realmuto at cheap price tags like the one on FanDuel ($2,800). On DraftKings, where pricing is less friendly to the catcher position you might look for salary relief from Salvador Perez (KC) or Yadier Molina (STL).

First Base Rankings

1) Chris Davis (BAL)

2) Albert Pujols (LAA)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

4) David Ortiz (BOS)

5) Hanley Ramirez (BOS)

6) Mike Napoli (CLE)

7) Brandon Belt (SF)

8) Logan Morrison (TB)

9) Matt Adams (STL)

Chris Davis (BAL) leads the way at first base but he’s been struggling of late. You wouldn’t catch it from our well hit tool because he’s not making much contact. He’s struck out 11 times in his last five games and has just one single during that span. The power upside is immense at Nick Tropeano who allows a 48.5 Fly Ball Rate but at full price it’s fine to shop around at first base. The alternatives vary by site. On FanDuel, you’ve got Mike Napoli (CLE) and Hanley Ramirez (BOS) with the platoon advantage and price tags at or below $3,000. On DraftKings, you have to dig a bit deeper where Brandon Belt (SF), Logan Morrison (TB), and Matt Adams (STL) would represent an acceptable values. While Davis ranks third in our model overall, the top two outfielders are in similarly strong positions and haven’t been struggling of late. As a result, we’re a little more likely to play the value at first base and spend up in the outfield.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

3) Robinson Cano (SEA)

4) Greg Garcia (STL) – if leadoff, where eligible

5) Logan Forsythe (TB)

Jose Altuve (HOU) tops our second base rankings but he’s outside our Top 10 overall hitters on this slate and doesn’t make for a particularly great spend. On FanDuel, Greg Garcia (STL) remains minimum priced and is an elite source of salary relief that we’d lock in as long as he’s leading off against Chase Anderson. On DraftKings, Garcia is not second base eligible nor minimum priced so you’re left with some other decisions. Dustin Pedroia (BOS) has a fair price tag and has historically hit LHP very well at home (career .404 wOBA, .182 ISO at home vs LHP). If you need additional salary relief, Logan Forsythe (TB) and Scooter Gennett (MIL) are top of the order options in favorable offensive environments albeit against solid opposing starters.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

3) Carlos Correa (HOU)

4) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

5) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

6) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

7) Greg Garcia (STL) – if leadoff, where eligible

8) Brad Miller (TB)

Manny Machado (BAL) leads a deep shortstop position that includes four of our Top 15 hitters overall. He’s shortstop eligible on DraftKings only and strong alternatives exist thanks to softer pricing on both Xander Bogaerts (BOS) and Carlos Correa (HOU). Machado faces the fly ball prone Tropeano who has largely neutral splits, as does Machado. Bogaerts gets the platoon advantage (.377 wOBA, .140 ISO since 2014 against LHP) and hits third for the offense with the highest implied team total on the slate. Correa doesn’t get the platoon advantage but Kendall Graveman can’t miss bats and gets a severe park downgrade. Greg Garcia (STL) has shortstop eligibility on DraftKings and also comes at a soft price point. On FanDuel, the softer pricing on Bogaerts ($3,600) makes it a little easier to prioritize him as your cash game shortstop option.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Greg Garcia (STL) – if leadoff, where eligible

3) Evan Longoria (TB)

4) Martin Prado (MIA)

5) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

6) Yunel Escobar (LAA)

7) Kyle Seager (SEA)

Manny Machado (BAL) ranks as our top third base option and by a pretty wide margin. The position lacks depth and especially lacks values on FanDuel. At $4,000, Machado is fairly priced and makes for your primary target. On DraftKings, there is a bit more depth thanks to Greg Garcia‘s (STL) eligibility and Evan Longoria (TB) with a reasonable $3,500 price tag.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Mookie Betts (BOS)

3) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

4) Matt Holliday (STL)

5) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

6) Rajai Davis (CLE)

7) Marcell Ozuna (MIA)

8) George Springer (HOU)

9) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

10) Adam Jones (BAL)

11) Adam Eaton (CHW)

12) Hyun Soo Kim (BAL)

13) Ryan Braun (MIL)

14) Christian Yelich (MIA)

15) Leonys Martin (SEA)

Mike Trout (LAA), Mookie Betts (BOS), Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), and Matt Holliday (STL) represent four of the top six overall hitters on this slate. Trout is our top option and with a huge park shift even ranks as a decent value despite the hefty tag. Mookie Betts offers a little salary relief and gives you direct access to the highest implied team total on the slate. Giancarlo Stanton gets a LHP and has finally started looking more like himself of late. With a .430 wOBA and .429 ISO against LHP since 2015, Stanton is another elite spend. Ideally, we’d like to pay for one of these elite outfielders on the slate or two of the top four. On DraftKings, you get a price break on Matt Holliday (STL) at just $3,900. Chase Anderson has shown some reverse splits (.370 wOBA, .213 ISO since 2015) and Holliday owns a solid .351 wOBA and .162 ISO against RHP during that span. A plus park shift and great lineup spot makes Holliday a really strong play on DraftKings. Adam Jones (BAL) is that value on FanDuel with a $3,000 price tag that looks out of place compared to the rest of the options. Jones has posted a .349 wOBA and .209 ISO against RHP since the start of last season and gets Tropeano’s fly ball prone tendencies. Bryce Brentz (BOS) is a viable punt play on both sites if you need to find salary relief to squeeze in other premier bats.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Boston Red Sox

Tier Two

2) Baltimore Orioles

3) St. Louis Cardinals

4) Miami Marlins

The Red Sox represent the chalk on this slate as they get a LHP at home. They have an implied run total approaching six runs and they’ll likely be the most owned offense in tournaments. The Orioles will likely garner the next most interest in tournaments which makes the Cardinals and Marlins strong pivots with slightly lower ownerships.

Contrarian Tournament

Houston Astros – The pricing on the Astros middle infielders should also make them naturally contrarian and drive down ownership on their stack. Against a contact heavy starter and a bullpen without Doolittle that is much weaker now, the Astros are an appealing contrarian stack on this slate.