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June 11 MLB DFS Early Slate: Arch FTW
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June 11 MLB DFS Early Slate: Arch FTW

01:46 Starting Pitchers
07:11 Catchers
08:51 First Base
10:44 Second Base
12:28 Shortstop
14:22 Third Base
15:50 Outfield
19:45 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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June 11 MLB DFS Early Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Two

2) Chris Archer (TB)

Tier Three

3) Jose Quintana (CHW)

4) Mike Fiers (HOU)

Tier Four

5) Logan Verrett (NYM)

6) Dan Straily (CIN)

7) JA Happ (TOR)

Jake Arrieta (CHC) is a secondary cash game value given the high degree of safety he offers (combination of skills, Vegas line, horrific Atlanta offense), especially relative to the other pitching options on the slate. However, our preference is to go the value route. Arrieta is very expensive, and using him makes it difficult to get the exposure to the Rockies offense we want (absurd team total over 7).

As a result, we like building around Chris Archer (TB). It’s far from a risk free play as the Astros are a high upside offense, and Archer has clearly had issues in the run prevention department (4.73 ERA). However, a favorable home park, the second lowest opposing team total on the slate (mitigates some of Archer’s risk), and the large K upside make Archer well worth it, especially given his current price tag. Archer has our highest projected K percentage on the slate (nearly 30 percent), which is a few percentage points higher than Arrieta and eight percentage points higher than the rest of the field.

The best complement to Archer on two SP sites and potential cheap alternative on single SP sites is Mike FIers (HOU). Fiers has been a disappointment this season as his ERA sits at 5.00 while the K rate has dropped off substantially. The good news is that Fiers’ xFIP (despite an elevated hard minus soft hit rate) and underlying pitch data (velocity, F-Strike and SwStr rates) indicate a boost to his K rate moving forward is likely. This matchup will certainly help there as the Rays offense has the third highest K rate against RHP (25.1 percent).

Logan Verrett (NYM) is a cheap option in tournaments as he’ll really help you load up on Coors Field and there’s some semblance of upside given Milwaukee’s league high 26.0 K percentage against RHP.

Catcher Rankings

1) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

2) Colorado C

3) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

4) Derek Norris (SD)

5) Matt Wieters (BAL)

With no obvious industry wide value plays, catcher is a good position to grab some cap relief. On FanDuel, both Stephen Vogt (OAK) and Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) are fine mid-tier options in plus parks with plus power projections relative to their peers. However, it’s possible to get even more cap relief. Salvador Perez (KC) is a site specific value on FanDuel. While he faces a strong opposing pitcher, he’ll hold the platoon edge in a park that represents a large shift in his favor. The Baltimore catchers are both cheap options as well, with Francisco Pena possibly emerging as a pure punt on both sites if he’s in the lineup.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

3) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

4) Joey Votto (CIN)

5) Wil Myers (SD)

6) Mark Reynolds (COL)

We’re focused on the low to mid-low priced options at this position, which are different on each site. Joey Votto (CIN) gives you access to one of our top five first basemen for a reasonable price on FanDuel. Opposing pitcher Kendall Graveman struggles to miss bats, has a 5.52 FIP/4.56 xFIP, and is undergoing a very negative park shift. The clear cap relief alternative here is James Loney (NYM) who comes in at a punt price but should have a top five lineup spot with the platoon edge in a favorable park. On DraftKings, no pure punt exists but you get two mid-tier options with Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) (one of the best ways to get access to a very high Toronto team total at home versus Mike Wright and his 4.98 ZiPS projected ROS ERA). For cheaper, you can get Colorado exposure, which is never a bad idea, by using Mark Reynolds (COL). Their implied team total of over 7 is the highest we’ve ever seen as they’ll square off against RHP Erik Johnson (5.03 ZiPS projected ERA).

Second Base Rankings

1) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

2) Neil Walker (NYM)

3) Brian Dozier (MIN)

4) Jose Altuve (HOU)

5) Yangervis Solarte (SD)

One of the reasons we’re so high on forcing COL exposure, outside of ya’know playing in Coors Field with a 7.3 implied run total that will have the whole world on them, is how well the team is hitting. Four COL regulars at the top of the lineup have a positive delta of 0.5 or greater in our well-hit tool, and that includes DJ LeMahieu (COL). He’s priced accordingly however, which may lead to a value approach at the position with any of Neil Walker (NYM) (great power upside given park shift, left side of the plate, and Wily Peralta‘s splits – .374 wOBA and .192 ISO to LHBs since 2014), Yangervis Solarte (SD) (possible cleanup hitter in Coors), and Jed Lowrie (OAK) (switch hitter with a good lineup spot against the horrid Reds pitching staff).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Trevor Story (COL)

3) Carlos Correa (HOU)

4) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

5) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

While we won’t do this at the sacrifice of Colorado exposure, we do find Manny Machado (BAL) very underpriced across the industry as he’ll be on the road in a favorable park against JA Happ (4.59 xFIP, 16.5 hard minus soft hit rate). However, it’s not necessarily feasible to do that. If that’s the case, we’d probably just punt the position. Currently Alcides Escobar (KC) looks like the best option to do that with (road leadoff hitter, platoon edge, positive park shift).

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC)

4) Danny Valencia (OAK)

5) Trevor Plouffe (MIN)

This position is pretty much Nolan Arenado (COL) (second overall ranked hitter) or bust. He’s a core play for us given his combination of skills and the team total. Josh Donaldson (TOR) would be a contrarian pivot but doesn’t offer enough cap relief from Arenado to be considered more than a secondary alternative in cash games. If eschewing Arenado, you’re probably dropping all the way down to get some cap relief with Trevor Plouffe (MIN) (.334 wOBA, .160 ISO against LHP since 2014).

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

3) Michael Conforto (NYM)

4) Ryan Braun (MIL)

5) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

6) Mookie Betts (BOS)

7) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

8) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

9) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

10) Domingo Santana (MIL)

11) Matt Kemp (SD)

12) Michael Saunders (TOR)

13) Billy Burns (OAK)

14) Jason Heyward (CHC)

15) Gerardo Parra (COL)

You really want exposure to the COL outfielders if possible as Carlos Gonzalez (COL) (first overall) and Charlie Blackmon (COL) (third overall) are our top two ranked outfielders before even considering their great well-hit ratings over the last two weeks (Gerardo Parra very positive in this department as well). We’re selling out to get our top three overall hitters into cash game lineups (all Rockies). However, if you have to drop to the mid-tier there are two super strong options on the Mets in Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Michael Conforto (NYM) (see Peralta’s splits in the second base position). The Oakland speedsters atop the lineup in Coco Crisp (OAK) and Billy Burns (OAK) get the large positive park shift playing in Cincinnati and a chance to beat up on Dan Straily (4.61 xFIP, 13.1 hard minus soft hit rate) and company (Reds bullpen has a 6.71 ERA). Joey Rickard (BAL) is the best punt option as he’s been hitting second for Baltimore against LHP.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

Tier Two

2) New York Mets

3) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Three

4) San Diego Padres

5) Boston Red Sox

It’s obvious you want to force Rockies exposure in cash games, and it’s not too terribly hard to get their big three into your lineups.

Aside from them, we covered our tier two stacks in the positional analysis. For the most part, we view a full Rockies fade (even in large field tournaments) as dangerous. We’d rather mix and match parts of their lineup with mini stacks from tier two or three. We do have a couple of contrarian stacks, but as usual when ownership will flock so heavily to one stack, it’s not necessary to go overly contrarian:

Contrarian Tournament Stacks

-Chicago White Sox (big home run upside at home against Chris Young)

-Oakland Athletics (affordable mini stack in a great spot)

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