Daily Fantasy Rundown – June 11th MLB DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Thursday’s edition of the Daily Fantasy Rundown with “leonem”, “dinkpiece” and “thenumbersguy”. Each day throughout the MLB season our daily MLB scouting reports will highlight the best top, value and cheap plays of the day based on the Daily Fantasy Industry’s pricing for salary cap games. The goal of our analysis is to help you improve consistency and become a better player long-term.
Weather: We’re keeping an eye on Chicago. Please see Meteorologist Mark Paquette’s game by game weather forecasts below the Analysis.
If any weather situations shift drastically, we will keep you updated with lineup alerts so make sure to check your email inbox up until roster lock.
Buster Posey (SFG) – Posey is facing a below average LHP this evening and he’s usually the top play when he’s facing a southpaw due to his amazing skill set. Posey has accumulated a .420 wOBA, 175 wRC+ and .244 ISO against LHP since 2012. It amazes me that Posey has been this type of hitter while playing the majority of his games in one of the worst hitting environments in baseball (AT&T Park). He faces Jon Niese (has allowed a .324 wOBA, 22 percent LD rate and has struck out 17 percent of RHBs since 2012) in a bad hitting environment (Citi Field). If you’re paying up for a catcher today, Posey is the best available option (only catcher to rank inside our top 15 overall hitters).
Next in line:
Matt Wieters (BAL) – Wieters is priced like Posey on most sites and he has been a very good hitter against LHP (.377 wOBA and .231 ISO against LHP since 2012). He’s playing in a superior hitting environment (Camden Yards) and Wade Miley isn’t all that good (.323 wOBA allowed to RHBs since 2012). He’s not quite Buster Posey but he’s a switch hitter (good for his DFS value) and he hits cleanup for an Orioles offense that’s approaching 4.5. It makes sense to have exposure to this offense, especially at a scarce position.
Miguel Montero (CHC) – Montero is priced favorably around the industry and even though he’s not a great hitter against RHP (.338 wOBA and .141 ISO against RHP since 2012), he usually hits cleanup. Michael Lorenzen is a pitcher we would like to target against (16 percent BB rate, 34 percent LD rate against LHBs and has a rest of season ERA above 5.00, according to ZiPS projections). The Cubs have a team total approaching 4.5 runs and Montero gives you exposure to a good lineup spot in this offense at a scarce position.
Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) – Lucroy doesn’t have a friendly matchup (Tanner Roark has been very good against RHBs) but he has good skills against RHP (.346 wOBA and .159 ISO against RHP in the last few seasons) and he benefits from a top five spot in this Brewers offense that’s at home. He’s a fair value around the industry.
Additional catcher notes: If you need more salary relief than what Montero and Lucroy offer, Carlos Perez (LAA) has been hitting fifth lately and he’s close to the bare minimum on DraftKings ($2,600). He’s a pretty bad hitter (77 wRC+) but the lineup spot and price point makes him a relevant option. Wilson Ramos (WAS) isn’t a league average hitter but he does have solid pop against RHP (.161 ISO against RHP in the last few seasons) and he’s playing in a good hitting environment (Miller Park). Ramos usually hits sixth for the Nationals and he’s priced fairly for the most part around the industry. He’s a fine target for tournaments.
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) – If you’re paying up at the first base position, Rizzo is worth the money. Rizzo continues to make adjustments at the plate (13 percent BB rate and 11 percent K rate, both are career bests) and his wOBA/ISO progression is quite impressive (2013: .325 wOBA/.186 ISO, 2014: .397 wOBA/.240 ISO, 2015: .440 wOBA/.264 ISO). Rizzo is probably a top three first baseman and he’s 25 years old. He carries his awesome skill set in a favorable matchup (Michael Lorenzen is allowing a ton of hard contact to LHBs and he has a ZiPS projected ERA north of 5.00 for the rest of this season). The Cubs have a team total approaching 4.5 runs and he’s the best hitter from this lineup (Kris Bryant is second).
David Ortiz (BOS) – Ortiz ranks inside our top five hitters but his baseline has to be reevaluated moving forward. He continues to be a good hitter against RHP (.371 wOBA and .214 ISO) but he has his second worst hard hit rate (33 percent), career high GB rate (45 percent) and a career low FB rate (34 percent). We’ve seen Ortiz shake off some of these struggles before but he’s 39 years old and he’s been in the league for 18 years. In any case, Ortiz’s price point on FanDuel continues to be too depressed ($2,400) as he’s still a good hitter against RHP. He benefits from a favorable hitting environment (Camden Yards inflates LH power by approximately 14 percent above the league average), which is a pretty significant upgrade over Fenway Park (decreases LH power by approximately 10 percent below the league average). Opposing pitcher Chris Tillman allows too much aerial contact (40 percent FB rate to LHBs), which hurts him in this type of hitting environment (good for Ortiz’s value). If you’re not paying for Anthony Rizzo, I believe Ortiz is the best next alternative at first base.
Additional first base notes: Lucas Duda (NYM) is mispriced on DraftKings, where I view him as a great value. The offense around him isn’t good but Duda has been a good hitter against RHP (.365 wOBA and .222 ISO against RHP since 2012). If you want a bit more salary relief at fist base than what David Ortiz provides, Duda is a good pivot in all formats. Adam Lind (MIL) is priced favorably on FanDuel ($2,700). Lind has been a good hitter against RHP and he benefits from a good lineup spot (cleanup) in a favorable hitting environment (Miller Park). I’m willing to play Lind over Duda in cash games on FanDuel since he’s the cheaper option. Albert Pujols (LAA) is my favorite tournament option after Anthony Rizzo this evening. His power against RHP has returned in a major way this season (.271 ISO). Opposing pitcher Alex Colome has struggled against RHBs and he’s allowing too much aerial contact (40 percent FB and 1.59 HR/9 rate allowed to RHBs). Pujols is pricey around the industry but he’s worth your investment in tournaments.
Martin Prado/Jeff Baker (MIA) – Prado (.381 wOBA, .176 ISO) and Baker (.362 wOBA, .211 ISO) are ranked inside our top 35 hitters in our model and they’re good hitters against LHP. They won’t benefit from a favorable hitting environment (Marlins Park is a pitcher’s park) but the matchup is favorable (Chris Rusin has a rest of season ERA of 5.36 according to ZiPS projections). Baker is consistently the cheaper option around the industry and therefore he’s the better value (Prado has second base eligibility on DraftKings, not on FanDuel).
Additional second base notes: Dustin Pedroia (BOS) is fully priced on most sites and despite a R/R matchup, he gives you exposure to a great lineup spot (leadoff) for an offense that has an implied run total approaching 4.5 runs. He’s in play in all formats. Matt Duffy (SFG) has second base eligibility on DraftKings and he should get a top 5 spot tonight (facing a LHP). He has been a much better hitter against RHP but he has a low price point. He’s a fine value play but I prefer Jeff Baker (superior skills).
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) (he’s back to the Tulowitkzi we know and love and he’s hitting the ball hard but he’s away from Coors Field and has a R/R matchup; I would only consider him in cash games on FanDuel)
Erick Aybar (LAA) – Aybar isn’t a very good hitter but he’s a switch hitter (good for his DFS value since he always has the platoon edge) and he benefits from a great lineup spot (leadoff). Most importantly, Aybar is cheap around the industry and I see value in simply punting the shortstop position in cash games (Tulowitzki is playing at Marlins Park). There isn’t much opportunity cost (if any) at the shortstop position so any punt opportunities are welcomed. I’ll address any new punts in our lineup alerts system.
Additional shortstop notes: Hanley Ramirez (BOS) has shortstop eligibility on DraftKings and he’s your top play on that site. While Escobar and Aybar are ranked outside our top 80 hitters, Ramirez ranks inside our top 25 hitters tonight (pretty significant gap). Yunel Escobar (WSH) has shortstop eligibility on DraftKings and he gives you exposure to a Nationals offense that’s facing a favorable park shift (from Nationals Park to Miller Park) with a great lineup spot (third, best spot for DFS production). Escobar and Aybar have the same price tag on DraftKings and I consider them equal values on that site.
Kris Bryant (CHC) – As I mentioned earlier, we’re targeting opposing pitcher Michael Lorenzen (5.44 SIERA and has a 5.09 ZiPS projected ERA for the rest of the season). Bryant is the second best hitter in this Cubs lineup and the obvious top play at third base. In his first Major League season, Bryant has already accumulated a .375 wOBA and .183 ISO and ZiPS expects more power moving forward (.231 ZiPS projected ISO for the rest of this season). This makes sense when you look at his loft (48 percent FB rate). Scary to think that in his first Major League season, Bryant is expected to be better moving forward and the underlying peripherals support this. If you’re paying for a third baseman in cash games, Bryant is undeniably the top option.
Brock Holt (BOS) – Holt isn’t a league average hitter (93 wRC+ against RHP) but he benefits from a nice lineup spot (second) in an offense that has a team total approaching 4.5 runs. Camden Yards is a friendlier hitting environment than Fenway Park and the Red Sox face a pitcher with fly ball tendencies (Chris Tillman). If you’re not paying up for Kris Bryant, Holt is a usable value in cash games but there’s a significant gap here (Bryant ranks inside our top 10 while Holt barely cracks our top 80 hitters).
Additional third base notes: Todd Frazier (CIN) is the next in line option to Kris Bryant and he’s a good hitter against LHP (.354 wOBA, .226 ISO against LHP in the last few seasons). Tsuyoshi Wada is a solid pitcher but he does allow a healthy amount of aerial contact, which bodes well for Frazier’s fly ball tendencies (46 percent FB rate this season). Frazier is fully priced around the industry but I view him as a great tournament option rather than a core cash game play. Martin Prado (MIA) and Manny Machado (BAL) are top 40 hitters in our model and will have the platoon edge in their respective matchups and serve as alternative options to Brock Holt if you have the extra money to spare (easier to do this on a site like FanDuel).
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), Mike Trout (LAA) and Bryce Harper (WSH) – These outfielders are our top three hitters in our model and they’re playable in all formats. I’m prioritizing at least one of these outfielders in cash games since the starting pitcher position doesn’t carry much cost tonight (Garrett Richards is the only consistent value and he’s priced affordably). These outfielders are priced fully around the industry but they’re worth their price tags in their respective matchups.
Dexter Fowler (CHC) – Having some exposure to the Cubs offense is probably a plus-EV decision in cash games (team total approaching 4.5 implied runs). Fowler is the Cubs leadoff hitter and he can run (has 25 SB upside over all full season). He’s close to a league average hitter against RHP (107 wRC+ against RHP since 2012) and despite not being a great hitter, the lineup spot in an offense that should have success against Michael Lorenzen (5.44 SIERA) propels Fowler into the top 20 hitters in our model.
Adam Jones (BAL) – Chances are that if you’re playing cash games tonight, you will have exposure to the Cubs, Orioles, Red Sox and Nationals. Jones fits what we’re trying to do (exposure to an offense with a team total of 4.5 runs) and he has been a good hitter against LHP (.364 wOBA, .200 ISO against southpaws since 2012). Jones ranks among our top 25 hitters in our model this evening.
Additional outfield notes: The rest of the outfield value plays are a bit site dependent. For example, Carlos Gomez (MIL) is a great value on FanDuel ($3,500). He’s underpriced on that site relative to his skills (high event player, has 25 HR/40 SB upside over a full season). I would consider him in all formats on that site (particularly cash games). Teammate Ryan Braun (MIL) is a bit underpriced on DraftKings ($4,600). He’s no longer a 40 HR/30 SB player but he still has 30 HR/15 SB upside over a full season. We wondered if his power would be back after having some nagging injuries (specifically a thumb issue) but that’s no longer a thought (.236 ISO this season, in line with his .243 ISO for his career). Kole Calhoun (LAA) isn’t playing in a good hitting environment (Tropicana Field) but he’s the cleanup hitter for the Angels offense. Calhoun has cash game value on a site like FanDuel where he’s priced below the average cost of a roster spot. Marcell Ozuna (MIA) (has the platoon edge against a pitcher who has a ZiPS projected ERA above 5.00) and Denard Span (WSH) (leadoff hitter for an offense we like tonight against Matt Garza, who’s not the same pitcher as he once was) are fair values around the industry. If you need salary relief, Chris Coghlan (CHC) should hit fifth for the Cubs and he will have the platoon edge against the underwhelming Michael Lorenzen and is cheap around the industry. Coghlan has very solid peripheral numbers against RHP.
Rankings (price not considered):
1) Garrett Richards (LAA)
2) Tim Lincecum (SFG)
3) Tanner Roark (WSH)
4) Tsuyoshi Wada (CHC)
5) Matt Garza (MIL)
6) Wade Miley (BOS)
Garrett Richards (LAA) – Despite Richards not pitching “well” this season, most of his peripherals are consistent with those of his career. He has a 19 percent K rate, 55 percent GB rate and 10.6 SwStr rate this season (all consistent with his career). His fastball velocity continues to be 95 MPH and he has actually allowed less line drives and softer contact this season (12 percent LD rate, 24 percent soft rate and 21 percent hard hit rate). That hard minus soft hit rate is one of the best in all of baseball and indicates that he’s inducing lots of weak contact and able to outperform most expected ERA estimators. One of Richards few weaknesses is he doesn’t get ahead of batters at a league average rate (59 percent F-Strike rate), which fuels his 10 percent BB rate (8 percent for his career so there’s reason to believe that his BB rate is inflated). On paper, he has a neutral matchup today against the Rays (ranked 17th in wRC+ and strike out 21 percent of the time). However, note that the Rays have been throwing out some pretty atrocious lineups recently. We view this as an above average matchup and Richards’ skill set relative to his peers tonight puts him in a tier of his own. He’s the only consistent value play that I’m willing to play in cash games around the industry this evening.
Tim Lincecum (SFG) – I don’t like where Lincecum is headed as a pitcher. He has a career low K rate, career high BB rate (11 percent, which is fueled by a career worst 52 percent F-Strike rate), his fastball velocity is at 87 MPH (lowest of his career, lost two MPH since last season) and he’s getting hit hard (33 percent hard hit rate, highest of his career). Lincecum has logged 1630 IP since 2008, which gives us a bit more perspective as to why these peripherals are headed in the wrong direction. The best thing going for Lincecum tonight is his matchup (Mets are ranked 26th in wRC+ and strike out 21 percent of the time against RHP) and at least he’s generating a healthy SwStr rate (11 percent, league average is 9.7 percent) and chase rate (32 percent), which correlate well with K rate (he might see a boost in his K rate moving forward). If you’re playing on multiple starting pitcher sites tonight, I view Lincecum as the best complement to Garrett Richards in cash games.
Additional starting pitcher notes: The other starting pitchers that I’m willing to use tonight are Tanner Roark (WSH), Wade Miley (BOS), Matt Garza (MIL) and Tsuyoshi Wada (CHC). Roark is consistently the cheaper option around the industry and he has the best matchup (Brewers are ranked 29th in wRC+ and strikes out 22 percent of the time against RHP). Miley isn’t a consistent pitcher but he does have a good matchup (despite playing most of their games in a great hitting environment, the Orioles are ranked 22nd in wRC+ against southpaws). Garza is a bit worse than Tim Lincecum (career low K rate, getting hit harder and he’s not generating a league average SwStr rate) but at least he’s getting ahead of batters (62 percent F-Strike rate, league average is 61 percent). Wada is actually the largest favorite on this slate (-150) and he’s been able to accumulate a good K rate but the underlying peripherals are concerning (low SwStr rate and chase rate). These pitchers won’t benefit from their environments tonight (Camden Yards, Miller Park and Wrigley Field doesn’t have any wind concerns at the moment) but they have the best skills among the remaining group of starting pitchers. They’re better options on multiple starting pitcher sites.
Macro Thinking, Stacks, and Tournament Notes:
This is a new section we’ve created to try and offer more dedicated macro thinking to our analysis and hopefully add more value to those playing tournaments. The format is a bit of a work in progress and we welcome feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have suggestions.
Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:
1) Chicago Cubs
2) Baltimore Orioles
3) Boston Red Sox
4) Washington Nationals
This is pretty straightforward commentary here. These offense we’re touted throughout our content today and for good reason (facing below average pitchers in good hitting environments). It doesn’t look like wind will be an issue at Wrigley Field tonight, which is good for the Cubs offense (facing a pitcher with a ZiPS projected ERA over 5.00). My main cash game strategy from a hitter’s perspective is to mini-stack these four offenses while getting exposure to the top three hitters (Stanton, Trout and Harper).
1) Miami Marlins
2) Los Angeles Angels
3) San Francisco Giants
The Marlins are our number one contrarian stack. They will be playing in a bad offensive environment (Marlins Park) but they’re facing a pitcher with a ZiPS projected ERA north of 5.00. The Marlins offense sets up well against LHP (Prado, Baker, Ozuna and Stanton are better hitters against LHP) so they have nice tournament upside tonight.
The Angels have been a neutral offense against RHP this season (ranked 16th in wRC+ against RHP) but they have a good matchup against Alex Colome (doesn’t miss many bats, allows too many line drives and his run prevention isn’t good). I see value in at least four Angels in tournaments (Aybar, Trout, Pujols and Calhoun).
The Giants have been a better hitting bunch against RHP this season but they still rank among the top 10 offenses in wRC+ against LHP and their best hitter (Buster Posey) crushes southpaws. Stacking more than three Giants is not necessary in tournaments but a mini-stack of Buster Posey and an OF is a fine decision in a multi-entry setting.
MLB Game Weather Forecasts
BOS at BLT 7:05: Dry. Temps in the mid 80s falling into the upper 70s. Air density is an 8. Wind south-southwest 6-12 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.
SF at NYM 7:10: A 10-20% chance of a thunderstorm around with the same chance of a brief delay during or at the start of the game. Temps in the low 80s falling into the upper 70s. Air density is an 8. Wind southwest 4-8 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.
COL at MIA: Retractable roof. As Drew mentioned last week, the roof will likely be closed.
LAA at TB: Dome.
CIN at CHC 8:05: Scattered showers and thunderstorms around. A 10-20% chance of a cancellation, a 30% chance of a delay at any time during the game or at the start of the game. Temps in the upper 60s. Air density is a 7. Wind northeast 8-16 mph which blows
in from center. The wind is a 3.
WSH at MIL 8:10: Retractable roof. Rain at times, the roof will be closed.