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6/12: Kershaw is San Diego’s Daddy

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6/12: Kershaw is San Diego’s Daddy
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Daily Fantasy Rundown – June 12th MLB DFS Picks and Analysis

Welcome to Friday’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.

Glossary: See a term you’re unfamiliar with? Check out our glossary page. If there’s something you’d like to see added there, please email us at

Weather: CLE at DET (moderate cancellation risk) and delay risks for PHI at PIT and to a lesser extent KC at STL. 

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.


Value Plays:

Robinson Chirinos (TEX) – I’m really interested to see where Chirinos fits into the Rangers lineup this evening. He draws a favorable matchup with Tommy Milone who has allowed a .327 wOBA and 1.29 HR/9 to RHBs since 2012. Chirinos has hit LHP very well in recent seasons (.341 wOBA, .225 ISO) but he generally hits very low in the lineup. The loss of Adrian Beltre creates some opportunity to move higher in the lineup and if he sneaks into the Top Five, he’d represent our top value play at the position. The Rangers have the highest implied run total of any team in action on Friday and Chirinos ranks as our fifth best catcher option and a Top 75 hitter overall.

Wilson Ramos (WAS) – Ramos ranks a bit below Chirinos (Top 90) but gets the benefit of a more consistent lineup spot. He’s been hitting fifth of late with Ryan Zimmerman out and the lineup spot behind Bryce Harper generates substantial opportunities. Ramos is an adequate hitter against RHP (.309 wOBA, .161 ISO since 2012) but his skill set up well for this matchup. You’ll notice the impressive .161 ISO for Ramos against RHP and it’s come despite an incredibly high GB Rate (56 percent). He’ll face Mike Fiers who rarely generates ground balls (32 percent against RHBs) in a park that inflates power. It’s a bit boom-or-bust attacking Fiers, but his inability to work deep into games (averaging 5.1 innings per start) gives Ramos upside against a weak bullpen as well. If Chirinos doesn’t garner a great lineup spot and Ramos hits fifth, I’ll likely have more exposure to Ramos in cash games.

Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) – Lucroy ranks a bit below both Ramos and Chirinos in our model (before lineup spots are accounted for) but he has the most secure role. He’s hit first or second of late for the Brewers. This provides an advantage in expected plate appearances and more chances at Fantasy production. His low rating in our model has a bit to do with Jordan Zimmermann‘s baseline which admittedly is tricky to diagnose. Zimmermann has always lived on weak contact and he continues to generate it (20.3 percent) but he’s not missing as many bats now which is a dangerous combination for someone that doesn’t generate ground balls (39 percent). Lucroy is my safety net given the strong lineup spot if Ramos or Chirinos aren’t granted ideal spots. He’s a good hitter against RHP (.345 wOBA, .159 ISO since 2012) and underpriced around the industry.

Additional catcher notes: Buster Posey (SF) and Brian McCann (NYY) are our top rated options in our model. We’re emphasizing spending on the elite pitching in play this evening, so they qualify as better tournament plays. I’m more likely to opt for McCann’s home run upside in a better hitting environment than Posey if choosing among the two. Yan Gomes (CLE) is an interesting tournament play as well. He’s cheap around the industry and historically crushes LHP (.361 wOBA, .202 ISO) but faces David Price (.289 wOBA, 0.85 HR/9 allowed to RHBs). The ballpark shift is favorable for RH power and with a cheap tag, I think he’s a compelling tournament option, especially if he hits fifth like yesterday. Yasmani Grandal (LAD) would make our cut as a value play, but we’re expecting A.J. Ellis (LAD) to draw the start with Kershaw on the mound. Catcher is a position worth saving resources at on Friday, so we’ll also have our eye on potential punt plays in our lineup alerts.

First Base

Top Plays:

As usual there are a number of top plays at the first base position, but with an emphasis on high end pitching, it’s less realistic to spend on them in cash games. Miguel Cabrera (DET) and Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) rank within our Top 10 overall hitters. Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) and Chris Davis (BAL) come with really tough matchups but hold the platoon advantage and rank within our Top 25 hitters. Albert Pujols (LAA) and Freddie Freeman (ATL) crack our Top 35 overall hitters.

Value Plays:

David Ortiz (BOS) – Ortiz remains too cheap around the industry, even for a likely declining skill set. Ortiz has posted a .375 wOBA and .231 ISO against RHP this season while maintaining an impressive 1.05 EYE. Lefties have dominated him (.114 wOBA) which is a big part of the drop in overall production and does hurt his value when the game gets into the pen. He’ll face Drew Hutchison who has allowed a .331 wOBA and 1.25 HR/9 to LHBs since 2012. Given Ortiz’s historical production against RHP (.407 wOBA, .277 ISO since 2012) and Hutchison’s struggles, Ortiz ranks inside our Top 10 hitters overall. Even if you price in some deterioration in skills, he’s solidly within our Top 25 and he’s simply not priced like this anywhere around the industry. On a day where salary relief is important to garner exposure to high end pitching, Ortiz is one of our top targets.

Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) – Gonzalez is the other top tier first baseman that is a bit underpriced around the industry. He’s having a career season against RHP (.425 wOBA, .270 ISO) and he’s facing a below average RHP that can’t miss bats. Odrisamer Despaigne has allowed a .324 wOBA to LHBs in his career while compiling a 10.4 percent K Rate and 8.1 percent BB Rate. Despaigne does a good job keeping the ball on the ground, but that is basically the extent of the things he does well. He’s posted a career 3.86 ERA despite an elite pitching environment in San Diego. With the Padres likely to play from behind (huge underdogs against Kershaw), the Dodgers offense is more likely to face the weaker components of a below average bullpen. We prefer Ortiz’s scoring environment and price point over Gonzalez, but he’s a fine alternative.

Additional first base notes: In general, I’m focusing my efforts strongly on the two recommendations above. In tournaments, the first base slot can be used for mini-stacks and stacks as well, but in cash games I’m focused on Ortiz and Gonazlez. Other potential site specific secondary value plays include Justin Bour (MIA) and Justin Smoak (TOR) on DraftKings and Adam LaRoche (CHW) and Adam Lind (MIL) on FanDuel.

Second Base

Top Plays:

Brian Dozier (MIN) – Dozier gets to face a LHP in a park that is a slight upgrade over his normal hitting environment for RH power. Dozier has posted a .377 wOBA and .238 ISO against LHP since 2012 and he’ll face Wandy Rodriguez who has allowed a .309 wOBA but 1.14 HR/9 to RHBs during that span. Rodriguez isn’t a terrible pitcher, but he’s also not someone we shy away from. Dozier cracks our Top 20 hitters overall and is reasonably priced around the industry. The only knock on Dozier is there are some viable alternatives at the position that you can invest in at lower entry points.

Dee Gordon (MIA) – Gordon’s price point is down around the industry and the matchup with Kyle Kendrick is a good time to invest. Kendrick has allowed a .335 wOBA to LHBs since 2012 and the Marlins have a solid team total over four runs. Both Kendrick and Nick Hundley are slightly above average against the running game, but if Gordon gets the benefit of Michael McKenry behind the plate (-11 rSB for his career) it would represent a big boost. Gordon ranks within our Top 20 hitters overall and with the price discounted, he’s a fine target at second base.

Value Play:

Neil Walker (PIT) – Walker is the second baseman that I’ll have the most exposure to. Although he ranks well behind Gordon and Dozier in our model (Top 45 hitter), he comes at a significantly discounted price tag. He’s facing Kevin Correia who the Phillies picked up from the Giants earlier this week. Correia posted a 5.44 ERA and 1.50 WHIP across 150 innings with the Twins and Dodgers last season. Since 2012, he’s allowed a .346 wOBA and 1.11 HR/9 to LHBs while Walker has compiled a .353 wOBA and .194 ISO. The Pirates have one of the higher implied run totals (4.9 runs) despite a tough hitting environment which speaks to how poorly Vegas thinks of Correia. Walker always garners a nice lineup spot and he’s severely discounted for his skill set. He’s our top value target at second base.

Additional second base notes: Logan Forsythe (TB) is a fine value play where the price is below Walker. He’s crushed LHP this season (.376 wOBA, .314 ISO) and owns a solid .352 wOBA and .192 ISO against lefties since 2012. A matchup with John Danks is favorable, even in a tough hitting environment in Tampa. Jake Elmore (TB) is a viable punt option with 2B eligibility on DraftKings. He hit leadoff the last time the Rays faced a LHP and opens up the space to fit Kershaw and another high end SP. Rickie Weeks (SEA) has the potential to emerge as an interesting punt play if he garners a good lineup spot (ideally leadoff). Weeks garners most of his value against LHP from walks and power. Oberholtzer is a fly ball oriented LHP with a short porch in LF to target. Weeks loses so much value when the game gets into the pen so the lineup spot is imperative.


Top Play

Troy Tulowitzki (COL) – Tulowizki ranks inside our Top 15 hitters despite the big downgrade in park. Jose Urena profiles as a below average RHP and Tulowitzki’s skill set pushes him apart from the other high priced shortstop options. I see almost no reason to spend on Tulo given the landscape today.

Value Plays:

Ian Desmond (WAS) – Shortstop is a lot like the catcher position on Friday. We have a few options that I think are all fairly close in ranking and all priced similarly. Desmond is the most talented hitter of the bunch and he gets that big park shift in Milwaukee we’re comfortable targeting against homer prone Mike Fiers. Desmond owns a .334 wOBA and .180 ISO against RHP since 2012. Like Wilson Ramos, he struggles keeping the ball off the ground (48 percent GB Rate against RHP) which makes him a nice play against Fiers. The lineup spot is a key variable with Desmond but he currently sits inside our Top 35 hitters overall.

Jung Ho Kang (PIT) – Kang is having a solid rookie season in the states (.337 wOBA, .129 ISO) and he’s been hitting fifth of late. Given the high implied run total for the Pirates, he’s a rather inexpensive way to get exposure. He’s shown severe splits (.436 wOBA vs. LHP and .312 wOBA vs. RHP) but I’m willing to overlook that against Kevin Correia (.335 wOBA, 1.15 HR/9 allowed to RHBs). This is more of a play against Correia than for Kang but with a cheap tag and solid lineup spot at a premier position, I think he’s a sound value.

Elvis Andrus (TEX) – Andrus actually ranks ahead of Kang in our model but I’d only play him above Kang if he hits second. While Tommy Milone has been bad against RHBs, he’s mostly punished by power which is a skill Andrus doesn’t possess. Andrus is a solid hitter against LHP (.321 wOBA) but with a .088 ISO, he’s more dependent on his lineup spot to generate value. As a run scorer, we want that lineup spot ahead of big boppers and not buried down towards the bottom. If he hits second, he’s a fine value play and strong target, but he’ll fall down our list of preferences if he’s hitting sixth.

Additional shortstop notes: Shortstop is a good position to save resources on in order to afford the top end SP. Other potential secondary values include: Alcides Escobar (KC), Kike Hernandez (LAD) – DraftKings specific, and Yunel Escobar (WAS) as sources of salary relief.

Third Base

Value Plays:

Trevor Plouffe (MIN) – The third base position is a friendly one for Fantasy value on Friday. Trevor Plouffe and Evan Longoria are top plays priced like values, while Chase Headley is a solid value as well. Plouffe is my favorite of the bunch. He’s in a better scoring environment than Longoria, but comes with a tougher matchup. Wandy Rodriguez is vulnerable to RH power (1.14 HR/9 allowed to RHBs since 2012) but he’s solid overall against righties (.309 wOBA allowed). Plouffe has hit LHP exceptionally well (.362 wOBA, .209 ISO) and he’s got table setters in front of him that also hit LHP well. The Twins have a solid implied run total (4.3 runs) and get a slight park shift in their favor. He’s a Top 20 hitter in our model.

Evan Longoria (TB) – Longoria and Plouffe rank exceptionally close in our model, so on most sites I’m letting price point dictate the decision. Longoria faces John Danks who has allowed a .356 wOBA and 1.53 HR/9 to RHBs since 2012. Longoria owns a .385 wOBA and .233 ISO against LHP since 2012 and like Plouffe has some pretty good talent around him against LHP. Longoria’s been dealing with a wrist issue of late, which is why I prefer Plouffe if they’re priced similarly; but both hitters rank inside our Top 20 overall hitters.

Chase Headley (NYY) – Headley has been hitting second with Ellsbury out. It’s a negative park shift going to Camden Yards for LHBs but it’s not substantial. Ubaldo Jimenez has surrendered a .334 wOBA and 1.22 HR/9 to LHBs since 2012. Headley owns a .344 wOBA and .156 ISO against RHP during that span. He cracks our Top 30 hitters overall and is a viable alternative on sites he’s priced well below Plouffe and Longoria.

Additional third base notes: Josh Harrison (PIT) and Pablo Sandoval (BOS) are secondary values at a deep position. Anthony Rendon (WAS), Josh Donaldson (TOR) and Alex Rodriguez (NYY) are strong tournament plays in plus hitting environments with strong power potential. Even though it’s a left on left matchup, Joey Gallo (TEX) is an intriguing tournament option as well. Tommy Milone has allowed 1.42 HR/9 to LHBs and just doesn’t miss many bats. We like the Texas offense as a whole and I wouldn’t shy away from using Gallo in tournament stacks.


Top Plays:

Five of our top six hitters in the model are outfielders. They rank as follows: Mike Trout (LAA), Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), Andrew McCutchen (PIT), Bryce Harper (WAS), and Jose Bautista (TOR). Trout is the best overall offensive player but in one of the weaker hitting environments. On sites he’s priced a bit below the other top options, I’m fine choosing him ahead of this group, but I’d like a price discount. Stanton and McCutchen are in negative park environments but face really weak starters that struggle to miss bats. Harper and Bautista have the strong hitting environments and face pitchers that have strike out potential but have struggled with the long ball. Harper has the highest home run score in our model and is the option of the group, I’m most likely to choose if the prices are similar. Otherwise, I’d let price dictate decisions if spending on one outfielder, or let stacks and mini-stacks lead my decisions in tournaments.  

Value Plays:

Joc Pederson (LAD) – Despaigne is a particularly good matchup for Joc Pederson. The one weakness in Pederson’s game is contact and Despaigne has only struck out 10.4 percent of LHBs he’s faced as a big leaguer. Pederson is also a rather extreme fly ball hitter (42.4 percent against RHP) and we like to attack ground ball pitchers with fly ball hitters.

Kyle Blanks (TEX) – Kyle Blanks returned from the disabled list yesterday and was immediately slotted into the cleanup spot against a LHP. With Adrian Beltre sidelined, it makes sense to feature Blanks against LHP. He’s posted an impressive .384 wOBA and .222 ISO against lefties since 2012 and he’s done much of that damage in tough hitting environments (SD, OAK). On Friday night, he’ll face a below average LHP in Tommy Milone and he’ll get to face him in Arlington which has historically inflated RH power 3-5 percent above the league average. Milone has allowed a .327 wOBA and 1.29 HR/9 to RHBs since 2012. Like Blanks, he’s played in pitcher friendly environments, so the difficult environment should punish his extreme fly ball (39.4 percent GB Rate) tendencies more harshly. Blanks is cheap around the industry and a strong entry point into the offense with the highest implied run total (4.8 runs). He’s a Top 20 hitter in our model and one of our favored outfield values. Delino Deshields Jr. (TEX) is also a solid value play. His profile is far weaker than Blanks but he adds value with speed and has outperformed expectations at the big league level in the leadoff spot.

Gregory Polanco (PIT) – Polanco hasn’t crushed RHP (.321 wOBA, .124 ISO) as a big leaguer but he’s added value with speed (29 SBs in 416 PA) and he gets a premier lineup spot. Typically hitting leadoff against RHP, Polanco gets a plus matchup against Kevin Correia on Friday. The Pirates have an implied run total approaching five, which makes them one of the premier offenses to target. Polanco is a relatively inexpensive way to get exposure.

Torii Hunter (MIN) – Hunter owns a .358 wOBA and .157 ISO against LHP and generally hits second against LHP. We’re cautious about going overboard on Twins exposure in cash games, given Wandy Rodriguez is an adequate LHP, but they have a few individual components we’re comfortable with. Hunter cracks our Top 40 overall hitters.

Mark Trumbo (SEA) – We’d like to see Trumbo creep into the Top Five against LHP. If so, he’s a fine value play. Brett Oberholtzer has allowed a 45.3 percent fly ball rate to RHBs in his career but only five percent of them have left the yard. We expect this to regress over time and Trumbo’s big power against LHP (.370 wOBA, .280 ISO) should play up against a fly ball pitcher. The hitting environment in Houston is strong for RHBs (inflates power by 3-4 percent). The only question for Trumbo is lineup spot. He cracks our Top 15 overall hitters, but I wouldn’t prioritize him over the above outfield recommendations without a Top Five lineup spot.

Additional outfield notes: Nelson Cruz (SEA), Starling Marte (PIT), Carlos Gomez/Ryan Braun (MIL), and Yaisel Puig (LAD) are all Top 35 hitters in our model. If you can find discounted price tags on them, they’re viable site specific values. Braun’s price is down on FanDuel and DraftKings and the matchup with Jordan Zimmermann isn’t as concerning as it was coming into the season. His velocity is down and his swinging strike rate is way down as well. He’s limiting hard hit contact (26.6 percent) but allowing more contact on the whole. Gomez and Braun are probably better tournament options than cash game plays but a good park and discounted price points make them viable. Cruz and Marte are the guys I’m most interested in taking a shot on if you can find a discounted tag. Cruz gets a fly ball oriented lefty in a small park while Marte is part of an offense we’re excited about. Christian Yelich (MIA) hit third yesterday which is a huge boost to his Fantasy value. If he holds that lineup spot again on Friday, he’ll represent a really strong value. Yelich has been exceptionally disappointing in his second year. He’s posted an absurd 68.7 percent GB Rate which just saps any hope at power. He still has good on base skills but is whiffing too much. His prospect pedigree and strong rookie season earns him consideration, but I’d prefer the exposure where the price point is cheapest and as part of Marlins stacks or mini-stacks in tournaments.

Starting Pitcher

Rankings (price not considered):

Tier One

1) Clayton Kershaw (LAD)

Tier Two

2) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

Tier Three

3) Michael Pineda (NYY)

4) David Price (DET)

5) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

6) Danny Salazar (CLE)

Tier Four

7) Alex Wood

Tier Five

8) Mike Fiers (MIL)

9) Jesse Chavez (OAK)

10) Jeff Locke (PIT)

11) Jaime Garcia (STL)

12) Yordano Ventura (KC)

13) Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL)

Top Play:

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – Kershaw appears to have put to rest any concerns over a slow start to the season. He’s allowed just two earned runs over his last three starts (ATL, @COL, STL) while striking out 28 and walking just three in 22 innings. Kershaw has maintained the bump in K Rate he set last season (31.9 percent last year, 31.4 percent this year) along with the elite GB Rate (52.3 percent). His BB Rate is up a little (5.9 percent vs. 4.6 percent last season) as is his hard hit rates allowed (29.6 percent vs. 24.3 percent). I draw the comparison not to dilute Kershaw’s work (last year was historic), instead to focus on subtle changes that were resulting in some of Kershaw’s “struggles” early on. His command was a bit off leading to a slightly elevated BB Rate and hard hit rate. He’s honed the command over the last three starts and is back to the best pitcher in baseball. He’ll face a Padres offense that ranks 15th in wRC+ against LHP. They’ve struck out in 22.5 percent of their plate appearances against lefties, which ranks inside the Top 10 in K Rate. Kershaw won’t have home field advantage but he’s getting a modest park bump and he’s opposed by a below average starter. Kershaw is the biggest favorite on the board (-200) and is in that territory where our research indicates a significantly better chance at obtaining a win. With a total of just six, the Padres implied run total is below 2.5 runs. Kershaw has the highest expected K Rate and the lowest expected runs allowed, which makes him a clear cut number one in our rankings.

Next in line:

Felix Hernandez (SEA) – Hernandez gets a favorable matchup with the strike out prone Astros. Houston ranks ninth in wRC+ against RHP but have struck out in 25.4 percent of their plate appearances (second in MLB). Hernandez is on the road and his command has faltered a bit of late (eight walks in last two starts). His velocity charts show a slight tick down for the Yankees start, but rebounded nicely last time out. Thus, I think the slight loss in command of late is small sample related and not a latent injury issue. The matchup is strong and Felix is one of the most consistent starters in MLB. Any other day and he’d represent our top overall option, but the gap in expected K Rate between Kershaw and Hernandez pushes him down to number two.

Value Play:

Michael Pineda (NYY) – All season we’ve stressed how Pineda’s peripherals (26.3 K Rate, 2.4 BB Rate, and 52.7 GB Rate) put him in rarefied air. He’s pitched like a Top 10 overall starter in the league all season long. Unfortunately, pitching in the AL East leads to a lot of unfavorable pitching environments which come with elevated totals. As a result, Pineda always feels like he comes with a bit more risk. Will the peripherals maintain? Will the ballpark get him? This is the case, again, today. Pineda will pitch in Camden Yards (a Top 10 offensive environment) and the Orioles have an implied run total approaching four. The matchup isn’t a bad one. The Orioles rank 11th in wRC+ against RHP but have struck out in 23.2 percent of their plate appearances. Pineda has pretty neutral splits so the righty dominant lineup isn’t a huge boost but neither is the park shift. Accustomed to pitching in a tough environment, Pineda should be fine in Camden. While the implied run total is a nuisance, Pineda’s projected K Rate and overall skills push him to the number three spot in our rankings. Compared to the other top starting options in this tier (Price, Bumgarner, etc), Pineda’s priced differently as well. He represents one of the stronger values on multiple SP sites.

Danny Salazar (CLE) – Salazar and Pineda have a lot in common on Friday. Salazar faces a very good Tigers offense (seventh in wRC+ against RHP) that has him facing an implied run total approaching four. Like Pineda, his elite K Rate (31.8 percent) overwhelms some of the run prevention concerns and pushes him up our rankings. The Tigers RH heavy lineup is actually a detriment to Salazar. He’s posted reverse splits through much of his career (.332 wOBA, 1.48 HR/9 to RHBs and .293 wOBA, 0.79 HR/9 to LHBs) and he’s particularly susceptible to power. Detroit is a downgrade for Salazar in park factor as Cleveland slightly depresses RH power while Detroit is neutral. The matchup isn’t great, but the strikeout upside remains immense. I’m more likely to garner exposure to Salazar in tournaments than cash games (priced similarly to Pineda) but his skill set remains slightly undervalued around the industry.

Additional starting pitcher notes: With so many elite starters on the hill, there is quite a bit of opportunity cost in going cheap at starting pitcher. We recommend paying up for talent within the first three tiers on all sites. If you’re dipping down, I think its best in tournaments. Alex Wood (ATL) has a great matchup with the Mets. The Mets rank 10th in wRC+ against LHP but they have an elevated K Rate (23.3 percent) and their offense doesn’t profile as well against lefties. Michael Cuddyer is the only premier hitter against LHP and the Mets next two best hitters (Duda/Granderson) are neutralized. The run prevention should be fine for Wood, but the strikeout rate has dipped this season and it’s supported by a lower swinging strike rate. He’s priced fairly on most sites, but I’d feel more confident investing if the K Rate was stronger. He’s one of the “safer” secondary options but I’m not sure he has the price or tournament upside I’m targeting. Mike Fiers (MIL) has the most upside of the secondary options. The Nationals are getting a big park boost but rank just 15th in wRC+ against RHP and Fiers has the type of K Rate you can target in tournaments (25.6 percent). He hasn’t worked deep into games yet but the Nationals rank inside the bottom 10 in pitches per plate appearance and inside the Top 10 in K Rate against RHP. Jeff Locke (PIT) looks like a cheaper version of Alex Wood with a better chance at a win. He’s not as skilled a pitcher as Wood, but has a better matchup with the Phillies who rank 20th in wRC+ against LHP. In Pittsburgh, where RH power dies, and against an offense that doesn’t walk much; Locke looks like one of the better tournament plays on multiple SP sites. Jesse Chavez (OAK) reminds me a bit of a right handed Alex Wood. His K Rate is down but the swinging strike rates are still solid. His matchup with the Angels (12th in wRC+ against RHP) isn’t bad especially given his extreme dominance against RHBs (.301 wOBA, 24.4 percent K Rate since 2012). He’s another favored tournament target. Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL), Jaime Garcia (STL), and Yordano Ventura (KC) are talented starters with poor matchups for Fantasy potential. They’re all secondary tournament targets.

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 ( if you have suggestions.

Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates

These are the two offenses I’m most confident in targeting for cash game exposure. They have investable price points across different positions and are facing the weakest starting pitchers on the slate. I expect both will be higher owned as they carry the two highest implied run totals.

Contrarian/Secondary Stacks:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Minnesota Twins
  3. Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Washington Nationals

The Dodgers are one of my favorite mini-stacks in tournaments, especially on sites where the price is discounted because of the park. Despaigne is a below average SP and the Padres bullpen behind him isn’t great when you take out Benoit and Kimbrel. They rank first in wRC+ against RHP this season and have a number of talented hitters at the top of the lineup with the platoon advantage.

The Twins get a positive park shift and face a LHP that is vulnerable to power. The depth of their lineup is weak, so I prefer a mini-stack here. The downside is I think they may be pretty popular.

The Blue Jays and Nationals are in positive park environments for power. The Nationals face a fly ball prone starter with a bad bullpen behind him. While the Blue Jays face a starter that has struggled immensely in his transition to the American League. Both offenses come with high price points that will come at the cost of an elite SP. This suggests you’ll need to nail the mid-tier SP or the offenses will have to outscore all the other offenses by a wide margin.

MLB Game Weather Forecasts

In the scales below, a 10 strongly favors the batter, a 1 strongly favors the pitcher and a 5 has no impact on the game.

NYY at BLT 7:05: A 10% chance of a pop-up thunderstorm affecting the city. Temps around 90 to start falling into the lower 80s. Air density is a 9 becoming an 8. Wind southwest 5-10 mph lessening to nearly calm. The wind blows out to center to begin the game. The wind is a 6 becoming a 5.

PHL at PIT 7:05: Showers and thunderstorms becoming more numerous during the course of the game. I do not see a situation where the game will be cancelled but I guess you cannot completely rule that out (20%). The threat for a delay, possibly lengthy, is high (60-70%). There is also the threat for multiple delays (30%). Temps in the low to mid 80s falling into the low to mid 70s. Air density is an 8 becoming a 7. Wind southwest 7-14 mph which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.

CLE at DET 7:08: A very wet morning into the mid-afternoon. From that point on, including the game, showers and thunderstorms will be around but it is not a steady soaking rain. Much like the game in Chicago, games where it is wet all day long scare me in terms of a cancellation but this is a situation where they should be able to play. 20-30% chance of a cancellation, a 30% chance of a delay. Temps in the low 70s falling into the mid-60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind north-northwest 6-12 mph which blows out to right-center. The wind is a 6.

TOR at BOS 7:10: Dry to start the game. Thunderstorms may move into the city after 10-11 PM so should not have a huge impact on the game. Temps near 80 to start falling into the low to mid 70s. Air density is an 8 becoming a 7. Wind south-southwest 9-18 mph which blows out to left-center. The wind is a 7.

ATL at NYM 7:10: A 10-20% chance of a pop-up thunderstorm affecting the city at any time. Not a huge risk in my opinion. Temps in the low 80s falling into the mid-70s. Air density is an 8. Wind southwest 4-8 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.

COL at MIA 7:10: Retractable roof. The roof will likely be closed.

CHW at TB 7:10: Dome.

MIN at TEX 8:05: Dry. Temps near 90 falling to near 80. Air density is a 9 becoming an 8. Wind south-southeast 10-20 mph which blows in from right-center. The wind is a 3.

WSH at MIL 8:10: Retractable roof. An all-day rain gives way to some showers so I am pretty sure the roof will be closed.

KC at STL 8:15: A scattering of thunderstorms around for the scheduled start of the game. I can see a delay to start the game or early in the game (20-30% chance of that) but very little to no chance of a cancellation. Temps in the low 80s. Air density is an 8. Wind southwest 8-16 mph lessening to 4-8 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 7 becoming a 6.

SEA at HOU 8:10: Retractable roof. A few showers/thunderstorms around. The roof may be closed. If it is open, temps will be in the low to mid 80s. Air density will be an 8. Wind southeast 8-16 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows out to left. The wind is a 6.

OAK at LAA 10:05: Dry. Temps in the mid to upper 60s falling into the low to mid 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind west-southwest 7-14 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows out to right-center. The wind is a 6.

LAD at SD 10:10: Dry. Temps in the upper 60s falling into the mid-60s. Air density is a 6. Wind west-southwest 7-14 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 6.

AZ at SF 10:15: Dry. Temps in the low to mid 70s falling into the low to mid 60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind west-northwest 10-20 mph lessening to 7-14 mph which blows out to right-center. The wind is a 7 becoming a 6.

1 Comment

  1. stisa

    June 12, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Man, I would love to say great analysis but you guys have been pretty off on the pitchers this year…I know its not all your fault but you really haven’t been close. I am pretty much going with the opposite of whatever the picture is for your article (I am considering it a jinx at this point)…that has been working better….

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