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June 13 MLB DFS: Carrasco Barbecuing In KC
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June 13 MLB DFS: Carrasco Barbecuing In KC

00:39 Starting Pitchers
05:47 Catchers
07:26 First Base
10:14 Second Base
11:26 Shortstop
13:28 Third Base
15:59 Outfield
19:25 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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June 13 MLB DFS Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Max Scherzer (WAS)

Tier Two

2) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

3) Zack Greinke (ARI)

Tier Three

4) Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

Tier Four

5) Wei-Yin Chen (MIA)

6) Matt Cain (SF)

Tier Five

7) Mike Bolsinger (LAD)

8) RA Dickey (TOR)

9) Sean Manaea (OAK)

While there are some offenses with power upside in good hitter’s parks, it’s possible to get pieces of them and still pay up for top starting pitching. As a result, we like building around both Max Scherzer (WAS) and Carlos Carrasco (CLE) in cash games. The matchup for Scherzer is obviously poor as the Cubs have a deep, patient, high upside offense. They will swing and miss a bit more than league average, however, and Scherzer’s huge K rate (30.5 percent) in conjunction with his skills (ROS ERA projections for ZiPS and Steamer are 3.08 and 2.62 respectively) still make him a fine cash game option.

Carrasco carries some risk as he’s been a bit shaky overall since returning from the DL an elevated hard minus soft hit rate is of some concern. However, last season Carrasco had a huge second half once he started limiting hard hit contact. We expect him to do so moving forward. Keep in mind he’s only made six starts and is coming off arguably his best start of the season (0.0 hard minus soft hit rate, six Ks, 66.7 GB rate). The Royals generally aren’t a god team to pick on in DFS, but the removal of Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon from the lineup makes them weaker overall and also results in a righty heavy lineup (usually six against RHP). Carrasco is the better value of the top two pitchers on FanDuel.

If you can’t quite fit Scherzer-Carrasco on DraftKings, any combination of the top four ranked starting pitchers is a viable approach. There are however a lot of fun tournament options to look at among mid to mid-low priced starting pitchers. Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) gets a Padres offense in San Diego (great pitcher’s park) that will strike out often (25 K percentage against LHP). Matt Cain (SF) carries a ton of uncertainty coming off the DL, but with his spacious home park and a Brewers team that strikes out a ton, you can play him and hope he ends with a good start after falling into some Ks and getting protected by the park.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

3) Derek Norris (SD)

4) Russell Martin (TOR)

5) Welington Castillo (ARI)

We wouldn’t force playing Buster Posey (SF) because there’s opportunity cost in doing so, but this is a fair and usable price for him even at home in a R/R matchup given Chase Anderson‘s has reverse splits (.355 wOBA, .192 ISO allowed since 2014). On DraftKings, though, it’s viable to simply punt the position as there’s not much opportunity cost here. On FanDuel, Victor Martinez (DET) is actually the better value, and utilizing him is the best way to get access to a Tigers offense that has huge power upside. They’ll get a large positive park shift playing in US Cellular Field, and James Shields has given up around 1.50 HR/9 the last two seasons (and that’s with Petco as his home park).

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) Jose Abreu (CHW)

3) Joey Votto (CIN)

4) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

5) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

Our top value at the position is Jose Abreu (CHW). While opposing pitcher Matt Boyd has been a bit better this far into his second go around at the MLB level, his weaknesses are largely the same – subpar control complemented by lots of hard hit, aerial contact. This game could be flush with homers. It’s a fine position to diversify in tournaments as there are several options in better than usual spots – Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) (access to a very high Blue Jays team total), Joey Votto (CIN) (small sample size but Blair hasn’t shown any ability to miss bats at MLB level and particularly struggled with LHBs), Freddie Freeman (ATL) (horrible Red pitching staff puts Freeman in a lineup with a respectable team total for once), and Brandon Belt (SF) (poor park but Chase Anderson has a 5.00 FIP; huge breakout year for Belt as power strides have stuck from last year while plate discipline has leaped forward).

Second Base Rankings

1) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

2) Derek Dietrich (MIA) (if leading off)

3) Jean Segura (ARI)

4) Jurickson Profar (TEX)

5) Brett Lawrie (CHW)

While we don’t have one specific second base value we love (no second baseman cracks our top 30 overall hitter rankings), you can generally stick to the top four ranked options in cash games at mid-tier prices around the industry. Brett Lawrie (CHW) rounds out the top five ranked second basemen and is someone we’re strongly targeting in tournaments (high risk reward option due to K rate but improved loft).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

2) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

3) Corey Seager (LAD)

4) Zack Cozart (CIN)

5) Elvis Andrus (TEX)

The value at this position is pretty horrible. We’ll likely fill out last here, ideally with a punt play so keep your eye on alerts. Potential punt options currently are Alcides Escobar (KC) on DraftKings (terrible matchup but min priced leadoff hitter) and possibly Tim Anderson (CHW) (doesn’t rate well in our model but gives you cap relief at a scarce position and exposure to the White Sox offense at the same time). The latter is more of a tournament option admittedly as Freddy Galvis (PHI) gives you a safer FanDuel punt for a few hundred bucks more (nice park shift and on the road with a DH chances at an extra plate appearance are higher than usual).

Third Base Rankings

1) Todd Frazier (CHW)

2) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

3) Jake Lamb (ARI)

4a) Maikel Franco (PHI)

4b) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

Third base is a fun, deep position today. On FanDuel the decision is a bit more straightforward as Todd Frazier (CHW) is at such an affordable price and carries so much upside (.272 ISO). On DraftKings, pricing brings several other options strongly into play, including our 2-4 ranked third basemen: Josh Donaldson (TOR) (generally underpriced for a home matchup, especially with Toronto possessing the highest team total on the slate by half a run), Jake Lamb (ARI) (one of our breakout darlings and Bolsinger is currently allowing a 40.4 hard hit rate), and Maikel Franco (PHI) (cap relief he offers may allow you to avoid punting an offensive position elsewhere).

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA) (health risk)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Jose Bautista (TOR)

4) David Peralta (ARI)

5) Michael Saunders (TOR)

6) JD Martinez (DET)

7) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

8) Christian Yelich (MIA)

9) Matt Kemp (SD)

10) Ian Desmond (TEX)

11) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

12) Ryan Braun (MIL)

13) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

14) Adam Eaton (CHW)

15) Ender Inciarte (ATL)

The outfield position is a bit tough to breakdown up top as you’ve got a couple of health risks in plus matchups in Mike Trout (LAA) and Jose Bautista (TOR) and a couple of cold hitters also in plus matchups in Bryce Harper (WAS) (-0.5 well-hit delta over last two weeks) and Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) (42.5 K rate since returning from the DL). In general, we feel you it’s best to take a tournament approach with Stanton against RHP until he feels things out. Then that leaves you playing prices with the top three outfielders, making Bautista the best value on DraftKings with Trout/Harper more accessible on FanDuel. It’s definitely possible to pay up for a top outfielder and top tier starting pitching. Trout-Harper-Bautista represent three of our top four hitters at any position. Michael Saunders (TOR) is the best industry wide value at the position as he should hit cleanup for the Blue Jays and is a good way to get access to this offense with a LHB, which Eickhoff has been much more vulnerable against (.349 wOBA, .212 ISO). Outside of that, options are pretty site specific. You can play price points with Adam Eaton/Melky Cabrera (CWS) to get more White Sox exposure. David Peralta (ARI) is a phenomenal source of cap relief as a third outfielder on FanDuel. The Cubs top of the order bats are too cheap on DraftKings, even facing Scherzer who is a bit susceptible to LHBs.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

2) Chicago White Sox

Tier Two

3) Detroit Tigers

4) Arizona Diamondbacks

Tier Three

5) Oakland Athletics

Our top three stacks all have an excellent combination of power upside, high team total, and very favorable hitting environments. It’s possible to grab a touch of exposure to each of their hitters in cash game lineups with all three stackable in tournaments.

Arizona is a great team for tournaments. It’s possible to fit exposure in cash game lineups in the right spots but not a must. However, you can full stack in tournaments. As mentioned previously, Bolsinger allows a lot of hard hit contact, and this Arizona offense looks a lot better against RHP with David Peralta back. A stack also allows you to use Paul Goldschmidt (ARI), our third ranked hitter overall, who might go underowned simply due to opportunity cost at the position.

Oakland has enough lefty mashers with power upside (Khris Davis, Danny Valencia) to be mini-stacked in tournaments.

Tournament Stacks

-Los Angeles Dodgers (This may be DraftKings specific, but with the matchup priced into salaries, you can full stack the Dodgers without much issue and still spending up for top pitching. Zack Greinke is obviously a very good SP, but he has a lower K rate than other aces, making him a bit more susceptible to the tide swings of the BABIP gods, especially in a hitter’s park.)

-San Diego Padres (The Padres are surprisingly seventh in wRC+ against LHP, and Wei-Yin Chen can allow power in any park due to his 41.3 GB rate and 21.1 hard minus soft hit rate.)