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June 23 MLB DFS: A Snake Ate My Butler
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June 23 MLB DFS: A Snake Ate My Butler

00:39 Today’s Schedule
01:47 Starting Pitchers
07:06 Catchers
09:09 First Base
10:50 Second Base
12:14 Shortstop
13:24 Third Base
17:12 Outfield
21:19 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



June 23 MLB DFS Late Slate Pro Tip

Schedule Note: Today’s content will cover the five game main evening slate. In general, we’ll cover four game slates or less solely via lineup alerts.

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jon Lester (CHC)

Tier Two

2) Matt Harvey (NYM)

Tier Three

3) Zack Greinke (ARI)

Tier Four

4) Wei-Yin Chen (MIA)

5) Tim Lincecum (LAA)

Tier Five

6) Christian Friedrich (SD)

It’s a surprisingly complex or at least difficult five game slate as you’ve got Coors Field (but with a good pitcher on one side of things), two bad LHPs in Cincinnati, and a steep drop off in starting pitching options following the top two tiers.

Jon Lester (CHC) is the clear top starting pitcher as no one can compete with him from a skills standpoint (well, Harvey when he’s right but that hasn’t been the case). Lester sports a 2.06 ERA and 2.97 FIP with projection systems calling for just over a 3.00 ERA rest of season. He pitches deep into games and seemingly has a very high floor pitching in Miami against a Marlins team whose best hitter in that split (Stanton) is struggling mightily. Despite the latter point, though, the Marlins have rated as a relatively neutral matchup in DFS for opposing starting pitchers.

We’d be more inclined to lock in Lester’s floor on DraftKings, where there are flexible ways to get cap relief. On both sites, though, Matt Harvey (NYM) may be worth the risk as a similar per dollar value at a lower price point. This is especially the case on FanDuel. Harvey has been much better his last four games or so. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any sort of revelation occurred. The velocity has been better or at least more consistent and that’s flooded to other areas (his hard hit rate for example and strikeouts), but he’s more like a better version of what he was early in the season rather than someone who has “figured it out”. That’s good enough for us, though, given the slate, the matchup (Atlanta is 29th in wRC+ against RHP), and at least some hope on the basis of Harvey’s longer-term history.

On FanDuel, we’d like to make one of the top two starting pitchers work, but Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) is incredibly cheap on DraftKings ($5,000). He hasn’t pitched well and has a horrid matchup against the Cubs. However, projection systems peg him for better stats moving forward, and the Cubs won’t have their best lineup (Ross catches Lester, Soler/Fowler are out, Rizzo left yesterday’s game with back stiffness and could possibly be out). It’s certainly a risk but the cap relief, regardless of who you pitch as your SP1, will make it easier to get access to the top offenses, most specifically the Diamondbacks.

Given less opportunity cost than usual up top, Zack Greinke (ARI) merits some consideration in tournaments despite pitching in Coors Field, and Tim Lincecum (LAA) can be used in tournaments as well.

Catcher Rankings

1) Welington Castillo/Chris Herrmann (ARI)

2) Derek Norris (SD)

3) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

4) JT Realmuto (MIA)

5) Tucker Barnhart (CIN)

It’s difficult to pay up for catcher on the slate, but if you have the room and lineup spots cooperate (Welington Castillo possibly fourth, Chris Herrmann second) the Arizona catchers are the obvious spend here. Derek Norris (SD) is our second ranked catcher despite hitting sixth most likely as we’re high on the RHBs of San Diego. Playing in Cincinnati is a massive park shift in their favor, and John Lamb has been brutal this season (5.17 FIP, 5.14 xFIP; 36.7 hard hit rate and 1.7 mph drop in fastball velocity from a year ago). Stephen Vogt (OAK) is the “safe” cash game option for a bit less money, but fully punting the position (Tucker Barnhart (CIN)?) is a viable move here as well.

First Base Ranking

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) Wil Myers (SD)

3a) Albert Pujols (LAA)

3b) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

5) Anthony Rizzo (CHC) (health risk)

A lack of value plays combined with our top two ranked first basemen in good spots makes it incredibly tough not to pay up here. Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) leads a Diamondbacks team with an implied run total of nearly 6, a full run higher than any other team. Wil Myers (SD) has been phenomenal recently, finally making good on all that potential. He’s running more and most importantly hitting for a ton of power (.239 ISO), although the power peripherals are somewhat in line with career marks so some HR/FB rate regression could be headed his way. Aside from the strong matchup against John Lamb referenced above, the Reds bullpen is historically bad (5.99 ERA).

Second Base Rankings

1) Jean Segura (ARI)

2) Brandon Phillips (CIN)

3) Yangervis Solarte (SD) (where eligible)

4) Neil Walker (NYM)

5) Jose Peraza (CIN) (if top six)

Second base is a good spot to save a little bit of money or at least attack the mid-tier. That generally leaves you looking at Brandon Phillips (CIN), who will have a great lineup spot and the platoon edge at home against Christian Friedrich (4.61 xFIP), or Neil Walker (NYM), who has good power from the left side of the plate and is facing Matt Wisler (.377 wOBA and .224 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2014). Yangervis Solarte (SD) is a fine option as well on DraftKings where he has the eligibility.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Zack Cozart (CIN)

2) Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM)

3) Trevor Story (COL)

4) Alexei Ramirez (SD)

5) Javier Baez (CHC)

The shortstop position is putrid on this short slate. We suggest filling out this position last, and ideally a punt option will emerge when lineups are released. Zack Cozart (CIN) is the clear top play but overpriced and tough to fit in, while Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) and Alexei Ramirez (SD) (likely poor lineup spot) don’t come at the full punt prices we’d hope for but are currently acceptable.

Third Base Rankings

1) Jake Lamb (ARI)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Nolan Arenado (COL)

4) Yangervis Solarte (SD)

5) Eugenio Suarez (CIN)

We really want to fit Jake Lamb (ARI) into lineups given the elite matchup against Eddie Butler (whopping .439 wOBA and .252 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2014) in Coors Field. Aside from that and Lamb’s breakout season overall, take a look at how well he’s swinging the bat recently, according to our well-hit tool:

Jake Lamb WH

Kris Bryant (CHC) is a good value in a vacuum, but we prefer his home run upside (poor park but fly ball oriented LHP who allows hard hit contact) in tournaments. Rather, if you’re unable to pay all the way up for Lamb, it makes more sense to simply dip down to Yangervis Solarte (SD) who is very cheap given all the positive contextual factors in his favor (cleanup spot, park shift, struggling opposing pitcher, horrific Reds bullpen).

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

3) Matt Kemp (SD)

4) Billy Hamilton (CIN)

5) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

6) Adam Duvall (CIN)

7) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

8) Melvin Upton (SD)

9) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

10) Peter O’Brien (ARI)

The outfield is frustrating to break down as most of our model’s favorite values include players that are tough to justify paying up for in cash games (Mike Trout (LAA) in a bad park with a terrible lineup around him) or are options like Matt Kemp (SD) who are only a touch underpriced and are difficult to squeeze in depending on how you’re treating the corner infield spots. This issue is compounded by a lack of clear cut values at the middle and cheap price points. The best value on either site is Billy Hamilton (CIN) on FanDuel, where he’s just $2,500. Quite honestly, on this slate he’s worth using in all formats at that tag regardless of lineup spot, but he has been hitting second recently. The best mid-tier options likely are found in the Arizona Outfield. It’s just really difficult to project what that lineup is going to be given the injury to David Peralta (resulting in the Socrates Brito call up), the boom or bust nature of Peter O’Brien who will lack the platoon edge, and two games utilizing the DH, which don’t help to clarify matters. We’d like to see Melvin Upton (SD) in a top four lineup spot, but even hitting fifth he’s in a good enough spot to be used in cash games. On DraftKings where Billy Hamilton is way more expensive, the best cap relief option appears to be Coco Crisp (OAK).

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Arizona Diamondbacks

Tier Two

2) San Diego Padres

Tier Three

3) Cincinnati Reds

4) Los Angeles Angels

5) Colorado Rockies

6) New York Mets

The Diamondbacks are the clear cut top stack, and we’d try to get access to at least two to three of their players in cash games, even if that might cost you Jon Lester as your starting pitcher.

The Padres have pretty much every contextual factor you can think of in their favor. While we’re all for mini stacking them in cash games, they make for an interesting full stack in tournaments with the hope that ownership converges on the Diamondbacks and Coors Field.

Contrarian Stack

-Oakland Athletics (uncertainty around what to expect from Tim Lincecum who is backed up by a bad bullpen)

MLB Daily Analysis

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