Daily Fantasy Rundown – June 23rd MLB DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Tuesday’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: No cancellation concerns today. Delays possible in BOS, NYY, WSH and PIT. Tremendous hitting environment in DEN and BOS.
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.
Today’s analysis authored by Mike Leone and Chris Pacheco.
Stephen Vogt (OAK) – Vogt has been the best offensive catcher in MLB this season. He’s been more patient at the plate (0.75 EYE this season, 0.54 EYE in his career) and has posted a .394 wOBA and .251 ISO in 257 PAs. Opposing pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez is due for some major regression, as he doesn’t miss any bats (9 percent K rate, 10 percent BB rate) and his 0.91 ERA is a bit fluky (4.17 FIP/5.05 xFIP). Vogt and the A’s will experience an awesome park shift for offensive purposes (Globe Life Park in Arlington is an elite hitting venue). Vogt is fully priced on most sites but he’s a great way to get exposure to this offense (scarce position, arguably the best hitter in Oakland).
Next in line:
Brian McCann (NYY) – While McCann hasn’t been as good of a hitter as Stephen Vogt, his value is attached to his power (.193 ISO as a member of the Yankees). That power at Yankee Stadium (increases LH power by approximately 17 percent above the league average) in this matchup (Sean O’Sullivan has allowed a .424 wOBA, 1.98 HR/9 to the 180 LHBs he has faced at the major league level, despite pitching in a neutral environment for the most part) gives McCann plenty of upside. He’s in play in cash games as long as you can find a fair price tag (top 35 hitter).
Jonathan Lucroy (ARI) – Usually the catcher position is a scarce position that lacks depth. That’s definitely not the case tonight, since Stephen Vogt has a trip to Globe Life Park in Arlington and faces a pitcher who walks more than he strikes out, McCann is at Yankee Stadium in one of the better matchups he will have all year, Welington Castillo is at Coors Field facing a below average pitcher and Lucroy is facing a LHP at Miller Park. Lucroy has been exceptional against LHP (.384 wOBA, .199 ISO against LHP since 2012) and despite Jon Niese being a solid pitcher, he’s allowing close to a home run per nine innings to RHBs. Lucroy is cheaper than Vogt and McCann around the industry and he’s a top 40 hitter (good value for the price you’re paying).
Welington Castillo (ARI) – Castillo isn’t much of a hitter against RHP (.295 wOBA, .133 ISO against RHP since 2012) but a trip to Coors Field and a matchup against Kyle Kendrick (.335 wOBA, 1.22 HR/9 and 14 percent K rate against RHBs in the last few season) is enough to boost his value. Castillo will likely hit around seventh but he’s ranked within our top 50 hitters and he’s only $3,400 on DraftKings. The Diamondbacks have a team total approaching six runs.
Additional catcher notes: The written values above make the most sense for cash games tonight. Nick Hundley (COL) is a fine cash game value (gives you exposure to a Rockies team total of 5.5 runs) but he doesn’t rank as well as the catchers above (top 65 hitter). Matt Wieters (BAL) makes some sense in tournaments. Despite the bad hitting environment (Fenway Park is tough on LHBs), opposing pitcher Joe Kelly doesn’t miss many bats (K rate has been decreasing and is down below the league average). You can bet on Wieters being low owned in tournaments. Give him a shot in a multi-entry setting. Much like Wieters, Buster Posey (SFG) makes sense for tournaments. He’s a better hitter when he has the platoon advantage but opposing pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne doesn’t miss many bats. Posey and Wieters fall short of our top 100 hitters this evening.
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) – Goldy is our top ranked hitter and despite being fully priced around the industry, I could make the case that he’s still a phenomenal value. After posting a .404 wOBA and .402 wOBA along with ISOs over .240 in the last few seasons, he has posted a .469 wOBA and .300 ISO this season. Somehow, Goldschmidt is finding ways to improve (higher contact rate and he has posted a 1.00 EYE this season). He has a matchup against Kyle Kendrick (ERA close to 6.00, expected ERAs agree and A 35 percent hard hit rate) at Coors Field (best hitting environment in baseball). He’s a remarkable play in any format of your choosing.
Lucas Duda (NYM) – Duda isn’t Paul Goldschmidt, but he’s a good hitter (.363 wOBA, .220 ISO against RHP since 2012). He has a favorable matchup against Mike Fiers (good K rate but he has posted a 43 percent hard hit rate in 14 starts, which is very high almost three months into the season) and Miller Park is a friendly hitting environment. Coors Field is the top offensive destination for us tonight but we’re not shying away from other values in good spots (Duda is ranked inside our top 20 hitters and he’s $3,600 on DraftKings).
Danny Dorn (ARI) – We’re hopeful that Dorn is in the Diamondbacks lineup tonight. Dorn doesn’t project to be much of a hitter (.303 ZiPS projected wOBA this season) but he does have some power (.168 ZiPS projected ISO) and most importantly, he’s minimum priced on DraftKings. That type of price tag for a hitter with the platoon edge at Coors Field facing a below average pitcher opens up a world of possibilities in any type of format. We’re not even that concerned about a lineup spot with Dorn, since the Diamondbacks have a team total of six runs and he has a great set of contextual factors.
Additional first base notes: As is normally the case on a 15 game slate, first base has a healthy amount of options. Miguel Cabrera (DET) and Todd Frazier (CIN) rank inside our top 20 hitters. They’re fully priced around the industry but their matchups are nice (Cabrera faces Danny Salazar, who struggles with the long ball and Todd Frazier has the platoon advantage against Jeff Locke). They’re awesome tournament options tonight. I’d put Albert Pujols (LAA) in that conversation of great tournament plays. Like Frazier and Cabrera, Pujols is priced fully on most sites. His matchup against Collin McHugh (struggles with the long ball) is good enough to attack for tournaments. Pujols is back to being the machine (awesome contact rate, .388 wOBA and .306 ISO in 283 PAs this season). Mark Teixeira (NYY) has a matchup against Sean O’Sullivan (terrible against LHBs) at Yankee Stadium (short porch at right field). Teixeira ranks inside our top 35 hitters in our model and he’s cash game viable this evening. David Ortiz (BOS) has been hitting well in the month of June and he’s priced favorably on most sites (particularly FanDuel). Fenway Park is brutal to LHBs and Ortiz is probably an exception there (he’s been one of the best LHBs in the last decade) but opposing pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is a solid pitcher for the most part. Despite the okay matchup and terrible ballpark, Ortiz is cash game playable. Logan Morrison (SEA) has tournament appeal due to his lineup spot (leadoff) and a matchup against Jeremy Guthrie (awful vs. LHBs). Ben Paulsen (COL) usually has a top six spot against RHP and he’s a cheap way to get exposure to the Rockies offense (5.5 team total).
Aaron Hill (ARI) – Admittedly, Hill comes with his fair share of “ifs” tonight. If he’s in the lineup and garners a solid lineup spot, I view him as the top play at second base despite being ranked 40th in our model. Hill has a R/R matchup against Kyle Kendrick (awful pitcher) at Coors Field and he has been a solid hitter against RHP (.335 wOBA, .168 ISO against RHP since 2012). His price tag on FanDuel ($2,700) makes him a great bargain.
Next in line:
Ben Zobrist (OAK) – If there weren’t so many intriguing hitting destinations tonight, the A’s would be a priority for us in cash games. Zobrist is a switch hitter and he’s hitting cleanup (both are great for his DFS value). His matchup against Chi Chi Gonzalez (headed for some major regression and doesn’t miss any bats) at Globe Life Park in Arlington (elite hitting environment) makes him an awesome value on FanDuel ($3,200). On sites where Zobrist is fully priced (DraftKings), I’d only use him in tournaments.
Robinson Cano (SEA) – While Cano has been dreadful this season (.244/.283/.343 triple slash line) and his power is basically gone (ISOs below .140 in the last two seasons as a member of Seattle), he’s hitting the ball hard (33 percent hard hit rate, in line with his career). The biggest difference I see in Cano is luck (.284 BABIP this season, .322 BABIP for his career). A matchup against Jeremy Guthrie (awful vs. LHBs) could certainly help and we’re willing to play Cano in cash games on sites where he’s priced down considerably (FanDuel).
Additional second base notes: Jose Altuve (HOU) would be the top selection at second base facing a LHP on any given day but he doesn’t seem fully healthy at the moment. C.J. Wilson is a solid pitcher too so this matchup isn’t very intriguing. His price tag on DraftKings ($3,900) is too low and he should be considered in all formats on that site. DJ LeMahieu (COL) gives you exposure to a Rockies offense with a team total of 5.5 runs at a reasonable cost on FanDuel. He will hit second so we’re not worried about where he falls in the lineup. Cliff Pennington (ARI) isn’t much of a hitter but he’s very cheap on DraftKings ($2,600) and we love cheap exposure to Coors Field. He’s a fine value alternative to teammate Aaron Hill.
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) – Tulowitzki is an elite hitter, even against RHP (.385 wOBA, .207 ISO against RHP since 2012). Opposing pitcher Chase Anderson is certainly not a bad pitcher but he struggles with RHBs (.329 wOBA, 33 percent hard hit rate allowed to RHBs in the last few seasons). With the available punt options around the industry, it does seem like fitting Tulowitzki (only $4,800 on DraftKings) in cash games is fairly easy. Tulowitzki only trails Paul Goldschmidt and teammate Carlos Gonzalez in our model this evening.
Nick Ahmed/Cliff Pennington (ARI) – Both Ahmed (.236 wOBA) and Pennington (.278 wOBA) are bad hitters against RHP but their contextual factors (facing Kyle Kendrick at Coors Field) couldn’t be better tonight. We’re targeting this Diamondbacks offense (team total pushing six runs) freely across all formats.
Jean Segura (MIL) – Like the options above, Segura isn’t a good hitter (.297 wOBA against RHP in the last few seasons) but a leadoff spot in a Brewers offense with a team total pushing 4.5 runs is enough to warrant cash game consideration. Jon Niese isn’t terrible but he has allowed a .323 wOBA to RHBs since 2012 and he’s accustomed to pitching in a pitcher’s park (Miller Park is a good hitting environment).
Additional shortstop notes: Marcus Semien (OAK) is close to the bare minimum on FanDuel and he has been hitting second for the A’s. Those factors are good enough to invest in Semien in this matchup (Chi Chi Gonzalez is headed for regression) and in this venue (Globe Life Park in Arlington). Carlos Correa (HOU) has gotten off to a fast start (.359 wOBA, .220 ISO in 62 PAs) and he will have the platoon edge tonight against C.J. Wilson (solid pitcher). I only see tournament value in Correa since he’s priced too aggressively around the industry.
Jake Lamb (ARI) – Lamb is a guy we liked a lot heading into this season and got off to a nice start before unfortunately suffering an injury. He’s since returned and although it’s a small sample size, his peripherals are heading in the right direction, which gives us confidence given our preseason optimism as well. Lamb’s walk and strikeout rates are both going in the correct direction and his combination of increased loft and a solid hard hit rate (34.6 percent) should lead to a higher ISO moving forward. As we’ve already outlined, this is a phenomenal matchup for the Diamondbacks as they face a horrific pitcher in Kyle Kendrick in the best hitting environment in all of baseball. Despite seeing his price rise as a result of the environment, Lamb is still one of our primary targets in cash games at third base. He ranks as the top third baseman in our model and a top 10 overall hitter.
Next in line:
Aramis Ramirez (MIL) – If you can’t quite get up to Lamb, Ramirez gives you some upside and cap relief (particularly on DraftKings). At age 36 Ramirez’s skills are declining, but it’s important to note that the power has been there (.182 ISO) as he continues to generate a lot of loft, which helps to compensate for reduced hard hit contact. Ramirez also has an elite split against LHP, having posted a .409 wOBA and .297 ISO since 2012. Niese’s .323 wOBA allowed to RHBs over the same time span puts him in the worse half of today’s starting pitchers.
Chase Headley (NYY) – On FanDuel Headley is near minimum salary. As we discussed yesterday, his skills aren’t great but once again simultaneously gives you cap relief and exposure to one of today’s top offenses. The switch hitting Headley will start out with the short porch in right being to his pull side as he square off against RHP Sean O’Sullivan, who in a limited sample size has been absolutely destroyed by LHBs – .424 wOBA and 1.98 HR/9.
Additional third base notes: Nolan Arenado (COL) is tournament playable due to his skills and the environment but Lamb is cheaper across the industry. Todd Frazier (CIN) isn’t a cash game option since his price tag has exploded and he sees a severe negative park shift. However, his absurd power numbers are supported by some great indicators, and he’s worth targeting in tournaments as a low owned, high upside option with the platoon edge against a below average LHP in Jeff Locke. Alex Rodriguez (NYY) is in a great spot against the underwhelming Sean O’Sullivan. We’d rather have exposure to Coors Field (Lamb) if prices are similar, but Rodriguez is a viable alternative in all formats. Two young third basemen with tremendous upside this evening are Maikel Franco (PHI) (platoon edge in Yankee Stadium against CC Sabathia and his homer prone ways) and Joey Gallo (TEX) (platoon edge at home; will strike out a ton but great power potential is already being seen with combination of loft and absurd 52.9 hard hit rate).
Diamondbacks outfield (ARI) – A.J. Pollock (.329 wOBA, .134 ISO), David Peralta (.356 wOBA, .193 ISO) and Yasmany Tomas (.334 wOBA this season) have the best contextual factors (facing the underwhelming Kyle Kendrick at Coors Field) and they always garner top five lineup spots. With the Diamondbacks having a team total pushing six runs tonight, Peralta is a core play on FanDuel ($2,500 and ranked inside our top 10 hitters). These outfielders all rank inside our top 20 hitters,
Carlos Gonzalez/Charlie Blackmon (COL) – Gonzalez (second ranked hitter, .387 wOBA, .255 ISO against RHP since 2012) and Blackmon (ranked inside our top 15 hitters, .356 wOBA, .163 ISO against RHP since 2012) are in play across all formats tonight. Opposing pitcher Chase Anderson isn’t a bad pitcher and he’s better against LHBs than RHBs but Coors Field is an awful environment for pitchers and he has allowed close to a home run per nine innings to LHBs. Blackmon has been the better performer as of late and he has speed upside (25-30 SB upside over a full season) at the leadoff position (maximizes his PAs). On sites where Gonzalez is cheaper, he makes for the better value but he’s battling through a wrist issue so I don’t mind paying a higher price for Blackmon.
Ryan Braun (MIL) – Braun has video game skills against LHP (.421 wOBA, .301 ISO against LHP since 2012) and a matchup against Jon Niese (allowing close to a home run per nine innings to RHBs) at Miller Park is good enough to make him a great cash game option on a site like DraftKings (only $4,400 on that site, which is cheap relative to the top outfielders).
Josh Reddick (OAK) – Reddick (.348 wOBA, .205 ISO against RHP since 2012 and he has dramatically improved his contact rate) is too cheap on FanDuel ($3,100). A matchup against Chi Chi Gonzalez (doesn’t miss bats and expected ERAs are around four runs higher than his actual ERA) in an elite hitting environment is enough to make him an excellent value on any site that has priced him as an average hitter.
Carlos Beltran (NYY) – Beltran moved to a top five spot in the Yankees lineup last night (Mark Teixeira was out). If he can garner that type of hitting spot that would be great for his value since he has a matchup against Sean O’Sullivan (terrible vs. LHBs) at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have a team total pushing five implied runs and Beltran would represent one of the cheapest ways to gain exposure to this offense.
Additional outfield notes: Brett Gardner (NYY) is priced a bit aggressively relative to the options above but a matchup against a terrible pitcher at hitting friendly Yankee Stadium (short porch for LHBs) gives him plenty of upside. Mike Trout (LAA) has a good matchup against Collin McHugh (struggles with the long ball) but he’s not in a good hitting environment and the surrounding bats aren’t very good (outside of Pujols and maybe Calhoun). He makes more sense for tournaments. Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is underpriced on most sites (particularly on DraftKings since Johnny Cueto was supposed to start). I’d give him a shot in tournaments despite the terrible hitting environment (PNC Park). Billy Burns (OAK) is priced fully on most sites but he’s a great speed threat and he’s leading off for an A’s offense that should get to Chi Chi Gonzalez in a good hitting venue. George Springer (HOU) has tournament appeal due to being a high event player. Opposing pitcher C.J .Wilson isn’t a bad pitcher but Springer is very good against LHP (.381 wOBA, .226 ISO). Cheap cash game options on DraftKings include Garret Jones (NYY) (platoon edge against Sean O’Sullivan at Yankee Stadium) and Chris Parmelee (BAL) (I’d only consider him if hitting third).
Rankings (price not considered):
1) Madison Bumgarner (SF)
2) Chris Archer (TB)
3) Zack Greinke (LAD)
4) David Price (DET)
5) Carlos Martinez (STL)
6) Danny Salazar (CLE)
7) Jason Hammel (CHC)
8) CJ Wilson (LAA)
9) Jeff Samardzija (CHW)
10) Alex Wood (ATL)
11) CC Sabathia (NYY)
12) Collin McHugh (HOU)
13) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)
14) Jesse Chavez (OAK)
15) Mike Fiers (MIL)
16) RA Dickey (TOR)
17) Jeff Locke (PIT)
18) Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL)
Madison Bumgarner (SF) – Bumgarner is coming off three straight tremendous outings in which he has an average IP of 8.0, Ks of 9 and GB rate of 48.5. After a little bit of a slow start on the season, he certainly seems to be back on track and projections systems are calling for a sub-3.00 ERA ROS. That gives us some extra confidence and the matchup does the rest. Bumgarner is at home in the best pitcher’s park in all of baseball, facing a Padres team that is middle of the pack in wRC+ against LHP but have the sixth highest K rate against (23.5). As a result, Bumgarner is a heavy favorite at -205 and no team has a lower expected run total. He’s the top option for cash games on single starting pitcher sites.
Chris Archer (TB) – Archer lags a bit behind Bumgarner in our rankings, primarily due to strength of opponent. The Blue Jay have a powerful lineup and are second in all of MLB in wRC+ against RHP, However, they get a big downgrade in park factor and have to face Archer, who has arguably been the best pitcher in all of baseball. Archer has a 2.18 ERA that is backed up by a 2.14 FIP and 2.35 xFIP. He has a very solid hard minus soft hit rate of 5.6 percent, which allows him to beat an already astoundingly low xFIP. The peripherals that are driving the elite xFIP are a 31.1 K percentage, 6.2 BB percentage and 51.5 GB rate – all career bests and supported by even deeper statistics such as a 64.6 F-strike rate and 13.0 SwStr rate. Archer’s skills and pitching environment trump the strength of the Jays lineup, and it should also be noted that as good as the Jays lineup is, most of its hitters and the prime power bats in the middle are all right handed. Archer has been dominant against same handed batters since 2012 (.261 wOBA). He’s close enough to Bumgarner in our model that he can be used anywhere he’s cheaper and that’s especially the case on DraftKings. Anchor cash teams with one of the two top plays today as it’s not overly difficult to do so, despite the prioritizing of Coors bats.
Carlos Martinez (STL) – With the addition of Derek Dietrich to the lineup, the Marlins lineup isn’t as righty heavy as it was early in the season. Still, if Martinez can survive the trio of Gordon (.308 wOBA versus RHP since 2012), Dietrich (.324) and Yelich (.342), he’ll likely have to deal with just one other left handed bat the rest of the way. It’s important to note that Martinez has made strides against LHBs this season, allowing a .319 wOBA to them after getting pummeled last season (.363). While splits can be subject to a small sample size, it’s good to see peripherals back this up as well, most notably an improvement in K-BB% from -1.8 to 9.8. As far as the RHBs, Martinez has never had an issue with those, holding them to a .278 wOBA since 2012 to go along with an impressive 28.4 K percentage and 0.3 hard minus soft hit rate. We started a bit micro here, but if we take a step back and get a bit more macro Martinez makes a whole lot of sense. It’s a great pitcher’s park and the Marlins are 28th in wRC+ against RHP with the eighth highest K percentage as well. Martinez is a great second starting pitcher on muti-SP sites and holds incredible upside if he’s able to handle the LHBs up top.
Tournament Plays/Risky Cash Game Options:
Jeff Samardzija (CHW) – Samardzija has had a difficult time since moving to the AL, but there are few reasons he has a lot of upside this evening. For starters, Samardzija certainly hasn’t had luck on his side. He holds a 4.67 ERA despite a 3.66 FIP and 3.76 xFIP as his .334 BABIP and 67.5 LOB% are both worse than his career marks. If that normalizes moving forward, Samardzija is underpriced at current levels. Also, consider that he’s averaging around 6.7 IP per start despite the high ERA. If his run prevention improves, he has the innings pitched upside to provide a dominant score. Furthermore, one of Samardzija’s biggest weaknesses since moving to the AL has been a big drop in GB rate (from 50.2 to 38.8). That’s something that causes a lot of problems in US Cellular Field (one of the highest HR park factors) but should be somewhat mitigated at Target Field (one of the lowest HR park factors). The final tally in the plus column for Samardzija is a pretty easy lineup to navigate. The Twins are 25th in wRC+ against RHP and have the ninth highest K percentage.
CC Sabathia (NYY) – Sabathia’s decreased velocity has led to elevated HR/FB rates the past few seasons. Not surprisingly as a result the HR/9 numbers have skyrocketed to unacceptable levels (1.96 last season, 1.63 this year), which make him a very dangerous start, particularly at home. With all that said, if there is a time to start him it’s now. He’s the heaviest favorite on the night (-260), which gives him heightened win probability. The Phillies lineup is a lot less threatening against LHP as you neutralize leadoff hitter Ben Revere, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley (although he has been neutralized by everyone this year). Even against LHP, Sabathia is a good bet to see at least three LHBs and more than likely four. If there’s one thing Sabathia still has going for him, he is able to dominate when holding the platoon edge, as he’s held such opponents to .276 wOBA since 2012 to go along with an elite 31.7 K percentage. This is vital at home due to the short porch in right.
Additional starting pitcher notes: We always like to see the game total released at Wrigley Field before making a final determination on those pitchers. However, the wind appears it will be neutral, leaving Zack Greinke (LAD) as a tier one starting pitcher with plenty of K upside against the Cubs. Due to price and opportunity cost (Bumgarner, Archer), he’s not a priority in cash games. The same can be said for David Price (DET) who would be a solid cash option on any other day but simply doesn’t rate as highly as the other high end starting pitchers. Danny Salazar (CLE) is a secondary cash game play on DraftKings due to the high K upside he offers at his price point, but it’s not an easy matchup and certainly comes with risk. I won’t have many shares of Jason Hammel (CHC) and CJ Wilson (LAA) simply because I don’t view them as cash game options and prefer the upside of the written up tournament plays in a GPP format. There’s enough firepower in the first four tiers of pitchers that you don’t really need to dip into the tier five starting pitchers in any format. If using one in a GPP on multi-SP sites, I still won’t find myself picking outside of the top 15 overall pitchers.
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) Arizona Diamondbacks
2) New York Yankees
3) Colorado Rockies
4) Milwaukee Brewers
Most of this was covered pretty in depth throughout today’s analysis. The Diamondbacks are the clear top stack. Aside from getting the massive Coors Field bump, they’ll face a pitcher in Kyle Kendrick who has been downright awful regardless of environment (6.11 FIP, 5.18 xFIP, 35.1 hard hit rate, 11.1 K percentage). While some of the Diamondbacks bats are priced up due to Coors, there’s still good value to be held with Peralta, Lamb and the MIs, making this team stackable without sacrificing pitching.
The Yankees plethora of LHBs always make for a good stack at home against subpar RHP. Sean O’Sullivan certainly qualifies as subpar. He has a career 5.69 ERA, 5.59 FIP and 5.19 xFIP. He doesn’t miss any bats, has below average control and is GB neutral.
The Rockies stack is straightforward – they’re at home with a team total around 5.5.
The final stack is the Brewers. While other teams may have a higher team total, our model really likes the Brewers right handed lineup in a strong hitting environment against the soft tossing Jon Niese. Value also plays a role here as cold hitters such as Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez have depressed prices and serve as great bargains in a mini-stack in this matchup.
1) Oakland Athletics
2) Baltimore Orioles
3) New York Mets
4) San Francisco Giants
The Athletics (third in wRC+ against RHP) get a massive park shift playing in Texas and face Chi Chi Gonzalez who can’t miss a bat to save his life (8.6 K percentage). He’s walked more batters than he has struck out and has a 5.05 xFIP despite just a low actual ERA of 0.90. Gonzalez is doing a good job of limiting hard contact, but ultimately a .183 BABIP, 94.6 LOB% and 3.6 HR/FB rate are not sustainable. Maybe we’ll avoid the hot streak Gonzalez is on in cash games since there are plenty of other options, but a full stack in tournaments is still a plus-EV decision. A disaster start is coming sooner or later.
I don’t have anything prescient to say about the Baltimore stack. It’s simply a mismatch of an above average offense against a below average pitcher in a pretty good hitter’s park.
The Mets get a big park shift playing in Milwaukee and there’s a lot of power upside here today. Mike Fiers has a 42.5 hard hit rate. Let that settle in. For perspective, the next worst qualified starter is Tom Koehler at 35.8 percent. Talk about an outlier. Fiers is allowing nearly 19 percent more hard hit contact than the next worst qualified starter in all of baseball. The home park and Fiers’ fly ball tendencies (just a 36.7 GB rate) exacerbate his problems.
The Giants should come with very low ownership at home given the other high end offensive environments in play tonight. It’s certainly a contrarian stack (mini-stack may be the better route here), but there’s definitely upside. The Giants offense gets overlooked due to their park but they actually rank fourth in MLB in wRC+ against RHP and hardly ever strike out. Meanwhile, Despaigne has fallen off from last year’s surprisingly successful campaign. He’s missing hardly any bats and has seen his GB rate dip, and the result has been four starts this season in which he has allowed as many or more ER as IP, including his last outing at Oakland.
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.
PHL at NYY 7:05: A 30-50% chance of a thunderstorm around early in the game dropping to 20% chance late in the game. They will be able to play it with the 30-50% chance of a delay either to begin the game or in the 1st half of the game. Temps in the low 80s falling into the mid to upper 70. Air density is an 8. Wind west-northwest 5-10 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 6.
ATL at WSH 7:05: A 30-50% chance of a delay caused by a thunderstorm at any time. Temps in the mid 80s dropping to near 80. Air density is an 8. Wind southwest 8-16 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 7.
CIN at PIT 7:05: Thunderstorms will be in the process of pushing away from the city before or at the immediate start of the game. Issue here is timing, if they are a bit slower to push away then there is a delay risk. At this moment, I would say the risk of a delay to start the game is 20-30%. Temps in the mid 70s falling into the upper 60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind northwest 10-20 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows out to center. The wind is an 8 becoming a 6.
STL at MIA 7:10: Retractable roof will likely be closed.
BLT at BOS 7:10: A 50% chance of a delay caused by a thunderstorm. Not expecting a threat of a cancellation. Temps in the mid to upper 70s. Air density is a 7. Wind southwest 10-20 mph with gusts past 25 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 9.
DET at CLE 7:10: Dry. Temps in the low to mid 70s falling into the mid to upper 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind northwest 6-12 mph which blows in from center. The wind is a 4.
TOR at TB 7:10: Dome.
OAK at TEX 8:05: Dry. Temps near 90 falling into the mid 80s. Air density is an 8. Wind south-southeast 7-14 mph which blows in from right-center. The wind is a 4.
LAD at CHC 8:05: Dry. Temps in the mid 70s falling into the upper 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind northwest 6-12 mph becoming nearly calm. The wind blows in from left to begin the game. The wind is a 4 becoming a 5.
NYM at MIL 8:10: Retractable roof. Dry so the roof should be open. Temps near 70 falling into the mid 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind light and variable. The wind is a 5.
CHW at MIN 8:10: Dry. Temps near 80 falling into the low to mid 70s. Air density is a 7. Wind west-southwest 7-14 mph becoming near calm. The wind blows out to center to begin the game. The wind is a 6 becoming a 5.
AZ at COL 8:40: A 10% chance of a pop up thunderstorm. Not concerned at all. Temps in the upper 80s falling into the mid 70s. Air density is off the charts, a 10. Wind southeast 12-25 mph which blows out to left. The wind is a 9.
HOU at LAA 10:05: Dry. Temps in the low 70s falling into the mid 60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind west-southwest 7-14 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows out to right-center. The wind is a 6.
KC at SEA 10:10: Retractable roof. Dry. Temps in the mid to upper 70s falling to near 70. Air density is a 6 (very dry). Wind northwest 5-10 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 6.
SD at SF 10:15: Dry. Temps in the mid to upper 60s falling into the upper 50s. Air density is a 6 becoming a 5. Wind west 12-25 mph lessening to 10-20 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 9 becoming an 8.