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June 27 MLB DFS: If The Shoemaker Fits
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June 27 MLB DFS: If The Shoemaker Fits

00:40 Starting Pitchers
09:36 Catchers
13:06 First Base
15:11 Second Base
18:04 Shortstop
20:08 Third Base
22:11 Outfield
25:53 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



June 27 MLB DFS Late Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Two

2) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

Tier Three

3) Trevor Bauer (CLE)

4) Matt Shoemaker (LAA)

Tier Four

5) Joe Ross (WAS)

6) Jeff Samardzija (SF)

7) Vincent Velasquez (PHI)

8) Robbie Ray (ARZ)

9) Danny Duffy (KC)

Tier Five

10) Adam Wainwright (STL)

11) Collin McHugh (HOU)

12) Blake Snell (TB)

Monday’s slate brings an interesting mix of ace starters, improving peripherals, and few elite matchups. With Coors Field in play and a hefty 12.5 opening total, every dollar counts. Jake Arrieta (CHC) earns our top ranking and a tier by himself. Arrieta will face a Reds’ offense that ranks 27th in wRC+ against RHP with the sixth highest K Rate. Great American Ballpark is a difficult environment to pitch in, especially in the summer with high 80s temperatures expected, but Arrieta’s ability to neutralize hard contact (21.6 hard hit rate allowed, 22 soft hit rate) helps him limit the effects of difficult parks. Arrieta is exceptionally expensive and really limits your ability to construct a competent offense. Though his profile is that of a cash game option, the price and slate make it difficult to justify him in those formats. Noah Syndergaard (NYM) has experienced elbow discomfort a few different times this season and the question of health is one that lingers alongside his hefty price tag. The skills remain elite but two elbow exams in the last two months make it difficult to trust in cash games.

Part of the reason our top two starters are down our list of preferences in cash games is the emergence of the two starters in the third tier. Trevor Bauer (CLE) has cut his walks, upped his GB Rate, and maintained his K Rate. The reason behind the improvement is increased usage of his two-seam fastball which is allowing more easy outs early in the count and increased movement on his curveball that is generating more swings and misses. The Braves are always a tricky matchup for DFS because of their propensity for contact but they remain an elite matchup for run prevention and Bauer is getting a league shift not having to deal with the DH. He’s a hefty favorite (-170) with a 3.5 implied run total against and he should work deep into the game (seven or more innings in five straight) which mitigates some of the effects in a tougher matchup for K Rate. Matt Shoemaker‘s (LAA) transformation has also come from the result of a new pitch mix. Since May 16th, Shoemaker has thrown his splitter more than 40 percent of the time in six of eight starts, and under 35 percent in just one of those starts. The results have been spectacular: 8 starts, 56 2/3 IP, 2.38 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 67 K, and 6 BB. The context of those matchups makes the turnaround even more impressive as he’s matched up with offenses that rank 17th, 3rd, 11th, 8th, 24th, 9th, 26th, and 11th in those eight starts. Only two of the eight starts were truly above average matchups and both those teams rank in the bottom five of K Rate against. He’ll face the Astros for the third time in this nine start stretch and he’s racked up 18 strikeouts and allowed five earned runs in the 15 2/3 innings he pitched in the previous two outings. At home, with the benefit of a bigger outfield, Shoemaker’s transformation as an ace makes him cash game worthy. Shoemaker has the more viable price tag on both sites, while Bauer is priced up on DraftKings and more affordable on FanDuel.

The potential options to pair with Shoemaker on DraftKings are less clear. Jeff Samardzija (SF) and Joe Ross (WAS) opened with lower implied team totals against and are pitching in strong environments but fairly priced. The Mets’ offense has been really struggling of late but they’re heavy LH approach should limit the K upside for Ross. Similarly, the Athletics have the third lowest K Rate against RHP. Both pitchers may fulfill the run prevention expectation, but if strikeouts are difficult to come by the upside at current prices may be limited. The next options in our fourth tier have strikeouts on their side, but come with plenty of risk in opposing matchup (Duffy vs. Cardinals), skill (Robbie Ray can’t seem to work deep into games), and health (Velasquez returning from the DL). With a softer price tag, those risks may look appealing on a slate with loads of offense. Collin McHugh (HOU) is our fifth tier version of Samardzija and Ross with a very difficult matchup for strikeouts but the potential for strong run prevention given the plus park shift and the Angels weaker overall offense.

Catcher Rankings

1) Willson Contreras (CHC)

2) Russell Martin (TOR)

3) Buster Posey (SF)

4) Brian McCann (NYY)

5) Nick Hundley (COL)

The catcher position is fairly thin on Monday. Willson Contreras (CHC) and Russell Martin (TOR) lead the way in elite offensive environments and likely strong lineup spots. Contreras has been hitting fourth and fifth and getting playing time in the outfield as the Cubs are struggling to keep his bat out of the lineup. Martin should get a slight boost in lineup spot as the Jays lose the DH playing in Coors Field and while Jon Gray has elite stuff, he’s been vulnerable in Coors (5.02 ERA, 1.57 HR/9) and the Rockies’ bullpen is a bit depleted without Jake McGee. We’re largely leaning on price among those two options as the differentiator. Brian McCann (NYY) has intriguing upside at home against Chi Chi Gonzalez but a price tag that is at or above the two catchers ranked ahead of him.

First Base Rankings

1) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

2) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

4) Eric Hosmer (KC)

5) Brandon Belt (SF)

First base is a tricky position on Monday’s slate as most of the options are priced appropriately around the industry. We have Anthony Rizzo (CHC) and Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) as the top options at the position. Rizzo is generally more affordable and thus our preferred target if spending up. Both are getting nice park shifts in their favor and the benefit of a guaranteed ninth inning on the road against two bad bullpens. If you’re dipping down at the first base position, you’re doing so to get as much salary relief as possible in order to load up on other positions. On FanDuel, this will bring someone like Mark Teixeira (NYY) into play as a min-priced option. On DraftKings, the power upside at a cheap price tag of someone like Mike Napoli (CLE) could enter the roster construction process.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

2) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

3) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

4) Jose Altuve (HOU)

5) Rougned Odor (TEX)

Second base is a particularly difficult position on FanDuel with all of the top options priced appropriately and most of the top options are Top 25-30 overall hitters rather than Top 10-15 which is where we’d prefer to allocate funds. We’d love for a punt to emerge so we could spend more on Coors Field in the outfield. If not, you’re left with a bunch of tightly contested options in our top three at the position. On DraftKings, the second base position has a bit more value to it, especially if Chris Coghlan (CHC) earns a favorable lineup spot. Coghlan is just $3,000 and he’s hit anywhere from leadoff to eighth of late. On both sites, Jed Lowrie (OAK) serves as a source of pure salary relief.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Trevor Story (COL) – health risk

5) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

Carlos Correa (HOU) still outpaces Xander Bogaerts (BOS) at the top of our shortstop rankings in our model, but practically we’d play Bogaerts before Correa where priced similarly. Shoemaker’s gigantic improvements coupled with Bogaerts getting a lefty push him slightly ahead in our preferences. It’s likely a moot point for cash games as both options are priced up and shortstop is a position we’d ideally like to save some salary. With Trevor Story (COL) needing further evaluation after getting hit by a pitch we could see Cristhian Adames (COL) get a spot start and he’s min-priced or around there on both sites. Freddy Galvis (PHI) is another potential punt target that has received strong lineup spots and would get the benefit of a nice park shift against homer prone Robbie Ray.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Kris Bryant (COL)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Maikel Franco (PHI)

5) Evan Longoria (TB)

6) Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

7) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

Nolan Arenado (COL), Kris Bryant (CHC), and Josh Donaldson (TOR) are all Top 10 overall options on this slate. Donaldson comes with a heftier price tag on both sites, which makes the decision towards Arenado or Bryant a bit easier for cash games. If you need salary relief at this position, Maikel Franco (PHI) pops as a solid value thanks to his skill set against LHP (.321 wOBA, .230 ISO) and Robbie Ray‘s struggles against RHBs (.345 wOBA, .161 ISO since 2015) with a nice park shift.

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

4) Mike Trout (LAA)

5) Bryce Harper (WAS)

6) Michael Saunders (TOR)

7) Jason Heyward (CHC)

8) Mookie Betts (BOS)

9) Ezequiel Carrera (TOR)

10) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

11) Brett Gardner (NYY)

12) Shin Soo Choo (TEX)

13) Carlos Beltran (NYY)

14) Nomar Mazara (TEX)

15) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

The Rockies outfielders (Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez) top our outfield rankings and represent targets in all formats. Marco Estrada has largely lived on a low HR/FB Rate and allowing fly balls in Coors Field is a risky proposition. The price tags are a bit softer on FanDuel than DraftKings relative to the alternatives. Michael Saunders (TOR) is just outside our Top Five outfielders but a viable play in all formats as well. The Blue Jays have an implied team total approaching seven on this slate and Saunders will likely hit cleanup. His incredible ability to limit soft contact (14.9 percent on the season compared to 36.6 percent hard hit) should play exceptionally well in Coors Field. If looking for value in the outfield, we’re gravitating towards Jason Heyward (CHC), Shin Soo Choo (TEX), and Nomar Mazara (TEX) as relatively cheap options with the platoon advantage in great parks for LH power. Mazara and Choo will face Ivan Nova (.355 wOBA, .190 ISO since 2015 to LHBs) while Heyward will get Dan Straily (.305 wOBA, .145 ISO against LHBs) but remains very fly ball prone which could really help Heyward whose biggest issue is an inability to create loft.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Two

2) Colorado Rockies

3) Chicago Cubs

Tier Three

4) New York Yankees

5) Philadelphia Phillies

6) Arizona Diamondbacks

7) Cleveland Indians

8) Boston Red Sox

9) Tampa Bay Rays

The Blue Jays have the highest implied team total on the slate and by nearly a run ahead of the Rockies. We have the Blue Jays ahead of the Rockies with the Cubs sneaking into that second tier thanks to the weak Reds’ bullpen and a nice park shift, albeit for a slumping offense. These three offenses should garner most of your attention in cash games while the two Coors offenses will likely attract the heaviest ownership in tournaments.

The Yankees represent one of the best pivots in tournaments as Chi Chi Gonzalez has struggled to miss bats consistently in his professional career and the Yankees load up the lefties to take aim at the short porch. Gonzalez can generate tons of ground balls but

Additional Tournament Stacks

Cleveland Indians – Cleveland is loaded with extremely hot bats according to our well hit tool and while they lose the DH in the National League it actually makes it a bit more straight forward for stacking. John Gant has allowed a lot of hard contact and particularly hard aerial contact to LHBs early in his big league career. The Braves’ bullpen behind him is a weaker spot and Cleveland is guaranteed nine innings of offensive opportunity.

MLB Daily Analysis

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