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June 28 MLB DFS: King of the North(side)
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June 28 MLB DFS: King of the North(side)

00:29 Starting Pitchers
08:58 Catchers
11:08 First Base
13:54 Second Base
17:04 Shortstop
20:00 Third Base
22:46 Outfield
27:44 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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June 28 MLB DFS Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1a) Zack Greinke (ARZ)

1b) Jon Lester (CHC)

1c) Corey Kluber (CLE)

Tier Two

4) Jose Quintana (CHW)

5) Julio Urias (LAD)

6) Chris Archer (TB)

Tier Three

7) Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL)

8) Cole Hamels (TEX)

9) Rick Porcello (BOS)

10) Matt Harvey (NYM)

Tuesday’s slate has a very clear first tier of starters that are bunched tightly together in our rankings and then a rather severe drop-off that on most slates would represent a two tier gap between the aces and the next options. It makes for tricky decision-making on a slate that also involves Coors Field and a few other elite offensive environments. Zack Greinke (ARZ), Jon Lester (CHC), and Corey Kluber (CLE) are the aces up top. You can order them in whatever manner you prefer. Kluber has the league shift, the best umpire, and the lowest implied run total against but his expected K Rate is slightly below Greinke and Lester which is keeping everyone tightly ranked. The Braves rank 29th in wRC+ against RHP while the Phillies rank 28th. The Reds are a bit better against LHP, ranking 24th in wRC+. With the Reds and Phillies you get slightly above average K Rates against. Pricing is tight on FanDuel, but the safest route in cash games is having exposure to one of these three starters, as the alternatives are shaky. On DraftKings, there are some salary relief options that can help you use one of the three aces and still afford elite hitting.

The second tier of starters is a mixed bag of difficult pricing and difficult variance. Julio Urias (LAD) doesn’t work deep into games and is getting a huge park downgrade against a K prone Brewers’ lineup but one that is better suited to attack LHP. Chris Archer (TB) is exceptionally unpredictable on a start-to-start basis and faces an elite Red Sox offense against RHP that while getting a park downgrade and are slumping, remain a difficult matchup. The expected K Rate overshadows some of the volatility and run prevention concerns in our model, but realistically they’re better GPP targets than cash game options. Jose Quintana (CHW) faces a Twins’ offense that ranks 26th in wRC+ against LHP and strikes out at a hefty 24.5 percent clip. Quintana’s a relatively safe target but priced like a first tier option on DraftKings. On FanDuel, he’s a viable drop-down from tier one if you’d like to emphasize salary relief to squeeze in some bats.

Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL) is remarkably our seventh ranked starter on this slate. It speaks a little bit to the slate but also to the Padres’ offense that ranks dead last in wRC+ against RHP with the fourth highest K Rate against. Ubaldo is getting a huge park shift and league shift and basically facing the best matchup he could possibly get. He’s also remarkably cheap ($4,800) on DraftKings which makes him an excellent target in cash games. It allows you to squeeze in Coors Field and elite bats along with a first tier ace. Those who embrace risk could even consider Jimenez as a viable cash game route on FanDuel at just $6,600 but we think he’s probably better saved for tournaments.

Catcher Rankings

1) Willson Contreras (CHC)

2) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

3) Russell Martin (TOR)

4) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

5) Buster Posey (SF)

Willson Contreras (CHC) once again tops our catcher rankings and is a Top 30 hitter on this slate with the platoon advantage in an elite hitting environment as a part of one of the top offenses. John Lamb has allowed a .362 wOBA and .187 ISO to RHBs since the start of last season and Contreras has a .679 slugging percentage in AAA against LHP. We’re making him a priority on both sites as the price remains reasonable relative to the expected production.

First Base Rankings

1) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

2) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

3) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

4) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

5) Chris Davis (BAL)

Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) ranks inside our first three overall hitters on this slate and is your top ranked first base option. It will be difficult to squeeze for Edwin on FanDuel at $4,800 but Ubaldo Jimenez creates enough salary relief to target him on DraftKings. He ranks as a strong value in a vacuum on both sites, but FanDuel’s tighter pricing may make it difficult to construct around him. As a result, you may need to work down the rankings and look for some value. Miguel Cabrera (DET) gets a lefty at home that is backed up by a below average bullpen and is just $3,700 on FanDuel. Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) gets a huge park shift in Milwaukee against Chase Anderson and is just $3,000 as he’s been battling a slump. Both represent viable alternatives at the position against weaker starters with the platoon advantage in a high scoring environment.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Devon Travis (TOR) – if second

3) Derek Dietrich (MIA) – if leadoff

4) Ian Kinsler (DET)

5) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

6) Matt Carpenter (STL)

7) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

8) Cristhian Adames (COL) – where eligible, if second

9) Chase Utley (LAD)

10) Javier Baez (CHC) – where eligible

The second base rankings are pretty bunched and ultimately will get sorted out via lineups. Derek Dietrich (MIA), Devon Travis (TOR), Cristhian Adames (COL), and Javier Baez (CHC) all come with question makes as to whether they’ll be in the lineup and if so where they’ll hit. In general, this is a position we wouldn’t mind finding some salary relief in order to facilitate some bigger spends at other positions. Otherwise, it’s picking apart some site specific pricing on the Top Five options at the position. Jason Kipnis (CLE), Ian Kinsler (DET), and Derek Dietrich (MIA) come with viable price points around the industry.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Trevor Story (COL) – health risk

4) Corey Seager (LAD)

5) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

6) Javier Baez (CHC) – where eligible

7) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

8) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

9) Cristhian Adames (COL) – where eligible, if second

Shortstop is another position where we’d ideally like to save some funds. On DraftKings, Cristhian Adames (COL) would serve that purpose if he replaces DJ LeMahieu again. LeMahieu wasn’t even available to pinch hit, so we’re fairly confident Adames will get another spot start. They priced him way up on FanDuel so we’ll turn our attention to Javier Baez (CHC) and hope he draws a nice lineup spot against John Lamb. Baez has posted a ridiculous .434 wOBA and .215 ISO against LHP in albeit a small 71 PA sample since the start of last season. If Baez isn’t in the lineup for some reason, Tim Anderson (CHW) would serve as a viable salary relief option on FanDuel as well at just $2,500. The high priced options at shortstop figure to remain elite tournament targets. Corey Seager (LAD), in particular, gets a big park shift and a matchup with a weak RHP.

Third Base Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

5) Justin Turner (LAD)

6) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

7) Matt Carpenter (STL) – where eligible

8) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

9) Eduardo Nunez (MIN) – where eligible

10) Todd Frazier (CHW)

Once again the top three third basemen in our rankings are three of the top overall plays. Kris Bryant (CHC), Nolan Arenado (COL), and Josh Donaldson (TOR) are all in elite hitting environments with Arenado and Bryant carrying the platoon advantage and Donaldson perhaps going against the weakest of the three starters. With Arenado and Bryant priced down from Donaldson, they remain our top priorities. On FanDuel, if we were to squeeze for one position to pair with elite starting pitching it would likely be at third base. If you’re unable to spend all the way up on FanDuel, Trevor Plouffe (MIN) is a viable salary relief target though facing a good opposing SP.

Outfield Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Michael Saunders (TOR)

4) Mike Trout (LAA)

5) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

6) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

7) Ryan Braun (MIL)

8) Christian Yelich (MIA)

9) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

10) Ezequiel Carrera (TOR)

11) Jason Heyward (CHC)

12) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

13) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

14) Billy Hamilton (CIN) – if second

15) Adam Eaton (CHW)

16) Ian Desmond (TEX)

17) Adam Jones (BAL)

18) George Springer (HOU)

19) Hyun Soo Kim (BAL)

20) Mookie Betts (BOS)

Kris Bryant (CHC) is our top overall outfield option but he’s only eligible on DraftKings. With the other third basemen ranking so highly in our model, it’s very viable to use Bryant in the outfield over there. The Rockies LHBs take a slight hit in the model rankings with an opposing lefty on the mound, which vaults Michael Saunders (TOR) up as our top Coors Field outfield option. Saunders owns a .369 wOBA and .219 ISO against RHP since the start of 2015. The value options are a bit tougher to decipher and more site specific that will also likely get influenced by lineups. Jason Heyward (CHC) has a left on left matchup but Lamb’s actually been hit hard by lefties (.433 wOBA, .247 ISO against LHBs since start of 2015) makes Heyward a viable mid-priced target on both sites. Hyun-Soo Kim (BAL) and Alex Gordon (KC) are viable salary relief targets on both sites. If Billy Hamilton (CIN) hits second again, he’s viable in cash games with the tighter pricing on FanDuel. Jon Lester‘s issues holding base-runners could lead to a stolen base field day if Hamilton can find his way on. This is a spot we’ll keep updating as lineups come out but also one we recommend using our beta model to decipher value as the lineups come out.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Two

2) Colorado Rockies

3) Chicago Cubs

Tier Three

4) Los Angeles Dodgers

5) Miami Marlins

6) Detroit Tigers

7) Arizona Diamondbacks

The first two tiers in the stacks section are identical to Monday night’s rankings. We have weaker starters going in Coors Field so it’s a bit better night to attack Coors in cash games where you can, but it’s a tough task on FanDuel with the lack of great mid-tier options. The Cubs also serve as a priority to get exposure to in cash games. The third tier represents a nice set of pivots away from the chalkier top two tiers. The Marlins and Tigers seem like lower owned targets from this tier.

Additional Tournament Stacks

Houston Astros – The Astros are getting a meaningful park downgrade but expected temperatures are in the low 80s, high 70s in Anaheim with a little wind blowing out to center. Tim Lincecum has always struggled controlling the running game and he had a 4.64 xFIP in the NL while pitching in an elite pitcher’s park last year. Things aren’t noticeably different and with all the elite hitting environments on the slate, the Astros will come with almost no ownership in tournaments. It’s a very contrarian approach relying on a few elite offenses to really struggle, but they’ve got speed and power upside throughout the lineup and the addition of AJ Reed only makes the lineup deeper against RHP.

MLB Daily Analysis

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