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June 30 MLB DFS: Only The Cards Die Young
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June 30 MLB DFS: Only The Cards Die Young

00:50 Starting Pitchers
08:19 Catchers
10:20 First Base
13:57 Second Base
17:35 Shortstop
19:13 Third Base
20:46 Outfield
23:52 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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June 30 MLB DFS Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

Tier Two

2) John Lackey (CHC)

3) Carlos Carrasco (CLE)

4) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

5) Wei-Yin Chen (MIA)

6) Steven Matz (NYM) (health risk)

Tier Three

7) Jake Odorizzi (TB)

8) Jordan Zimmermann (DET)

9) Taijuan Walker (SEA)

Madison Bumgarner‘s (SF) skills put him on a tier of his own as he possesses a 1.99 ERA driven by a 21.4 K-BB percentage, a friendly home park, and, admittedly, a little bit of luck. However, the gap between him and the tier two pitchers is not as large as it is most days. While Bumgarner is in a friendly pitcher’s park, it’s still not quite as friendly as his home park, especially when you consider that he’ll have to face an AL team with a DH. It’s a quality AL team too. The Athletics may lack stars but rank 10th in wRC+ against LHP with the fifth lowest K rate in the split. We consider Bumgarner extremely safe, but the matchup doesn’t give him a ceiling that you have to pay up for.

So if Bumgarner isn’t a must, who do we look too? Our model has Gio Gonzalez (WAS) pegged as the best value. While there’s legitimate concern over his recent performance (coming off a disaster start, seven straight starts with at least 3 ER), the matchup is really good as he gets the Reds (26th in wRC+ against LHP) out of Great American Ballpark. At -190 he’s currently the largest favorite on the slate. Despite his terrible stretch, Gonzalez continues to miss bats at a decent rate (23.35 K percentage) and has been a touch unlucky.

If you don’t want to deal with Gonzalez’s recent performance issues, Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) is a similarly priced alternative. Chen has had his own issues this season (5.00 ERA), but is coming off a strong start in a tough matchup against the Cubs and now gets the anemic Atlanta offense, to whom he’s allowed only 3 ER in 11.1 IP while racking up 11 strikeouts. There’s no line on this game yet, but we’re expecting Chen to be a heavy favorite as well.

There are really a variety of ways to mix and match on DraftKings. While Gonzalez and Chen are the best values, you don’t necessarily need to pair them together since there aren’t a ton of bats to pay up for. As a result, you could pay up to lock in the safety of Bumgarner or even John Lackey (CHC), who has impressed this season with a 26.4 K percentage and now faces a rather hapless Mets team that is 27th in wRC+ over the last month.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Wilson Ramos (WAS)

3) Willson Contreras (CHC)

4) Victor Martinez (DET)

5) Tyler Flowers (ATL)

Buster Posey‘s (SF) history against LHP makes him very attractive given a slightly positive park shift and a matchup against Dillon Overton who yielded three bombs in his MLB debut last start. Still, the price tag is pretty high, especially with the 2-4 ranked options not far behind. Our favorite value from that group continues to be Willson Conteras (CHC), and the issues Steven Matz is having health wise make this a more attractive matchup than it looks on paper. We like Wilson Ramos (WAS) a lot in tournaments, either as a stack filler or part of a Nationals stack.

First Base Rankings

1) Chris Davis (BAL)

2) Mike Napoli (CLE)

3) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

4) Matt Adams (STL)

5) Justin Bour (MIA)

Chris Davis‘s (BAL) power versus RHP, and a neutral season from Taijuan Walker in which he’s allowed the long ball quite a bit, put Davis atop our first base rankings. On one hand we don’t love him as a value, but on the other, there’s really not too much opportunity cost at the position on a short slate. The mid-tier values are scrunched. We’re looking at Miguel Cabrera (DET) (too cheap for his skills) and Mike Napoli (CLE) (big power year, positive delta in well-hit tool, plus park shift) in cash games and Matt Adams/Brandon Moss (STL) (Chris Young is allowing an absurd amount of power, especially to LHBs) and Justin Bour (MIA) (huge positive delta in well-hit ratings, Mike Foltynewicz has allowed a .412 wOBA and .297 ISO to LHBs over his career) in tournaments. However, their value ratings are similar so personal preference rules here.

Second Base Rankings

1) Matt Carpenter (STL)

2) Derek Dietrich (MIA) (if top four)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) Robinson Cano (SEA)

5) Neil Walker (NYM)

Matt Carpenter (STL) is a bit pricey, but if you can afford him he’s generally a very good cash game player, and a matchup against Chris Young (currently a 7.48 FIP) is one we’re wiling to force exposure to. The best value at the position, though, if leading off is Derek Dietrich (MIA) as his power for a second baseman (.176 ISO for his career) will certainly play against the horrid Foltynewicz splits referenced above.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

2) Manny Machado (BAL) (where eligible)

3) Aledmys Diaz (STL) (health risk)

4) Brad Miller (TB)

5) Zack Cozart (CIN)

This is a really brutal position for value and a good position to simply fill out last when setting your lineups. Currently, depending on pricing, Francisco Lindor (CLE)/Manny Machado (BAL) are viable spends (due to positional scarcity not individual per dollar value) while Javier Baez (CHC) and Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) are the closest to break even mid to mid-low priced shortstops. We wouldn’t mind a punt emerging here.

Third Base Rankings

1) Matt Carpenter (STL) (where eligible)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Manny Machado (BAL)

5) Kyle Seager (SEA)

Third base is similar to shortstop in the sense that we don’t have any obvious values. However, we’re a bit more confident in our top options Matt Carpenter (STL) and Kris Bryant (CHC) (.284 ISO, finally seeing the huge power we’ve long expected out of him), so we’ll likely try to pay up here. The one exception may be on FanDuel where Jhonny Peralta (STL) would be another way to grab exposure to Cardinals bats if given a top five lineup spot.

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

3) Christian Yelich (MIA)

4) Jayson Werth (WAS)

5) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

6) Matt Holliday (STL)

7) Michael Taylor (WAS)

8) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

9) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

10) Leonys Martin (SEA)

Bryce Harper (WAS) and Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) top our rankings as high power upside options in situations where their team’s matchup is relatively stronger than their individual matchups. When you factor in that neither have been themselves, we prefer exposure to them to come in tournaments. Rather, their teammates look like better per dollar cash game values. Respectively we have Jayson Werth/Michael Taylor (WAS) facing Brandon Finnegan (5.02 xFIP, horrendous bullpen behind him) and Christian Yelich (MIA) (more picking on Foltynewicz’s inability to handle LHBs in any capacity). We also don’t mind looking to sets of teammates in St. Louis (Holliday, Piscotty) and Seattle (Cruz, Martin) for mid-tier options. Each site has their own viable cheap option, with Alex Gordon (KC) underpriced on FanDuel and Ezequiel Carrera (TOR) too cheap on DraftKings, even in a difficult matchup.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) St. Louis Cardinals

2) Miami Marlins

Tier Two

3) Washington Nationals

The Cardinals are the stack we’re most adamant about forcing exposure to in cash games. While none of the stacks have a huge rating in our model, a significant gap does exist between these three stacks and the rest of our model.

Additional Tournament Stacks

-Chicago Cubs (our favorite tournament stack given lineup depth/event upside and always loving picking on pitchers that may not be healthy in this format)

-Cleveland Indians (nice park shift, Dickey has a 5.22 FIP, stack that covers the scarce positions)

-Baltimore Orioles (high risk/reward offense against a high risk/reward pitcher makes for the perfect tournament stack on a night where there are a lot of blasé offensive situations)

-Toronto Blue Jays (rare opportunity to stack them at home on a short slate with relatively low opportunity cost and yet still get low ownership)

-San Francisco Giants (Overton was lucky to survive his MLB debut and looked very shaky; targeting bad hitting environments, especially on a night like tonight, is a good way to get a low owned stack)

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