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6/30 MLB DFS: Strikeout Czars as easy as S-A-L

6/30 MLB DFS: Strikeout Czars as easy as S-A-L
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Daily Fantasy Rundown – June 30th 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.

Glossary: See a term you’re unfamiliar with? Check out our glossary page. If there’s something you’d like to see added there, please email us at

Weather:  Scattered thunderstorms could cause a delay(s) in NYM, BLT, PHL, DET, CIN but not concerned about cancellations. All these games bear watching.

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.


Top Play:

Russell Martin (TOR) – Martin has hit LHP very well in recent years (.346 wOBA, .169 ISO since 2012) and he’s done most of that damage in a tough hitting environment in Pittsburgh. This year, in Toronto, he’s been even more remarkable (.433 wOBA, .195 ISO with a 1.29 EYE against LHP). The lineup spot sometimes drifts into that sixth spot which is a slight negative but most catchers don’t hit in favorable lineup spots so the drop-off is less significant. Martin ranks as our top option at the position and a Top 35 hitter overall.

Next in line:

Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – Grandal ranks right behind Martin in our model but his value is a bit more tied to the lineup spot because sometimes he gets shifted down to seventh. Fifth is our dream scenario and we can handle sixth, but seventh starts cutting into the expected plate appearances and value of those plate appearances (pushing him further from the Dodgers best OBP guys) substantially. Rubby de la Rosa has struggled mightily against LHBs in his career (.372 wOBA, 1.24 HR/9, and 33.2 percent hard hit rate allowed) and Grandal has posted a .357 wOBA and .190 ISO against RHP during that same span. If Grandal gets a premium lineup spot, I’d happily play him above Martin for a few less bucks.

Matt Wieters (BAL) – Wieters is the fail-safe option should Martin or Grandal receive inferior lineup spots. Wieters has hit for great power against RHP (.174 ISO since 2012) but his overall performance has been below average (.304 wOBA during that span). A .248 BABIP along with a solid 31.5 percent hard hit rate suggests his baseline is stronger than that performance. Colby Lewis has served up a .351 wOBA, 1.16 HR/9, and a 34.9 percent hard hit rate to LHBs since 2012. He induces a lot of hard contact which is a great recipe for power in a park that inflates home runs. Wieters isn’t as well rounded a bat as the options above but his lineup spot is more stable and the price point is fair. If Grandal and Martin end up in bad spots, I’m fine turning my attention to Wieters.

Additional catcher options: Derek Norris (SD) is the other viable option at catcher with a hint of upside. He’s crushed LHP in his career (.375 wOBA, .193 ISO) and gets a good lineup spot. He’s generally priced in the same ballpark as the three options recommended above, so he falls down the list of preferences. After those four options, the catcher options fall off dramatically. Brayan Pena (CIN) will likely earn a good lineup spot in a great park for a decent offense. He’s very cheap and a viable punt play but his skills aren’t particularly enticing. Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) is the best tournament play. He’s historically hit LHP very well and he’ll go under-owned against Cole Hamels. On FanDuel, Yan Gomes (CLE) and Salvador Perez (KC) are near minimum punt options for tournaments. Gomes faces a homer prone Erasmo Ramirez in a bad park for power while Perez has always hit LHP well and gets a short LF porch to take aim at against an elite GB pitcher.

First Base

Best Values:

David Ortiz (BOS) – Ortiz actually ranks as the top overall hitter in our model. Even if you discount him some for skill deterioration, he’s the cheapest of this tier of first basemen and makes for a fine cash game value. We’ve highlighted Ortiz a ton throughout this season. Our model loves his historical power against RHP and it profiles well in Toronto against Marco Estrada who has allowed a 47 percent FB Rate and consequently 1.36 HR/9 to LHBs since 2012. Even amid some struggles this season Ortiz has posted a .386 wOBA and .250 ISO against RHP. With a park shift boosting his power and a matchup against a homer prone starter, Ortiz has the highest home run score of any hitter in our model.

Chris Davis (BAL) – We touched on Colby Lewis‘ struggles against LHBs in the Wieters recommendation and that propensity for hard contact is primarily what drives our interest in Chris Davis as well. Davis has posted a .376 wOBA and .277 ISO against RHP since 2012 and hits in the middle of a solid Orioles lineup with an implied run total over 4.5 runs. Davis cracks our Top Five overall hitters and has the second highest home run score in our model after Ortiz. He’s a fine value industry wide.

Joey Votto (CIN) – Votto ranks a bit below Ortiz and Davis in our model, but still inside our Top 10 hitters overall. He’s compiled an impressive .413 wOBA and .198 ISO against RHP since 2012 and has a strong matchup with Phil Hughes. The knock on Votto, from a DFS perspective, is walks often drive a big part of his value and the power takes a backseat to the patience. Hughes is a strike-thrower who is susceptible to power. For his career, he’s allowed just a 5.9 BB Rate while serving up 1.20 HR/9. He’s historically been a bit better against LHBs (.306 wOBA, 1.07 HR/9) than RHBs but this season he’s shown more conventional splits. He’s striking out a few less lefties than righties (13.4 percent vs. 16.3 percent) and he’s allowing a bit harder contact (31.9 percent vs. 30.2 percent) to lefties as well. A strike-thrower prone to power is the type of pitcher that gives Votto’s power a bit more chance to shine through.

Additional first base notes: Edwin Encarnacion (TOR), Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ), Prince Fielder (TEX), and Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) all rank within our Top 15 overall hitters and come with more expensive price tags than the group above. Encarnacion is the strongest play as part of the offense with the highest implied run total this evening while Fielder and Gonzalez are better plays to round out stacks or mini-stacks from their respective teams. Goldschmidt is priced in a different stratosphere on most sites. He’s a better option as a part of stacks but those stacks will forego top end SP which makes it harder to get behind him as a premier option. Chris Carter (HOU) and Evan Gattis (HOU) have power upside at home against a LHP. They’re fine tournament plays, but fall way down the pecking order.

Second Base

Top Play:

Jose Altuve (HOU) – Altuve is the top play at second base. He gets a below average lefty at home and he’s hit .347/.391/.479 for a .377 wOBA and .132 ISO against LHP in his career. He’s priced appropriately around the industry and there are two primary targets I really like at second base, so my exposure would almost solely come through tournaments.

Value Plays:

Jimmy Paredes (BAL) – Paredes is the type of player our data driven approach can often lag in capturing. He’s historically been average against RHP (.324 wOBA, .145 ISO since 2012) but this season he’s been incredible (.389 wOBA, .214 ISO). A large part of the incredible performance is an unsustainable 26.5 HR/FB Rate and his 29.9 percent hard hit rate against RHP suggests his true skill set is likely closer to the larger data sample, but his performance has earned a premier lineup spot in a great hitting environment against a pitcher prone to LH power. The price point is fair around the industry and perhaps even over-priced based on his unsustainable power rates, but he’s an easy way to get exposure to a top offense at a thin position. He’s my favored target at second base tonight.

Rougned Odor (TEX) – Odor has compelling power against RHP (.157 ISO) and has been bumped in the batting order to a premier spot. Miguel Gonzalez isn’t terrible against LHBs (.315 wOBA, 28 percent hard hit rate allowed since 2012) but he is vulnerable to fly balls (41.5 percent FB Rate). Given the good lineup spot and the favorable hitting conditions, taking a shot on Odor’s power makes sense. He’s our favored secondary value play behind Paredes.

Robinson Cano (SEA) – Cano is dirt cheap around the industry and he’s facing a RHP who has really struggled with LHBs in his career. Since 2012, Ian Kennedy has allowed a .337 wOBA, 34.5 percent hard hit rate and 1.43 HR/9 to LHBs. Dan Farnsworth at FanGraphs recently did an interesting piece looking at Cano’s swing path and suggested there might be some light at the end of the tunnel for his power to regain form. With a dirt cheap price tag and a matchup against a RHP that has really struggled limiting hard contact, I think Cano is a viable salary relief option.

Additional second base notes: Howie Kendrick (LAD) and Justin Turner (LAD) rate well in our model (Top 50 hitters) but I’ve discounted them some based on de la Rosa’s new found dominance over RHBs this season. It’s not just results for de la Rosa (.251 wOBA) as the component peripherals are all incredible (28.1 K Rate, 5.0 BB Rate, 57.8 GB Rate, and 28.8 hard hit rate). The Dodgers lefties are all in great spots, so I’m fine using Kendrick and Turner as tournament plays, but I’m backing off them for cash games. Ben Zobrist (OAK) is the other potential second base option, but he’s as high priced as Paredes and I’d rather take the shot on environment. Zobrist has hit LHP well (.341 wOBA, .129 ISO since 2012) and gets a premier lineup spot. Derek Dietrich‘s (MIA) power upside has some tournament appeal against Ryan Vogelsong. In that same lineup, Dee Gordon‘s (MIA) price tag is soft on FanDuel and worthy of consideration as a secondary value play. For the rest of the season, we’ll be careful attacking the Marlins lineup but as one off plays at thin positions, they’re acceptable.


Additional shortstop notes: The shortstop position is easier to tackle in this format than recommending individual plays. There are some good plays with expensive price tags like Jose Reyes (TOR), Troy Tulowitzki (COL) and Carlos Correa (HOU) but they’re generally overpriced for their individual value. I prefer them in tournaments if the opportunity cost on utilizing them leaks into your starting pitching staff. If the pricing is soft enough that you can utilize one and it doesn’t cost you a big time SP, go for it. On the value side of the spectrum, Xander Boegarts (BOS) will remain a value as long as he’s hitting third. He’s a poor hitter against RHP but shown some modest improvement this season. The lineup spot and park really drive the value here. On DraftKings, Ivan DeJesus Jr. (CIN) is a strong punt play with a good lineup spot surrounded by bats that can prop him up. Starlin Castro (CHC) is an acceptable value play against LHP. He always earns a good lineup spot behind a lot of strong OBP plays in the Cubs lineup. J.J. Hardy (BAL) and Ryan Flaherty (BAL) are my favorite tournament plays at the position. They play in a park that accentuates power so despite poor lineup spots they can pay off cheap price tags with one swing.

Third Base

Top Play:

Josh Donaldson (TOR) – Donaldson against a left handed pitcher in the Rogers Centre is basically the solution to every game of DFS third basemen clue ever invented. He owns a ridiculous .418 wOBA and .299 ISO against LHP since 2012 and he’s been even better this year with the transition to the hitter friendly Rogers Centre (.475 wOBA, .321 ISO). His price is affordable for his talent level and I think he’s the best way to get exposure to a high powered Blue Jays offense with the highest team total of the night. The lone exception is on DraftKings where Chris Davis has 3B eligibility and is a viable alternative. Even there, Donaldson is a very strong play but I think paying up for him is a more obvious approach on other sites.

Next in line:

Kris Bryant (CHC) – Jon Niese has surrendered a ton of hard contact to RHBs this season (33.9 percent) and Bryant profiles as a lefty masher (.465 wOBA, .385 ISO against LHP in a VERY small sample at the big league level). His price point is reasonable around the industry but he’s in a relatively low scoring environment overall which is pushing down his value a bit. He’s a Top 25 hitter overall and a viable alternative to not spending all the way up on Donaldson. He’s one of the better tournament plays at the position as the scoring environment will push down his ownership rates dramatically.

Value Plays:

Pablo Sandoval (BOS) – Sandoval has historically hit RHP very well (.353 wOBA, .166 ISO) since 2012 and he’s done most of that work in very poor hitting environments. He gets to face homer prone Marco Estrada at the Rogers Centre and his price is down across the industry. We want confirmation of the fifth spot in the lineup to hold his value, but Sandoval currently cracks our Top 35 hitters overall.

Adrian Beltre (TEX) – Beltre ranks right alongside Sandoval in our rankings. He’s facing a homer prone RHP who has historically struggled more with the long ball to RHBs (1.62 HR/9) than LHBs (0.99 HR/9). Beltre has held neutral splits through much of his career and his value is enhanced against RHP because his teammates are all wide platoon split LHBs. He also cracks our Top 35 hitters overall.

Additional third base notes: Joey Gallo (TEX) has tournament worthy power any time he steps into the box but a low spot in the lineup and contact issues make him tough to swallow in cash games. Kyle Seager (SEA) is another favored tournament play given Ian Kennedy‘s struggles with LHBs and the long ball. He’ll likely come with an ownership tag under five percent. It’s a lot of power to dodge at the position if you take Seager, but he’ll come with some salary relief that can provide an advantage if he goes deep.


Top Plays:

Jose Bautista (TOR) – Bautista is the Blue Jays second best bat against LHP (.398 wOBA, .263 ISO since 2012) and their best bat against RHP. The ability to hold his value deep into the game pushes him ahead of the other Blue Jays bats in our model and within our Top Five overall hitters. Eduardo Rodriguez has flashed good skills against RHBs but few LHPs make it out of the Rogers Centre unscathed. The Blue Jays offense has compiled a ridiculous 141 wRC+ against LHP this season and our projections have them as the top offense against LHP by a wide margin. Bautista checks in as our top outfield option and projects as the top bat on the offense with the highest implied run total this evening.

Mike Trout (LAA) – Ivan Nova is a really hard pitcher to evaluate. He’s coming off injury and he’s performed like two different pitchers the last few seasons. In 2012 he found success with a slider that induced strikeouts at a career high rate, but a flat four seam fastball left him homer prone. In 2013, he started using a two seam fastball more which generated ground balls but then he scrapped the slider and his K Rate started to drop. He has struggled against RHBs since 2012 (.357 wOBA, 1.35 HR/9) but I’m not entirely sure how indicative that sample is of the pitcher he is now. Trout has dominated RHBs (.416 wOBA, .262 ISO) in his career, but the Angels offense struggles as a whole against righties. Trout ranks inside our Top Five overall hitters and as our second ranked OF, but I’m more likely to spend on Bautista in this range if affording one stud outfielder.

Value Plays:

Joc Pederson (LAD) – It “feels” like Pederson has been going through an extended slump because the batting average has remained low (.213 in June) but the power remains prolific (.500 slugging percentage in June) and the BB Rates (18.5 percent in June) provide some stability to a profile that feels very “boom-or-bust”. Pederson gets an elite matchup on Tuesday night and his price is down around the industry relative to other top plays. Arizona inflates LH power about five percent above the league average and Pederson will face Rubby de la Rosa who has allowed a .372 wOBA, 1.24 HR/9, and a 33.2 percent hard hit rate to LHBs since 2012. While de la Rosa has dominated RHBs this season (28.1 K Rate, 2.38 xFIP), he can’t whiff LHBs (15.4 K Rate, 4.45 xFIP) and it leads to hard contact. For Pederson, the matchup provides an elevated contact rate and hard hit rate which should emphasize his strengths. Take advantage of the discounted tag around the industry and build around Joc. Andre Ethier (LAD) is also a very strong value play if he lands in that fifth spot in the lineup. Ethier has compiled a .364 wOBA and .184 ISO against RHP since 2012. The challenge is his lineup spot moves around and it makes him more vulnerable to losing plate appearances late. The good news is I anticipate the Diamondbacks pen will be short one of their two LHP after Chafin threw 42 pitches last night.

Shin Soo Choo (TEX) – Choo is another player that is difficult to decipher an appropriate baseline. He’s just 1.5 years removed from an elite .285/.423/.462 line for the Reds but since coming to the Rangers has hit just .235/.329/.373. His contact rates have plummeted and as a result the BB Rates have come down while the K Rates have soared. He’s actually generating more hard contact (36.6 percent last season, 33 percent this year) than he did in Cincinnati (30.4 percent) but it hasn’t yet translated to as much good fortune in BABIP or HR/FB Rates. He’s still been competent against RHP (.343 wOBA, .163 ISO) even amid his struggles these last two seasons. His price is down around the industry and he’s facing a very fly ball prone SP in Miguel Gonzalez (41.5 FB Rate allowed to LHBs). It’s a good matchup to take a crack at some power in a great park for home runs. Choo ranks inside our Top 25 overall hitters. Teammate, Mitch Moreland (TEX), is also a viable value play. He may go a bit over-owned after his two homer day last night, but he fits the same power profile (just with a far worse lineup spot) that we’re targeting.

Orioles Outfielders (BAL) – We’re not entirely sure where the Orioles LH outfielders will fall in the batting order, but they deserve attention with cheap price tags. Colby Lewis has allowed a .351 wOBA 1.16 HR/9, and a 34.9 percent hard hit rate to LHBs since 2012. Travis Snider (.303 wOBA, .129 ISO) and Chris Parmelee (.305 wOBA, .154 ISO) haven’t crushed RHP like you’d hope, but they project a bit better (Snider – .323 wOBA/.172 ISO, Parmelee .323 wOBA/.168 ISO) according to ZiPS projection system. With an elite matchup against Colby Lewis and a great price point, either represents a fine salary relief option in the outfield if they earn a lineup spot inside the Top Five.

Billy Hamilton/Jay Bruce (CIN) – We’ll go back to the well again on the Reds LHBs in a favorable matchup against a below average RHP. This isn’t quite Mike Pelfrey as Phil Hughes has pitched to a sub-4.00 ERA in his time with the Twins, but Hughes struggles to miss bats (14.7 K Rate) this season and he’s allowing a 31.2 percent hard hit rate. Hamilton’s value is very dependent on the stolen base. Hughes and the Twins catchers all rank below average in holding runners. If Hamilton gets on, he’s likely going to run. Bruce is a bit more power dependent which Hughes feeds through his 44 percent FB Rate allowed to LHBs. Both have seen their price tags vary dramatically around the industry, so it’s important to act with price sensitivity in mind. Bruce and Hamilton both crack our Top 35 hitters overall.

Additional outfield notes: Andrew McCutchen (PIT), Adam Jones (BAL), and Yasiel Puig (LAD) all crack our Top 15 overall hitters. Jones and Puig come with some injury issues. Jones is battling a shoulder and Puig a hand issue that have limited their production of late. The reduced price tags mitigate some of the risk, but I’m still leaning more towards using them in tournaments than cash games. McCutchen gets a plus park shift and faces Verlander who has really struggled over the last 12 months. I think he’s an elite tournament play as the ownership rates against Verlander’s name value will get driven down. Ryan Braun (MIL) is another elite tournament play. He is so good against LHP (.423 wOBA, .300 ISO) that the matchup with an elite LHP in Cole Hamels isn’t as concerning. Where the price is down (like DraftKings), I think he’s a viable cash game option. Justin Upton (SD) is so good against LHP that he cracks our Top 20 overall hitters despite a poor scoring environment. Michael Montgomery has handled RHBs early on but the skills suggest he’ll have rather normal platoon splits for an average lefty. Michael Brantley (CLE) is too cheap on FanDuel and makes for a solid cash game value in a favorable matchup against Ersamo Ramirez.

Starting Pitcher

Rankings (price not considered):

Tier One

1) Chris Sale (CHW)

2) Danny Salazar (CLE)

Tier Two

3a) Lance Lynn (STL)

3b) Sonny Gray (OAK)

5) Gerrit Cole (DET)

6) Cole Hamels (PHI)

Tier Three

7) Dallas Keuchel (HOU)

8) Ian Kennedy (SD)

9) Jordan Zimmermann (WAS)

10) Shelby Miller (ATL)

Top Play:

Chris Sale (CHW) – Sale has a lot of things working in his favor tonight. He gets to face one less regular hitter in the National League and he gets a huge park boost in his favor. The Cardinals are a pesky offense but they’re a good matchup for Sale. They rank 23rd in wRC+ against LHP and have struck out in 24 percent of their plate appearances against lefties (fourth most in the league). In addition, the offense is uniquely reliant on LH production. Matt Carpenter, Jason Heyward, and Kolten Wong project as the Cardinals best offensive players and they all hit in premier lineup spots from the left side. Sale has been absurdly dominant against LHBs in his career, yielding just a .215 wOBA while producing a 30.9 percent K Rate and puny 20.2 percent hard hit rate. This is a tremendous matchup for Sale in a park and environment that should suppress run scoring over what he’s accustomed to. He’s our top ranked SP and the safest source of Fantasy points in cash games.

Value Plays:

Danny Salazar (CLE) – Salazar is the pitcher I’m most likely to roster on multiple starting pitcher sites. While he ranks behind Chris Sale in our overall rankings, he’s the only starter that projects in his tier according to our model. Salazar faces a Rays’ offense that ranks 17th in wRC+ against RHP with an above average 21.3 K Rate. He’s getting a slight park shift in his favor and he’s facing an offense that struggles to generate power against RHP. The Rays .133 ISO ranks 24th in MLB against RHP. Salazar’s biggest issue, historically, has been power. He possesses one of the best K Rates in MLB (30.4 percent), an above average walk rate (6.8 percent), and this year he’s even generating a respectable GB Rate (45.5 percent). However, a 1.39 HR/9 has pushed his ERA (4.06) well above his peripherals (3.56 FIP, 2.81 xFIP). If Salazar can suppress the home runs, he can pitch like an ace. In a park that suppresses home runs 7-10 percent below the league average and against an offense with one of the worst power marks against RHP, we believe Salazar will pitch like an ace.

Lance Lynn (STL) – Lynn gets the benefit of a good matchup against a struggling offense (27th in wRC+ against RHP) that will lose one of its most productive bats against RHP through the loss of the DH. Either Adam LaRoche (.363 wOBA, .213 ISO against RHP since 2012) or Jose Abreu (.384 wOBA, .236 ISO) will have to sit and instead get replaced by Chris Sale‘s bat. It’s a monstrous drop off in expected production and one of the reasons Lynn is favored in a game against Chris Sale with a total of just 6.5.

Additional starting pitcher notes: Sonny Gray (OAK) is caught a bit in pricing limbo. He profiles a bit behind Salazar and a near equivalent to Lance Lynn but he’s priced well above on most sites. He comes with the best pitching environment of the group, the lowest opposing team total, and is the largest favorite on the slate (-210). He’s a very viable cash game option. I’m really focused on those four starters for cash games (Sale, Salazar, Lynn, and Gray) but think there are plenty of other strong tournament options. Gerrit Cole (PIT) should go under-owned after a disastrous outing in a favorable matchup at home last time out. Now he faces a very good Tigers offense with a DH, but a predominantly RH Tigers offense. Cole Hamels (PHI) is perpetually under-owned because of lower win potential and pitching in an offensive park. The Brewers have struggled mightily against LHP this season (28th in wRC+) but I think it’s a bit of fool’s gold. They have four hitters who have posted a wOBA over .360 and an ISO above .190 against LHP since 2012 and their struggles this season are largely attributed to BABIP. They’ve compiled a league low .248 BABIP despite the second highest hard hit rate against LHP (32.5 percent). Hamels is skilled enough to make for a decent tournament selection, but I wouldn’t make it on the basis “the Brewers have struggled against LHP this season”. While accurate, it’s likely not predictive. Ian Kennedy (SD) and Jordan Zimmermann (WAS) are my favorites from the third tier to use in tournaments. Kennedy has been victimized by the long ball all season but has posted strong K Rates and the Mariners lose the DH moving to PETCO. Zimmermann’s velocity has been building as the season has worn on. So far the K Rate hasn’t bumped along with it but a matchup against a watered down Braves offense without Freddie Freeman, isn’t a bad one for run prevention. The opportunity cost is elevated at SP, but Zimmermann could approach 80-90 percent of the top SP production at 75 percent of the cost. UPDATE: Sonny Gray (OAK) has been scratched from his start this evening.

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 ( if you have suggestions.

Macro thinking: It’s basically a pick’em night as you can fit in almost anyone you want given the cheap pitching on the board. I’d avoid using an extremely high salary outfielder (for example, Paul Goldschmidt) in cash games so that you can lock in a top three to five option at every single position and not have to punt anywhere, even if it’s a spot you don’t love (for example, Jose Reyes or Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop).

Most of the stacks made up the bulk of today’s position by position analysis so I’ll only add further comment where necessary.

Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:

1) Toronto Blue Jays

2) Baltimore Orioles

3) Los Angeles Dodgers

4) Cincinnati Reds

The Blue Jays, Orioles, and Dodgers have the highest implied run totals and are all in elite offensive environments. Price points make it difficult to full stack, so I think you’re best off prioritizing mini-stack combinations from those three than full stacking. I also think those three offenses will be pretty popular full stacks, so mini-stacking might provide more contrarian value in tournaments.

The Reds have big upside with Hamilton’s speed and Hughes’ propensity for the long ball. They fall behind the other teams in terms of expected run totals, but a mini-stack with the top of their lineup looks like a solid tournament play again.

Contrarian/Secondary Stacks:

1) Texas Rangers (Prince Fielder gets overshadowed at first base due to opportunity cost, but he and the plethora of Rangers LHBs have a ton of upside despite providing few core options at any position)

2) Boston Red Sox

3) Arizona Diamondbacks

4) Milwaukee Brewers

5) Seattle Mariners

Texas, Boston, and Arizona are all secondary stacks as teams will focus on their opponents in those games. Great environment for hitters and none of the three are facing an above average starter. I think they have more ownership value in full stacks in tournaments.

Milwaukee and Seattle are my two favorite contrarian stacks this evening. Milwaukee has four hitters that have historically mashed LHP (Ramirez, Gomez, Braun, and Lucroy) and you can mini-stack those four and it gives you a few outs. You can get a few solo shots given the park or if Hamels has an off day, you get into the Phillies bullpen for more upside. The Mariners don’t suffer much of a park shift at all and the loss of the DH won’t likely have a huge impact on the core parts of the DFS lineup. They’re a very left handed offense in general and Kennedy has struggled with LH power throughout his career. They’re going to have one of the lowest ownership rates out there as far as stacks go and the Padres bullpen has really struggled outside of Benoit and Kimbrel. If they play from behind, you’re getting all the weak parts of that pen.

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.

CHC at NYM 7:00: A 20-30% chance of a delay to a thunderstorm. Not overly concerned about this game, they will play.  10% chance of multiple delays. Temps in the low to mid 70s falling to near 70. Air density is a 7. Wind southeast 5-10 mph which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.

TEX at BLT 7:05: Much like the NYM game, there will be a 20-30% chance of a delay due to thunderstorms around and I am not concerned about a cancellation. 10% chance of multiple delays. Temps in the upper 70s falling into the low to mid 70s. Air density is an 8 becoming a 7. Wind south-southeast 5-10 mph which blows out to left. The wind is a 6.

MIL at PHL 7:05: Carbon copy here, 30-40% chance of a delay due to a thunderstorm but not concerned about a cancellation. 10-20% chance of multiple delays. Temps in the mid to upper 70s falling into the low 70s. Air density is an 8. Wind south-southeast 7-14 mph which blows out to left-center. The wind is a 6.

BOS at TOR 7:07: Retractable roof. A few showers/thunderstorms around. The roof will likely be closed.

PIT at DET 7:08: A 30-40% chance of a delay to start or in the beginning of the game due to a thunderstorm. The threat for thunderstorms will diminish as we go through the evening. Not concerned about a cancellation. Temps near 70 falling into the mid-60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind southwest 5-10 mph which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.

WSH at ATL 7:10: A 10-20% chance of a thunderstorm causing a delay. Not concerned about a cancellation. Temps near 80 falling into the low to mid 70s. Air density is an 8 becoming a 7. Wind southwest 7-14 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.

MIN at CIN 7:10: A 30-40% chance of a delay early in the game or at the start of the game but the delay chance decreases as we go through the game as the thunderstorms push away. Temps in the mid-70s falling to near 70. Air density is a 7. Wind southwest 4-8 mph which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.

SF at MIA 7:10: The retractable roof will likely be closed.

CLE at TB 7:10: Dome.

KC at HOU 8:10: Retractable roof. There will be thunderstorms around so the roof will likely be closed.

CHW at STL 8:10: Dry. Temps in the mid-80s falling into the upper 70s. Air density is an 8. Wind light and variable. The wind is a 5.

LAD at AZ 9:40: Retractable roof. A 10-20% chance of a thunderstorm around but the roof will likely be open until/if there is an immediate threat. Temps near 105 falling into the upper 90s. Air density is a 9. Wind southwest 10-20 mph which blows out to right-center. The wind is an 8.

NYY at LAA 10:05: Dry. Temps in the low to mid 70s falling into the upper 60s. Air density is a 7. Wind west-southwest 7-14 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.

COL at OAK 10:05: Dry. Temps in the mid-70s falling into the upper 60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind northwest 8-16 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 7 becoming a 6.

SEA at SD 10:10: an around 10% chance of a thunderstorm. Temps in the mid-70s falling to near 70. Air density is a 7. Wind west 7-14 mph which blows from left to right. The wind is a 5.


MLB Daily Analysis