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June 5 MLB DFS: Jose, Jose, Jose
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June 5 MLB DFS: Jose, Jose, Jose

01:53 Starting Pitchers
11:24 Catchers
13:09 First Base
17:05 Second Base
19:35 Shortstop
21:40 Third Base
24:42 Outfield
28:23 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



June 5 MLB DFS Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jose Fernandez (MIA)

2) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Two

3) Aaron Nola (PHI)

4) Corey Kluber (CLE)

5) Jonathan Gray (COL)

6) Justin Verlander (DET)

7) Scott Kazmir (LAD)

Tier Three

8) Gerrit Cole (PIT)

9) Matt Harvey (NYM)

10) Lance McCullers (HOU)

Tier Four

11) Tanner Roark (WAS)

12) Drew Smyly (TB)

13) Kevin Gausman (BAL)

14) Tyler Duffey (MIN)

Another Sunday with some elite starting pitching on tap. Jose Fernandez (MIA) and Jake Arrieta (CHC) are both at home in favorable matchups. The Mets offense is depleted without David Wright and Lucas Duda while Michael Conforto is mired in a slump and Yoenis Cespedes was a late scratch last night. Fernandez has struck out 30 percent or more of the batters faced in six of his last seven starts (27.3 percent last time out against PIT) and eight of 11 overall. The consistent source of elite strikeouts makes him our top target. Arrieta is at home, but with the wind blowing out, against a RH heavy Diamondbacks lineup. They have two above average hitters against RHP (Goldschmidt and Lamb) and our projections expect them to be pretty K-heavy (22.4 percent baseline for the lineup, projecting a 29 percent K Rate for Arrieta). Arrieta is the bigger favorite (-295 to -160) but we expect the implied run totals against to be similar with the wind blowing out in Wrigley. Fernandez’s production scores better in DFS so he’s our top choice, but Arrieta is a fine alternative where priced below Fernandez (like on DraftKings).

The second tier of starters is deep and contains viable cash game alternative if you were to eschew the high price tags of Fernandez and Arrieta and use one of these options as an ace. Corey Kluber (CLE) and Aaron Nola (PHI) both have plus matchups and the price tags are just cheap enough to make you think about using them over Fernandez/Arrieta. Kluber gets a depleted Royals’ offense that IS more threatening with Salvador Perez back but projects for a sub-.300 wOBA as a baseline. They don’t K a lot which could impact the upside. Nola gets a K happy Brewers’ offense (26.6 K Rate leads the majors in strikeouts against RHP) but one with power that has a 3.8 implied run total. Nola keeps the ball on the ground and has utterly dominated RHBs (20 percent hard hit rate, 32 percent soft hit rate, 55 GB Rate, 28.1 K Rate, 2.6 BB Rate, .247 wOBA) and most of the Brewers’ threats are from the right side. Jonathan Gray (COL) ranks as our fifth starter with a favorable matchup in San Diego against the Padres. He dominated them first time out in this situation (6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 11 K) and we love taking Gray at depressed price points when he’s facing weak offenses on the road. The matchups don’t get better than this one. The depth of SP makes him a better tournament play on FanDuel than your lone starter. He’s a core play on the DraftKings short late slate.

When looking for potential starters to pair with Arrieta or Fernandez on DraftKings, the list is relatively short due to pricing. Gerrit Cole (PIT) and Matt Harvey (NYM) are both sub-$8,000 and give you the necessary relief to build a good offense with a top tier SP. Cole has the softer matchup and more win potential, so we’re more on Cole but Harvey regained his velocity and form last time out and projects somewhat similarly.

In tournaments we’d look for cheap exposure to strikeout upside. On FanDuel, Jonathan Gray is our favorite target but Matt Harvey, Drew Smyly (TB), and Lance McCullers (HOU) all fit that profile as well.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

2) Brian McCann (NYY) – health risk

3) Buster Posey (SF)

4) Evan Gattis (HOU) – where eligible

5) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)/Russell Martin (TOR)/Chris Iannetta (SEA)/Matt Wieters (BAL) – if ANY of these land in the Top Five

The catcher position isn’t one to spend resources on for Sunday’s slate. Victor Martinez (DET) is our top catcher, where eligible, but barely ranks inside our Top 50 overall hitters. Brian McCann (NYY) is within the Top 75 but dealing with an elbow injury that has kept him out all weekend. Even if in the lineup, it’s a questionable spot to allocate resources to him. As a result, we’re looking for salary relief and likely in the form of a pure punt. On DraftKings, you’ve got Jason Castro (HOU) and Bryan Holaday (TEX). They have unappealing lineup spots, but near minimum price tags as part of strong offenses in good hitting environments. On FanDuel, the depth of the position is a bit stronger and the salary band tighter so you could get a Russell Martin (TOR), Chris Iannetta (SEA), or Yasmani Grandal (LAD) if they landed in a good lineup spot.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

3) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

4) Joey Votto (CIN)

5) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

6) Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)

7) Ryan Howard (PHI) – if in lineup

8) Jose Abreu (CHW)

9) Eric Hosmer (KC)

10) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

First base is a position that will likely be dictated by your approach to starting pitching. Should you forego one of the elite aces in Jake Arrieta or Jose Fernandez, you should have ample cap room to pursue David Ortiz (BOS) in a favorable matchup against a RHP with extreme fly ball tendencies. If you’re spending big on starting pitching, you’ll likely find the middle of our first base rankings the most realistic targets. Edwin Encnaracion (TOR) and Joey Votto (CIN) are your primary mid-tier targets with the platoon advantage in favorable hitting environments. If Ryan Howard (PHI) gets into the lineup, a matchup with Wily Peralta (.392 wOBA, .223 ISO, 10.7 K Rate vs. LHBs) is the type of matchup that could inspire value out of the aging slugger. On DraftKings, Hanley Ramirez (BOS) also comes with a cheap price tag ($3,400) that is an affordable way to get exposure to an elite Red Sox offense, while Jose Abreu (CHW) is also very cheap ($3,000).

Second Base Rankings

1) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

2) Jose Altuve (HOU)

3) Brian Dozier (MIN)

4) Ian Kinsler (DET)

5) Steve Pearce (TB) – where eligible

6) Robinson Cano (TEX)

7) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

8) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

9) Jurickson Profar (TEX) – if leadoff

10) Jimmy Paredes (PHI) – where eligible, if top five

Daniel Murphy (WAS) is a Top 20 overall hitter in our model and he’s wildly out-performed power expectations early in the season, so you could make the case he’s even better if you believe in the fly ball heavy batted ball profile that is generating all this power. Jon Moscot is the weakest starter on the slate and really shouldn’t be pitching in a major league rotation at this point. The price tag on Murphy and the presence of some strong value alternatives makes him more of a tournament target than a cash game selection. Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Dustin Pedroia (BOS) are strong tournament targets as part of premier offenses. Zobrist could see his ranking in the model rise as the wind is supposed to blow out and we have a relatively conservative expected implied run total of five for the Cubs. Jurickson Profar (TEX) remains a strong value play if he continues to lead off. Any and all left-handed batters rank well in our model against Wily Peralta, so if Jimmy Paredes (PHI) is back in a premier leadoff spot he’d also represent a strong play where eligible. Brian Dozier (MIN) might get lost in the shuffle a bit, because the price tag is just high enough to ignore and the presence of Profar should limit ownership. Drew Smyly‘s velocity has been on the decline and he’s been very homer prone of late. Our model likes Dozier as a cash game target, but he’ll likely serve as a really strong tournament play with lower ownership. Trea Turner (WAS) is another name to watch in alerts. He didn’t play against a RHP yesterday so we don’t have a good handle on where he’d hit. Moscot is very bad and if the Nationals have the highest implied team total so if Turner is in a good lineup spot, he’d represent a strong play.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Corey Seager (LAD)

4) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

5) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

6) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

7) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

8) Jurickson Profar (TEX) – where eligible

9) Brad Miller (TB)

10) Jordy Mercer (PIT)

Manny Machado (BAL) is our top ranked shortstop and a Top Five overall hitter in our model. Machado will face CC Sabathia who has bested expectations this year through a bunch of soft contact (23.4 percent). He’s given up on the four seamer and replaced it with a cutter and batters haven’t adjusted yet. It’s possible our model is overrating the Orioles RHBs a touch, which is why this is a less compelling spend on a slate with elite starting pitching. On DraftKings, we’ve got a very cheap price tag on Carlos Correa (HOU) that is accessible ($3,600) while on FanDuel Aledmys Diaz (STL) is just $2,900. Both are strong mid-tier values that can save you some funds from spending all the way up on Machado. Eduardo Nunez (MIN) and Francisco Lindor (CLE) look like the mid-tier targets most likely to get overlooked with pricing, which makes them excellent tournament targets.

Third Base Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR) – health risk

4) Matt Carpenter (STL)

5) Evan Longoria (B)

6) Maikel Franco (PHI)

7) Nolan Arenado (COL) – may adjust when SP announced for SD

8) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

9) Jung Ho Kang (PIT)

10) Jimmy Paredes (PHI) – where eligible, if top five

Kris Bryant (CHC) tops our third base rankings and is only behind Bryce Harper in our overall rankings. The gap between Bryant and Harper is HUGE but could narrow if the Cubs get one of those really lofty wind-aided team totals. Patrick Corbin has allowed a .363 wOBA to RHBs this season with just a 12.1 K Rate and a 40 hard hit rate allowed. He generally keeps the ball on the ground, but it’s a lot of hard contact and Bryant is a fly ball heavy hitter. If you’re not paying all the way up for Bryant, there are plenty of options. Josh Donaldson (TOR) gets a lefty at Fenway but is playing through a thumb issue. Matt Carpenter (STL) gets Jake Peavy who has allowed a 45 percent hard hit rate to LHBs this season while generating just a 29.9 GB Rate (good for a .419 wOBA but somehow hasn’t allowed a home run to lefties). On the value side, Jimmy Paredes (PHI) would represent a great pure punt on FanDuel if he gets one of those coveted lineup spots and Jung Ho Kang (PIT)/Maikel Franco (PHI) are acceptable mid-tier values on DraftKings.

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS) – by a wide margin

2) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

3) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

4) Jose Bautista (TOR)

5) Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – health risk

6) Mike Trout (LAA)

7) Mookie Betts (BOS)

8) Ben Revere (WAS)

9) J.D. Martinez (DET)

10) Starling Marte (PIT)

11) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

12) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

13) Adam Jones (BAL)

14) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

15) Jayson Werth (WAS)

16) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

17) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

18) Franklin Gutierrez (SEA)

19) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

20) George Springer (HOU)

Bryce Harper (WAS) gets an even better matchup than the one yesterday where he was our cover-boy and a prominent part of our cash game strategy. It didn’t work out yesterday and Harper has been swinging an extremely cold bat (-0.9 hard hit rate over last 14 days), but Jon Moscot has allowed a .478 wOBA and 42.9 percent hard hit rate to LHBs this season. Backed up by the worst bullpen in all of baseball, which is also primarily right-handed and Harper is clearly the top play in our minds. Moscot is so bad that Ben Revere (WAS) is cracking our Top 20 overall hitters. Revere isn’t a very good hitter in his own right, but the matchup and a relatively cheap price tag make him a strong play, especially on FanDuel ($2,500). The rest of the outfield position is filled with site-specific values. Nomar Mazara (TEX) is exceptionally cheap on FanDuel ($2,900) and he’s another guy that is out-pacing our baselines by a wide margin. On DraftKings, the price is a bit more reasonable but we’re still comfortable investing. Andrew McCutchen (PIT) comes with a cheap tag on DraftKings but is also battling a thumb issue, if you want to avoid all health/performance risk. Jayson Werth (WAS) and Franklin Gutierrez (SEA) are a bit more accessible with DraftKings prices than FanDuel while J.D. Martinez (DET) is also underpriced at just $3,600.


Tier One

1) Washington Nationals

2) Seattle Mariners

3) Toronto Blue Jays

4) Boston Red Sox

5) Chicago Cubs

Tier Two

6) Pittsburgh Pirates

7) Houston Astros

8) St. Louis Cardinals

9) Texas Rangers

There is an awful lot of offense on this slate to pair with the elite starting pitching which makes cash game construction a search for value within the top tier offenses. We enjoy picking on the Reds bullpen, especially on Jon Moscot days but four other offenses accompany the Nationals in our top tier. The Mariners get a huge park shift and a matchup against a contact-heavy Derek Holland who is backed up by a bad bullpen. Unfortunately, they’re all very expensive on both sites, which makes exposure largely tournament driven. The Blue Jays are an intriguing stack on DraftKings where you can mini-stack the RH power at relatively affordable prices and still get top tier SP.

Tournament Stacks

St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals offense is third in MLB in wRC+ against RHP and Jake Peavy is allowing a ridiculous 45 percent hard hit rate and 29 percent GB Rate to LHBs). This is flirting with a lot of line drives and fly balls that are well hit and eventually that’s going to lead to a disastrous outing. The Cardinals offense is one that can capitalize on that and they’ll likely come with low ownership as most of the power occupies premier positions.

Houston Astros – Sonny Gray was supposed to make a rehab start but instead is starting in the majors. No pitch count has been announced but we imagine he’ll be limited and the A’s bullpen has been heavily utilized the last two days. The Astros have the combination of power and speed that plays well in GPPs and take up few premier positions so they allow you to stack fill with stronger bats.

Texas Rangers – The Mariners bullpen has been ridden pretty hard of late which is forcing the manager to have a longer leash with starters. Iwakuma is pretty homer prone despite pitching most of his games in a favorable park for suppressing home runs.

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