Daily Fantasy Rundown – June 5th MLB DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Friday’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.
Weather: Big concern in Denver tonight, once again.
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.
Buster Posey (SF) – Posey gets a big park shift in his favor and faces a below average RHP in Jerome Williams. Posey has posted an impressive .357 wOBA and .154 ISO against RHP since 2012 while Jerome Williams has allowed a .330 wOBA and 1.24 HR/9 to RHBs. The Giants rank third in the league in wRC+ against RHP so when you can get them in a favorable hitting environment against below average RHP, they’re a strong offense to invest in. Posey comes with reasonable price points after an extended home stand and ranks within our Top 30 hitters overall. If you’re spending at the catcher position, Posey is your guy.
Nick Hundley/Wilin Rosario (COL) – Neither Hundley (.307 wOBA, .158 ISO since 2012) nor Rosario (.306 wOBA, .164 ISO since 2012) are above average hitters against RHP but they get the benefit of Coors Field bumping their overall value. Hundley has compiled the majority of his statistics in far worse hitting environments and thus I believe he’s the better overall hitter against RHP, but he typically garners a worse lineup spot when they’re both in the lineup. Tom Koehler has demonstrated neutral splits in his career (.326 wOBA vs. RHBs, .314 wOBA vs. LHBs) and is a below average RHP overall. They aren’t elite values (Top 75 hitters in our model) but they represent a relatively affordable way to get exposure to Coors Field.
Welington Castillo (ARZ) – I’m guessing Castillo gets his first Diamondbacks start tonight against LHP Jon Niese. For his career Castillo has hit .305/.371/.474 against LHP (.370 wOBA, .169 ISO) and Arizona is a really good hitter’s park. The Diamondbacks lineup is suited well to take on LHPs with A.J. Pollock and Goldschmidt as established lefty mashers and a lineup that is deep in RHBs overall. Saltalamacchia has hit sixth recently against LHP, but I think Castillo could even get a shot at fifth (with Trumbo now gone). If he gets the fifth spot, he emerges as a great value play, but even sixth or worse I think he’s an acceptable punt option. Niese has allowed a .324 wOBA to RHBs since 2012 and this season has allowed a 34 percent hard hit rate, which is among the highest in baseball. The Diamondbacks are in a favorable spot tonight and Castillo represents a potential way to get cheap exposure at a thin position.
Tyler Flowers (CHW) – Kyle Ryan profiles as one of the weakest SP options on a very weak slate. He had a 4.67 ERA at AAA before his call-up and last season in AA he posted a 4.55 ERA with a K Rate below 15 percent. He’s not going to miss many bats at the big league level and last year RHBs in AA hit .283/.321/.421 against him. ZiPS projection system expects a .387 wOBA allowed and .227 ISO from RHBs this season. Tyler Flowers isn’t a good hitter (.297 wOBA) against LHP but he’s posted a .200 ISO and he’s dirt cheap. The White Sox offense should generate opportunities and Flowers power is a cheap way to get exposure at a thin position.
Additional catcher notes: J.T. Realmuto (MIA) gets the benefit of Coors Field but isn’t a great hitter and is priced up. He’s fine as a part of Marlins stacks if the weather holds, but he’s not a Marlin I’d prioritize (we’ll get to those). The lack of strong starting pitching makes every position deep with viable options today. We’ll try to keep our content as focused as we usually do with our recommendations, but it’s important to understand the landscape. With so many bad starters you can make a good case for a lot of hitters. We’ve narrowed the cash game options above, but potential tournament options include: Derek Norris (SD), Russell Martin (TOR), Jonathan Lucroy (MIL), and Brian McCann (NYY).
Jose Abreu (CHW) – We touched on the expected struggles of Kyle Ryan in our recommendation of Tyler Flowers. Jose Abreu is the White Sox best hitter, by a rather wide margin, and fits the profile of RH power that we expect Ryan to struggle with. In a great hitting environment at home (inflates RH power 14 percent above the league average), Abreu ranks as one of our top overall hitters (second behind Stanton). Abreu has compiled a .435 wOBA and .277 ISO against LHP as a big leaguer.
Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) – Goldschmidt’s history against LHP (.439 wOBA, .284 ISO since 2012) is immense and on Friday he’s facing a LHP allowing an unusually high amount of hard contact this season. Jon Niese ranks ninth in most hard hit contact allowed (34 percent) in the league and the hard hit rate soars to 37 percent against RHBs. He’s allowed a .383 wOBA to RHBs this season and the Diamondbacks are loaded with righties. Goldschmidt’s individual matchup is great but the lineup support should also provide premium plate appearances. He’s a Top Five overall hitter in our model.
Justin Bour (MIA) – Bour has outperformed all expectations this season, posting a .333/.377/.583 line that includes a ridiculous .437 wOBA and .273 ISO against RHP. Bour is a 27 year old journeyman who was never a highly rated prospect. ZiPS projection system called for a .315 wOBA and .134 ISO against RHP coming into the season. Oddly, despite the incredible performance early on, Bour’s price point reflects more of the projections than the performance. With a favorable park shift and a matchup against one of the worst SP on the slate, Bour ranks inside our Top 20 overall hitters despite the low baseline in our projections.
Additional first base notes: As is normally the case, the first base options are plentiful. Lucas Duda (NYM) ranks inside our Top 10 hitters in a great matchup against Jeremy Hellickson. The key is finding the right price point on Duda. Ideally, we’re looking for a gap between the pricing on Abreu and Goldschmidt to Duda. Miguel Cabrera (DET) also ranks inside our Top 10 but is in pricing limbo at first base. If using Cabrera it’s either in tournaments or on sites with third base eligibility. Edwin Encarnacion (TOR), Brandon Belt (SF), and Joey Votto (CIN) all rank inside our Top 25 overall hitters as well. Belt is the most compelling option of the group, in my opinion, but price points leave him in limbo. All of those options are better tournament plays. Chris Davis (BAL) and Carlos Santana (CLE) face homer prone starters albeit in a neutral park for power. Ben Paulsen (COL) gets the Coors bump, but like Bour has meager baseline expectations and is facing a slightly more competent starter. We prefer Bour, but Paulsen is an acceptable tournament play as a part of Rockies stacks or mini-stacks.
Dee Gordon (MIA) – Gordon derives so much value out of his speed that he’s often a difficult player to project. Gordon has only compiled a .311 wOBA and .083 ISO against RHP as a big leaguer, but he’s picked up 102 SB in 991 PA, which keeps him Fantasy relevant. Coors Field inflates power for all hitters but it’s especially friendly to speedsters because of the wide outfield gaps. Eddie Butler has allowed a .444 wOBA to LHBs while walking 13.2 percent of them and striking out just 9.2 percent. This is a good matchup for Gordon to get on base and the park environment inflates all of his other production. He cracks our Top 10 hitters overall and is your top target to spend on at second base.
Additional second base notes: There isn’t a clear cut value play at second base as Daniel Murphy‘s (NYM) injury last night leaves the position with a bit of a hole. Jose Altuve (HOU) ranks as our next in line option behind Gordon (Top 30 hitter) and has a viable price point on DraftKings but on most other sites is priced close to Gordon. Martin Prado (MIA) ranks inside our Top 40 hitters and carries second base eligibility on a few sites. Logan Forsythe (TB) has hit LHP exceptionally well all season (.400 wOBA, .349 ISO) and gets a premier lineup spot. His price point is rising around the industry, but he remains cheap on DraftKings. Yangervis Solarte (SD) is a viable punt play if he hits in the top two lineup spots. Dustin Pedroia (BOS) is my favorite tournament play at the position. He’s great against LHP at home (career .405 wOBA, .185 ISO) and Scott Kazmir has some health concerns. Pedroia’s price is up after a recent hot streak, but in tournaments I’m less concerned about the price point.
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) – Tulowitzki is starting to look more like the Tulowitzki of old. I caught a Rockies broadcast on Wednesday night and they noted Tulowitzki has found some comfort in a recent change in his stance. It’s difficult to know if the comfort is the result of the recent results or the recent results are because of the change in stance, but Tulowitzki has certainly performed more like himself. Tom Koehler has shown neutral splits and Tulowitzki has historically been great at home against RHP (.395 wOBA, .236 ISO). He ranks inside our Top 10 overall hitters and is a clear cut top option at shortstop.
Jose Reyes (TOR) – The Blue Jays face Roberto Hernandez who is battling some velocity loss (down to 88.7 mph average fastball) and has historically been a below average RHP. Reyes owns a .335 wOBA and .128 ISO against RHP and leads off for a very powerful offense, especially at home. The price point on DraftKings is closer to full, but on FanDuel and a few other sites he’s slightly discounted. He cracks our Top 40 hitters overall.
Alexei Ramirez (CHW) – Alexei isn’t a great hitter against LHP (.307 wOBA, .124 ISO) but he’s facing one of the weakest starters on the slate and he’s very cheap around the industry. Ramirez has recently been hitting sixth. It’s not ideal, but it’s close to the top five lineup spots we prefer. I think he’s a bit more valuable on FanDuel (near minimum price) than DraftKings, but he’s a viable play on all sites. He ranks within our Top 55 hitters overall.
Additional shortstop notes: Marcus Semien (OAK) is a fine tournament play if he hits second for the A’s. He’s hit LHP reasonably well (.322 wOBA, .135 ISO) and Fenway Park is a great environment for RHBs. Brandon Crawford (SF) is another intriguing tournament option. He’ll garner a poor lineup spot, but it’s a big park boost in his favor and he’s part of a deep Giants lineup. Hanley Ramirez (BOS) ranks inside our Top 30 hitters and carries SS eligibility on DraftKings.
Nolan Arenado (COL) – Arenado’s our top play at third base. He hits cleanup and the Rockies are facing a below average RHP with neutral splits. Compared to many of the other top options at the respective positions, Arenado doesn’t rank as highly in our model. As a result, I’m a bit less likely to pay all the way up for him. He’s been tremendous against RHP this season (.387 wOBA, .318 ISO) thanks to a 49.6 percent FB Rate. He’s a Top 30 hitter in our model.
Martin Prado (MIA) – Prado gets the big park bump and faces Eddie Butler who has allowed a .339 wOBA against RHBs while compiling just a 9.9 percent K Rate. Prado is a below average hitter against RHP (.312 wOBA, .112 ISO) but he gets a premier lineup spot (second) which helps generate an expected plate appearance advantage.
Yasmany Tomas (ARZ) – Tomas hasn’t hit LHP in his very small sample at the big league level (.266 wOBA in 28 plate appearances) but ZiPS projection system expects a .330 wOBA and .194 ISO against LHP. Tomas will likely hit cleanup directly behind Pollock and Goldschmidt which puts him in a premier position for RBI opportunities.
Chase Headley (NYY) – We like taking our shots at the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium and I think Headley is your best bet. He faces a fly ball oriented starter in Jered Weaver. Weaver has allowed a really high pull percentage this season (51.9 percent) which accompanies with a 43.5 percent FB Rate allowed to LHBs since 2012 makes him vulnerable to the short porch. Weaver’s been solid overall against lefties in recent years but this season they’ve posted a .331 wOBA against him while he’s surrendered 1.57 HR/9. Most of the Yankees other power LHBs come with big opportunity cost at their positions or monstrous price tags. Headley has neither, which makes him one of the more reasonable ways to get cash game exposure to their home run potential.
Additional third base notes: Ryan Zimmerman (WAS), Joey Gallo (TEX), Mike Moustakas (KC), Maikel Franco (PHI), and Josh Donaldson (TOR) are all intriguing tournament options for different reasons. Franco and Gallo are the new kids flashing big pop. Moustakas and Donaldson are facing below average SP but are perhaps a touch overpriced. Zimmerman is a bit too cheap for facing a LHP and the Nats offense profiles well against LHP, but Wada has been pretty good so far. It’s easier to pick on him in tournaments.
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) – Stanton is the top overall hitter in our model. He’s incredible (.374 wOBA, .257 ISO) and he’s accustomed to playing the majority of his games in a park that suppresses RH power by approximately 10 percent below the league average. Coors Field inflates RH power 15-20 percent above the league average. It’s a huge boost for Stanton who also gets a plus matchup against Eddie Butler. If the weather concerns subside, Stanton is one of the best options to allocate resources to.
Next in line:
Mike Trout (LAA) – Trout gets a big park shift in his favor and is facing a contact oriented RHP who likes to pitch low in the zone. Trout is a great low ball hitter with neutral splits against RHP. He ranks within our Top Five hitters overall and is a fine pivot from Stanton if the weather in Coors Field is a challenge.
Jose Bautista (TOR) – Bautista is another Top 10 overall hitter. He’s shown neutral splits (.381 wOBA, .243 ISO against RHP) throughout his career and is facing a RHP with velocity issues. Hernandez has historically been a hit homer prone to RHBs (1.16 HR/9 allowed to RHBs since 2012), which fits Bautista’s skill set well.
Charlie Blackmon/Carlos Gonzalez (COL) – The Rockies have a team total over five and the two LHBs in the outfield have been hitting first and fourth of late. Koehler doesn’t have extreme splits but he’s below average overall. He is a bit ground ball oriented, which is a weakness for Carlos Gonzalez, so I’d choose Blackmon over Gonzalez where priced similarly. They both rank inside our Top 20 hitters overall.
A.J. Pollock (ARZ) – Pollock has hit LHP exceptionally well in his career (.371 wOBA, .222 ISO) and we’ve harped on Jon Niese’s struggles limiting hard contact. Pollock is priced appropriately around the industry but ranks within our Top 20 overall hitters. He’s a great option if the Coors game becomes a problem or in tournaments as part of a Diamondbacks stack or mini-stack.
Marcell Ozuna/Christian Yelich (MIA) – Yelich is a better hitter against RHP (.341 wOBA, .115 ISO) than Ozuna (.318 wOBA, .146 ISO) but Ozuna typically gets the better lineup spot which closes the gap between the two considerably. Yelich is also more likely to lose value late in the game (Rockies have three LHPs in the pen and Yelich’s lineup spot makes him more vulnerable to a LH reliever). I’m leaning Ozuna over Yelich where priced similarly, but both rank inside our Top 15 hitters.
Melky Cabrera/Avisail Garcia (CHW) – The White Sox outfielders sneak into our top 25 overall hitters on the day in our model as ZiPS has a pretty pessimistic projection for LHP Kyle Ryan against RHBs: .387 wOBA and .227 ISO. Now, I should note that Steamer projections are more optimistic overall (calling for a 4.44 ERA and 1.01 HR/9 versus ZiPS 6.19 ERA and 1.63 HR/9). Either way, Ryan is likely a subpar southpaw who has a real difficulty missing bats. Since 2012 he has a K/9 below 6 at every Minor League stop, and the high amount of contact he allows leads to an elevated HR/9 even if he is categorized as a ground ball pitcher. To make matters worse for Ryan, he’ll be pitching in US Cellular Field, which is the fourth best hitter’s park for RHBs. Aside from exchanging some hard hit contact for medium hit contact, Cabrera’s peripherals are in line with his career marks, making him a good buy low option despite a horrific start (.242 wOBA). Likewise, Garcia’s ISO (.114) is likely to rise based on both his career mark and what projection systems are calling for. Even if you dock Cabrera/Garcia a bit for a combination of their cold starts and thinking that Kyle Ryan may not be quite as bad as we anticipate, they’d still rate as top 50 overall hitting options. That makes the strong value plays on the majority of sites, especially FanDuel. Teammate Adam Eaton is also viable and may go under-owned in tournaments solely due to the fact that people actively avoid L/L matchups.
Curtis Granderson (NYM) – Granderson gets a nice park shift boost for home runs as he gets to play in Chase Field which inflates LH power 3-5 percent above the league average compared to his home park which plays at league average. He’ll face Jeremy Hellickson who has allowed a .324 wOBA and 1.22 HR/9 to LHBs since 2012. For his career, Granderson has been most effective against change-ups (+16.9 runs above average in his career) and fastballs (+135.7 runs above average in his career). Hellickson’s arsenal is heavily dependent on both fastballs (59.3 percent) and change-ups (23.1 percent). In addition, Hellickson’s biggest weakness is limiting home runs and most of Granderson’s value is tied into his power (.330 wOBA but .196 ISO against RHP since 2012). The matchup fits Granderson well and he ranks within our Top 20 hitters overall. If you’re looking for some salary relief in the outfield, Granderson pops as one of our best values.
Additional outfield notes: Our model always loves the power/speed upside of George Springer (HOU) and his profile is enhanced in the leadoff spot which improves expected plate appearances. Aaron Sanchez has struggled early in his career but has the kind of stuff I’d rather avoid picking on given the slate has so many bad starters. Springer ranks inside our Top 20 hitters, so our model thinks he’s cash game viable. I’d prefer to get my exposure in tournaments. Yoenis Cespedes (DET), Rajai Davis (DET), and J.D. Martinez (DET) all hit LHP pretty well and get a park shift in their favor. Jose Quintana is one of the more talented starters going on this slate, so they’re all more secondary value plays in the outfield. Michael Brantley (CLE) and Brandon Moss (CLE) are solid tournament options given Chris Tillman‘s struggles and his propensity for yielding home runs. The park environment pushes them a bit down in our rankings and they’re priced fairly around the industry. Kole Calhoun (LAA) is another cheap shot at the short porch in right field with a premier lineup spot. He’s a secondary value. Will Venable (SD) looks like another secondary value an acceptable form of salary relief. The park shift works in his favor and the pitcher replacing Iglesias looks below average.
Rankings (price not considered):
1) Jake Odorizzi (TB)
2) Tyson Ross (SD)
3) Carlos Martinez (STL)
4) Edinson Volquez (KC)
5) J.A. Happ (SEA)
6) Tsuyoshi Wada (CHC)
7) Raisel Iglesias (CIN)
8) Brett Anderson (LAD)
9) Tanner Roark (WAS)
10) Williams Perez (ATL)
Jake Odorizzi (TB) – Odorizzi travels to Seattle to face a Mariners offense that ranks 21st in wRC+ against RHP and has the third highest strike out rate against RHP (23.5 percent). The Mariners recently added more thump to their lineup with the acquisition of Mark Trumbo but Trumbo comes with a career .298 OBP and 24.8 percent K Rate. His presence isn’t much of a concern. Odorizzi’s 2015 has been an interesting one thus far. He’s made dramatic improvements in his control (4.8 percent BB Rate vs. career 7.3 percent BB Rate) and it’s translated into less hard contact (27 percent vs. career 30.4 percent) and allowed him to work deeper into games (6.6 innings per start, last year was 5.4). Odorizzi’s had great results (2.61 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) but his 3.71 xFIP suggests he’s been fortunate at first glance (.257 BABIP, 6.2 percent HR/FB Rate). I, on the other hand, have a different take. The xFIP is regressing Odorizzi’s batted ball rates to league averages but a lower hard hit rate should also translate to a lower BABIP and HR/FB Rate. Additionally, Odorizzi’s K Rate has dropped (20.3 percent vs. 24.2 percent last season) but the underlying components have all improved. Odorizzi has maintained his chase rate (33.2 percent vs. career 32.9 percent) and is posting a career best swinging strike rate (10.2 percent vs. 9.4 percent). With the same amount of swings outside the zone and a bump on swings and misses, we expect Odorizzi’s K Rate to regress towards that 23-24 percent rate. While xFIP might suggest Odorizzi is likely to perform worse going forward, we think an expected bump in K Rate will hold his run prevention while increasing his Fantasy value.
Raisel Iglesias (CIN) – Iglesias has struggled with his transition to the states. He’s posted a 5.11 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and allowed a 27 percent LD Rate. The good news for Iglesias, and for DFS-ers, is he’s recorded strikeouts. His 22.5 percent K Rate is above the league average and supported by a strong 11.5 percent swinging strike rate. He pitches in a tough environment in Cincinnati but draws a friendly matchup against the Padres who rank 21st in wRC+ against RHP and have struck out in 21.8 percent of their plate appearances. Iglesias has also shown rather wide splits. He’s dominated RHBs (32 percent K Rate, 4 percent BB Rate, and .309 wOBA allowed) but struggled mightily against LHBs (14.8 percent K Rate, 11.5 percent BB Rate, and .351 wOBA allowed). The Padres are pretty right handed (typically 5-6 RHBs in the lineup) and all the key spots in the lineup hit from the right side. On most slates, Iglesias would represent nothing more than a tournament play, but the pitching available on Friday’s slate makes him a viable salary relief option for your second or third starter slot on multiple SP sites. UPDATE: Iglesias has been scratched from this start.
Tanner Roark (WAS) – Roark’s 2015 season has been perplexing. He’s generating ground balls (50 percent) and maintaining his solid command (6.3 percent BB Rate, career 5.1 percent) but he’s stopped striking guys out altogether (8.6 percent vs. career 16.7 percent). A quick look at his pitch mix shows he’s scrapped the four seam fastball for a two seamer (which explains the ground balls and some dip in whiffs) but he’s dropped his fastball usage slightly (61 percent vs. career average of 65.4 percent) in favor of secondary pitches. This, theoretically, should help mitigate some of the drop in whiffs brought on by using the two seam over the four seam fastball. Instead, the strikeouts are gone. He faces a Cubs offense that leads the league in strikeouts against RHP (26.1 percent) and he’s a favorite (-140) in a game with a total of 7.5. If the strikeouts come back to his career levels, Roark makes for a solid value on a difficult slate for pitching. If they remain absent, he carries a lot of risk.
Additional starting pitcher notes: Friday’s pitching slate is one of the most difficult we’ve seen all season for multiple SP sites. We have very few above average starters going on Friday and they’re all over-priced or fairly priced for their matchups. Tyson Ross (SD) is the most predictable for strikeouts but he gets a huge park downgrade and the Reds aren’t particularly strikeout prone. Carlos Martinez (STL) has to face the Dodgers who rank first in wRC+ against RHP and last night ran out a lineup with five LHBs in the first seven slots. Martinez has such wide splits (.347 wOBA allowed to LHBs since 2012, .276 wOBA vs. RHBs) that makes him especially vulnerable to lefty-heavy lineups. I’m not excited to pay full price for Martinez in this matchup. J.A. Happ (SEA) and Edinson Volquez (KC) are the “safer” mid-tier options. Safe is used as a relative term as almost every pitcher on this slate has some severe risk. Happ draws the tougher matchup with a Rays’ offense that ranks second in wRC+ against LHP this season while Volquez faces a Rangers offense getting a park downgrade. Tsuyoshi Wada (CHC) has shown great strike out ability early on, but the Nationals with Anthony Rendon back profile very well against LHP. Brett Anderson (LAD) has K Rate risk but is a modest favorite (-120) in a game with a total of seven. The Cardinals have been average against LHP with a surprisingly above average K Rate (23 percent). Our projections suggest they’re not as K prone as they’ve been against LHP which is part of the reason Anderson slides down our rankings. Williams Perez (ATL) might pop at first glance (2.66 ERA, 21.6 percent K Rate, and awesome 59.6 percent GB Rate) but his minor league track record suggests the strikeouts are unlikely to continue (career 19.5 K Rate in minors, 17.2 K Rate above A ball) as does the swinging strike rate (5.7 percent). We think Iglesias’ K Rate is more predictable and Roark’s run prevention is a bit more stable than betting on Perez, but he’s in the same tier of volatile secondary SP options. Shaun Marcum (CLE) has recorded strikeouts in his first few starts with the Indians but the 33 year old is throwing 85 mph and surrendering a lot of hard contact (36 percent). The Orioles have struggled offensively of late and they strike out a bunch so perhaps taking a chance on Marcum’s incredibly cheap tag on DraftKings ($4,300) in tournaments is acceptable, but overall the profile screams a bit more risk than even the risky options in tier four. Pitchers opposing the Astros are always tournament worthy, especially former top prospects. Aaron Sanchez (TOR) has been so bad as a pro that you can’t trust him in cash games, but I think he’s worthy of tournament consideration simply due to the big strikeout potential the Astros provide.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have suggestions.
Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:
1) Miami Marlins
2) Colorado Rockies
3) Arizona Diamondbacks
4) Chicago White Sox
These four offenses constitute the majority of our recommendations in the hitting section. If the weather in Colorado is a huge issue, I’ll pivot to White Sox and Diamondbacks exposure in cash games. I think these are the four highest probability offenses for production.
1) Toronto Blue Jays
2) San Francisco Giants
3) Detroit Tigers
4) New York Yankees
The Blue Jays have one of the higher projected team totals, so they won’t be every contrarian. You could argue they belong in the section above but pricing makes it a bit more difficult to recommend mini-stacks in cash games.
The Giants are my favorite true contrarian stack. They rank third in wRC+ against RHP this season but few consider them an elite offense because they play in such a brutal park for offense. They have a great deep offense and they’re getting a huge park shift. I love them in tournaments.
The Tigers are always stack-able against LHP. Their offense is filled with above average RHBs and they get a nice park shift in their favor going into U.S. Cellular Field. They also are on the road and guaranteed nine full offensive innings. Quintana is a good starter, but the Tigers offense projects so well against LHP that they’re an elite tournament combination.
The Yankees heavily LH offense is worthy of stacking when at home. Jered Weaver‘s velocity is down and he’s struggling with home runs to LHBs. He’s also giving up a ton of pulled batted balls, which sets up well for all the Yankees left handers. Tough price points on guys like Teixeira and McCann will force some ownership down. The one knock on the Yankees stack is the Angels bullpen has three LHPs and all their likely long relief guys are lefties.
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.
LAA at NYY 7:05: A very small chance (~10%) of a thunderstorm. As of right now, I am not concerned about a delay or cancellation. Temps in the mid to upper 60s falling into the low 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind east becoming northeast at very light speeds. The wind is a 5.
CHC at WSH 7:05: An outside chance (10%) of a shower. Not a big deal, not expecting any risk of a delay or a cancellation. Temps in the low to mid 70s falling to near 70. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind southeast 4-8 mph which blows out to left. The wind is a 6.
SF at PHL 7:05: A few showers around, not enough to concern me about a delay or a cancellation. Temps in the low 70s falling into the upper 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind east-northeast 4-8 mph which blows in from right. The wind is a 4.
HOU at TOR 7:07: Retractable roof. A few showers and thunderstorms around. I will assume the roof will be closed.
OAK at BOS 7:10: A 10% chance of a shower around. No delays expected. Temps in the low 60s. Air density is a 5. Wind southeast 6-12 mph which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.
BLT at CLE 7:10: A widely scattered shower. No delays expected. Temps in the mid-70s falling into the upper 60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind north-northwest 5-10 mph which blows in from left-center. The wind is a 4.
SD at CIN 7:10: A 10% chance of a thunderstorm. Not expecting a delay or cancellation at this time. Temps near 80 falling to near 70. Air density is a 7. Wind northwest 4-8 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.
PIT at ATL 7:35: Dry. Temps near 80 falling to near 70. Air density is a 7. Wind northwest 4-8 mph which blows from left to right. The wind is a 5.
DET at CHW 8:10: Dry. Temps in the low to mid 60s falling into the mid to upper 50s. Air density is a 6 becoming a 5. Wind north-northeast 8-16 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 6 and at times a 7.
TEX at KC 8:10: A small chance (10-20%) of a thunderstorm. Does not look like a big deal so as of right now I would not expect any issues with delays or cancellations. Temps in the low 80s falling into the mid-70s. Air density is an 8 becoming a 7. Wind southeast 5-10 mph which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.
MIL at MIN 8:10: Dry. Temps near 70 falling into the mid-60s. Air density is a 6. Wind east-northeast 6-12 mph which blows in from left-center. The wind is a 4.
MIA at COL 8:40: Another game in Denver, another one with issues. Numerous showers and thunderstorms around. Generally, the nature of thunderstorms says that they should play the game with delays but the modelling I am looking at shows frequent and plentiful thunderstorms, enough to cause at least a concern about cancelling the game. Right now, I would say the chance of a cancellation is 30%, chance of delays is 60-80% with a 30-40% chance of multiple delays. Temps near 70 falling into the low 60s. Air density is a 10. Wind south-southeast 8-16 mph which blows out to left-center. The wind is a 6 and at times a 7.
NYM at AZ 9:40: Retractable roof. A few thunderstorms will be around. If the roof is going to be open, the temps will be in the low 90s falling into the mid-80s. Air density is an 8. Wind south-southwest 10-20 mph which blows out to right-center. The wind is a 7 or at times an 8.
TB at SEA 10:10: Retractable roof. Dry. Temps in the mid-70s falling into the upper 60s. Air density is a 7 becoming a 6. Wind northwest 5-10 mph which blows from left to right. The wind is a 5.
STL at LAD 10:10: Dry. Temps in the upper 60s falling into the low 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind west-southwest 7-14 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 6.