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May 11 MLB DFS Early Slate: Take a shot of Hendricks
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May 11 MLB DFS Early Slate: Take a shot of Hendricks

01:23 Starting Pitchers
07:38 Catchers
09:09 First Base
12:44 Second Base
14:39 Shortstop
16:39 Third Base
19:45 Outfield
22:53 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

premium_access_now  HITTER SPLITS | PITCHER SPLITS | WELL-HIT RATINGS

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May 11 MLB DFS Early Slate Pro-Tip

STARTING PITCHER RANKINGS

Tier One

1) Madison Bumgarner (SFG)

2) Chris Archer (TB)

3) Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

Tier Two

4) Danny Salazar (CLE)

5) Taijuan Walker (SEA)

6) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

7) Cole Hamels (TEX)

Tier Three

8) Doug Fister (HOU)

Madison Bumgarner (SFG) is the top starting pitcher in this slate (projected 28 percent K rate; opposing team total below 3.5 runs). He’ll have to face a potent Blue Jays offense that can hit LHP very well (top 10 in wRC+ vs. LHP this season), but the brutal park shift from Rogers Centre to AT&T Park combined with having to face a southpaw that has only allowed a .292 wOBA to RHBs since 2014 places their implied run total at a below average level. It’s not the matchup that scares us away from Bumgarner, but rather his elevated price tag around the industry. Bumgarner’s price limits your ability to have Coors Field exposure in a six game slate, which keeps our focus on the other arms in the first tier. Chris Archer (TB) is the stud pitcher we’re more likely to invest in relative to his price and upside. Archer is priced below $11,000 around the industry and while he’s struggled with command early in the season (10 percent walk rate, which is boosted by an ugly 52 percent F-Strike rate), he continues to miss a ton of bats (29 percent K rate, 11 percent SwStr rate). The Mariners have been tough vs. RHP (ranked fifth in wRC+ and striking out an average clip), but their team total is sitting at 3.5 runs and Archer’s projected K rate is comparable to Bumgarner’s (right around 27-28 percent). Kyle Hendricks (CHC) cracks our first tier of starting pitchers, and while he’s not the same upside option as Archer/Bumgarner (projected K rate is sitting at around 24 percent), he makes up for it with a high floor, as he’ll have a matchup vs. a Padres offense (ranked 29th in wRC+ and striking out 26 percent of the time vs. RHP) that has the lowest implied run total in this slate (2.8 runs). Hendricks is the highest favorite in this slate (-230), and he’s the clear complement to a stud pitcher in this slate as well as our preferred target on a single starting pitcher site like FanDuel (his friendly cost allows you to grab more Coors Field, which becomes an even greater priority in a short slate).

If taking a chance in cash with a pitcher in our second tier, we think Taijuan Walker (SEA) has some cash worth on multiple starting pitcher sites relative to his matchup (Rays are ranked 21st in wRC+ and striking out 27 percent of the time vs. RHP, which is the highest in MLB right now). The rest of the starting pitcher options in our second/third tier are better for tournaments. We like Cole Hamels (TEX) (awesome bounce back performance vs. Detroit after some health concerns) but the environment is a difficult one (Texas) and the White Sox don’t like to strike out much vs. LHP). We prefer him in tournaments. Marcus Stroman (TOR) has a terrible projected K rate (right around 18 percent), which makes sense relative to his matchup (San Francisco). We like the park shift for Stroman but we’re not sure about his upside given his skill set (generates tons of ground balls but doesn’t strike out many hitters) and matchup. If you’d like to load up on Coors Field and need a cheap pitcher, Doug Fister (HOU) is fine if pursuing that strategy. We like Danny Salazar (CLE) in tournaments on FanDuel, where his price tag is friendlier.

Catcher Rankings

1) Welington Castillo (ARI)

2) Dustin Garneau (COL)

3) Buster Posey (SFG)

4) Chris Herrmann (ARI)

Three of our ranked catchers in this slate come from Coors Field. Welington Castillo and Chris Herrmann (ARI) are priced accurately around the industry, but given how ugly the position is, we’re willing to use them in cash (both should be in top six spots in Coors). Dustin Garneau (COL) is only $2,900 on DraftKings, and he should be in the lineup against a LHP. He won’t have a good lineup spot, but he’ll have the platoon edge at Coors Field, which makes him our primary target at the position on DraftKings. He’s priced accurately on FanDuel, and the best punt there is Bobby Wilson (TEX) (won’t have platoon edge but if he’s in the lineup we’re willing to punt with him given his context – a matchup vs. Mat Latos at Globe Life Park in Arlington). Buster Posey (SFG) is a better option for tournaments (tough matchup vs. Marcus Stroman).

FIRST BASE RANKINGS

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

4) Mark Reynolds (COL)

5) Jose Abreu (CWS)

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) is our top ranked hitter and the best spend regardless of position in this slate. Goldy will be at Coors Field, in a matchup Chad Bettis, a below average RHP that has allowed a .395 wOBA and .195 ISO vs. RHBs since 2014. Goldy has generated a .396 wOBA and .243 ISO vs. RHP since 2014. He’s a lock for us in cash. If pursuing alternatives, we love Chris Davis (BAL) in tournaments (terrible park shift for the Orioles, but a matchup vs. Phil Hughes makes up for it and with Goldy soaking up most of the ownership, Davis represents a lower owned, high upside alternative). Mark Reynolds (COL) is a fine alternative in cash games if you need the salary relief (though we strongly suggest locking in Goldy), and like Chris Davis, Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is another high upside alternative in tournaments. Prince Fielder (TEX) has really struggled this season, but his price on FanDuel ($2,600) reflects those struggles. He’s a fine salary relief option if you want to pay up for a hitter like Nolan Arenado.

SECOND BASE RANKINGS

1) Jean Segura (ARI) – where eligible

2) DJ LeMahieu (COL) – if leading off

3) Rougned Odor (TEX)

4) Jose Altuve (HOU)

5) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

Jean Segura (ARI) is second base eligible on DraftKings, where he represents the top target at second base (leading off on the road at Coors, and that’s usually a lineup spot that sees at least five plate appearances in that hitting environment). If DJ LeMahieu (COL) leads off, he’d represent an awesome alternative to Segura (for similar reasons – leading off at Coors). Jason Kipnis (CLE) is a good alternative if you need a cheaper option at the position, as he’ll hit second in a matchup vs. Doug Fister (has allowed a .336 wOBA and .182 ISO to LHBs since the start of 2015). Jonathan Schoop (BAL) is lower owned, upside play for tournaments (.241 ISO vs. RHP since 2015 but swings and misses quite a bit and never sees a good lineup spot).

SHORTSTOP RANKINGS

1) Trevor Story (COL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

3) Carlos Correa (HOU)

4) Francsico Lindor (CLE)

5) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

Trevor Story (COL) is our third ranked hitter this afternoon, with Manny Machado (BAL) (eighth-ranked hitter) and Carlos Correa (HOU) (10th ranked hitter) not far behind. If you’re able to pay the full price for Story, we think it’s worth it in cash (platoon edge vs. Robbie Ray, a southpaw that has allowed a .343 wOBA and .156 ISO to RHBs since the start of 2015). Machado is our favorite tournament target (we’ll revisit him at third base), but if your funds are tight, Correa is a fine cash alternative on DraftKings. If you’re making big spends elsewhere and need punt at the position, Brad Miller (SEA) fills that void on DraftKings (will hit second but he’s in a tougher matchup) and Eduardo Nunez (MIN) does so on FanDuel.

THIRD BASE RANKINGS

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Jake Lamb (ARI)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC)

5) Todd Frazier (CWS) 

Nolan Arenado (COL) has generated a .376 wOBA and .262 ISO vs. LHP since the start of 2014. If you’re spending up for a third baseman in cash, Arenado represents the top spend (he’s our second ranked hitter in this slate). We’re more likely to save some funds at the position with Jake Lamb (ARI). He’ll be locked into a top four lineup spot at Coors Field, and will have the platoon edge vs. Chad Bettis. Lamb has been smashing the ball lately (4.70 well hit rate over his last 15 days) and he’s a plus hitter vs. RHP (.372 wOBA, .160 ISO vs. RHP in his last 200 plate appearances). Manny Machado (BAL) is a fun tournament target, taking on Phil Hughes‘ reverse splits (.356 wOBA, .226 ISO allowed to RHBs since the start of 2015). Machado’s ownership should be lower than the third basemen in Coors Field since he’ll be in a difficult environment for hitters and he’s priced appropriately everywhere, but we really like his upside in this matchup. Kris Bryant (CHC) represents another good alternative in tournaments.

OUTFIELD RANKINGS

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

3) Adam Jones (BAL)

4) Jason Heyward (CHC)

5) George Springer (HOU)

6) Miguel Sano (MIN)

7) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

8) Nomar Mazara (TEX)

9) Jose Bautista (TOR)

10) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

Despite a L/L matchup, Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon (COL) represent the top outfielders in this slate (both are ranked inside our top 10 hitters). Gonzalez’s price is silly on DraftKings ($4,000), and while he’s certainly not as skilled vs. LHPs, we’re willing to use him in cash relative to his favorable context and good price (less of a priority on FanDuel though he’s still our preferred target if paying up at the position in cash). Adam Jones (BAL) is our third ranked outfielder and he’s just $2,300 on FanDuel, where he’s an elite cash game play. Miguel Sano (MIN) is also underpriced on FanDuel ($2,900) and Brandon Drury (ARI) has a below $4,000 price tag on DraftKings (won’t have platoon edge but should see a top five lineup spot). If you need to save more resources at the position, Preston Tucker (HOU) hit fifth last night for the Astros and he’s near the minimum price around the industry. Teammate Colby Rasmus (HOU) has a slightly higher price tag on DraftKings, and we’re more comfortable targeting Rasmus on that site. Nomar Mazara (TEX) is a good industry wide value play (Mat Latos is finally coming back down to earth and Globe Life Park in Arlington is a good environment for hitters, especially during the day). Jose Bautista (TOR) has an awesome price tag on DraftKings ($3,300) but that’s taking into account a difficult matchup as well as a brutal park shift. He can be used in tournaments as a stack filler, but we prefer using someone like Mazara or Jones in cash on that site. We’re willing to use Ryan Raburn (COL) in cash if he’s able to crack a top six lineup spot.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Arizona Diamondbacks

2) Colorado Rockies

The Diamondbacks and Rockies have the highest implied run totals in this slate (over five runs), and they’ll be hitting in the best environment in all of baseball (Coors Field). They represent our priorities on the hitting side of our rosters, and we’re left with the Rangers, Cubs and Orioles to round out the rest of our lineups.

Tier Two

3) Texas Rangers

4) Chicago Cubs (love for tournaments)

Tournaments

1) Baltimore Orioles (love the upside vs. Phil Hughes in tournaments; Hughes has reverse splits and he’ll take on a righty-heavy Orioles lineup; while the focus here might be on the negative park shift that the Orioles’ offense is undergoing, we’d like to shift those thoughts and try to think of the upside this powerful offense has against a pitcher that struggles with power)

2) Houston Astros (power upside vs. Salazar, who’s been prone to right handed power in the past but he’s been much better this season; we’d like to take a few chances with some of the Astros’ speed/power guys at the top of the lineup, but we’ll be doing so in tournaments rather than cash games)