SportGrid Radio SportsGrid
May 13 MLB DFS: Getting Conforto on the Weekend
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

May 13 MLB DFS: Getting Conforto on the Weekend

01:14 Starting Pitchers
12:42 Catchers
14:54 First Base
16:38 Second Base
18:31 Shortstop
20:39 Third Base
28:50 Outfield
25:04 Stacks
30:05 Cash Game Roster Construction



May 13 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Chris Sale (CHW)

Tier Two

2) Rich Hill (OAK)

Tier Three

3) Nate Karns (SEA)

4) Michael Wacha (STL)

5) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

6) Jeff Samardzija (SF)

Tier Four

7) Junior Guerra (MIL)

8) Jeremy Hellickson (PHI)

9) Jake Odorizzi (TB)

10) Justin Verlander (DET)

11) Steven Wright (BOS)

Chris Sale (CHW) is a very clear number one on this slate. He’ll face a watered down Yankees’ lineup that is far more potent against RHP than LHP, especially in their home park. Without Alex Rodriguez and neutralizing all the lefties (.224 wOBA, .023 ISO, and 32.3 K Rate against LHBs since 2013) leaves Sale with an implied run total of just 3.2 runs. The park shift is actually slightly positive for Sale when you factor in an opponent likely loading up on RHBs. Sale’s strikeout rate is down slightly this season as he’s throwing more fastballs and fewer change-ups. It may be a deliberate choice to work deeper into games, but the strikeout potential still exists. After Chris Sale, Rich Hill (OAK) possesses the next highest upside on the slate. Hill’s profile is still difficult to decipher a baseline on. In his seven starts he’s topped a 30 percent K Rate in three of them and been below 22 percent in three others. He’s faced an incredibly difficult schedule (@BAL, HOU, @DET, @NYY, KC, @SEA, CHW) which along with a lack of recent history starting is why it’s tough to pin down the baseline. This is another tough matchup. The Rays rank fifth in wRC+ against LHP but also check in with the seventh highest K Rate against lefties. Vegas has made Hill a slight underdog with a total of 7.5 but there is enough juice on the under we could see it shift to seven. The implied run total on Hill is somewhere between 3.5 and 3.8 runs, so definitely more run prevention risk than Sale, but at a much cheaper price tag. On FanDuel, he’s a cash game alternative to Sale if you want to spend heavily on offense. On DraftKings, he’s sort of in limbo between Sale’s solid foundation but expensive price tag and Junior Guerra‘s (MIL) exceptionally cheap price tag.

Nate Karns (SEA) is our third ranked SP and facing a watered down Angels’ offense, but one that often makes a lot of contact. Karns has big strikeout potential but doesn’t often work deep into games, so it’s an interesting matchup for his skills. The Angels’ have an implied run total of just 3.4 runs and Karns is a nice favorite (-154) making him an intriguing alternative in cash games on both sites.

Junior Guerra (MIL) deserves his own space because of the incredibly cheap price tag on DraftKings ($4,700) and a matchup against the Padres right hand heavy and putrid offense. Guerra has been a journeyman reliever throughout his career which includes stops in the Mexican League as well as with the Mets, Braves, White Sox, and now Brewers. He’s been starting this year and in AAA he showed a good strikeout rate (24.5 percent). In his two big league starts he’s allowed four earned runs in each outing but shown a good swinging strike rate (11.5 percent) and the Padres rank 29th in wRC+ against RHP with the third highest K Rate (26 percent). For $4,700, you’re getting ample salary relief to be able to start Sale and load up on expensive bats. The floor is shaky, but the price tag mitigates some of the risk on a slate with mostly shaky alternatives.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

3) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

The catcher position is really top heavy on Friday night. Buster Posey (SF), Jonathan Lucroy (MIL), and Victor Martinez (DET) are near equivalents. Posey gets the biggest park shift and faces a broken Shelby Miller. Victor Martinez faces an average RHP in a great hitting environment and reports are Jonathan Lucroy will face Christian Friedrich a LHP at home. Our lean is slightly towards Posey and Martinez over Lucroy but conditions (whether the roof is open in Milwaukee/Arizona, etc) could shift those rankings. If you’re not paying for these options in cash games, you’ll likely just want to emphasize salary relief in a good lineup spot. This is largely a position we’ll have to cover via alerts.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

3) Chris Davis (BAL)

4) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

5) Lucas Duda (NYM)

6) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

7) Joey Votto (CIN)

David Ortiz (BOS) is the top first base option and the top overall hitter in our model which speaks to his dominance against RHP on a slate with Coors Field in play. It also speaks to Coors Field getting slightly deflated due to the quality of arms (Harvey and Gray) throwing in Coors. Though Ortiz is our top option, he’s a difficult spend on DraftKings where all the alternatives are meaningfully cheaper. If you want Ortiz it’s more reasonable on FanDuel but against the solid alternatives are available at cheaper tags. Our cash game focus is largely on the trio of Edwin Encarnacion (TOR), Lucas Duda (NYM), and Miguel Cabrera (DET). Encarnacion has the platoon advantage against a weak LHP but one who generally keeps the ball on the ground. The Blue Jays implied run total is in the ballpark of the Coors Field game so getting exposure there isn’t a bad idea. Miguel Cabera’s (DET) facing a reverse splits/fly ball oriented righty in a huge park shift in his favor. With his price depressed below the other two options, you could make the case he’s the best value of the bunch. Lucas Duda (NYM) is dominant against RHP (.374 wOBA, 243 ISO since 2013) and while Jon Gray has elite stuff he has been vulnerable to hard contact (35.7 hard hit rate vs. LHBs this season).

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Rougned Odor (TEX)

3) Neil Walker (NYM)

4) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

5) Joe Panik (SF)

6) Ian Kinsler (DET)

Jose Altuve (HOU) is atop our second base rankings but it’s difficult to justify his hefty price tag in cash. Instead, we’re turning our attention to Neil Walker (NYM) whose price tag is elevated but affordable or Joe Panik (SF) where there is a bigger price gap. Walker hits sixth which always drags his value down but as a road team in Coors Field he’s more assured of that fourth plate appearance. He’s dominant against RHP (.354 wOBA, .198 ISO since 2013) and gets the huge park shift in Coors. Panik also gets a big park shift and gets to face Shelby Miller who has really struggled all season with mechanics, walk rate, and hard hit rate. Panik doesn’t have as much power upside but on sites there is a big pricing gap, he’s a fine alternative as a way to save some resources.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

3) Trevor Story (COL)

4) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

5) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

Carlos Correa (HOU) is our top shortstop option against knuckle-baller Steven Wright. Correa rates as a solid value in our models with the price tag down, but it’s difficult to evaluate the baseline on Wright as he’s so wildly out-performed expectations early in the season. If you need to save some additional cap room and aren’t confident in Wright’s baselines, Francisco Lindor (CLE) is a viable alternative. The Indians have a sneaky implied run total above 4.5 runs and Lindor always gets a good lineup spot plus the platoon advantage against Ricky Nolasco (.349 wOBA, .173 ISO against LHBs since 2013) and a putrid Twins bullpen behind him. Both middle infield positions are largely priced appropriately with few clear cut “values”, so punt plays may emerge in lineup alerts that help settle things.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) David Wright (NYM)

4) Maikel Franco (PHI)

5) Nolan Arenado (COL)

6) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

Josh Donaldson (TOR) is our top option at third base and a Top Five overall hitter in our model. He’s incredibly dominant against LHP (.442 wOBA, .333 ISO since 2013) and hitting second on the road gives him a great shot at five plate appearances. There are a few really strong value options at third base, which makes spending on Donaldson a bit less of a necessity, but if you’re going up at the position we prefer his price tag over other Coors Field options. The two primary value alternatives on the slate are Maikel Franco (PHI) and Jake Lamb (ARZ) who will both have the platoon advantage in hitter friendly environments. Franco has the more compelling price tag on FanDuel ($2,700) while Lamb is far more affordable on DraftKings ($3,300).

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Michael Conforto (NYM)

3) Jose Bautista (TOR)

4) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

5) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

6) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

7) Mookie Betts (BOS)

8) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

9) Ryan Braun (MIL)

10) Michael Brantley (CLE)

11) J.D. Martinez (DET)

12) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

13) Billy Hamilton (CIN)

14) George Springer (HOU)

15) Domingo Santana (MIL)

16) Denard Span (SF)

17) Kevin Pillar (TOR) – if leadoff

18) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

19) Jay Bruce (CIN)

20) Adam Jones (BAL)

The top our outfield rankings are an interesting mix of elite skill, matchup, and park environment. Bryce Harper (WAS) faces a below average RHP in Tom Koehler and a below average bullpen behind him. On DraftKings, he’s priced appropriately ahead of the field, but on FanDuel he’s actually a bit less expensive than some Coors Field options and is in play if you want to spend. Michael Conforto (NYM), Jose Bautista (TOR) and Curtis Granderson (NYM) are our primary targets if spending in the outfield. If looking for values, you’ll find slightly discounted mid-tier price tags on J.D. Martinez (DET) and Michael Brantley (CLE), though Brantley’s health is in question. Billy Hamilton (CIN) and Domingo Santana (MIL) remain strong values on both sites with Santana one of our favorite values now that a LHP has been announced as the starter. Adam Jones (BAL) remains very cheap on FanDuel and a strong value play.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) New York Mets

2) Toronto Blue Jays

3) San Francisco Giants

Tier Two

4) Texas Rangers

5) Colorado Rockies

6) Washington Nationals

7) Baltimore Orioles

8) Seattle Mariners

Interestingly enough, the Rockies don’t land in our first tier of stacks. The Mets, Jays, and Giants land in that tier as all three are in great offensive environments on the road against starters who have historically not worked deep into games. The Rockies fall below the top tier due to facing Matt Harvey and some respect for the matchup as well as all the strong options on this slate. The Rangers are even ahead of them at home against R.A. Dickey as their offense matches up really well with poor RHP.

Tournament Stacks

– San Francisco Giants – The Giants are our favorite tournament stack with a huge park shift, a great matchup with Shelby Miller, and price tags that will get overshadowed in cash games forcing ownership down a bit.

– Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles are an interesting tournament stack because Justin Verlander has been very fly ball oriented (47 percent FB Rate) and the Orioles carry so much power in their lineup. Additionally, the Tigers carry one of the weakest bullpens in all of baseball.

MLB Daily Analysis

We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 


We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 

We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 


We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution.