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5/16 MLB DFS: Don’t Moss out on Brandon

5/16 MLB DFS: Don’t Moss out on Brandon
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Daily Fantasy Rundown – May 16th MLB DFS

Welcome to Saturday’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 help@dailyroto.com.

Weather: Our main concern is the east coast/Texas weather. 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.

Catcher

Top Play:

Buster Posey (SF) – (Posey ranks among our top 30 hitters and he’s facing a favorable park shift but Mike Leake keeps the ball on the ground and he’s an effective pitcher for the most part against RHBs; he can be utilized in cash games but the gap in value at the catcher position isn’t substantial.

Value Plays:

Evan Gattis and Jason Castro (HOU) – Castro (top 40 hitter) ranks a bit better than Gattis (top 70 hitter) in our model but that’s not taking into account lineup position, which gives Gattis a boost (cleanup hitter for the Astros). They both have an awesome matchup against a home run prone pitcher (Marco Estrada has allowed a 1.40 HR/9 to RHBs since 2012) and their best hitting tool is power. Gattis has accumulated a massive .223 ISO against RHP in the last few seasons while Castro has posted a healthy .187 ISO. Ultimately, I’m letting price points guide me. Gattis is a phenomenal value on DraftKings, where both he and Castro are priced similarly. On FanDuel, Castro (has been moved up in the lineup to fifth, used to hit eight) is the obvious value since his price point is close to the bare minimum. Gattis and Castro represent the best cash game values at the catcher position this evening.Additional catcher notes: Carlos Santana (CLE) has catcher eligibility on DraftKings and he’s the best option at the catcher position on that site (ranked among our top ten hitters tonight). Don’t feel forced to fit him in your cash games (Evan Gattis and Jason Castro are nice cost effective values) but be aware that he’s the top catching option on any site that has given him catcher eligibility. Salvador Perez (KC) is our only other catcher option that ranks inside the top 100 hitters tonight and he hits LHP well. The hitting environment is poor and he lags well behind our top options at the position but he can be considered for tournaments if you want to be a bit contrarian.

First Base

Top Plays:

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) and Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) rank well in our model (Goldschmidt is our top overall hitter; Encarnacion is our 12th ranked hitter). Their price tags are too high to consider them cash game values and there are simply better cost-effective values at the position. I consider them both as high-upside tournament options.

Value Plays:

Joey Votto (CIN) – I’m struggling to understand why Votto has such an accessible price tag around the industry (particularly FanDuel). He has a premier matchup against Ryan Vogelsong (has given up a .337 wOBA, 25 percent LD rate and 1.16 HR/9 to LHBs since 2012) at Great American Ball Park (inflates left-handed power by approximately 12 percent above the league average). Votto is one of my favorite hitters in all of baseball, particularly because of his ability to accrue positive Fantasy points. Since 2012, Votto has posted a .417 wOBA, .196 ISO and he walks more (20 percent BB rate) than he strikes out (17 percent K rate) against RHP. He can also run a little (around 12-15 SB ceiling over a full season, has accumulated five SBs so far this season) so his all around contributions as a hitter makes him an elite DFS option. Votto is a great value around the industry and I would consider him in all formats tonight.

Carlos Santana (CLE) – Despite not being the type of hitter that Joey Votto is (or Chris Davis), Santana is our sixth ranked hitter tonight and the matchup/ballpark are big reasons why he ranks so well. Since 2012, Colby Lewis has “only” allowed a .352 wOBA, 45 percent FB rate and 1.17 HR/9 to LHBs. Some might look at his ERA this season (2.40) and come to the conclusion that he’s actually improving but is this true? Let’s take a closer look. Despite posting a good ERA, his FIP, xFIP and SIERA are close to two runs higher than his ERA. When you look a bit closer this makes sense. Lewis is actually yielding a higher amount of fly balls this season (49 percent) but he’s been very lucky (4.8 HR/FB rate, league average usually hovers around 10-12 percent and .260 BABIP, league average is .294 this season). The Indians represent a focal point of our analysis today (top ranked offense) and Santana has a secure lineup spot (usually second or third). Since 2012, Santana has posted a .347 wOBA, .187 ISO and 0.86 EYE. Santana is in play in all formats this evening.

Chris Davis (BAL) – I’m not sure if Matt Shoemaker is hiding an injury or if there’s something mechanically wrong, but there’s definitely something that’s not right here. Shoemaker has seen his fastball velocity dip two MPH (from 90 MPH to 88) so it makes sense why he’s allowing an elevated amount of hard contact (25 percent LD rate, 50 percent FB rate and 2.87 HR/9 despite posting close to a league average BABIP). Enter Chris Davis, who has accumulated a .379 wOBA and .282 ISO against RHP since 2012. He’s always a threat for multiple strikeouts in a game (career 31 percent K rate, 39 percent K rate this season) but a pitcher that’s yielding so much hard contact coupled with an elite hitting environment (Camden Yards inflates left-handed power by 14 percent above the league average) pushes Davis into our top 10 hitters (was ranked among our top 20 hitters but he receives a boost due to Matt Shoemaker not being “right”). He’s a phenomenal value on sites where he has third base eligibility (DraftKings).

Brandon Belt (SF) – Belt had a premier matchup against Jason Marquis last night and he delivered (hit a three-run homerun and a double). He draws another favorable matchup tonight against Mike Leake. Since 2012, Leake has allowed a .333 wOBA, 23 percent LD rate and 1.11 HR/9 to LHBs. Belt and the whole Giants offense will experience a huge park shift in their favor (AT&T Park park is the worst environment for left-handed power and Great American Ball Park inflates left-handed power by approximately 12 percent above the league average) and his price tag around the industry is basically saying that a batted ball at AT&T Park is the same as a batted ball at Great American Ball Park (this is not true representation of his real value in this hitting environment). Belt has posted a .369 wOBA and .176 ISO against RHP in the last few seasons and despite his power not being that great for a first baseman, we must take into account that he plays the majority of his games in a ball park that is a detriment for any type of power. Belt is ranked among our top 25 hitters and his price point around the industry (particularly on FanDuel) is a nice entry point to a Giants offense with a healthy four team total.

Additional first base notes: Albert Pujols (LAA) and Lucas Duda (NYM) are ranked inside our top 15 hitters tonight. I view the above options as better overall values, especially when you take into account the hitting environments (Duda is playing at Citi Field, which is a pitcher’s park) and overall expected success from their respective offenses. Pujols is experiencing a positive park shift and even though he will have a R/R matchup, something is wrong with Bud Norris. Norris is allowing a 26 percent LD rate, 1.32 HR/9 and his strikeout rate has dropped substantially (13.5 percent K rate this season compared to 21 percent in his career). Pujols is in a better situation than Duda so I’m giving him the nod as the better raw value. Both are fine value alternatives to the written options above. Chris Carter (HOU) is in a prime position to take advantage of his power upside against Marco Estrada (good bet to allow at least a homerun) but his lineup position (usually sixth) and his inability to put the ball in play more often (34 percent K rate) shifts him towards tournament consideration.

Second Base:

Top Play:

Jason Kipnis (CLE) – Jose Altuve is the top play at second base on most days but Kipnis will take that moniker away from him for tonight. Kipnis is a solid hitter against RHP (.346 wOBA and .148 ISO since 2012) but this season he’s taken his skills to another level. Kipnis has cut down his K rate (11 percent K rate this season compared to 18 percent for his career, he’s not pulling the ball as much (33 percent Pull rate this season, 38 percent for his career and that’s a sign of trading off some power for higher average) and as a result, he’s hitting line drives everywhere (29 percent LD rate). He continues to run (around 25-30 SB upside over a full season), which adds even more value to his already rising DFS stock. Kipnis has an excellent matchup against Colby Lewis (mentioned earlier that he struggles a ton against LHBs and he’s headed for some major regression this season) in a premier hitting destination (Globe Life Park in Arlington inflates left-handed power by approximately nine percent above the league average). Despite being priced fully around the industry, second base is a scarce position (unlike first base and outfield) so I don’t mind paying full price points for Kipnis in all formats tonight (ranked among our top 10 hitters).

Next in line:

Jose Altuve (HOU) – (awesome matchup against Marco Estrada and his stolen base upside always adds more DFS value; he lags behind Jason Kipnis in our model but still ranks inside our top 25 hitters and he’s priced affordably on DraftKings).

Value Play:

Justin Turner (LAD) – The Dodgers lineup is fluid but we remain hopeful that Turner will lock in a lineup spot anywhere from 1 to 5. Turner will carry the platoon edge against Jorge De La Rosa (has allowed a .348 wOBA and 1.10 HR/9 to RHBs since 2012). Turner is actually a better hitter when he doesn’t have the platoon advantage (.374 wOBA against RHP, .334 wOBA against LHP in the last few seasons) but a good lineup spot in the best offense in MLB (Dodgers are ranked first in wOBA and wRC+ by a wide margin) overcomes his hitting skills. He’s the best value alternative available after Jason Kipnis and Jose Altuve.

Additional second base notes: Luis Valbuena (HOU) and Alex Guerrero (LAD) have second base eligibility on DraftKings and they’re nice values on that site. Valbuena draws a matchup against the homerun prone Marco Estrada, has nice power skills against RHP and benefits from a nice lineup spot (second). Guerrero usually hits fifth or sixth (we prefer fifth) and he’s been a good hitter in a small sample (.357/.393/.786 triple slash line in 61 PAs this season). His discounted price tag on DraftKings makes him a nice entry point to an offense that has a team total pushing 4.5 runs this evening.

Shortstop

Additional shortstop notes: The shortstop position should only be utilized as a salary relief position tonight and leading the charge is Erick Aybar (LAA). Aybar fits the shortstop we’re looking for (salary relief) as he benefits from a nice lineup spot (bumped to fourth tonight) in an offense that has a team total of 4.5 runs tonight. Jimmy Rollins (LAD) is a next in line option to Aybar. He has a fine matchup against Jorge De La Rosa (susceptible to LHBs) but his ability to yield ground balls is a downgrade for Rollins (he would be hitting ground balls to Nolan Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki). The Dodgers offense will settle in with a team total approaching 4.5 runs and Rollins will hit second (good for his value). Marcus Semien (OAK) is actually our top ranked shortstop but the price point is an issue. Semien is overpriced around the industry so he’s more of a tournament option against John Danks (struggles against RHBs).

Third Base

The Play:

Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE) – Chisenhall is our only recommendation at third base and there are plenty of factors as to why this is the case tonight. While Todd Frazier and Josh Donaldson are ranked inside our top 40 hitters, Chisenhall is ranked just outside of our top ten hitters (11th), which creates a pretty wide separation at third base. Chisenhall isn’t even a great hitter (.329 wOBA, .177 ISO against RHP since 2012) but he has solid power skills and the contextual factors couldn’t get any better. He will draw a matchup against Colby Lewis and as we mentioned earlier, he’s headed for regression. Despite posting a 2.40 ERA, all the ERA predictors are calling for massive regression (two runs) and he’s been susceptible to LHBs (allowed a .352 wOBA, 45 percent FB rate and 1.17 HR/9 to LHBs in the last few seasons). In a premier hitting park (Globe Life Park in Arlington inflates left-handed power by nine percent) with a good lineup spot (fifth), Chisenhall is an extreme bargain around the industry (on FanDuel he’s close to the bare minimum) and rates as a top 15 hitter in our model. Chisenhall is the second best raw value out of any position on this slate (Brandon Moss is first and Brandon Belt is third) and despite a pretty big slate (11 games), he will be a foundational piece of my cash games (not a deep position tonight from a value perspective).

Additional third base notes: As I mentioned on Chisenhall’s blurb, Todd Frazier (CIN) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) are ranked among our top 40 hitters this evening. Frazier is always in play at Great American Ball Park (excellent hitting environment) but he has a R/R matchup today and despite Vogelsong being bad against LHBs, he’s held RHBs to a modest .317 wOBA. Frazier is a fine target for tournaments. Donaldson draws a matchup against the improved Scott Feldman (has regained some fastball velocity and he’s yielding a 52 percent GB rate, highest of his career) but he doesn’t strike many batters out (13 percent K rate). Donaldson can be pursued in tournaments but he’s more of a secondary value (lags behind Frazier and Chisenhall in our model). Luis Valbuena (HOU), Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero (LAD) have third base eligibility on DraftKings (Valbuena is only third base eligible on FanDuel) and they’re nice values on that site regardless of the position (should have strong lineup spots on teams that have run totals approaching 4.5 runs).

Outfield

Top Play:

Mike Torut (LAA) – Update: Bud Norris is out and Ubaldo Jimenez is now the starting pitcher for the Angels. We had created our content with Norris in mind and Jimenez is a downgrade in matchup for the Angels (pitching well this season and he’s yielding ground balls at an elite rate, which limits the Angels’ upside). Trout is our third ranked hitter due to his elite skill set but he’s a tournament option now (not a cash game value, I’m expecting the Angels total to come down at least one half of a run).

Jose Bautista (TOR) – Like Trout, I view Bautista as a better tournament play due to his matchup. Feldman doesn’t strike many hitters out but he does keep the ball on the ground and he’s made some improvements as a pitcher (regained some fastball velocity as well). Bautista has a nice price point on DraftKings where he’s a secondary value. We’re not concerned about his skill set (he’s an elite hitter against both RHP and LHP) but the matchup and downgrade in hitting environment (Minute Maid Park is a neutral hitting environment) shifts his value towards tournaments.

Value Plays:

Indians Outfield – Brandon Moss (second), Michael Brantley (eighth) and Nick Swisher (40th) rank very well in our model and this Indians offense represent our main targets for cash games and tournaments. Brantley is priced fairly around the industry but his contact rate is silly (K rate stands at four percent this season, which is an improvement over his 7 percent K rate in the last few seasons) and he continues to improve as a hitter (.320 in 2013, .389 in 2014 and .426 wOBA this season). He’s a good target in all formats, particularly tournaments. Moss is our second ranked hitter (only behind Paul Goldschmidt) and he represents the best raw value on this slate. His price tag is discounted around the industry when you take into account his skills against RHP and all the juicy contextual factors. Since 2012, Moss has accumulated a .366 wOBA and a monstrous .266 ISO against RHP. He draws a matchup against Colby Lewis (allows plenty of aerial opportunities) at Globe Life Park in Arlington (excellent hitting park). It’s tough to name Moss a foundational piece of cash game lineups since the outfield position is usually crowded with values but in this matchup, a double digit DFS performance isn’t out of the question. He’s a remarkable DFS option in all formats. Nick Swisher is definitely not the type of hitter that Moss and Brantley are but he’s a switch hitter (good for his DFS value) and the contextual factors surrounding this offense are excellent. Swisher is first base eligible on FanDuel and he’s minimum priced (nice salary relief option for tournaments on that site). We love the Indians left-handed heavy offense tonight.

George Springer and Justin Tucker (HOU) – Springer (ranks among our top 15 hitters) and Tucker (minimum priced on DraftKings) are good cash game options tonight. Springer has great power upside in this matchup against Marco Estrada (homerun prone). Since the start of last season, Springer has posted a .234 ISO against RHP and he can run (30-35 SB upside over a full season). Tucker is a rookie at the major league level but he posted a .287/.356/.429 triple slash line at the Triple-A level last season. His minimum price tag is very enticing on DraftKings and if you’re playing Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer, he’s close to a must play (hit sixth last night and the salary relief he creates allows you to fit the tier 1 starting pitchers, which is a viable route tonight). I view these two outfielders as good complementary pieces to the Indians offense in cash games.

Adam Jones and Alejandro De Aza (BAL) – As I mentioned earlier in the Rundown, there’s something wrong with Matt Shoemaker. He’s seen his fast velocity come down to 88 MPH (from 90 MPH) and he’s been yielding hard contact in every way (elevated LD rate and HR/FB rate). I’m not sure why this is the case but Adam Jones is discounted on most sites. He doesn’t have the platoon edge but he’s a good hitter against RHP (.349 wOBA, .206 ISO against RHP since 2012). Alejandro De Aza isn’t as good of a hitter as Jones but he will have the platoon edge against Shoemaker and he will hit second for an Orioles offense that has a team total pushing 4.5 runs. Both represent good values around the industry but I prefer Jones (will hit cleanup) if choosing between the two.

Additional outfield notes: Other outfield options that I like are ranked as follows: Scott Van Slyke (LAD) (will emerge as a great cash game value as long as he’s in the Dodgers lineup and he’s able to secure a good lineup spot; he will have the platoon edge against Jorge De La Rosa and he’s ranked among our top 15 hitters), Mark Trumbo, A.J Pollock, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte (ARI) (great matchup against Jerome Williams who’s allowing more hard contact, an elevated FB rate and has seen his fastball velocity come down to 89 MPH from 91; they’re priced appropriately around the industry, which makes them better tournament options than cash game values). Coco Crisp (OAK) (switch hitter, which is good for his DFS value and will leadoff for an Oakland offense facing John Danks; Danks is awful against RHP and LHP and Crisp is minimum priced on FanDuel, where he’s a good value alternative to the written options above), Billy Hamilton (ranked among our top 30 hitters and his speed upside is always captivating for tournaments; his price point is a bit discounted around the industry and despite being a poor hitter, the speed upside is enough to give him cash game consideration in a good matchup against Ryan Vogelsong) and Jay Bruce (CIN) (great power upside in this matchup in an elite hitting environment but he usually hits sixth, which is a detriment to his prospects as a cash game value; target his power upside in tournaments).

Starting Pitcher

Rankings (price not considered):

Tier 1

1) Max Scherzer (WSH)

2) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

3) Zack Greinke (LAD)

Tier 2

4) Danny Salazar (CLE)

Tier 3

5) Jacob deGrom (NYM)

6) Andrew Cashner (SD)

7) Jesse Chavez (OAK)

Tier 4

8) Marco Estrada (TOR)

9) Rick Porcello (BOS)

Top Plays

Max Scherzer (WSH)/Felix Hernandez (SEA) – Scherzer and Hernandez are the top ranked pitchers tonight. Despite Hernandez having a difficult matchup (Red Sox), the pitching environment is favorable (Safeco Field) and his skill set is elite (rate statistics are well above average and he has the third best SIERA in MLB). Scherzer doesn’t have as tough of a matchup and he will have the platoon advantage against at least six batters tonight (always good for a pitcher’s DFS value). Scherzer is an elite strikeout artist (28 percent K rate) and he’s cut down his walk rate significantly (three percent BB rate this season compared to his career BB rate of 7 percent). Additionally, his run prevention is phenomenal (1.99 ERA/2.74 SIERA). I’m less likely to deploy them in cash games on a site like DraftKings where they’re fully priced. On FanDuel, both are cash game values despite their high price points since they’re easier to fit. We have very strong value plays at the starting pitcher position (Greinke, Salazr and deGrom), which is why I’m not forcing Scherzer and Hernandez in cash games.

Next in line:

Zack Greinke (LAD) – Greinke is cheaper than Scherzer and Hernandez by a healthy margin tonight and despite not having the same strikeout skills, he’s a remarkable pitcher. His core statistics are above average (22 percent K rate, six percent BB rate and 47 percent BB rate this season and they’re all in line with his career marks) and his run prevention is excellent (1.52 ERA). He will take on a Rockies offense that faces a severe negative park shift (from the best hitting environment in Coors Field to a neutral environment). Despite being an above average offense, every time the Rockies are away from Coors Field, their offense is at a disadvantage. Let’s take a look at data going back to 2005. Since 2005, The Rockies have led the MLB in wOBA at home. In that same time frame, this Rockies offense has posted the MLB’s worst wOBA when playing away from Coors Field. According to Mike Leone’s research, pitchers that were -240 favorites grabbed a win 76.2 percent of the time last season. In addition, the Rockies could be without Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson tonight due to injury issues. Greinke and the Dodgers are -250 favorites this evening so on a site like FanDuel (a win represents 13.3 percent of what you need to score to be in contention in 50/50s) that’s substantial. Greinke is my favorite cash game option out of the tier 1 starting pitchers tonight due to his combination of skills, matchup, affordable price tag and a pretty high probability of securing a win.

Top Value:

Danny Salazar (CLE) – While Salazar doesn’t get a favorable pitching environment (Globe Life Park in Arlington), we need to stop thinking about him like the old pitcher he used to be and accept the ace that he’s becoming. Salazar has posted an absurd strikeout rate (37 percent K rate) he’s cut down the walks (four percent BB rate this season compared to seven percent for his career) and he’s yielding more ground balls (43 percent GB rate compared to 34 percent for his career). This has all led to an incredible 1.86 SIERA. Salazar has added a curve ball to his repertoire and he’s throwing his changeup 24 percent of the time (threw it 13 percent of the time last season). The fact that he’s throwing his changeup more is fantastic (when he gets ahead of batters with 95 MPH fastball, throwing a 86 MPH changeup with movement is almost impossible to hit) and this can be seen in his underlying peripherals. Salazar has posted a 38 percent chase rate (league average is 30 percent) and a ridiculous 16 percent SwStr (league average is 9.5 percent). He has changed as a pitcher. We need to look at him in this light and attack his depressed price tag across the industry in all formats in a favorable matchup against an offense that projects to be among the bottom 10 offenses against RHP this season.

Additional starting pitcher notes: Jacob deGrom (NYM) and Andrew Cashner (SD) are nice values but they lag behind the written options above. deGrom has some wide splits (RHBs have posted a .258 wOBA against deGrom since last season while LHBs have given him some problems, posting a .316 wOBA) but the majority of the Brewers offense is right-handed (at least six RHBs). Citi Field is an elite pitching environment, which aids his DFS value. deGrom has posted an above average K rate and BB rate this season and his underlying peripherals point towards more growth strikeout growth. He’s a good complement to Greinke or Salazar in cash games on multiple starting pitcher sites. Cashner has the benefit of pitching in Petco Park (elite pitcher’s park) and even though his matchup is a bit difficult from a macro perspective (Nationals are ranked eight in wOBA against RHP this season), Cashner dominates RHBs (has allowed a .274 wOBA to RHBs since 2012) and this offense is primarily right-handed (at least six RHBs). Cashner has pitched very well this season, striking out over a batter per inning and posting a six percent BB rate and limiting hard contact (17 percent LD rate). Like deGrom, he can be paired with Greinke or Salazar (if not using both) on multiple starting pitcher sites. On the lower end of the spectrum, Jesse Chavez (OAK) represents a nice value play on multiple starting pitcher sites. He’s been phenomenal this season, posting a 25 percent K rate, a league average BB rate and a 2.56 ERA/2.58 FIP. His underlying peripherals are fueling his awesome K rate (11.2 percent SwStr rate). He draws a matchup against a middle of the pack White Sox offense (ranked 13th in wOBA against RHP so far this season) in a favorable pitching environment. If you want to be contrarian, Marco Estrada (TOR) makes sense for tournaments tonight. Despite his struggles with home runs, he has a healthy above average K rate and the Astros strikeout a ton (25 percent of the time against RHP). Estrada should only be considered for multi-entry tournaments where you can capture his strikeout upside and hope he doesn’t allow too many long balls.

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 (help@dailyroto.com) if you have suggestions.

Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:

1) Cleveland Indians

2) Houston Astros

3) Baltimore Orioles

4) Los Angeles Dodgers

Our main focus on today’s Daily Fantasy Rundown was to target the Indians, Astros, Orioles and Dodgers. It’s not surprising to see these four offenses ranked as our top tournament stacks/cash game mini stacks. These four offenses will have team totals of 4.5 runs. I don’t see much value in adding more commentary outside of what I’ve already said throughout today’s analysis. I’m trying to target as many Indians (around three is fine) as I can in cash games and complement them with some Astros, Orioles and Dodgers.

Contrarian/Secondary Stacks:

1) Arizona Diamondbacks

2) Cincinnati Reds

3) San Francisco Giants

4) Oakland Athletics

5) New York Yankees

If there weren’t as many stackable offenses in cash games tonight, the Diamondbacks would’ve been a bigger focus of today’s analysis. Jerome Williams is regressing even more as a pitcher (fastball velocity is decreasing and he’s allowing a higher LD rate and FB rate) and despite the slight downgrade in hitting environment, this offense has nice power upside. I would target Ender Inciarte, A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt, David Peralta and Mark Trumbo in tournament formats.

I can see the Reds and Giants being ignored tonight. The four main offenses will be stacked in cash games and tournaments so I definitely see contrarian value in mini stacking the Reds and Giants. Both of these offenses will hit in a great hitter’s environment (Great American Ball Park) and their matchups are favorable for the most part (especially the Reds LHBs against Vogelsong and Giants LHBs against Leake).

The Athletics and Yankees will be largely ignored tonight. They’re playing in unappealing hitting environments but their matchups are excellent. John Danks is awful against both LHB and RHB so it makes sense to target Coco Crisp, Billy Butler, Marcus Semien and even some of the Athletics’ LHBs (Josh Reddick and Stephen Vogt). The Yankees draw a matchup against Danny Duffy and he joins the list of pitchers that aren’t “right.” Duffy is allowing a ridiculous amount of hard contact (29 percent LD rate this season) and struggling with command. I would target Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and even Chris Young in tournaments despite their awful park shift (from hitter friendly Yankee Stadium to Kauffman Stadium, an elite pitcher’s park).

MLB Game Weather Forecasts

Major issues tonight. High uncertainty with many games in NYC, PHI, KC, TEX. I would stress that many of these games are huge risks, especially for starting pitchers

LAA at BLT 7:05: Showers/thunderstorms around. Moderately concerned about this game. By nature, this is not a steady rain but there is the potential for locally heavy rain that could cause problems but it looks like most of the disruptive rain may stay to the north. I would guess 20% chance of a cancellation and a 40-50% chance of a delay at anytime. There is also the threat for multiple delays (10-20%). Temps in the mid 70s falling into the low 70s. Air density is a 7. Wind southwest 4-8 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.

AZ at PHL 7:05: A slightly more problematic game as compared to in the Baltimore. There will be showers and thunderstorms around with locally heavy rain. I would say a 30% chance of a cancellation, a 50-70% chance of a delay with a 20-30% chance of multiple delays. Temps in the upper 70s falling into the low 70s. Air density is an 8 becoming a 7. Wind southwest 5-10 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.

NYY at KC 7:10: Geez, not easy forecasts tonight! Showers and thunderstorms will move into the region right around or just after game time. The forecast looks right now that some severe weather with heavy rain will move in after 9 PM. I can see a situation where they rush to get this one in but if things could be bad enough they just cancel. So, let’s get some percentages in. 30% of a cancellation, a 50-60% chance of a delay or stoppage of play. Things could be very nasty late in the game. Temps in the low to mid 70s. Air density is a 7. Wind is southeast 10-20 mph which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.

SF at CIN 7:10: I do not see this game as a big problem. Showers and thunderstorms should lift northeast during the day and game time should be dry. I can see a situation where the rain is a little slower to exit the region than forecast so let’s say a 20% chance of a delay to begin the game, <10% chance of a cancellation. Temps near 70 falling into the mid 60s. Air density is a 7 (very humid). Winds south 5-10 mph which blows in from center. The wind is a 4.

TOR at HOU 7:10: Retractable roof. Dry. Temps in the low 80s falling into the upper 70s so I will assume the roof will be open. Air density is an 8. Wind south-southeast 8-16 mph which blows out to left. The wind is a 6.

MIL at NYM 7:10: Showers and thunderstorms. This game is slightly worse to the game in PHL. There is a threat for a cancellation (30% chance of that) and a real chance for delays (60-70%) and there is also the threat for multiple delays (30%). Temps in the low to mid 70s. Air density is a 7 or 8. Wind southwest 5-10 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.

CLE at TEX 8:05: Another iffy game. It should be OK to start but it could be rather nasty late in the game (after 10-11 PM) with heavy thunderstorms and gusty winds. So, this looks like a situation where they start the game but may not finish it. <10% of a cancellation but a 30-40% chance of a delay or stoppage of play after the 5th inning. Temps in the low to mid 70s. Air density is a 7 or 8. Wind south 10-20 mph with gusts to 25 mph which blows in from right. The wind is a 2 or 3.

WSH at SD 8:40: Dry. Temps in the low 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind west 5-10 mph becoming nearly calm which blows from right to left. The wind is a 5.

CHW at OAK 9:05: Dry. Temps in the low 60s falling into the upper 50s. Air density is a 5. Wind west-southwest at 10-20 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 7.

BOS at SEA 9:10: Retractable roof. A few showers possible. Roof will likely be closed.

COL at LAD 9:10: Dry. Temps in the upper 50s. Air density is a 6. Wind southwest 6-12 mph becoming nearly calm which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.

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