Daily Fantasy Rundown – May 19th MLB DFS Picks and Analysis
Welcome to Tuesday’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: The main concern tonight is the PHI-COL game. We think it gets in but will monitor this one closely (concern is field getting wet from rain early in the day but it should be gone by the time they play). 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.
Rockies Catchers – Even against a RHP, we likely see Wilin Rosario somewhere in the top six lineup spots for the Rockies given that Justin Morneau is out. Sure, we love using Rosario against LHP where he’s elite but at his current price point there’s nothing wrong with using him in a same handed home matchup. The wOBA against RHP is bad (.307) but there’s still some power there (.165 ISO, 34 HRs in 963 PAs). Let’s not fool ourselves, though. This is mostly about the unparalleled offensive environment in Coors Field. Aaron Harang has pitched well this season but he’s also been very lucky (4.21 xFIP compared to 2.03 ERA) and he could find himself in a lot of trouble in Coors Field (just a 32.3 percent GB rate). Rosario is no longer catcher eligible on FanDuel, but he’s got a more than fair price on DraftKings. Teammate Nick Hundley has been hitting sixth. If he remains in that spot, he’d be a fine cheaper play across the industry. There’s not a lot of opportunity cost at the catcher position today, making it an easy spot to get Coors Field exposure in cash games.
Russell Martin (TOR) – If stepping outside of Coors Field at the catcher position, Martin is a logical choice, especially on FanDuel where walks are scored at a bit of a higher rate than on other sites. The Rogers Centre is pretty friendly for RHBs and opposing LHP Hector Santiago should have a really tough time with this Jays lineup. Santiago has allowed a .328 wOBA and 1.37 HR/9 to RHBs since 2012. Martin will likely hit fourth or fifth for the Jays, giving him one of the best lineup spots of any of the viable catcher candidates.
Additional catcher notes: Carlos Ruiz (PHI) is cash game playable due to environment but he likely hits eighth. Yadier Molina (STL) should hit sixth and has the platoon edge on Jon Niese. It’s an expected low scoring game and not a ton of upside, but if wanting to punt the position, he’s your guy. With DraftKings pricing based according to matchup, Evan Gattis (HOU) is a phenomenal tournament option. For $3,500 you get double dong upside and despite how well Gray has pitched, that’s just a cheap price and the Oakland bullpen has been bad.
Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) – As mentioned above, Hector Santiago, despite pitching well, is likely in for some trouble today. If we dig deeper too the 2.41 ERA is a mirage as his FIP sits at 3.98 and xFIP 4.51. His weaknesses (high BB rate, high FB rate) probably get exposed today. Meanwhile, Encarnacion has an elite 154 wRC+ and .270 ISO against LHP since 2012 and has plenty of power against same handed pitching, leaving him with sufficient upside even after the game reaches the bullpen.
David Ortiz (BOS) – Ortiz sticks out as one of the best per dollar values at the position, particularly on FanDuel where he sits at just $2,900. Ortiz has absolutely murdered RHP since 2012 (160 wRC+, .277 ISO) and is only showing small signs of decline despite his age (39). He’s still elevating the ball (35.6 GB rate right in line with career mark) and his plate discipline numbers are also right in line with career marks, meaning there has been no philosophical shift at the plate. Ortiz will face Yovani Gallardo who has shown signs of decline. Gallardo’s K rate has dropped for six consecutive seasons and he now currently has a career worst 4.13 xFIP. He’s not a bad pitcher but there’s nothing here to convince us that Ortiz isn’t a great value with the platoon edge at home for a discounted tag. Our model has him as a top 10 overall hitter on the day
Ryan Howard (PHI) – While Howard has been on the downswing for several years I was surprised to see so many positive things in his hitter profile. He’s been more aggressive at the plate, posting a career high 53.6 swing percentage. The result has been fewer walks but also fewer Ks. The approach has also had a positive impact on his power. He’s elevating the ball as his GB rate dropped from around 40 percent five years running to 32.6 percent this year, leading to increases in both LD and FB rates. Sure, I’m skeptical if these changes will last but for right now you’re getting a player whose baseline is probably higher than where we set it at the beginning of the season. And, of course, the matchup is elite. Howard is in Coors Field and gets to face a subpar RHP in Chad Bettis (ZiPS projected 5.02 ERA, .380 wOBA allowed to 187 LHBs faced). He’s a top 20 overall hitter but the price on most sites does not reflect this.
Additional first base notes: Joey Votto (CIN) is a solid value on FanDuel where his on base ways are rewarded more favorably. He’ll have the platoon edge against Yordano Ventura who is struggling with reduced velocity. Albert Pujols (LAA) is a secondary value across the industry. He lacks the platoon edge but gets a positive park shift and opposing pitcher Aaron Sanchez is very volatile and prone to having a blow up start any time out. Similarly Chris Davis (BAL) has plenty of upside. Taijuan Walker is better than Sanchez overall but also prone to blowups due to wildness and hard hit contact allowed. Davis has the platoon edge and is at home; target him especially where he has third base eligibility. Tournament options include Jose Abreu (CHW) (I like Trevor Bauer but low price for a home game), Freddie Freeman (ATL), Mike Napoli (BOS) and Pedro Alvarez (PIT).
Robinson Cano (SEA) – Opposing pitcher Miguel Gonzalez has a 4.45 xFIP against LHBs since 2012 and has a very low 35.4 GB rate against them. That’s good news as we like to avoid Cano against heavy GB pitchers since he’s a heavy GB hitter. With that out of the way we can focus on the huge park shift he gets moving from Safeco to Baltimore and a ZiPS projected .379 wOBA against RHP. Cano is affordable across the industry and the Mariners have a solid team total of four.
Chase Utley (PHI) – Utley provides you with Coors Field exposure for a reasonable cost and at a scarce position. It’s disappointing he hits sixth (tips the scales in favors of Cano at same price), but with the team having a run total approaching five and being on the road the lineup spot isn’t a huge deterrent. Focus here mostly on the run scoring environment and the platoon edge Utley holds on a bad pitcher (Bettis) but also be aware that the overall skills are in decline.
Additional second base notes: If Devon Travis (TOR) is back in the lineup (dealing with a shoulder injury), he becomes a great secondary value across the industry and potential primary value on DraftKings. There he’s a big discount to Cano/Utley and a leadoff spot for an expected high scoring Blue Jays offense gives him plenty of upside. Neil Walker (PIT) is a solid cash game option across the industry as he’s hitting from his strong side against subpar RHP Ricky Nolasco. DJ LeMahieu (COL) is viable simply due to offensive environment. Two tournament options are Dustin Pedroia (BOS) (home, very high team total) and Dee Gordon (MIA) (elite stolen base upside, Hellickson has the worst wOBA allowed to LHBs of any SP in action today who has faced at least 200 batters).
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) – Yes, Tulowitzki has been dreadful this season. I have absolutely no explanation for a .07 EYE when his career mark is .62 and last season it was .88. That certainly gives me some pause. The good news is the batted ball data (both in terms of LD/GB/FB distribution and hard hit percentage) is in line with last season. Ultimately, with his price dropping so much recently and a home matchup against a fly ball oriented pitcher in Aaron Harang, he should be in your cash game lineups. At a very scarce position (both in terms of upside but per dollar value as well) I’m willing to take on the performance risk. It’s not especially difficult to fit in Tulowitzki on either FanDuel or DraftKings.
Additional shortstop notes: My lack of faith in other shortstop options strongly contributes on my stance to simply play Tulowitzki in cash games. Other options are Ian Desmond (WAS) (poor environment and no platoon edge but good lineup spot with Werth out and HR/SB upside), Erick Aybar (LAA) (awful but good park, good matchup and good lineup spot) and Freddy Galvis (PHI) (good lineup spot and great offensive environment, just wish he was a touch cheaper). The red hot Brad Miller (SEA) absolutely deserves mention here as well. Outside of Tulowitzki, Miller has the greatest HR upside of any shortstop in action.
Nolan Arenado (COL) – There’s nothing new about how I feel about Arenado: he’s a young stud with developing power whose loft and low K rate at a young age provide plenty of upside. He’ll be in a great lineup spot with the lack of platoon edge just about the only contextual factor not working in his favor. Due to pricing, I’m more prone to use Arenado in tournaments than cash game lineup but he can certainly be deployed everywhere if you have the cap room.
Josh Donaldson (TOR) – Donaldson is the third baseman I’m more likely to use in cash games since he offers similar upside (perhaps more) than Arenado but at a lower price tag. He ranks just outside our 10 overall hitters on the day. Donaldson is a lefty masher having put up a 173 wRC+ against LHP since 2012, which easily trumps Encarnacion and Bautista’s mark. That comes with plenty of power as he has a .295 ISO and 31 HRs in 503 PAs. That’s particularly impressive when you consider most of those PAs were compiled in a big park in Oakland. Now, Donaldson is in Toronto, which enhances right-handed power tremendously.
Adrian Beltre (TEX) – The third base position is flooded with upside and value today. Beltre has the platoon edge and Fenway Park is so kind to RHBs that he really doesn’t lose much in the way of park factor despite being on the road. While we may not see the power Beltre had from 2011-2013, even with a .170s expected ISO he’s a great Fantasy asset considering his batted ball data and incredibly low K rate lends itself to a .300 hitter. Beltre will have the platoon edge against Wade Miley. Not only does Beltre rate well in our model (just outside the top 20 overall hitters), but Wade Miley‘s current peripherals suggest there may be more upside her than our model is currently capturing. Miley’s peripherals are out of whack across the board as his K rate and GB rate have both dropped substantially while the BB rate has risen.
Maikel Franco (PHI) – The Phillies rookie third baseman has plenty of upside as ZiPS and Steamer projection systems call for a .190 and .170 ISO respectively with both projecting 25 HR pace over a 162 game season. He’s been hitting fifth and there’s not much more we can add that we haven’t already touched on in regard to the benefits of facing Chad Bettis in Coors Field. Target him where the price is still low (like on FanDuel), but on DraftKings where he’s more expensive than Donaldson, he makes for a better tournament option.
Kyle Seager (SEA) – As we talked about the other day, Seager’s slow start has to do with random variance and not any issues with his skills. If anything a reduction in his K rate from 18 to 10.1 percent indicates he may be more valuable over the course of this season than any season prior. Seager’s batted ball distribution is more or less in line with his career marks. Target him at a reduced cost in a situation like today where he’s receiving a positive park shift and facing a subpar RHP in Miguel Gonalez.
Additional third base notes: Chris Davis (BAL) is a preferred value on DraftKings where he has third base eligibility. Pablo Sandoval (BOS) is a secondary value. Danny Valencia (TOR), depending on lineup spot, could emerge as a great source of salary cap relief on stricter pricing sites. He has good platoon splits and hit fifth versus a LHP yesterday.
Mike Trout (LAA) – Trout is our top ranked hitter on the day. In fact, he is almost every day, that’s just how good he is. Today he’s in a particularly good spot though as opposing pitcher Aaron Sanchez is really struggling with his command (6.87 BB/9). In a strong offensive environment, Sanchez’s wildness gives the Angels offense a lot of upside and of course Trout and his career .403 wOBA, .245 ISO and stolen base upside are in the best position to take advantage. I’d rather pay up for Tulowitzki at shortstop in cash games (due to position scarcity), which makes it tough to fit in Trout even though he’s worth his expensive tag in a vacuum. If you want exposure to the Angels offense in cash games but are unwilling to pay for Trout, Kole Calhoun is an industry wide value play. He’ll lead off for the Angels and his salary has dipped on most sites. He’s smoking the ball right now (32.7 LD rate) and all of the extra line drives are coming at the expense of ground balls so an uptick in his ISO moving forward is expected.
Jose Bautista (TOR) – Bautista is our second ranked hitter overall and has our third highest HR score. Everything that’s good about the other Jays hitters mentioned is good for Bautista as well. He has the best combination of splits (.397 wOBA and .273 ISO against RHP since 2012) and overall skills (.402 wOBA last season overall, .381 this year) of the Blue Jays hitters. His current .87 EYE and 52.9 FB rate give him immense power upside.
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) – Of the top plays, Carlos Gonzalez is the one I’m most likely to utilize in cash games as it gives me Coors Field exposure without overpaying for it. A slow start had many, myself included, very worried about Gonzalez after last year’s down year, which was plagued by injuries. However, Gonzalez seems to have recovered from the slow start. His LD rate is a career best 23.9 percent, indicating an improvement in his .239 BABIP (career mark of .340) is likely to come. Perhaps Gonzalez’s biggest weakness is that he hits too many ground balls (46.7 GB rate, 44.9 for his career), but that is mitigated by facing a fly ball pitcher in Aaron Harang. Teammate Charlie Blackmon I always view as overpriced due to his baseline skills but he’s in such a good spot that he deserves consideration in all formats.
Ben Revere/Grady Sizemore (PHI) – No surprise here as the top of the order LHBs for the Phillies make for strong value players given their upside will never be higher than in a Coors Field game with the platoon edge on a pitcher like Chad Bettis. On FanDuel, where there is no negative for caught stealing, I’d probably pay the extra $300 for Revere over Sizemore. However, now that Grady has moved into the number three spot, he’s really tough to ignore on DraftKings as his $3,600 tag may potentially make him the cheapest Coors Field bat associated with a top five lineup spot.
Gregory Polanco (PIT) – Polanco is in the worst hitting environment of our recommended plays (PNC Park) but his overall matchup and reduced price tag make him a viable play in all formats anyways. Polanco will have the platoon edge on Ricky Nolasco who has allowed a .349 wOBA to LHBs since 2012, including a very high 23.8 LD rate. That bodes well for Polanco getting on base and if he’s able to do so, he’s certainly a stolen base threat. Polanco is already 11-13 on stolen base attempts this season and Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki ranks 114th out of 118th qualified catchers in FanGraphs rSB rating since 2012. Essentially he’s really bad at throwing runners out.
Billy Burns/Coco Crisp (OAK) – Roberto Hernandez has seen a steep drop in velocity, and he was nothing to write home prior to that as he has yielded a .357 wOBA to LHBs since 2012. With the Athletics getting a nice park shift playing in Houston, this matchup allows you to punt with either Burns or Crisp, depending on the order. Burns doesn’t have great ZiPS projections and Crisp is in the midst of an awful cold streak that we’d generally like to avoid, but the contextual factors and pricing are too favorable to completely ignore given the low price tag and stolen base upside that Burns and Crisp come with. If you’re looking for a safer bet and more upside from this lineup, Josh Reddick sticks out. You’ll have to pay for him but his peripherals are unreal so far this season. Ignore the actual Fantasy results, which are great, and focus on the fact that Reddick has walked more than he has struck out and has career bests in LD rate, IFFB rate and hard hit percentage.
Additional outfield notes: An alternative cheap play to the Oakland speedsters is Seth Smith (SEA) who may leadoff for the Mariners in Baltimore. Hanley Ramirez (BOS) is a viable secondary value and an alternative to Troy Tulowitzki on DraftKings, where he has shortstop eligibility. Teammate Mookie Betts (BOS) is a really good tournament option. He lacks the platoon edge but will lead off for a team with a high total and possesses a nice power/speed combo. Despite playing in his big home park, Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) commands our highest HR score on the night. He’s a better target for tournaments due to opportunity cost. Teammate Christian Yelich (MIA) is seeing his price reduce but the lineup spots aren’t great. Other options I am looking at in tournaments are Yoenis Cespedes (DET), Kyle Blanks (TEX) and Adam Eaton/Melky Cabrera (CHW). Potential cheap outfielders for all formats depending on lineup spot are Ryan Raburn (CLE) and Chris Colabello (TOR).
Rankings (price not considered):
1) Francisco Liriano (PIT)
2) James Shields (SD)
3) Johnny Cueto (CIN)
4) Sonny Gray (OAK)
5) Jason Hammel (CHC)
6) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)
7) Anibal Sanchez (DET)
8) Michael Wacha (STL)
9) Jose Quintana (CHW)
10) Carlos Frias (LAD)
11) Trevor Bauer (CLE)
12) Michael Foltynewicz (ATL)
13) Jimmy Nelson (MIL)
14) Yordano Ventura (KC)
15) Tim Hudson (SF)
16) Taijuan Walker (SEA)
17) Jon Niese (NYM)
Tier One Plays:
With the top five pitchers in our model closest together, I felt it made sense to group them together and give notes on each one:
Francisco Liriano (PIT) – While the Twins aren’t a bad team against LHP (currently 10th in wRC+ with a very low K rate), we expect them to decline moving forward. At the top of the order, Dozier, Hunter and Plouffe are all threats but it’s pretty ugly after that, especially with the team losing the DH playing in a NL park. According to Vegas, the Twins have the second lowest team total on the day and Liriano is the largest favorite. He’s home in a very friendly pitcher’s park and for the fourth consecutive season boasts a K/9 greater than 9 (greater than 9.50 in three of four). Even if your top five rankings are ordered a bit differently, Liriano is cheaper than Gray and Cueto on most sites giving him a bit more value.
James Shields (SD) – A combination of high hard hit contact and high HR/FB rate introduce a little risk into Shields against a powerful Cubs team. Ultimately, though that risk is overshadowed by an immense amount of upside. Shields is at home in Petco Park and he’s missing bats left and right since moving to the NL, posting an impressive 13.8 SwStr rate that is driving an awesome 30.9 K percentage. Facing a Cubs team that is 20th in wRC+ against RHP with the second highest K percentage (25.4) gives Shields all sorts of upside. Vegas also pegs the Cubs for the lowest team total. Like with Liriano, even if you disagree with the specific spot in the order of Shields among the top four starting pitchers, his reduced price tag relative to Gray and Cueto makes him more valuable. There’s a lot of upside in trying to fit both Liriano and Shields into lineups on multi-SP sites and I’ll probably use one of the two on single-SP sites such as FanDuel.
Johnny Cueto (CIN) – Cueto is ranked third but honestly has the highest floor of any starting pitcher going today (least likely to have a disaster start), which may give him added value in cash games even if the overall expected value is lower. The reason we have Cueto third is our heavy emphasis on Ks and although you may be sick of hearing it, the Royals simply don’t strike out much (15.5 percent mark is lowest in MLB against RHP). On top of that, the Royals are third in wRC+ against RHP. Still, what makes Cueto so safe is his ability to pitch deep into games, amazing consistency (sub-3 ERA for the fifth straight season) and 25 K percentage. With the price so high, I won’t pay for Cueto’s safety, especially with him as a slight underdog but for the very risk averse I could understand the move.
Sonny Gray (OAK) – If Gray was in a better pitching environment and/or had a better umpire, he’d slide up into the number one or two spots (Liriano and Shields are in great pitching parks and Gray is in a slightly negative one). Either way, he has plenty of upside. The Astros lead MLB in K percentage against RHP (25.5) but are above average overall (11th in wRC+). Aside from the large K upside facing the Astros always provides, Gray’s peripherals are very important. Two things stick out in regards to Gray’s peripherals. First, his SwStr is a career best. It’s a tight range among the three years but a rebound in this department demonstrates why his K rate is higher than last season and settling in between 2013 and 2014. Secondly, Gray is forcing a ton of weak contact. His LD rate is down to 14.6 percent and his IFFB rate is at 11.5 percent (4.2 and 7.5 previous two seasons). His hard hit rate is laughably low at 17.1 percent. I’m not entirely sure what is driving these improvements for Gray but his slider usage is way up relative to the last two years and he’s mixed in a cutter for the first time. Gray is very expensive and his BB rate will regress a bit, leaving me favor Liriano and Shields in cash games, but he’s an awesome tournament option.
Jason Hammel (CHC) – Due to skills I’m most confident in my Hammel ranking as he belongs fifth but also note that grouping him in tier one was not a mistake. He was phenomenal in the NL last season prior to struggling after being acquired by the Athletics. With his return to the Cubs and the NL, Hammel has been great again. He’s not absurdly dominant by any stretch but his great K/BB ratio (currently 6.83, 4.52 last season with the Cubs) drives his success. Now he gets to pitch in very friendly Petco Park and take on a Padres team, that despite some high upside players, projects to be pretty bad against RHP and whiff quite a bit. Consider that they’ve lost Yonder Alonso to the DL and Wil Myers hasn’t played in a week due to a wrist injury. I don’t think I have the stones to use Hammel on one SP sites, but if his cap relief helps you on multi-SP sites, he might be the easiest way to using two tier one SPs without sacrificing too much hitting.
Value Plays/Tournament Plays:
Trevor Bauer (CLE) – Bauer’s always thought of as a high risk, high reward play. While that’s still the case to an extent (especially in dangerous US Cellular Field), it’s important to note his all-around improvements. An increased SwStr rate has led to a healthy 25.1 K percentage, something that was always anticipated given his profile. While he’s still wild, his zone percentage is currently a career best as well. Aside from the Ks, though, it’s important to note that Bauer’s LD rate is at 20.4 percent (career mark is 22.7 percent) and some of those line drives have become ground balls as his GB rate has grown a couple points from last year. This is also shown in the amount of soft hit contact Bauer is allowing as that percentage is up to 27.9 (19.6 last year, 19.9 for his career). The White Sox have been a middle of the pack offense against RHP this year.
Carlos Frias (LAD) – Frias is really cheap on DraftKings and he’s usable in cash games if you want to play a top starting pitcher and still spend a lot on hitting. There’s not a ton of upside as he won’t pitch very deep and the Giants don’t K a ton, but the floor here is better than we’d expect out of someone at this price point. The floor is high due to a combination of factors. San Francisco has the friendliest pitcher’s park in all of MLB. While their lineup doesn’t strike out much, they project to be below average overall in terms of run scoring. It’s tough to determine an MLB baseline for Frias as he’s pitched just 51 career innings at this level, making only five starts. It’s a small sample but he has been good in those innings (7.94 K/9, 3.21 xFIP). In his three starts this season Frias has compiled a 14:3 K:BB ratio in 16.1 IP with an impressive 51 percent GB rate.
Additional starting pitcher notes: Gio Gonzalez (WAS) is the guy I’d be most likely to use out of the tier 2/3 SPs. The Yankees don’t have a great lineup against LHP and will lose the DH. Anibal Sanchez (DET) and Michael Wacha (STL) are fine cash game options, but I’m finding their price points similar enough to the tier one starting pitcher options that they seem a bit unnecessary to me, at least in cash games. Rookie Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) will face a pretty dreadful Rays lineup that now loses the DH. He’s a strong tournament option on multi-SP sites. Yordano Ventura (KC) has a really friendly price on DraftKings and the Reds have a low opposing team total. Still, he’s only tournament playable for me as reduced velocity and hard hit contact percentage have me worried.
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 (email@example.com) if you have suggestions.
Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:
1) Colorado Rockies
2) Philadelphia Phillies
3) Toronto Blue Jays
4) Los Angeles Angels
5) Boston Red Sox
The Coors Field stacks are pretty obvious and well covered throughout. The Phillies stack is a bit higher risk but depending on the site there’s great value in it since their offensive players are low priced.
The Blue Jays stack is probably better than the Phillies stack from a raw total perspective. There is a ton of HR upside and overall runs scored potential but it’s going to cost you big to stack the top of this lineup, particularly if you want all of the big three (Bautista, Encarnacion, Donaldson).
The Angels is a high risk/high reward stack. They have a healthy team total, get a big uptick in park factor and face an extremely wild pitcher in Aaron Sanchez, who is prone to a disaster start at any time as a result. On the risk side, this Angels team is really scuffling and Sanchez will keep the ball on the ground. If he’s able to harness his control a bit more, we could see a lot of weak contact out of the Angels.
The Red Sox make this list as they’ve got one of our favorite value plays (David Ortiz) and are simply a very deep lineup. If you take away all the contextual factors such as park, team total and opposing pitcher skill and simply look at lineup skill versus handedness of batter, the Red Sox project as our top offense (right in line with the Blue Jays) from top to bottom.
1) Texas Rangers
2) Baltimore Orioles
3) Seattle Mariners
4) Oakland Athletics
5) Houston Astros
The Rangers may get overlooked outside of Arlington but with Wade Miley‘s peripherals completely out of whack, there’s tournament winning upside in a full stack here.
Walker’s combination of wildness (4.01 BB/9) and proneness to the long ball (1.60 HR/9) could get him in trouble in Camden Yards. I like this tournament stack because it’s boom or bust as Walker certainly has talent but also has three starts of 5-plus ERs. On the flip side, this Baltimore team has a very high K rate against RHP but also one of the highest wRC+ and Chris Davis has our second highest HR score on the day.
The Mariners get a big park shift and some slow starts out of Cano and Seager lead to value here. We’re not buying Miguel Gonzalez‘s sub-3.00 ERA as his FIP and xFIP are both over four.
I’ll always pick on someone with a velocity drop in tournaments and Houston pitcher Roberto Hernandez went from averaging 91.5 mph in 2013 to 90.3 last season to 88.8 this season. Unsurprisingly we’ve seen a big reduction in SwStr rate. With the Athletics also receiving a big upshift in park factor here along with an unfavorable ump for SPs, they are a stack that could go overlooked.
The Astros are the most contrarian of our suggestions but with an umpire that should resulted in boost offense, a good park and the MLB team that leads the league in both homers and steals, this stack could pay off in a big way. Also consider how poorly the Oakland bullpen has pitched.
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.
SEA at BLT 7:05: Dry. Temps in the upper 70s falling to near 70. Air density is a 7. Wind west 5-10 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 6.
NYY at WSH 7:05: Dry. Temps near 80 falling into the mid 70s. Air density is an 8 becoming a 7. Wind west 6-12 mph becoming northwest 7-14 mph which blows from left to right and then in from left. The wind is a 4.
MIN at PIT 7:05: Dry. Temps in the mid 60s falling into the mid 50s. Air density is a 5 becoming a 4. Wind northwest 8-16 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.
LAA at TOR 7:07: Retractable roof. Dry. Rather chilly though with outside temps in the lower 50s falling into the lower 40s so the roof will likely be closed.
MIL at DET 7:08: Dry. Temps in the upper 50s falling into the mid 40s. Air density is a 4 becoming a 3. Wind northwest 7-14 mph lessening to 6-12 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.
TEX at BOS 7:10: A few showers around to start the game. A 10% chance of a delay to start or at the beginning of the game. Temps in the low to mid 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind southwest 8-16 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 6.
TB at ATL 7:10: A 10-20% chance of a few showers that will not cause a huge problem. ~10% chance of a delay at anytime. Temps near 80 falling into the mid 70s. Air density is a 8 becoming a 7. Wind northwest 7-14 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows from left to right. The wind is a 5.
STL at NYM 7:10: A 10% chance of a shower to begin the game but not a huge problem. Temps in the mid 70s falling to near 70. Air density is a 7. Wind southwest becoming northwest 5-10 mph which blows first out to center and then from left to right. The wind is a 6 becoming a 5.
AZ at MIA 7:10: Retractable roof. Dry. Temps near 80. Air density is an 8. Wind southeast 7-14 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows in from center. The wind is a 4.
CLE at CHW 8:10: Dry. Temps in the low 50s falling into the mid 40s. Air density is a 3. Wind north-northeast 5-10 mph which blows out to right. The wind is a 6.
CIN at KC 8:10: Dry until 11PM or midnight (eastern time). So they should get this game in. Temps near 60 falling into the mid 50s. Air density is a 5. Wind northeast 7-14 increasing to 10-20 mph which blows in from center. The wind is a 4 becoming a 3.
OAK at HOU 8:10: Retractable roof. Looks dry, a 10% chance of a shower or thunderstorm. Temps in the low 80s falling into the mid 70s so I will assume the roof will be open. Air density is an 8. Wind southeast 5-10 mph which blows out to left. The wind is a 6.
PHL at COL 8:40: A soaking, and at times heavy, rain will fall throughout the day in Denver. However, the rain is forecast to lift to the north this evening leaving the city dry for game time. So unless there is a major flood or the rain holds on longer (I do not think that is the case), I feel they will play this game. Better yet, I think this is a perfect situation where they would cancel the game well before the start time so our answers about whether they will play or no should be answered well before roster lock. Temps in the low to mid 40s. Air density is a 10. Wind northeast 10-20 mph lessening to 7-14 mph which blows in from right. The wind is a 3 becoming a 4.
CHC at SD 10:10: Dry. Temps in the low to mid 60s. Air density is a 6. Wind west-northwest 7-14 mph lessening to 5-10 mph which blows from left to right or in from left at times. The wind is a 4.
LAD at SF 10:15: Dry. Temps in the low 60s falling into the upper 50s. Air density is a 5 or a 6. Wind west 15-25 mph lessening to 8-16 mph which blows out to center. The wind is a 8 becoming a 6.