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May 24 MLB DFS Slate: Be Like Mike
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May 24 MLB DFS Slate: Be Like Mike

00:38 Starting Pitchers
12:09 Catchers
13:46 First Base
16:24 Second Base
18:45 Shortstop
21:59 Third Base
25:08 Outfield
30:06 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



May 24 MLB DFS Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

2) Chris Sale (CHW)

3) Jeff Samardzija (SF)

Tier Two

4) David Price (BOS)

5) Francisco Liriano (PIT)

Tier Three

6) Justin Verlander (DET)

7) Julio Teheran (ATL)

Tier Four

8) Nate Karns (TB)

9) Matt Harvey (NYM)

Tier Five

10) Michael Wacha (STL)

11) Jimmy Nelson (MIL)

12) Nathan Eovaldi (NYY)

Tier Six

13) Andrew Cashner (SD)

14) Edinson Volquez (KC)

The top of the starting pitching tier is the same as we saw last week when these three starters took the mound. Stephen Strasburg (WAS) and Jeff Samardzija (SF) are in re-matches of their previous starts where both dominated their respective opponents. Strasburg is at home, where he’s historically been stronger in his career and will face a Mets lineup that just lost Lucas Duda for an extended period of time. Additionally, Strasburg will have a very favorable home plate umpire. It’s a very favorable matchup for Strasburg who opened with a 3.1 implied run total against as a hefty -160 favorite. Samardzija will face the Padres who we’ve picked on all season. Samardzija’s price tag is hefty but the matchup earns him strong consideration in cash games. The Padres implied run total opened at 2.9 runs with Samardzija an even stronger (-192) favorite). Chris Sale (CHW) is the lone starter in tier one who is facing a different opponent from last week. Last time out it was the Astros at home and now he gets a weaker Indians’ offense at home. The concern with Sale is the declining K Rate which is supported by a decline in his swinging strike rate on all his breaking pitches as well. With a price tag that is fully pricing in those strikeouts, it’s difficult to use Sale in cash games with the other alternatives present.

The pitching on this slate is deeper than just the first tier. David Price (BOS) and Francisco Liriano (PIT) represent second tier options that are viable in cash games where the price is reduced. This is the case on DraftKings where both are priced below $9,000. Liriano has a challenging matchup as the Diamondbacks rank Top Five in wRC+ against LHP. It’s a horrible park environment for RH power and most of the DBacks offensive value is via ISO (.206) so the park should help Liriano. Price gets the Rockies who rank 15th in wRC+ against LHP and strike out at the fifth highest clip. Price is the biggest favorite on the slate (-210) but will have to deal with a challenging pitching environment at Fenway.

Justin Verlander (DET) falls in our third tier and you could make the argument he belongs in that second tier with an elite matchup against the Phillies’ who rank 27th in wRC+ and strike out at an above average clip (21.1 percent) against RHP. Verlander has regained the strikeout touch this season with the highest swinging strike rate since 2007 on both his change-up and his fastball. Verlander is priced up on DraftKings, but the reasonable price tag on FanDuel makes him a cash viable option.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

2) Brian McCann (NYY)

3) Buster Posey (SF)

4) Evan Gattis (HOU) – where eligible

5) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

We get a little depth back at the catcher position with Brian McCann (NYY) back in Yankee Stadium and facing a RHP. As is typically the case Victor Martinez (DET) and Evan Gattis (HOU) each crack our Top Five where eligible on FanDuel. Martinez is a Top 40 overall hitter but the position as a whole is weaker. McCann ranks inside our Top 65 and then we get a big drop-off after that. As a result, we’re emphasizing value once again at the position and Stephen Vogt‘s (OAK) recent promotion into the third spot serves as the best source of salary relief and value.

First Base Rankings

1) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Joey Votto (CIN)

4) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

5) Albert Pujols (STL)

6) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

7) Jose Abreu (CHW)

8) Eric Hosmer (KC)

9) Hanley Ramirez (BOS)

10) Victor Martinez (DET)

11) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

As is typically the case, first base is loaded. The Top Five hitters all rank inside our Top 10 overall hitters. Elite first basemen are on sale on DraftKings with Miguel Cabrera (DET) and Chris Davis (BAL) at $4,500 and $4,300 respectively. Jose Abreu (CHW) is also unusually cheap at $3,600. It’s relatively easy to get an elite bat at a friendly price tag. On FanDuel, it’s a bit more difficult. Chris Davis ($3,800) has a reasonable, but not cheap, price tag. As a result you might have to venture outside of our Top 10 and look for value with Prince Fielder (TEX) or Mark Teixeira (NYY) who have the platoon advantage in favorable hitting environments for LH power.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Rougned Odor (TEX)

3) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

4) Robinson Cano (SEA)

5) Ian Kinsler (DET)

Second base actually has a bit of depth to it on Tuesday’s slate. Kinsler is the only member of the Top Five to rank outside our Top 50 overall hitters. Rougned Odor (TEX) ranks slightly ahead of Dustin Pedroia (BOS) as both have great lineup spots with the platoon advantage in elite hitting environments. The cheaper Odor is a bit easier to fit into lineups, but those two make for the best cash game options of the ranked second basemen above. We also have some values in play with Scooter Gennett (MIL) getting a plus matchup against Julio Teheran who is very vulnerable to LHBs (.347 wOBA, .187 ISO since 2014) and been even worse this season (42.3 hard hit rate, -1 BB-K percentage). Gennett is likely your best bet if in need of additional salary relief.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

4) Trevor Story (COL)

5) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

6) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

7) Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

Carlos Correa (HOU), Manny Machado (BAL), and Xander Bogaerts (BOS) each rank inside our Top 25 hitters. Correa comes with a soft price tag on DraftKings ($3,700) that we’re inclined to exploit. Chris Tillman has been much better this year and throwing his cutter more to RHBs has helped neutralize his prior reverse splits. Still, Tillman is fly ball prone (40 percent FB Rate) and he’s allowed a 35.6 hard hit rate to RHBs this season. The lack of viable cheap options at shortstop places a bit of an emphasis on getting one of the Top Three and Correa comes with the friendliest price tag on DraftKings. On FanDuel, Correa and Machado are both priced fairly ($3,900 and $3,700) but the lack of depth at the position makes them our primary targets.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC)

4) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

5) Todd Frazier (CHW)

6) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

7) Matt Carpenter (STL)

8) Justin Turner (LAD)

9) Howie Kendrick (LAD) – where eligible

10) Yunel Escobar (LAA)

Manny Machado (BAL) and Nolan Arenado (COL) are at the top of our third base rankings but both rank just outside our Top 15 overall hitters. On DraftKings, the price tags are reasonable investments at a position that lacks depth. The position as a whole is relatively unappealing so it’s one we don’t mind getting out of without spending much. On FanDuel, Trevor Plouffe (MIN) and Justin Turner (LAD) are viable cheap alternatives. On DraftKings, it’s a bit tougher with Turner priced up. Maikel Franco (PHI) is cheap ($2,900) and Colin Moran (HOU) is available as a pure punt but doesn’t project very well and at best would likely hit sixth.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Mookie Betts (BOS)

4) J.D. Martinez (DET)

5) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

6) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

7) George Springer (HOU)

8) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

9) Jose Bautista (TOR)

10) Billy Hamilton (CIN)

11) Adam Eaton (CHW)

12) Rajai Davis (CLE)

13) Adam Jones (BAL)

14) Miguel Sano (MIN)

15) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

16) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

The Top Three outfielders in our model are the three highest ranked hitters overall. It’s a great day to spend on the outfield position if you can figure it out because of the strength of the individual matchups. Mike Trout (LAA) is the best hitter in our model by a pretty wide margin getting a huge park shift and the platoon advantage in Arlington against Martin Perez. Perez is a difficult pitcher to pick on because his struggles are largely via walks and contact but he keeps the ball on the ground. Trout’s an exceptional low-ball hitter and while we may not stack up Angels’ against Perez, the individual matchup for Trout is outstanding. Bryce Harper (WAS) comes with a pretty reasonable price tag on FanDuel and the matchup with Matt Harvey (.423 wOBA, 32.5 hard hit rate allowed) isn’t as difficult as it looked on paper coming into the season. The two sites also have some site specific value plays. Billy Hamilton‘s (CIN) strong speed component always plays well in our model against below average RHP. In a low run scoring environment his speed should be emphasized even more if he can get on base. Adam Jones (BAL) remains underpriced on FanDuel ($2,800) as does Matt Holliday (STL) who despite average at best individual matchups are simply too skilled for those tags. Both are viable salary relief options. On DraftKings, Colby Rasmus (HOU) remains underpriced for his power upside against RHP and Rajai Davis (CLE) though in a tough matchup against Chris Sale is worthy of consideration at a punt price tag. If we get Whitley Merrifield (KC) in the second spot again, he’d represent a fine punt play on DraftKings as well.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Boston Red Sox

2) Los Angeles Angels

3) Texas Rangers

4) Pittsburgh Pirates

5) Detroit Tigers

6) Los Angeles Dodgers

Tier Two

7) New York Yankees

8) Houston Astros

This slate doesn’t have any clear front runners at the top of the stacks section. As a result, we have a very deep first tier of options. This should keep ownerships relatively spread out in tournaments. The Angels are the only road team in our stacks group and thus have a slight edge on the field in upside via that ninth inning, but the offense lacks much power and depth and faces an extreme ground baller. Perez’s control issues could always lead to an early exit and a weak bullpen behind him but it’s more likely a stack that pays off via singles and walks early and perhaps power late. The Red Sox are the most talented offense and their home park inflates RH power which is ideal for a matchup against a LHP. The Pirates face the weakest starter on the slate with Shelby Miller‘s command and hard hit issues leading to early exits all year. Miller has shown some improvement in command over the last two starts but has allowed hard hit rates of 38, 42, 45, and 41.7 percent over his last four starts. The Pirates will likely go a bit lower-owned due to their home park.

Tournament Stacks

– San Francisco Giants – underrated offense that is suited well for their home park and Cashner has struggled with a velocity dip that has cut his swinging strike rate and chase rate. The Padres bullpen behind him have the seventh worst xFIP in baseball.

-Chicago Cubs – Michael Wacha has allowed hard hit rates above 30 percent in five of his last six starts. The top pieces in the Cardinals’ bullpen were all used on Monday and Rosenthal in particular has thrown 54 pitches over the last three days so might be unavailable.

MLB Daily Analysis

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