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May 28 MLB DFS Early Slate: Get The Chedda’ with Pineda
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May 28 MLB DFS Early Slate: Get The Chedda’ with Pineda

00:58 Starting Pitchers
08:05 Catchers
10:42 First Base
14:08 Second Base
15:15 Shortstop
17:47 Third Base
19:17 Outfield
22:12 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

premium_access_now  HITTER SPLITS | PITCHER SPLITS | WELL-HIT RATINGS

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May 28 MLB DFS Early Slate Pro Tip

NOTE: FanDuel has split up their two pre-night slates into an early slate and an afternoon slate. Our content will cover the larger afternoon slate.

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Danny Salazar (CLE)

2) Kyle Hendricks (CHC) (opposing team total pending)

3) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

Tier Two

4) Michael Pineda (NYY)

5) Wei-Yin Chen (MIA)

6) Matt Moore (TB)

Tier Three

7) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

8) Yordano Ventura (KC)

9) Carlos Rodon (CHW)

Danny Salazar (CLE) has the most volatile skill set of the tier one starting pitchers, but with Kyle Hendricks (CHC) pitching at home on a warm day with the wind blowing out and Madison Bumgarner (SF) pitching in Coors Field, Salazar’s volatility is mitigated. Instead, we’ll focus on the huge strikeout upside he possesses against an Orioles team that is swinging and missing at everything recently. Salazar has been a bit lucky in the ERA department (running good in all three major luck stats). However, the overall picture is good. He’s walking more batters, but it’s a net positive since his K rate is huge (30.3 K percentage), and he’s keeping the ball on the ground for the first time in his career (51.6 GB rate). In fact, it’s possible a huge breakout is being masked by the walk rate (improvements in swinging strike and hard hit rates as well). While he projects better overall, Salazar is similar to Lance McCullers against the Orioles the other night. Some risky situations up top has us focused on the giant K upside. He’s on of our two primary value plays on FanDuel.

The issue on a short slate involving Coors Field is that you want to get exposure to some high priced bats. There’s enough value in tier two and enough volatility in tier one where you can go the value route at starting pitcher. If doing so, Michael Pineda (NYY) is our preferred option across the industry. Pineda has been frustrating (3.53 xFIP but 6.34 ERA). He may always underachieve ERA estimators due to the large amount of hard hit contact he allows (14.4 hard minus soft hit rate). To be quite frank, though, that number is below average, but it really isn’t that bad. It affects him more at home with the short porch in right (19.6 HR/FB rate). This afternoon, he’ll be on the road in pitcher friendly Tropicana Field facing a Rays offense that is neutral in wRC+ and surprisingly strikes out quite a bit against RHP (26.3 mark is second highest in the league).

Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) (really safe given how horrid Atlanta is against LHP) and Matt Moore (TB) (very frustrating but still a solid K rate and favorable home park; Yankees have been very bad against LHP) are options that could be paired with Pineda if you need to fully eschew tier one pitchers in order to fit in Coors Field. Chen is definitely safer and is clearly ranked ahead of Moore, who is close to dropping down to his own tier between the tier two and tier three starting pitchers. We see quite a large change in the risk/reward dynamic of the ranked pitchers following Moore so are trying to stay within the top two tiers.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

3) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

4) Salvador Perez (KC)

5) Tyler Flowers (ATL)

We definitely want some Coors Field exposure on this slate, but aggressive pricing on those hitters may force you to pick and choose your spots. Buster Posey (SF) is the best hitter on the Giants side of the Coors equation, and the scarce catcher position makes him one of the highest Coors priorities. The Giants have an implied team total of nearly six on the slate (about a full run higher than anyone else) as they face Eddie Butler (career 5.49 ERA and 5.37 FIP). If not paying up for Posey, we like Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) (home versus Alfredo Simon‘s 10.16 ERA and the worst bullpen in baseball) as the best mid-tier value and Tyler Flowers (ATL) (low team total but cleanup spot with the platoon edge) as the best punt option.

First Base Rankings

1) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

2) Joey Votto (CIN)

3) Chris Davis (BAL)

4) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

5) Mark Reynolds (COL)

6) Brandon Belt (SF)

7) Carlos Santana (CLE)

8) David Ortiz (BOS)

9) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

10) Chris Carter (MIL)

Since you’re unable to fully stack Coors in cash games, it’s best to complement what Coors you can fit in with the second best offensive situations. On DraftKings, that’s the Cubs and Anthony Rizzo (CHC) who face Jerad Eickhoff (solid overall pitcher but major splits issues – .375 wOBA, .231 ISO allowed to LHBs) at home in Wrigley Field. There’s no team total set yet, but we’re anticipating it being the second highest of the slate given the expected conditions (wind blowing out to C at 16 mph, 80 degrees). The price tag on Rizzo is extremely friendly. On FanDuel, the best alternative to Coors Field is the CIN-MIL game, which has a total of 9. Joey Votto (CIN) faces Chase Anderson (5.66 FIP, 20.3 hard minus soft hit rate). On DraftKings, you can simultaneously save money at the position and get Coors Field exposure by grabbing expected clean up hitter Mark Reynolds (COL) for just $3,100, but even at home the matchup against Madison Bumgarner is no picnic. This is a loaded position (which is why we went so deep with the rankings) with any of the top 10 viable in tournaments. In particular, we view Chris Carter (MIL) as an elite tournament option. He always has double dong upside, the matchup is amazing, and he has the highest well-hit rating over the last two weeks (not even close).

Second Base Rankings

1) Joe Panik (SF)

2) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

3) Scooter Gennett (MIL)

4) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

5) Brandon Phillips (CIN)

On FanDuel, the pricing provides you with several solid options. Our preferred values there are Joe Panik (SF) (obviously hitting second in Coors is great in of itself but also note Eddie Butler‘s splits versus LHBs – .449 wOBA, .273 ISO, -5.6 K-BB%) and Scooter Gennett (MIL) (way too cheap hitting second with the platoon edge at home and an implied team total of nearly 5). On DraftKings, these specific values are priced very aggressively. As a result, were hopeful of finding Cesar Hernandez (PHI) in the second spot, allowing us to punt the position and pay up elsewhere.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Trevor Story (COL) (if hitting second)

2) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

3) Manny Machado (BAL)

4) Zack Cozart (CIN)

5) Brandon Crawford (SF)

On FanDuel, the pricing on the shortstops is really challenging. We’re hopeful a punt emerges when lineups come out, otherwise you’re basically overpaying for one of the top five ranked options. On DraftKings, there’s a bit more opportunity to attain value. Trevor Story‘s (COL) strikeouts are finally starting to haunt him. However, there’s a chance he’s back up to second in the order with a southpaw on the mound, and the $4,300 price tag is well worth his power upside if that’s the case. A cheap option is Zack Cozart (CIN) who gives you access to a road leadoff hitter in a plus park against a negative pitching staff. If Javier Baez (CHC) is in the lineup he’s also a punt option.

Third Base

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Matt Duffy (SF)

4) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

5) Evan Longoria (TB)

Between the elite power peripherals we’ve harped on all week in regard to Nolan Arenado (COL) and his awesome splits versus LHP (.372 wOBA, .252 ISO, 5.4 HR rate since 2014), we’re fine paying up for him across the industry. Kris Bryant (CHC) is the best alternative on DraftKings, where we suggest paying up at the position, while Matt Duffy (SF) is the best alternative on FanDuel (keeps you with a third hitter in Coors for $1,100 less).

Outfield Rankings

1) Ryan Braun (MIL)

2) Jose Bautista (TOR)

3) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) (dealing with soreness in his right side)

4) Denard Span (SF)

5) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

6) Jason Heyward (CHC)

7) Billy Hamilton (CIN) (if hitting second)

8) Michael Saunders (TOR)

9) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

10) JD Martinez (DET)

11) Christian Yelich (MIA)

12) Mookie Betts (BOS)

13) Corey Dickerson (TB)

14) Adam Eaton (CHW)

15) Jay Bruce (CIN) (10th if hitting cleanup)

With Colorado’s main outfielders left handed, there’s surprisingly just one Coors Field bat in this ranking, and it belongs to Denard Span (SF), who is in one of the most enviable DFS spots (leadoff for the road team in Coors Field and don’t forget about those Eddie Butler splits). We like him a lot on FanDuel, but they really upped the price tag on DraftKings. The same can be said for Ryan Braun (MIL), who actually represents our top option at the position. We a bit lazily mentioned Alfredo Simon‘s ERA earlier, but digging deeper the 15.9 hard minus soft hit rate, 5.36 xFIP, and huge drop off in chase rate all indicate the barrage against him will likely continue. Khris Davis (OAK) has a nice price for his power upside, but we’ll have to wait and see who the announced Tiger starter is. Billy Hamilton (CIN) would represent the best industry wide value play if hitting second, but he hit seventh last night. That did bump up Jay Bruce (CIN) to the cleanup spot, making him cash viable across the industry. On DraftKings, pricing and the slate lead us to different options as Jose Bautista (TOR) (Porcello’s K rate is decreasing as expected), Jason Heyward (CHC) (cheap access to the Cubs offense), and Michael Saunders (TOR) (way too cheap for a cleanup hitter on a good offense with a high implied team total all while holding the platoon edge).

Stacks

Tier One

1) San Francisco Giants

Tier Two

2) Chicago Cubs

3) Milwaukee Brewers

Tier Four

4) Cincinnati Reds

These teams should come as no surprise as we hit on them extensively in the position by position analysis.

Tournament Stacks

-Colorado Rockies (Coors is always worth stacking in tournaments regardless of the matchups)

-CHW/KC game (Kauffman Stadium can be surprisingly hitter friendly during the day in warm temps and with the wind blowing out; both opposing pitchers have some red flags, particularly Yordano Ventura who looks completely broken – velocity, chase rates down and the walks way up)

-TOR/BOS (two huge upside offenses that are simply getting overshadowed due to actual cost and opportunity cost)

-Miami Marlins (best as a mini-stack, not a full stack; tough to set the baseline on Aaron Blair but he was markedly below average in all three skill categories prior to his demotion)

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