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May 3 MLB DFS: Edwinning
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May 3 MLB DFS: Edwinning

00:46 Starting Pitchers
08:23 Catchers
10:18 First Base
13:05 Second Base
15:01 Shortstop
16:31 Third Base
18:21 Outfield and Tangents
24:52 Cash Game Roster Construction
26:39 Stacks


May 3 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Two

2) Matt Harvey (NYM)

3) Michael Wacha (STL)

4) Matt Moore (TB)

Tier Three

5) Andrew Cashner (SD)

6) Sonny Gray (OAK)

7) Aaron Nola (PHI)

8) Jeff Samardzija (SF)

Tier Four

9) Jose Quintana (CHW)

10) Collin McHugh (HOU)

11) Nick Tropeano (LAA)

12) Marco Estrada (TOR)

Jake Arrieta (CHC) is in a tier of his own as since the start of last season he’s held RHBs to the seventh lowest wOBA and LHBs to the fifth lowest wOBA, essentially making him matchup proof. Throw in a Pirates team we view as average versus RHP and friendly PNC park, and Arrieta is cash viable around the industry. However, there a solid set of value plays exist on the slate, and we’re slightly leaning towards building around them in order to fit more offense in.

In particular, the tier two group of pitchers is worth targeting. Matt Harvey (NYM) is underpriced as the salary reflects his small sample size production, and not his skill set. He gets an extremely tame Atlanta offense (currently dead last in wRC+ against RHP), and they’ve struck out a bit more than we anticipated to begin the season. Harvey is the largest favorite on the slate at -230.

Michael Wacha (STL) and Matt Moore (TB) are the better per dollar values, even if their skill sets are lower. Wacha isn’t quite flashing the skills we hoped to see out of him, but he’s been solid all-around. He’s at home against a Phillies team that is a plus matchup from both a projected wOBA and K percentage standpoint. Moore has flashed more upside than Wacha, putting up a 27.1 K percentage and 5.00 K/BB ratio. The K and BB rates are moving in the correct decisions, and his home park will help to somewhat mitigate is fly ball tilt.

We’d try to stick to the top two tiers in cash games on single pitcher sites, but on DraftKings, Andrew Cashner (SD) pops as a cap relief play to help you either fit in Arrieta as your number one or to load up on bats if paired with a tier two option. It’s concerning that Cashner isn’t generating chases and swing and misses. That’s probably why the walks are up and why we’re more confident with the tier two pitchers. However, getting the Rockies outside of Coors and in Petco is very favorable and the low game total of 7 in which Cashner is a slight favorite is good to see at his price ($6,700).

In tournaments, we’d like to mix the five pitchers we’ve already covered. However, additional options include Collin McHugh (HOU) (Twins offense has been very volatile against RHP, Sonny Gray (OAK) (lack of K upside is disappointing, but if BABIP is on his side he can pitch deep without allowing many runs), and Aaron Nola (PHI) (take a chance on the 29.1 K percentage and 2.62 xFIP in a favorable pitching environment).

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

3) Evan Gattis (HOU)

4) Brian McCann (NYY)

5) Russell Martin (TOR)

It’s another good day to try and pay up for Buster Posey (SF) since there’s a massive gap between him and the other catchers in our model. He’s affordable if going the value route at starting pitcher. Posey gets a huge park shift playing in Cincinnati and will face Jon Moscot (7.54 FIP in three starts; fly ball oriented, wild, not missing any bats) and the Reds bullpen (worst ERA in the league). If eschewing Posey, our second through fourth ranked catchers all possess top five lineup spots in favorable hitting environments.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) Joey Votto (CIN)

3) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

4) Albert Pujols (LAA)

5) Brandon Belt (SF)

Our main target around the industry is Edwin Encarnacion (TOR). While the Blue Jays offense disappointed last night, they’re once again slapped with a very high implied run total (over five, highest on the slate). He’ll have the platoon edge at home against Martin Perez (4.95 xFIP, more BBs than Ks) and a bad Rangers bullpen (fifth highest ERA). Where priced similarly, we’re also interested in Joey Votto (CIN) (platoon edge at home against Jeff Samardzija – .334 wOBA, .185 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2013) and Albert Pujols (LAA) (huge park shift in his favor; Angels have second highest implied run total against Junior Guerra making his first career start). Brandon Belt (SF) is a great tournament option given the massive park shift against a weak RHP and horrible bullpen. However, he’s priced accordingly and will hit fifth (guys ahead of him all hit third or fourth).

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Rougned Odor (TEX)

3) Brian Dozer (MIN)

4) Robinson Cano (SEA)

5) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

Jose Altuve (HOU) is the top option, but you can play price points on Rougned Odor (TEX) (cheap on DraftKings) and Brian Dozier (MIN) (cheap on FanDuel). Odor remains in the leadoff spot for the Rangers who, even on the road, remain in a plus hitting environment in Toronto. Marco Estrada continues to beat his xFIP (4.30), but at least some regression is coming for the fly ball oriented RHP. Dozier is an underpriced power/speed option getting a park shift hitting in Houston. It’s a R/R matchup, but Collin McHugh has struggled to begin the season (4.59 xFIP). Neil Walker (NYM) (expensive for his lineup spot but lots of pop from the left side) and Dustin Pedroia (BOS) (platoon edge in a good park but also facing a solid pitcher) are tournament options.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

3) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

4) Danny Santana (MIN) (where eligible)

5) Trevor Story (COL)

6) Brandon Crawford (SF)

Carlos Correa (HOU) is cash viable everywhere given the gap between him and the rest of the shortstops, but he’s most usable on FanDuel. Opposing pitcher Alex Meyer has a 4.68 ZiPS projected ERA. Value play alternatives include Jonathan Villar (MIL) (great lineup spot, has already compiled six steals in just 22 games) and Danny Santana (MIN) (great punt on DraftKings to clear up space elsewhere).

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Manny Machado (BAL)

4) Matt Carpenter (STL)

5) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

Third base is very deep and there are a variety of ways you can go depending on how you spend at other positions. Ideally, you can fit in Josh Donaldson (TOR). Not only do you get exposure to the highest team total, but also the best splits play (.441 wOBA, .331 ISO versus LHP since 2013). Industry wide mid-tier alternatives include Matt Carpenter (STL) (great on base guy makes him a safe cash game option; Nola dominant versus RHBs but will give up offense to LHBs and bullpen behind him is below average) and Adrian Beltre (TEX). Matt Duffy (SF) is a FanDuel specific value where the park shift isn’t priced in.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

4) Jose Bautista (TOR)

5) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

6) Ryan Braun (MIL)

7) George Springer (HOU)

8) Michael Conforto (NYM)

9) Hunter Pence (SF)

10) Mookie Betts (BOS)

11) Denard Span (SF)

12) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

13) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

14) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

15) Miguel Sano (MIN)

If you’re spending up at the outfield position, Mike Trout (LAA) represents our top overall option as his cold start seems to be behind him (hard hit rate is quickly back above career average). Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) has massive power upside and is an elite tournament option given his .447 wOBA, .358 ISO and 7.9 HR rate against LHP since 2013; also consider Corbin’s very high hard minus soft hit rate). However, we prefer Trout at that price level or dropping down to Jose Bautista (TOR), who has an inexplicably low price tag on DraftKings. On that particular site, Michael Conforto (NYM) is also well underpriced. The early season peripherals are awesome (9.9 BB rate, .291 ISO, 0.76 GB/FB rate, 50.0 hard hit rate). On FanDuel, though, the price is accurate, and you’re better off with his teammate Curtis Granderson (NYM) or better yet a high upside power/speed threat in George Springer (HOU). If Billy Hamilton (CIN) remains in a top lineup spot (first or second), he’d be an excellent source of cap relief across the industry given his immense speed upside and Samardzija’s issues with LHBs. Yoenis Cespedes‘s (NYM) awesome power start makes him a prime target for tournaments.


Tier One

1) San Francisco Giants

2) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Two

3) Houston Astros

4) Washington Nationals

Tier Three

5) Milwaukee Brewers

6) New York Mets

7) Baltimore Orioles

The Giants are our favorite tournament stack. We may end up with only a little exposure in cash games (Posey) due to where individual values rate. However, the massive park shift in their favor, a surprisingly deep lineup (seventh in wRC+ against RHP), and the issues we’ve talked about with Moscot/Reds bullpen give them a ton of team upside.

The Blue Jays are a more obvious stack given their murderer’s row against LHP, although they’ve gotten off to a slow start.

The Houston Astros we always like in tournaments due to their power/speed threats. With Alex Meyer not potentially MLB ready and a bad bullpen behind him, there’s plenty of upside.

We view the Nationals as a high risk/high reward stack. Chris Young is extremely fly ball oriented (26.5 career GB rate), so there’s a lot of homer upside. However, if balls stay in the park DFS points for Washington will be held in check.

Tournament Stack

-Los Angeles Angels (big park shift; uncertainty around Guerra makes him a pitcher to target in tournaments but not to go overboard on in cash games)

MLB Daily Analysis

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