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May 30 MLB DFS Late Slate: Liking The Price On Bryce
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May 30 MLB DFS Late Slate: Liking The Price On Bryce

02:15 Starting Pitchers
05:45 Catchers
07:27 First Base
09:50 Second Base
12:01 Shortstop
14:31 Third Base
15:57 Outfield
19:56 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



May 30 MLB DFS Late Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Justin Verlander (DET)

2) Ian Kennedy (KC)

3) Tanner Roark (WAS)

Tier Two

4) Jeremy Hellickson (PHI)

5) Marco Estrada (TOR)

The Top Three starters on our late slate all rank relatively closely in our model, which shifts the emphasis a bit more on price than individual selection. On both sites, Ian Kennedy (KC) is relatively affordable. The matchup for Kennedy is an interesting one as the Rays rank 14th in wRC+ but field the second highest K Rate against RHP and the fourth highest ISO. Kennedy’s a pitcher that relies heavily on fly balls and strikeouts so this matchup brings a bit of boom-or-bust to his profile. Tanner Roark (WAS) gets a friendlier matchup against the Phillies (27th in wRC+ against RHP and 11th highest K Rate) but Roark himself is a volatile option as his strikeout rate has ranged from 7-57 percent in starts this season. Roark is mixing in his off-speed stuff a bit more this season and the strikeout rate has exploded. He’s never been an elite strikeout pitcher so it’s a bit difficult to trust but we’re 10 starts into the season and the K Rate has risen against both RHBs and LHBs. He has the lowest implied run total against of the group (3.5) and is the largest favorite. Justin Verlander (DET) has seen a big jump in his swinging strike rate and K Rate over the last four starts (27.6 percent K Rate/12.5 swinging strike rate or better in all four) which gives us the most confidence of the trio. The price tag on DraftKings is viable but the gap between Verlander and Kennedy/Roark’s price tag out-paces the gap in our model. On FanDuel, where pricing is much tighter, it’s easier to justify Verlander.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

2) Brian McCann (NYY)

3) J.T. Realmuto (MIA)

4) Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

5) Russell Martin (TOR)

The catcher position has a little bit of depth to it, despite the short slate. Victor Martinez (DET) and Brian McCann (NYY) crack our Top 20 overall hitters on the late slate and J.T. Realmuto (MIA) isn’t far behind inside our Top 30 (assuming a leadoff or cleanup spot). The price points on the two sites make choosing among them fairly easy. Brian McCann is priced down on DraftKings and J.T. Realmuto is hovering just above the minimum on FanDuel. Those price tags should concentrate ownership a little bit which will make Francisco Cervelli (PIT) a nice part of a tournament stack.

First Base Rankings

1) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

2) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

3) Eric Hosmer (KC)

4) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

5) Kendrys Morales (KC)

6) Alex Rodriguez (NYY) – where eligible

7) Steve Pearce (TB)

8) Albert Pujols (LAA)

9) Ryan Zimmerman (WAS)

10) Justin Smoak (TOR)

Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) is our top rated first base option and both Encarnacion and Miguel Cabrera (DET) rank inside our Top 10 overall hitters on the slate. Encarnacion is more affordable than Cabrera by a wide margin on both sites, making him the primary target. Encarnacion owns a .384 wOBA and .276 ISO against RHP since the start of 2014 and Ivan Nova has largely been splits-neutral for his career. Of all the first basemen in action, Encarnacion is clearly in the best park environment and is one of the easier ways to find yourself some Blue Jays exposure.

Second Base Rankings

1) Daniel Murphy (NYM)

2) Ian Kinsler (DET)

3) Steve Pearce (TB) – where eligible

4) Starlin Castro (NYY) – if Top Five

5) Cesar Hernandez (PHI) – if second

6) Whitley Merrifield (KC) – if second

Second base is really thin with Daniel Murphy (WAS) and Ian Kinsler (DET) priced aggressively and neither hitter ranking inside our Top 15 overall hitters. As a result, you’ll want to use this position for salary relief. Starlin Castro (NYY) is our primary target but he’s very lineup dependent. We’re hopeful a recent strong stretch will keep him inside the Top Five.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Jordy Mercer (PIT) – if leadoff

2) Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA) – if leadoff

3) Brad Miller (TB) – if second

4) Alcides Escobar (KC)

5) Didi Gregorius (NYY)

Shortstop is another slate without a lot of depth that is ultimately lineup dependent. Jordy Mercer (PIT) has earned the leadoff spot most of the year against LHP and as long as he remains the leadoff hitter, he’ll represent our top value. Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA) would rank as a clear second if he hits leadoff against Jeff Locke. Mercer (.337 wOBA, .119 ISO and Hechavarria (.337 wOBA, .114 ISO) have both been competent against LHP since the start of 2014 and a good lineup spot against weak opposing LHPs would earn them your consideration. Brad Miller (TB) would be another step down if hitting second against Ian Kennedy and then there is a meaningful gap. Mercer ranks right around our Top 20 and Hechavarria would clock in around the Top 25 and Miller the Top 30 before you drop to Alcides Escobar (KC) who is sneaking inside our Top 50.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Jung Ho Kang (PIT)

3) David Freese (PIT)

4) Anthony Rendon (WAS)

5) Maikel Franco (PHI)

6) Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

7) Evan Longoria (TB)

8) Nick Castellanos (DET)

9) Martin Prado (MIA)

Josh Donaldson (TOR) cracks our Top 10 despite not holding the platoon advantage against Ivan Nova. His price tag is viable to squeeze in on both sites, but the depth of the position allows us to prioritize spending in the outfield and look to value in one of the Pirates 3B-eligible options: Jung Ho Kang (PIT) or David Freese (PIT). Kang (.371 wOBA, .229 ISO) and Freese (.358 wOBA, .184 ISO) have hit LHP exceptionally well since the start of 2014 and Justin Nicolino has allowed a 43.3 hard hit rate to RHBs this season. On FanDuel, the looser pricing overall makes it a bit easier to pay up for Donaldson, should you choose.

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

3) Mike Trout (LAA)

4) Starling Marte (PIT)

5) Jose Bautista (TOR)

6) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

7) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

8) J.D. Martinez (DET)

9) Michael Saunders (TOR)

10) Ben Revere (WAS)

11) Brett Gardner (NYY)

12) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

13) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

14) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

15) Marcell Ozuna (MIA)

Bryce Harper (WAS) and Andrew McCutchen (PIT) are your top overall hitters on this slate and the top ranked outfield options. They also rate as really strong values on both sites with their respective price tags down. Both have the platoon advantage on the road in park upgrades and they’re facing two teams with relatively weak bullpens. The lack of elite values in the outfield make them a strong priority. If you’re digging for value, Ben Revere (WAS) is underpriced relative to his ranking. Kole Calhoun (LAA) and Brett Gardner (NYY) are also relatively cheap options on DraftKings. If Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) is able to return to the lineup, his price tag on FanDuel is compelling ($3,500).


Tier One

1) Pittsburgh Pirates

2) Toronto Blue Jays

3) Miami Marlins – if Stanton plays

Tier Two

4) Washington Nationals

5) New York Yankees

6) Detroit Tigers

The Pittsburgh Pirates sit atop our stack rankings. The lineup is loaded with plus hitters against LHP and Justin Nicolino has allowed a 43 percent hard hit rate to righties. He doesn’t miss bats, the bullpen behind him is a mess, and Marlins Park is actually a pretty big positive park shift for the Pirates RH power.

Tournament Stacks

-Washington Nationals (The Nationals will probably go a bit under-owned due to implied team total and the cost of their key players. Jeremy Hellickson has been very good early in the season, but it’s difficult to see any change. His arsenal is the same and his pitch movement and velocity are all the same as well. He has already faced the Nationals twice this season and one outing was a short-lived disaster start while the other was dominant. A strong park shift plus the likely low ownership makes the Nationals and intriguing tournament stack.)

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