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May 4 MLB DFS Late Slate: Jones-ing For DFS Glory
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May 4 MLB DFS Late Slate: Jones-ing For DFS Glory

01:09 Starting Pitchers
10:27 Catchers
12:11 First Base
16:04 Second Base
17:19 Shortstop
19:57 Third Base
22:09 Outfield
26:36 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks

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May 4 MLB DFS Late Slate Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jose Fernandez (MIA)

Tier Two

2) Drew Smyly (TB)

Tier Three

3) Mike Leake (STL)

4) Mike Fiers (HOU)

5) Aaron Sanchez (TOR)

Tier Four

6) Rubby de la Rosa (ARI)

7) Clay Buchholz (BOS)

8) Alex Wood (LAD)

9) Carlos Rodon (CHW)

Jose Fernandez (MIA) is the go to cash game option. No one else on the slate can compare to him skills wise (career 2.50 FIP, 29.6 K percentage), he’s at home (career 1.61 ERA and 30.7 K percentage), and facing a mediocre Diamondbacks offense. He’s a core play.

Drew Smyly (TB) follows Fernandez in our rankings given his propensity to miss bats (32 K percentage this season) and a dominant K/BB ratio (6.83). He is fly ball risky, and the Dodgers can get pretty right handed. This makes Smyly a risk to use over Fernandez in cash on one starting pitcher sites and a tough sell on DraftKings where the upside is fully baked into the pricing ($10,900). He’s a secondary value but you may be better off simply grabbing exposure here in tournament formats.

As a result, we’d look to the tier three guys as the best complementary plays. Both Mike Fiers (HOU) (nice K upside but he can be volatile as can the Twins offense) and Aaron Sanchez (TOR) (great start to the season and is utterly dominant against RHBs but the Rangers started five LHBs last night) are high risk, high reward plays. Mike Leake (STL) is the low risk option given a bad Phillies offense at home in St. Louis. As a result, the Phillies have the lowest team total on the slate (tied with Arizona). Note that Sanchez has a horrific umpire, which has us straying from him a bit.

Similar to the early slate, the lack of clarity around a second starting pitcher allows us to take a chance in tournaments, and the guy to do that with is Rubby de la Rosa (ARI). He’s off to a really strong start and coming off a dominant home outing against the Cardinals. Now he’ll get a large park shift in his favor pitching in Miami. The key here will be the Marlins lineup as de la Rosa has very wide splits, but it’s possible he faces six RHBs.

In an extremely small sample, Adam Morgan (PHI), whom we generally love to pick on, has a great K/BB rate combination (three AAA starts, one MLB). He’s an off the wall, way out there multi-entry tournament option on DraftKings as a second pitcher.

Catcher Rankings

1) Brian McCann (NYY)

2) Evan Gattis (HOU) (where eligible)

3) Matt Wieters (BAL)

4) Yadier Molina (STL)

5) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

Tyler Wilson has limited quality contact, but ultimately we expect regression to hit the Baltimore RHP who can’t miss a bat and possesses a ZiPS projected 5.38 ERA and 1.53 HR/9 rest of season. Enter Brian McCann (NYY) who loses the short porch in right but is still in a quality hitter’s park. He’s the top play but not a must play as the catcher position has a surprising amount of depth on a short slate with Evan Gattis (HOU) (lots of power upside against Phil Hughes and a bad Twins bullpen), Matt Wieters (BAL) (Sabathia has allowed a .375 wOBA, .184 ISO, and 4.0 HR rate to last 500 RHBs faced), and Yadier Molina (STL) (Adam Morgan has a ZiPS projected 5.79 ERA and 1.61 HR/9) all viable options.

First Base Rankings

1) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

2) Mark Teixeira (NYY)

3) Chris Davis (BAL)

4) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

5) Jose Abreu (CHW)

The Blue Jays have crushed us the beginning of this week, but we’re holding steady with our process. They once again have a team total around five, the highest of the slate. Colby Lewis allows power to everyone, and the bullpen behind him is not good. Lewis is currently allowing 2.03 HR/9 on the heels of a 31.3 GB rate and a 21.0 hard minus soft hit rate (around double the league average). With Edwin Encarnacion‘s (TOR) even splits, we’re going back to the well here, especially since the price is favorable everywhere. Mark Teixeira (NYY) is a comparable value on FanDuel for $300 less. Chris Davis (BAL) is an elite tournament option. He’ll get avoided due to the L/L matchup. While that presents more downside, Davis still hits for power (.208 ISO, 4.9 HR rate against LHP since 2014) and there’s potential at bats against the bullpen. Justin Bour (MIA) is a cheap tournament option given Rubby de la Rosa’s issues with LHBs (.402 wOBA, .241 ISO versus his last 500 faced).

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Rougned Odor (TEX)

3) Derek Dietrich (MIA)

4) Brian Dozier (MIN)

5) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

Unlike the early slate, there are a lot of situations that are fun to take advantage of here. Jose Altuve (HOU) is a great tournament play but both actual and opportunity cost make him a difficult spend in cash games. Derek Dietrich (MIA) is the best industry wide value. We mentioned de la Rosa’s struggles with LHBs above, and Dietrich, who should lead off, has a career .195 ISO. Site specific alternatives include Brian Dozier (MIN) on FanDuel (like the HR upside at a favorable price) and Rougned Odor (TEX) on DraftKings (for all his dominance against RHBs, Aaron Sanchez still has problems with LHBs).

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

3) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

4) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

5) Aledmys Diaz (STL)

Carlos Correa‘s (HOU) power is down but his patience, loft, and hard hit rate all indicate no change (and perhaps some improvement). We’ll continue to buy low given Phil Hughes‘ issues with same handed batters (.180 ISO allowed since 2013). He’s a smart spend across the industry with Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) and Jimmy Rollins (CHW) as cheaper cash game alternatives. Xander Bogaerts (BOS) (good spot but too expensive for cash games) and particularly Aledmys Diaz (STL) (insanely good peripherals include a 6.1 K rate and .325 ISO in a small sample; great matchup) are tournament options.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

3) Miguel Sano (MIN) (where eligible)

4) Derek Dietrich (MIA) (where eligible)

5) Matt Carpenter (STL)

6) Todd Frazier (CHW)

7) Evan Longoria (TB)

8) Justin Turner (LAD)

We’d really like to pay up for Manny Machado (BAL) where possible. We know Sabathia’s splits against RHBs have been wretched, and his control issues/velocity decline to start the season simply make us more prone to pick on him. On FanDuel it’s a bit difficult since we’re prioritizing paying for Jose Fernandez first and foremost. Both of the alternatives on that site are in the Tampa Bay game as Evan Longoria (TB) and Justin Turner (LAD) each hold the platoon edge. The matchups park are less than ideal, but Turner in particular is simply underpriced and provides nice cap relief. Turner is also very cheap on DraftKings, but the combination of it being easier to pay for Machado there and added opportunity cost (Sano, Dietrich have 3B eligibility) make him less of a focus for us on that site. Josh Donaldson (TOR) is an elite tournament option, but at a more expensive tag than Machado he’s not a primary cash game target.

Outfield Rankings

1) Jose Bautista (TOR)

2) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

3) Mookie Betts (BOS)

4) George Springer (HOU)

5) Michael Saunders (TOR)

6) Adam Jones (BAL)

7) Matt Holliday (STL)

8) Christian Yelich (MIA)

9) Brett Gardner (NYY)

10) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

11) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

12) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

13) Miguel Sano (MIN)

14) Randal Grichuk (STL) (if top five)

15) Stephen Piscotty (STL)

While Jose Bautista (TOR) is slumping, Inside Edge’s weight hard hit rate shows no change between his last 15 days and his last year performance. Given his remarkably even splits and that his EYE and loft are still intact, we’re still buying this price tag in favorable matchups. George Springer (HOU) is also a nice buy low candidate as an elite event player in a plus matchup. Some of the best mid-tier values industry wide include Adam Jones (BAL) (talked about Sabathia’s issues), Christian Yelich (MIA) (easy way to take advantage of de la Rosa’s issues with LHBs’ 1.06 EYE early on is very encouraging), and Matt Holliday (STL) (underpriced given strong lineup spot and plus matchup against Adam Morgan and a bad Phillies bullpen). Michael Saunders (TOR) is correctly priced on FanDuel but a great way to get exposure to the Toronto offense on DraftKings. Danny Santana (MIN) is no longer a free square at shortstop, but even in the outfield at $2,300 he’s a superb punt that pretty much allows you to do whatever you want elsewhere. Randal Grichuk (STL) has immense power upside and is one of our favorite tournament options. Enrique Hernandez (LAD) has been awesome against LHP. It’s not an ideal matchup but he’s cheap enough to use in all formats.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Two

2) St. Louis Cardinals

3) New York Yankees

4) Baltimore Orioles

The Jays have immense power upside. You might use their recent cold streak as an excuse to not full stack in cash games, but you definitely want some exposure in that format.

We love the Cardinals in tournaments given Adam Morgan‘s MLB track record and ZiPS projections. The strong start to 2016 gives us just enough hesitation that we’re not forcing exposure in cash games if it doesn’t fit.

Our favorite option in tournaments of the top two tier stacks is the Baltimore Orioles given the issues we’ve talked about surrounding CC Sabathia and the ability to get a high upside bat in the middle of that stack (Chris Davis) at such low ownership.

Tournament Stacks

-Houston Astros (we consistently talk about the power/speed upside, and it’s definitely present against Phil Hughes at home)

-Minnesota Twins (strong park shift and guaranteed nine innings on the road; righty pull hitters like Dozier in particular should be able to take advantage; Fiers has just a 35.8 GB rate and a high 36.8 hard hit rate)