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May 9 MLB DFS: Try the Lamb
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May 9 MLB DFS: Try the Lamb

01:22 Starting Pitchers
09:43 Catchers
11:32 First Base
16:33 Second Base
19:32 Shortstop
22:17 Third Base
24:12 Outfield
31:00 Cash Game Roster Construction
33:10 Stacks

premium_access_now  HITTER SPLITS | PITCHER SPLITS | WELL-HIT RATINGS

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May 9 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jose Fernandez (MIA)

Tier Two

2) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

Tier Three

3) Jon Lester (CHC)

4) Corey Kluber (CLE)

Tier Four

5) Steven Matz (NYM)

6) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

7) Matt Moore (TB)

Tier Five

8) Aaron Sanchez (TOR)

9) Scott Kazmir (LAD)

Jose Fernandez (MIA) is likely the biggest decision on the slate for FanDuel cash games and one of the biggest decisions for tournaments on the slate. Fernandez has the highest upside of any starter on the slate. He’s facing a right-hand heavy Brewers lineup and Fernandez has held RHBs to a ridiculous .212 wOBA with a 34.3 K Rate in his career. Fernandez is a monster favorite (-230) at home where he has a career 1.71 ERA. There are warning signs on Fernandez. His velocity has been down in three of his last four starts with the average fastball below 95 mph and his command has been very poor in those outings. He’s thrown less than 46 percent of pitches inside the strike zone in each of the three starts and as a result he’s not working deep into games. The Brewers own the lowest swing percentage in the league (42.4 percent) and rank fourth in pitches/plate appearance. If Fernandez is unable to command his pitches, he’s unlikely to work deep into the game. If the command is there, he’s going to rack up strikeouts. The Brewers possess the fourth highest K Rate against RHP (24.8 percent) and they rank 15th in wRC+ against RHP. Additionally, they’re getting a pretty big park shift downwards for power which is their best attribute. If they get to Jose it’s likely through his own doing with command issues. The upside is hard to ignore but if the ownership gets inflated, there are plenty of alternatives as a SP1. None possess the upside of Fernandez, but a combination of heavy ownership and command issues could bring in a fade-worthy floor. The primary pivot away from Fernandez is Stephen Strasburg (WAS). Strasburg typically sees lower ownership when other aces are available due to the perception of many blow-up starts. The Tigers have the perception of an above average offense but they’re losing Victor Martinez in a National League park and the offense is extremely right-handed without him. Strasburg may have to go a little deeper after the Nationals bullpen was ravaged in Chicago and his strikeout upside against RHBs (29.9 percent K Rate) is pretty impressive in his own right.

With Coors Field in play, it’s more difficult to spend all the way up on two starting pitchers on multiple starting pitcher sites. Additionally, if you want to stack Coors Field on single starting pitcher sites, you’ll need a mid-priced alternative to the studs. Our primary two options are Matt Moore (TB) and Aaron Sanchez (TOR). Both young starters have realized their potential this season. They’ve each mixed in a disastrous outing, but they’re under-priced relative to their upside. Neither has an elite matchup on Monday. Moore will face the Mariners who rank 11th in wRC+ against LHP with the 21st highest K Rate (21.2 percent) against LHP. Sanchez gets a big park shift and the benefit of no DH but the Giants rank ninth in wRC+ with the lowest K Rate in the league against RHP (15.2 percent). Moore has a bit more protection with expected K Rate and thus is our preference.

Other tournament pivots at the high end of the price range include: Corey Kluber (CLE), Jon Lester (CHC), and Felix Hernandez (SEA). Kluber has immense strikeout upside but a risky matchup with the Astros. Felix Hernandez has been a mess all year but the Rays are vulnerable against RHP and we saw Hernandez’s upside in a 10 strikeout performance earlier in the season. His price is so high he’ll likely come with very low ownership. Jon Lester (CHC) is the “safest” of that group for a good outing but the upside is dependent on working deep into the game. On the cheaper side of things, Scott Kazmir (LAD) and Steven Matz (NYM) square off against one another and should come with an intriguing combination of upside and low ownership. Jose Berrios (MIN) is a complete wild card but his K Rate early on, especially against RHBs, earns a flier in large tournaments.

Catcher Rankings

1) Brian McCann (NYY)

2) Welington Castillo (ARZ)

3) Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

4) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

Brian McCann (NYY) is the top cash game target at catcher. Injuries have pushed McCann into the third spot in the lineup and he’s facing an extreme fly ball prone starter in Yankee Stadium with the short porch in right field. Chris Young has allowed a .347 wOBA and 55.3 FB Rate to LHBs since 2013. McCann is a Top 40 hitter in our model and reasonably priced around the industry, making him your primary target. Welington Castillo (ARZ) could surpass McCann in our rankings if he’s in a great lineup spot, but he’s far too expensive for cash and a better target in GPP.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Jose Abreu (CHW)

4) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

5) John Jaso (PIT)

Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) trails only Carlos Gonzalez in our model and is clearly the top first base option to target. He’s priced accordingly on both sites but a recent slump has him a bit more affordable than you might usually see him in Colorado. If you can’t afford Goldschmidt, the next best option is to drop down and search for value. Our model likes John Jaso (PIT) as a road leadoff hitter on a team with an implied team total approaching five. Dan Straily owns a 12 percent BB Rate against LHBs since 2013 and the Reds bullpen is one we’ve attacked all season. Kendrys Morales (KC) is another viable alternative to Jaso and priced as a punt play on FanDuel. Ivan Nova has allowed a .336 wOBA and 33.7 percent hard hit rate to LHBs since 2013. Since joining the Royals in 2015, Morales owns an impressive .365 wOBA and .232 ISO against RHP and will likely hit cleanup while taking shots at Yankee Stadium’s short porch.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jean Segura (ARZ) – where eligible

2) Rougned Odor (TEX)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) Brandon Phillips (CIN)

5) Jose Altuve (HOU)

Second base is a difficult position to spend on if you’re paying up for SP and trying to squeeze some bats from Coors Field. Jean Segura (ARZ) is a viable spend on both sites, but not the Coors Field bat we’d prioritize. Segura cracks our Top 30 and is followed by Jason Kipnis (CLE) who is inside our Top 40 before there is a rather steep drop-off at the position. If looking for value, Starlin Castro (NYY), Jed Lowrie (OAK), and Derek Dietrich (MIA) are all viable cost saving alternatives if they land in good lineup spots. Derek Dietrich is the most intriguing as his power combination aligns well with Wily Peralta‘s struggles against lefties (.404 wOBA, .244 ISO allowed since the start of 2014) but we need a leadoff spot at home for the value to be there.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Trevor Story (COL)

3) Jean Segura (ARZ) – where eligible

4) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

5) Carlos Correa (HOU)

6) Brad Miller (TB)

Manny Machado (BAL), Trevor Story (COL), and Jean Segura (ARZ) are the potential spends at the shortstop position but once again premium hitters in the OF take priority over the middle infield on this slate. Jimmy Rollins (CHW) gets a favorable matchup with Colby Lewis (.339 wOBA, .173 ISO against LHBs since 2015) in a great hitters’ environment and will likely hit second. He’s cheap enough to represent a strong value getting you exposure to one of the stronger secondary offenses on the slate. Brad Miller (TB) is a pure punt option likely hitting second against Felix Hernandez.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC)

4) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

5) Todd Frazier (CHW)

6) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

Manny Machado (BAL), Nolan Arenado (COL), and Kris Bryant (CHC) represent Top 15 hitters in our model. We’re likely looking the value route though with third base relatively deep. Jake Lamb (ARZ) and Adrian Beltre (TEX) come with reasonable price tags and rank inside our Top 40 overall hitters. Lamb has the platoon advantage on the road in Coors Field and if hitting second he’s got a very good shot at five plate appearances. While Beltre ranks a bit higher in our model against a righty with reverse splits and vulnerable to power, Lamb looks like a preferred way to get exposure to the Diamondbacks offense.

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

4) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

5) Starling Marte (PIT)

6) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

7) David Peralta (ARZ) – health risk

8) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

9) Miguel Sano (MIN)

10) Adam Eaton (CHW)

11) Jose Bautista (TOR)

12) Christian Yelich (MIA)

13) Michael Brantley (CLE)

14) Gerardo Parra (COL)

15) Brett Gardner (NYY)

16) Adam Jones (BAL)

17) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

18) Mookie Betts (BOS)

19) Josh Reddick (OAK)

20) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

Outfield is once again loaded on this slate. Nine of the Top 15 hitters in our model are outfielders. Our biggest priority on the slate from a hitting standpoint is Carlos Gonzalez (COL). He’s our top overall hitter and facing Rubby de la Rosa who is extremely vulnerable to LHBs (.396 wOBA, .235 ISO since start of last season to LHBs). Gonzalez has been slumping of late and his well hit rate is down over the last few weeks but the price tag is also extremely affordable. If you’re not prioritizing Gonzalez because of the recent struggles, other outfielders in Coors Field rate well including Charlie Blackmon (COL) and David Peralta (ARZ) but all three of the PIT outfielders rank inside our Top 10. Gregory Polanco (PIT), in particular, has a really affordable price tag on FanDuel ($3,100) and is a great value over there. Miguel Sano (MIN) is also underpriced on FanDuel and an intriguing option against Tyler Wilson who struggles missing bats. Adam Jones (BAL) has a tricky matchup as Jose Berrios has been a walk and strikeout machine against RHBs but hasn’t allowed a ton of hard contact in a small sample. Jones is certainly underpriced for his skillset. Alex Gordon (KC) is another viable cheap alternative on FanDuel at $2,500 and he gets the short porch in Yankee Stadium to take aim at against an opposing starter who struggles to miss bats. On DraftKings, the value outfielders are less apparent, which will likely place a bigger emphasis on spending in the outfield.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

2) Arizona Diamondbacks

3) Pittsburgh Pirates

Tier Two

4) Chicago White Sox

5) Kansas City Royals

6) Texas Rangers

7) New York Yankees

8) Chicago Cubs

Coors Field takes precedence on this slate but the Pirates are getting a huge park shift against one of the worst pitching staffs in all of baseball. They’re likely the highest owned non-Coors Field stack in tournaments and justifiably so. The second tier is a list of solid contrarian tournament stacks as Coors Field usually soaks up enough ownership to make these secondary stacks worthwhile in tournaments. The Royals are one of our favorite tournament stacks with a big park shift and Ivan Nova hasn’t missed bats even out of the bullpen.

Tournament Stacks

Miami Marlins – Wily Peralta is really vulnerable to LH power and he’s backed up by a weak bullpen. A mini-stack with Yelich, Dietrich, and Stanton gives a ton of power upside in a favorable matchup and should come with low ownership.

Seattle Mariners – Matt Moore is homer prone, likely a high owned tournament starter, and the Mariners have a unique combination of hitters with a recent well hit rate above their one year average (Cano, Seager, Iannetta) and a player that historically has crushed LHP in Nelson Cruz. It’s a leverage play on Moore, likely used best for very large field GPPs.