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7/4 MLB DFS: Start your Fourth with Carlos Martinez

7/4 MLB DFS: Start your Fourth with Carlos Martinez
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Daily Fantasy Rundown – July 4th MLB DFS Picks and Analysis

Welcome to Saturday’s edition of the Daily Fantasy Rundown with “leonem”, “dinkpiece” and “thenumbersguy”. Each day throughout the MLB season our daily MLB scouting reports will highlight the best top, value and cheap plays of the day based on the Daily Fantasy Industry’s pricing for salary cap games. The goal of our analysis is to help you improve consistency and become a better player long-term.

Glossary: See a term you’re unfamiliar with? Check out our glossary page. If there’s something you’d like to see added there, please email us at help@dailyroto.com.

Weather:  We’ll provide Mark Paquette’s initial forecast via our alerts.  

If any weather situations shift drastically, we will keep you updated with lineup alerts so make sure to check your email inbox up until roster lock.

Catcher

The Play:

Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) – Lucroy is our top catcher option on Saturday. He’s posted a solid .346 wOBA and .155 ISO against RHP since 2012 and faces rookie RHP Josh Smith who has really struggled in his first two big league outings (5.63 ERA, 2.13 WHIP with 10 BB in 8 IP). Lucroy gets a favorable lineup spot (second) in an offense with one of the higher implied run totals on the evening. The catcher position lacks depth and Lucroy is one of the easier ways to access an offense we’re excited about.

Additional catcher notes: Lucroy is well ahead of the rest of the catcher options in cash game value, but there are a number of other options to consider. Within the notes section we’ll try to add more clarity based on slate. In the afternoon set of games, Brian McCann (NYY) and, where catcher eligible, Victor Martinez (DET) are the top targets. McCann is more vulnerable to rest given he caught on Friday night so if you’re playing without a Yankees lineup Martinez should be your choice. Both hit RHP well and are facing RHP who struggle against LHBs. Karns has allowed a .322 wOBA and 12.6 percent BB Rate to LHBs while R.A. Dickey has allowed a .318 wOBA and 1.18 HR/9 to LHBs since 2012. If you’re in need of value in the early slate, Yan Gomes (CLE) is the best option. The park environment and lineup spot aren’t ideal but Gomes has crushed LHP (.355 wOBA, .195 ISO since 2012) and is priced way down. I don’t think you’ll need value when constructing rosters for early only, but he’d fit. For the late slate, Lucroy is our primary target but there are additional values. A.J. Pierzynski (ATL) owns a .329 wOBA and .179 ISO against RHP since 2012 and faces Kevin Correia (.350 wOBA, 1.17 HR/9 allowed since 2012) who is one of the weakest starters on the entire slate. If Pierzynski gets the cleanup spot, he’s a viable alternative to Lucroy if you need salary relief. Wilin Rosario (COL) has absolutely crushed LHP (.418 wOBA, .295 ISO) since 2012 and gets Patrick Corbin making his first start since 2013. Where catcher-eligible, Rosario is another alternative to Lucroy. Without considering price, I’d rank them Lucroy, Rosario, and then a meaningful gap before Pierzynski. While Rosario has the platoon advantage and is a superior hitter against LHP, Patrick Corbin was a good starter who kept the ball on the ground when healthy and the Diamondbacks bullpen neutralizes most of Rosario’s value late. This is why we prefer Lucroy. He’s facing a weaker overall staff and he holds his value better late into games.  The catchers in the TEX-LAA game also have nice power upside against LHP. Robinson Chirinos (TEX) and Chris Iannetta (LAA) have both hit LHP well in their careers for power. They’re both viable tournament plays.

First Base

Top Targets:

Jose Abreu (CHW) – Abreu is the clear cut best target on the early only slate. He faces Chris Tillman who has been homer prone throughout his career to RHBs (1.46 HR/9 since 2012). Abreu has posted a .381 wOBA and .233 ISO against RHP as a big leaguer. An afternoon game with temperatures expected in the 80s should help the ball fly which really suits Abreu’s power profile against a fly ball oriented starter. Abreu ranks within our Top 10 overall hitters and his price point is a bit discounted. Salary relief won’t be a huge option in the early only slate, so he’s a fine option to spend on.

Joey Votto (CIN) – Votto ranks highest in our model of three reasonably priced first base options that we’re targeting. He faces Jimmy Nelson who has allowed a .364 wOBA and 1.41 HR/9 to LHBs. Votto has compiled an impressive .412 wOBA and .197 ISO against RHP and the homer prone Nelson gives Votto a solid home run score. Votto has the least lineup support of the trio we’re targeting, but also comes with the softest price point. His ability to contribute as an all-around hitter and hold his value into the game (largely neutral splits) pushes him ahead of the other options in our model, but I view them all similarly.

Albert Pujols (LAA) – Pujols has posted just a .331 wOBA against LHP since 2012 but it’s largely driven by a .239 BABIP. The ISO (.225) and hard hit rates (39.1 percent) are still elite which gives us confidence in forecasting above average production against LHP. Wandy Rodriguez has allowed a .317 wOBA and 1.17 HR/9 to RHBs since 2012. He’s not a terrible LHP but Pujols is getting a big park shift and in an offense with an implied run total over 4.5. Pujols also ranks inside our Top 10 overall hitters. He’s just a few spots behind Votto, and generally priced above Votto, so we’re more likely to use him as a part of a mini-stack or stack in tournaments. He’s a fine cash game play, but the extra salary from dropping down at first base might come in handy on the evening slate.

Adam Lind (MIL) – Lind always ranks a bit behind the other top options because he’s so vulnerable to LHP late in the game. Lind has crushed RHP (.387 wOBA, .206 ISO) but he’s useless against lefties. Fortunately, the Reds only have two LH relievers and one of them is their closer which they rarely use outside of save opportunities. The bad news is the bullpen is a bit worn and Manny Parra didn’t pitch on Friday so there is a decent chance he makes an appearance on Saturday. The initial matchup with Josh Smith looks very favorable. We’ve touched on Smith’s struggles in a limited big league sample but the projection systems aren’t particularly high on him. ZiPS projects a .337 wOBA/.154 ISO against LHBs and a .331 wOBA/.175 ISO against RHBs for Smith. Lind ranks a bit behind Pujols and Votto in our model but also cracks the Top 15 hitters.

Additional first base notes: For both slates those are our four primary targets but as usual first base is deep. Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) ranks as our highest rated first baseman but comes with a very expensive price tag. We like him more as a tournament play. Edwin Encarnacion‘s (TOR) elite history against LHP pushes him inside our Top 20 overall hitters despite a difficult matchup with David Price. The Blue Jays are an interesting contrarian tournament stack given their success against LHP and the Tigers poor bullpen behind them. Encarnacion is a strong tournament option. Eric Hosmer (KC) rates as a Top 25 hitter in our model and comes with a modest price tag. Unfortunately he’s in that loaded evening slate which pushes him down our preferred options. He’s viable in cash games but comes with a bit less power upside. I’m more likely to use him if attacking Royals in a tournament. David Ortiz (BOS) is dominant against RHP and thus rates inside our Top 15 hitters, but Collin McHugh has been decent against LHBs. The price tag is discounted around the industry, but I’d much rather attack Chris Tillman with Jose Abreu. Ortiz is a secondary value play. Adam LaRoche (CHW) is also a secondary value play in that afternoon slate. We prefer Abreu who is a better all-around hitter and not expensive, but LaRoche is also discounted and ranks inside our Top 30 hitters.

Second Base

Afternoon Targets:

Neil Walker (PIT) – Walker has always hit RHP very well (.356 wOBA, .194 ISO since 2012) and ZiPS projection system isn’t high on Cody Anderson (projected .382 wOBA, .210 ISO allowed vs. LHBs). The ZiPS projection seems aggressive but it’s built off Anderson allowing a .345/.409/.586 line to LHBs at AA last year. Anderson has been wildly better this year (.202/.231/.282) and he’s had success in his first two big league starts. The price point on Walker isn’t prohibitive so I don’t mind taking the chance on Walker’s skill set and Anderson’s limited experience.

Kolten Wong (STL) – Wong faces Odrisamer Despaigne who has allowed a .325 wOBA to LHBs as a big leaguer. Wong has shown incredible growth against RHP this season (.364 wOBA, .201 ISO) and he hits leadoff for a solid Cardinals offense. Wong’s game has a bit more upside to Walker (combination of power and speed) and the Cardinals implied run total is a bit higher (4.2 vs. 3.9 runs). This mitigates some of the potential skill gap between Despaigne and Anderson. I view Walker and Wong interchangeably for the afternoon slate.

Evening Targets:

Johnny Giavotella (LAA) – The evening slate is flush with top offenses in good ballparks which makes salary relief a priority wherever you can get it. When it comes in a premier lineup spot in one of those offenses, you pounce. This is the case with Giavotella who has been leading off for the Angels. Giavotella hasn’t hit LHP well in his career (.266 wOBA, .083 ISO) and the projection systems aren’t particularly high on him (ZiPS projects a .300 wOBA, .107 ISO against LHP) but he’s minimum priced and hitting leadoff for an offense we want to target. He cracks our Top 90 hitters overall, which isn’t great but for a minimum price tag we’ll take it.

Jace Peterson (ATL) – Like Giavotella, Peterson isn’t much of a hitter. He’s mustered just a .286 wOBA and .100 ISO against RHP as a big leaguer. He does add value with his legs and he’s facing a weaker opposing starter. Kevin Correia has allowed a .350 wOBA to LHBs since 2012. The Braves have a lower run expectation (4.4 vs. 4.7) and Peterson is slightly more expensive around the industry. We prefer Giavotella because of the cheaper price tag, but Peterson is a fine alternative and he’s likely coming with a significantly lower ownership rate.

Additional second base notes: Robinson Cano (SEA) is underpriced around the industry and Kendall Graveman has struggled against LHBs (.333 wOBA, 33.1 percent hard hit rate allowed). Wong and Walker profile slightly better which makes Cano a secondary alternative on the afternoon slate. The Astros second base eligible players are solid tournament plays. The volatility of their offense along with the volatility of Clay Buchholz makes both sides viable tournament options. Jose Altuve (HOU) and Luis Valbuena (HOU) fit this mold. Scooter Gennett (MIL) could crack our value plays section for the late slate if he earns a favorable lineup spot, but we’re not expecting it.

Shortstop

Top Play:

Troy Tulowitzki (COL) – Tulowitzki gets a LHP in a strong hitting environment. It’s a big step down from his home park, but Chase Field is a positive environment overall. Tulowitzki owns an incredible .431 wOBA and .261 ISO against LHP since 2012. Much of that is influenced by Coors Field, but even cutting that production by 20 percent, he’s well above the field at the position. Patrick Corbin was solid against RHBs (.318 wOBA, 1.09 HR/9) when we last saw him in 2013, but we expect some rust in his first major league start back. With Tulowitzki’s price down modestly around the industry, we think he’s the best target in the evening slate and in all day contests.

Additional shortstop notes: Jhonny Peralta (STL) is our favored early only target. He’s competent against RHP (.328 wOBA, .148 ISO since 2012) and we expect the Cardinals to get some cracks at the softer parts of the Padres bullpen. Peralta hits in the middle of a lineup with OBP machines in front of him. Xander Bogaerts (BOS) is the other afternoon alternative. He has a fair price point for his skill set, but gets a boost from an elite lineup spot in a great home park for RH production. The evening slate could require salary relief at shortstop and there are a few options that fit the bill. We’d rather try to squeeze Tulowitzki in, but Alcides Escobar (KC), Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA), and Erick Aybar (LAA) all get good lineup spots in favorable matchups.  Hanser Alberto (TEX) is another potential punt play if he earns the leadoff spot. He’s more valuable on DraftKings where he’s one of the few options priced near the minimum.

Third Base

Value Plays:

Adrian Beltre (TEX) – Beltre has compiled a .370 wOBA and .188 ISO against LHP since 2012. He’s facing Hector Santiago who has allowed a .328 wOBA and 1.45 HR/9 to RHBs during that span. The Rangers offense loses some value against LHP because all of their primary bats are LHBs with wide platoon splits, but Beltre’s home run upside is significant. The Rangers implied run total is pushing 4.5 and Beltre’s price tag around the industry is discounted. He cracks our Top 20 hitters overall.

David Freese (LAA) – Freese rates a bit behind Lamb in our model, but I view them similarly. Freese typically gets an elite lineup spot against LHP (fourth or fifth) and he’s handled lefties very well in his career (.363 wOBA, .187 ISO since 2012). Hitting behind Trout and Pujols, he typically gets premier plate appearances. The Angels have the highest implied run total of the entire day and the Angels are getting a huge park shift in their favor.

Jake Lamb (ARI) – Once again Lamb rates as a nice value in our model. David Hale has allowed a .355 wOBA and 1.14 HR/9 to LHBs as a big leaguer. Lamb hasn’t dominated RHP yet (.317 wOBA, .141 ISO) in his career but ZiPS projects a .320 wOBA and .178 ISO for Lamb this season against RHP. With a price tag below the average hitter at his position, Lamb rates as a really strong value. He ranks inside our Top 40 hitters.

Additional third base notes: Third base isn’t short on viable options on Saturday. All of the recommendations above are in the evening slate, so let’s focus on some afternoon options. Matt Carpenter (STL) is the safest of the afternoon options for cash games. His price tag is reasonable and he’s one of the best bets to get on base and produce positive points. He doesn’t have immense upside but we like the matchup for positive production. Josh Harrison (PIT), Chase Headley (NYY) and Pablo Sandoval (BOS) are the next best options. Harrison is the next best option for positive points after Carpenter. Given ZiPS weak outlook on Cody Anderson, he rates well in our model. Headley has the most power upside with Yankee Stadium’s short porch and Sandoval has historically hit RHP very well. On the tournament side of the equation, Josh Donaldson (TOR) has elite skills against LHP and some sites are discounting his price tag because of the matchup with David Price. Conor Gillaspie (CHW) gets a favorable matchup for power and comes with a cheap tag. On the evening slate, Todd Frazier (CIN) and Aramis Ramirez (MIL) are strong tournament plays given the home run upside in Great American Ballpark.

Outfield

Top Plays:

Mike Trout (LAA) – Trout is the top overall hitter in our model. He gets a huge park shift, has an elevated implied team run total, and gets the platoon advantage. Trout crushes both LHP and RHP but his value increases against LHP because it raises the value of most of the bats around him (Pujols, Freese, etc). If you can afford him, he’s a tremendous play.

Ryan Braun/Carlos Gomez (MIL) – After Trout, the Brewers outfielders rank inside our Top 20 hitters with Braun inside our Top 10. Braun (.358 wOBA, .203 ISO since 2012) and Gomez (.349 wOBA, .189 ISO) are both solid hitters against RHP with good power profiles and they add value with their legs. We’re not particularly high on Josh Smith and view the Reds bullpen behind him as very vulnerable. If priced closely to Trout, I’d rather reach for Trout but on sites where the gap is wide, Braun and Gomez serve as viable alternatives.

Value Plays:

Afternoon Targets:

White Sox Outfielders (CHW) – Adam Eaton (.329 wOBA, .130 ISO), Melky Cabrera (.336 wOBA, .118 ISO), and Avisail Garcia (.308 wOBA, .119 ISO) are all adequate hitters against RHP. Chris Tillman is one of the weaker starters in the afternoon slate and he’s vulnerable to home runs which really drive DFS value. All of the White Sox outfielders are priced affordably and earn strong lineup spots.

Jason Heyward (STL) – Heyward has compiled a .360 wOBA and .183 ISO against RHP since 2012. Despaigne is someone we’re comfortable attacking with LHBs and Heyward has been hitting in premier lineup spots of late. His price tag is fair around the industry but salary isn’t as much of a concern on the afternoon slate.

Evening Targets:

Gerardo Parra (MIL) – Parra’s the one Milwaukee bat that isn’t priced like the others and he commands the leadoff spot. He’s a solid hitter against RHP (.333 wOBA, .148 ISO since 2012) and has a favorable matchup with rookie Josh Smith. He’s a Top 55 hitter in our model and priced well below that expectation around the industry.

David Peralta (ARZ) – This one is a bit more site specific as Peralta’s price tag has climbed substantially on FanDuel, but remains investable on DraftKings and some other sites. Peralta cracks our Top 25 hitters overall as he’s posted an impressive .363 wOBA and .197 ISO against RHP as a big leaguer. We touched on David Hale’s struggles with LHBs at the big league level and Peralta gets a good lineup spot against RHP. It’s important to be price sensitive here, but if you can get Peralta slightly above the average cost of an outfielder, he’s a fine buy.

Jay Bruce (CIN) – Bruce has a nice matchup with Jimmy Nelson‘s issues with the long ball. Bruce derives most of his value from his power (.338 wOBA, .214 ISO against RHP since 2012) and Nelson has allowed 1.41 HR/9 to LHBs as a big leaguer. In Great American Ballpark which inflates LH home runs 12 percent above the league average, Bruce has one of the higher home run scores in our model.

Additional outfield notes: Whoever leads off for the Tigers (Davis or Gose) has some appeal as a value play against the knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey. The Tigers lineup will lose a lot of its overall value without Miguel Cabrera in the lineup, but both Gose and Davis are cheap ways to get exposure to Dickey’s struggles and a poor Toronto bullpen behind him. Jose Bautista (TOR) and Andrew McCutchen (PIT) rate as strong outfield options to spend on in the afternoon. Bautista is a better tournament play given the strength of David Price while McCutchen is a more viable spend in cash games. If Gregory Polanco (PIT) leads off, he’d also represent a fine cash game value on the early slate. For the evening slate, there are some salary relief options that can help you fit all the premier bats. Nick Markakis (ATL) and Kelly Johnson (ATL) come with extremely cheap price tags and a favorable matchup with Kevin Correia. Markakis has very limited upside but should churn out positive points while Johnson has a bit more power upside. We haven’t touched on the Marlins much but Marcell Ozuna (MIA) is underpriced for a matchup with a contact oriented lefty. Clayton Richard last pitched in the majors in 2013 and he was terrible then (10 percent K Rate, 4.66 xFIP). Alex Gordon (KC) gets an underwhelming lineup spot but rates really well in our model. If he’s in the Top Five, he’s cash game viable.

Starting Pitcher

Rankings (price not considered):

Tier One

1a) Carlos Martinez (STL)

1b) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

1c) Zack Greinke (LAD)

4a) Michael Pineda (NYY)

4b) Matt Harvey (NYM)

4c) Felix Hernandez (SEA)

Tier Two

7) Alex Wood (ATL)

8) David Price (DET)

9) Clay Buchholz (BOS)

10) Jeff Samardzija (CHW)

Top Play:

Instead of just focusing on Carlos Martinez (STL) who tops our tier, I think it makes the most sense to discuss this tier as a whole. We have a lot of elite pitching throwing on Saturday and most of it is coming in average or below average matchups. This allows Martinez, in an elite matchup, to climb our rankings. He’s likely the weakest skilled starter of this group and an elevated BB Rate brings the perception of more volatility, but Martinez has only allowed more than three earned runs in two of his 15 starts. This is in line with the consistency of most aces. He faces a Padres offense that ranks 24th in wRC+ and strikes out at an above average clip against RHP (22.2 percent). In addition, the Padres typically only get three LHBs in their lineup and Martinez has demonstrated really wide platoon splits in his career (.337 wOBA allowed, 17 percent K Rate to LHBs and .275 wOBA allowed, 28.5 percent K Rate to RHBs). The matchup should help limit the volatility. He’s also priced a bit differently than all the other tier one starters, making him a foundation of our lineups.

Madison Bumgarner (SF) is the next highest rated pitcher in our model. He gets a watered down Nationals offense against LHP without Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, and Jayson Werth (their three best hitters against lefties). It’s on the road, so there is a slight negative park shift, but in general the matchup is fair. His expected strikeout rate is similar to Martinez and comes with less volatility, but the win potential closes some of that gap. In addition, he’s in the quirky 11:05 AM EST game, which many may forego in the slates they choose to play.

Zack Greinke (LAD) closes out the trio atop our rankings. He has the lowest opposing team total (-170 favorite in a game with a total of just six) and is facing a below average and very right handed offense. Greinke is exceptional in run prevention but an ordinary strikeout rate (22.6 percent) caps some of his upside. Martinez and Bumgarner rate higher in our model due to their expected strikeout production, but Greinke rates as the best bet for run prevention.

Michael Pineda (NYY), Felix Hernandez (SEA), and Matt Harvey (NYM) round out a very deep top tier. Pineda has the best matchup for strikeouts against a right hand heavy Tampa Bay offense that is less likely to take advantage of Yankee Stadium’s dimensions. Felix Hernandez and Matt Harvey have great individual skill sets but face the fifth and first ranked offenses in wRC+ against RHP. The A’s in particular just don’t strikeout (17.1 percent against RHP) which really impedes the expected value for Hernandez. Pineda, if price down due to the blow-up against Philadelphia, is the option I’m most likely to use from this group and it would come on multiple SP sites.

Value Play:

Alex Wood (ATL) – Carlos Martinez is technically the top value at the position and on some sites Michael Pineda would also serve as a strong value, but we’ve covered both options in the section above. This leaves Alex Wood as the last value play we need to touch on. Wood faces a Phillies offense that ranks 19th in wRC+ against LHP and is getting a park downgrade in Atlanta. After a slow start to the season, Wood is coming around a bit. His K Rate jumped back up to 19.4 percent in June after spending most of the season in the 16-17 percent range. It’s not the 24.5 percent we saw last season, but it’s a step forward. The run prevention should be strong against a Phillies offense with an implied run total close to three and he’s the heaviest favorite on the entire slate (-205). The evening slate features the majority of the top bats you want to spend on, which makes his value a bit more of a priority in roster construction. On all day slates, his only value would be on multiple SP sites; but on the evening only slate I think he earns consideration even on single SP sites.

Additional starting pitcher notes:  You’ll see David Price (DET) in our second tier and this is probably the only time all season he’ll rank outside our Top Five starters. A matchup with the Blue Jays is as difficult as it gets. He gets the benefit of facing them at home, but it’s a very tough matchup for a LHP. I think he’s only worth consideration in tournaments and even there, the SP options are so deep that he’s not a preferred option. I like Clay Buchholz (BOS) a bit more for tournaments. He’s flashed dominant peripherals most of the season and faces a strikeout prone Astros offense that is largely RH. I’d have a hard time trusting Buchholz in cash games, but in tournaments the upside merits consideration. The SP options fall off fairly dramatically after that second tier. In fact, we have some of the weakest starters in the league going alongside all these aces. I wouldn’t stray much from the first tier in cash games with Alex Wood as the only exception. In addition, the depth at the position should naturally force some ownership down on other high end starters, so I think the other top tier options make for tournament plays.

Macro Thinking, Stacks, and Tournament Notes:

This is a new section we’ve created to try and offer more dedicated macro thinking to our analysis and hopefully add more value to those playing tournaments. The format is a bit of a work in progress and we welcome feedback (help@dailyroto.com) if you have suggestions.

Top Tournament Stacks/Cash Game Mini Stacks:

1a) Los Angeles Angels

1b) Milwaukee Brewers

3) Colorado Rockies

4) Arizona Diamondbacks

5) Chicago White Sox

These are the primary offenses to target in cash games. Unfortunately most of them are in the evening slate, which makes offense a bit scarcer in the afternoon. The Angels get a huge park shift and their RH heavy offense faces a below average lefty in a great hitting environment. Mike Trout is our top overall hitter but Albert Pujols, David Freese, and Chris Iannetta have all hit LHP well in their career. Throw in a punt MI option in Giavotella leading off and it’s a friendly lineup to stack or mini-stack. The Brewers get Josh Smith who has been knocked around in his first two big league starts. The Reds bullpen is below average and worn down after logging heavy innings on Friday. The Brewers have one elite value play (Parra), a top positional play at a scarce position (Lucroy), and then expensive bats at premier positions in Braun, Gomez, and Lind. They’re a fun lineup to work with for stacking because they have a little of everything.

The Rockies and Diamondbacks don’t have a total as of this writing but we’re expecting a total at nine or higher. Patrick Corbin is making his first major league start after recovering from Tommy John Surgery and he wasn’t missing bats in his minor league rehab (16.9 K Rate). The Rockies have a few elite hitters against LHP and they come at scarce positions (Rosario, Tulowitzki, and Arenado). The Diamondbacks are a bit tougher. They face a below average RHP but they don’t have many bats that get the platoon advantage. Jake Lamb and David Peralta are recommended targets, but AJ Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt come with price tags that will push them into tournament only status.

The White Sox are the best afternoon team to target. They’re difficult to stack because LaRoche and Abreu occupy the same position but they come with a lot of salary relief in the outfield. Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera, and Avisail Garcia are all affordable ways to get exposure to homer prone Chris Tillman. Tillman has been dreadful all season (4.89 xFIP) and he’s homer prone to both LHBs and RHBs. Given the early slate is a bit thin on elite offenses, I think roster construction lends itself to mini-stacking White Sox in early only cash games.

Contrarian/Secondary Stacks:

1) Boston Red Sox

2) Cincinnati Reds

3) Kansas City Royals

4) Toronto Blue Jays

5) Houston Astros

The Red Sox and Astros are the other early offenses in an elite hitting environment. We saw the upside in both offenses last night. Price tags make it difficult to fit them in cash games and both teams are throwing above average starters, but the scoring environment makes them worthy tournament targets.

The Royals have an elite matchup against Mike Pelfrey but it comes in a tough park. They’ll go under-owned in the evening slate because of all the elite hitting environments, but the matchup is very good. No individual plays stand out for cash games, but as a collective they have tournament appeal.

The Cardinals are the other afternoon offense I’d focus on along with the White Sox in cash games. Odrisamer Despaigne gets buy largely on weak contact. He’s been vulnerable to LHBs and he doesn’t typically work deep into games. The three Cardinals LHBs at the top of the lineup (Wong, Carpenter, and Hayward) are all strong plays in early only and make for a solid mini-stack. Throw in Jhonny Peralta due to the lack of depth at SS and you’re approaching a full stack. With that said, for tournaments, I think the Blue Jays offense makes a lot of sense. They’re elite against LHP and the Tigers bullpen behind David Price is a disaster. If they get to Price early, there is huge potential. The early slate also comes with more salary relief as a whole so reaching for the pricey Blue Jays bats doesn’t have as much opportunity cost compared to the evening slate.

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