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October 1 MLB DFS Early Slate: Manny Happy Returns
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October 1 MLB DFS Early Slate Show Outline: 

 

03:53 Starting Pitchersjose16
08:11 Catchers
10:10 First Base
12:22 Second Base
14:26 Shortstops
16:31 Third Base
18:59 Outfield
23:00 Cash Game Construction and Stacks

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October 1 MLB DFS Early Slate PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Clayton Kershaw (LAD)

Tier Two

2) Jon Lester (CHC)

Tier Three

3) Tanner Roark (WAS)

4) Trevor Bauer (CLE)

5) Bartolo Colon (NYM)

6) Wei-Yin Chen (MIA)

7) Jaime Garcia (STL)

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) is an anchor in cash games on a shortened slate. While the Dodgers have the division wrapped up and potentially may not even need this game if home field is already decided, the lack of opportunity cost on the slate still makes Kershaw a must. He can definitely be faded in cash games, but even in reduced innings is still more than likely to be the highest scoring SP on the slate.

The lack of opportunity cost stems from the next best option being a similar spot as Kershaw in terms of it being a meaningless game (Jon Lester (CHC)), only carrying less skill and a tougher park. Following that, we dip into a third tier where the skills aren’t there to justify using over Kershaw, even if there is some risk of a six inning Kershaw outing. Additionally, there aren’t a lot of expensive options on the hitting side you need to force in. Most teams have a modest IRT and many games don’t have lines out yet. We’re expecting the Cubs (risk of early exits for major players) and Mets (no on the FanDuel slate) to have the highest run totals.

With all that said, you can certainly look elsewhere in tournaments and will need to venture into the third tier for you second SP on DraftKings. We’re hopeful lineups can help us to differentiate the options here, but currently Tanner Roark (WAS) (Marlins are 24th in wRC+ against RHP), Trevor Bauer (CLE) (Royals are 28th in wRC+ against RHP), Bartolo Colon (NYM) (Mets need to win and faces a Phillies team with a high K rate and 29th ranking in wRC+ against RHP), and Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) (arguably a pretty tight tier so the price on DraftKings is very appealing even if the matchup is the worst of this group).

Catcher Rankings

1) Gary Sanchez (NYY)

2) Wilson Contreras (CHC)

3) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

4) Matt Wieters (BAL)

5) Yadier Molina (STL)

Gary Sanchez (NYM) and Wilson Contreras (CHC) rate heads and shoulders above the rest of the catchers on this slate. However, Sanchez’s price and uncertainty around if the Cubs starters will play the whole game do make assessing their values difficult. On one hand they are the best per dollar options at a scarce position. On the other hand, you’re using Clayton Kershaw in cash and can’t afford unnecessary spends on the offensive side. We’re hopeful we can find a punt here to use. As it stands right now, Matt Wieters (BAL) (faces a fly ball RHP in Yankee Stadium and has been hit ing fifth) looks to be the best cheap catcher option. He’s most valuable on DraftKings. UPDATE: On FanDuel, it’s not too difficult to play Sanchez.

First Base Rankings

1) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

2) Carlos Santana (CLE)

3) Chris Davis (BAL)

4) Eric Hosmer (KC)

5) Mark Teixeira (NYY)

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) rates as the top 1B in our model both in terms of raw total and value. However the concern that Cubs hitters may be lifted early (Rizzo has just 3 PAs in three of four games) combined with our desire to pay up for Kershaw makes him more of a tournament play. Instead we’d look to extract value in the mid-tier. Chris Davis (BAL) is simply too cheap based on his power skill set in Yankee Stadium. Aside from him, options are a bit more site specific with Carlos Santana (CLE) (Edinson Volquez has a 4.52 xFIP and 12.2 hard minus soft hit rate) popping on DraftKings and Mark Teixeira (NYY) (Miley has a 4.51 FIP) on FanDuel.

Second Base Rankings

1) Trea Turner (WAS)

2) Matt Carpenter (STL)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) Tommy La Stella (CHC)

5) Dee Gordon (MIA)

One Cub we’d take a chance on in cash games is Tommy La Stella (CHC) if he leads off. The price is so cheap at a scarce position that it mitigates some of the risk associated with possibly being subbed out earlier. The Cubs have an IRT of 5 in Cincinnati against Tim Adleman (5.50 FIP). Any cheap option in a good lineup spot would be a viable pivot, and Starlin Castro (NYY), especially on FanDuel, represents a slightly more expensive pivot. He’ll hold the platoon edge at home against Wade Miley. Castro has a +0.4 delta in our well-hit tool over the last two weeks.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

3) Corey Seager (LAD)

4) Addison Russell (CHC)

5) Javier Baez (CHC)

Across the industry both Francisco Lindor (CLE) and Addison Russell (CHC) are have accessible price tags in plus matchups we’ve already touched on. However, on DraftKings it’s really hard to justify not locking in Manny Machado (BAL). The orioles are very underpriced in Yankee Stadium. This high upside offense, which needs a win, will face Luis Severino, who despite good stuff struggles in Yankee Stadium as a starter because of the hard hit contact he allows.

Third Base Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Matt Carpenter (STL)

4) Anthony Rendon (WAS)

5) Tommy La Stella (CHC)

Like at shortstop, Machado finds himself well underpriced at third base and a top value on both FanDuel and DraftKings. Similarly priced pivots include Anthony Rendon (WAS) on FanDuel and Matt Carpenter (STL) on DraftKings. Rendon has a career .357 wOBA and .144 ISO against LHP, while opposing pitcher Wei-Yin Chen allows plenty of hard hit aerial contact. Carpenter gets as subpar RHP in Chad Kuhl and is a safe source of some points given his high wOBA versus RHP (.375 career).

Outfield Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Jayson Werth (WAS)

3) Trea Turner (WAS)

4) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

5) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

6) Bryce Harper (WAS)

7) Rajai Davis (CLE) (if leading off)

8) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

9) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

10) Jay Bruce (NYM)

While our model doesn’t love the Mets, they are eligible on DraftKings and seem like one of the better teams to target on a shortened slate, needing to win and facing Phil Klein, who has been pitching unsuccessfully in relief. We don’t mind stretching to Yoenis Cespedes (NYM), who our model likes, or to Jay Bruce (NYM), who our model is not as high on but has been crushing the ball recently (5.10 well-hit rating over last two weeks, not counting the homer he hit last night). The team that does rate really well in our model are the Chicago Cubs. We don’t mind grabbing exposure to a guy here or there given how good of a spot they are in relative to the other teams on the slate, but would advise against getting over-exposed to a team like that in cash where early substitutions may be made. Jayson Werth (WAS) is our second ranked outfielder and a strong value across the industry given his skills against LHP (.403 wOBA and .297 ISO since 2015). Aside from him we like the Baltimore outfielders quite a bit, viewing the entire team as underpriced against Luis Severino in Yankee Stadium in a game they need to win. On the other side, Jacoby Ellsbury/Brett Gardner (NYY) are cheap enough that they can be used in cash, despite lacking the platoon edge. Adam Duvall‘s (CIN) power is worth targeting in tournaments.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) New York Mets

Tier Two

2) Baltimore Orioles

3) Chicago Cubs

4) Cleveland Indians

5) New York Yankees

6) Washington Nationals

The Mets are in a game they need to win and facing a subpar RHP who won’t pitch deep. This creates a ton of upside for a team that ranks fifth in HRs against RHP. With so much uncertainty on the slate, we really don’t mind eschewing model values on DraftKings and forcing in Mets exposure where you can afford it while still getting Kershaw into your cash game lineups.

The Mets of course are not eligible on FanDuel, and the second tier is really crowded. The Orioles give you power upside (first in HRs against RHP) in a great hitter’s park, on the road (guaranteed nine innings), against a homer prone pitcher. Based on that and pricing, we like them best as a value mini-stack in cash games and the second best full stack (behind mets in tournaments).