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September 10 MLB DFS: KKKKKKKKluber

Adam Hummell
September 10 MLB DFS: KKKKKKKKluber
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Welcome to September 10 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for September 10 MLB DFS along with LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using the customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!

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Time Stamps
01:29 
Starting Pitcher
11:46 Catcher
14:32 First Base
18:52 Second Base
24:00 Third Base
27:21 Shortstop
31:50 Outfield
39:35 Stacks

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  • In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
  • In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.

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Range of Outcome Projections

September 10 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Corey Kluber (CLE) and Jacob deGrom (NYM) are two elite SPs in plus matchups, battling it out atop our SP rankings. We surprisingly have Kluber for a higher K projection on the slate, despite deGrom having a better overall K rate baseline and similar outs/batters faced baselines. In the aggregate, both the Rays and Marlins strike out just a touch below league average against RHP. However, this current Rays lineup is littered with guys that have bad K rate baselines against RHP, like Mallex Smith (19.8%), Ji-Man Choi (25.5%), and Tommy Pham (26%) in the first three spots in the order. Overall, we have the Rays as lefty-heavy, but with bad LHBs. This actually plays into Kluber’s hands. He struck out 31.3% of LHBs faced last season and 28.1% thus far this year (only 23% against RHBs this year).

deGrom has unquestionably been the better overall SP this season (.257 xwOBA versus .292, 31.3 K% versus 25.5%). It’s possible you simply want to diversify your exposure by site. On DK, Kluber is the play at a large $2,400 discount, but deGrom is actually the cheaper option on FD. Our optimals are pushing to Kluber on both sites, but we view them as very comparable choices.

The AL Central is so bad that it seems to break our models at times when teams like the White Sox and Royals face each other – movable object versus stoppable force. We get low price tags on hitters and pitchers yet somehow improving contexts for both as well. We see this as we sift through pitcher values. Jake Junis (KC) is interesting on FD as a mid-tier option. He’s shown the upside in terms of batters faced and working deep into games. Plus. he’s starting to miss more bats recently, striking out at least 5 batters in seven straight starts, including 7-plus in three of those. Of course, the home matchup against the White Sox is high end, especially now that we’re getting cooler temperatures in KC.

On the other side of that ball game, Lucas Giolito (CHW) gets a positive park shift and has finally started to miss bats. Here are Giolito’s K rates by month: 8.9 > 14.0 > 16.4 > 15.8 > 26.8. He technically has a 30% K rate this month, but hey it’s one start where he made it through just four starts so let’s not cherry pick that stat. He’s had four starts with a SwStr rate in the double digits over his past eight (5/20 prior to that). He’s appealing as a cheap SP2 on DK to allow you a stud SP and still fit in some of the better bats.

Sean Newcomb (ATL) has really appealing price tags on both sites and a pretty darn good matchup in San Francisco as well, leaving him with a 3.6 IRTA, the lowest of the non-deGrom/Kluber division. Newcomb has faltered after a phenomenal start to the year. He hasn’t worked deep in three straight games and has allowed a FanGraphs Hard% of 53.3% or worse in four of five games, which is pretty astounding. Still, if Newcomb can keep the wheels on, the blend of K upside and park at this price is solid.

JA Happ (NYY) gets lost in the shuffle on this slate as he’s clearly behind Kluber and deGrom if spending up but doesn’t really give you the desired savings if dropping off those two. He’s a better tournament option on DK than FD between relative pricing and the need for two SPs.

We get two decent pitchers in Coors Field. German Marquez (COL) has flashed some absurd K upside, but the price doesn’t seem worth risking tonight. On the other side, Zack Godley (ARI) is cheap on DK, giving him some small MME appeal.

Catcher

On Monday’s slate, there are exactly two catchers who pop as neutral values or better on DK: Gary Sanchez (NYY). Of the two, Sanchez rates as the superior value for us facing Kyle Gibson in power-friendly Target Field (especially for right-handed bats). Thus far, right-handed hitters (RHHs) have posted a 1.30 HR/9 rate and 38.7-percent hard hit rate against Gibson and the Yankees are being implied to score 5.0 runs on the road.

If looking to differentiate in tournaments, Robinson Chirinos (TEX) and Omar Narvaez (CWS) are the players at the position worth pivoting to. Chirinos is the obvious power threat of the duo in a matchup against reverse-splits Jaime Barria. In 53.1 innings versus RHHs, Barra has been burned to the tune of a .368 wOBA, 1.86 HR/9 rate, 36.5-percent hard hit rate and a 45.2-percent fly ball rate while only striking them out at a 16.9-percent rate. Narvaez draws the platoon advantage against Jake Junis and Junis’ 41.5-percent hard hit rate allowed to lefties ranks as the fifth highest amongst pitchers on this slate. At their respective price points, there is a place for all these players on this slate.

Salvador Perez (KC) will draw a matchup against Giolito and his 5.28 FIP against RHP and Perez features some pop. Although he rarely walks (2.6-percent) in the split, and Giolito can get wild, Giolito has been burned by the long ball (1.44 HR/9 rate) and Perez’s .212 ISO is substantial (especially for a catcher). If bad Giolito shows up (like it did last game), Perez is just $2,800 on FD and his upside clearly includes producing hits of the extra-base variety.

First Base

Playing in Coors Field, Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) leads all projections at the first base position and it is not really close. Opposing starter German Marquez has struck out 34.0-percent of the righties he has faced this year, and posted an impressive 2.88 FIP in the split, but Goldschmidt is so talented that he still leads the way. Even on the wrong end of the platoon split, Goldschmidt has managed a .389 wOBA, .241 ISO and 45.4-percent hard hit rate against RHP this year. Lock him in in cash games and move on.

Matt Carpenter (STL) is $500 cheaper on DK  and Carlos Santana (PHI) is nearly $2,000 cheaper on FD so they are the secondary plays according to our model. Carpenter is a matchup nightmare for Trevor Williams because Williams’ K rate against left-handed hitters (LHHs) is lowest on the slate and his 4.86 FIP personifies how lucky he has been. Carpenter leads all active Cardinals hitters in career wOBA against RHP and it is unlikely that he will do much swinging and missing in this spot. Meanwhile, Santana is about $1,000 underpriced against Tanner Roark. In terms of pitch data, this matchup is elite, as Roark relies heavily on his sinker (nearly 50-percent) versus LHHs. Since the beginning of 2017, Santana has produced a ridiculous .588 xwOBA against right-handed sinkers and he is less than $3,000 on FD and presumably leading off. Not a bad pivot.

Jefry Marte (LAA) is nearly minimum-priced on FD and on the correct side of the platoon split against flyball-prone Mike Minor. While Marte’s .266 xwOBA against LHP leaves much to be desired, he should be hitting towards the middle of the lineup, and the risk is baked into the price.

Greg Bird (NYY) is an all-or-nothing type talent (.330 wOBA, .221 ISO as baselines) so there is potential upside in this spot for him against a pitcher only striking out lefties at a 18.7-percent rate.

Otherwise, Matt Davidson (CWS) and Freddie Freeman (ATL) both are viable game theory plays as Davidson is facing a power-prone pitcher and Freeman is in a poor hitting environment (but he is so talented he can get it done anywhere). Nearly will garner much ownership and both of their implied team totals are hovering around 4.0 runs.

Second Base

Whit Merrifield (KC) is one of the fastest players in the league and Lucas Giolito has allowed more steals than any pitcher in baseball (22). Heading into his last start, Gioltio had posted an xFIP under 3.85 in four straight starts before falling apart again: 1.1 IP, six base runners, five runs and three strikeouts. Sure, Giolito’s velocity has been up since the middle of August, but this is still a pitcher with a 5.28 FIP versus RHHs this year. Oh, and he rates dead last in SIERA amongst qualified starters. Improving slightly still does not make him an ace or anything close.

Hernan Perez (MIL), Rougned Odor (TEX) and Yoan Moncada (CHW) all rate as negative values in our model but that is because the position is thin and there is still some viability to all in this tier. Perez is a speedster against Jon Lester who has allowed the most steals of any starting pitcher since the 2014 season and his 4.66 SIERA is 10th worst amongst qualified starters. Odor faces a pitcher who has shut down lefties but Odor is on the correct side of the platoon split and Barria induces a lot of fly balls (36.5-percent fly ball rate versus LHHs). Lastly, Junis presents an extremely favorable matchup for Moncada because Junis is a vastly superior strikeout pitcher in the split versus RHHs. To this point, Junis has only struck out 18.5-percent of the lefties he has faced, so Moncada will be in a great position to make contact versus a pitcher with a 4.75 FIP against his handedness.

Javier Baez (CHC) and Cesar Hernandez (PHI) should not be forgotten either in matchups against pitchers with SIERAs over 4.30. Miley’s FIP is almost a run and a half higher than his ERA and his xFIP is almost a full run higher than his FIP. Basically, Baez, who has only struck out 16.0-percent of the time in the split against LHP with a .274 ISO, has a great shot to start the regression process. Hernandez is a pesky hitter and reasonably fairly-priced across the industry. Baez, because he is full-priced, does not fit the slate in cash games but is a prime GPP target.

Third Base

Nolan Arenado (COL) and Kris Bryant (CHC) reign supreme at third base and our projections do not have a strong preference here one way or the other. Arenado slightly out-projects Bryant in terms of raw projection and value and that is because he is playing at home with a team total of 5.4 runs. On a team with a much lower implied total (4.3 runs), Bryant is an absolute monster in the split against LHP, as evident by his numbers this year: .467 wOBA, .388 ISO, 47.9-percent hard hit rate and 45.8-percent fly ball rate. Assuming Arenado is going to be the higher owned of the two, there is serious merit to fading him for his cheaper counterpart.

On FD, Miguel Sano (MIN) finds his way into optimals in order to fit Kluber. Sano is on the correct side of his platoon split but it is tough to feel great about him as he has struck out at a ridiculous 35.4-percent rate against LHP.

Jose Ramirez (CLE) is also in play against a Rays game starter followed by the long man and, since the starter is right-handed, he will have at least one at-bat (AB) on the stronger side of platoon. The negative park shift does not help his cause and neither does the 4.5 run implied total.

Shortstop

On FD, a few of the players discussed at second base (Baez, Perez) qualify at shortstop and represent the top values at the position. In fact, Perez is only $2,500 and he is all over our optimals for the site. Eduardo Escobar (ARI) is dominating the the optimals on DK as Marquez has basically only been beatable by one side of the plate: lefties. For playing in Coors, the 4.6 run implied total is not overly impressive, but that is due to Marquez’s 2.29 FIP and 2.47 xFIP in the second half. Hell, his K rate is all the way up to 32.2-percent post All-Star Break, but it stands at just 19.8-percent versus LHHs for the year; hence, the viability of Escobar.

Elvis Andrus (TEX) is not a true power threat but Barria is susceptible to right-handed power and production. All righties have done against him is post a .280/.357/.500 slash line leading to a 5.72 FIP (second worst on the slate).

Asdrubal Cabrera (PHI) owns a wOBA 80-percentage points higher this year and his wRC+ is nearly double against RHP (130) compared to LHP (77). Roark has held opponents to a .268 wOBA and 25.6-percent hard hit rate in the second half so Cabrera should be left for large-field GPPs only.

Trea Turner (WSH) is the last name worth mentioning as Jake Arrieta does a poor job limiting the run game against him and his 7.6-percent swinging strike rate would be his worst in six seasons if it were to hold. 2018 marks the third straight year his SIERA has depreciated and righties have already hit nine bombs off him. Turner possesses both power and speed upside in today’s matchup.

Outfield

Mike Trout (LAA) not only features the highest projection of any player in the outfield but also of any offensive player on the entire slate. Facing a pitcher relying on fly ball outs, facing Trout is a scary proposition. Judging by some of Minor’s numbers in the split (38.6-percent hard hit rate, 47.3-percent fly ball rate), Trout is on red-alert to go deep (as per usual). Feel free to deploy him in all formats.

Giancarlo Stanton (NYY), David Peralta (ARI), Andrew McCutchen (NYY) and Charlie Blackmon (COL) are all similarly valued in our model and all are scattered throughout optimals on both sites. The Yankees outfielders are popping on DK because our model likes going cheap at the second starting pitcher spot. Gibson has induced grounders at a 54.0-percent rate versus RHP but the park is power friendly and the wind will be blowing out to left (slightly enhancing right-handed power in a park that already enhances it). Peralta and Blackmon are both on the correct side of the platoon splits in Coors Field and Peralta would be a no-brainer if Marquez were not on absolute fire. Still, Marquez has yielded a career .337 wOBA to LHHs and he has only struck them out at an 18.7-percent rate (in a 170 inning sample). Blackmon is at home against a solid pitcher (Zack Godley) but this environment is a significant downgrade from godley’s home park that uses a humidor baseball to sap some of the power. Leading off for the team with the highest implied total, he is obviously a strong cash game play.

Nicky Delmonico (CHW) and Nick Williams (PHI) will enjoy the platoon advantages against a pair of righties and neither team’s implied total is over 4.4 runs. Junis has yielded a 1.33 HR/9 rate to lefties for his career and he has proven to be an above-average hitter against the slider (a pitch Junis has thrown a whopping 30-percent of the time against LHHs). Williams carries a fair degree of pinch-hit risk, especially with the team’s acquisition of Jose Bautista (PHI), but it is tough to argue with his price point ($2,300 on FD).

Carlos Gonzalez (COL) and David Dahl (COL) are playing in the top hitting environment with favorable hitting weather so they are viable plays even though Godley is not a no-brainer to target against. Both players have produced a wOBA greater than .355 against RHP this year and their ISOs are both in the .200s as well.

Daniel Palka (CHW), Ryan Braun (MIL) and Lorenzo Cain (MIL) are ceiling plays with low floors so they naturally are better fits for tournaments. Palka is viable for similar reasons to Delmonico except he may hit higher in the lineup and his pitch data numbers are significantly worse (.259 xwOBA versus right-handed sliders in his young career). Braun and Cain both have the potential to produce power and swipe a bag against Lester. When Lester goes wrong, he is susceptible to power, but singles also turn into doubles versus him because he does not hold runners (so they steal against him). Braun may be aging but he has stolen 10 bases this year and Cain leads the team in stolen bases versus LHP this year (six).

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

2) Arizona Diamondbacks

This is a weird slate. While we get two passable pitchers in Coors leading to a somewhat modest 10 game total by Coors conditions, there’s just not a ton of elite offense elsewhere. It also helps that it’s about 10-plus degrees warmer in Colorado than anywhere else. The Rockies have a higher IRT and get the boost in our model accordingly.

However, the Diamondbacks provide a bit more value at their price tags. Being the road team in Coors is a big deal as the per plate appearance expectations are so high that even the small plate appearance probability increase that comes from a guaranteed ninth inning is meaningful. There are ways to stack the Diamondbacks on DK without costing Kluber.

Tier Two

3) New York Yankees

The Yankees are fifth in wRC+ against RHP and third in ISO. They’ll face Kyle Gibson, who does a good job keeping the ball on the ground but that strength is outweighed by an elevated HR/FB rate resulting from a high Hard%.

Tier Three

4) Philadelphia Phillies

5) Milwaukee Brewers

6) Washington Nationals

The Phillies are particularly cheap on FD where they have our highest stack value score. The matchup against Tanner Roark is pretty mediocre. He does a good job limiting Hard contact but a below league average K rate historically and GB rate this year still provides upside for the opposition.

After that we get a Brewers team that can be frustrating to stack since their depth results in pinch hit risk throughout the lineup. Still, the upside is there against Jon Lester, whose ERA is slowly regressing to the mid-4s xFIP and FIP estimates. The GB rate for Lester has fallen off the table this season (down to 36.6% from 46.2%), and he inflates SBs for the opposition.

Additional Stacks

While Coors is still in a great spot relatively, this is a slate where it’s not difficult to envision top offenses failing or having mediocre outings, so consider cheap mini stacks on FD to get you a top SP and cheap full stacks on DK that would allow Kluber and deGrom together. Based on cheap tags, initial 4+ man stacks with deGrom and Kluber locked in generally stack the White Sox or Twins.

We also want to see where the total comes in on the Cubs game and who the long man for the Rays is against Cleveland, as these two talented offenses could easily jump into the top three tiers on a day with a lot of uncertainty on the offensive end, which should result in a focus on lower owned stacks and event oriented one-offs.

MLB MLB Daily Analysis

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