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September 22 MLB DFS: They didn’t Reyes the Price
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September 22 MLB DFS  Show Outline: 

 

0:40 Starting Pitchers
9:40 Catchers
11:08 First Base
13:40 Second Base
16:14 Shortstops
18:55  Third Base
20:29 Outfield
23:24 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks

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September 22 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) David Price (BOS)

2) Justin Verlander (DET)

Tier Two

3) Jeff Samardzija (SF)

4) Seth Lugo (NYM)

5) Blake Snell (TB)

Thursday’s short slate is headlined by David Price (BOS) and Justin Verlander (DET) who rate closely in our models and represent the only starters on the slate that project for a K Rate above 24 percent. Both are on the road and -145 favorites with 3.9 implied run totals against. Verlander has the perception of the softer matchup against a Twins’ offense that ranks 17th in wRC+ against RHP and possesses the eighth highest K Rate in the league; however, the Orioles rank 26th in wRC+ against LHP with just an 82 wRC+ and have the 14th highest K Rate against LHP (22 percent) which is actually a higher raw percentage than the Twins K Rate against RHP (21.9 percent). As a result, we have Price ever so slightly ahead of Verlander in our rankings. The two trade places as the most expensive starter on FanDuel and DraftKings. It’s easy to simply play price point as the two rank closely together. This would result in getting exposure to Verlander on FanDuel ($10,000) and Price on DraftKings ($10,800).

On DraftKings, Verlander’s aggressive tag ($12,400) makes pairing the two very difficult. As a result, the search for value brings you to our second tier with Seth Lugo ($6,700) and Blake Snell ($6,400) as affordable targets in favorable matchups. Lugo is a huge favorite (-215) with an implied run total of 3.3 runs against the Phillies who are getting a park downgrade in New York. Lugo’s K Rate has been modest at the big league level and he’s allowed a ton of hard contact (38.9 hard hit rate) but immense fortune on balls in play (.235 BABIP) and LOB% (84.6) have kept his ERA to 2.35. The Phillies can cover some of this up (28th in wRC+ against RHP with a 23 percent K Rate) through shear awfulness, but Blake Snell (TB) is clearly the more talented starter. The issue with Snell is really shaky command (12.7 BB Rate) has led to a really unpredictable floor. The Yankees are weaker against LHP (23rd in wRC+) but they don’t strike out much and they walk a decent bit. The 3.8 implied run total against on Snell highlights some of the risk associated, but fortunately for both Snell and Lugo they’re cheap. The alternative if looking for security would be to go up to Jeff Samardzija (SF) who ranks similarly to Lugo and Snell but has gone at least six innings in six of his last seven starts, posted a K Rate above 20 percent in five of those seven, and faces a Padres lineup that ranks 30th in wRC+ against RHP with the league’s second highest K Rate (24.9 percent).

In tournaments, Mike Fiers (HOU) is the one cheap tournament worthy starter that has flashed strikeout upside in his career to warrant consideration. In cash games, we’re largely focused on the first two tiers.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Gary Sanchez (NYY)

3) Evan Gattis (HOU)

4) Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

5) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

Buster Posey (SF) and Gary Sanchez (NYY) both face lefties in tougher hitting environments. Posey has the more favorable matchup as Christian Friedrich has allowed a .351 wOBA and .144 ISO to RHBs since 2015 and San Diego actually represents a park upgrade for Posey. Where they’re both priced way up (on DraftKings), we’re looking for salary relief at the position. The best punt play is likely Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) as he’s facing Adam Morgan (.365 wOBA and .224 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015). He’s also a viable pure punt on FanDuel, but the $3,400 price tag for Buster Posey is a bit more accessible.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

3) Chris Carter (MIL)

4) Eric Hosmer (KC)

5) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

6) Mike Napoli (CLE)

David Ortiz (BOS) is a Top Five hitter overall on this slate with a matchup in Baltimore against fly-ball prone Chris Tillman. It’s a rather large gap between Ortiz and the next best options at the position. On FanDuel, the price tag ($4,500) is a bit more accessible with all the other first base options price up, but on DraftKings ($5,700) there are some viable value alternatives that you can turn your attention towards. Josh Bell (PIT), Albert Pujols (LAA), and Yuli Gurriel (HOU) are all priced below $4,000 with Bell/Gurriel hovering closer to $3,000. This small slate doesn’t come with a ton of opportunity cost at the position so it’s fine if you can’t get all the way up to Ortiz to take some salary relief. On FanDuel, Eric Hosmer (KC) is the most appropriate value.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Dee Gordon (ATL)

3) Scooter Gennett (MIL)

4) Ryan Schimpf (SD)

5) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

Second base is a tricky position with Jose Altuve (HOU) in a favorable home matchup with Ricky Nolasco (.348 wOBA, .180 ISO allowed since 2015) and the Astros carrying one of the heftiest implied team totals on the slate (4.8 runs). Altuve’s well-hit rating is down (-0.2) and he’s been playing through a mild oblique issue, so this isn’t a bad time to pass on the hefty price tag in favor of some value. On FanDuel, there is a very strong option with Dee Gordon (MIA) leading off against Josh Collmenter and a Braves catching corps that can’t stop the running game. Gordon remains underpriced on FanDuel ($2,600). On DraftKings, the position is a bit tougher as it’s priced up everywhere. The best potential source of salary relief would be Jonathan Schoop (BAL) if he was hitting second at $2,900, but better overall plays are likely in the high threes and low fours with Adam Frazier (PIT), Scooter Gennett (MIL), and Ryan Schimpf (SD) all hovering in that range.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Jonathan Villar (MIL) – where eligible

3) Eduardo Nunez (SF) – where eligible

4) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

5) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

6) Jose Reyes (NYM) – where eligible

7) Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM)

8) Corey Seager (LAD)

9) Brad Miller (TB)

10) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

The shortstop position is incredibly deep on this slate. We’ve ranked 10 players who are all in pretty appetizing matchups. Carlos Correa (HOU) leads off our rankings and looks like the best way to get exposure to the Astros hefty implied team total but Francisco Lindor (CLE), Jose Reyes (NYM), and Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) are all fine pivots where priced below. On FanDuel, Adam Frazier (PIT) is still priced as a pure punt ($2,200) which is a great source of salary relief as a road leadoff hitter.

Third Base Rankings

1) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

2) Eduardo Nunez (SF) – where eligible

3) Manny Machado (BAL)

4) Jung Ho Kang (PIT)

5) Jose Reyes (NYM)

6) Justin Turner (LAD)

7) Nolan Arenado (COL)

8) Maikel Franco (PHI)

At third base, the position is very different on the two sites. On FanDuel, Jose Reyes (NYM) is a clear value at $2,700 and your best play. On DraftKings, pricing is more bunched which makes a depressed price tag on Manny Machado (BAL) in a matchup against David Price viable or paying a slightly inflated price tag on Jose Reyes (NYM) or Jonathan Villar (MIL). Maikel Franco (PHI) is also too cheap for his skill set at $3,400.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

3) George Springer (HOU)

4) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

5) Rajai Davis (CLE)

6) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

7) Mookie Betts (BOS)

8) Jarrod Dyson (KC)

9) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

10) Christian Yelich (MIA)

11) Kevin Kiermaier (TB)

12) Hunter Pence (SF)

13) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

14) J.D. Martinez (DET)

15) Kendrys Morales (KC) – where eligible

Mike Trout (LAA) remains the top overall outfielder on this slate and borderline top overall hitter. The park shift isn’t quite as large as we’ve seen the last few games in Arlington but it’s still favorable. He’s priced appropriately on both sites but a viable target in all formats. Both sites have big discounts on a few of the outfielders within our Top Five rankings. On FanDuel, Rajai Davis (CLE) and Gregory Polanco (PIT) are underpriced for their respective skill sets with the platoon advantage. Both are excellent value plays. On DraftKings, George Springer (HOU) is just $4,100 and practically a “free square” with a favorable matchup against Ricky Nolasco (.348 wOBA, .180 ISO against RHBs since 2015). Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is another top play we’re pursuing where affordable. Chase Anderson has struggled with RHBs (.365 wOBA, .209 ISO allowed since 2015), the Pirates are getting a big park shift, and McCutchen continues to hit the ball harder in the second half (+0.3 well hit delta). Roman Quinn (PHI) also remains a solid punt play and source of salary relief on both sites.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Pittsburgh Pirates

2) Cleveland Indians

Tier Two

3) Houston Astros

4) New York Mets

5) Boston Red Sox

6) Milwaukee Brewers

With all the implied totals bunched together on this slate, it’s difficult to consider any stack as chalky. Our model likes the big park shift in favor of the Pirates and how their right-hand hitters stack up against Chase Anderson‘s reverse splits. The Pirates have disappointed so many times in this spot that they won’t be chalk. Cleveland comes with a lot of elevated price tags that will likely discourage hefty ownership and any cash game carryover. The Red Sox are the most skilled offense overall but a good Orioles’ bullpen neutralizes some of their usual upside. In cash games, we’re focused on identifying the best individual values and not necessarily looking for mini-stack opportunities. The Mets are a power oriented stack with a favorable mix of positional eligibility that could represent one of the lower owned targets (we imagine CLE, HOU, BOS will likely be most popular).

Contrarian Targets:

San Francisco Giants – This isn’t a slate where contrarian stacks are likely needed in small and mid-sized GPPs as we expect ownership will be relatively spread out, but in large field tournaments the Giants are an intriguing contrarian stack. San Diego represents a park upgrade for the Giants, especially for the RHBs and with Christian Friedrich on the mound they’ll get a bunch of them in favorable spots. Eduardo Nunez typically leads off against LHP and brings a speed-power component that often is lacking atop the Giants lineup and Posey/Pence bring some pop in the middle forming a nice mini-stack.

 

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