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September 28 MLB DFS: Leone Says Play Leon
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September 28 MLB DFS  Show Outline: 


jose1600:40 Starting Pitchers
04:26 Catchers
06:46 First Base
08:29 Second Base
10:34 Shortstops
12:50 Third Base
14:39 Outfield
16:59 Cash Game Construction and Stacks


September 28 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Two

2) Jose De Leon (LAD)

3) Cole Hamels (TEX)

Tier Three

4) Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

5) Jeff Samardzija (SF)

Tier Four

6) Mike Foltynewicz (ATL)

7) Jameson Taillon (PIT)

8) Francisco Liriano (TOR)

9) Mike Leake (STL)

10) Blake Snell (TB)

11) Michael Fulmer (DET)

Jose De Leon (LAD) is the starting pitcher value we’re excited to build around. De Leone was originally scheduled to pitcher yesterday, and we viewed him as our preferred second starting pitcher on DraftKings, saying: “Jose de Leon (LAD) who faces a Padres’ offense that ranks 30th in wRC+ against RHP and has the league’s second highest K Rate against RHP (25 percent). Jose de Leon was dominant in AAA this season (32.5 K Rate, 2.61 ERA) and he struck out nine Padres in his major league debut in six innings. He’s struggled with the long ball at the big league level but the batted ball peripherals are pretty good (4.5 hard hit minus soft hit rate, 42.5 percent fly ball rate) and he wasn’t homer prone in the minors. Vegas opened with a 3.6 implied run total for the Padres and de Leon is a solid -155 favorite. Of the cheap options, de Leon has the best combination of strikeout projection (28-30 percent) and run prevention.” With less opportunity on this slate De Leon moves from a great complement to a building block on both sites.

On DraftKings, you can complement De Leon with a safe expensive starter like Jake Arrieta (CHC). Arrieta has the lowest IRTA (3.0) and pitches in an excellent environment. The only issue is a preference to go cheaper so that more resources can be used on upside bats. That means you’re likely being pushed towards Jeff Samardzija (SF), who is in the best pitcher’s park in all of baseball facing a Rockies team that is rather poor on the road. Samardzija’s recent performances provide us with confidence, although two of them were against the Padres:


If you’re looking for cheaper pivots, Cole Hamels (TEX) is a high risk/reward option off of Arrieta and Gio Gonzalez (WAS) is a pivot off of Samardzija (Vegas likes him a lot but a little wary given how good the Diamondbacks can be against LHP).

Francisco Liriano (TOR) is viable in tournaments on the heels of strong recent performances and K upside.

Catcher Rankings

1) Gary Sanchez (NYY)

2) Jonathan Lucroy (TEX)

3) Victor Martinez (DET)

4) Buster Posey (SF)

5) Brian McCann (NYY)

We don’t find it necessary to pay up at the C position as you can get exposure to some friendly matchups/offensive environments through mid-tier options such as Brian McCann (NYY) at home against Clay Buchholz (GB rate has dropped a lot from career marks leading to 1.42 HR/9) in Yankee Stadium or Russell Martin (TOR) against Chris Tillman (.336 wOBA and .195 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015) at home for a Jays team with a total approaching 5. Buster Posey (SF) doesn’t really have an enticing matchup, but the price keeps him in play. Tyler Flowers (ATL) is a tournament option facing Adam Morgan, who has a career .366 wOBA and .241 ISO allowed to RHBs.

First Base Rankings

1) David Ortiz (BOS)

2) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

3) Brandon Moss (STL)

4) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

5) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

We’re making every effort to pay up for David Ortiz (BOS) in cash game formats. Ortiz is our top ranked overall hitter, and it’s not particularly close. He gets a massive park shift playing in Yankee Stadium and facing Bryan Mitchell, who has a ZiPS projected ERA of 5.47. If not paying up, Eric Hosmer (KC) is way too cheap on DraftKings for a matchup with Ervin Santana. Over on FanDuel, you’re getting Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) at a really cheap price for facing a LHP, but the overall environment isn’t great (negative park shift, decent pitcher, low IRT). Brandon Moss (STL) has power upside you should target in tournaments but has been cold recently.

Second Base Rankings

1) Matt Carpenter (STL)

2) Dee Gordon (MIA)

3) Trea Turner (WAS)

4) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

5) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

Second base is a good spot to pay up as you get discounted price tags on both Matt Carpenter (STL) (DraftKings) and Dee Gordon (MIA) (FanDuel), depending on site. Carpenter will face that horrible Reds bullpen but first Anthony DeSclafani and his .347 wOBA and .188 ISO allowed to LHBs. Gordon’s price is on the rise on FanDuel, but it started so low that he’s still arguably underpriced given the immense speed upside (12 SBs already this month) against an average RHP. If you get Jonathan Schoop (BAL) hitting second, he’s a cheaper alternative on DraftKings with power upside (.176 ISO for his career), although has oddly struggled versus LHP quite a bit since 2015. Starlin Castro (NYY) is a nice tournament option at a very cheap price tag on FanDuel.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Corey Seager (LAD)

3) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

4) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

5a) Tim Anderson (CHW)

5b) Stephen Drew (WAS)

Manny Machado (BAL) has shortstop eligibility and a really friendly price on DraftKings ($3,800). He’s one of several hitters where we can’t believe the price tags in the matchup, and that’s what’s driving our preference to eschew Arrieta’s safety in lieu of some cap relief at pitcher. While Francisco Liriano has posted a few strong outings in a row, keep in mind he’s got a 5.06 FIP on the season and this is a very friendly park. On both sites, Francisco Lindor (CLE) is a solid mid-tier value. The spot overall is neutral enough, though, that we might look to simply save some money on FanDuel with either Tim Anderson (CHW) or Stephen Drew (WAS) (if hitting top five). Drew would face Shelby Miller (horrendous splits this season) and a terrible Diamondbacks bullpen.

Third Base Rankings

1) Matt Carpenter (STL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

5) Miguel Sano (MIN)

Third base is pretty loaded on this slate. Outside of Josh Donaldson (TOR) (expensive for cash but a phenomenal tournament play), you could make a case for any of the top four options in cash games. We’ve already hit on the good situations for Carpenter and Machado, which leaves Adrian Beltre (TEX). He’s at home for a Rangers team with a slate high 5.3 IRT and facing a RHP in Chase Anderson who has rather severe struggles against same handed hitting (.366 wOBA and .211 ISO allowed since 2015).

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Mookie Betts (BOS)

3) Ian Desmond (TEX)

4) Carlos Gomez (TEX)

5) Brandon Moss (STL)

6) Jose Bautista (TOR)

7) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

8) Matt Kemp (ATL)

9) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

10) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

11) Miguel Sano (MIN)

12) Jarrod Dyson (KC)

13) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

14) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

15) Adam Jones (BAL)

The outfield is a good spot to get some Texas love, with both Carlos Gomez (TEX) and Ian Desmond (TEX) carrying accessible price tags across the industry. On FanDuel, you can diversify to another top offense and fit in Mookie Betts (BOS), whose awesome event skills (31 HRs, 26 SBs) makes him such a coveted DFS aspect. There are a lot of viable complements at different price ranges today. In the mid-tier, Matt Kemp (ATL) and Miguel Sano (MIN) (limited sample but awesome well-hit delta) face suspect LHPs making them great targets on FanDuel (tourney viable on DK). On DraftKings you’re looking more the speedsters at the top of the lineup in Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) or Jarrod Dyson (KC) to fill that role, but simply dropping down to a very cheap Adam Jones (BAL) is in play as well. Ezequiel Carrera (TOR) has been leading off for TOR against RHP with Devon Travis hurt. With the team in a good spot against another RHP, he’s a superb source of cap relief across the industry.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Texas Rangers

2) Boston Red Sox

Tier Two

3) Toronto Blue Jays

4) Detroit Tigers

5) Atlanta Braves

We’re definitely looking to get at least some exposure to the first tier of stacks in cash games, which rate well ahead the rest of the teams on this slate.

In the second tier, the Blue Jays are the team that comes with the most name recognition, and that could leave both the Tigers and in particular Atlanta as underowned in tournaments. The Tigers have plenty of power potential and will face Zach McAllister, who has struggled in relief this season and likely will have a very short outing. Anytime there’s a “bullpen” game, there’s uncertainty and that plays well in tournaments. Meanwhile Atlanta faces Adam Morgan, one of the pitchers we routinely like to pick on in tournaments due to his propensity to allow power (career 1.68 HR/9, which matches his ZiPS projection).

Additional Tournament Stack

-Tampa Bay Rays (the team total of 4.1 is lower than we expected, but this is a massive park shift in the favor of the Rays, and if they have success it’s likely via the long ball, given Gonzalez’s fly ball orientation)

-New York Yankees (despite Clay Buchholz‘s recent surface stats, the xFIPs, GB rates and collective hard hit rates from the last several starts indicate mammoth upside for the Yankees)

MLB Daily Analysis

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