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September 29 MLB DFS: The Book of Ezequiel
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September 29 MLB DFS  Show Outline: 


jose1600:40 Starting Pitchers
08:14 Catchers
10:32 First Base
12:34 Second Base
15:21 Shortstops
17:13 Third Base
19:34 Outfield
22:53 Cash Game Construction and Stacks



September 29 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Danny Duffy (KC) – health/innings risk?

2) Chris Archer (TB)

3) Johnny Cueto (SF)

4) Alex Reyes (STL)

Tier Two

5) Julio Urias (LAD)

6) Jose Quintana (CHW)

Tier Three

7) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

Thursday’s short slate brings an interesting mix of high upside arms along with the slow but steady run-prevention specialists like Johnny Cueto (SF) and Jose Quintana (CHW). Cueto is in our first tier of starters alongside Danny Duffy (KC), Chris Archer (TB), and Alex Reyes (STL). The group is very tightly bunched but price tags are not. Cueto is the most expensive of the bunch on both FanDuel and DraftKings. He provides the most security in innings and likely run prevention as the Giants are battling for a wild card spot and Cueto has gone at least seven innings in 18 of 31 starts this season. The Rockies have an implied run total of three runs and Cueto is a hefty -180 favorite. It’s fine to lean on the safety of Cueto, but we see more per dollar upside in Danny Duffy and Chris Archer. Both are priced meaningfully cheaper than Cueto and project for a significantly stronger K Rate which should help offset the innings and run prevention advantage Cueto holds on the duo. Duffy has some concerns as velocity has been down late in the season and the Royals are nearly eliminated from contention. It’s possible they manage the innings late in the season. If Duffy’s a full-go, the Twins represent a strong matchup for strikeouts (24 percent K Rate against LHP is fourth highest in MLB) and Duffy has an implied run total of just 3.5 runs against. Archer feels a bit more secure in health and innings. He’s 20 below his innings total last season and his velocity has been slowly climbing during the second half of the season. It’s a huge negative park shift and the White Sox make plenty of contact (16th in K Rate against RHP) but without Adam Eaton down the stretch the lineup has been much softer. They rank just 22nd in wRC+ against RHP. Archer’s implied run total against is a bit elevated (3.9 runs) but his baselines for strikeouts are high and he could really benefit from a watered down September lineup.

Late in the season, with many starters seeing monitored innings, we’re more willing to embrace innings risk and focus on per-plate appearance upside. This is an ideal slate to take that approach as Alex Reyes (STL) and Julio Urias (LAD) have been two of the stronger per plate appearance targets in our model all season. Reyes is really the apple of our eye on this slate as he’s extremely cheap, pitching for a team needing wins to secure a playoff spot, and facing a watered down and strikeout prone Reds’ lineup. Reyes has the second lowest implied run total (3.3 runs) on the slate and is the largest favorite (-200). We’re not expecting Reyes to work deep (though he did go seven innings two starts ago), but with other starters likely limited down the stretch the gap in his innings vs. competition isn’t as severe. With the steeply discounted price tag relative to the other tier one starters, he’s an exceptional value and our favorite SP play on the slate. Urias doesn’t have the same price discount but has similar factors working in his favor. The Padres offense has really struggled in the second half against LHP after dealing Matt Kemp and Urias is pitching for a Dodgers team prepping for a first round series with the Nationals. The Dodgers want to consider Urias for Game 4 of that series and need to stretch him out to do so. He’s unlikely to work deep into the game, but he should be good for five with an outside chance of six innings. We expect they’ll be efficient as he projected for a near 26 percent K Rate and the Padres have a 3.5 implied run total. Urias is probably a better tournament target than a cash game alternative simply due to price.

Catcher Rankings

1) Gary Sanchez (NYY)

2) Buster Posey (SF)

3) Russell Martin (TOR)

4) Yadier Molina (STL)

Price is likely not a huge concern on this slate which opens up the possibility to spend up on Gary Sanchez (NYY) in a favorable matchup against Henry Owens (.344 wOBA, .198 ISO allowed to RHBs) and the weaker parts of the Red Sox bullpen after they clinched the division on Wednesday. If you’re not spending all the way up for Gary Sanchez, you’ve got Russell Martin (TOR) fairly priced on both sites and Buster Posey (SF) as a viable alternative on DraftKings where he’s price down, albeit for a tough matchup against Jon Gray’s great stuff.

First Base Rankings

1) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

2) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

3) Chris Davis (BAL)

4) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

5) Eric Hosmer (KC)

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is our top first base option and the top overall hitter on this slate. Ivan Nova has been much better in the NL but he remains vulnerable to LHBs and the park shift isn’t as drastic for LHBs in PNC Park.  If you’re not paying up for Rizzo, Chris Davis (BAL) looks like the best source of salary relief at the position. Just $3,000 on FanDuel and $3,200 on DraftKings, Davis has the platoon advantage against ground-baller Marcus Stroman.

Second Base Rankings

1) Matt Carpenter (STL)

2) Robinson Cano (SEA)

3) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

4) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

5) Logan Forsythe (TB)

6) Brian Dozier (MIN)

Matt Carpenter (STL) leads off our second base rankings with a matchup against Dan Straily (.302 wOBA, .153 ISO allowed to LHBs despite a 17.8 K Rate and 14 BB Rate since 2015) who continues to beat peripherals by a wide margin. With Carpenter slumping of late (-0.8 well hit) it’s perfectly fine to work down in salary for a bit more relief. On FanDuel, it can come in the form of Robinson Cano (SEA) or Ben Zobrist (CHC) who each have the platoon advantage against contact-oriented starters in big ballparks. On DraftKings, Carpenter is priced down far enough that we’d consider him your primary value at $4,100. On FanDuel, if Starlin Castro (NYY) hit cleanup, he’d make for a fine bargain at just $2,100.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

3) Marcus Semien (OAK)

4) Corey Seager (LAD)

5) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

Manny Machado (BAL) profiles as our top shortstop option where available. The price tag on DraftKings ($4,000) is pretty cheap and the options are fairly limited with Xander Bogaerts (BOS) likely resting after the Red Sox clinched the division last night. The primary alternative would be Marcus Semien (OAK) whose lineup spot is usually solid against LHP. Semien has crushed lefties (.365 wOBA and .214 ISO since 2015) and will face Ariel Miranda (.305 wOBA, .252 ISO allowed to RHBs) who has surrendered a lot of power to RHBs at the big league level. On FanDuel, where Machado isn’t eligible, Semien becomes our priority with a fair price tag and the position thin.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Matt Carpenter (STL) – where eligible

3) Kris Bryant (CHC)

4) Manny Machado (BAL)

5) Justin Turner (LAD)

Josh Donaldson (TOR) leads off our third base rankings and is our second ranked hitter overall. Ubaldo Jimenez has been competent against RHBs (.322 wOBA, .110 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015) but the Blue Jays have the highest implied run total (5.1 runs) on the slate. It’s not difficult to afford Donaldson on the slate and we’d recommend pursuing him. The position has plenty of alternatives but none in as good of a hitting environment. Justin Turner (LAD) has the best matchup against Christian Friedrich (.343 wOBA, .140 ISO since 2015) but the salary relief is less of a necessity on this slate if building around Alex Reyes.

Outfield Rankings

1) Jose Bautista (TOR)

2) Mookie Betts (BOS)

3) Jarrod Dyson (KC)

4) Ezequiel Carrera (TOR) – if leadoff

5) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

6) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

7) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

8) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

9) Miguel Sano (MIN)

10) Randal Grichuk (STL) – if second

11) Yasiel Puig (LAD)

12) Michael Saunders (TOR)

13) Ender Inciarte (ATL)

14) Kendrys Morales (KC) – where eligible

15) Adam Jones (BAL)

The outfield is a bit watered down and figures to get even more watered down if the Red Sox rest Mookie Betts the day after clinching the division. Jose Bautista (TOR) is our top ranked outfielder and he’s very affordable on both sites. Leadoff hitters Jarrod Dyson (KC) and Ezequiel Carrera (TOR) profile really well against Jimenez (.346 wOBA, .186 ISO, -17 career rSB) and Kyle Gibson (.343 wOBA, .145 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015) who works with Kurt Suzuki who is one of the weakest throwing catchers. Carrera remains dirt cheap and Dyson rates very well at a position that we view as unusually thin on Thursday. The bigger power bats at the position are all in more challenging park environments. As a result, guys like Andrew McCutchen (PIT), Yasiel Puig (LAD), Miguel Sano (MIN), Randal Grichuk (STL), and so on are all better secondary value plays or tournament targets.


Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Two

2) Philadelphia Phillies

3) Chicago Cubs

4) Los Angeles Dodgers

The Blue Jays look like a chalky stack with the highest implied run total and little regard for the salary cap on this slate. Ubaldo Jimenez‘s capable against RHBs so with heavy ownership expected this isn’t a bad spot to fade. In cash games, it’s viable to get exposure to a Jays mini-stack simply due to pricing, which is another reason we’d target a fade in tournaments.

Contrarian Targets:

Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies profile as a solid contrarian stack with plenty of speed to take advantage of the Braves poor throwing catchers and cheap enough power from the left side Ryan Howard and Odubel Herrera. Josh Collmenter has allowed a .183 ISO to LHBs since 2015 and hasn’t been able to miss bats at the big league level (11.3 K Rate against LHBs)

Kansas City Royals – This one is really dependent on the lineup as the Royals were eliminated last night but they profile well against Kyle Gibson who has allowed four or more earned runs in half his starts this season and is backed up by a weak bullpen. Typically the Royals lack elite upside on stacks because of power issues but the Minnesota catchers inflate the running potential and help the Royals overall stack profile.


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