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September 3 MLB DFS: Ship That CarGo
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September 3 MLB DFS Show Outline:

00:43  Starting Pitchers
11:46  Catchers
12:42 First Base
14:24 Second Base
17:29  Shortstops
19:48  Third Base
21:55 Outfield
26:11  Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks



September 3 MLB DFS PRO TIP

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jose Fernandez (MIA)

Tier Two

2) Rich Hill (LAD)

Tier Three

3) Ivan Nova (PIT)

4) Rick Porcello (BOS)

5) Vincent Velasquez (PHI)

6) Trevor Bauer (CLE)

Tier Four

7) Tyler Skaggs (LAA)

8) Kevin Gausman (BAL)

9) Michael Fulmer (DET)

10) Tanner Roark (WAS)

Tier Five

11) John Gant (ATL)

12) Yordano Ventura (KC)

13) Taijuan Walker (SEA)

14) CC Sabathia (NYY)

Pitching strategy really varies on the two major sites due to pricing. What is in common is that we don’t suggest paying up for Jose Fernandez (MIA) with a negative park and league shift facing a quality Cleveland offense. Save some money on value starting pitchers so that you can get in some Coors Field exposure on the offensive side of things.

On FanDuel, Rich Hill (LAD) is underpriced. Hill’s had lots of time off since his last start (scratched with a blister) but appears to be fine and returns to an elite matchup against the Padres at home. Hill’s been phenomenal all season long when he’s pitched, putting up a 27.8 K percentage and limiting homers due to a high GB rate and very lower HR/FB rate, which is driven by an impressive 1.9 hard minus soft hit rate. The Padres are fifth in wRC+ against LHP but have lost some of their firepower in that spilt and will swing and miss (24.8 K percentage). If not paying up for Hill, there’s another pitcher facing a swing and miss team, and that’s Ivan Nova (PIT) against the Brewers (lead the MLB with a 25.8 K percentage against RHP). Nova’s biggest issue is allowing power, and the move to the NL has helped (just one HR allowed the last four games). He’ll get the Brewers in the friendly confines of PNC park and offers some cap relief. At -180, he’s the largest favorite of the tier two options (no line on Porcello yet).

Over on DraftKings Nova is usable, but you may get pushed to the cheaper of the tier three options, Vincent Velasquez (PHI) and Trevor Bauer (CLE). Velasquez faces an Atlanta team that has been better recently but is still 27th in wRC+ on the season. The implied run total against is under 4, and Velasquez’s individual skills (27.4 K percentage) help to give him some upside despite facing a contact oriented team. Bauer is in a great spot. The Marlins were just dominated by Carlos Carrasco, and it had as much to do with them as it did Carrasco. Aside from always being a juicy matchup (no Stanton, heavily right handed), the Marlins are pretty cold lately with almost every single regular outside of Realmuto possessing a neutral or negative delta in our well-hit tool.

Tyler Skaggs (LAA) has been a bit infuriating, and ultimately he should be treated as a volatile tournament option almost regardless of matchup. He has the K upside against any team but is difficult to trust in cash. CC Sabathia (NYY) is another tournament play. He’s struck out 34 batters over his past four starts, and the Orioles will swing and miss.

Catcher Rankings

1) Welington Castillo (ARI) (if hitting cleanup)

2) Gary Sanchez (NYY)

3) Victor Martinez (DET)

4) Russell Martin (TOR)

5) Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

The catcher position is one that is okay to spend on in tournaments with Welington Castillo (ARI) (Coors) and Gary Sanchez (NYY) (en fuego) possessing plenty of upside. In cash games however, we’d like to at least save a little money here. Currently our go to lower priced catchers are Yasmani Grandal (LAD) (Perdomo has some skills but is also very inconsistent, which has resulted in run prevention issues) and Stephen Vogt (OAK) (our go to cheap guy due to platoon edge and lineup spot), but we’re not enamored with either one. This is certainly a position you could full on punt if an options arises when lineups are released.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) David Ortiz (BOS)

3) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

4) Jose Abreu (CWS)

5) Eric Hosmer (KC)

There’s no way around it – Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) is the top first basemen on the day almost solely due to environment (5.6 IRT). We’d like to get up to him on both sites and have found it possible with the value starting pitchers. However, high upside alternatives on each site include David Ortiz (BOS) (faces a wild RHP with a slight fly ball tilt) on FanDuel and Steve Pearce (BAL) (big power upside at home against LHP CC Sabathia) on DraftKings. As usual, it’s a pretty deep position, and some of our favorite tournament pivots are Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Jose Abreu (CHW).

Second Base Rankings

1) Brian Dozier (MIN)

2) Jean Segura (ARI)

3) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

4) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

5) Steve Pearce (BAL)

Lots of good talent in good spots at second base as our 1-5 ranked options are essentially even in our hitter model (drop off after them). Brian Dozier (MIN) may be difficult to prioritize in cash games, but he’s an elite tournament option given his second half power (.380 ISO) and Shield’s propensity to give up power. We’ll have to be more price conscious on other sites. Luckily DraftKings gives us second base eligibility on Steve Pearce (BAL) (.348 wOBA, .234 ISO against LHP since 2015) at an accessible price tag. On FanDuel, where pricing is tighter, we don’t mind simply taking the speed upside of Dee Gordon (MIA). While we don’t like the Marlins offense, you’re looking at 4-5 PAs as a road leadoff hitter, and getting on just once with a teal would represent value.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Corey Seager (LAD)

3) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

4) Tim Anderson (CHW)

5) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

While Manny Machado (BAL) is in a really nice spot, CC Sabathia is pitching better lately and there are just other high priced options to prioritize first. With Seager and Bogaerts also in relatively neutral spots, we’re going to look to save some money here. Tim Anderson (CHW) is completely fine as a mid-tier play, but the price has risen enough where he’s not exactly a cap relief option. We could get Ketel Marte (SEA) in a good lineup spot (hit second two of last three against LHP but ninth last night) or possibly Eduardo Escobar (MIN) (we like taking punts against pitchers who give up power). On DraftKings where pricing is more dynamic, Marcus Semien (OAK) is almost minimum priced. It’s a horrible contextual environment for him (no platoon edge, big park), but at $2,500 out of the leadoff spot, it’s worth taking a chance on the power and allowing you to pay up elsewhere.

Third Base Rankings

1) Nolan Arenado (COL)

2) Manny Machado (BAL)

3) Miguel Sano (MIN)

4) Jake Lamb (ARI)

5) Maikel Franco (PHI)

Last night we preferred the Diamondbacks side of Coors; tonight we prefer the Rockies side. Facing Braden Shipley (5.31 xFIP and 33.8 hard minus soft hit rate through seven starts), the Rockies 6.4 IRT is a full run higher than any non-Coors team. That puts Nolan Arenado (COL) (top five overall hitter) on the short list of expensive spends to prioritize. The only drawback to using Arenado is that we have a couple of high upside cap relief options at the position in Miguel Sano (MIN) (very cold lately but superb matchup for his power) and Maikel Franco (PHI) (faces a fly ball risky RHP that ZiPS projects for a 4.56 ERA).

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Charlie Blackmon (COL

3) Bryce Harper (WS)

4) Mike Trout (LAA)

5) AJ Pollock (ARI)

6) Mookie Betts (BOS)

7) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

8) Miguel Sano (MIN)

9) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

10) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

11) David Dahl (COL)

12) Starling Marte (PIT)

13) Max Kepler (MIN)

14) Trea Turner (WAS)

15) Jarrod Dyson (KC)

Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon (COL) not only represent our top two outfielders but our top two hitters overall. They’ll hold the platoon edge on Braden Shipley, who we mentioned has had serious issues at the MLB level, in particular allowing a .343 wOBA and .289 ISO to LHBs. We’re prioritizing both in cash games across the industry. Once you squeeze them in, it’s more about value in that third outfield spot. On both sites, Miguel Sano (MIN) gives you huge upside at a reasonable tag, but you’d have to stomach a -0.9 delta in our well-hit tool over the past two weeks. AJ Pollock (ARI) remains vastly underpriced on DraftKings, making him a near must play over there. Jarrod Dyson (KC) provides you with speed upside out of the leadoff spot on both sites, but on a night like tonight we’d like to side with hitters who possess more power/team scoring upside if possible. Odubel Herrera (PHI) saw his price adjust on DraftKings, but he’s still at a punt price on FanDuel, where it’s difficult to find many viable sub-3k options, let alone sub-2.5k. Based on pricing across the industry the Baltimore Outfielders can be used in a variety of places as the Yankees bullpen has weakened since the trade deadline and Sabathia has allowed a .349 wOBA and .164 ISO to RHBs since 2015. David Dahl (COL) makes a lot of sense as a tournament pivot off of teammates Gonzalez/Blackmon.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

Tier Two

2) Arizona Diamondbacks

Tier Three

3) Minnesota Twins

Tier Four

4) Boston Red Sox

5) Baltimore Orioles

As with most Coors Field slats, we’d try to mini-stack cash games and particularly want to force multiple Colorado players into lineups. In tournaments, a 1-5 stack is probably chalky but there’s so much upside that you could still pick and choose pieces from these teams, even at high ownership. Using bottom of the order stacks here allows for some capitalization on the game upside at reasonable ownership levels.

Our favorite tournament stack is the Twins. It’s a nice matchup as they have several power bats (Dozier, Plouffe, Sano, Kepler) facing a pitcher with crazy homer problems. James Shields has allowed a 17.6 HR/FB rate two straight seasons now. With a big reduction in K rate this season as well, this has led to a whopping 1.93 HR/9 allowed.

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