Daily Fantasy Rundown – Target Diamondbacks in DFS – April 29th, 2015
Welcome to Wednesday’s edition of the Daily Fantasy Rundown with “leonem”, “dinkpiece” and “thenumbersguy”. Each day throughout the MLB season our daily MLB scouting reports will highlight the best top, value and cheap plays of the day based on the Daily Fantasy Industry’s pricing for salary cap games. The goal of our analysis is to help you improve consistency and become a better player long-term.
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Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – Grandal is an excellent option tonight as he gives you a nice combination of salary cap relief, good lineup spot and strong matchup at a scarce position. Grandal has been hitting fifth for a Dodgers team that is performing very well against RHP, despite an injury to Yasiel Puig. The young catcher has been a bit disappointing individually (.196/.317/.294). He strikes out a lot (22 percent of the time for his career) despite having solid overall plate discipline (doesn’t swing and miss a ton or chase pitches, high walk rate). Perhaps Grandal isn’t aggressive enough, leading to deep counts resulting in a walk or strikeout. That along with his high GB rate early on is admittedly not very conducive to DFS scoring. However, the matchup against Ryan Vogelsong is. Vogelsong is a fly ball oriented pitcher that doesn’t miss many bats and has allowed a .334 wOBA, 25 LD rate and 1.04 HR/9 to LHBs since 2012. This is a good spot for Grandal to start getting on track and the cost (both opportunity and actual) is rather low.
Yadier Molina (STL) – I prefer Molina’s skill set to Grandal’s but a lower lineup spot (sixth or seventh) keeps the two similarly ranked. Molina makes hard contact (LD rates of 22.9/24.3/24.8 previous three seasons) and makes contact often (9.3 career K percentage), which leads to a high BA and him taking advantage of RBI opportunities. His platoon split isn’t extreme, keeping him in play against a same handed pitcher in Aaron Harang, who is projected by both ZiPS and Steamer to have a ROS ERA around 4.30. Pay no attention to Harang’s strong start as it’s currently being aided by all three major luck factors: .203 BABIP, 3.1 HR/FB rate and 86.7 LOB%.
Mike Zunino (SEA) – From an individual matchup standpoint, I actually prefer Zunino to Grandal/Molina at an equal or lower cost around the industry. The issue of course is a number nine lineup spot, as it’s been statistically proven that consistently sticking to the top five or six hitters in cash games will improve your win rate. For tournaments, though, we’re more focused on the upside he offers in the plate appearances he does get tonight than we are on the long term value of the number of plate appearances he’s expected to get. Zunino gets a massive park shift in his favor playing in Texas. He’ll take on Wandy Rodriguez, who, of the pitchers in action tonight, has the second worst wOBA split (.317) and worst HR/9 split (1.23) against RHBs. Both Steamer and ZiPS project an ERA in the 4s for Rodriguez with an above average HR/9 allowed. The power is the most important takeaway here as that’s Zunino’s main skill. He has a career .175 ISO and posted a .205 mark last season. The key for Zunino is he puts the ball in the air (just a 33.9 GB rate last season and this year LD rate is impressively at 25.8 percent while GB rate down to 29), meaning that Rodriguez’s HR issues and the park shift are more meaningful to Zunino than most hitters. It’s a high risk, high reward play. On the risk side, apart from the lineup spot, is Zunino’s 31.9 career K percentage and awful all-around plate discipline.