I have a lot to say, though I probably shouldn’t. It was a good weekend, especially if your name is Brian Healy…lol. But once again, the content was rock solid here and believe me, I was paying close attention. I had a very good talk with a bunch of you in the DFS MLB chat on Friday night. The vast majority of you get it. Some of you still have a way to go to understand what our goal is in DFS. Just remember that the Core 4 in this article is NOT, nor will it ever be intended to be the four highest scoring players of a slate. The Core 4 is a lineup building exercise that will give you the right foundation for you to build your winning lineup that night.
On Friday, I told everybody that Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil were about to explode against this Diamondbacks pitching staff and especially the bullpen. These two combined for 8-24 (.333) with a .375 OBP, 2 HR, 2 2B, 6 runs, 6 RBI & 1 SB. At under $2900 on FD all three days, this is an incredible success. I saw quite a few taking victory laps for McNeil and Lindor this weekend but at under 8% ownership across the board, they are all full of shit. We identified the Mets bats as a good investment because nobody on this earth does the amount of research that we do on MLB bullpens. You are going to see just how deep we go to that end in the coming days. Stay tuned.
Here are today’s content items:
Cash Game Breakdown – The article you are currently reading.
DFS MLB Lineup Coach – Daily coaching session assisting with all aspects of DFS MLB
DFS MLB Cheatsheet – A quick guide to the top plays at each position and salary level.
GPP Writeup – Using experience, game theory & advanced stats to uncover low owned stars.
Core 4 Livestream – Daily Livestream that covers all DFS sports featuring guests from throughout the Elite Sports Network
Also Be Sure To Bookmark:
The Opening Line – Hosted by Frank Brank & Fried Egg Paulie
Lunch Money – Hosted by Claudia Bellofatto
Baseball Elite Podcast – Hosted by Kyle Elfrink & Ray Flowers
This is a garbage slate for cash games. What else do you want me to say? We’ve got a grand total of six games today which is just above the total we need to build a true cash game, zero fat lineup. The good news is that both Fanduel and Draftkings are starting the slate earlier than usual and thus including the Reds/Pirates game in the main slate. Otherwise, we were looking at just five games which is our bare minimum for playing cash.
The wildcard to this slate is the Padres/Rockies game at Coors Field. Obviously, with a great offense line San Diego playing at Coors, there will be an abnormal amount of interest (ownership) in that game. But, as usual, we have weather concerns in Colorado with a 50% chance of rain most of the night. Yuck.
As you know, I have been completely wiping my ass with these bad weather games of late and haven’t been hurt by it once. But that has been on 10, 11 and 14 game slates where it is a lot easier to go somewhere else for fantasy production. Tonight, may not be that easy as only three of the league’s top 12 offenses are suiting up.
The pitching is pretty straight forward here tonight with only two starters being worth of our breath. Even though we are cash game players, we are going to have to find ways to differentiate ourselves from the pack here tonight. That will mostly come down to whether the Rockies game plays or not but if not, we are going to have to have a backup plan. I have that for you, don’t sweat it.
The Angels, Red Sox and Astros are going to be very highly owned here. But there is a team that if you have been paying attention, you should know that I have graded quite highly and that few others will. Let’s see just how much you have been paying attention to Pappy Mans’s rants lately. Guess the team that I will use to be “different” tonight. DON’T CHEAT!! Guess the team here and then read on to see if you are right.
Let’s start the week off right my friends!!
San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies – Here we go again. It will be raining in Colorado pretty much all day and I cannot even imagine this game being played. The Rockies love to cancel games even when the weather is nice so don’t be surprised by anything here. I will be including players from this game in the writeup, but please know that I am expecting a cancellation here.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center
1) San Diego Padres: -170
2) San Francisco Giants: -145
3) Boston Red Sox: -140
4) Cincinnati Reds: -140
Highest Run Expectancy
1) Boston Red Sox: 5.21
2) San Diego Padres: 5.08
3) Houston Astros: 4.45
4) Cincinnati Reds: 4.43
Lowest Run Expectancy
1) Texas Rangers: 3.17
2) Arizona Diamondbacks: 3.38
3) Miami Marlins: 3.62
4) Pittsburgh Pirates: 3.66
Today's Pitchers Grid
TODAY’S BEST PITCHERS
1) Tyler Mahle, RHP, Reds ($8900/$9400) – Mahle has been a little HR prone to start the year but he is also the best pure strikeout arm on this slate. Mahle has a 32.8% strikeout rate and 12.6% swinging strike rate and 82.8% LOB% this season. He has given up a .118 BAA with a .104 wOBA against this Pirates lineup. Pittsburgh has the fourth worst batting average (.214) and second worst wOBA (.262) over the last week and second worst wOBA (.291) on the entire season. Nobody else has a higher floor or ceiling as far as these starting pitchers going tonight are concerned.
2) Kyle Gibson, RHP, Rangers ($9500/$8600) – I am sure some of you are arguing with me in your mind that Gibson has a higher ceiling than Mahle but you would be wrong. Sure, Gibson has been absolutely lights out over his last six starts going 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 23.4% strikeout rate during that span. The Giants have been feasting off of LHP so far this season but are hitting just .226, .316 wOBA and a 27.9% strikeout rate against righties. Gibson gets a significant ballpark upgrade tonight and will benefit from facing off against the pitcher spot in the lineup instead of the American Leagues DH. If you wanted to go cheaper on each site and use Mahle on FD and Gibson on DK, I can fully support that strategy here tonight.
3) Nobody. They are all terrible.
PITCHERS TO TARGET AGAINST
1) Antonio Senzatela, RHP, Rockies – .294 BAA, 4.44 xIP, 4.69 SIERA, 1.55 WHIP, 20.8% HR/FB%, 1.52 HR/9, 36.1% hard contact rate, 6.9% swinging strike rate in 2021.
2) Luke Weaver, Diamondbacks – .254 BAA, 4.33 xFIP, 4.32 SIERA, 1.38 WHIP, 37.9% FB%, 18.2% HR/FB%, 1.82 HR/9, 46.1% hard contact rate in 2021.
3) Jorge Lopez, Orioles – .245 BAA, 4.37 xFIP, 4.41 SIERA, 1.37 WHIP, 32.5% FB%, 28.0% HR/FB%, 2.39 HR/9 in 2021.
4) Martin Perez, Red Sox – .270 BAA, 4.49 xFIP, 4.35 SIERA, 1.47 WHIP in 2021. Orioles hitting .350/.412/.517 with a .402 wOBA against over his career.
(click on link above)
We have a brand new stolen base target tool on the site. I strongly recommend looking it over in order to find a value play or to properly assess how likely a player is to steal tonight.
HOT STREAKS (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
|7||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||62||264||20||47||52||2||15.2||15.50||0.338||0.340||0.338||0.447||0.676||0.467||200|
|21||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||58||256||18||51||39||12||14.1||21.50||0.319||0.294||0.282||0.391||0.601||0.416||164|
|25||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||48||201||18||43||40||13||11.4||28.40||0.368||0.291||0.276||0.353||0.644||0.407||163|
BATTER VS. PITCHER
C – Martin Maldonado
1B – Trey Mancini
2B – Pat Valaika, Jose Altuve
3B – Maikel Franco, Rafael Devers, Alex Bregman, Manny Machado, Evan Longoria
SS – Trevor Story, Charlie Culberson
OF – Nick Castellanos, Alex Verdugo, Charlie Blackmon, Wil Myers, Corey Dickerson, Adam Duvall
For More BvP info check out our BvP Matchup Page
OVERALL HITTER RANKINGS
1) Carson Kelly, Diamondbacks ($3700/$5100)
2) Buster Posey, Giants ($3700/$4800)
3) Victor Caratini, Padres ($2700/$3700)
4) Jacob Stallings, Pirates ($2700/$2700)
Notes: Kelly will get at least a couple of at-bats against a lefty tonight in which he is hitting .389/.586/.889 against them. He is also hitting .400/.483/.700 at home this year so Kelly is really the best option if you want to pay up at the position. Posey is back to driving the baseball this season. Posey is hitting .397 on the season and 11 of his 29 hits have gone for extra bases. He also owns a 62.5% hard contact rate over his last four games. Caratini is excellect at Coors but we will have to make sure he is in the lineup and that the game doesn’t get rained out. Stallings is a nice punt play specifically on DK where we have to use a catcher and Jacob Stallings has quietly reached base successfully in each of his last 10 starts.
1) Eric Hosmer, Padres ($3600/$5000) & CJ Cron, Rockies ($3400/$4100)
2) Jared Walsh, Angels ($3300/$4200)
3) Jesus Aguilar ($3900/$4900)
Notes: If the Padres/Rockies game plays, Hosmer is our #1 1B followed closely by CJ Cron. Jared Walsh against a RHP is next and is hitting .340 with a .929 OPS over the last 14 days. Aguilar is the first step in attacking this horrendous Arizona bullpen tonight. Garrett Cooper is 1B eligible on Fanduel and at a much lower price, we could use him as our value first basemen here tonight.
1) Jake Cronenworth, Padres ($3000/$4400)
2) Jose Altuve, Astros ($3700/$5100)
3) Isan Diaz, Marlins ($2600/$3200)
Notes: Cronenworth is heating up and getting great exit velocity (91.3 MPH) and hard contact overall (40.0%) over his last five games. In that span he is 8-19 (.421) with 1 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBI & 3 runs. Altuve is expensive and hasn’t been particularly great (.280 BA, 40.9% hard contact) lately so his grade here is more about his overall skill set than having a great matchup. If the Padres game is postponed, Rangers 2B Nick Solak moves up into top three at second base this evening. Isan Diaz is a very interesting player. He hit 88 HR’s in five minor league seasons including 26 in 2019. He has two HR’s in his last six games. His skill set is not that of a cash game player but at this price point and in this matchup against the D-Backs in a six game slate, he gets cash game consideration.
1) Rafael Devers, Red Sox ($3600/$5200)
2) Manny Machado, Padres ($3700/$5500)
3) Alex Bregman, Astros ($3800/$5000)
Notes: The Red Sox have the highest expected total of the night even with the Coors Field game going and Rafael Devers is the second biggest expected run producer of the lineup. Devers has a 42.9% hard contact rate over his last six games. Machado has hit .323/.382/.510 with 4 HR & 18 RBI over his career. Bregman is the hottest hitting third baseman in the league racking up a .417 BA, .474 wOBA and 52.8% hard contact rate over his last seven games.
1) Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($3600/$5400)
2) Fernando Tatis Jr, Padres ($4600/$5900) & Trevor Story, Rockies ($4100/$5800)
3) Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Rangers ($3000/$4000)
Notes: Bogaerts is pure smoke these days making hard contact every single at-bat or so it seems. He is hitting a cool .400 with a .502 wOBA and 44.4% hard contact rate over the last six games. What is even more impressive it that he’s stuck out just 8.7% during that span. Once again, Tatis and Story are AMAZING plays if the game plays. Kiner-Falefa is super-hot too right now. He is averaging 13.9 FD points per game over his last 11 games including eight hits in his last four games.
1a) Coors OF in order: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies ($3600/$4800) Trent Grisham, Padres ($3900/$4700)
1b) Mike Trout, Angels ($4400/$5800)
2) Adam Duvall, Marlins ($3000/$4200)
3) Adolis Garcia, Rangers ($3500/$3200)
4) JD Martinez, Red Sox ($4400/$5400)
5) Shohei Ohtani, Angels ($4300/$N/A)
6) Alex Verdugo, Red Sox ($3300/$4100)
7) Garrett Cooper, Marlins ($2200/$3800)
8) Nick Senzel, Reds ($2500/$3100)
Notes: I extended our limits on the outfielders today just in case the Coors game is cancelled and also in expectation of who the starting pitchers will be for Miami and Los Angeles. Basically, we want JD Mart/Verdugo as a mini stack in the OF if Coors is off of the board and we can sprinkle in the Miami bats for value. Adolis Garcia is a classic example of why DK pricing is such bullshit. Guy is one of the hottest hitters in baseball and somehow is priced beneath Ryan Mountcastle and Marwin Gonzalez. He’ll be like 75% owned as a result and some of you will think you are getting some sort of secret deal which you absolutely are not.
FANDUEL CORE 4 (w/Coors Playing)
P – Tyler Mahle, Reds ($8900)
3B – Manny Machado, Padres ($3700)
SS – Fernando Tatis Jr, Padres ($4600)
OF – Adam Duvall, Marlins ($3000)
FANDUEL CORE 4 (w/Coors Cancelled)
P – Tyler Mahle, Reds ($8900)
3B – Rafael Devers, Red Sox ($3600)
SS – Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($3600)
OF – Adam Duvall, Marlins ($3000)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4 (w/Coors Playing)
P – Tyler Mahle, Reds ($9400)
3B – Manny Machado, Padres ($5500)
SS – Fernando Tatis Jr, Padres ($5900)
OF – Adam Duvall, Marlins ($4200)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4 (w/Coors Cancelled)
P – Tyler Mahle, Reds ($9400)
3B – Rafael Devers, Red Sox ($5200)
SS – Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($5400)
OF – Adam Duvall, Marlins ($4200)