MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE
DODGERS/CUBS, GIANTS/ROCKIES = CANCELLED
UPDATED CORE 4:
FRANKIE MONTAS, BYRON BUXTON, ALEX KIRILOFF & MITCH HANIGER
I KNOW THAT I SAID JOEY GALLO ON THE LIVESTREAM BUT WANTED SEATTLE BATS OVER TEXAS BATS PRIMARILY. YOU CAN STILL USE GALLO ABSOLUTELY, BUT I AM STACKING AROUND MARINERS TONIGHT INSTEAD.
Back from NFL Draft duty and ready to start the week out right. I had a blast scouting all of the new player’s that we will be fawning over come this NFL season. I also lost a bet, with myself nonetheless, that resulted in having to run around naked on a Livestream. Small price to pay for the Bears to finally take a franchise QB in Justin Fields though as I have been waiting 30+ years for that to happen.
Don’t think for a moment though that I haven’t been keeping up with what is going on around MLB and especially the DFS world. We’ve still been building DFS MLB lineups every night with mostly positive results. Yesterday we were fortunate enough to pay down at pitcher and get an amazing effort from Corey Kluber. Thankfully, he was only 5% owned which allowed us to cash despite not having any Cubs or Reds. On Saturday night it was the Mike Trout/Jared Walsh combination that helped us despite a woeful start from Zac Gallen. Friday night was a ridiculously high scoring night in which 176.3 FD points weren’t enough to cash. That wasted amazing efforts from Yankees stars Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge.
The great thing that is happening right before our eyes, is that a few of our tried and true strategies are once again paying off big. Remember a week ago when I declared that we were putting a moratorium on paying down for pitchers? That is over already. The weather is warming up across the country and scoring is skyrocketing before our very eyes. Our opponents are not recognizing this yet which is why Corey Kluber was just 5% owned in cash games yesterday.
The other strategy that caused us to miss out on a couple wins two weeks ago is investing in minimally priced prospects. Notice, Twins thumper OF/1B Alex Kirilloff has now homered in three straight games and is still somehow minimum price on both sites. Tonight we will see Kansas City Royals former first round pick and premium pitching prospect Daniel Lynch on the hill on KC against the Cleveland Indians. The young, unknown players are already starting to infiltrate their teams and the lineup optimizers have no idea what to make of them.
You see, that is what we do. It is our job to be aware of, do our research on and have a working knowledge of every single player in the sports that we cover. That is what I have been doing for NFL over the last few weeks and why we will smash the competition once again this season. For MLB, the lost season of 2020 has set a majority of our competitors back. They don’t know who these players are or what their skill sets are. They will be reading whatever Baseball America pages come up first on Google tonight while we are working on lineups. This work is why the Elite Mafia always “just so happens” to be on top of the leaderboards in every sport, every season.
A quick rundown of all the content we are producing today for DFS MLB:
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
So, tonight we have a very sweet 10-game slate across DFS MLB. We do have an ace and a half on the mound as Tyler Glasnow takes the bump for the Rays while the Dodgers travel to Chicago with Walker Buehler taking on the Cubs. I’d love to once again pay down on the hill, but as of this writing, there are still four open starter slots yet to be announced across MLB. What a total shitshow baseball has become.
As far as the hitters are concerned, we have to allocate for Coors Field (Giants/Rockies) as well as rain in Chicago and massive winds in Minnesota. It’s peculiar that most of the hottest hitting teams in baseball happen to be off today. Those teams include the Reds, Diamondbacks, Whitesox, Nationals and Yankees. But we do have Dodgers, Cubs, Rockies and Angels to build our lineups around this evening.
It’s setting to be a real fun slate overall but one that will take us down to the wire most likely. Between weather concerns, starting pitcher updates and the usual carousel of lineups, we are going to be best off building our lineup shells while waiting to fill them out until closer to lineup lock.
Let’s get to it.
Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies – Increasing chance for rain as the night goes on in Philly tonight. We are looking at a 50% chance of rain by game time with increased odds the later it gets. Very strong chance for a delay here and a real probability for a postponement.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs – Similar conditions in Chicago as in Philadelphia. The rain appears light and not moving in until about an hour into the game but there is poor drainage at Wrigley Field so be careful on how the Cubs handle this situation here tonight.
Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins – Very windy conditions at Target Field tonight as there will be 16-18 MPH consistent winds blowing out to right field with gusts up to 24 MPH.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center
1) San Diego Padres: -180
2) Minnesota Twins: -175
3) Los Angeles Dodgers: -170
4) St. Louis Cardinals: -130
Highest Run Expectancy
1) Colorado Rockies: 5.46
2) Philadelphia Phillies: 4.91
3) San Diego Padres: 4.85
4) Minnesota Twins: 4.73
5) Oakland A’s: 4.67
Lowest Run Expectancy
1) Chicago Cubs: 3.67
2) New York Mets: 3.82
3) Los Angeles Angels: 3.87
4) Toronto Blue Jays: 3.89
5) Texan Rangers: 3.96
Today's Pitchers Grid
TODAY’S BEST PITCHERS
1) Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers ($10,200/$9600) – There are two stud pitcher going tonight and Buehler is the better choice by a good margin here. He has been very steady so far this year. Buehler has gone six plus innings in each of his first five starts this season logging four quality starts in the process. He has also struck out 19 hitters in his last two starts against two real good hitting teams in the Padres and the Reds. Tonight, he draws a Cubs team that did score 12 runs yesterday but who has really struggled this season leading up to that effort. The Cubs are hitting just .224 (eighth worst) this season while striking out 26.7% of the time (sixth worst). As long as Buehler can keep Kris Bryant at bay, the rest of this Chicago lineup is not a threat to him at all. With such little quality on the mount tonight, Buehler is going to be extremely high owned and might be a mandatory play here.
2) Frankie Montas, RHP, Athletics ($7500/$8100) – I am a big fan of Montas espcailly when he is at home where he has a half a point better ERA and WHIP over his career. He has had trouble with the homerun so far this season but only giving up a 27.2% hard contact rate. His 21.9% strikeout rate is solid, but the 13.0% swinging strike rate shows that this should go up, perhaps dramatically very soon. The Blue Jays lineup is dangerous, but the ball doesn’t carry well in Oakland as it has been at the Blue Jays temporary home in Florida.
3) Kenta Maeda, RHP, Twins ($6900/$7800) – Maeda’s history suggests he can dig himself out of this early season struggle that he has been in. I don’t find him to be a very worthwhile cash game player but his historical numbers as well as his opponent tonight, the Rangers, provide some confidence here. The Rangers strikeout 28.5% of the time, second most in MLB and the Twins are the largest favorites on the board here tonight. So, evidently Las Vegas has a bit more faith than the fantasy community does in Kenata Maeda this evening.
4) Daniel Lynch, LHP, Royals ($NA/$4000) – You may not be aware of Daniel Lynch, this is his major league debut after all, but he is one of the better pitching prospects in all of baseball. Lynch is a tall, sturdy, left-hander with five capable pitches to keep hitters off-balance. His fastball can be chopped two different ways. Either a high 90’s four seamer with nasty cross plane movement or a downward biting two seamer that is pound into the dirt when contact is made. The changeup is the real swing and miss star here coming in at about 85-87 MPH with soft touch fade to the outside of right-handed hitters. The Indians are having problems against LHP this year hitting just .198 (second worst), with a .290 wOBA (sixth worst) and 27.2% strikeout rate (eighth worst). He is basically free on DK tonight ($4K) while FD evidently isn’t going to add him to the player pool. It makes perfect sense to then pair Buehler with Lynch and go about your business with the hitters tonight.
PITCHERS TO TARGET AGAINST
1) Dean Kremer, Orioles – .364 BAA, 5.36 FIP, 2.00 WHIP, 30.8% HR/FB%, 2.40 HR/9, 31.3% hard contact rate, 9.4% swinging strike rate against in 2021.
2) Vincent Velasquez, Phillies – .265 BAA, 5.13 xFIP, 4.72 SIERA, 1.95 WHIP, 51.6% FB%, 25.0% HR/FB%, 2.92 HR/9 in 2021.
3) Kyle Hendricks, Cubs – .327 BAA, 4.73 xFIP, 4.54 SIERA, 1.76 WHIP, 36.8% FB%, 35.7% HR/FB%, 3.97 HR/9, 8.8% swinging strike rate against in 2021.
4) Adam Wainwright, Cardinals – .265 BAA, 20.8% HR/FB%, 1.57 HR/9, 39.5% hard contact rate against in 2021.
5) Kenta Maeda, Twins – .343 BAA, 4.23 xFIP, 4.27 SIERA, 1.76 WHIP, 31.3% FB%, 26.9% HR/FB%, 2.70 HR/9 in 2021.
(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)
|13||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||33||145||11||32||23||6||12.4||14.50||0.344||0.293||0.311||0.407||0.656||0.443||180|
|15||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||34||146||8||25||26||1||17.1||17.10||0.254||0.353||0.322||0.452||0.576||0.438||185|
BATTER VS. PITCHER
C – Buster Posey
1B – Brandon Belt, Eric Hosmer
2B – Max Muncy, Tommy La Stella
3B – Travis Shaw, Justin Turner, Anthony Rendon
SS – Brandon Crawford
OF – Jackie Bradley Jr, Alex Dickerson, George Springer
For More BvP info check out our BvP Matchup Page
OVERALL HITTER RANKINGS
1) JT Realmuto, Phillies ($3300/$5300)
2) Dom Nunez, Rockies ($3000/$4900)
3) Buster Posey, Giants ($3900/$4800)
4) Salvador Perez, Royals ($3800/$5200)
5) Andrew Knizner, Cardinals ($2100/$2800)
Notes: This position is a wasteland tonight. Realmuto is a stud of course and Buster Posey is giving us reason to believe he has found his previous studly form too. It’s the easiest thing to do and just pick from the catchers at Coors Field of which Nunez is much cheaper on FD while somehow Posey is on DK. If you need a value backstop, Andrew Knizner gives is a pure contact bat with solid on base potential.
1) Brandon Belt, Giants ($3100/$3400)
2) CJ Cron, Rockies ($3400/$4600)
3) Carlos Santana, Royals ($4300/$5000)
4) Rhys Hoskins, Phillies ($4000/$5200)
Notes: You have to love Belt tonight in Coors Field against the low fourseam fastball of German Marquez. Belt has gone 11-27 (.407) with a HR, 2 3B & 1 2B against Marquez in his career. If BvP doesn’t matter, go ahead and fade Belt tonight while the rest of us eat. There aren’t many hotter hitters in MLB than Carlos Santana who is hitting .348 with a .442 wOBA and .261 ISO over the last seven games.
1) Tommy Edman, Cardinals ($3500/$4400)
2) Ryan McMahon, Rockies ($3600/$5100)
3) David Fletcher, Angels ($3000/$3500)
4) Marcus Semien, Blue Jays ($3100/$5000)
5) Tommy La Stella, Giants ($2800/$3900)
Notes: Tommy Edman has been setting the table for this Cardinals lineup to the tune of .382 wOBA over the last week and a .287/.349/.391 triple slash on the season. He offers some upside too with 7 XBH on the season and four stolen bases. Both Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson are quality plays for us at 2B here tonight with McMahon being the slightly better due to his .363 wOBA and 55.6% hard contact rate over his last six games. Marcus Semien going back to Oakand tonight gets our attention too considering he has the second highest wOBA against the curveball of all second basemen so far this season. Be carefull of La Stella as he did leave Sunday’s game with hamstring tightness. If he is out today, Rays 2B Brandon Lowe would move up to cash game viability.
1) Justin Turner, Dodgers ($3700/$4900)
2) Manny Machado, Padres ($3600/$5000)
3) Kyle Seager, Mariners ($3200/$4200)
4) Jose Ramirez, Indians ($4100/$5300)
5) Travis Shaw, Brewers ($2800/$3500)
Notes: Justin Turner is just smashing this season racking up a triple slash of .337/.415/.584 with 6 HR, 21 RBI and 19 runs. He has homered off of Kyle Hendricks twice in 11 career at-bats as well. Machado has a hard-hit rate of 46.7% while striking out just 11.4% over his last six games. Kyle Seager is hitting .318 with a .411 wOBA over the last seven games.
1) Brandon Crawford, Giants ($3000/$3200)
2) Isaih Kiner-Falefa, Rangers ($3100/$4500)
3) Corey Seager, Dodgers ($3600/$4800)
4) Fernando Tatis Jr, Padres ($4400/$5900)
5) Luis Urias, Brewers ($2600/$3400)
Notes: Brandon Crawford is in the perfect spot here tonight but we have to make sure that he is in the lineup tonight after missing the last two games due to a calf bruise. Kiner-Falefa has been absolutely out of his mind going 19-50 (.380) with 3 HR, 2 3B, 10 runs & 6 RBI over his last 12 games. Seager and Tatis are always amazing plays if you can afford them. I prefer Seager here because of the likelihood of getting to beat up on a really awful Chicago bullpen.
1) Byron Buxton, Twins ($4500/$6100)
2) Andrew Benintendi, Royals ($3400/$3000)
3) Alex Kirilloff, Twins ($2400/$2900)
4) Raimel Tapia, Rockies ($3100/$4000)
5) Bryce Harper, Phillies ($4200)/$5800)
6) Mookie Betts, Dodgers ($4000/$6000)
7) Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays ($3000/$3900)
8) Austin Hays, Orioles ($3100/$3300)
9) A.J. Pollock, Dodgers ($2100/$3500)
10) Mitch Haniger, Mariners ($3300/$3700)
Notes: There is plenty of value at the outfield position tonight. The thing that stands out most to me is that we can use infielders from Coors while paying down for value OF outside of Colorado. Byron Buxton is the hottest hitter in baseball hitting a cool .408 with an .842 slugging so far this season. If you are going to use a Coors outfielder, Raimel Tapia should be your top option. My dude is 8-12 (.667) with 3 RBI, 4 runs & 2 SB over his last three games. A.J. Pollock is a true power/speed player that always seems to grade out well in our model. He had one of the best games of his career yesterday hitting two HR’s, a double and had eight RBI against the Brewers.
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Walker Buehler, Dodgers ($10,200)
1B – Brandon Belt, Giants ($3100)
2B – Ryan McMahon, Rockies ($3600)
OF – Raimel Tapia, Rockies ($3100)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
P – Walker Buehler, Dodgers ($9600)
1B – Brandon Belt, Giants ($3400)
2B – Ryan McMahon, Rockies ($5100)
OF – Raimel Tapia, Rockies ($4000)