For the time being, we will post our MLB Content Schedule here at the top of the article. It’ll be updated with links when each article is posted, so check back throughout the day!
Today’s Coaching Sessions
All sessions take place in the MLB chat room.
- Bullpen Coach (Phil Backert) – 9am ET
- Hitting Coach (Benny Ricciardi) – 11am ET
- Cash Game Breakdown – You’re reading it!
- The Early Bird – Conquer today’s Early Slates!
- Bullpen Coach – Everything you need to know about each team’s bullpen.
- Hitting Coach – A deep dive into the top hitters (& fades) on today’s slate.
- Pitching Coach – An in-depth breakdown of today’s starting pitchers.
- Cheat Sheet – A snapshot of the top plays at each position & salary level.
- GPP Breakdown – We use game theory, & advanced stats to uncover tonight’s low-owned studs.
- MLB NOW Livestream – A daily video show breaking down tonight’s entire slate.
- MLB Summary – A summary of what we discussed in today’s Coaching Sessions & on the livestream.
- Ownership Projections
- Fantasy Baseball Elite Podcasts (Mans/Flowers/DraftCheat/Vlad)
- MLB Chat Room
- Daily Projections & Optimizer
- Splits Hub
- Umpire Factors
Monday, May 13th
I really hope all of you had a happy Mother’s Day and most importantly, treated your wives, girlfriends and Mother’s well yesterday. It was the one day of this MLB season where it was perfectly understandable not to be drawn to your cell phone/laptop and the Fanduel/Draftkings app.
Maybe it’s because of the day after Mother’s Day, maybe it’s because they knew we all would be in shock and awe after the next to last episode of Game of Thrones ever. Whatever the case may be, there are just seven games across MLB today with only six being on the main slate in DFS MLB.
The question I am sure to be asked probably a thousand times today will be “is this a good cash game slate?” The answer to that question is unfortunately, no.
When there is less than half of all MLB teams playing in a slate, it is usually not a good one for true cash game purposes. What we prey on here is our opponent’s inability to put in the time or work of breaking down a large amount of games or teams. In larger slates even the seemingly “best” of DFS players will just do what Vegas tells them to do, mix in a couple of “contrarian” plays and add as many lineups as their bankroll permits. Meanwhile, we take our single entry 50/50’s, load up as many as we can with lineups that are void of risk (fat) and double our entries at the end of the night.
In smaller slates, everybody will flock to the few obvious pitchers and stacks and so it becomes a good opportunity to use some true contrarian options that if hit can catapult us to the top of the leaderboard. Personally, I usually like to use these slates as my GPP attempts. But as you guys know, it’s been a real up and down last couple of weeks for me. With a big Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday ahead of me this week, I am going to still play my single entry 50/50’s tonight in order to pad my bankroll for the days ahead. I still will not be able to build a true cash game lineup, but the single entry 50/50’s are our best odds to win anyways so even a modified version of my cash lineup I feel very confident in here this evening.
For such a small slate, it’s actually quite packed with talent, intrigue and opportunity. No, there is no Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom on the hill nor is there even a minimum priced Lucas Giolito or Griffin Canning. What we do have is a healthy mix of mid-tier starting pitchers who are all priced up because of the smaller slate. There is also a fascinating mix of the absolute best bullpens over the last two weeks and the absolute worst bullpens over the past two weeks. The more I have gone over this slate the more I am confident that bullpen strength and weakness will determine the results.
In terms of hitting, it’s wide open this evening. There is no Coors Field for the simpletons to lean on. Heck, there is no Camden Yards or even a closed Miller Park for us to prey upon. The hottest hitting teams all seem to be matching up against the best pitchers on the slate. It would be nice to have the Yankees bats against the awful David Hess and Orioles bullpen but alas they are not part of this slate or this writeup.
So, how are we going to build these lineups tonight? Should we pay up to the top and grab ourselves a Jose Berrios against a red-hot Angels lineup or Matthew Boyd against the always dangerous Astros? Am I going to attempt using Tyler Skaggs in hopes that his sharp bending curveball is actually called a strike this time around?
Let’s get a bit dirty today folks with today’s DFS MLB Cash Game Breakdown:
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees –It’s not on the slate but it also might not play. There is an 80% chance of rain over Yankee Stadium most of the day and early evening. The rain goes away late but we could see a cancellation before game time here.
Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies – Same as in New York, there is rain showers all over the Philly area throughout the late afternoon and early evening Monday. It clears out just after game time so there is a chance they decide to delay the start then play this one in full.
- Arizona Diamondbacks: -155
- Houston Astros: -150
- Minnesota Twins: -150
- Cleveland Indians: -150
Highest Run Expectancy
- Minnesota Twins: 4.84
- Seattle Mariners: 4.71
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 4.70
- Cleveland Indians: 4.58
- Houston Astros: 4.30
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Detroit Tigers: 3.70
- Milwaukee Brewers: 3.71
- Philadelphia Phillies: 3.79
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 3.80
- Chicago White Sox: 3.92
Today's Pitchers Grid
|Name||Team||IP||ERA||BABIP||FIP||xFIP||SIERA||GB%||LD%||FB%||F-Strike%||Zone%||K%||SwStr%||Swing%||BB%||Contact%||O-Swing%||LOB%||Soft%||Med%||Hard%||HR/9||FA% (pfx)||vFA (pfx)||FA-Z (pfx)|
1) Robbie Ray, LHP, Diamondbacks ($8800/$10,000) –Yeah, it is that kind of night. Ray is the best strikeout arm on the entire slate and owns the second-best K% of all these arms at 29.7%. His 12.6% swinging strike rate and 43% GB% means he is generating a lot of soft (or no) contact which is also evidenced by just 0.82 HR/9 this season. I usually like using Ray on the road where he has fared better actually than in Chase Field but the price and the matchup ease those concerns. There’s just no getting around the fact that the Pirates suck vs LHP. Pittsburgh owns the sixth worst BA vs LHP at .229, fifth least HR with just 5, dead last in wOBA at .259, last in wRC+ with 59, last in ISO at .092 and third worst strikeout rate at 28.5%. Josh Bell in particular has been red hot but done most of his damage against RHP. Bell is has a .316/.387/.684 triple slash with 7 HR this year vs RHP while just a .250/.317/.444 with 2 HR against LHP.
2) Shane Bieber, RHP, Indians ($9500/$9000) – I like Bieber a bit more on DK where he is much cheaper but he’s as safe as it gets here tonight on this slate. Something strange about Bieber tonight that actually needed me manually overriding his value today is his home/road splits. Do you realize that for his career, Bieber owns a 4-6 record, 5.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 89 hits, 11 HR & 9.2 K/2 in 71.1 innings at home? While on the road he is 9-0 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 75 hits, 8 HR & 9.7 K/9 on the road? I really dug into why Bieber is having this much more success on the road but couldn’t find anything. In fact, the Indians have supported him far better at home than on the road. Bieber relies heavily on his slider which he throws 30% of the time and generates 41.35% whiff rate which is 17thmost in MLB this season. The White Sox strikeout 6thmost in MLB this season at 25.6% and Bieber has 23 K’s in 19.0 innings against them.
3) Brad Peacock, RHP, Astros ($8500/$8500) – Yusei Kikuchi grades out at the exact same point per dollar tonight as Peacock so I will go with the most total expected points and that is the Astros right hander. It’s been an up and down season for Peacock. In his four best starts of the season he’s averaging 45.75 FD points. In his four worst starts of the season he is averaging just 5 FD points per start. Peacock has a very effective slider one that has the sixth most horizontal movement and 15th most vertical tilt in MLB this season. He’s been living on the edges though which has resulted in a need for umpire assistance in getting those sliders called for strikes. The Tigers are 8th worst against sliders this season. Detroit is also hitting just .201 with a 23.9% strikeout rate over their last seven games. If you are building many lineups tonight or if you just love your paid up for hitters too much you can use Yusei Kikuchi tonight. But I’d prefer Brad Peacock given the pure strikeout upside and the matchup.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Citizens Bank Ballpark – 20.3% over average in runs scored, 29.1% above average in HR, 29.5% above average in 3B.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Freddy Peralta, Brewers – .274 BAA, 5.00 xFIP, 1.61 WHIP, 46.3% FB%, 18.9% HR/FB%, 2.36 HR/9, 43.4% hard contact rate.
2) Reynoldo Lopez, White Sox – .305 BAA, 5.44 xFIP, 1.75 WHIP, 52.8% FB%, 13.4% HR/FB%, 1.91 HR/9, 38.6% hard contact rate.
3) Nick Kingham, Pirates – .250 BAA, 4.67 xFIP, 41.3% FB%, 1.08 HR/9, 37.0% hard contact rate.
Click here for our Stolen Base Target Tool. I strongly recommend checking it out to find a value play or to properly assess how likely a player on tonight’s slate is to steal.
The hottest hitters at each position.
Batter v Pitcher
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
C – Yasmani Grandal, Robinson Chirinos
1B – Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Carlos Santana
2B – Dee Gordon
3B – Hernan Perez, Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Ramirez
SS – Andrelton Simmons
OF – Christian Yelich, Michael Brantley, Ryan Braun, Eddie Rosario, Leonys Martin, Starling Marte, Jay Bruce
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Mitch Garver, Twins
- Josh Phegley, A’s
- Omar Narvaez, Mariners
- Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
The two top catchers’ tonight are both ones that crush left handed pitching. Garver has been smashing lately. He has a .462/.611/1.077 triple slash with 2 HR, 5 RBI and a .462 wOBA over his last five games. Phegley is a notorious lefty killer as he hits 40 points better with just under a 100-point difference in his OPS.
- Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
- C.J. Cron, Twins
- Edwin Encarnacion, Mariners
Hoskins has been on base 5 times in his last 9 at-bats and has a terrific matchup against the flyball heavy Freddy Peralta. Hoskins is pretty expensive but makes so much contact and has such power that he’s always a solid option for our cash game purposes. C.J. Cron is hitting a astounding .455 with a .478 OBP with 3 HR and 6 RBI over his last five games. Edwin Encarnacion cooled off a bit over the weekend but still has a great matchup against Mike Fiers and his big looping curveball.
- Jason Kipnis, Indians
- Tommy La Stella, Angels (3B on FD)
- Cesar Hernandez, Phillies
- Gordon Beckham, Tigers
This is a lousy position here tonight. Kipnis is the top of the chicken shit pile though thanks to his .344 wOBA over his last seven games and 40% OBP over his last two games. La Stella owns a triple slash of 400/500/1.100 with a .626 wOBA and 310 wRC+ over his last four games. Only problem with that is that he is not 2B eligible anymore on FD. So, I include a name that hasn’t greased our Cash Game Breakdown since 2015 and that is Tigers 2B Gordon Beckham. Beckham has actually played real well lately both offensively and defensively for the Tigers and likely will be in the lineup today. When Beckham is staying back and driving the ball to right center field, he is a dangerous major league hitter. This profiles real well against Brad Peacock’s late breaking sinker, curve and slider.
- Jose Ramirez, Indians
- Matt Chapman, A’s
- Marwin Gonzalez, Twins
Jose Ramirez is turning his season around though it is taking much slower than it did last year at this time. But he is walking more than he is striking out (18.5%-11.1%) and has a .332 wOBA with a HR and SB over his last six games. Matt Chapman owns a .390 OBP and 1.171 OPS with 5 HR against LHP so far this year. After a day off yesterday, Chapman should be rested and ready to go here tonight.
- Carlos Correa, Astros
- Jean Segura, Phillies
- Marcus Semien, A’s
I don’t love Correa’s 30.4% strikeout rate over his last six games but he’s got an incredible 64.3% hard contact rate during that time as well. He can turnaround a Matt Boyd slider but then is a tremendous matchup against the entire Tigers bullpen. Segura hasn’t been doing well lately, but back at home and facing a Freddy Peralta four seam fastball that has a middle-in trajectory which Segura feasts off of. Marcus Semien crushes LHP throughout his career and owns a .317/.417/.463 triple slast against southpaws this year.
- Bryce Harper, Phillies
- David Peralta, Diamondbacks
- Christian Yelich, Brewers
- George Springer, Astros
- Adam Jones, Diamondbacks
- Starling Marte, Pirates
- Charlie Tilson, White Sox
- Jay Bruce, Mariners
- Leonys Martin, Indians
- Kole Calhoun, Angels
There is a lot of value all over the board tonight, but the outfield is full of inexpensive options tonight. Springer is the hottest hitter in baseball, and everybody knows Yelich cannot stop launching homers. But few people realize just how hot Peralta is right now and has a terrific matchup against Kingham and the Pirates bullpen. Bruce is a good GPP option because he matches up very well with Fiers curveball.