I am repeating this from yesterday’s Cash Game Breakdown in case anybody missed it. There are some very important details in the following paragraphs about…
I am repeating this from yesterday’s Cash Game Breakdown in case anybody missed it. There are some very important details in the following paragraphs about what your subscription provides, the direction we are taking, and an outline of how to get to the payline in cash & GPP.
You see, this is going to be a gigantic year for us at Elite Fantasy. Oh yeah, as you may have noticed we have a new name…and a new website. Why? Well, because our old one sucked and now we’re able to do just about everything we have ever wanted to do in terms of tools, shows, and content. Yes, that means we are currently providing content here on Elite Fantasy, as well as on Fantasy Guru and Guru Elite.
To be clear, PLEASE commit this to memory:
1) Elite Fantasy is the exclusive site for DFS.
2) Fantasy Guru is the exclusive site for seasonal fantasy sports.
3) Guru Elite is exclusively for sports betting.
Once you understand this, all the rest will fall into place, I promise you.
Last year in this space, I guaranteed that your investment in us for the MLB season would go so much further than you knew. We made good on that guarantee, and then some. This year, I am going to make the same guarantee. How? Glad you asked…
We kept prices the same, and actually lowered the full season content and VIP packages by a couple of dollars. This, despite the ridiculous amount of money we invested in our new, state-of-the-art website and servers. We’ve also brought in a marketing team, tech team, content providers, and editors. You may not know their names (yet), but each of these entities will provide every one of you a better experience here at Elite Fantasy. Think of our new additions as an improved launch angle: You won’t be able to tell until you see the ball fly off the bat.
We have already added tools such as:
- Batter Splits Hub
- BvP Organizer
- Ballpark Factors
- Umpire Reports
- Stolen Base Targets
- Improved Weather Reporting
- Ownership Projections (in testing for the first few days of the season, but looking to open it to all of you on Monday, April 1st!)
…and that is just to start. We are going to be building up our tools and automation in every single sport continuously throughout each season and year. We’ll discuss all of this in more detail at a later time, I know you guys are here for baseball and my mind is beginning to stray.
This baseball season, we are committing to doing more than just providing award winning (crazy, right?) articles, optimizers, and shows. We are going to be coaching you guys. Not here and there, not once a month, not once a week. Every. Single. Day. Yeah, that’s right, we are going to be your own, personal DFS MLB coaches every weekday during the MLB season (yeah, weekdays only, we need to give our guys a bit of a break sometime, right?).
So, what you will notice beginning on Monday April 1st (no fools!) will be three half-hour coaching sessions per day from our staff. There will be a half-hour Hitting Coach, half-hour (Starting) Pitching Coach and half-hour Bullpen Coach. We will be spreading the times out and adjusting them on the fly in the early portion of the season, so please help us out. We understand that everybody may not be able to make each session, but these will take place in our MLB Chat Room, which allows you to scroll back and review whenever you like. Ask our coaches anything that you like, but please try to keep the discussion on that session’s intended topic (hitters, starting pitchers, and bullpens).
For those of you who are new to Elite Fantasy and/or the Cash Game Breakdown, here is what we’re about: The purpose of this article is to play it safe. Sure, we will take some chances and sprinkle in some risk just about every night, but for the most part we are about outsmarting our opponents by keeping it simple. Here are the exact targets for each site (FD & DK):
On FanDuel, there is a $35K salary limit. Our cash game target here is 140pts, which is a 4x return per player (if a player’s salary is 2.5k, we’re looking for 10pts) (btw, our GPP target is a minimum of 160, while 180 is generally necessary to contend for the top spot).
Here is a breakdown of how we’re looking to hit that 140pt target in cash games:
- 40 points from our P: 6 IP (18), 6 K (18), W (6) QS (4), <=2 ER (-6 at worst).
- 100 points from our hitters: 3 HR (36), 5 RBI (17.5), 5 R (16), 2 2B (12), 4 1B (12), SB (6), BB (3) (this is 102.5pts).
On DraftKings, there is a $50K salary limit. Our cash game target here is 125pts, which is a 2.5x return per player (if a player’s salary is 3k, we’re looking for 7.5pts).
With fewer points to target, and one extra pitcher, we’re under a little less pressure on DK.
- With DK pitchers, we’re still aiming for 40pts. To get there, we need: 12 IP (27), 1 W (4), 12 K (24), 4 ER (-8), 10 H (-6) & 1 BB (-.6) (this is 40.4pts).
- That leaves us needing 85pts from our DK hitters: 3 HR (30), 5 RBI (10), 5 R (10), 5 1B (15), 2 2B (10), 2 BB (4) & 1 SB (5) (this is 84 points).
If you whittle down our target scores to the actual stats needed, it makes lineup building much easier. If you are building a lineup with players who cannot generate the totals noted above, you are never going to consistently win in any format. Sorry, but it’s true.
Alright, now on to today (Friday, March 29th, 2019)…
We absolutely crushed it on Opening Day. If you thought the Dodgers had a good day…
…well they probably did a bit better…
…but we were spitting fire, too! Our collection of pitchers did not have a failure at all, including the top guy on my board, Jose Berrios, who shredded the Indians and posted the highest point total of the day.
Although Bryce Harper didn’t go yard, my top 2B, 3B, SS did, as did the #2 & #3 1B. Outfielders like Aaron Judge and Corey Dickerson lit up the scoreboard, as well, though overall my OF plays were ho hum. Still, a day in the winner’s circle beats a day anywhere else. If you didn’t cross the payline, that is ok. There is a lot of season left and if yesterday proved anything it was that our analysis is far ahead of most of the industry right now.
Tonight we get an eight game all evening slate, something that I personally love. The morning games just aren’t my thing, mostly because of my late night articles, west coast living, and late morning radio show on SiriusXM. I’m really excited about this slate tonight.
LET’S GET AFTER IT!
None…life is great!
1)German Marquez, RHP, Rockies ($9800/$9200) –Marquez had a breakout second half last season going 6-3 with a 2.61 ERA and an astounding 12.0 K/9 in 14 starts. Now I have reservations about him in seasonal leagues mostly because he pitches in Coors Field where he doesn’t fare very well. But tonight he is in a very pitcher friendly park against one of the worst lineups in the league. Some may stay away from Marquez because they see a few of the Miami hitters that have had success against him and that he got shelled against the Marlins in Miami last April. But Marquez is a completely different pitcher now than he was in either start against Miami last year. He’s taken to throwing a lot more sinkers and sliders and less four-seam fastballs. The increased swinging strike rate and outside zone swing% is remarkable and fueled this breakout. These Marlins are no threat to this pitch mix and we’re getting a pretty sizeable discount from where he should be give these circumstance.
2) Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals ($9300/$9000) – How do I love Jack Flaherty? Let me count the ways. Alright, I am not going to do a list but this is one of my favorite breakout pitchers for 2019. When he is at his best, Flaherty is mixing his four-seamer, slider and sinker while peppering the lower portion of the zone. The way to beat the Brewers is to get them to hit the ball on the ground, something easier said than done. But Flaherty has had success against them posting a .167/.273/.267 triple slash against them with a .251 wOBA and .260 xwOBA. This is a more dangerous matchup than I would normally like for cash games but with a limited slate and a very marginal pool of arms to choose from Flaherty is too good to completely pass on.
3) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Astros ($11,300/$11,200) – Cole against the Rays is a very good matchup here but is it worth $11K? That is a tough call really especially when there are two distinct better options at nearly $2K of a discount. The Rays mustered just five total baserunners yesterday against Verlander/Pressly/Osuna coming off of a very meager spring training showing with the bats. Cole’s .269 xwOBA, .198 xBA are the best on the slate. The Rays have the second lowest expected run total on the board tonight.
4) Matthew Boyd, LHP, Tigers ($7700/$6600) – I can’t believe that I am writing the words but “I kind of like Matt Boyd here tonight.” What a dirty sentence that is. Hopefully you guys watched some of the Blue Jays/Tigers game yesterday and if so this will make a bit more sense. The Blue Jays are really awful and got just one hit off of Jordan Zimmerman in seven innings. Boyd really mastered his slider last season and it led to his highest K% (22.4%) and swinging strike % (10.2%) of his career. I really like the Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner too as this kid generates a very high % of called strikes. He got 16 out of 108 total pitches (14.8%) called strikes yesterday and has one of the best frame rates (10.4) of any catcher in MLB over the last two months of 2018. The value options aren’t terrific here today so Boyd is really your best option if paying down.
- Los Angeles Dodgers: -160
- Colorado Rockies: -150
- San Diego Padres: -150
- Boston Red Sox: -145
- Houston Astros: -140
Highest Run Expectancy
- Toronto Blue Jays: 4.50
- Milwaukee Brewers: 4.33
- Oakland A’s: 4.31
- Boston Red Sox: 4.30
- San Diego Padres: 4.25
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 3.01
- Tampa Bay Rays: 3.27
- San Francisco Giants: 3.33
- Miami Marlins: 3.41
- Seattle Mariners: 3.71
- Miller Park (when dome closed as its expected to be) – 14.7% above average in runs, 22.2% above average in HR’s.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Matt Shoemaker, RHP, Blue Jays – .284 xBA, .364 xwOBA against, 49.6% hard contact rate in 2018.
2) Derek Holland, LHP, Giants – Career .346 wOBA, 41.7% FB%, 13.0% HR/FB% Vs RHH, .305/.346/.484 triple slash in career Vs Padres hitters.
3) Marco Estrada, RHP, A’s – 55.6% FB% in 2018, 49.8% FB% over career. 11.2% HR/FB% in 2018, 11.0% HR/FB% over career. 1.82 HR/9 in 2018, 1.42 HR/9 over career.
We have a brand new “Stolen Base Targets” tool here at Elite Fantasy! 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.
The hottest hitters at each position (Spring Training stats)
C – Blake Swihart .406, Chance Sisco .382, Yan Gomes .375, Jonathan Lucroy .357, Francisco Mejia .354, Wilson Ramos .351
1B – Ronald Guzman .400, Carlos Santana .397, Yuli Gurriel .372, Brandon Belt .370, Ji-Man Choi .366, Anthony Rizzo .362, Jesus Aguilar .356, CJ Cron .356
2B – Robinson Cano .441, Joe Panik .426, Ryan McMahon .424, Brandon Lowe .377, Lourdes Gurriel .366, Josh Harrison .366, Yoan Moncada .358
3B – Justin Turner .457, Nolan Arenado .389, Rafael Devers .385, Cheslor Cuthbrett .375, Brian Anderson .354, Mike Moustakas .348
SS – Miguel Rojas .439, Elvis Andrus .432, Bo Bichette .410, Addison Russell .382, Amed Rosario .356, Dansby Swanson .353, Jose Peraza .348
OF – Yasmany Tomas .448, Christian Yelich .442, Leury Garcia .431, Byron Buxton .410, Jay Bruce .406, Brett Gardner .394, Domingo Santana .393, Nick Markakis .387
C – Chance Sisco 1.298, Isiah Kiner-Falefa 1.167, Yan Gomez 1.105, JT Realmuto 1.097, Jason Castro 1.042, Wilson Contreras 1.037, Blake Swihart 1.018
1B – Ronald Guzman 1.269, Justin Smoak 1.153, Greg Bird 1.143, Miguel Cabrera 1.142, Brandon Belt 1.127, Carlos Santana 1.084, Anthony Rizzo 1.072
2B – Ryan McMahon 1.232, Lourdes Gurriel 1.185, Chris Owings 1.129, Yoan Moncada 1.110, Brandon Lowe 1.109, Ian Kinsler 1.095, Robinson Cano 1.086
3B – Justin Turner 1.334, Nolan Arenado 1.209, Alex Bregman 1.165, Jung-ho Kang 1.113, Brian Anderson 1.081, Jeimer Candelerio 1.007
SS – Bo Bichette 1.260, Ehire Adrianza 1.054, Elvis Andrus 1.045, Amed Rosario .998, Dansby Swanson .980, Troy Tulowitzki .970
OF – Domingo Santana 1.397, Aaron Judge 1.394, Christian Yelich 1.292, Byron Buxton 1.249, Jay Bruce 1.176, Chad Pinder 1.160, Bryce Harper 1.147, Brett Gardner 1.147
C – Francisco Cervelli 4, Yan Gomes 4, Austin Hedges 4, JT Realmuto 4, Chance Sisco 4, Mike Zunino 4
1B – Matt Adams 6, Yonder Alonso 5, Miguel Cabrera 5, Ronald Guzman 5, Jose Abreu 4, Pete Alonso 4, Cody Bellinger 4, Brandon Belt 4, Justin Bour 4, Luke Voit 4, Justin Smoak 4
2B – Lourdes Gurriel 4, Garrett Hampson 4, Ian Kinsler 4, Roudned Odor 4, Chris Owings 4, Gleyber Torres 4
3B – Jung-ho Kang 7, Nolan Arenado 5, Anthony Rendon 5, Travis Shaw 5, Alex Bregman 3, Jeimer Candelerio 3, Matt Carpenter 3
SS – Bo Bichette 4, Trevor Story 4, Troy Tulowitzki 4, Ehire Adrianza 3, Tyler Saldino 3, Willy Adames 2, Paul DeJong 2, Freddie Galvis 2
OF – Aaron Judge 6, Lewis Brinson 5, Michael Conforto 5, Tyler O’Neil 5, Jorge Soler 5, Ronald Acuna 4, Byron Buxton 4, Randall Grichuk 4, Jose Pirela 4, Yasiel Puig 4
Batter v Pitcher
C – Russell Martin
1B – Albert Pujols, Eric Hosmer
2B – Enrique Hernandez
3B – David Freese, Justin Turner, Manny Machado
SS – Andrelton Simmons, Nick Ahmed, Tim Beckham
OF – Chris Taylor, Kevin Pillar, Tommy Pham, Curtis Granderson, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Trout, David Peralta
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Austin Barnes, Dodgers
- Jorge Alfaro, Marlins
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
It’s a thin selection behind the plate tonight but Barnes is probably the best bet. He’s crazy cheap on all sites, had three hits including a HR yesterday and has 100 point better OPS Vs LHP than RHP. Alfaro has the highest exit velocity of any Marlin and like Molina is a middle of the lineup bat behind the plate.
- Justin Bour, Angels
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Ryon Healy, Mariners (3B only on DK)
- Edwin Encarnacion, Mariners
Bour hit third for the Angels yesterday and didn’t strikeout. Now he gets the flyball monster Marco Estrada and is extremely cheap on all sites. Goldie smashes in Miller Park don’t forget so don’t worry abou the three K’s yesterday. Both Healy and E5 hit HR’s yesterday and matchup well against Eovaldi.
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Ian Kinsler, Padres
- Enrique (Kiké) Hernandez, Dodgers (OF on FD)
- Chris Taylor, Dodgers (2B/SS on DK)
Altuve is a stud and we can afford him tonight. Ian Kinsler is leading off for an improved Padres lineup and facing the terrible Derek Holland. This is a great start of a mini-stack right there. Kike slaughters LHP and hit two HR’s yesterday so definitely will be back in lineup tonight. Taylor would be contrarian on DK if he’s in lineup.
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Manny Machado, Padres
- Matt Chapman, A’s
- Alex Bregman, Astros
Just pay up at 3B tonight, as it is by far the deepest position. Fading Arenado is never a great feeling but if I am going to pay up that high, I want him at Coors. There is a case for Justin Turner and Travis Shaw tonight too so this will not be an easy decision. If you hit the right 3B today, I believe it will correlate with your ultimate results. Carpenter is such a massive on base, run scored and power threat which makes him my choice in cash tonight.
- Paul DeJong, Cardinals
- Tim Beckham, Mariners
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
- Andrelton Simmons, Angels
I want DeJong to hit in front of Goldschmidt, not behind him, but either way on this slate ultimately works. Beckham is crazy underpriced still despite being the hottest hitter in MLB. Somehow Simmons is hitting cleanup so a Bour/Simmons mini-stack could be a nice price offset for your bigger dollar hitters tonight.
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Wil Myers, Padres
- Domingo Santana, Mariners
- Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals
- Hunter Renfroe, Padres
- Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays
- Khris Davis, A’s
- A.J. Pollock, Dodgers
- Mookie Betts, Red Sox
- Kole Calhoun, Angels
A lot of mini-stack opportunities here with Calhoun/Trout, Betts/JD Martinez, Myers/Renfroe and Grichuk/Teoscar Hernandez. Domingo Santana is raking out of control right now and is severely underpriced still too.