Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in tonight’s MLB Cash Games!
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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
- Pitching Coach (DraftCheat) – 12pm 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
Wednesday, April 17th
Two days of the week, two misses yet also two complete cash game wins. Welcome to 2019, everybody! On Monday, our bats went bananas with Christian Yelich, Paul Goldschmidt and the Blue Jays twins (Grichuk & Teoscar) leading the way. But our pitcher choices of Syndergaard, Cahill & Lucchesi all crumbled miserably. Then yesterday, we hit on all pitcher recommendations including Jose Quintana, Jon Gray and my secret special call of Mike Minor. Yet, hitting was tougher to come by outside of good ole standby Christian Yelich.
The one common thread through both days however was that the cash game lineup sat on the positive side of the ledger. The process is working, folks! If you haven’t seen similar results, don’t get discouraged. Ted, Kenneth, and I are going to really focus in on giving even more specific plays and lineup builds each day to help get us all into the same frame of mind.
This breakdown is focused only on the 10-game evening slate tonight. We have “The Early Bird” writeup that provides full coverage of the four game early slate on this Wednesday.
REMEMBER:If you are playing Fanduel, the main slate begins with the 6:30pm ET games whereas Draftkings has their main slate beginning with the 7:05 game between the Giants and Nationals.
Pitching isn’t easy tonight. Carlos Carrasco is the lone “stud” on the board and he hasn’t exactly been studly so far this season. Hurlers such as Spencer Turnbull and Frankie Montas provide a lot of intrigue but aren’t in ideal spots here tonight.
Then there are the bats. The Nationals, Yankees and Rangers will be pretty well owned but as you will see there are some other areas that I have my eye on here. This is a good cash game slate. Enough pitching to find a couple of gems and some real diamonds in the rough in terms of bats that our lazy counterparts will never uncover. I’m feeling pretty good about tonight so let’s get to it and kick a lot of ass!
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins –It’ll be raining pretty much all day in Minneapolis with temperatures in the mid-40’s. The rain clears up late so they could decide to delay the game then play it after 8pm CT but I’d say there is a good risk of PPD here tonight.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers –Small chance of rain at Comerica Park tonight but nothing that should be a problem. Maybe a quick delay but I am not downgrading any of these pitchers or hitters for weather today.
1) Atlanta Braves: -160
2) Chicago Cubs: -155
3) Tampa Bay Rays: -150
4) Washington Nationals: -135
5) Minnesota Twins: -135
Highest Run Expectancy
1) Texas Rangers: 5.67
2) Tampa Bay Rays: 5.52
3) Los Angeles Angels: 5.33
4) Atlanta Braves: 4.96
5) Minnesota Twins: 4.79
Lowest Run Expectancy
1) Miami Marlins: 3.66
2) Baltimore Orioles: 3.75
3) Seattle Mariners: 3.79
4) Detroit Tigers: 3.99
5) Pittsburgh Pirates: 4.01
Today's Pitchers Grid
1)Kevin Gausman, RHP, Braves ($8800/$8600) –So, normally all of these slightly above average pitchers would be jackpot city for us this year but without at least a couple of high end aces on the board with them, we get inflated prices like this for Gausman. Still, this is one of the safest plays on the board despite the inflated price tag. The Braves are the biggest favorites on the board tonight mostly because the Diamondbacks have very little viable major league talent in their lineup these days. Gausman has pitched into or past the sixth inning in both starts this year, has the fourth highest swinging strike rate on the board tonight and has generated the highest swing rate outside of the strikezone of anybody going tonight.
2) Lance Lynn, RHP, Rangers ($7100/$7500) – Those who have been following my pitching advice this season are familiar with my interest in Lynn. For those that haven’t been paying attention allow me to fill you in. Lynn has increased his velocity this season regularly throwing his fourseam fastball at 95 MPH and is mixing in his changeup to keep lefties at bay. Lynn’s problem has always been on getting LHH out and the velocity + changeup = more swings and misses by lefties. The Angels were shutout last night by Mike Minor because the Rangers are not giving Mike Trout anything to hit. I don’t love the idea of using a mediocre pitcher in a homerun happy ballpark but at this price on this slate, let’s dance with the devil.
3) Cole Hamels, LHP, Cubs ($9000/$9400) – Cole Hamels being the highest priced pitcher on the board in a slate of 10+ is absolutely insane. But, here we are. The Marlins are awful and after a respectable start to the season are sinking back into the earth’s crust. Miami has struck out the fourth most in MLB over the last week at 26.7% of the time. Hamels hasn’t issued a walk in either of his last two starts and is generating a 50.9% groundball rate so far this season. Though we’d like to get more swings and misses out of a pitcher at this price, Hamels is one of if not the safest pitchers on the board.
4) Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Indians ($9600/No DK) – These are the most difficult decisions we face in DFS MLB. Carrasco is by far the best pitcher going tonight but he’s also had the cock kicked out of him in two of his three starts so far this season. Why this has happened is another matter. We know that his fastball velocity is slightly down to 93 MPH (from 95) and that he is not throwing his curveball or changeup as much as he has in the past. Considering its his slider and change that are the out-pitches, relying so much on his fastball is not good. The way to play this with Carrasco comes down to ownership. If everybody goes name hunting and Carrasco is 30%+ owned lets just eat the chalk and move on with our day. If he’s under 15% owned we have a huge opportunity specifically in GPP’s. Anything between 15-30% and I might just pay down knowing that I am still in play no matter what Carrasco does this evening.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Globe Life Park – 35.2% above average in runs, 27.3% above average in HR, 44.7% above average in XBH.
2) Yankee Stadium –12.6% above average in runs scored, 16.6% above average in total HR’s, 27.4% above average in HR to LHH.
3) SunTrust Park –11.2% above average in runs & 5.6% above average in HR’s to RHH.
Things To Target (Against)
1) David Hess, Orioles – 1.89 HR/9, 61.5% FB%, 5.50 xFIP, 86.0% contact rate, 34.6% hard contact rate in 2019.
2) Trent Thornton, Blue Jays – 2.63 HR/9, 42.9% FB%, 26.7% HR/FB%, 48.6% hard contact rate in 2019.
3) Matt Harvey, Angels – .344 BAA, 2.51 HR/9, 5.44 xFIP, 26.7% HR/FB%, 44.0% hard contact rate in 2019.
4) Nathan Eovaldi, Red Sox – .305 BAA, 3.60 HR/9, 6.25 xFIP, 33.3% HR/FB%, 14.3 BB%, 49.0% hard contact rate in 2019.
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.
|7||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||147||638||46||118||104||4||12.7||16.10||0.296||0.320||0.318||0.409||0.615||0.427||172|
|8||Frank Schwindel||- - -||51||199||14||32||39||0||6.5||16.10||0.301||0.350||0.339||0.382||0.640||0.426||169|
|12||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||82||360||24||72||52||17||13.6||23.60||0.313||0.311||0.283||0.394||0.596||0.412||158|
|13||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||117||493||39||95||91||25||11.8||26.80||0.338||0.317||0.284||0.369||0.622||0.409||160|
Batter v Pitcher
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
C – Josh Phegley
1B – Matt Adams, Brandon Belt, Freddie Freeman, Kendrys Morales
2B – Jose Altuve, Joe Panik
3B – Yangervis Solarte, Martin Prado
SS – Brandon Crawford, Andrelton Simmons, Carlos Correa
OF – Steve Pearce, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Josh Reddick
Overall Hitter Rankings
1) Willson Contreras, Cubs
2) Jorge Alfaro/Chad Wallach, Marlins
3) Mike Zunino, Rays
4) Josh Phegley, A’s
Contreras is the best of the lot but this is a very poor position here tonight. It’s interesting that both Alfaro and Wallach grade out well against Cole Hamels tonight. The top two catchers are the only ones that grade out above the normal cash game line tonight. Mike Zunino is making more contact all of a sudden and is a double dong threat every time out. Phegley crushes left handed pitching but is quite expensive on DK tonight. Though he doesn’t grade out well tonight, I might take a chance and plug in Giants backstop Buster Posey giving where he hits in the order and his price tonight.
1) Freddie Freeman, Braves
2) Brandon Belt, Giants \
3) C.J. Cron, Twins
4) Steve Pearce, Red Sox
5) Ji-Man Choi, Rays
Freeman is at home against Zack Godley who has given up 38.8% FB% and a 21.1% HR/FB% for that matter this season. I am not a Brandon Belt guy, but he’s the hottest hitting 1B out there right now. I mentioned on the SiriusXM show that CJ Cron is starting to come alive and he showed that last night with a big knock. Choi was a popular play last night but he’ll definitely have considerable ownership again tonight as the Rays have the highest total on the board.
1) Jose Altuve, Astros
2) Jason Kipnis, Indians
3) Brandon Lowe, Rays
4) Tommy La Stella, Angels
5) Ozzie Albies, Braves
Altuve is just out of his mind right now crushing the ball to the tune of a .582 wOBA, 50.0% hard contact rate and four homeruns over his last five games. Kipnis is a nice little value right now going against the inexperienced Erik Swanson of the Mariners. Kipnis is driving the ball to left field which is what he does when he’s in the zone. Brandon Lowe is a middle of the lineup bat at 2B and has a 41.7% hard contact rate over his last five games.
1) Asdrubal Cabrera, Rangers
2) Alex Bregman, Astros
3) Anthony Rendon, Nationals
4) Jose Ramirez, Indians
5) Jeimer Candelario, Tigers
Asdrubal Cabrera is scorching hot right now and doing it from the left hand side of the plate which is a big plus since he usually crushes LHP more. The Rangers have the highest expected run total so the Ass-Dribble would be a good spot to get some cheap shares. I don’t think there has been a slate yet in which either Alex Bregman and/or Anthony Rendon have not graded out above the cash game line. On Monday I wrote in this very space that Jose Ramirez was about to come out of his slump to which he hit a massive HR. If he’s breaking out, we can ride him for a few days at this super low salary and reap all of the benefits.
1) Elvis Andrus, Rangers
2) Javier Baez, Cubs
3) Marcus Semien, A’s
4) Carlos Correa, Astros
5) Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
Andrus is demolishing the AL West this season posting an average of 19.2 FD points per game against them so far. It’s going to be real tempting to stack the Rangers in this spot but using Andrus would hurt your average price per player the rest of the way because he is quite expensive. Semien versus a lefty is always a good idea and one of few value players on the board tonight. Carlos Correa is still cheap though he hasn’t has much success since the Yankees series.
1) JD Martinez, Red Sox
2) Austin Meadows, Rays
3) Aaron Judge, Yankees
4) Eddie Rosario, Twins
5) Starling Marte, Pirates
6) Stephen Piscotty, A’s
7) Avisail Garcia, Rays
8) Ronald Acuna, Braves
9) Leonys Martin, Indians
10) Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays
JD versus a lefty in Yankee Stadium is certainly a smash spot though so is Aaron Judge against the trash can that is Nathan Eovaldi. All of the Tampa Bay Rays outfielders are in play today with Meadows being the pick of the litter. Tommy Pham, Avisail Garcia and/or Kevin Kiermaier are all in play too if they are in the lineup tonight. Starling Marte had the game winning HR last night but has been driving the ball lately without a massive return yet. He is prime real estate for a mid-tier cash game lineup outfielder tonight.