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CORE 4 FD & DK: Verlander, Tyler White, Bellinger & Pollock
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 (Vlad Sedler) – 11am ET
- Pitching Coach (DraftCheat) – 12pm ET
- Cash Game Breakdown – You’re reading it!!
- 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
Friday, April 19th
Well, it took 22 days into the season, but your boys finally have what I believe the DFS community refers to as a “losing streak.” Wednesday my pitching breakdown and yesterday Ted’s hitter breakdown were not good enough to push our mediocre lineups over the pay line and thus we have hit the wall.
But the good news is that it is Friday. The most glorious day of the DFS MLB week. Not only is it any old Friday, but today is what secular folks refer to as “Good Friday.” All I know is that my kids are off of school and the lines at Dutch Bros are going to be crazy. What makes this Friday “good” to me is that we have nearly a full slate of evening MLB to breakdown at long last!
Outside of the Diamondbacks and Cubs, all 28 other MLB teams are in action in various parts of the country. This means more weather issues, more lineup issues, more good starting pitchers, more bad starting pitchers and of course…Coors Field. I can hardly contain my excitement looking over the schedule knowing full well that so many of our competitors are dreading this workload terribly. I’ve already heard several rivals in the business complain about the “full” slate today. All this means is it is yet another golden opportunity for the Elite Mafia to assert ourselves and destroy these fools. After all, we know that #WeSmashFriday!!
The other difference today is that I am now officially moving this years pitcher stats into our cash game model. For those that are new, we use a 1/3 share (.33 factor) for this now, then a ½ share (.5) in another 10 days followed by 2/3 share (.66) 10 days after that and so on and so forth. This is the method I’ve been using for the last few years as to not overreact to early season breakouts and regression and it seems to work quite well.
I will spoil one thing for you right now though, German Marquez is not a recommended cash game option tonight. DC will give you the update as to what to do in GPP but I am not using any pitcher in Coors against the Phillies. Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber however, present much more viable options to us despite less than ideal setups.
Are we going to pay up then? Is it a must to invest in the Coors Field bats? Dare we use a Tampa Bay opener or bullpen arm against the always dangerous but suddenly sluggish Red Sox? All the answers you seek my dear friends are found within. Remember, #WeSmashFriday and when we do we will turn this Good Friday into a GREAT FRIDAY!
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
RAINED OUT!! Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles -Over a 50% chance of rain showers over Camden Yards tonight to go along with some strong winds blowing out to left field. The rain storms are spotty but constant through the evening hours which makes this game a fairly big risk going in.
San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates –Pittsburgh has a lot of rain in the late afternoon and early evening. Though it does clear up later, we are looking at a 60%+ chance of rain and I would equal that percentage in a possible delay.
RAINED OUT!! Atlanta Braves at Cleveland Indians -Rain, rain go away…come back another day. It’s not a substantial storm that is expected to hit northern Ohio but it appears enough to bother this game and derail Kluber and Toussaint at the very least.
Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers –Crazy winds at Comerica Park tonight with 40% chance at some rain. It’s going to be cold AF out there giving the pitchers a bump in value though neutralized by the 20+ MPH winds out to RF.
- Houston Astros: -220
- Minnesota Twins: -190
- New York Yankees: -180
- Cleveland Indians: -150
- St. Louis Cardinals: -140
- Oakland A’s: -130
Highest Run Expectancy
- Houston Astros: 5.48
- Colorado Rockies: 5.17
- New York Yankees: 4.90
- Minnesota Twins: 4.86
- Philadelphia Phillies: 4.83
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.83
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Atlanta Braves: 3.34
- Kansas City Royals: 3.60
- Baltimore Orioles: 3.64
- Miami Marlins: 3.66
- San Francisco Giants: 3.68
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 3.80
Today's Pitchers Grid
|Tyler Anderson||- - -||152.10||4.14||0.278||4.26||4.53||4.49||34.60||22.30||43.10||68.30%||44.30%||19.60||11.50%||53.20%||5.30||78.30%||36.70%||74.60||14.90%||56.20%||28.90%||1.42||35.30%||90.80||9.60|
|Spencer Howard||- - -||42.00||6.86||0.330||4.14||4.93|
1) Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros ($10,800/$10,400) –JV buzzed through a red hot Mariners lineup five days ago striking out 11 while not walking a batter and shutting them out over six innings. Verlander has faced the Rays, Yankees and Mariners in addition to these same Rangers he faces tonight. Those are some tough lineups which is why Verlander’s numbers aren’t as great as we usually expect. Texas has struck out 25% of the time so far this season and have not fared well against Verlander in the past. In 352 plate appearances, the Rangers have hit just .240 with a .293 wOBA against him. This all leads to the .267 xwOBA the Rangers have against him tonight. The Astros are the biggest favorites on the board by a mile and despite all of this, Verlander’s price isn’t as high as it should be.
2) Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Giants ($9500/$9500) – He’s isn’t a 94 MPH guy anymore but Bumgarner still throws five pitches, locates them well, varies speeds and doesn’t walk anybody. Bumgarner has gone 6+ innings in each of his first four starts this season while averaging six strikeouts per outing. MadBum has had terrific success against the Pirates over his career surrendering just a .115 BAA, .102 wOBA and a .147 xwOBA. The Pirates have really struggled against lefties this season hitting just .209 with a .245 wOBA and 30.2% K% against southpaws. Pittsburgh has scored just 8 runs all season against left handers. I wish that the Giants were in a better spot to get a win though here tonight as on the road in Pittsburgh isn’t a sure thing for this Giants team. Still, Bumgarner will give us 6+ innings easily while striking out at least a batter per inning with very little chance at implosion. It’s more expensive than I would like but it’s also as safe as you’re going to find outside of Verlander tonight.
3) Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins ($10,400/$10,800) – Boring. Berrios is the highest priced pitcher on DK and the second highest on FD here tonight for good reason. The Twins have the second best odds to win and the fourth highest expected run total this evening while the Orioles have the third least expected run total. Baltimore is hitting just .198/.282/.332 with a .272 wOBA and a 70 wRC+ over their last 7 games. The one thing that concerns me about this matchup is Berrios’ curveball that he throws about 30% of the time and that he sometimes loses his feel for. The Orioles are crushing curveballs this year to the tune of a .344 xwOBA.
4) Carlos Rodon, LHP, White Sox ($8800/$8300) – We have some rain to worry about in the area so keep an eye on that before you decide to roll out Rodon. There isn’t a lot to Rodon’s game as he’s basically a two-pitch pitcher with a low 90’s fastball, crisp slider and a changeup he mixes in just to keep batters off his main two offerings. The positive thing here is that the Tigers are terrible at handling both of Rodon’s best pitches. In fact, Detroit is dead last in MLB against fourseam fastballs while also owning the fourth worst production against sliders. The Tigers have just 3 XBH against lefties this season while hitting just .234 against them on the season. Ideally, Rodon is your second pitcher on DK tonight.
5) Anibal Sanchez, RHP, Nationals ($6800/$8100) – I simply cannot believe that he is rating this highly in any slate ever but here we are. This is mostly just a FD play as his price tag there will not take much to provide us value. The Marlins are absolutely terrible and picking on them has quickly become a must on just about every slate. Miami owns a .213/.266/.301 with a .251 wOBA, .088 ISO and the third highest strikeout rate at 29.2% over the last seven days.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Coors Field – 27.1% above average in runs, 28% above average in total HR’s.
2) Globe Life Park – 35.2% above average in runs, 27.3% above average in HR, 44.7% above average in XBH.
3) 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.
4) Angel Stadium – 17.6% above average for HRs to LHH, 8.7% above average for runs scored to LHH.
5) 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) Jason Vargas, Mets – .424 BAA, 2.84 WHIP, 48.3% FB%, 14.3% HR/FB%, 2.84 HR/9, 63.3% hard contact rate against in 2019. .271 BAA, 16.7% HR/FB%, 1.76 HR/9 in 2018.
2) Jakob Junis, Royals – .304 BAA, 1.55 WHIP, 13.6% HR/FB%, 1.23 HR/9, 36.8% hard contact rate against in 2019. .260 BAA, 16.2% HR/FB%, 1.63 HR/9, 41.0% hard contact rate in 2018.
3) Drew Smyly, Rangers – Stupid fucking name. Has a .298 BAA, 1.85 WHIP, 5.73 xFIP, 41.7% FB%, 13.3% HR/FB%, 1.59 HR/9, 58.3% hard contact rate in 2019.
4) Alex Cobb, Orioles – 3.18 HR/9, 70.6% medium contact & 23.5% hard contact rate in 2019. Had a .280 BAA, 15.1% HR/FB%, 1.42 HR/9 in 2018.
5) Matt Strahm, Padres – .321 BAA, 6.18 xFIP, 44.4% FB%, 60.0% hard contact rate against 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 – Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, JT Realmuto, Jonathan Lucroy
1B – Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Paul Goldschmidt
2B – Joe Panik, Yolmer Sanchez, Starlin Castro, Jose Altuve, Greg Garcia
3B – Josh Donaldson, Martin Prado, Justin Turner, Matt Carpenter, Nolan Arenado
SS – Elvis Andrus, Corey Seager, Andrelton Simmons, Marcus Semien
OF – Chris Taylor, Nelson Cruz, Gerrardo Parra, Ender Inciarte, Curtis Granderson, Michael Brantley, George Springer, AJ Pollock, Joc Pederson, Dexter Fowler, Keon Broxton, Charlie Blackmon, Mike Trout, Khris Davis
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
- Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
- Mike Zunino, Rays
- Jonathan Lucroy, Angels
This is the best I’ve felt about a collection of catchers all season. Molina is just always so cheap and has such a great matchup against the pathetic Jason Vargas at home tonight. Realmuto has had success against German Marquez in the past, is in Coors Field tonight but will cost you a lot of salary. I prefer paying down from Realmuto here but if you have the leftover funds by all means plug him in and don’t think twice. Mike Zunino is my little secret right now. He is taking more pitches than usual (3.34 P/PA over last 5 games) and has struck out just twice over his last 24 PA. Zunino has four hits including three doubles over his last two games and I was especially impressed with his opposite field double last night. Lucory is quietly hitting .291 this season and is 3 for his last 4 while also having success against Marco Gonzales in his career.
- Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
- Brandon Belt, Giants
- Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Yonder Alonso, White Sox
Bellinger is just in another orbit right now. I profiled the change he made to his swing that has resulted in the most barrels per contact since Statcast began in 2015. Belt got ejected yesterday so be sure there is no punishment coming down for him before locking him in. But Belt has been red hot lately putting up a .494 wOBA and .434 ISO over his last six games. Vogelbach reached base five times last night and is in a dream matchup against Felix Pena here. Nobody has a higher xwOBA tonight than Yonder Alonso (.881) as he has done serious damage against Jordan Zimmermann over his career.
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Robinson Cano, Mets
- Mike Moustakas, Brewers
- Garrett Hampson, Rockies
- Howie Kendrick, Nationals
Altuve against a lefty is money in the bank any night of the week. Cano’s price tag is real low on FD considering the upside he provides and the matchup against Wainwright tonight. Don’t underestimate the Brewers against tonight as the ownership on Milwaukee bats not named Christian Yelich has been dwindling. Howie Kendrick is playing regularly and simply shredding fools to the tune of a .429 batting average and .604 wOBA over his last six games.
- Anthony Rendon, Nationals
- Yoan Moncada, White Sox
- Ryon Healy, Mariners
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Another day and another time to spend up at 3B. This position is just so loaded tonight it’s going to be really hard to decide who fills out our lineups. Rendon has the longest hitting streak in the majors at 16 games. Moncada will be hitting from the left side again which is ideal for him. Ryon Healy narrowly missed a game tying home run two nights ago pulling it just foul then goes out last night and parks two homers for the Mariners. Bregman and Arenado are simply amazing and are both worth paying up for if you have the extra salary to spare.
- Tim Anderson, White Sox
- Scott Kingery, Phillies
- Adalberto Mondesi, Royals
- Paul DeJong, Cardinals
- Brandon Crawford, Giants
Despite the bat flip controversy from the other day, Anderson has been the hottest hitting SS and one of the hottest hitters in MLB. A .368 wOBA, with 2 HR, 6 runs, 6 RBI and 3 steals over his last seven games for Anderson. Scott Kingery is en fuego now too since moving to the top of the order and hitting in front of Bryce Harper. Kingery also gets the Coors Field treatment this evening which is why his price his much higher than it normally would be. Mondesi is starting to come around and is priced deflated despite a lefty on the mound and Yankee Stadium upgrade.
- Christian Yelich, Brewers
- Bryce Harper, Phillies
- Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals
- Joc Pederson, Dodgers
- Juan Soto, Nationals
- Avisail Garcia, Rays
- George Springer, Astros
- Andrew McCutchen
- A.J. Pollock, Dodgers
- Clint Frazier, Yankees
There are a ton of expensive outfielders to choose from tonight but that is less than ideal. We are going to have to reevaluate a few value options for us as MLB lineups start coming out this afternoon. Cody Bellinger qualifies at OF only on FD so he would be at the top of this list had I not used his DK qualification of 1B.