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 (Vlad Sedler) – 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
Monday, April 22nd
I hope that everybody had a great Easter/Passover holiday and most importantly broke off a little DFS MLB cash over the weekend. On Friday, I mentioned that after 22 days I had run into my first cash game losing streak. I also mentioned this little habit of ours here at Elite Fantasy called #WeSmashFriday. Then I went out and built a lineup around Anibal freaking Sanchez, something that felt fine at first but immediately made my sphincter ache.
Somehow, I survived the Nats bullpen giving up two inherited runners thanks to mini-stacks of Astros, Dodgers and Cardinals. On Saturday, Scott Bondar and I decided on the Livestream that we had to grab the Coors Field bats and that George Springer was going to homer. And poof, a two-game losing streak has become a two day winning streak.
Tonight, we have a very good 10 game slate upon us that has everything we can ever hope for. We’ve got stud pitchers such as Chris Sale and Joe Musgrove on the hill. We’ve got awful pitchers to stack against in Steven Matz and David Hess. Then of course there is Coors Field with the Nationals bats visiting a Rockies team that still doesn’t even know who is starting as of this writing.
I hope that most of you are taking advantage of our daily coaching sessions that we offer each weekday. We’re approaching the first month of the MLB season and it’s been a very good journey thus far. We are considerably ahead of our competition in the areas of contest selection, lineup building, prospect recognition, pitching breakdowns and bullpen efficiencies.
It’s time for all of us to start upping our game now. Let’s take these advantages and start to turn the screws on the rest of the DFS players out there. They are all following Vegas lead, using the same generic ownership projections and stacking 5+ teams per night. Nobody is doing the work that we are and only each other have the assets we do to start taking what is rightfully ours.
This conquest begins tonight my friends. Let’s get it!!
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox –Going to be raining most of the day in Boston and Fenway does not have great drainage. The rain does taper off later in the night but I’d consider this game one to not plan on being played.
- Boston Red Sox: -220
- Houston Astros: -180
- Tampa Bay Rays: -160
- Pittsburgh Pirates: -140
- St. Louis Cardinals: -135
Highest Run Expectancy
- Washington Nationals: 5.46
- Colorado Rockies: 5.33
- Boston Red Sox: 5.22
- Houston Astros: 5.15
- Chicago White Sox: 5.09
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Detroit Tigers: 3.28
- Kansas City Royals: 3.35
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 3.42
- Minnesota Twins: 3.85
- Philadelphia Phillies: 3.93
Today's Pitchers Grid
1) Chris Sale, LHP, Red Sox ($8400/$8600) –The DFS world is going to give us a downtrodden Chris Sale at a mid $8K pricetag so we are going to take it. Am I worried about Sale’s velocity? Yes, though we saw him hit 95 on the radar his last time out. Am I worried about his health? A bit, but why would the Red Sox run him out there if there was any question about his healthy. The bottom line is this: if you believe Chris Sale is shot and its over for him, skip on over him and go with the #2 option. But if you think there is a chance that Sale just needed some time to get back on track, you’ll want to play him tonight. The Tigers are awful against LHP this season. Detroit hits just .203 (third lowest) against LHP and owns just a .256 (lowest in MLB) wOBA against southpaws this year. The Tigers have hit just one HR and have scored just five runs all season against LHP. The biggest issue for Sale tonight is the weather. If this game plays and we can rule out a delay, I’ll be plugging Sale in across the board and never looking back.
2) Joe Musgrove, RHP, Pirates ($9000/$8100) – I’ve used Musgrove in every start he has had this season and he’s personally responsible for many profits already this season. Musgrove is throwing his slider a lot more than he used to this year (33% of time) and the pitch is legit. Musgrove’s slider has the 11thmost horizontal movement in MLB and he’s generating 42% whiffs per swing. The one reservation I do have is that the Diamondbacks have the best BA and wOBA against sliders so far this year. While that is concerning, checking with the Diamondbacks expected lineup historically are well below average hitting sliders. So, if Sale and the Red Sox get rained out I will likely be using my boy Musgrove in cash games tonight.
3) Yonny Chirinos, RHP, Rays ($7300/$7400) – The Royals stormed back against the Yankees yesterday but still struck out 20 times in the process. Chirinos throws a heavy two-seam fastball over half of the time and that is an extremely gifted pitch. It’s the sixth fastest two-seamer in MLB and features the eighth most horizontal movement. He won’t go deep into this game, likely throwing a max of 80 pitches and five innings but he should dominate a team that doesn’t have a ton of threats.
4) Mike Minor, LHP, Rangers ($8300/$8800) – Another of the “Jeff Mans Specials” that I have been using a lot this season. Minor has been doing everything right to this point this season. He’s throwing 63% first strike, generating 44% groundballs and capturing a career high of 11.9% swinging strikes. Can this continue? A deeper dive suggests that it is possible. You see, Minor is throwing less sliders and more curveballs this season. He’s also dropping the speed on the curve a bit which appears to really keep hitters off stride. Tonight he gets a big ballpark upgrade and a matchup with the A’s, who are hitting just .168 with just am .067 ISO over the last seven games. What’s more is that Minor has limited the A’s to just a .170 BAA, a .222 wOBA, a .214 xBA and a .258 xwOBA over his career. He’s not going to throw this well all season but this is another spot where Mike Minor is significantly underpriced in a matchup that is a lot better than most would think.
5) J.A. Happ, LHP, Yankees ($8000/$9300) – This DK price is too high and that is quite disappointing because I’d love to use Happ as my SP2 on DK tonight but that is just too steep for what I want to do. Still, lefties against the Angels are a great thing. By limiting the production of Justin Bour and Kole Calhoun, you pretty much have Mike Trout to pitch around and the rest of the lineup is freedom. Happ hasn’t pitched well this season but did go into the seventh inning last week against the Red Sox and did so by throwing more sinkers and less sliders. The Yankees are beat up but they still have plenty of bats left to beat up on Matt Harvey and put Happ in line for a QS and a win here tonight.
(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) Angel Stadium – 17.6% above average for HRs to LHH, 8.7% above average for runs scored to LHH.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Steven Matz, Mets – 37.0%,23.5% HR/FB%, 2.20 HR/9, 42.6% hard contact rate this season.
2) David Hess, Mets –.250 BAA, 5.82 xFIP, 58.5% FB%, 18.4% HR/FB%, 3.0 HR/9, 43.1% hard contact rate this season.
3) Matt Harvey, Angels – .329 BAA, 25.0% HR/FB%, 1.93 HR/9, 44.6% hard contact rate this season.
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.
|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 v Pitcher
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
C – Wilson Ramos, JT Realmuto, Jonathan Lucroy
1B – Miguel Cabrera, Jesus Aguilar, Mitch Moreland
2B – Jose Altuve, Cesar Hernandez
3B – Maikel Franco
SS – None
OF – Ian Desmond, Michael Conforto, Bryce Harper, David Peralta, Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout, Khris Davis
Overall Hitter Rankings
- JT Realmuto, Phillies
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- Wilson Ramos, Mets
- Jonathan Lucroy, Angels
- Josh Phegley, A’s
Realmuto grades out way ahead of any other catcher here tonight. He’s reached base in seven straight games and is going up against Steven Matz who he has had great success against in the past. Molina and Ramos are both solid middle of the lineup bats that are way underpriced for what their value is at this position. Lucroy and Phegley are better against LHP, near minimum price and are both at home this evening.
- Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
- Ryan McMahon, Rockies
- Ji-Man Choi, Rays
- Trey Mancini, Orioles
- Yonder Alonso, White Sox
There aren’t many great 1B plays in cash game today. Hoskins at this discounted price is a great thing for cash. McMahon is actually a very good low ball hitter and profiles well against Jeremy Hellickson. Be sure that Ji-Man is in the lineup tonight before using him as he’s missed the last two games with a soft tissue injury. Both Yonder Alonso and Jose Abreu are actually good value options with Alonso getting the nod because he’s only struck out 4.9% of time and is cracking 36.4% hard contact over the last five games.
- Brian Dozier, Nationals
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Jonathan Schoop, Twins
- Brandon Lowe, Rays
- Danny Santana, Rangers
Dozier is finally starting to hit as evidenced by his 40% flyball rate and four hits, three XBH and 2 HR over his last four games. Every time we think that Altuve has hit his DFS peak, he goes out and throws up another 30-point performance. I will likely be fading Altuve tonight, but he still grades out very well. Schoop has gone 7-16 (.438) with 2 HR and 2 2B over his last four games. Lowe has a hot bat himself and is way underpriced on FD here tonight. The Rays lineup will be under owned here tonight so a mini-stack involving Lowe could be big.
- Yoan Moncada, White Sox
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Maikel Franco, Phillies
- Anthony Rendon, Nationals
Moncada has a .405 wOBA over his last six games and also is a great power/speed threat which is perfect for cash games. Carpenter is just so underpriced that he makes a very low risk investment against the youngster Adrian Houser. Bregman has a .539 wOBA, 3 HR and has only struck out 8.7% of the time over his last five games. Rendon has a 55.6% hard contact rate over his last six games but got hit on the elbow on Saturday and didn’t play Sunday. Monitor his status before building a lineup with Rendon.
- Paul DeJong, Cardinals
- Tim Anderson, White Sox
- Marcus Semien, A’s
- Cole Tucker, Pirates
- Elvis Andrus, Rangers
DeJong is in a great spot tonight as the Cardinals have the seventh highest run expectancy this evening. Tim Anderson would be a great mini-stack with either Moncada or either Alonso or Abreu depending on how the final White Sox lineup plays out. Semien against a lefty is always in play even though Mike Minor has been on a roll of late. Cole Tucker is cheap and is a great cash game talent as he provides good on base opportunities along with some pop in his bat.
- Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
- Lorenzo Cain, Brewers
- Jose Martinez, Cardinals
- Eddie Rosario, Twins
- Tommy Pham, Rays
- Raimel Tapia, Rockies
- Christian Yelich, Brewers
- Clint Frazier, Yankees
- Josh Reddick, Astros
- Mookie Betts, Red Sox
- Ian Desmond, Rockies
- Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals
Blackmon is in the zone at home right now and the price has not reflected this yet so jump on it quickly. Christian Yelich will get a lot of attention and deservedly so but Lorenzo Cain is also on a tear right now and much less expensive. Jose Martinez should continue to start and is hitting the ball hard every time out. I really love the trio of Eddie Rosario, Tommy Pham and Clint Frazier tonight none of whom will cost you premium salary.