Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in tonight’s MLB Cash Games!
- Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies
- Jose Martinez, OF/1B, Cardinals
- Hanser Alberto, SS, Orioles
- Josh Fuentes, 3B, Rockies
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.
Miss one of today’s sessions, or just want to revisit it? A full transcript is available here!
- Bullpen Coach (Phil Backert) – 9am ET
- Pitching Coach (DraftCheat) – 12pm ET
- Hitting Coach (Vlad Sedler) – 11am 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
Monday, April 8th
Pardon my misspellings and typos today please folks as I am writing this while constantly looking over my shoulder. I’m quite nervous because everything has been going so well it just feels like something bad has to happen. Right? Hopefully you guys aren’t as pessimistic as I because it sure kills part of the high, that is for sure.
So we are 11 days into the 2019 MLB Regular Season and, more importantly, the DFS MLB season and everything is playing out exactly like expected. The Cubs and Red Sox are terrible, aces like Sale & Kluber are getting lit up and Domingo Santana is on his way to the AL MVP. Alright, maybe we didn’t expect any of that but as I sit here peering over my shoulder writing this intro I am scorching hot, having cashed in all but one slate in DFS MLB cash games so far. Now, in fairness, I am not counting the five contests we played yesterday as that wasn’t a full cash game slate in my opinion. I did lose all contests on Sunday so that would be second losing effort here in 2019. Either way, things have been going well.
The key to all this early season success I believe has been proper lineup building. Paying down for pitching, still getting strikeouts and then building around power bats. It’s not rocket science but it is filling our bankroll nicely.
For today’s writeup I am ignoring the early the two early games outright. The focus here is on the eight game evening slate that features a lot of mid-level pitching, a few weather spots and our good old friend Coors Field. Good to have you back, buddy!
No matter if you have been winning or losing to begin the season, each day is a brand new adventure for us. So, sit back, relax and let me guide you through tonight’s journey in another edition of the Cash Game Breakdown.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Oakland A’s at Baltimore Orioles –Rain is moving in late to the Baltimore area but should hold out until after the game.
San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants –Spotty showers in the bay area but nothing is expected over the ballpark here.
1) Houston Astros: -155
2) Oakland A’s: -130
3) Philadelphia Phillies: -130
4) Colorado Rockies: -125
5) San Francisco Giants: -125
Highest Run Expectancy
1) Colorado Rockies: 5.47
2) Atlanta Braves: 5.04
3) Oakland A’s: 4.90
4) Seattle Mariners: 4.81
5) Philadelphia Phillies: 4.76
Lowest Run Expectancy
1) San Diego Padres: 3.29
2) New York Yankees: 3.30
3) San Francisco Giants: 3.71
4) St. Louis Cardinals: 3.97
5) Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.03
Today's Pitchers Grid
1) Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros ($10,200/$10,400) –Verlander stands out on tonight’s slate like a female at a live DFS final. There isn’t another arm even close to him and as high as the pricetag is on both sites, it really isn’t as outrageous as it should be. I’ve been paying down on the mound all year and its been working well but what makes JV hard to fade is the matchup. The Yankees are striking out 27.2% of the time while hitting just .240 as a team over their last six games. This Yankees lineup has hit just .190/.250/.286 against Verlander while striking out 31,4% of the time. He’s got just a .204 xwOBA, an .xBA of .171 and has 13 K’s in 11 IP this season.
2) Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Phillies ($6800/$8400) – Hello, my name is Jeff and I am a Vince Velasquez believer. But just to be clear, I’ve been saying for years now that Velasquez will one day be a dominant closer in the league. He has a mid-90’s fastball that is extenuated by a heavy spin curveball with great horizontal movement and a downward biting slider that generates whiffs. Velasquez struck out 15 in just 6.1 spring training innings and in his only appearance thus far this season, he struck out two Nationals in one inning on April 2nd. The Nats are fourth worst against 94+ MPH fastballs and have struck out 28.9% of the time over their last six games, most in MLB. You know how we love to use pitchers on extra rest so Velasquez gets a bump for that too. He is not the ideal cash game pitcher, but the price is so great that as long as he can get past four innings he should have no problem paying us off.
3) Eric Lauer, LHP, Padres ($7100/$7500) – If you were paying attention last September, Lauer made a very subtle adjustment in cutting down his cutter for a hard biting slider. The results were astounding as Lauer rang up 23 K’s in 20.1 innings in September while giving up just 3 ER (1.33 ERA) and 31.1% hard contact. Further, he got swings and misses on 26% of his slider and racked up a 36% strikeout rate on the pitch. He’s kept this up in spring whiffing 12 hitters in just 10 spring training innings. He shutout these Giants for six innings on Opening Day though he only struck out three. The Diamondbacks beat him up a bit in his last outing but San Francisco owns just a .267 wOBA against lefties this year. If you want strikeouts, Velasquez is your guy. If safety is your desire, Lauer is your man tonight.
4) Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Dodgers ($9400/$9600) – Ryu is expensive and going up against a lineup that I really don’t want to mess with ever this season. But we cannot deny how well he’s pitched to start this season going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, 10 hits, 0 walks and 13 strikeouts in 13 innings. The Cardinals are dangerous but are dead last in MLB with a .195 wOBA, a 14 wRC+ and .091 BAA LHP this season. Paul Goldschmidt has had his way with Ryu but even including Goldie the Cardinals have hit just .245 with a .324 wOBA and a 24.1% strikeout rate.
(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) Citizen’s Bank Ballpark –19.0% above average in total HR’s, 28.9% above average in HR’s to RHH.
3) Angel Stadium – 17.6% above average for HRs to LHH, 8.7% above average for runs scored to LHH.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Homer Bailey, RHP, Royals – .307 BAA, 1.95 HR/9, 18.7% HR/FB%, 1.64 WHIP, 40.9% hard contact against in 2018. Bailey has .357 xwOBA and a .402 wOBA, .300 BAA vs the Mariners lineup.
2) Andrew Cashner, RHP, Orioles – .289 BAA, 1.47 HR/9, 1.58 WHIP, 13.6% HR/FB%, 36.2% FB% in 2018. Cashner has .374 xwOBA, .301 xBA and a .378 wOBA, .304 BAA vs the A’s lineup
3) Marco Estrada, RHP, A’s – .270 BAA, 1.82 HR/9, 11.2% HR/FB%, 55.6% FB% in 2018. Has given up 3 HR in 16 IP in 2019.
4) Felix Hernandez, RHP, Mariners – .259 BAA, 1.56 HR/9, 16.6% HR/FB%, 34.0% FB%, 38.7% hard contact rate in 2018. Hernendez has a .292 BAA 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.
|10||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||161||698||48||123||111||4||12.3||15.80||0.290||0.313||0.311||0.401||0.601||0.419||166|
|13||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||157|
|16||Frank Schwindel||- - -||64||259||14||44||43||2||6.2||15.80||0.264||0.348||0.326||0.371||0.591||0.403||152|
|17||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||130||546||42||99||97||25||11.4||28.00||0.328||0.324||0.282||0.364||0.611||0.403||156|
|22||Kyle Schwarber||- - -||113||471||32||76||71||1||13.6||27.00||0.288||0.306||0.266||0.374||0.554||0.392||145|
Batter v Pitcher
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
C – Robinson Chirinos, Nick Hundley, JT Realmuto, Yadier Molina, Yasmani Grandal
1B – Kendrys Morales, Ryan Zimmerman, Paul Goldschmidt
2B – Dee Gordon, Howie Kendrick
3B – Meikel Franco, Evan Longoria, Mike Moustakas
SS – Carlos Correa, Jean Segura
OF – Michael Brantley, George Springer, Khris Davis, Bryce Harper, Nick Markakis
Overall Hitter Rankings
1) Francisco Mejia, Padres
2) Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
3) Tyler Flowers, Braves
4) JT Realmuto, Phillies
Don’t be a chaser and lock Gary Sanchez in behind the plate tonight. It’s too tough of a matchup to justify the pricetag. Mejia hit 308/336/524 vs LHP in the minors last year and hit two of his three HR’s this spring against LHP this spring. Grandal is thriving in Milwaukee this season and has had success against Trevor Cahill posting a .471 OBP against him. Flowers and Realmuto will both be real popular and rightfully so. All things being equal though I would prefer to pay less at Coors Field than more for Citizens Bank Ballpark.
1) Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
2) Dan Vogelbach, Mariners
3) Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
4) Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
5) Yuli Gurriel, Astros
Another spot where its perfectly fine to fade Coors Field. Rhys Hoskins has a great profile versus Anibal Sanchez’s changeup which he elevates over 45% of the time. Vogelbach is absolutely shredding the baseball lately averaging 29 FD points per start over his last four. Homer Bailey is the worst pitcher on the slate so mini-stacking Vogelbach with Domingo Santana, Jay Bruce or even fellow 1B Edwin Encarnacion is a great idea. Both Ryan Zimmerman and Yuli Gurriel have been contact and hit machines over the last week and come at a discounted price.
1) Ozzie Albies, Braves
2) Whit Merrifield, Royals
3) Mike Moustakas, Brewers
4) Ian Kinsler, Padres
It would be a good idea to start all of your DFS lineups out by locking in Ozzie Albies tonight against the lefty Kyle Freeland at Coors Field. He’s outrageous against LHP and has reached base in each of his last 10 games. Two hit Whit is has been as hot as it gets hitting safely in all eight games so far this season. If you had to pay down for some reason tonight, Moustakas and Kinsler are viable options.
1) Josh Donaldson, Braves
2) Anthony Rendon, Nationals
3) Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
4) Alex Bregman, Astros
There are just so many great options at 3B every night but you will have to pay for them. Donaldson’s park upgrade to Coors Field, facing a LHP which he owns a career .964 OPS and is somehow less than $4K on FD tonight. Rendon is among the hottest hitters in baseball owning a .500 average, .720 wOBA, .750 ISO and 332 wRC+ over his last five games. I love Carpenter in cash almost any night but do have him graded out as a better GPP option tonight. I doubt that he generates over 10% ownership against the LHP here tonight. Bregman is also raking to the tune of a .500 average, .520 wOBA and has struck out just 9.5% of the time over the last week.
1) Dansby Swanson, Braves
2) Corey Seager, Dodgers
3) Jean Segura, Phillies
4) Fernando Tatis Jr, Padres
If you’re wondering even for a second how or why Dansby Swanson is by far the best SS option tonight, you haven’t been watching baseball this season. Swanson is on fire generating 37.5% hard contact and a .357/.474/.571 triple slash over his last 6 games. Corey Seager got hot in Colorado getting on base 50% of the time during the three-game set. His price is way down now going to St. Louis where he faces Miles Mikolas who punishes the low edge of the strikezone where Seager feasts.
1) Mike Trout, Angels
2) Ronald Acuna, Braves
3) Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals
4) Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
5) Trey Mancini, Orioles
6) Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
7) Jay Bruce, Mariners
8) Hunter Renfroe, Padres
9) Bryce Harper, Phillies
10) Michael Brantley, Astros
I doubt there are any questions of why Mike Trout or Cody Bellinger grade out atop of the outfield this evening. Ozuna hit a monster 450-foot HR the other day and showed that his shoulder is just fine. He’s crazy cheap and facing a lefty who he owns a career .299 BA and .845 OPS against. Trey Mancini is locked in and facing extreme flyball pitcher Marco Estrada. I don’t have a problem using a mini-stack against Estrada tonight. Hunter Renfroe crushes LHP and happens to own a .773 wOBA and 369 wRC+ over his last four starts.