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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
- Pitching Coach (DraftCheat) – 12pm ET
- Hitting Coach (Vlad Sedler) – 4pm 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
Friday, May 10th
Last week #WeDidNotSmashFriday. The sting of Joe Musgrove and Tyler Beede still lingers in a fog above my soul and has remained there all week. But we have been able to clear that stench out through some solid pitching breakdowns and decisions this week. Still, I want a big win. I want a big win for me, I want a big win for you. All of you.
In auto racing you don’t just press the gas pedal all the way down to the floor and keep it there until the checkered flag is waved. Doing that would result in a crash after 1-2 laps and you would be done for the day. In DFS, we need to have a similar approach.
I spend a lot of my time grinding the cash games. You would be stunned how often folks refer to me as Joey Knish (from the movie Rounders) both to my face and behind my back. I don’t mind it in the least. In poker (and in life) you should never be ashamed to stack chips. Some pots are small, some are large but they all play a big role in your overall game.
It’s been an up and down week for me. Monday started out well with Martin Perez shutting out the Blue Jays and some crazy low paylines. On Tuesday it was Griffin Canning keeping us in play but the wrong part of the Giants order that ultimately sunk my our lineups. Wednesday the Red Sox were solid but our Cubs mini-stack and Tyler Skaggs curveball were disappointing. Yesterday, I let Ted handle the entire early slate. Predictably, he used his Cubbies in the early slate who, unlike on Wednesday, smashed. He also plugged in something called “Jordan Luplow” who hit two HR’s in five innings. Then for the late slate I spent a grand total of 11 minutes to lock in Luke Weaver and a Cardinals/Pirates stack. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
So as you can see, we’ve rode the brakes a bunch this week while hitting the gas every now and then. But tonight feels like we are in the final straightaway. It’s time to punch the accelerator and close this son of a bitch out. I want a win tonight. A big win. For all of us because as I say #WeSmashFriday.
The 14-game slate is simply delicious. Justin Verlander, Tyler Glasnow and Luis Castillo are at the top of the heap in terms of starting pitcher. I’d love to roll with either Verlander or Castillo here tonight but as you all should know by now, I am not going to pay up for pitching. We also have DraftCheat’s favorite German Marquez going tonight but we’re not going to use him at Coors despite the solid matchup and price. That leaves us with a seemingly heaping pile of shit in the mid-tier and below.
Noticed the word “seemingly” used there? Some of you likely caught that. I used that word because the names below Eduardo Rodriguez are all pretty vomit inducing….on the surface. But if you have been paying attention to our daily conversations here including in these Cash Game Breakdowns and especially by our Pitching Coach sessions, you know that there is actually some treasure buried in this pile.
While we are pondering who to use on the hill tonight, we know that we’ll need to make some tough decisions with the bats. Coors Field is popping tonight as the Padres come to town on a night where the only other impactful ballpark for hitters is Camden Yards. Those who love the Vegas odds know that its going to be hard to just ignore these Coors bats here tonight.
The bell is ringing and it is time to get to class. We’ve studied all week nay-all season for this. Let’s hold nothing back, filter out all the noise, build the best fricking lineups we can and SMASH another Friday night in DFS MLB.
The Cash Game Breakdown is HERE!! #WeSmashFriday
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles – There is some light rain showers that may be in and around the ballpark tonight. Nothing significant though that I am seeing just it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
Seattle Mariners at Boston Red Sox –I only bring this up because it will rain earlier in the day around Fenway Park and it doesn’t have good drainage. Doubtful anything impacts the game but it’s worth mentioning.
- HOU -250
- MIN -210
- BOS -185
- LAD -185
- NYM -175
Highest Run Expectancy
- LAA 5.74
- COL 5.57
- BOS 5.56
- MIN 5.39
- HOU 5.21
- PHI 5.05
Lowest Run Expectancy
- TEX 2.79
- MIA 2.81
- WAS 3.27
- NYY 3.34
- SF 3.31
- DET 3.61
Today's Pitchers Grid
1) Luis Castillo, RHP, Reds ($10,500/$10,600) –Castillo is one of my favorite pitchers in MLB right now. His mix of two different fastballs both with 96 MPH velocity and outstanding horizontal movement. Then there is his changeup which also has great horizontal movement and generates 59.67% swing rate and the second most whiffs at 53.79%. His 14.9% swinging strike rate and 30.3% strikeout rate is the best on the slate. The Giants strikeout seventh most in MLB at 24.8% this season, own the fourth worst BA at .222 and second worst wOBA at .278. Castillo has not scored under 30 FD points at all this season and posted a 36-point total on these Giants in his last start while striking out nine in seven innings. There is no downside here outside of his hefty price tag.
2) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Twins ($9100/$8800) – And boom goes all of our minds. Are the Twins doctoring the baseballs too this year? We don’t have any specific evidence but these tremendous pitcher turnarounds are quite suspicious. Odorizzi is 9thin MLB in wins, 13thin ERA and owns a 9.59 K/9 rate. He spent the offseason doing specialized training in Florida that emphasized strength in his lower half, mechanical repeating and working off of a mound at all times. The work seems to have paid off in a major way as Odorizzi has added about 3 MPH to his fastball and helped it get more vertical rise than ever. As good as the improvements have been, his matchup tonight is even better. Odorizzi has dominated the Tigers over his career allowing just a .207 BA, .307 wOBA and a 29.3% strikeout rate against them. What’s more is that Detroit is sixth worst in wOBA at .295 and dead last in strikeouts with a 26.7% K% this season. The Twins are the second biggest favorites on the board tonight which means even Vegas is respecting this turnaround by Jake Odorizzi.
3) Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros ($11,300/$11,000) – I will keep this simple. Verlander is the best arm on the board tonight but obviously also the most expensive. He’s flat out dominated the Rangers over his career allowing just a .215 BA, .274 wOBA and 34.6% strikeout rate to them. He also has faced them twice this season already both times at hitter friendly Globe Life Park and posted a 52 and 12 FD points. The 12 was his worst start of the season where he only lasted four innings. If you can find good value and not all slap hitting singles hitters, we can probably fit Verlander in tonight.
4) Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets ($9200/$9700) – I have a love/hate relationship with Zack Wheeler. Basically, I hate to ever love him but alas here we are. He is ideally a GPP only starter because of his extreme volatility and bouts of wildness but the matchup here is too good to ignore. Wheeler has seven starts this season. Two of those starts were against the Phillies, two against the Nationals, one against the Braves, one against the Reds and the other against the Brewers. Those are all top six offenses in the NL. Tonight however, Wheeler draws the pathetic Miami Marlins who own the third worst BA in MLB this season at .220, the worst wOBA in MLB at .264, the worst BA over the last seven games at .185 and worst wOBA at .220 over the last seven games. His price tag is maddening and makes me want to fling my own shit against my computer screen, but only because there is nothing I can to do ignore him as a solid cash game option for us tonight.
5) Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves ($8200/$8500) –Here is an interesting option for us tonight. Teheran graded out quite well for me here mostly because of his consistency this season. He also has the eighth highest strikeout percentage on this slate at a very good 25.1%. The Diamondbacks are much better against LHP and just don’t have any legitimate threats from the left-hand side.
5) Trevor Cahill, RHP, Angels ($6100/$7100) – Listen here…it’s not a good idea to use Cahill in cash games tonight. He makes the write up today ONLY because he is the best extreme low-priced option at our disposal and draws a super plus matchup against the Orioles. If you were not able to find value pieces tonight and needed to pay up for an additional 4-5 players, Cahill would be your guy. He just needs to keep the ball down and in the ballpark.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Coors Field – 51.2% over average in runs scored, 25.0% above average in HR’s, 17.6% above average in 2B and 250% above average in 3B.
2) Camden Yards – 26.4% above average in runs scored, 50.8% above average in HR’s, 26.7% above average in 3B.
3) Minute Maid Park –11.3% above average in runs scored, 17.7% above average in HR’s.
4) Rogers Center –20.2% above average in HR’s.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Dan Straily, Orioles – .324 BAA, 1.87 WHIP, 7.20 xFIP, 50.5% FB%, 17.4% HR/FB%, 3.13 HR/9, 35.2% hard contact rate.
2) Trevor Cahill, Angels – .272 BAA, 1.46 WHIP, 5.41 xFIP, 42.6% FB%, 26.1% HR/FB%, 3.21 HR/9, 43.1% hard contact rate.
3) Dereck Rodriguez, Giants – .268 BAA, 1.42 WHIP, 4.82 xFIP, 33.6% FB%, 23.7% HR/FB%, 2.25 HR/9, 45.7% hard contact rate.
4) Clay Buchholz, Blue Jays – .314 BAA, 5.23 xFIP, 1.54 WHIP, 35.2% FB%, 16.1% HR/FB%, 1.82 HR/9, 40.4% hard contact rate.
5) Eric Lauer, Padres – .253 BAA, 4.51 xFIP, 40.9% FB%, 13.3% HR/FB%, 1.43 HR/9, 42.9% hard contact rate.
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 – JT Realmuto, Yadier Molina, Francisco Cervelli, Austin Hedges, Tyler Flowers
1B – Albert Pujols, Edwin Encarnacion, Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales
2B – Dee Gordon, Jonathan Schoop, Chris Owings, Kolten Wong, Danny Santana
3B – Martin Prado, Matt Carpenter, David Freese
SS – Miguel Rojas, Elvis Andrus
OF – Mike Trout, Curtis Granderson, Alex Gordon, Andrew McCutchen, Marcell Ozuna, Dexter Fowler, Starling Marte, Matt Joyce
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- Jason Castro, Twins
- Jonathan Lucroy, Angels
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees
- JT Realmuto, Phillies
Molina always rates highly in our cash game model because he is a middle of the lineup bat, in a great lineup, with great on-base abilities at a very affordable price. Castro has a bruised elbow so check on his status before penciling in lineup. If Castro cannot go, Mitch Garver can be put in his place though he will cost us a bit more salary. The Angels have the highest expected total against the Orioles pitching staff in Camden Yards but if you want to grab a piece without paying Mike Trout prices, Lucroy has been fire lately racking up a .400/.438/1.067 triple slash.
- Edwin Encarnacion, Mariners
- C.J. Cron, Twins
- Justin Smoak, Blue Jays
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Mark Reynolds, Rockies
One of the best overall plays of the night is Edwin Encarnacion. E5 is red hot right now coming in hitting .333/.423/.905 with 4 HR, 6 RBI and 7 runs scored over his last six games. E5 also crushes at Fenway Park where he has hit 19 career HR’s, the most of any ballpark that was never his home. Cron is hitting .316/.391/.632 with 2 HR over his last five games. Goldie is crazy low priced because tonight’s salary is not reflective of his 3-5 performance last night. Mark Reynolds in Coors Field against a lefty is always a solid option.
- Robinson Cano, Mets
- Whit Merrifield, Royals
- Ty France, Padres
- Jonathan Villar, Orioles
- Jurickson Profar, A’s
Cano comes back to Citi Field for a three-game series against the lowly Miami Marlins. Cano had a four-hit game against San Diego starter Cal Quantrill and the Padres bullpen. There are a lot of similarities here in the matchup against Pablo Lopez who also features a fastball, sinker, curveball and changeup. Cano is going to get a hot-streak going starting tonight. Two-hit Whit Merrifield is expensive but a sure thing for double digit points. Ty France grades out better than Ian Kinsler though both are technically in play at Coors Field tonight. France hitting in the middle of the order with more fly balls and more power has a pretty high floor tonight while also having a super high ceiling. Villar and Profar are both quality value options against home run friendly starting pitchers.
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Nolan Arenado, Rockies
- Justin Turner, Dodgers
- Tommy La Stella, Angels
- Alex Bregman, Astros
Eight third basemen grade out above our regular cut line for cash game consideration tonight. This position is simply loaded and thus it isn’t production necessarily we are seeking but massive production. Carpenter is just so inexpensive and coming off yet another multi-hit game where he also scored three runs. Matty C also has a .596 xwOBA in this matchup tonight. Arenado at home against a lefty is usually an automatic play and if you have the salary make it happen. Turner has 4 HR, is hitting .367 with a .506 wOBA over his last seven games and even more impressive is just a 9.4% strikeout percentage over that time.
- Jorge Polanco, Twins
- Trevor Story, Rockies
- Carlos Correa, Astros
- Corey Seager, Dodgers
- Kevin Newman, Pirates
The glass slipper will eventually fall off of the precious foot of Jorge Polanco but the dude has 9 hits in his last 12 AB and 11 times on base out of his last 14 PA. At home against Tyson Ross is hardly the place for this streak to stop and he’s just the sixth highest priced SS on FD (he is the #1 guy on DK). Correa is quietly raking himself lately posting a .399 wOBA and 3 HR over his last six games. Corey Seager is massively underpriced once again and facing Anibal Sanchez who is surrendering a .271/.394/.559 triple slash with a .388 wOBA against LHH.
- Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Ian Desmond, Rockies
- Jose Martinez, Cardinals
- Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
- Max Kepler, Twins
- Mookie Betts, Red Sox
- Stephen Piscotty, A’s
- Michael Brantley, Astros
- Franmil Reyes, Padres
- Derek Dietrich, Reds (2B/OF on DK)
- Jeff McNeil, Mets
No surprises at the top where two of the best hitters in baseball are in terrific spots here tonight. Remember a week ago when I said Ian Desmond was about to get hot? Well he’s averaging 14.36 FD points per game since then and draws a great matchup against lefty Eric Lauer at Coors tonight. The Red Sox bats are getting a bit overlooked here tonight but Betts, Benintendi and JD Mart are all very much in play. Jose Martinez is a xwOBA darling and has a .406 xwOBA tonight against Trevor Williams. Piscotty will be crazy low owned in this 14-game slate which presents an opportunity for us. Piscotty has reached base at least once in each of his last seven games. Dietrich gets a significant ballpark downgrade here tonight but Dereck Rodriguez is still quite awful. At his price tonight a couple of hits would more than pay off an investment in him.