Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in tonight’s MLB Cash Games!
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UPDATE (12:07 PM ET): I have to say, it does look like putting together a lineup on DK on the early slate is tough. The guys I have for some salary relief that were not in the rankings include Roberto Perez (C), Harold Castro (2B/OF on DK; SS on FD), Teoscar Hernandez (OF), and Jake Bauers (OF).
For the time being, we will post our DFS MLB Content Schedule here at the top of the article. We will update it with links to each piece when it is LIVE so check back throughout the day:
- Cash Game Breakdown – The article you are currently reading.
- The Early Bird – Conquer today’s Early Slates!
- DFS MLB Cheat Sheet – A quick guide to the top plays at each position and salary level.
- GPP Breakdown – Using experience, game theory & advanced stats to uncover low owned stars.
- Going Deep – Breaking down what pitchers, hitters and ballparks to target and avoid when hunting for the long ball.
- MLB Now Livestream – Daily video show breaking down the players, matchups & slate.
- MLB Summary – A quick summary of the articles, shows & coaching sessions from today.
Also Be Sure To Bookmark:
- Fantasy Baseball Elite Podcasts (Mans/Flowers/Draftcheat/Sedler)
- DFS MLB Chat Room
- DFS MLB Ownership Projections
- Daily MLB Projections & Optimizer
- MLB Splits Hub
- Umpire Factors
I’m taking over for Ted for this Saturday full of DFS MLB action. I will go over the best options for both the “seven” game early slate (six games on DK starting with DET/MIN and four games on FD starting with SEA/BOS), and the eight-game main slate (7:10 PM ET/4:10 PM PT lock). Just as a reminder, my approach to lineup construction is going to be heavily centered on guys who provide upside. With the juiced baseball, I truly feel you’re doing it all wrong if you roster too many guys who don’t have the ability to double dong on any given night. Yes, that means we want more Tommy La Stella and less Hanser Alberto (probably can find a better analogy here, but oh well).
Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals – There’s a 1:15 PM local time start. and forecasts suggest there could be some showers coming through the area right at the time of the scheduled first pitch. The storm should clear rather quickly, so I don’t think pitchers are an issue as long as they wait it out.
Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles – It’s a shame this game has a 4:05 PM scheduled start because there wouldn’t have been any chance of delay if it were a 1:05 PM start. Instead, while this game may start off smoothly, I think it’s a high chance of delay once we get into the middle innings.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center
*The lines for Tigers/Twins, Brewers/Cubs, Braves/D-Backs, Padres/Rockies, and Rangers/Astros were not available at the time of posting
Biggest Favorites (Early)
- Boston Red Sox (-189)
- Toronto Blue Jays (-162)
- St. Louis Cardinals (-161)
Biggest Favorites (Main)
- New York Mets (-301)
- Philadelphia Phillies (-123)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (-121)
Highest Run Expectancy (Early)
- Boston Red Sox (6.15)
- Los Angeles Angels (5.33)
- Toronto Blue Jays (5.09)
Highest Run Expectancy (Main)
- Philadelphia Phillies (4.76)
- Kansas City Royals (4.24)
- New York Mets (4.20)
Lowest Run Expectancy (Early)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (3.70)
- Oakland A’s (3.75)
- Chicago White Sox (3.91)
Lowest Run Expectancy (Main)
- Miami Marlins (2.30)
- Washington Nationals (3.32)
- San Francisco Giants (3.61)
Today's Pitchers Grid
TODAY’S BEST PITCHERS
1) Trevor Bauer, Indians (DK: $11,400; FD: N/A) – Bauer has struggled a bit in his last two starts, but he’s still the best option on the early slate and gets a nice park boost playing in Oakland. With a 29% K/rate, the upside is clearly there, and I think it’s a big help he’ll get a relatively cold A’s squad that has struggled to put together much firepower this homestand.
2) Rick Porcello, Red Sox (DK: N/A; FD: $8600) – On Sunday, I had more interest in Porcello due to his previous start where he threw a TON of sliders. Against the White Sox, he decided to throw a ton of fastballs. In the end, it really worked out because he was able to strike out seven batters while allowing just two earned runs off of five hits. His control also appears to be in a good place, so I think if he can continue this trend by throwing strikes against this Mariners team, he should have a solid outing. The Mariners have been striking out at a very high rate over the last week or two and are dealing with some injury woes.
3) Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays (DK: $8000; FD: N/A) – I am a bigger advocate than most for home/road splits, and especially so for pitchers. Rogers Centre is generally considered to be more of a hitter’s park, yet Stroman has a career ERA of 3.36 in his home park. Those stats are even better in 2019 where he’s currently maintaining a 2.22 ERA.
4) Miles Mikolas, Cardinals (DK: $8400; FD: $7800) – There’s some valid skepticism when it comes to Mikolas, but there’s a lot to like from seeing his last few starts. The velocity has increased a bit, he’s allowing less hard hits, and his overall control has been outstanding. But honestly, the main reason why I do like him today is the matchup (I think the Cardinals are going to destroy Jordan Lyles) and his price tag.
1) Jacob deGrom, Mets (DK: $11,000; FD: $11,300) – The Marlins have officially become the biggest joke of Major League Baseball, and that’s saying A LOT, considering some of the lineups teams have been fielding on a regular basis. But yeah, the 2019 Miami Marlins is on pace for about 40-45 wins, and even that seems to be a stretch. Over the last week, they’ve put together the lowest wRC+ and have the league’s worst slugging percentage. To me, playing deGrom in this spot is a pretty straightforward play. He’s far and away the best option in the late slate, and no matter how you look at it, your cash lineup is going to be better with him than without him.
2) Merrill Kelly, D-Backs (DK: $7000; FD: $7500) – I really don’t think it’s a good idea to play Kelly on FD, but I do think he’s a pretty compelling SP2 on DK with the number of quality options at the plate tonight. If you really want multiple Coors or Astros bats, I think you have to give Kelly some consideration. The Braves have scored more than three runs just one time over their last six games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it stays that way against Kelly, who has had some ups and downs this season but been so much better in Chase Field.
3) Walker Buehler, Dodgers (DK: $9500; FD: $9400) – Buehler had a rough start to his 2019 campaign, but he has come on strong in his last couple starts, capped by a strong six innings against the Braves on Monday. The Nationals are quietly struggling at the plate (can’t base everything on their 6-0 win on Thursday), and it’s to the point where they made Kenta Maeda look like an All-Star last night. I don’t mind taking the discount with Buehler and seeing if he can continue to build the momentum.
4) Max Scherzer, Nationals (DK: $10,400; FD: $10,800) – You can kind of put Gerrit Cole in this spot as well, but I just can’t play him on a deGrom night against a Rangers club that has smacked him around recently. Scherzer underlying stats are so much better than what his 3.78 ERA suggests. He has a ridiculous 1.95 xFIP and 2.52 FIP to go with that 33.3% K/rate. The primary issue I have with Max is, again, deGrom’s much better matchup, and the fact the Dodgers are always super dangerous at the plate.
*Best home run parks*
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Angels at Orioles)
- Target Field (Tigers at Twins)
- Coors Field (Padres at Rockies)
- Target Field (Tigers at Twins)
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.
HOT STREAKS (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
|8||Frank Schwindel||- - -||56||221||14||37||40||1||6.3||16.30||0.296||0.365||0.345||0.389||0.641||0.429||170|
|10||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||153||663||46||120||105||4||12.5||16.00||0.290||0.324||0.319||0.409||0.609||0.425||170|
|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||156|
|14||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||122||519||41||98||95||25||11.8||26.60||0.336||0.321||0.288||0.372||0.624||0.411||162|
|24||Kyle Schwarber||- - -||105||443||31||72||70||1||12.6||27.50||0.293||0.307||0.266||0.368||0.559||0.391||144|
BATTER VS. PITCHER
C – Omar Narvaez
1B – Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Abreu, Justin Bour, Albert Pujols
2B – Adam Frazier, Hernan Perez
3B – Kris Bryant
SS – Freddy Galvis, Andrelton Simmons
OF – Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Martinez, Marcell Ozuna, Ryan Braun, Randal Grichuk, Mike Trout, Khris Davis
C – Stephen Vogt
1B – Danny Santana, Brandon Belt
2B – None
3B – Alex Bregman, Nolan Arenado
SS – None
OF – Brian Anderson, George Springer, Michael Brantley, Joey Gallo, David Dahl, Hunter Renfroe, Wil Myers
For More BvP info, check out our BvP Matchup Page
OVERALL HITTER RANKINGS
- Jonathan Lucroy, Angels
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- Omar Narvaez, Mariners
- John Hicks, Tigers
- Chris Iannetta, Rockies
- Stephen Vogt, Giants
- Martin Maldonado, Royals
- Robinson Chirinos, Astros
Notes: It’s tough to ignore the Angels in the early slate, even with the weather concerns, considering it’s Dylan Bundy on the mound for the Orioles. Bundy allows more home runs than anybody, and Lucroy has been the best power bat at the catcher’s position available for the early slate. For the evening slate, I think it’s clear that Chris Iannetta is the way to go, but you can try to find a better value elsewhere as well.
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Rowdy Tellez, Blue Jays
- Albert Pujols, Angels
- Chris Davis, Orioles
- C.J. Cron, Twins
- Mark Reynolds, Rockies
- Brandon Belt, Giants
- Joey Votto, Reds
Notes: Tons of good BvP options for the early slate at first base, but I still think we should take a close look at someone like Chris Davis for some value. Matt Harvey can’t strike anyone out with consistency, and that’s going to help someone like Davis who whiffs… often. Otherwise, Goldy is pretty much king here. For the main slate, the Tigers starting pitcher hasn’t been announced, but if it’s a bullpen game, and I am banking on it, I think the Twins could end up going ham. C.J. Cron is such a good value and swinging a hot bat.
- Adam Frazier, Pirates
- Steve Wilkerson, Orioles
- Tommy La Stella, Angels
- Hernan Perez, Brewers
- Garrett Hampson, Rockies
- Robinson Cano, Mets
- Joe Panik, Giants
- Ty France, Padres
Notes: I hate the early slate options at 2nd, but the BvP combined with the value on Adam Frazier is tough to ignore. For the main slate, this could end up being Garrett Hampson’s time to shine thanks to another matchup against a hittable southpaw and a ridiculously cheap price on FD.
- Jose Ramirez, Indians
- Kris Bryant, Cubs
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
- Rafael Devers, Red Sox
- Nolan Arenado, Rockies
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Manny Machado, Padres
- Howie Kendrick, Nationals
Notes: I wish there was better value at third base, but if you have to find value, just go for it. I just think the bigger names stand out on both slates. Technically speaking, the early slate does have underpriced names like JoRam and Vladito, but they aren’t necessarily lighting the world on fire like an Arenado or a Bregman.
- Andrelton Simmons, Angels
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
- Paul DeJong, Cardinals
- Orlando Arcia, Brewers
- Trevor Story, Rockies
- Jorge Polanco, Twins
- Brandon Crawford, Giants
- Greg Garcia, Padres
Notes: I love what Simba (Simmons) is doing at the plate. He makes a ton of contact and has learned to put the ball exactly where he needs to in order to get a base hit. I don’t think you’re skimping on the pop either. For the main slate, I think Story is a clearcut #1 option, but Polanco is swinging a super hot bat, and Crawford is a major value.
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays
- Mookie Betts, Red Sox
- Jose Martinez, Cardinals
- Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals
- Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
- Ryan Braun, Brewers
- Brian Goodwin, Angels
- Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
- Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox
- George Springer, Astros
- Ian Desmond, Rockies
- Eddie Rosario, Twins
- Bryce Harper, Phillies
- Franmil Reyes, Padres
- Hunter Renfroe, Padres
- Max Kepler, Twins
- Joey Gallo, Rangers
- Wil Myers, Padres
- Josh VanMeter, Reds
Notes: If the Angels game plays okay, then Trout is a virtual must play against Dylan Bundy. I don’t see much value on the early slate, but don’t mind going to Kyle Schwarber or Jackie Bradley if I have to. For the main slate, George Springer has crushed Drew Smyly, and I am going to try my best to get him in my lineup. But beyond that, there’s a lot of good directions you can go with, but there’s a strong preference for getting some Coors exposure.
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