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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
- The Opening Line
Friday, May 17th
Maybe I am doing this whole thing wrong. Not DFS MLB analysis but how heavy I play and when. It will come as no surprise to most of you that I pretty much hate tiny slates of 3-5 games in MLB. So, this week has been an exercise in tolerance for me really.
Monday, we got a six-game slate in which I stressed that I was going to play cash despite a poor cash game slate. I used Robbie Ray and a Phillies stack and lost. On Tuesday, we had a full slate of games to which we used the same approach and came up with Danny Duffy on the hill with Astros and a huge pull by Schuster on Vlad Jr which put us over the cash line in all cash game contests.
Then on Wednesday I introduced you to the new fielding ratings and 6+ metric which I am still quite excited about. When I look back at this season in DFS MLB, I have a feeling that I will always remember Wednesday as being the official time of death of the $12K pitcher. Using Jalen Beeks turned out to be sensational as I got every bat that I wanted and despite some real unimpressive results with some of them, the cash line was an easy check. The problem I have is that because of the Jalen Beeks experiment, I pulled back quite a bit on our entries and thus the return didn’t even cross into four digits.
That brings us to yesterday in which I basically said fuck it to two four game slates and ignored the early slate while telling Ted to stack the Braves with Eric Lauer and see what happens. Like clockwork, Ted pulled a 150+ lineup in the early slate but our GPP only entries generated $0 for those efforts, The evening slate we put in a grand total of $62 and of course put up another high score but barely won enough for a nice steak dinner.
But now it is Friday, and this is what life is all about. Playing slapdick with small slates and dancing for nickels in shitty weather ridden four gamers is not what I wanted at this point of my career. A full 15 games has occupied my entire Thursday night into this early Friday morning. There are some real tough decisions that we will all have to make for this slate and that makes me happy. Some folks thrive when putting in 150 lineups into a four-game slate. Me? I live for the challenge of taking on 30 teams, 15 games and finding the one best lineup of all.
Jacob deGrom against the Marlins. Do I need to even bother with any other pitching analysis? Sure, there is Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole on this slate as well but deGrom is going to be the one true decision we have to make tonight. Either go to the top or don’t consider it and filter through the “others.” By now you all know what I am going to do.
The bats are another story altogether. We don’t have the luxury of Coors Field at our disposal (thank God!) but Yankee Stadium, Great American Ballpark, Citizens Bank and Angels Stadium are all going to give the bats a boost this evening. There is also a lot of top prospects that have been called up lately who are still pretty underpriced considering their skill sets. Remember though, we don’t want to go crapshooting with the bats these days especially if paying down on the hill. Try to figure out who the regular $4K players are going to be later this season and in 2020 and those are the ones we target tonight at $2400.
So, what’s the plan, Mans? I feel like Bryce Harper or Mike Trout right now after not seeing any pitches to hit in my first four AB’s this week. Now the bases are loaded, and we are down three. I’m digging in, ready to take the biggest cut I can and smash another Friday. LFG!!
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Oakland A’s at Detroit Tigers – Little risk at all but there is rain moving into Detroit later in this game. Could have a delay but nothing worth fading a player for here.
- New York Mets: -250
- Cleveland Indians: -185
- San Diego Padres: -155
- Oakland A’s: -150
- Washington Nationals: -145
Highest Run Expectancy
- Los Angeles Angels 5.18
- Atlanta Braves: 5.04
- Houston Astros: 5.00
- St. Louis Cardinals: 4.96
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.92
- Cleveland Indians: 4.88
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Miami Marlins: 2.36
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 3.04
- Chicago Cubs: 3.36
- Baltimore Orioles: 3.62
- Detroit Tigers: 3.89
- San Diego Padres: 3.96
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) Jacob deGrom, RHP, Mets ($12,000/$11,400) –The one benefit of a large slate like tonight is that there will be a bunch of value bats for us to select from. That makes it a lot easier to fit in a $12K pitcher who is virtually an automatic for 48+ FD points. In 14 innings against the Marlins this year deGrom has given up 8 hits, 2 BB, 1 ER (0.64 ERA), 22 K’s and is 2-0 with 2 QS. There are a lot of good qualities about Max Scherzer (of course) and Gerrit Cole but deGrom is the choice if you are paying up. My suggestion is to build a deGrom lineup and your favorite mid-tier or value pitcher lineup and see which you like the best or ask me for my input/opinion during the SXM show, livestream, lineup lock chat or on Twitter.
2) Joey Lucchesi, LHP, Padres ($6200/$8200) – The “Luke” is the fifth lowest priced pitcher on Fanduel tonight and that puts him on our cash game radar there tonight. Lucchesi has had some real tough matchups lately including the Dodgers, Nationals and at Coors Field against the Rockies. In totality, Lucchesi is a very average pitcher. His “churve” was the toast of the league a year ago but its deception factor has worn off. Last June, Lucchesi struck out five in five innings and only gave up one hit against these Pirates. This year, Pittsburgh owns the eighth worst BA at .233, third worst wOBA at .263, dead last in ISO at .091 and fourth highest strikeout rate of 28.4% against lefties this season. What’s more is that the Pirates are third worst against changeups this season with a .225 BA, .286 wOBA and last in ISO at .088. I cannot pull the trigger on his DK salary as there are others close enough who are better pitchers, but we can get 22+ out of Lucchesi tonight on FD and with the salary savings I’m confident we can turn him into a 40+ arm.
3) Frankie Montas, RHP, A’s ($8800/$8800) – I really like Montas tonight against the lowly Detroit Tigers. As I have outlined previously in many writeups this season, Montas doesn’t throw a pitch that is straight. Everything has extreme velocity and movement especially his 97 MPH two-seam fastball also called a sinker. He uses the sinker to generate 51.12% swings with 18.25% whiff rate and 54% groundball rate. For the season Montas owns a 22% strikeout rate (10thbest on slate), 33.9% O-Swing rate (6thbest on slate), 10.9% swinging strike rate (9thbest on slate) and 51.9% groundball rate (2ndbest on slate). The A’s beat the ever-loving shit out of the Tigers yesterday 17-3 and used just two pitchers in the process. The Tigers are hitting just .185 with a .254 wOBA over their last 7 games, both second worst in MLB. Detroit also owns the second worst strikeout rate in MLB this season at 26.3%. Montas will interest most of you a lot more than Lucchesi because of the risk factor and I totally get that. But at $8800, it’s still a tad pricey for a starter.
4) Martin Perez, LHP, Twins ($9500/$8600) – Another pitcher that I have written up a lot already this season. We know that the cutter has transformed Perez’s entire repertoire and career for that matter. He has four quality starts over his last six outings and only missed last time out against the Tigers due to a comebacker that bruised his foot and knocked him out of the game. The Mariners started off the season red hot but have cooled considerably since then. In fact, Seattle has the worst batting average (.178), and third worst wOBA (.270) over their last seven games. Paying $9500 on FD is going to be hard for me to do but he’s a very good option as a SP2 over on DK for the $8600 pricetag.
5) Jefry Rodriguez, RHP, Indians ($7400/$6800) – Alright, I don’t love the fact that Baltimore beat up on Trevor Bauer last night but I don’t believe that this is the beginning of any hot streak or anything. In fact, Bauer only going five innings yesterday and the Tribe using five pitchers means they will try and squeeze even more out of Rodriguez tonight. Jefry has been quite solid this season. In his four starts, he has three quality starts and only missed the QS in his first start by a third of an inning. He’s not going to strikeout many hitters but the Orioles will help that here tonight as they have whiffed 28.6% of the time over the last week.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Great American Ballpark – 36.8% over average in runs scored, 51.6% above average in HR’s, 26.3% above average in 3B.
2) Angel Stadium –25.2% above average in runs scored, 63.7% above average in HR’s, 40.0% above average in 3B.
3) Guaranteed Rate Field –22.4% above average in runs scored, 70.9% above average in HR’s.
4) Citizens Bank Park –18.5% above average in runs scored, 29.7% above average in HR’s, 35.0% above average in 3B.
5) Comerica Park –18.5% above average in runs scored, 14.8% above average in HR’s, 294% above average in 3B.
*6) Globe Life Park –35.2% above average in runs, 27.3% above average in HR, 44.7% above average in XBH.
*Globe Life Park hasn’t been hitter friendly so far in 2019 but these are 2018 numbers which are profound.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Adrian Sampson, Rangers (will come in after Leclerc) – .310 BAA, 5.65 xFIP, 1.56 WHIP, 41.3% FB%, 14.0% HR/FB%, 1.75 HR/9, 47.5% hard contact rate.
2) Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks – .269 BAA, 4.65 xFIP, 33.1% FB%, 16.7% HR/FB%, 1.57 HR/9, 34.9% hard contact rate.
3) C.C. Sabathia, Yankees – 5.32 xFIP, 45.5% FB%, 20.0% HR/FB%, 2.37 HR/9, 7.9% swinging strike rate, 46.7% hard contact rate.
4) Jeff Samardzija, Giants – 5.07 xFIP, 50.0% FB%, 11.9% HR/FB%, 1.54 HR/9, 45.8% hard contact rate.
5) Jhoulys Chacin, Brewers – 5.42 xFIP, 42.0% FB%, 14.5% HR/FB%, 1.59 HR/9, 7.5% swinging strike rate, 41.0% hard contact rate.
6) Daniel Norris, Tigers –.287 BAA, 4.82 xFIP, 1.41 WHIP, 40.4% FB%, 11.4% HR/FB%, 1.30 HR/9, 7.5% swinging strike rate, 36.4% hard contact rate.
7) Matt Harvey, Angels – .258 BAA, 4.83 xFIP, 1.41 WHIP, 18.9% HR/FB%, 1.56 HR/9, 41.2% hard contact rate.
8) Trevor Richards, Marlins –5.55 xFIP, 48.7% FB%, 12.3% HR/FB%, 1.49 HR/9, 40.8% 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.
|6||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||148||642||46||119||105||4||12.6||16.00||0.296||0.324||0.321||0.411||0.617||0.429||173|
|8||Frank Schwindel||- - -||52||204||14||33||40||1||6.4||16.20||0.298||0.354||0.340||0.382||0.639||0.426||168|
|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||157|
|14||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||118||498||39||95||92||25||11.6||26.90||0.334||0.317||0.283||0.367||0.618||0.407||159|
Batter v Pitcher
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
C – Kurt Suzuki, JT Realmuto, Tyler Flowers, Welington Castillo
1B – Freddie Freeman
2B – Brian Dozier, Cesar Hernandez, Jason Kipnis, Jose Peraza, Starlin Castro, Ian Kinsler
3B – Eduardo Escobar
SS – Jean Segura, Carlos Correa, Freddy Galvis, Tim Beckham
OF – Kevin Kiermaier, Jason Heyward, Andrew McCutchen, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, George Springer, Michael Brantley, Joc Pederson, Nick Markakis, Randal Grichuk
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees
- Wilson Ramos, Mets
- Josh Phegley, A’s
- Buster Posey, Giants
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
Even on a 15-game slate we just don’t have any great value catchers that just jump out at us tonight. Gary Sanchez is so far and away above everybody else here it almost makes me want to pay his $5100 price tag on DK. I won’t, but it’s awfully tempting. Instead I’ll settle for Ramos who has a .369 wOBA over his last five games and better yet has stuck out only once in that span as well. Phegley had a huge day at Comerica yesterday and crushes LHP but I am skeptical whether or not the A’s will use him on back to back days.
- Freddie Freeman, Braves
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Mark Reynolds, Rockies
- Eric Hosmer, Padres
- Albert Pujols, Angels
Freeman is 5-13 (.385) with 2 HR, a 2B and 4 BB (.529 OBP) against Chacin and owns a .357 BA and .409 wOBA over his last five games. Goldschmidt and the Cardinals offense will be a very underrated stack tonight. Goldie has a .389/.522/.566 triple slash over his last six games and will faceoff against Jose Leclerc and the Rangers bullpen all night. Eric Hosmer really draws my attention today as Jordan Lyles is a lowball pitcher that surrenders a lot of fly balls with curveballs. That is Hosmer’s wheelhouse and definitely gives him a much better chance than usual to hit one out of the yard tonight.
- Rougned Odor, Rangers
- Jason Kipnis, Indians
- Tommy La Stella, Angels (3B on FD)
- Nicky Lopez, Royals
- Aledmys Diaz, Astros
I hate that both Odor and Kipnis hit a pair of homeruns (each!) yesterday while I was hot on their trail all week. But the six-plus rule really loves them again tonight as they are both going against real weak RHP. La Stella is still crazy hot banging out a .304 ISO and .551 wOBA with a 257 wRC+ over the last week and will likely be leading off hitting in front of Mike Trout with the Angels having the highest expected run total tonight. Lopez is still 2B eligible on FD and is cheap which makes up for him being a slap hitter with little power upside. This is a good position to pay down at here tonight especially if you are taking the deGrom route on the mound.
- Manny Machado, Padres
- Jose Ramirez, Indians
- Eugenio Suarez, Reds
- Matt Chapman, A’s
- Anthony Rendon, Nationals
Manny is red-hot over the last week hitting .455 with a .502 wOBA and 224 wRC+ and just 11.5% strikeout rate. He’s surprisingly underpriced on both sites here tonight. J-Ram is a guy that always seems to grade out well for me and that is especially true since I started using the six-plus metric. For $3800 on FD he offers a ton of opportunity for big scoring events (HR/SB) and Dylan Bundy will not slow either of those down whatsoever. I’m curious as to whether the A’s will be heavily owned after the 17-point outburst yesterday. Chapman is one of my favorite bats to go back to against the lefty Daniel Norris and the Tigers entire bullpen.
- Corey Seager, Dodgers
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees
- Freddy Galvis, Blue Jays
- Marcus Semien, A’s
- Trevor Story/Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
Seager is still WAY underpriced and gets quite a ballpark upgrade tonight in Cincinnati. He’s hitting .357 with a .409 wOBA and just a 6.3% strikeout rate over the last five games. I’m so tempted to play multiple lineups tonight because of great plays like Freddy Galvis and even Marcus Semien. Neither will have any ownership on them despite being inexpensive and in terrific spots for success here. Brendan Rodgers is the Colorado Rockies #1 prospect who is getting called up and widely expected to be in their lineup against the Phillies tonight. Rodgers will be playing 2B most likely but qualifies as SS on FD but is not available on DK for some odd reason tonight. Story is very much in play here too but will cost us quite a bit of salary.
- Christian Yelich, Brewers
- Franmil Reyes, Padres
- Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
- Jose Martinez, Cardinals
- Joey Gallo, Rangers
- Shohei Ohtani, Angels
- Adam Jones, Diamondbacks
- Joc Pederson, Dodgers
- Byron Buxton, Twins
- Lorenzo Cain, Brewers
- Austin Riley, Braves
- David Peralta, Diamondbacks
What a great mix of high-priced bats and value options we have in the outfield tonight. At this point, we might as well just keep playing Christian Yelich until somebody can figure out how to get him to not hit the ball over the wall. Franmil Reyes has been one of my better calls of the season already (go back and read Monday’s write up on him). Oh, and yeah that is Shohei Ohtani in my writeup tonight. Do I believe in him long term? Still, no. But I am all about him tonight as he is 10-27 (.370) with five runs and five RBI over his last six games.