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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 (Benny Ricciardi) – 11am 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
Monday, May 20th
Tonight, was Game of Thrones series finale and I am writing this right after it ended. I want to use so many references and reactions, but I will save them for the sake of not being a spoiler. But needless to say, this intro is not going to be as long as usual.
I had a very interesting weekend of DFS MLB. Friday was an absolute smash as Jacob deGrom getting killed allowed for my paying down with Joey Lucchesi a winning move. My cash lineup posted 180 points and cashed in all 50/50’s and tournaments alike. But then I got a little greedy and scaled way up on Saturday night including multiple entries into a $333 qualifier which of course is a terrible idea. So, I gave some back and that is alright. Every now and then even the most disciplined DFS players need to take a shot.
Today we have one early game between the Red Sox and Blue Jays that I have not factored in to this writeup. Nor have I included any information about the A’s and Indians who are doing battle at Progressive Field at 6:10 pm ET. That takes one of the best pitchers in Carlos Carrasco and one of the hottest offenses in MLB in the A’s off the board as well.
What is left is a nifty (that’s right, I said nifty!) little eight game slate on tap this evening. As I have mentioned many times, eight games is just enough for us to usually make a true zero-fat cash game lineup out of. I believe there is a good mix here of arms and bats and thus am excited about tonight’s prospects.
On the hill is basically Patrick Corbin who many will use because he is fresh in their minds after dominating these Mets last start to the tune of 11 strikeouts and 64 FD points. The rest of the pitchers are a who’s who of underappreciated arms in MLB. We’ve used combination of Chris Paddack, Mike Minor, Jake Odorizzi and Luke Weaver quite a bit this season. Those arms have all been very good to us as well, so I am not worried about pitching whatsoever. In fact, I am quite excited about it.
The bats however, pose more of a challenge. Sure, we have Camden Yards (and Orioles pitching!) as well as Globe Life Park in the hopper tonight. We do have a lot of really hot bats going though as the Astros, Angels, Rangers, Twins and Braves are all on the slate and going against mediocre to below average pitchers.
Let’s get down to it. Here is today’s DFS MLB Cash Game Breakdown:
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers –Crazy windy in Arlington tonight with gusts reaching 30 MPH in from right field. This usually creates a suction out to left field, but this might be a bit too extreme to think it will help the bats.
- Houston Astros: -220
- New York Yankees: -175
- Washington Nationals: -160
- Atlanta Braves: -160
Highest Run Expectancy
- Houston Astros: 5.87
- Texas Rangers: 5.85
- New York Yankees: 5.24
- Washington Nationals: 5.17
- Seattle Mariners: 5.15
Lowest Run Expectancy
- San Francisco Giants: 3.06
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 3.39
- New York Mets: 3.42
- San Diego Padres: 4.11
- Chicago White Sox: 4.25
Today's Pitchers Grid
|Tyler Anderson||- - -||108.20||4.39||0.275||4.28||4.43||4.45||36.10||22.80||41.00||68.10%||44.90%||19.70||11.70%||52.20%||5.50||77.60%||34.30%||70.90||14.20%||56.40%||29.40%||1.41||34.70%||90.70||9.70|
|Rich Hill||- - -||105.10||4.10||0.256||4.74||4.80|
|Wade LeBlanc||- - -||41.00||4.17||0.319||4.99||5.35|
|Albert Almora Jr.||NYM||1.00||27.00||0.000||22.17||12.73|
1) Patrick Corbin, LHP, Nationals ($10,800/$10,900) –Corbin is the best overall pitcher on the board tonight by a pretty good margin. Corbin is 18th in MLB with a 2.91 ERA, 14thin WHIP with 1.04, 10thin strikeouts with 69 and second in MLB with a 2.6 WAR (among SP’s). The crazy thing here is that this will be Corbin’s fourth time facing the Mets already this season. In his previous three starts he is 1-0, with a 2.70 ERA, 20.0 IP, 17 hits, 1.05 WHIP and 24 K’s. That is an average of 44 FD points per start with an 8 inning, 1 ER, 11 K performance coming last week against the Mets. You all know that I am not going to use Corbin here tonight because I do not pay up for pitching. But, I want to be clear that if you find a lot of quality value bats in any given slate you CAN pay up for the best or most expensive pitcher on the board. There are a lot of reasons to feel comfortable with Corbin tonight, but he is a little too expensive, facing the Mets for the fourth time this season and the Mets are a bit dangerous against LHP. Therefore, it will be a pass from me.
2) Mike Minor, LHP, Rangers ($8800/$9700) – POP QUIZ: Which MLB starting pitcher has the highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) so far this season? If you answered Mike Minor, you’re good at questions with obvious answers. If you guessed anything else, well, go finish your Mountain Dew and meet me in the chat room later tonight where I can just give you the damn answers. Minor has been sensational this season. In fact, he has pitched the exact same number of innings as Patrick Corbin (58.2), same number of wins (4), same number of HR’s against (6), a better ERA (2.61-2.91), and a better first strike rate (63.3%-60.6%). Yet, he is $2000 cheaper on FD and $1200 on DK. The Mariners have the second lowest BA (.206), sixth worst wOBA (.287) and 11th worst strikeout rate (24.8%) in MLB over the last seven games. In the month of May, the Mariners are hitting just .179 (2nd worst) with a .251 wOBA (5th worst), a 58 wRC+ (5th worst) and 27.8% (5thmost) strikeout rate against LHP. Minor struck out 13 Mariners in seven innings and racked up 67 FD points against them back on April 27th. Globe Life isn’t a great park to use a pitcher but there is some extreme wind blowing in tonight. Normally this could backfire but in this extreme a case (25+MPH) I think it will actually help the fly balls and thus the pitchers.
3) Luke Weaver, RHP, Diamondbacks ($9600/$8500) – I really like his DK price better than FD but have him as in play on both sites. I am a fan of Weaver. His entire repertoire is really solid and I love that he can pepper each quadrant of the strike zone with his three main pitches (FB/CH/CT). This allows his stuff to play up and speaks to the 31.5% O-Swing rate and why he comes into tonight with a 26.1% strikeout rate and 11.1% swinging strike rate. Now Weaver isn’t a frontline starter but he’s a grinder that will squeeze the most out of each outing. Weaver is averaging 36.6 FD points per start over his last eight starts which includes games against the Red Sox, two against the Braves and one start in Colorado. He put up 41 FD points back on April 12th against these Padres where he went 6.1 innings, gave up 5 hits, 2 ER, walked none and struck out 8. The Diamondbacks didn’t win that game so it could have been even better with a win. It appears as though Chris Paddack will be fairly well owned tonight with the Padres being considerable home favorites. That makes Weaver a contrarian play, perfect for GPP’s and very good as your SP2 on DK tonight.
4) Brad Peacock, RHP, Astros ($7800/$8900) – As of this writing, the White Sox still haven’t decided on a starter for this game against the Astros. It’s not going to matter because anybody they toss out there is going to get their asshole beat in by a red-hot Houston club that is hitting .316 with a .404 wOBA over their last seven games. So, a win is going to happen that is for sure. The only real question is whether Peacock can stick around long enough to earn it. I think that he can. Peacock has gone 5+ innings in four of his last five starts. He’s struck out 26 over 26.2 innings in those starts. Chicago will chase his slider which is his best “out” pitch featuring the seventh best horizontal movement in MLB. The White Sox have the third worst strikeout rate in MLB at 25.5%. Would I pay more for Peacock than Luke Weaver on DK tonight? Nah, I probably would just stick with Weaver. But on FD, Peacock is the lowest end pitcher I would consider using in cash game tonight.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Camden Yards – 22.4% above average in runs scored, 42.4% above average in HR’s, 60.0% above average in 3B.
2) Angel Stadium –22.1% above average in runs scored, 52.8% above average in HR’s\
3) Citizens Bank Ballpark – 17.0% above average in runs scored, 29.7% above average in HR’s, 33.3% above average in 3B.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Andrew Suarez, Giants (AAA Numbers) – .321 BAA, 6.33 ERA, 5.58 xFIP, 1.70 WHIP, 11.7% HR/FB%, 1.0 HR/9, 9.4% swinging strike rate.
2) Mike Leake, Mariners – .285 BAA, 4.54 xFIP, 1.35 WHIP, 36.9% FB%, 16.7% HR/FB%, 1.83 HR/9, 8.4% swinging strike rate, 40.6% hard contact rate.
3) Wilmer Font, Mets –.293 BAA, 4.74 xFIP, 1.52 WHIP, 48.3% FB%, 13.8% HR/FB%, 1.77 HR/9, 49.2% hard contact rate.
4) Felix Pena, Angels –4.05 xFIP, 37.7% FB%, 17.5% HR/FB%, 1.63 HR/9, 43.9% 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.
|5||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||104||447||34||82||85||2||13.2||16.80||0.325||0.324||0.322||0.416||0.647||0.442||183|
|9||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||88||365||31||79||70||23||12.1||28.50||0.356||0.328||0.290||0.373||0.647||0.419||165|
|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||0.414||158|
|20||Cedric Mullins II||BAL||105||450||18||61||37||20||8.4||18.20||0.223||0.366||0.323||0.385||0.546||0.396||155|
Batter v Pitcher
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
C – Jeff Mathis, Jonathan Lucroy
1B – Kendrys Morales, Edwin Encarnacion, Eric Hosmer
2B – DJ LeMahieu, Rougned Odor, Logan Forsythe, Tommy La Stella
3B – Manny Machado
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera, Andrelton Simmons
OF – Robbie Grossman, Aaron Hicks, Jason Heyward, Odubel Herrera, Shin-soo Choo, Hunter Pence, Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees
- Tyler Flowers, Braves
- Jason Castro, Twins
- Robinson Chirinos, Astros
Sanchez presents a bit of a problem for the catcher position tonight. As I discussed on Friday’s SXM show, the pyramid of value tells us that the first spot to always pay down for is catcher. Sanchez is not cheap, but he also is in a golden position to go double dong against Andrew Cashner and the Orioles bullpen tonight. Tyler Flowers always crushes LHP and is also hitting .500 with a .629 wOBA over his last four games. You are going to see a lot of Twins LHH in the writeup tonight and Jason Castro is no different. He’s cheap and in a great spot at the top of the value pyramid tonight.
- C.J. Cron, Twins
- Luke Voit, Yankees
- Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
- Eric Hosmer, Padres
- Kendrys Morales, Yankees
Cron is out of his face right now and has the former team narrative going for him tonight as well. He is hitting .375 with 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 runs and a .417 ISO over his last six games. Both Voit and Morales are in play and work well with Yankees stacks or as one offs depending on your price range. Rizzo and the Cubs are underrated tonight. They know Jake Arrieta well and most of these Cubbies (including Rizzo) have been destroying the ball lately.
- Ozzie Albies, Braves
- Rougned Odor, Rangers
- Brian Dozier, Nationals
- Tommy La Stella, Angels (3B on FD)
Albies is automatic against left handed pitching. He is hitting .370/.370/.630 with 4 HR against southpaws this season. Odor is also in a great spot against the flyball prone Mike Leake. Brian Dozier has made a couple of changes to his swing (see Wednesday’s Livestream) and just like I outlined, it has paid off. Dozier has gone 5-9 (.555) with a .700 OBP since the change. He’s incredibly underpriced tonight so if you are going value at 2B tonight, he is your guy.
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Kris Bryant, Cubs
- Anthony Rendon, Nationals
- Josh Donaldson, Braves
- JD Davis, Mets
Not a lot of surprises here as the highest priced 3B tonight are basically all of the best options. Kris Bryant driving the ball to the opposite field is one of the most beautiful things in baseball and that is exactly what he is doing lately. Anthony Rendon does serious damage at Citi Field throughout his career. Rendon is a career .311/.374/.566 with 12 HR, 37 RBI and 14 2B in 50 career games there. Considering how good the Mets pitching staff has been in that span, these are some very eye popping numbers.
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees
- Carlos Correa, Astros
- Trea Turner, Nationals
- Addison Russell, Cubs
Gleyber is either smashing the ball or completely missing it. He owns a .313 BA, .506 wOBA, .625 ISO, 3 HR and .938 SLG but also a 31.3% K% over his last five games. This appears to be more of a smash spot for him and the entire Yankees lineup tonight. I really want to play Trea Turner tonight against Wilmer Font and the Mets bullpen but he’s awfully expensive. Still, if he was the highest scoring player of the entire slate it would not surprise me a bit. Addison Russell is another Cubs hitter that is going the opposite way and finding success doing so.
- Ronald Acuna, Braves
- Byron Buxton, Twins
- Joey Gallo, Rangers
- Max Kepler, Twins
- Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
- David Peralta, Diamondbacks
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Willie Calhoun, Rangers
- Franmil Reyes, Padres
- Eddie Rosario, Twins
George Springer actually is the #1 OF tonight but is likely out tonight and could be going on the IL with a back injury. Michael Brantley is a very solid replacement who just missed this cut but is still cash worthy. Byron Buxton is absolutely crushing right now but still hitting dead last in the Twins lineup. Being the road team really helps him and as you can see the entire Twins OF is viable. David Peralta and Adam Jones are in play here tonight and create an interesting stacking opportunity for us. Chris Paddack is due for regression and I doubt that many will target the D-Backs to give it to him tonight.