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.
Bullpen Coach – Full breakdown of everything you need to know about each teams bullpen.
Hitting Coach – A deep dive about the top hitters & fades for today’s MLB slate.
Pitching Coach – In-depth breakdown of today’s starting pitchers
DFS MLB Cheatsheet – A quick guide to the top plays at each position and salary level.
GPP Writeup – Using experience, game theory & advanced stats to uncover low owned stars.
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.
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
Also Be Sure To Bookmark:
The Opening Line –Corey Parson & Benny Ricciardi get you ready for today in sports
VALUE PLAYS for each site at each position
DK – C- Sandy Leon – Red Sox, 1B/OF Steve Pearce – Red Sox, 2B -Brian Dozier – Nationals, 3B – Eduardo Nunez – Red Sox, SS – Nick Ahmed – Diamondbacks, OF – Carlos Gomez – Mets, OF – Keon Broxton – Mets, OF- Brian Anderson – Marlins, 1B Josh Naylor – Padres
FD – 1B- Steve Pearce – Red Sox, 2B – Eduardo Nunez – Red Sox, 3B – Todd Frazier – Mets, SS Greg Garcia – Padres, OF Rajai Davis – Mets, OF – Carlos Gomez – Mets, OF – Chad Pinder – A’s, OF – JD Davis – Mets
Nobody asked but I had a nice little Thursday. No, not in DFS though Schuster did triple us up in the early slate by stacking Pirates around Matthew Boyd. But it was nice not having any baseball, unless you count my Whitesox somehow beating up on the Astros.
I spent the afternoon and evening talking to Rob and Vlad about our plans for NFL and whether the Property Brothers smash box or each other. I will not dare reveal which topic we spent more time on but you get the idea.
I also did quite a bit of research on the Statcast metrics uncovering a few nuggets for us to use in tonight’s slate. If you’ve been listening to the SiriusXM show, you know that I’ve spent all week discussing exit velocity, perceived velocity, release point, expected stats (xwOBA) and today will be average launch angle. I go over these numbers for every pitcher and position player in MLB everyday, but I only isolate the outliers. So, a deeper dive like this helps me understand why certain players/pitchers are crushing or struggling.
This Friday night is a lot less tense than last Friday when we were coming in pretty cold with some uneasy pitching performances hanging over us. In the last seven days however, I can’t recall a single pitcher breakdown that we (either Ted or I) have missed on. Looking back over this weeks lineups, my pitchers have been Boyd, Gray, Quintana, Minor, Canning and Lucchesi. The only losing effort of those being Quintana and it certainly wasn’t his fault that night.
So, pitching is not a problem. We all know that unless you are super confident in the value bats on any give slate, we are going to be paying down for pitchers. Tonight, is no exception as we have some obvious great arm talent on the hill in Chris Sale, Walker Buehler and Blake Snell. Then there is the great Noah Syndergaard going against the defunct Tigers in a National League park. How can we possibly pass this up? Well it will not be easy but how many “guaranteed success” starting pitchers have shit the bed sheets in the past two weeks alone? The correct answer is “enough to take a good hard look at other options” tonight.
The real dilemma we all have tonight comes down to the Rockies bats at Coors Field going up against the pitching staff of the Baltimore Orioles. Notice that I am not singling out projected starter John Means because he is MEANS-ingless. Baltimore’s staff has given up a record 107 homeruns so far this season in just 50 games. Considering that the average HR’s against by team this season is 61 and that number is extremely high you can understand that the Orioles situation is dire.
I’m not even going to bullshit you with some sort of intro tease like I normally do. We need Colorado bats tonight. Now, does that mean just go and get Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story then fill in the rest? Do we target the Rockies value bats like Mark Reynolds and Brendan Rodgers? Maybe we go contrarian with a little lefty on lefty action with Raimel Tapia and David Dahl. If you are building multiple lineups than you have to go with at least one lineup that fades the game altogether because that is the quickest path to the top spot should the chalk fail.
Colorado isn’t the only positive hitting environment though tonight. The weather across the country is heating up and with that there will be even more hitting. Hard to fathom I know but be ready for it. We do have some weather issues and a couple of key lineup verifications that could impact us in a number of ways tonight.
But that is OK. Your boy has the hot hand and know that you are all counting on me to deliver you the goods. I hear that it’s a holiday weekend for many of you so what better way to get that started than to win some big cash tonight?
It’s time to get down to it with the DFS MLB Cash Game Breakdown:
New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals –Thoughts and prayers to all of you in the Kansas/Missouri tornado alley. You guys have had a hell of a week and tonight doesn’t seem much better. There will be steady rain throughout the afternoon and evening here. As of this writing I just have a hard time thinking this game will play especially with all the local damage that has been done in recent days. Please check before you use or fade any of these players though.
Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers – Miller Park dome will be closed tonight so the balls will be flying out. Be ready.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center
1) Houston Astros: -220
2) New York Mets: -210
3) Los Angeles Dodgers: -175
4) Oakland A’s: -170
5) Los Angeles Angels: -160
Highest Run Expectancy
1) Colorado Rockies: 5.96
2) Minnesota Twins: 5.47
3) Oakland A’s: 5.32
4) Los Angeles Angels: 5.22
5) Baltimore Orioles: 5.15
Lowest Run Expectancy
1) Detroit Tigers: 2.76
2) Chicago White Sox: 3.53
3) Cleveland Indians: 3.55
4) San Francisco Giants: 3.58
5) Pittsburgh Pirates: 3.88
Today's Pitchers Grid
|Rich Hill||- - -||100.10||3.95||0.257||4.54||4.72|
TODAY’S BEST PITCHERS
1)Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets ($10,600/$10,100) –He’s far lower priced than what he should be given the matchup so that makes things VERY interesting tonight. Thor isn’t the same pitcher he was two years ago when he was throwing up 95 MPH sliders but he has made a couple tweaks over his last four starts that are interesting. He’s not throwing that slider as much, just about 7-10% which is over half of what he had been throwing it in years past of 20-20%. He is throwing his changeup instead and getting terrific results with it. Syndergaard is getting 65.27% swing rate with the change which is second most in MLB, 30.28% whiff rate and 58% groundball rate. With Syndergaard we are always thinking that we’re getting the highest amount of strikeouts possible especially in elite matchups. But he’s been pitching more to contact and though we in the fantasy community don’t like that, it’s working for him. Noah has gone 9, 6+, 8 & 7 innings in each of his last four starts. That is an average of 40.5 FD points per game over those four games which is great considering he had averaged just 26.1 FD points per game over his previous six. Thus, the price drop for him is warranted but also makes him a great play against these lowly Detroit Tigers especially considering they lose the DH for this game. The Tigers own the fourth worst BA (.221), third worst wOBA (.280) and second worst strikeout rate (26.3) in MLB.
2) Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins ($9900/$10,200) – I don’t understand Berrios being more expensive than Syndergaard on DK but whatever. It was a little surprising that the Whitesox beat up on Gerrit Cole and Corbin Martin but that doesn’t concern me at all. Chicago has the second highest strikeout rate to RHP (26.6%) and third worst overall (26.3%). Berrios has dominated this Whitesox lineup over the years surrendering a batting average of just .197, wOBA of .284 and a strikeout rate of 27.2% over 125 PA. With the Twins offense destroying the baseball of late, this should be an easy win for Berrios and the Twins. He’s had seven of his ten starts be quality starts with only his last two against the Angels and Mariners coming up just short.
3) Robbie Ray, LHP, Diamondbacks ($8700/$10,900) – What a drastic pricing difference here. Obviously, Ray is only in play on Fanduel tonight because at this price we can handle his bouts of wildness. Remember, when we get into the mid-tier and lower, we aren’t looking for someone to dazzle us, just somebody to keep us within 18.7 points of our 40 target. Ray’s elite strikeout arm will offset the mild threat that is the Giants offense. In his career, he owns a 28.2% strikeout rate of these Giants players and for the season he has a 29.5% strikeout rate. I don’t love the play but it’s a low-risk, high-upside option that will allow us to grab an additional two premium bats.
4) Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Giants ($5900/$7200) – Welp…did not expect to write the name Drew Pomeranz on this portion of the breakdown but here we are. I’ll cut to the chase on this one. Pomaranz is crazy cheap, at home and facing an inferior opponent. He pitched against these D-Backs on Sunday at Chase Field and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning mostly because he ran his pitch count up walking five hitters. So, I went back and watched his first five innings and immediately picked up on a couple borderline pitches to Christian Walker and then JR Murphy in the second inning that really could have gone for strikeouts and not walks. Stephen Vogt was catching for the Giants in that game and he is terrible at framing pitches. So, I looked up Pomeranz starts with Vogt behind the dish which were both awful giving him a 12.79 ERA, .367 BAA, a 2.53 WHIP and 6:4 BB:K ratio. With Buster Posey behind the dish, he has a 3.00 ERA, .204 BAA, 1.06 WHIP and 5:14 BB:K ratio. What’s more is that the Diamondbacks are awful against the curveball which Pomeranz throws 40% of the time and features the 15thmost vertical movement in MLB. Arizona is fourth worst in MLB against curveballs and have just a .288 wOBA and .092 ISO against the pitch this season. It’s $5900 so if we can get 22 FD points out of him at this price it’s a major win.
5) Kyle McGowin, RHP, Nationals ($5500/$7000) – Pick your value poison: a known veteran arm that we hate like Drew Pomeranz or an unknown career minor leaguer in Kyle McGowin. McGowin is essentially a two-pitch pitcher with a sinker, slider and sometimes a fourseam fastball. He had a 10.8 K/9 for AAA Fresno this year and a 9.3 K/9 at the major league level in his career. The Marlins are the nut worst offense in MLB. They are bottom five in BA (.221), wOBA (.265), ISO (.098), wRC+ (67) and K% (25.8%). We don’t need much out of McGowin at home against the Marlins to pay off this bottom pricetag tonight.
1) Coors Field – 55.6% above average in runs scored, 22.7% above average in HR’s, 22.1% above average in 2B, 208.6% above average in 3B.
2) Angel Stadium –17.0% above average in runs scored, 41.5% above average in HR’s.
3) Miller Park –12.9% above average in runs scored, 33.1% above average in HR’s, 28.2% above average in 3B.
4) Rogers Center –38.2% above average in HR’s, 208.3% above average in 3B.
5) Minute Maid Park –11.2% above average in runs scored, 22.2% above average in HR’s.
PITCHERS TO TARGET AGAINST
1) Drew Smyly, Rangers – .252 BAA, 5.50 xFIP, 1.73 WHIP, 43.8% FB%, 17.1% HR/FB%, 1.95 HR/9, 51.3% hard contact rate, 20.3 launch angle against.
2) Wade LeBlanc, Mariners – .329 BAA, 6.09 xFIP, 1.91 WHIP, 46.5% FB%, 18,2% HR/FB%, 2.95 HR/9, 8.4% swinging strike rate, 42.3% hard contact rate.
3) Drew Pomeranz, Giants – .273 BAA, 4.68 xFIP, 1.60 WHIP, 34.3% FB%, 22.9% HR/FB%, 2.06 HR/9, 8.5% swinging strike rate, 40.4% hard contact rate.
4) Reynoldo Lopez, White Sox – .268 BAA, 5.70 xFIP, 1.50 WHIP, 55.4% FB%, 12.0% HR/FB%, 1.77 HR/9, 37.3% hard contact rate.
5) Jakob Junis, Royals – .279 BAA, 4.63 xFIP, 1.50 WHIP, 17.5% HR/FB%, 1.63 HR/9, 42.9% hard contact rate.
(click on link above)
We have a brand new stolen base target tool on the site. I strongly recommend looking it over in order to find a value play or to properly assess how likely a player is to steal tonight.
HOT STREAKS (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
|6||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||100||428||33||80||83||2||13.8||17.30||0.331||0.333||0.328||0.425||0.658||0.450||188|
|11||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||166|
|14||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|
|25||Cedric Mullins II||BAL||101||432||17||57||36||17||8.6||18.30||0.225||0.362||0.319||0.383||0.544||0.394||153|
BATTER VS. PITCHER
C – Yasmani Grandal, James McCann, Yadier Molina, Matt Wieters, Buster Posey
1B – Ji-Man Choi, Matt Adams, Freddie Freeman, Steve Pearce
2B – Jason Kipnis, Kolten Wong, Joe Panik
3B – Maikel Franco, Matt Carpenter, Evan Longoria, Jose Ramirez
SS – Xander Bogaerts, Jean Segura
OF – Josh Reddick, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Ryan Braun, Odubel Herrera, Marcell Ozuna, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Mike Trout
For More BvP info check out ourBvP Matchup Page
OVERALL HITTER RANKINGS
1) Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
2) Jonathan Lucroy, Angels
3) Chris Iannetta, Rockies
4) JT Realmuto, Phillies
5) Josh Phegley, A’s
Notes: So, Gary Sanchez is the top dog here tonight but he is unlikely to play as the Kansas City weather is pretty bad. Plus, he is crazy expensive for a position that we would prefer to pay down at. That leaves us Yasmani in the closed Miller Park dome against the flyball prone Jerad Eickhoff. Lucroy and Iannetta are both discounted in great spots against inferior starting pitchers and bullpens.
1) Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
2) Freddie Freeman, Braves
3) Steve Pearce, Red Sox
4) Albert Pujols, Angels
5) Mark Reynolds, Rockies
Notes: The single player that I worry most about breaking my hitter model is Rhys Hoskins. If I were doing DFS MLB analysis back in the early 90’s when Frank Thomas was coming up I think he’d be the guy most comparable to Hoskins. There isn’t anything that Rhys doesn’t do at an elite level (except for speed). Freeman is slashing to the tune of .385/.429/.885 with 4 HR and 6 RBI over his last six games. Pearce against Wade Miley, Pujols against Drew Smyly and Reynolds against John Means are all very good lesser priced options for us here.
1) Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
2) Michael Chavis, Red Sox
3) Rougned Odor, Rangers
4) Brian Dozier, Nationals
5) Luis Arraez, Twins
Notes:Cheap, against the Baltimore Orioles and at Coors Field is almost too good to be true here in 2019 but here we are. Rodgers is finally being given regular playing time for the Rockies and has four hits in his last nine at-bats. Odor is a regular climber now thanks to the six-plus metric where he constantly is proving his value. Dozier is hitting .316 with a .426 wOBA and 2 HR over his last six games. I had to manually overwrite Luis Arraez tonight because his .641 wOBA, .582 BA, 311 wRC+ and 0% strikeout rate since being called up puts him as a top four overall play tonight. But he doesn’t quite have the power we are looking for despite the terrific contact numbers so please don’t count on him for power.
1) Nolan Arenado, Rockies
2) Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Blue Jays
3) Anthony Rendon, Nationals
4) Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
5) JD Davis, Mets (OF on FD)
Notes:Arenado is the single highest projected player on the slate here tonight. Vlad Jr is scolding right now posting a .381/.409/.810 slash with a .501 wOBA and 3 HR over his last five games. Don’t overlook Rendon who is also having himself a monster season despite the Nats ineptitude. Rendon has struck out just 7.7% over his last seven games while posting a .579 ISO in that same span. JD Davis against a lefty is the best value play that we have at 3B tonight.
1) Trevor Story, Rockies
2) Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
3) Jean Segura, Phillies
4) Trea Turner, Nationals
5) Marcus Semien, A’s
Notes: The second highest projected scorer for tonight’s slate is also on the Rockies at Coors Field and that is Trevor Story. Xander Bogaerts is hitting .347/.442/.714 against LHP this season and owns a .423/.464/.615 slash over his last six games. Jean Segura has a tremendous profile against Chase Anderson and sure enough is 4-12 with 2 XBH career against him. Segura is still underpriced despite owning a .433 wOBA over his last six games. Trea Turner always grades out high in my model but is more of a contrarian GPP play for us tonight. Don’t forget about Marcus Semien as he will be leading off against the soft tossing Wade Miley here tonight. The A’s are in a real good spot here as the Mariners bullpen is also reeling.
1) Ian Desmond, Rockies
2) Mike Trout, Angels
3) Mookie Betts, Red Sox
4) Max Kepler, Twins
5) Bryce Harper, Phillies
6) Ronald Acuna, Braves
7) Stephen Piscotty, A’s
8) Tommy Pham, Rays
9) Franmil Reyes, Padres
10) Joey Gallo, Rangers
11) Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
12) Ryan Braun, Brewers
Notes: So many elite OF will go mostly ignored tonight as folks search for value instead. I am very partial to two of my favorites in Ian Desmond and Tommy Pham who are now scorching hot after very slow starts. A guy like Joey Gallo will go low owned tonight because he is out of Globe Life Park even though Angels Stadium is playing very favorably to lefties. The better value plays tonight are Stephen Piscotty, Kevin Kiermaier and Ryan Braun but keep a close eye on the lineups because options such as Austin Dean, Carlos Gomez and Matt Adams could open things up if in the right spots.