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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
Wednesday, June 19th
Quick updates here tonight:
Joe Palumbo – DC talked me off of him tonight so not going to use him even in GPP. I suppose we can pay up a bit at grab Trevor Williams if we want to get different but Palumbo is out for me
Daniel Ponce De Leon – He will be my cash game pitcher tonight.
Harold Castro, 2B, Tigers – Minimum priced 2B hitting 5th for Detroit. He was hitting .330 in minors and is high enough in lineup. Not much power but if we can get a hit and RBI/run it would be a win.
Rangel Ravelo, 1B, Cardinals – This guy is also min priced but has some solid power. I like the Cardinals stack tonight so you can offset some of those Angels/Braves shares with Ravelo and maybe Ozuna or Fowler of the Cardinals.
Where did all of the scoring go? Man, last night was a bucket of cold water thrown on a previously sizzling DFS MLB fire that was lighting up everything. If you used Mets and Indians bats, the inferno is raging on for you so let’s keep that going. I did not use Mets, Indians or really any other productive bats last night. I should just blame Schuster, but realistically you could have given up 17 lineup builds last night and I just wasn’t on the goods. Oh, and Kikuchi is a bag of shit.
Anyways, we are on to Wednesday and again have the dreaded split slate. For the five-game early slate, check out Scott Bondar’s Early Bird writeup as he is always crushing these smaller early slates. In fact, Scotty is going to be doing some Cash Game Breakdowns here shortly as we need to get more of his brain onto these pages. This writeup, as usual, is focused only on the “Main Slate” tonight which begins at 7:05 pm ET and consists of 10 games including the second game of the Phillies/Nationals doubleheader assuming the Nats management feels like it.
Right out of the gate there is drama as our best pitcher on the board, Max Scherzer suffered a broken nose during bunting practice on Tuesday night. As of this writing, it is unclear what his status will be for tonight but my instinct says he will go out there and be the bulldog that he is but we will have to check back on that.
If Scherzer is out, our next best pitcher is the piping hot Lucas Giolito going up against a National League team in an NL park. It’s hard to argue against him the way he is attacking hitters and the Cubs bats have been ice cold recently. But knowing that there is regression coming and now having to pay over $11K for him in a dangerous matchup just isn’t what I am about these days. That leaves a bunch of gas cans for us in the mid and value tier tonight. Those of you who have been listening to the SiriusXM show will recognize however a few names that have been popping up in recent discussions that could be in play for us here tonight. Again, it is better to use a shitty pitcher against a shitty hitting team than to use a great pitcher against a mediocre hitting team. That is the nature of DFS MLB in 2019 and those of us who have been playing this game a long time have to continue to remind ourselves of this.
Those gas can arms do provide us with some quality matchups with our bats. Remember that we’re looking for hitters that can hit the homerun. Last night I felt that quite a few of our talks were centered around players will nothing more than average power and thus not worth our time. It’s the long-ball or nothing nowadays and that is just not going to change.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs –Storms on the north side and out over Lake Michigan could cause some rain over Wrigley. Its nothing big now but something that we should watch as the day moves on.
Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals –Rain showers are going to move in late to the St. Louis area so there could be a later game delay.
Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates –Very small chance of rain at PNC later in the evening but nothing that is threatening as of this writing.
- LAD -240
- WAS -190
- STL -170
- LAA -160
- ATL -150
Highest Run Expectancy
- CLE 5.80
- TEX 5.70
- LAA 5.39
- ATL 5.16
- LAD 5.13
Lowest Run Expectancy
- PHI 2.40
- SF 2.87
- CHW 3.15
- MIA 3.43
- CHC 3.85
Today's Pitchers Grid
1) Lucas Giolito, RHP, White Sox ($11,200/$11,300) –Since May 7th, there has been no pitcher better than all in baseball. Giolito is averaging 7.1 innings, 4 hits, 1 BB, 8 K’s and put together a 0.93 ERA, 0.75 WHIP while racking up 8 wins and 7 quality starts in that span. The Cubs scored just one run and reached base only 8 times against Ivan Nova and the White Sox bullpen last night. Over the last week, the Cubs are hitting just .224 (2nd worst) with a .275 wOBA (3rd worst) and a .140 ISO (5th worst). As I said in the intro, regression is looming here with Giolito and the Cubs do possess a threat with their power bats. Scherzer has a broken nose and is questionable to pitch tonight but even if he does I just don’t like that risk against the Phillies. If you want extreme upside and have value bats targeted, Giolito is your guy.
2) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Angels ($8600/$8500) – Picking on the Blue Jays is something we had all better get used to cause that is what the rest of this season is going to be about. Toronto owns the sixth worst BA of .237 and fifth worst wOBA of .292 against LHP this season. What’s more is they are absolutely awful against curveballs and Heaney owns one of the better slow loopers in the league. He basically just throws his four seam fastball and that curveball generates the second most swings (54.5%) and most whiffs (58.3%) in MLB. Other than Vlad Guerrero, there just isn’t a real threat in this entire Blue Jays lineup against LHP.
3) Jon Lester, LHP, Cubs ($7500/$7400) – At this stage of his career, it’s pretty easy to figure Jon Lester out. He dominates lesser competition and gets his cock kicked in against the big dogs. Tonight, he faces the White Sox who generated just six hits and one run against Cole Hamels last night before Eloy Jimenez took Pedro Strop deep in the 9th inning. The White Sox are solid against LHP but still own the third worst strikeout rate in MLB at 25.4%. Lester has dominated all the White Sox hitters over his career with the exception of Jose Abreu. Still, he has given up just a .218 BA and .280 wOBA against them. The increased strikeout projection as well as the very likely quality start and win makes Lester one of the best value pitchers on the board tonight.
4) Daniel Ponce De Leon, RHP, Cardinals ($6500/$7800) – Obviously a much better play on FD tonight at just $6500. Jack Flaherty handled these Marlins last night giving up just three earned runs in seven innings while striking out eight before the bullpen blew it. De Leon isn’t a big strikeout arm, rather he keeps things simple by using his four seam fastball almost exclusively while mixing in a quality changeup and below average curveball. The Marlins own the sixth worst BA of .238 and worst wOBA in MLB at .280. De Leon keeps the ball down and generates a lot of ground balls (50% in MLB, 47% in minors). There isn’t a lot of flash here but he’s safe and extremely cheap which is what we are looking for tonight.
5) Joe Palumbo, LHP, Rangers ($6000/$5500) – Who the hell is Joe Palumbo? I was asking myself this very question 24-36 hours ago (depending when you are reading this) so I had to dig in. Palumbo was a 30thround of the 2013 MLB Draft out of a New York High School. He was used as a lefty reliever for most of his first four minor league seasons, a role which he largely dominated in. Then, just as the Rangers converted him to a starter, he tore his UCL in 2017 and missed most of the next year recovering. When he returned he had added nearly two miles per hour in velocity and picked up right where he left off ascending up the Randers organization. He began this year at AA Frisco and posted a 3.19 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. It’s far from a perfect matchup tonight against the Indians but Cleveland does own the third worst BA (.229) and sixth worst wOBA (.297) in MLB against LHP. He would allow us to get any and all bats that we’d want and won’t be over 5% owned in any contest.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) SunTrust Park – 20.5% above average in runs, 34.0% above average in HR’s, 20.8% above average in 2B, 7.3% above average in 3B.
2) Rogers Centre –2.5% above average in runs, 52.0% above average in HR’s, 76.2% above average in 3B.
3) Nationals Park – 7.3% above average in runs, 18.6% above average in HR’s, 21.2% above average in 2B.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Steven Matz, Mets – .254 BAA, 4.11 xFIP, 18.8% HR/FB%, 1.70 HR/9, 8.9% swinging strike rate, 40.5% hard contact rate.
2) Drew Pomeranz, Giants –.294 BAA, 4.61 xFIP, 1.73 WHIP, 22.0% HR/FB%, 2.02 HR/9, 9.1% swinging strike rate, 35.6% hard contact rate.
3) Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays –.265 BAA, 5.19 xFIP, 1.60 WHIP, 14.7% HR/FB%, 1.20 HR/9, 9.3% swinging strike rate, 35.4% hard contact rate.
4) Adam Plutko, Indians – .240 BAA, 5.21 xFIP, 50.7% FB%, 22.2% HR/FB%, 3.09 HR/9
5) Andrew Heaney, Angels – 4.14 xFIP, 60.8% FB%, 19.4% HR/FB%, 2.49 HR/9, 49.0% 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 – Buster Posey, James McCann, Sandy Leon, Chris Iannetta
1B – Albert Pujols, Jose Abreu, Brandon Belt, Daniel Murphy
2B – Joe Panik, Ketel Marte
3B – Anthony Rendon, Nolan Arenado, Jung-ho Kang, Marwin Gonzalez
SS – Javy Baez, Jean Segura, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner, Brandon Crawford
OF – Adam Eaton, Jay Bruce, Melky Cabrera, Justin Upton, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, David Peralta
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Tyler Flowers, Braves
- Tony Wolters, Rockies
- Buster Posey, Giants
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- Wilson Ramos, Mets
This isn’t a good position tonight. Flowers will be in the lineup against the lefty Steven Matz and has been on quite a roll lately. Flowers owns a .605 wOBA with 281 wRC+ over his last four games. Wolters is the exact reason why I don’t play catchers on FD. He is making great contact this year and hasn’t struck out over his last five games. But the lack of power is bothersome in an environment that requires big hits for bigger points. Buster Posey is actually a great matchup tonight for once. His bat speeds up with the crafty vet Rich Hill on the mound. Posey has trouble against high velocity this year and has always made great contact with Hill’s big curveball.
- Pete Alonso, Mets
- Josh Bell, Pirates
- Matt Adams, Nationals
- Justin Bour, Angels
- Jose Abreu, White Sox
Alonso is the hottest hitter in DFS right now. He’s averaging 23.3 FD points per game over his last seven games. Bell is also starting to heat back up getting on base six times over his last 17 AB’s including a HR from the right-side last night. Adams is underpriced and has a wonderful matchup against Jake Arrieta’s sinker. Bour is tearing up Blue Jays pitching this series and should have one more shot tonight against Aaron Sanchez.
- Ozzie Albies, Braves
- Rougned Odor, Rangers
- Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
- Ryan McMahon, Rockies
- Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays
A lot of folks will be tempted to go back to Cavan Biggio tonight even though he’s facing a lefty. He doesn’t grade out well against Heaney but the Angels bullpen he would be the #2 second basemen against. I’m likely fading but if you want to tempt fate, he’s your guy. Albies destroys LHP hitting .362/.375/.580 against them this season. Marte has back to back three hit games and is 8-12 (.750) over his last three games.
- Josh Donaldson, Braves
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Jose Ramirez, Indians
- Anthony Rendon, Nationals
- Vlad Guerrero Jr, Blue Jays
The Albies/Donaldson pairing would be perfect if we can get Albies higher in the order. Donaldson has four HR’s, 8 RBI and a .518 wOBA over his last seven games. This is the last time that I am going to fall for Jose Ramirez season turnaround. He has a six game on base streak, a five-game hit streak and is averaging 15.2 FD points per game during that stretch.
- Trea Turner, Nationals
- Paul DeJong, Cardinals
- Chris Taylor, Dodgers
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
- Tim Anderson, White Sox
Turner could have 2 HR’s, 3 SB’s or both against Jake Arrieta tonight. It’s a great power and speed matchup for him. DeJong is hitting .370/.419/.741 with 3 HR and 5 RBI over his last seven games. Chris Taylor is a very important part of this Dodgers lineup against LHP. Taylor has a .500 OPB over his last four games.
- Ronald Acuna, Braves
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
- JD Davis, Mets
- Shohei Ohtani, Angels
- David Peralta, Diamondbacks
- Juan Soto, Nationals
- Nelson Cruz, Twins
- Jordan Luplow, Indians
- JD Martinez, Red Sox
There isn’t a lot of value in the OF tonight so plan on spending up. Once again we’ll be attacking the Angels outfield as both Trout & Ohtani make the write up but Justin Upton is just outside looking in. David Peralta might be the sneakiest play of the entire slate as he feasts against the Jon Gray level slider. JD Davis, Jordan Luplow and Nelson Cruz are all lefty killers who are in great spots tonight.