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, June 21st
Fire. Just fire. That is what our whole squad is right now and I really hope you guys are getting in on this. April was a terrific month because we were just so ahead of everybody but then they caught up and we were up and down for the next month or so. But something has happened over the last couple of weeks. Really, it’s been since that seven-day losing streak that Ted and I had a couple of weeks ago. It’s not just either as Draftcheat is in the zone, Vlad’s hitting coach has been nails and Phil Backert’s bullpen coach writeup is literally always open on my browser every day.
Why? I really am not sure on what it is but I do see that we are just different than what I see literally everywhere everyday on Twitter and other social media outlets. My belief is that the industry has become so incredibly projection dependent that they cannot handle what is going on in major league baseball. Nobody wants to project Daniel Ponce De Leon for 40 points or Zac Gallen for 30. They won’t tell you that it’s time to fade Code Bellinger despite him getting 12 points every single day. Unless our opponents are multi entering stacks on stacks on stacks, which they can only do in the huge MME GPP’s, they seriously don’t stand a chance. I feel like Jimmie Moore these days.
Who is Jimmie Moore? You can’t be serious? What if I said that I feel like Jon Lovitz’s character from Wedding Singer? If you’re still not sure just watch this link. This is what I feel like right now.
Tonight is a night full of similar matchups. We’ve got aces going up against each other in Washington as Dallas Keuchel faces Stephen Strasburg and Cleveland as Trevor Bauer hosts Matt Boyd. Then there are the overachievers meeting in Arlington as the Rangers host the Whitesox, the underachievers as the Cardinals host the Angels and the playoff previews in New York as the Yankees host the Astros. Then there is the battle of the goliath offenses as the red hot Rockies take on the Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium. It’s a fun slate and one in which I will be playing quite a heavy volume so you know that I’ve got everything outlined for you.
I will tell you right from the jump that I am quite tempted by a super high-end pitcher tonight. Actually, a case can be made for several of the stud arms that have extremely good matchups tonight but one appears to be the surest thing we’ve seen all season. In order to fade this high-end starter, I am going to have to feel real good about a mid-tier or value option. Usually, I’d just take the best pitcher I can find at the lowest price with the best matchup and roll. But tonight we are going to have to run both ways and really identify which is best.
If we are to even consider an expensive pitcher tonight, the first priority will be to find value bats. If you’ve been paying attention lately, there have been quite a few solid bats getting called up from the minors and inserted into the middle of MLB lineups. I’ve identified a couple in the hitter rankings section but be sure to watch the DFS MLB Now Livestream and come hang out in the chat room before lock as lineups come out so we can make sure you are aware of any others that pop up.
It’s Friday, we are on fire, so it is officially time to #SmashFriday. I left off the “we” tonight but let’s make sure we let everybody know how we do.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers –It’s extremely hot in Arlington tonight as the heat index will be over 105 at game time. The winds will be blowing in too from right field which gives us our first real suction out to left field of the season at Globe Life Park. Big runs here tonight, folks.
Los Angeles Angels at St. Louis Cardinals –Some rain in St. Louis before the game that might hang around to the scheduled game time but shouldn’t be a real problem.
- BOS -360
- PHI -220
- CLE -190
- LAD -185
- MIN -160
- NYY -160
Highest Run Expectancy
- TEX 6.10
- BOS 6.08
- CHW 5.40
- MIN 5.27
- ARI 5.26
- PHI 5.14
Lowest Run Expectancy
- TOR 2.40
- COL 3.18
- DET 3.27
- MIA 3.33
- SD 4.15
- BAL 4.21
Today's Pitchers Grid
|Name||Team||IP||ERA||BABIP||FIP||xFIP||SIERA||GB%||LD%||FB%||F-Strike%||Zone%||K%||SwStr%||Swing%||BB%||Contact%||O-Swing%||LOB%||Soft%||Med%||Hard%||HR/9||FA% (pfx)||vFA (pfx)||FA-Z (pfx)|
1) Chris Sale, LHP, Red Sox (12,000/$12,000) – So, yeah this is the ace that I am very tempted to actually use here tonight. Sale grades out as the best overall pitcher tonight by such an incredibly wide margin that I had to go back and check when the last time a pitcher was over 1.7x over the next closest pitcher. I thought maybe deGrom or Scherzer against the Marlins were at this level but they were not. Nobody reached this level this season so far. So, yeah I have to take notice and at least really consider paying up for Sale. The Blue Jays are just so incredibly poor and Sale has been on such a roll that its not even fair. I don’t think I need to go over any of the 37 stat levels in which this is a dominant matchup so I will just say this: Look for value bats right now before you even read the rest of the pitching writeups. If you can find three truly viable hitters of $2400 and lower, continue building with Sale. If you simply cannot, prepare to pay down and chase over 20 points to Sale tonight.
2) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians ($11,500/$11,100) – The contrarian pay up option for us tonight is the Twitter warrior himself, Trevor Bauer. He dominated the Tigers earlier this week at Comerica Park hurling a complete game shutout while giving up just four hits and striking out eight. He’s faced these Tigers a ton and has surrendered just a .247 BA and .320 wOBA while striking out 26.5% of them. This hasn’t been the season we expected for Bauer but he’s still an upper echelon arm going up against one of the worst offenses in the league. Detroit owns the worst BA at .206, wOBA at .255 and strikeout rate at 28.6 in MLB over the last week.
3) Mike Leake, RHP, Mariners ($8500/$8700) – We’ve been using Leake at a much lower price point lately to great success but tonight presents a challenge. The mid $8K pricetag is a steep price to pay for a guy that doesn’t miss a lot of bats. Now, Leake has pitched extremely well as of late. He has gone seven or more innings in each of his last four starts while piling up 4 quality starts and 3 wins. He’s logged 30 innings, given up 24 hits, 2 BB, 0.87 WHIP and a 2.40 ERA in this stretch. The most impressive aspect of this run is that he’s done it against the A’s, Twins, Astros and Angels who are four of the most difficult matchups in baseball. Tonight he gets the lowly Orioles who own the third worst BA at .218, worst wOBA at .255, second worst ISO at .092 and worst wRC+ at just 53 over the last week. Even though he’s relatively expensive for someone who has only an 8.0% swinging strike rate, he would give us a huge upgrade of four bats here tonight.
4) Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels ($8000/$8500) – Canning has pitched quite well since his callup in late April. To understand just how good Canning has been, consider this. He has the sixth highest strikeout rate on the slate, higher than Walker Buehler, Trevor Bauer and Aaron Nola. He has the same O-Swing% as Chris Sale at 34.8% and the best swinging strike rate of 16.1% of any pitcher on this slate. Tonight he get the struggling Cardinals he own the third worst BA at .210, sixth worst wOBA of .287 and seventh worst strikeout rate of 23.9% over the last seven days. Canning also gets the benefit of facing an NL team and thus the dead spot otherwise known as the pitcher. St. Louis struggles against changeups (worst in MLB) and curveballs (sixth worst) both pitches of which are in Canning’s repertoire.
5) Martin Perez, LHP, Twins ($7800/$7600) – It’s like a flashback seeing Perez’s name back in the Cash Game Breakdown. We feasted off of him in April and early May before his pricetag got too high. But now he is back to underpriced and in a terrific matchup here tonight against the Royals. Perez just faced the Royals on Sunday at Target Field where he went 6.2 innings and surrendered 4 runs on 6 hits while striking out 7. He lost the QS because of an error by Miguel Sano which kept the seventh inning going and leading to two more runs.
6) Eric Lauer, LHP, Padres ($7000/$6200) –A sneaky play here that doesn’t have enough juice for GPP play but is certainly acceptable in cash games. Lauer has pitched well this season. In fact, if you take out his two disasters at Coors Field, he is averaging 30.5 FD points per game this season. The Pirates are sneaky bad against LHP this season. Pittsburgh has the third worst wOBA at .285, sixth worst ISO at .141 and fourth worst wRC+ at 76 against LHP this season.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Globe Life Park –7.5% above average in HR’s, 52.6% above average in 3B in 2019. Was 35.2% above average in runs, 27.3% above average in HR’s, 16.5% above average in 2B, 95.7% above average in 3B in 2018.
2) Miller Park – 4.4% above average in runs, 22.6% above average in HR’s.
3) PNC Park – 9.5% above average in runs, 4.4% above average in HR’s, 28.8% above average in 2B, 43.9% above average in 3B.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Jakob Junis, Royals – .271 BAA, 4.64 xFIP, 1.46 WHIP, 17.2% FB%, 1.63 HR/9, 43.4% hard contact rate.
2) Michael Wacha, Cardinals – .284 BAA, 4.91 xFIP, 1.73 WHIP, 25.0% HR/FB%, 2.10 HR/9, 8.4% swinging strike rate, 40.1% hard contact rate.
3) Jeff Samardzija, Giants – .245 BAA, 5.07 xFIP, 1.30 WHIP, 42.5% FB%, 1.49 HR/9, 41.3% hard contact rate.
4) Ariel Jurado, Rangers – .275 BAA, 4.65 xFIP, 1.41 WHIP, 13.0% HR/FB%, 1.21 HR/9, 7.4% swinging strike rate, 41.2% hard contact rate.
5) Mike Leake, Mariners – .265 BAA, 4.67 xFIP, 37.3% FB%, 19.0% HR/FB%, 8.0% swinging strike rate, 40.7% hard contact rate.
6) Taylor Clarke, Diamondbacks –.279 BAA, 5.20 xFIP, 1.42 WHIP, 41.1% FB%, 15.4% HR/FB%, 1.78 HR/9, 36.1% 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.
Batter v Pitcher
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
C – Yan Gomes, Brian McCann, Roberto Perez, Jonathan Lucroy, Martin Maldonado
1B – Freddie Freeman, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Bell, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Chris Davis
2B – Brian Dozier, Howie Kendrick, Jose Altuve, Rougned Odor, Jose Peraza
3B – Anthony Rendon, Kevin Newman, Manny Machado, Miguel Sano, Eduardo Escobar
SS – Jonthan Villar, Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor
OF – Adam Eaton, Nick Markakis, Michael Brantley, Jake Marisnick, Bryce Harper, Hunter Renfroe, Randal Grichuk, Justin Upton, Lorenzo Cain, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees
- Stephen Vogt, Giants
- Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
- Elias Diaz, Pirates
- Jason Castro, Twins
Sanchez is crushing at Yankee Stadium this season hitting 50 points higher at .295/.352/.674 with 11 HR’s at home. Stephen Vogt is hitting cleanup for the Giants and has done well at Chase Field hitting .333 with 2 HR’s in 18 AB’s. Elias Diaz is a lefty killer as he is slashing to the tune of .316/.333/.395 against them so far this season.
- Max Muncy, Dodgers
- Jose Abreu, White Sox
- Freddie Freeman, Braves
- Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
- Justin Bour, Angels
It will be hard to pay down at 1B here tonight with so many good options at the higher price levels. Muncy is the top dog here but not by much. What puts him over is how bad the Rockies bullpen has been lately surrendering 6 HR and a 9.12 ERA over the last seven days. They is also just one LHP in the Colorado bullpen. Abreu is in a great spot tonight against Ariel Jurado. Over the last five games, Abreu is hitting .429 with a .442 wOBA. Justin Bour will likely be in the lineup again and makes for a good value option tonight. Bour has hit .270/.378/.486 with 2 HR’s at Busch Stadium in his career.
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees
- Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
- Brian Dozier, Nationals
- Rougned Odor, Rangers
- Brock Holt, Red Sox
Gleyber is just out of his face right now having homered in back to back games and knocking in seven runs and scoring five times over the last two games. Marte is also scorching and facing the flyball prone Jeff Samardzija at home tonight. Dozier had two HR’s, a .533 ISO and .425 wOBA over his last four games. Odor always grades out well in my model ever since implementing the six-plus rule. When Odor produces it is in giant waves and he’s at home tonight with the Rangers having the highest expected run total on the board.
- Matt Chapman, A’s
- Manny Machado, Padres
- Rafael Devers, Red Sox
- Josh Donaldson, Braves
- Asdrubal Cabrera, Rangers
Chapman and Machado are both pretty far ahead of the competition at 3B tonight. Chapman is hitting .391 with a .461 wOBA over his last six games and will face the lefty Jalen Beeks tonight. Machado has 6 RBI and 10 runs scored while piling up a .566 wOBA over the last six games. Monitor Rafael Devers tonight as he has a hamstring injury that forced him out of Wednesday’s game. The Ass Dribble is hitting .278/.351/.586 with 11 HR’s at home this season compared to .200/.292/.230 triple slash on the road.
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
- Fernando Tatis Jr, Padres
- Marcus Semien, A’s
- Paul DeJong, Cardinals
- Kevin Newman, Pirates
Bogaerts is sitting in the middle of the second most expected run total tonight and is hitting .364/.516/.591 with just a 6.5% strikeout rate over the last six games. Tatis is going a great job setting the table for this Padres lineup and makes for a nice mini-stack with Manny Machado tonight. Semien will have his first AB come against Ryne Stanek the RH tonight but will see Jalen Beeks after that. Semien owns a .443 wOBA over his last seven games as well.
- Christian Yelich, Brewers
- Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
- David Peralta, Diamondbacks
- Starling Marte, Pirates
- Max Kepler, Twins
- Eloy Jimenez, White Sox
- Mookie Betts, Red Sox
- Tommy Pham, Rays
- Jordan Luplow, Indians
- Bryan Reynolds, Pirates
- Shohei Ohtani, Angels
- Mike Yastrzemski, Giants
We are going to have to get creative in order to get some better value options here tonight. Luplow, Reynolds and Peralta are solid options but if we go Sale, there will need to be a min priced hitter or two in the lineup tonight. Yelich is such an animal at Miller Park that he is the best OF play tonight. The Red Sox, Pirates and Angels are all potential mini-stacks for us tonight. Don’t forget about the Twins either tonight. They have a good matchup against Jakob Junis but the Royals bullpen kept them just off the mainstream at most of the positions tonight.