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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 5th
We have a great group of subs this year. I have to say, you guys are probably the best group of DFS MLB subs we have ever had here and likely the best I’ve ever had at any spot in my career. I was waiting for fury road on Monday when I made the decision to give a few of our core guys the day off with just a three-game slate. But you guys understood.
Then, I was anticipating with the launching of the NFL Draft Guide over on Fantasy Guru, that I’d have to come back to the usual “Mans has checked out and doesn’t care” bullshit in the chat. Maybe a message or two about a shitty play but nope, all fair commentary.
I have to tell you, I really appreciate that. The adversarial relationship between customer and content provider that seems to constantly exist in the DFS industry really doesn’t have to. I can promise all of you that nobody cares more about your winning than we do. I take full responsibility and every single one of our team knows that our marching orders are to do anything to help you guys win. Every now and then though, recharging a battery is the best solution for our long-term strength. So, let’s attack this Wednesday slate.
Let’s get one more thing out of the way here too while we’re at it. I’ve been getting my ass kicked in DFS MLB lately. I haven’t had a winning day/night/slate since last Thursday’s modest take. Yesterday, Ted and I missed on all of our pitchers and his fury at having to use Carlos Gonzalez I think killed our bats. So, to say that I am laser focused on getting back on the sunny side of the street tonight would be an understatement.
We haven’t had a 12 game or larger slate on a Wednesday in a while so this is quite refreshing. The nicer weather across the U.S. and deep lineups around MLB means we have a ton of options to sort through. Last night’s huge outbursts by the Orioles, Marlins and Braves does change things a bit. We need to evaluate whether these were just great matchups for those poor hitting teams or if we need to stay away from the positive regression that might be happening to bottom feeders around the league. That is a question that I have answered throughout this write up if you are paying attention.
Pitching tonight is heavy at the top with Chris Sale, James Paxton and Charlie Morton all in prime spots. We don’t pay up for arms but the ownership across DFS lately suggests we are no longer alone on “Hitter Island” anymore. I’m not ready to abort the mission yet by any means but I am monitoring whether there will be a time that we can get Chris Sale against the Royals at 10% in cash because we might have to take that bait. Again, not now, but I am thinking that I need to shut my mouth about this stuff.
The Rockies are finally away from Coors Field though and the Orioles are also on the road though Globe Life Park won’t make that Orioles pitching staff any better. Still, this is a slate that will mess with the data hounds who only worry about their precious projections. Why? Well, because there are a large amount of games which means a large amount of players. That is 24 lineups to monitor close to gametime. There are weather concerns out there as well. There are a host of quality pitching options too which forces the projection models to take a middle ground.
This greatly helps those of us who like to take the data and put our own reasoning and understanding behind it a healthy advantage. This is a good slate. You are all good people. Let’s get some good ole fashioned cash money tonight.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates –There is a 50% chance of light rain around PNC ballpark throughout the game. It’ll be gloomy but I don’t think anything here will be enough to warrant a cancellation or PPD.
San Francisco Giants at New York Mets –The meteorological term for this would be “pissing rain.” The problem with Citi Field tonight is that the rains don’t seem to let up all the way into early Thursday morning. Watch this one closely though because it’s a west coast team, and a bad one at that, the home team will likely try and get this game played tonight despite a delay.
Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers –Another pissing rain situation but this one is heavier and constant leading up to game time. Watch for a PPD here but if they don’t call it by 5pm ET, they will likely start under a delay and play it entirely once the rain clears out later.
Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians –So. Much. Rain. All day and night in Cleveland making the valued Martin Perez a shaky option to say the least here tonight.
Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals –Storms in Kansas City? No way…ok you caught me. There are some heavy storms forecast for later in the night here so we will need Chris Sale to work fast or the Royals to say nah, bruh quickly to avoid getting trapped here.
- MIL -240
- BOS -215
- NYY -210
- TB -175
- TEX -170
Highest Run Expectancy
- MIL 5.63
- TEX 5.32
- BOS 5.01
- NYY 4.97
- HOU 4.87
Lowest Run Expectancy
- MIA 3.37
- KC 3.46
- TOR 3.52
- DET 3.76
- SF 3.96
Today's Pitchers Grid
1) Chris Sale, LHP, Red Sox ($11,500/$10,600) –Sale hasn’t put up big numbers lately but he’s also been striking out an extreme amount of hitters while also facing some tough competition. Over his last four starts, Sale has faced the Yankees, Rockies and Astros twice. Over those four starts, he’s only thrown 24.1 innings but has struck out 42 hitters. Yet, he has zero wins and only two quality starts to show for it. Tonight he gets an extreme upgrade in matchup facing the Royals who own the fourth worst BA (.231), fifth worst wOBA (.286) and 13th worst strikeout rate (22.4%). Sale has dominated this Kansas City lineup over the years as well allowing just a .217 BA, .259 wOBA and 32.2% strikeout rate to them. He’s going to dominate tonight, but is he worth the price? That is entirely a different question.
2) Charlie Morton, RHP, Rays ($10,400/$11,600) – Morton is just so incredibly consistent that no matter what you know that you’ll be in contention with him. Tonight he draws the Tigers who own the fourth worst BA (.227), fourth worst wOBA (.288) and second worst strikeout rate (26.2%) in MLB this season. What makes this matchup even better is fastball and slider usage. Detroit is fourth worst in MLB against the fastball and Morton throws a four seamer with the 7th most horizontal movement and a two seamer (sinker) with the fourth most horizontal movement. Those two pitches represent over half of his pitches while also mixing in a slider that the Tigers are third worst in the league against and a curveball that they are eighth worst against.
3) James Paxton, LHP, Yankees ($10,000/$11,300) – A rare slate in which all three of the top end pitchers are in play. I worry about how far Paxton will be allowed to go but he is working on eight days rest coming into this matchup. Despite spending three weeks on the IL list this year, Paxton has the best strikeout rate on the slate at 34.9%, the best swinging strike rate 14.9% and the fifth best first strike rate of 64.5%. It comes down to two pitches for Paxton tonight. He throws his four seam fastball 60% of the time. The pitch features the 14th highest velocity and eighth highest swing rate in MLB. The Blue Jays the worst team in MLB against four seam fastballs this season. The Jays are also dead last in MLB against the curveball and Paxton throws his 23% of the time and gets the 14th most whiffs with it.
4) Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Brewers ($8500/$8200) – How in the fudge is Jimmy Nelson this expensive tonight against the Marlins? I was counting on him being in the $7800 range, so this is higher than I wanted to go. He is still cash game viable but this price and the fact that the Marlins banged out 16 runs last night against this Brewers staff does give me some pause. Nelson was doing well in his four minor league starts going 3-0 with a 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 29 K’s in 24 innings. I’m not worried about these Marlins bats even after the huge onslaught last night. They still own the worst wOBA of .281 and fourth worst BA of .237 in MLB this season.
5) Kevin Gausman, RHP, Braves ($6500/$6700) – Many will be put off by Gausman’s last start where he gave up 8 earned runs in just one inning against the Nationals. But if you’ve been listening to the Elite Sports show on SiriusXM this week, you know that in my DFS MLB strategy sessions I’ve been talking a lot about important stats to identify pitchers who are pitching better than their baseline numbers suggest. For instance, Gausman’s 4.47 xFIP and 3.43 FIP make his robust 5.56 ERA look very unlucky. Gausman also owns a 62.8% first strike rate which is well above the MLB average. His 23.6% strikeout rate is same as German Marquez and his 13.2% swinging strike rate is fourth best on the slate. Gausman will bounce back fine against the Pirates and at this ultra-low price, will afford us any bats that we want to use tonight.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Miller Park – 4.7% above average in runs, 30.8% above average in HR’s.
2) PNC Park – 14.3% above average in runs, 3.9% above average in HR’s, 33.9% above average in 2B, 202.4% above average in 3B.
3) Rogers Center –6.0% above average in runs, 53.6% above average in HR’s, 221.4% above average in 3B.
4) Angel Stadium –9.8% above average in runs, 30.9% above average in HR’s.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Daniel Mengden, A’s – 5.65 xFIP, 1.50 WHIP, 41.7% FB%, 7.4% swinging strike rate, 46.7% hard contact rate.
2) Mike Leake, Mariners – .279 BAA, 4.71 xFIP, 20.5% HR/FB%, 2.23 HR/9, 7.9% swinging strike rate, 39.5% hard contact rate.
3) Jakob Junis, Royals – .270 BAA, 4.45 xFIP, 1.44 WHIP, 18.2% HR/FB%, 1.60 HR/9, 42.2% hard contact rate.
4) Jason Vargas, Mets – .257 BAA, 5.48 xFIP, 1.51 WHIP, 40.5% FB%, 1.24 HR/9, 7.1% swinging strike rate, 44.3% hard contact rate.
5) Tyler Beede, Giants – .339 BAA, 5.35 xFIP, 2.37 WHIP, 1.42 HR/9, 16.7% HR/FB%, 35.7% 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 – Jason Castro, Buster Posey, Robinson Chirinos
1B – Carlos Santana, CJ Cron, Brandon Belt, Paul Goldschmidt, Albert Pujols
2B – Jason Kipnis, Daniel Descalso
3B – Matt Carpenter, Miguel Sano, Nolan Arenado, Kyle Seager, Jose Ramirez
SS – Jorge Polanco
OF – Starling Marte, Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, Curtis Granderson, Marcell Ozuna, Mike Trout
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Pedro Severino, Orioles
- Wilson Ramos, Mets
- Matt Wieters, Cardinals
- Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees
Severino hit three homeruns in his first career game at Globe Life Park last night and faces a LHP tonight in Mike Minor. Severino hits almost 100 points higher against southpaws with a .270/.348/.430 against them. Ramos has a .384 wOBA over his last five games and draws the lowly Tyler Beede tonight. Wieters has been crushing since Yadier Molina went on the IL hitting 2 HR and posting a .497 wOBA over his last four games. Grandal has a triple slash of .375/.412/.688 over his last four games.
- Freddie Freeman, Braves
- Eric Thames, Brewers
- Matt Olson, A’s
- Carlos Santana, Indians
- Logan Forsythe, Rangers
Freeman is a stud and Joe Musgrove hasn’t been able to get anybody out over his last four starts. Freeman has an extreme zone matchup against Musgroves suddenly flat slider that is gliding down and in to LHH and right into Freeman’s wheelhouse. Thames is getting regular time for Milwaukee lately and destroys high velocity fastballs which is Sandy Alcantara’s only move. I’m always nervous about BvP when the pitcher (or hitter) has made changes to their approach. Santana has destroyed Martin Perez over the years and is great against LHP, but I’d probably fade in cash and use in GPP only tonight.
- Mike Moustakas, Brewers
- Derek Dietrich, Reds
- Jurickson Profar, A’s
- Brandon Lowe, Rays
- Hanser Alberto, Orioles
Very odd to have 12 games tonight yet really just two 2B that qualify over our regular cash line tonight. Moustakas is clearly the best option but is pretty expensive. Dietrich technically is under the cash model line here but gets a boost thanks to our six-plus metric and his zone matchup against Hudson’s sinker. I’m guessing that I will have a lot of Profar tonight as he is crazy cheap and has reached base safely in each of his last nine games. Hanser Alberto had four hits last night and is a contact machine at the top of the Baltimore lineup.
- Nolan Arenado, Rockies
- Jose Ramirez, Indians
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Vladimir Guerrero JR, Blue Jays
- Rafael Devers, Red Sox
Arenado is in a class all of his own whether he is at home or not. The rest of the third basemen tonight are quite interesting. Jose Ramirez is hitless over his last three games but if you’ve been watching the games you know that is not the full story. This guy is hitting the ball hard and the data backs that up. A 47.8% flyball rate combined with a 52.6% hard contact rate is usually something you see in a super-hot stretch for a hitter. J-Ram’s price is so low that he is actually a value play for us tonight.
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Javier Baez, Cubs
- Willy Adames, Rays
- Elvis Andrus, Rangers
It’ll be hard to go wrong with anyone at the top at shortstop here tonight. Bogaerts and Bregman are both in sensational spots but Boggy gets the nod. Bogaerts hits .390/.472/.627 over his career at Kauffman Stadium. Baez crushes Colorado pitching including three hits and a homerun last night. If you’re going to pay down at SS tonight the best value option by far is Willy Adames who also hit a HR last night and has been coming up big for the Rays since moving to the middle of the order.
- Shohei Ohtani, Angels
- Avisail Garcia, Rays
- Christian Yelich, Brewers
- Josh Reddick, Astros
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Ronald Acuna, Braves
- Michael Conforto, Mets
- Kevin Pillar, Giants
- Keon Broxton, Orioles
- Hunter Pence, Rangers
- Jordan Luplow, Indians
- Michael Brantley, Astros
I love it when we get some value options that actually grade out on top like we have with both Ohtani and Avisail Garcia tonight. Garcia terrorizes the Tigers especially at Comerica Park and Ohtani made a step adjustment in his swing which resulted in him getting to the outside fastball last night and depositing it over the CF wall. Kevin Pillar and Jordan Luplow are a couple of the likely value plays in the outfield here tonight as both crush LHP.