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) – OFF
- 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
I’m back. It was a whirlwind week of DFS, travel, shows, drafts, baseball and football but I am here and ready to grind through a very limited slate of DFS MLB for all of you. I want to give a big thank you to Scott Bondar, who did a heck of a good job last Thursday on the Cash Game Breakdown for us and you can rest assured that we will be seeing Scott on more as we go forward.
Speaking of “forward,” I want to remind everybody that we expect nothing but full attention from each of our DFS analysts. That is why each summer, I eventually do less Cash Game Breakdowns as my NFL duties pull my attention away. I would never, ever short change you folks or give you an inferior product by pretending my focus is on everything. That is impossible and anybody who tells you that is lying, an idiot or both.
But as I start migrating to the NFL sun, I want you guys to understand that Ted Schuster and Kenneth Le each have my EXACT blueprint of player grades and cash game ratings. The three of us have been working together for over five years now and even though we will interpret certain data slightly different, the breakdowns will be the same. We are bringing Scott Bondar into this “circle of cash game trust” which means you can also trust him explicitly. I will literally be using their breakdowns for my own personal play and there is no way in fucking HELL I would do that with anyone that I didn’t trust. So, please be cool to them and don’t think that because it’s not me that somehow anything is different. Every year we go through this and I am telling you that you won’t miss a beat.
I am here now and will be through the All-Star Break at the very least. Tonight, we have just a five-game slate to go over which is not a good cash game slate. We are not going to be able to build a quality cash game lineup tonight. That is just a fact. But, there is money out there to be won and since single entry 50/50’s are our best chance of winning, we are going to break this one down.
Pitching is absolutely garbage tonight. Seriously, it is almost comical the names we have to decipher here. Mike Minor is the best name out there but is paying $11K for a pitcher who will be significantly owned against a team that never strikes out ideal? I am not so sure. The rest of the pitchers have more warts than a Tommy G threesome, so we will have to do quite a bit of digging to uncover one that will hurt us least.
As bad as the pitching is you would think that we’d have a ton of great hitter options tonight but that is not quite the case either. There are plenty of pitchers to attack, but not the sure things we would hope for. Still, this slate will be won with the hitters so let’s make sure to attack the right spots.
Usually a smaller slate like this would mean less work but I am not going to bullshit any of you…this was a tough one. But, I’m confident in the weapons we’ve put together here so let’s get to it.
Here is the DFS MLB Cash Game Breakdown for Monday.
No weather issues. It will be hotter in Cincinnati than in Arlington Texas though so plan accordingly.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center
1) Tampa Bay Rays: -190
2) San Diego Padres: -165
3) Texas Rangers: -140
4) Chicago Cubs: -115
Highest Run Expectancy
1) Tampa Bay Rays – 5.65
2) Texas Rangers – 5.32
3) Cincinnati Reds – 5.03
4) Milwaukee Brewers – 4.97
5) Chicago Cubs – 4.80
Lowest Run Expectancy
1) San Francisco Giants – 3.49
2) Baltimore Orioles – 3.74
3) San Diego Padres – 4.51
4) Los Angeles Angels – 4.68
5) Pittsburgh Pirates – 4.70
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)|
TODAY’S BEST PITCHERS
1.Mike Minor, LHP, Rangers ($10,800/$10,500) –Minor really is tempting here on this particular slate because he should be priced much, much higher at around $13K real value. So, at this price he is really quite a bargain. The problem is finding quality value bats on an already thin slate. More on that later on in this writeup. Minor’s breakout season can be attributed to a few different factors. First of all, he has added velocity to his fastball something he learned while pitching out of the bullpen back in 2017 and has been able to sustain it as a starter. Secondly, his changeup has become world class registering the seventh most horizontal movement and sixth most vertical movement in all of MLB. He’s throwing his slider and change with the same arm angle and deception, but the speeds and breaks are completely different which keeps hitters completely guessing. He is getting them to take the spinners while offering at the sliders and changeups that fall out of the zone. This leads to more groundballs, weak contact and swinging strikes. The biggest problem with tonight’s opponent in the Angels is that they do not strikeout. The lack of strikeouts, strong RH hitters in Trout and Upton along with very favorable hitting conditions at Globe Life Park are less than ideal for the obvious best pitcher of the evening.
2) Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs ($7500/$6400) – Alzolay has earned himself another start for the Cubs after a modest first start against the Braves. In two outings at the big league level he has logged 8.2 innings and only given up two hits while striking out nine. Alzolay only has three pitches, a mid-90’s fourseam fastball, a sharp 11-5 curveball that has major downward bite and a developing changeup that is starting to play up. I really like the movement of his repertoire and the deception in his delivery. He has front level starter material but hasn’t quite learned how to control it all yet. But a manager like Joe Maddon and catcher like Wilson Contreras will be able to harness what is working and what is not during the course of the game. Alzolay has swing and miss stuff so the strikeouts will be there. If he can limit the free passes, he’ll be able to go deeper into games. The deeper he goes, the more strikeouts, quality starts and wins he will generate. The Cubs are going to beat up on Trevor Williams and the Pirates bullpen tonight. I’ll take the upside play here tonight with the rookie right-hander at this low price cause he is the one that can rack up the type of points we would chase from Mike Minor.
3) Ryan Yarbrough, LHP, Rays ($6600/$6500) – Yarbroughis going to come in after the opener Ryne Stanek tonight against the Orioles. The Rays are heavy favorites here tonight against the worst team in MLB in the Orioles. Baltimore owns the firth worst wOBA at .302, seventh worst BA at .242, fifth worst wRC+85 and sixth worst ISO at .160. By coming in after the top of the order, Yarbrough will be facing the worst part of this bad order for the first couple innings. He’s racked up back to back 30-point performances while earning the win in each effort. All we would look to get out of Yarbrough tonight is 20 FD points with 23 being a huge win at this price.
1) Great American Ball Park – 15.1% above average in runs, 16.3% above average in HR’s, 5.9% above average in 2B.
2) PNC Park –11.8% above average in runs, 25.0% above average in 2B, 47.1% above average in 3B.
3) Globe Life Park –3.9% above average in runs, 9.5% above average in HR’s, 39.5% above average in 3B.
PITCHERS TO TARGET AGAINST
1) Clayton Richard, Blue Jays – .301 BAA, 5.72 xFIP, 1.69 WHIP, 29.6% HR/FB%, 2.30 HR/9, 5.5% swinging strike rate, 38.9% hard contact rate.
2) Glenn Sparkman, Royals (early game) – .258 BAA, 5.49 xFIP, 36.8% FB%, 14.3% HR/FB%, 1.63 HR/9, 6.8% swinging strike rate, 40.8% hard contact rate.
3) Jose Suarez, Angels – .272 BAA, 5.82 xFIP, 1.48 WHIP, 54.8% FB%, 17.6% HR/FB%, 2.57 HR/9, 37.1% hard contact rate.
4) Jeff Samardzija, Giants – .248 BAA, 5.08 xFIP, 43.1% FB%, 12.8% HR/FB%, 1.51 HR/9, 40.9% 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)
BATTER VS. PITCHER
C – Wilson Contreras, Jonathan Lucroy
1B – Lucas Duda, Trey Mancini, Eric Thames, Eric Hosmer
2B – David Fletcher
3B – Kris Bryant, Manny Machado
SS – None
OF – Kyle Schwarber, Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout
For More BvP info check out ourBvP Matchup Page
OVERALL HITTER RANKINGS
1) Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
2) Wilson Contreras, Cubs
3) Francisco Meija, Padres
Notes: Grandal hit a HR from the right side over the weekend but I prefer using him only when he is hitting left handed. Tonight, he gets Tyler Mahle who gives up a .282/.333/.563 slash line, .371 wOBA and 11 HR’s to left handed hitters so far this year. I’m going to be all-in with these Cubs bats tonight against Trevor Williams and Contreras fills a hole at a very thin position. Mejia draws the flyball prone Jeff Samardzija tonight while he is carrying an ISO of .429 coming into this game.
1) Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
2) Eric Thames, Brewers
3) Eric Hosmer, Padres
Notes: Rizzo shreds in PNC Park throughout his career. He owns a .319/.415/.598 triple slash with 14 HR’s, 20 2B and 40 RBI in Pittsburgh. Thames has been crushing lately to the tune of a .667 ISO, .603 wOBA and 279 wRC+ over his last five games. Tyler Mahle has real issues against left handed hitters as noted above while the Red bullpen has surrendered a 44.1% hard contact rate over their last seven games. Hosmer is on fire as well hitting .526 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and just a 10.5% strikeout rate over his last four games.
1) Mike Moustakas, Brewers (2B/3B on DK)
2) Hanser Alberto, Orioles
3) Brandon Lowe, Rays
Notes:Moustakas is still 2B eligible on FD despite Keston Hiura being recalled over the weekend. As tempting as Hiura is, we really want the LHH against Tyler Mahle tonight. Quick question: who currently lead MLB in batting average against LHP this season? The answer is Hanser Alberto with a .417 average. Alberto is likely to see southpaw Ryan Yarbrough a couple of times here tonight. Lowe is the only other viable power bat at 2B tonight and will face the atrocious Tom Eshelman who had a 1.70 WHIP, 6.28 ERA and 4 HR in 28.2 minor league innings.
1) Manny Machado, Padres
2) Yandy Diaz, Rays
3) Danny Santana, Rangers (2B/OF on DK)
4) Colin Moran, Pirates
Notes:Machado is not only the top 3B tonight but the top overall player in our hitter model. He’s on such an incredible heater that he’s racked up double digit DFS point total in all but two games over the past 17 games with one of those being a 9.2. In fact, Machado is averaging an incredible 23.6 FD points per game over his last 15 ballgames. Yandy Diaz is a bit less than Machado tonight and has 5 hits over his last 9 at-bats. The Rays also have the highest expected run total year tonight.
1) Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres
2) Jonathan Villar, Orioles
3) Javier Baez, Cubs
Notes: Tatis has been ridiculous over the last week.He owns a ridiculous .467/.579/1.13 triple slash with 3 HR’s, 3 SB’s, 5 RBI and 7 runs scored over the last five games. Villar is a sneaky good play tonight against the Stanek/Yarbrough combo as he owns a .552 wOBA and .333 ISO over his last four games. Baez hits real well at PNC as well owning a .322/.362/.500 triple slash over his career there.
1) Christian Yelich, Brewers
2) Franmil Reyes, Padres
3) Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
4) Mike Trout, Angels
5) Tommy Pham, Rays
6) Kevin Pillar, Giants
7) Corey Dickerson, Pirates
8) Jason Heyward, Cubs
Notes: The outfield position is a microcosm for this slate as a whole. We want to invest in Brewers lefties, Cubs lefties especially Schwarber and Heyward who are hot right now, Angels righties and those Padres hard hitting flyball hitters. That leaves us with the list you see above.