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
- Hitting Coach (Vlad Sedler) – 11am 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, July 12th
Do you guys realize how far ahead of the common MLB fan or heck, even the Commissioner of MLB we in the DFS community are? Did it really take Justin Verlander coming out against the new baseball for most people to understand that the game has changed drastically? I mean…REALLY?!?!
Remember back on April 17thwhen I announced that this season appeared to be all about the bats? Turns out the ability to identify trends BEFORE they are widely known is a skill and something that can make us all wealthier. I’ve spent this All-Star Break doing a lot of NFL writing but also listening to many sports reporters give “shocking” results of the amounts of homeruns hit so far in 2019. We have a problem in the sports reporting and broadcasting universe folks and that everybody is afraid to take a chance and/or they are so out of the loop of the day to day that the common fan is more aware. Either way it’s both alarming and exciting. On one hand, we are on our own to get any sort of reliable information and analysis. On the other, we are going to straight up gut these fish that need 90 games to figure out that homeruns are at an all-time high.
I just had to get that off of my chest, so I thank you all for indulging me that and for reading it. Tonight, baseball is back and specifically our wonderful world of DFS MLB. I am still in baseball mode even though the football season is right around the corner. Starting next week you guys will be seeing less of me and for some of you that is good, because, well, you’re mean. For others you are going to get pissed and say that I ditched you. But remember, I am ALWAYS here. I will be talking DFS MLB everyday on the radio between 2-4pm ET. I have an open Twitter account for you to follow and ask questions @Jeff_Mans. I will be popping in the DFS MLB chat room a couple of times a week until late August as well. But most importantly, this Cash Game Breakdown here. This is my baby and I take family very fucking seriously. When I am not here, you’ll be getting Ted Schuster, Kenneth Le or Scott Bondar in this space. These are my guys. I hired each one of them. I trust each one of them immensely. I know each of them to be smart, talented, hard-working and most importantly dedicated to our subs here at Elite Fantasy. They are my voice when I am not here just as I am their voice when I am here. We are going to continue to smash the cash game scene because nobody does this the way that we do.
Tonight, there is a 13-game slate across MLB that features just one true stud pitcher on the mound in Gerrit Cole. The late addition of Domingo German against the Blue Jays has added to the higher end drama especially where he is over $10K on Draftkings. But, much like the entire first half of the season we are going to have to rely on bats to carry us to the promised land tonight.
Oh, at there are plenty of big sticks to be carried around tonight. The Reds visiting Coors Field will obviously headline the hitter charts tonight, but the Rays in Camden Yards and Dodgers/Red Sox series carry quite a bit of interest to us as well. We don’t have hot-streaks to play off of tonight either since it’s been nearly a week since any of these teams played a game. All that does is hurt our opponents who have one less crutch to hold them up this evening.
You guys know that I love DFS MLB Friday’s and today is no exception. It’s only been a week since my last Cash Game Breakdown but somehow it feels much longer. Let’s get back into that mid-season form by #SmashingFriday once again tonight.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
No worries about delays or postponements today! It will be rather hot across much of the Midwest including Coors Field, Kansas City and St. Louis. The ball is going to travel tonight so be ready!!
- NYY -275
- HOU -190
- MIL -180
- OAK -180
- LAA -160
Highest Run Expectancy
- NYY 6.82
- COL 6.24
- CIN 5.76
- LAA 5.70
- BOS 5.56
- HOU 5.54
Lowest Run Expectancy
- NYM 3.66
- TOR 3.89
- MIA 3.90
- TEX 4.04
- SF 4.07
- CHW 4.09
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) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Astros ($11,400/$11,500) – I mean…Cole is the best pure pitcher on the slate and in a matchup that has his team as a -190 favorite on the road. One of the things I am most proud of in my DFS models is the adaptability. Remember that almost every pitcher going tonight is pitching on extended rest. When you run their numbers on extended rest, most of these guys including Gerrit Cole, put up even better numbers. So, plugging in those numbers we get different values than we are accustomed to seeing. Now, Cole’s value is still at the $11.5K mark here but at least its viable. The Rangers have the third worst strikeout rate in MLB at 25.9%. Cole has dominated these Rangers bats throughout his career also to the tune of a .218 BA and .291 wOBA with a 35.5% strikeout rate. He dominated the Rangers in his last start against them striking out 12 in six innings back on May 11th. If you’re paying up tonight, Cole is your guy.
Mid-Tier (High End)
2) Domingo German, RHP, Yankees ($8600/$10,100) – Come on, Draftkings! German is at a terrific price tonight on FD where we can pay up for two additional bats while still feeling very good without elite strikeout arm on the mound against an inferior opponent. Remember last week when I recommended German against the Mets at a slightly lesser price? Well he struck out six in six innings en route to a 43 FD point performance while throwing 80 pitches. Now, after that outing and on extended rest he should be good to ratchet it up to about 90 or maybe even 100 pitches tonight against the Blue Jays. Toronto owns the second worst BA of .232, fourth worst wOBA of .301 and sixth worst strikeout rate of 24.4% in all MLB this season. Five innings of German tonight against the Blue Jays should easily pay off his FD salary while we may need to get that sixth for it to be worth it on DK.
3) Danny Duffy, LHP, Royals ($7900/$6800) – The prices are all over the place here tonight so the order in which pitchers are listed here today would really fluctuate depending on which site you play on. I’ve never been a Danny Duffy guy, but we can’t ignore that he’s been pretty good as of late. Duffy is averaging 30.4 FD points per outing over his last five which includes a stinker against the Mariners back on June 17th. But that start was his only non-quality start and another of those starts was against these Tigers whom he gave up just two earned runs against while striking out seven in seven innings. He’s definitely “ok’ on FD tonight but I would prefer using Duffy on DK at this $1100 discount.
4) Yonny Chirinos, RHP, Rays ($6800/$8400) –Insane pricing difference here tonight. Technically, he still grades out in the top six price per dollar on DK tonight but obviously I much prefer Chirinos on FD tonight. Chirinos has been fire lately firing off six consecutive quality starts yet only generating one win out of the deal. Still, he’s averaging 34 FD points per outing. The Rays have noticed that Chirinos is actually much better starting games than coming in after an opener. He’s 4-4 with a 2.89 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 63 K’s over 74.2 innings this season. As a reliever he does have 3 wins but a 3.91 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and just 18 K’s in 25.1 innings.
5) Jason Vargas, LHP, Mets ($6800/$7800) – A couple of weeks ago we were stacking against Vargas and now here we are thinking about using him in cash game. #America. The bottom line is that Vargas offers little in terms of upside. His first pitch strike rate of 57.5%, swinging strike rate of 9.0% and strikeout rate of 20.6% all stink like the shit of a dog. But then you go deeper and see that he’s limiting homeruns to just 1.13 HR/9 and getting 42% groundballs. He’s also averaging 33.7 FD points per start over his last seven which include starts against the Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies and Yankees twice. Tonight, he draws the team with the worst wOBA of .278 against LHP in all MLB in the Marlins. When we pay down this much, we aren’t going to get a ton of strikeouts or complete game shutouts. We just need someone to give us 5-6 innings, limit the damage and hopefully squeak out a win.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) Coors Field – 64.1% above average in runs, 34.5% above average in HR’s, 33.6% above average in 2B, 214.0% above average in 3B.
2) Camden Yards – 12.6% above average in runs, 37.0% above average in HR’s, 4.8% above average in 2B, 30.6% above average in 3B.
3) Angel Stadium –4.3% above average in runs, 20.7% above average in HR’s.
4) Globe Life Park –3.2% above average in runs, 7.7% above average in HR’s, 14.8% above average in 3B.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Adam Wainwright, Cardinals – .254 BAA, 4.30 xFIP, 1.38 WHIP, 17.1% HR/FB%, 1.23 HR/9, 7.3% swinging strike rate, 42.1% hard contact rate.
2) Mike Leake, Mariners – .272 BAA, 4.55 xFIP, 35.5% FB%, 17.3% HR/FB%, 1.81 HR/9, 7.9% swinging strike rate, 40.6% hard contact rate.
3) Jesse Chavez, Rangers – .242 BAA, 4,23 xFIP, 34.1% FB%, 13.1% HR/FB%, 1.15 HR/9, 6.2% swinging strike rate, 40.3% hard contact rate.
4) Shaun Anderson, Giants – .274 BAA,4.60 xFIP, 1.41 WHIP, 13.0% HR/FB%, 6.7% swinging strike rate, 39.8% hard contact rate.
5) Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays –.285 BAA, 5.33 xFIP, 1.75 WHIP, 17.1% HR/FB%, 1.37 HR/9, 37.6% hard contact rate.
6) Mike Fiers, A’s – 5.42 xFIP, 42.0% FB%, 1.26 HR/9, 7.6% swinging strike rate, 38.5% 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 – Russell Martin, Roberto Perez, Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy
1B – Logan Forsythe, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Eric Hosmer
2B – Jason Kipnis, Starlin Castro, Scooter Gennett, Ian Kinsler, Derek Dietrich
3B – Jose Ramirez, Miguel Sano, Yuli Gurriel, Gordon Beckham, Eugenio Suarez
SS – Alex Bregman, Trea Turner, Didi Gregorius, Francisco Lindor Gordon Beckham, Elvis Andrus, Andrelton Simmons
OF – Avisail Garcia, Kevin Kiermaier, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, Dexter Fowler, Nick Castellanos, Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout, Justin Upton
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees
- Omar Narvaez, Mariners
- Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
- Wilson Ramos, Mets
- Jorge Alfaro, Marlins
Sanchez limped into the All-Star Break but had a double and run scored in Tuesday’s All-Star Game and is at home tonight where he hits .289/.341/.645 compared to .207/.293/.479 on the road. The Yankees are the biggest favorites on the board and have the highest run expectancy even with Coors Field in play tonight. Narvaez doesn’t have the power of Sanchez or Grandal but projects for the most hits/on base chances against the Angels bounty of right handed pitching. Note:If Stephen Vogt is in tonight’s lineup for the Giants he would make for a sneaky value option behind the plate. Vogt hurt his knee on Sunday and his status hasn’t been updated since.
- Joey Votto, Reds
- Matt Olson, A’s
- Yuli Gurriel, Astros (3B on FD)
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners
Daniel Murphy is also in play tonight at Coors Field but Votto is the 1B who draws the top spot for cash games. The knowledge of the strikezone, low ball hitting ability, recent power surge and tremendous career numbers against Jon Gray (.583 BA) give him top billing tonight. Matt Olson was crushing before the break and gets Ivan Nova tonight who has surrendered a .321/.358/.545 to LHH so far this season. Yuli Gurriel owns a .767 ISO with 7 HR’s over his last 7 games and has destroyed Jesse Chavez over his career.
- Derek Dietrich, Reds
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
- Keston Hiura, Brewers
- Jason Kipnis, Indians
Dietrich is still eligible at 2B on both sites and his quite cheap despite playing at Coors against a RHP tonight. Dietrich hits a cool .560 with 3 HR & 6 2B in 6 career games in Coors Field. Altuve and his Astros teammates will be popular against Jesse Chavez and the Rangers bullpen tonight. Jason Kipnis is real cheap and owns a career 14-33 (.424) line against Kyle Gibson along with a ridiculous 11 BB (.568 OBP).
- Nolan Arenado, Rockies
- Manny Machado, Padres
- Vlad Guerrero Jr, Blue Jays
- Eugenio Suarez, Reds
- Jeimer Candelario, Tigers
Both of the Coors Field 3B are in play for us tonight but its Arenado who drew the top spot by a pretty good margin. Manny Machado entered the break raking and he’s done severe damage against LHP this season hitting .375/.462/.804 with 7 HR against them so far. He has been specifically great against low cutters and changeups which are two of Keuchel’s main pitches. We cannot ignore what Vlad Guerrero did in the HR Derby on Monday. He was heating up going into the break and got a lot of workout during the Derby. He’s cheap in DFS still and at a very HR friendly ballpark.
- Fernando Tatis, Padres
- Trevor Story, Rockies
- Adalberto Mondesi, Royals
- Didi Gregorius, Yankees
- Chris Taylor, Dodgers
Tatis is another darling of my 6+ metric that measures players solely by their ability to do the non-minimum point rewarded fantasy events. The Story/Arenado pair will once again be popular tonight despite going against right handed starter and bullpen. Didi gets a bump up for being at Yankees Stadium and his 7-18 (.389) line against Aaron Sanchez over his career. Chris Taylor at Fenway against a lefty starter is a great value option for us here.
- Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
- Shohei Ohtani, Angels
- Yordan Alvarez, Astros
- Hunter Renfroe, Padres
- Yasiel Puig, Reds
- Tommy Pham, Rays
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Franmil Reyes, Padres
- Mookie Betts, Red Sox
- Jesse Winker, Reds
- Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
- Michael Brantley, Astros
The outfield is pretty centered around certain teams here tonight. Charlie Blackmon smashes in Coors and is coming off a near MVP performance at the All-Star Game earlier in the week. There are the Angels outfielders that are literally all in play tonight with Ohtani rating just a tad higher than Trout even exclusively because of price. The Astros OF are also in terrific spots here tonight at Globe Life Park. If you want lower owned possibilities, the Padres outfield of Renfroe, Franmil and even Manny Margot are all solid choices here today.