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, July 5th
Martin Perez was a pitching change from this morning in a great spot. The weather is a bit of a question mark. It could have a late start but should play without a problem but some risk.
Happy four day weekend everybody!! Wait…not everybody has a four-day weekend? Some of us are up working while still picking firework dust out of our hair? For those of you who are off today and enjoying your hangover, congrats! For those of you who are either on your way or already at work, be proud!
As usual, I am representing all of you today. You see, I have spent my entire holiday researching last 7, 14 & 30 days of BABIP and trying to figure out who the hell Austin Voth is. But at the same time, I am just a couple of hours away from jet setting my way across the country on a mini vacation with the family. Notice that I am taking off right in time for the MLB All-Star Break and that while “away” I will be digging into the type of offense Kellen Moore is going to run with the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming season. There is no rest in this business.
Since I will be on a plane later today, Ted Schuster and Ray Flowers will be hosting the Elite Sports Show on SiriusXM and DC & Vlad will be doing tonight’s DFS MLB Livestream. If you need any cash game help while I am in the air, Ted Schuster has vowed to jump in the chat for us and make sure we are all updated tonight. This is what having a great team is all about.
Speaking of the All-Star Break, that is a great time to get going on your NFL & Fantasy Football research. We have everything you need already ready and waiting on Fantasy Guru and our DFS Product is waiting for you right here as well. In fact, here is a little discount for those of you rocking cash games tonight. I will be back and rejuvenated when baseball resumes next week though don’t worry.
This is a weird slate tonight. There are only 13 total games today which is quite light for a Friday in Summer. But it is still our best overall slate of the week for cash game purposes so we will definitely take it. We finally have a good mix of high end, mid-tier and value pitchers going tonight as well which all but confirms that this is going to be a huge night for the #EliteMafia.
At the top we have Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and Jacob deGrom who will each command some attention even at a high price point. Those of you who follow my pitching model will surely identify a couple of my personal favorite mid-tier options in Eduardo Rodriguez and Dylan Bundy in positive environments. The value end took a bit of digging to find the right pitch mix matchups but I definitely have a pretty strong lean that you will read about shortly.
Unlike most of this week, we don’t have Coors Field or any real must invest teams or lineups here tonight. Again, this is tremendous for our cash game purposes as we will likely be building our lineups around mini-stacks and one offs this evening. When everybody playing DFS is charging to the exact same teams and ballparks it usually winds up hurting us in cash games. When we have a 13 game slate the day after a holiday in which many of our competitors got hammered and will be setting lineups while sitting on or bent over the toilet, it is a good day for cash games.
So, let’s waste no more time and get to it. Remember our credo #SmashFriday and let’s hope that this only pertains to our DFS MLB lineups and not the fuselage of a Boeing 737.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
Kansas City Royals at Washington Nationals –Crazy hot & humid which could create pop up storms. There is a 25% chance of rain as of this writing which normally wouldn’t be a problem but this is the Nationals who love cancelling games.
Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves –More humidity and light rain possible but nothing that should impact the ballgame.
Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins –Current models right now suggest there could be a heavy rainstorm around 7pm CT when this game is scheduled to start. So, a delay is possible but nothing that would cause a cancellation.
- ATL -200
- NYM -200
- LAD -185
- HOU -175
- ARI -175
- WAS -170
Highest Run Expectancy
- MIN 5.78
- ATL 5.69
- WAS 5.65
- HOU 5.27
- ARI 5.23
- BOS 5.20
Lowest Run Expectancy
- PHI 3.44
- SD 3.52
- LAA 3.73
- COL 3.77
- TB 4.20
- SF 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) Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros ($11,000/$12,000) –It’s quite a logjam at the top of the pitcher heap here today. Verlander gets the nod even though he is the most expensive arm on the board and facing a team that strikes out the least in MLB. But, JV absolutely dominates this Angels team over the years to the tune of a .178 BA, .265 wOBA and a 29.7% strikeout rate. Even Mike Trout is only hitting .132 with 11 K’s in 38 career AB’s against Verlander. He faced the Angels earlier this year and “only” measured 7 K’s in 6.1 innings in a victory for the Astros. I am nervous about this matchup as the Angels seem like a more energetic team after the passing of Tyler Skaggs.
2) Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers ($10,200/$10,700) – Kershaw in cash, baby. I’ve written the same refrain a dozen times already this year but obviously he is not quite the same pitcher he was a year or two ago. But the thing we have to remember is that nobody is. Pitching is way down in 2019 and Kershaw has been similarly affected. But only need one hand to count the number of pitchers who have been as consistent as the Dodgers lefty has been this year. He hasn’t gone less than six innings in any start this season and only missed the quality start in three of his 14 starts this season. Like Verlander, Kershaw has a tougher matchup than we would like here against the Padres but they are the third largest favorites on the board for good reason.
3) Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Red Sox ($8100/$8700) – E-Rods numbers have slipped a bit lately but he still grades out much higher on my board than his $8K price tag here tonight. Even when I take a neutral opponent, he should be in the $8800+ range based on his skills and previous performance. His 65% first pitch strike rate, 11.8% swinging strike rate, 24.3% strikeout rate, 43.7% groundball rate and 28.4% hard contact rate against are all real good numbers. When you factor in, he’s been doing this against real tough opponents like the Yankees, Twins, Rays and Astros which he’s faced in five of his last seven starts. Tonight he draws the awful Detroit Tigers who own the worst BA at .232, second worst wOBA at .287 and worst strikeout rate at 26.0% in MLB this season.
4) Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves ($7500/$6600) – For those of you who have said that my pitching model is weighted on “recency” this one is for you. Teheran has pitched like shit over his last three starts, two of which were against the Mets and other against the Cubs. But I am pretty sure that these outings were simply bad matchups for Teheran specifically because his changeup has not been working. This allows him to get crushed by left hand hitters. The Marlins have virtually no left handed threats in their lineup with just Neil Walker and JT Riddle projected in their lineup tonight. What’s more is that Teheran has shut these Marlins hitters down over his career allowing just a .182 BA and .287 wOBA against them.
5) Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Giants ($7300/$6800) –Somebody please cue up Whitesnake “Here I Go Again On My Own” for me because I am once against taking the Pomeranz plunge this evening. He’s actually pitched pretty well of late posting FD scores of 36, 36, 4 (against the Dodgers in LA), 42 & 36 over his last five starts. In those starts he’s allowed 0, 0, 7, 2 & 0 earned runs while striking out 7, 5, 4, 11 & 7. We like to target pitchers who throw soft curve balls and changeups against the Cardinals and that is exactly Pomeranz game. The Cardinals have been struggling hitting just .229 with a .276 wOBA over the last week. In no way am I expecting five shutout innings here but I think it is quite likely that he goes 6 innings, strikes out 6+, gives up 2 or less earned runs or possibly all three. He is the perfect second pitcher on DK tonight.
(2018 Data) (Click here for more park factors!)
1) PNC Park – 15.7% above average in runs, 3.9% above average in HR’s, 27.6% above average in 2B, 38.8% above average in 3B.
2) SunTrust Park –14.0% above average in runs, 25.8% above average in HR’s, 24.8% above average in 2B.
3) Rogers Centre –3.0% above average in runs, 49.1% above average in HR’s, 19.4% above average in 3B.
4) Nationals Park –4.9% above average in runs, 21.8% above average in HR’s, 14.9% above average in 2B.
Things To Target (Against)
1) Adrian Sampson, Rangers – .285 BAA, 4.84 xFIP, 1.36 WHIP, 40.0% FB%, 13.4% HR/FB%, 1.52 HR/9, 47.3% hard contact rate.
2) Vincent Velasquez, Phillies – .251 BAA, 4.76 xFIP, 1.42 WHIP, 46.7% FB%, 18.8% HR/FB%, 2.10 HR/9, 45.3% hard contact rate.
3) Drew Pomeranz, Giants – .298 BAA, 4.42 xFIP, 1.72 WHIP, 35.9% FB%, 22.7% HR/FB%, 2.13 HR/9, 37.2% hard contact rate.
4) Andrew Heaney, Angels – 4.81 xFIP, 53.3% FB%, 18.4% HR/FB%, 2.21 HR/9, 50.0% hard contact rate.
5) Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays – .291 BAA, 5.29 xFIP, 1.77 WHIP, 17.1% HR/FB%, 1.34 HR/9, 8.8% swinging strike rate, 37.4% hard contact rate.
6) Antonio Senzatela, Rockies –.285 BAA, 5.16 xFIP, 1.62 WHIP, 17.9% HR/FB%, 1.32 HR/9, 6.5% swinging strike rate, 37.1% hard contat 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 – Mike Zunino, Robinson Chirinos, Jonathan Lucroy
1B – Justin Smoak, Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Logan Forsythe, Eric Hosmer, Matt Olson, Paul Goldschmidt, Daniel Murphy
2B – Mike Moustakas, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Nunez, Robinson Cano, Jose Altuve, Adam Frazier
3B – Colin Moran, Maikel Franco, Eduardo Escobar
SS – Xander Bogaerts, Elvis Andrus, Nick Ahmed, Tim Beckham
OF – Starling Marte, Christian Yelich, Mookie Betts, Michael Conforto, Bryce Harper, Curtis Granderson, George Springer, Shin-Soo Choo
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Brian McCann, Braves
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees
- Jason Castro, Twins
- Chance Sisco, Orioles
- Josh Phegley, A’s
The Braves bats and especially the lefties are highly coveted tonight against Marlins RHP Jordan Yamamoto. McCann got some rest yesterday and should be back in there tonight in a terrific spot. The only reason Gary Sanchez isn’t in the top spot is because of price. He’s been struggling of late but has more power than any other catcher on the board and matches up well against Brendan McKay. Jason Castro is hitting .417 with a .572 wOBA over his last five games.
- Freddie Freeman, Braves
- Michael Chavis, Red Sox
- Edwin Encarnacion, Yankees
- Justin Smoak, Blue Jays
- Logan Forsythe, Rangers
Freeman is quite a bit ahead of any other 1B here tonight. The rest of first base though seems to be a pay down position. Chavis appears to be getting hot again racking up a 175 wRC+ and .439 wOBA over the last four games. Smoak is cheap and has been on base five times over the last two games. When he starts taking walks, the power explosion is about to happen.
- Keston Hiura, Brewers
- Adam Frazier, Pirates
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
- Robinson Cano, Mets
Hiura is just constantly piecing together good at-bats and making hard contact. The Brewers have moved him up to the fifth spot where he is in a run producing spot. He is especially crushing LHP to the tune of .294/.302/.471 at the big league level this season. In the same game, Adam Frazier is destroying over the past week racking up a .500/.520/.833 triple slash with a HR, 6 runs, 6 RBI and a SB.
- Yuli Gurriel, Astros
- Evan Longoria, Giants
- Miguel Sano, Twins
- Rafael Devers, Red Sox
- Jeimer Candelario, Tigers
Over his last 8 games, Yuli Gurriel is averaging 21.5 FD points per game. Evan Longoria has appeared in the Cash Game Breakdown just once this entire season but is scorching right now. Longoria owns a .444/.524/1.222 with 4 HR, 10 RBI and 9 runs over his last 5 games. Miguel Sano is one of the best pure power hitters in baseball and has been demonstrating unusual contact skills as of late. I would say that a .765 ISO and 4 HR’s over his last 5 games would agree.
- Marcus Semien, A’s
- Freddy Galvis, Blue Jays
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Trea Turner, Nationals
- Chris Taylor, Dodgers
Semien is cheap and has reached base safely in 23 of his last 25 games. He hits a lot better against LHP owning a .272/.329/.462 slash against southpaws and a .243/.309/.385 against RHP. Galvis is easily having his best season ever and has a .448 wOBA and 186 wRC+ over his last six games. Trea Turner and Fernando Tatis Jr grade out exactly the same here tonight but I prefer the matchup with Brad Keller and the Royals bullpen over Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers pen.
- JD Martinez, Red Sox
- Juan Soto, Nationals
- Domingo Santana, Mariners
- Ronald Acuna, Braves
- Whit Merrifield, Royals
- Max Kepler, Twins
- David Peralta, Diamondbacks
- Khris Davis, A’s
- Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
- Aaron Hicks, Yankees
- Yordan Alvarez, Astros
- Austin Slater, Giants
Not as much top end players tonight as I would have thought. JD Martinez has finally recovered his swing and is hitting .444 over his last four games. Juan Soto is an on-base machine but his flashing some power lately as he tries to attack earlier in the count. Soto has a .557 wOBA and .615 ISO over his last five games. Acuna is the favorite of the Braves outfielders tonight but Riley and Markakis aren’t far behind. Khris Davis is a real sneaky play tonight as I doubt anybody will be one him unless they are digging deep into P/PA, foul ball velocity and hard contact. There aren’t many dirt cheap value plays on the board yet but Giants rookie Austin Slater has been smoke in AAA and has started out strong at the big league level as well.