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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: July 5, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis

Below we’ve got breakdowns for each game of Tuesday’s 14-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel along with player rankings, suggested lineups, projections and a research chart.

Game Breakdowns

Braves @ Phillies

Philly lefties are in a good spot against Mike Foltynewicz today. Between this year and last Folty has a 5.18 xFIP and 2.29 HR/9 vs. LHH. Odubel Herrera is Philly’s best lefty against right-handed pitching with a 125 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season. Cody Asche is also an option as he’s been going well lately with a 165 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Herrera is over-priced but arguably affordable on DK. Asche, on the other hand, is very good salary relief on both sites.

Atlanta bats against Zach Eflin is a battle of “worsts.” Atlanta ranks dead last in wRC+ vs. RHP and Eflin ranks dead last in my pitching projections today. The only potential plays here are Freddie Freeman and Jace Peterson. Freeman owns a 141 wRC+ vs. RHP and a 179 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Peterson has also been swinging it well with a 149 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Both guys have nice prices on both sites.

Brewers @ Nationals

If you like to gamble, Gio Gonzalez is a GPP option tonight. In his last eight starts he’s striking out almost 12 batters per nine innings and has a 3.31 xFIP. The problem is that in those same eight starts his ERA is 8.10. He has allowed at least three earned runs in each of those eight starts. He has definitely has some bad luck (.417 BABIP, 57% LOB%), but he has hurt himself by walking almost four batters per nine innings. His matchup tonight with Milwaukee has all kinds of upside as the Brewers have the fifth highest K% vs. LHP and they rank 25th in wRC+ vs. LHP. Gio is priced well on DK, so he has some good value potential there in GPPs.

As for bats, Bryce Harper is always a great option against a right-hander as he owns a 184 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last. He’s also coming out of his recent struggles a bit with a 150 wRC+ in the last 14 days and a 224 wRC+ in the last seven. He’s worth paying for where you can. Daniel Murphy is also good against right-handers, but he’s not priced as attractively and hasn’t been swinging all that well lately.

Royals @ Blue Jays

Anytime Chris Young pitches opposing hitters are very much in play given Young’s heavy fly ball tendencies. Young has a 55.6 percent fly ball rate this year and is giving up a whopping 3.69 home runs per nine innings. The Blue Jays rank 2nd in ISO vs. RHP, so this is a dream matchup for them, especially since the game is in hitter-friendly Toronto and not Kansas City. Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson are both excellent against same-handed pitching and are swinging hot bats. Of the two, E5 is a bit more affordable. Devon Travis is also good against same-handed pitching and comes with a really nice price tag on FD. If he hits up in the order, he’ll be tough to forego on FD. If he does hit up the order, Travis, Donaldson, E5 and Michael Saunders should hit 2-3-4-5 and would make for a good stack, albeit a very popular one.

Stack suggestion: Toronto 2-5

Tigers @ Indians

Carlos Carrasco has some upside here with the third highest strikeout rate of any starter in action tonight (25.4 percent) and a matchup against Detroit who has the eighth highest K% vs. RHP. But the Tigers rank fifth in wRC+ vs. RHP, and Carrasco really isn’t priced all that well, which stymies some of his value potential. If you like him, a GPP on FD would be the spot to use him. As for bats, the only guy that really sticks out is Jason Kipnis. He’s got a 138 wRC+ vs. RHP and will face RHP Anibal Sanchez who has  a 6.17 ERA in 12 starts this season. At only $3,000 on FD, Kipnis is an excellent value there.

Angels @ Rays

Just a couple of bats in play here. First, Mike Trout is almost always an option and certainly is tonight. Trout has been swinging it well with a 248 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Tonight he’ll face RHP Jake Odorizzi who has significant reverse splits. Trout has always been great against same-handed pitching, so he’s in a particularly good spot tonight. The only other option is Brad Miller at the thin shortstop position. Miller is above average against RHP and has some pop. He’s a decent value on DK.

Marlins @ Mets

Both pitchers are worth a look here, though they each have warts. Steven Matz struggled in June posting a 5.74 ERA, which could have been a result of the bone spurs he’s reportedly dealing with. But Matz did have some bad luck last month with a .393 BABIP and 67.7 percent strand rate. He struck out an almost a batter per inning and continued to show good control. The Marlins strike out a bit more than average, so Matz could have some upside here. He’s also priced pretty well on DK, so he has value potential. The bone spurs and recent struggles make him too risky for cash games, but he’d be fine in a GPP on DK.

Wei-Yin Chen is also worth a look despite his 5.11 ERA because the Mets have the highest strikeout rate in the league vs. LHP. Chen isn’t a strikeout guy himself, but he has posted decent strikeout totals in games against strikeout-prone teams like the Padres and Brewers, who have two of the five highest strikeout rates vs. LHP. Chen is very, very cheap on DK and a bit under-priced on FD where SP value is tough to come by today.

Some hitters are also in play here which speaks to the risk involved with the pitchers. For the Marlins, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton are very good against left-handed pitching with each having a wRC+ vs. LHP north of 160 between this year and last. Both guys are priced very well on FD, and Stanton is priced well on DK as well.

For the Mets, more righties are in play. Yoenis Cespedes, Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores all have good numbers against lefties and have all been swinging it well lately. Flores and d’Arnaud are both priced fantastically on FD at just a hundred or two over the minimum. Cespedes is priced just about right on both sites but has been going so well that he’s worth paying for.

Rangers @ Red Sox

I’m not of the opinion that David Price is broken. He has a K-BB% of 20.8% and a SIERA of 3.41. Sure, he’s giving up too much hard contact, but at some point he’s going to rip off a good stretch of starts. However, tonight might not be the start of a run as he’ll face the Rangers who are top 10 in wRC+ vs. LHP and have a well below average strikeout rate. Price is talented enough to have a big night against anyone, and he’s priced well on DK, so he could have some value potential there for GPPS. But I’ll look elsewhere. The only bat I’d really consider using against Price is Robinson Chirinos who has a 137 wRC+ vs. LHP between this year and last. He’s nice and cheap on both sites and would make for a good punt option.

For Boston bats, their lefties are in a great spot against A.J. Griffin. Griffin has a decent 3.88 xFIP against righties but a 4.97 xFIP against lefties. He also leans very fly ball-heavy against lefties with a 53.3 percent fly ball rate against lefties so far this season. David Ortiz is still mashing righties and worth paying up for when and if you can. Jackie Bradley, Jr. is also very good against RHP, though Bradley has been struggling of late and isn’t priced all that attractively. Travis Shaw is a decent salary relief option at third base, and he, Ortiz, Bradley and Hanley Ramirez would make for a decent stack.

Stack suggestion: Boston 4-7

Behind the paywall you’ll find breakdowns of the remaining games, player rankings, suggested lineups and my research and projections chart.

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Pirates @ Cardinals

Not one player in this game is highlighted on my sheet. Moving on…

Yankees @ White Sox

The Yankees rank 27th in wRC+ vs. LHP and the White Sox rank 24th in wRC+ vs. RHP, so there’s not much appeal with the bats here. But that obviously makes the pitchers worth a look.

Masahiro Tanaka strikes me as a cash game option. He’s seen a pretty big dip in strikeout rate this year despite a swinging strike rate that makes you think more Ks could be coming. The lack of strikeouts limits his GPP appeal, but he limits walks and goes deep into games, which works well for cash. Tanaka has pitched at least six innings in 13 of his last 14 starts and has a walk rate of only 4.5 percent. Six of his last eight starts have been solid, and the two rough starts were in tough matchups against Detroit and Texas. The White Sox aren’t nearly that tough of a matchup. I like Tanaka’s price more on FD, but he could work on either site in cash.

I’m less inclined to consider Carlos Rodon primarily because the Yankees don’t strikeout much. Rodon’s 23.1 percent strikeout rate is solid, but I’m just not sure the upside is there in the matchup. Were he priced a bit lower he might have more value potential, but he’s only a hair under-priced on both sites in my estimation.

A’s @ Twins

Right-handed bats from both teams are in play here against two left-handed starters that aren’t in consideration. Oakland’s starter, Sean Manaea, has really struggled against righties with a 5.24 xFIP against them this year. Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Robbie Grossman are righties that all have a wRC+ north of 130 against LHP. Sano is priced decently on both sites but much better on FD, Dozier is priced excellently on FD but not so much on DK, and Grossman could provide salary relief on DK.

For the A’s, Danny Valencia, Marcus Semien and Jake Smolinski each have a wRC+ north of 145 against LHP. Semien has been hitting for quite a bit of power lately, and Smolinksi has been good in the last week or so against a few lefties. Valencia has been struggling, but that has his price tags down to the point where he’s a nice value. Semien is inexplicably cheap on FD, and DK is the only site where Smolinksi is priced well.

The problem with this game is that it’s the one game that looks like it could have weather issues. Keep an eye on the weather in Minny tomorrow afternoon.

Stack suggestion: Oakland 2-5 (or thru 6 is Smolinski hits sixth)

Mariners @ Astros

I’m not wild about either pitcher in this game, but Taijuan Walker does have a bit of upside against a Houston team with the third highest strikeout rate vs. RHP. He’s under-priced on FD where pitching pricing is very sharp today, so Walker could make plenty of sense there in a GPP. I’m also not really on Houston bats, which makes me feel better about Walker. Houston lefties like Jason Castro and Luis Valbuena continue to be cheap and could provide a little salary relief with the platoon advantage, but they’re not top plays or anything.

From the Mariners, Nelson Cruz is always an option against a left-hander. Nelly’s 196 wRC+ vs. LHP between this year and last is higher than any qualified hitter’s wRC+ against pitchers of either handedness since the start of 2015. He’s also getting a positive park shift on the road, so he’s a great option. He’s pricey on DK, but at $3,700 on FD, he’s almost a must-play. Franklin Gutierrez is also a good play against a lefty with a 160 wRC+ vs. LHP. He’s priced well on both sites. It’s these two guys that really scare me off Dallas Keuchel.

Padres @ D’Backs

Paul Goldschmidt, Yasmany Tomas and Welington Castillo all have very good numbers against left-handed pitching, particularly Goldy, and they’ll get LHP Christian Freiderich in hitter-friendly Arizona tonight. Goldy and Tomas have been struggling of late, but Goldy’s wRC+ of 189 vs. LHP between this year and last outweighs any recent struggles. He’s an excellent option. Tomas is a bit dicier, but at only $2,500 on FD, he’s very much an option there. Castillo has been swinging the bat much batter than his mentioned teammates, and he’s really cheap on FD just like Tomas. He’s a great option on FD and even worth paying for on DK if you can.

Orioles @ Dodgers

If there’s a play here it’s the meat of LA’s lineup against RHP Chris Tillman. Corey Seager has a 159 wRC+ vs. RHP and has a 225 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Justin Turner is a right-hander with reverse splits, so the matchup with Tillman should suit him just fine. And then Adrian Gonzalez is coming out of his slump (199 wRC+ in the last seven), but he’s still priced like he’s in one on both sites.

Stack suggestion: Los Angeles 1-4

Rockies @ Giants

Madison Bumgarner is pretty obviously the top pitching option of the day. He’s comfortably the top projected pitcher in the projections embedded below, and his price tags are reasonable enough on both sites. The Giants opened in Vegas as the biggest favorites of the slate at -205. You really can’t pass on Bumgarner in cash, but feel free to do so in GPPs. It’s encouraged, in fact. As for hitters, Rockies obviously aren’t appealing against Bumgarner. Giants hitters aren’t all that appealing either against Tyler Chatwood who owns a 58.7 percent ground ball rate. Plus, as Broc Miller once said, AT&T in San Francisco “is like the anti-Coors” and just not a park that encourages rostering hitters.

Player Rankings

**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility


  1. Welington Castillo (better value on FD)
  2. Jason Castro
  3. Travis d’Arnaud (better value on FD)
  4. Robinson Chirinos
  5. Buster Posey (GPP only)

First Base

  1. David Ortiz
  2. Paul Goldschmidt
  3. Freddie Freeman
  4. Edwin Encarnacion
  5. Adrian Gonzalez

Second Base

  1. Brian Dozier (better value on FD)
  2. Jason Kipnis (better value on FD)
  3. Devon Travis (GPP only)
  4. Daniel Murphy
  5. Jace Peterson

Third Base

  1. Danny Valencia (better value on DK)
  2. Josh Donaldson
  3. Luis Valbuena
  4. Justin Turner
  5. Wilmer Flores (FD only)


  1. Marcus Semien (better value on FD)
  2. Brad Miller (better value on DK)
  3. Corey Seager (better value on DK)
  4. Carlos Correa (better value on DK)
  5. Manny Machado (better value on DK, GPP only)


  1. Bryce Harper
  2. Giancarlo Stanton (better value on FD)
  3. Mike Trout
  4. Nelson Cruz (better value on FD)
  5. Miguel Sano (better value on FD)
  6. Michael Saunders
  7. Franklin Gutierrez (better value on DK)
  8. Yasmany Tomas (better value on FD)
  9. Yoenis Cespedes
  10. Jackie Bradley, Jr.
  11. Marcell Ozuna (better value on FD)
  12. Cody Asche
  13. Jake Smolinksi (better value on FD)

Starting Pitcher

  1. Madison Bumgarner
  2. Masahiro Tanaka (better value on FD)
  3. Carlos Carrasco (better value on FD)
  4. Steven Matz (better value on DK)
  5. David Price (better value on DK)
  6. Gio Gonzalez (better value on DK)
  7. Wei-Yin Chen (better value on DK)
  8. Taijuan Walker (better value on FD)

Suggested Lineups

Below you’ll find a suggested cash and GPP lineup for both DK and FD. These lineups were posted early in the morning and will not be updated later in the day on account of the author not being able to get home from work in time to do so. So be aware that these lineups were made and posted without knowing the weather for the day and who would and would not be in their team’s lineup today. The lineups are merely suggestions to give you and idea about roster construction.

7-5 DK

7-5 FD

Research Chart

Download today’s research chart from this Google Sheet. Projections are derived from Fangraphs Depth Chart projections, which are cut down to a per-game basis and then adjusted for ball park and matchup. A glossary for the columns in the ‘hitter research’ tab is included below the chart.

SP Adj. – Projected FIP (based on ZiPS) of opposing pitcher against hitters of that handedness

BP Adj. – 2015 Fangraphs HR park factor for LHH or RHH

Pen Adj. – xFIP of opposing bullpen against hitters of that handedness

Last 7 – Hitter’s wRC+ in last seven days

Last 14 – Hitter’s wRC+ in last 14 days

L/R – Hitter’s 2015-2016 wRC+ against LHP or RHP

Projections and values are then included for each site.


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