Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: June 12, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis
Below we’ve got a discussion of the starting pitching situation as well as the best hitters to use for Monday’s 10-game slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.
After the jump we’ll take a look at each of my top eight projected pitchers for the evening (normally it would be 10, but it’s a short slate). My projections are derived from ZiPS projections which are cut down to a per-game basis and then adjusted for ball park and matchup.
1. Max Scherzer – DK: $12,200, FD: $11,300
There’s no question that Scherzer is the best pitcher in action today. He has the lowest SIERA of any pitcher going today, and no other pitcher going has a strikeout rate within eight percentage points of Scherzer’s 30.5 percent rate. The problem with Scherzer is matchup. He’ll face the Cubs who rank seventh in wRC+ vs. RHP. However, the Cubs aren’t in the league of the Red Sox, Cardinals or even the Mariners in the damage they’ve done against right-handers. And none of the other top pitching options have stellar matchups. The Cubs do have a slightly above average K% vs. RHP, so Scherzer could still rack up Ks even if he gives up a few runs. As for his salary, he’s $1,100 cheaper on DK than he was his last outing, so that may be the best spot to use him. But he’s worth paying up for on FD as well.
2. Carlos Carrasco – DK: $10,800, FD: $9,400
Carrasco has a less intimidating matchup than Scherzer as he’ll face the Royals who rank 19th in wRC+. However, they have a lower-than-average K% vs. RHP, and Carrasco himself isn’t the strikeout machine he has been in the past. After posting strikeout rates of 26.5 and 29.6 percent in the last two seasons, Carrasco’s K% this season is only 20.9 percent. He’s lost a bit of velocity and a lot of swinging strikes, so we can’t really expect the Ks to bounce back. The good news is that he keeps walks to a minimum and generates a lot of ground balls, so he’s still managed an ERA and xFIP in the mid-threes. As such, he’s not someone you can’t consider, but you probably shouldn’t expect a ton of upside. He’s a bit more affordable on FD if you like him.
3. Zack Greinke – DK: $11,200, FD: $10,500
Greinke’s matchup with the Dodgers is similar to Carrasco’s in that the Dodgers are below average vs. RHP, but they don’t strikeout a ton. And Greinke himself is like Carrasco in that his strikeout rate is down noticeably this season. Greinke’s not falling from the lofty levels Carrasco was at, but he’s losing swinging strikes and falling nonetheless. But also like Carrasco, few walks and lots of groundballs continue to make Greinke effective. Greinke has thrown 16 scoreless innings in his last two starts, so he’s back to having cash appeal. But he has only two strikeouts in two of his past three starts, so he potentially lack upside for tournaments.
4. James Shields – DK: $4,800, FD: $6,700
Man, at $4,800 you have to at least consider Shields on DK. He has been bad with an ERA of 5.06, but a 4.24 xFIP gives hope he could be only slightly below average instead of horrific at some point. The matchup with Detroit is a risky one as they rank sixth in wRC+ vs. RHP, but there’s upside in the matchup as they also have the sixth highest K% vs. RHP. The Tigers are also righty-heavy in the lineup, and Shields’ struggles have mainly been against lefties. As an SP2 on DK in a GPP? There’s at least a case to be made for there being enough value potential there.
5. Wei-Yin Chen – DK: $8,000, FD: $8,100
Anyone facing the Padres is worth considering, though, strangely, the Pads rank seventh in wRC+ vs. LHP. However, they have the fifth highest BABIP vs. LHP and rank 21st in BB/K vs. LHP, so they’re likely not as good as they appear to be against lefties. And they also have the second highest K% vs. LHP, so there’s some upside in the matchup for Chen. Chen is as unexciting as they come with a slightly below league average strikeout rate and an ERA of 4.56. But his walk rate is excellent and his xFIP is 4.09, so there are things to like, or at least reasons not to ignore him. He’s a slight value on DK, so he could be an option there.
6. Matt Cain – DK: $6,500, FD: $6,500
Cain has one of the better matchups of the day against Milwaukee who has the highest K% vs. RHP and ranks 21st in wRC+ vs. RHP. And the game is in San Francisco, not Milwaukee. But Cain is fresh off the DL for this start. And when we say fresh we mean “straight off a simulated game, no rehab stint” fresh. Before injury he had a 5.20 ERA and 4.70 xFIP, so even the great matchup can’t make Cain a good play today.
7. Kyle Hendricks – DK: $9,400, FD: $8,400
Despite Hendricks having a 2.98 ERA and 3.38 xFIP, my projections never like him much. That’s because my projections are per-game ZiPS projections adjusted for context, and ZiPS isn’t a huge Hendricks fan. ZiPS has Hendricks posting a 3.55 ERA and 1.21 WHIP from here on out with strikeout and walk rates a bit worse than what he has right now. His matchup with Washington is very middle-of-the-road with the Nats being middle of the pack in both wRC+ and K% vs. RHP. Without much upside in his matchup and fairly high price tags, Hendricks doesn’t scream ‘GPP option.’ But his reliability to date does make him feel safe in cash games. He’s slightly more affordable on FD, so that’s the best spot to use him if you like him.
8. Mike Bolsinger – DK: $5,900, FD: $5,900
Bolsinger’s 5.75 ERA isn’t encouraging, but a 4.34 xFIP indicates he could be serviceable at times. He’s been bitten by some bad luck with HR/FB rate, so if he can keep the ball in the park he could have some good starts in him, though Arizona isn’t the best park if you’re struggling with home runs. But he does have some upside as he generates some strikeouts with a K% of 22.4 percent, and the D’Backs have the eighth highest K% vs. RHP. He’s probably too risky to be your one pitcher on FD, but he could be an SP2 tournament option on DK.
Chicago White Sox – Chicago gets LHP Matt Boyd tonight. The White Sox rank only 20th in wRC+ vs. LHP, but this just too good of a matchup, especially for Chicago’s right-handers. Boyd has faced 254 right-handers in his career and has allowed a fly ball rate of 52.8 percent against them. He also owns a 5.13 xFIP vs. RHP, so Chicago righties have a pretty decent chance of going yard tonight at home against a heavy fly ball pitcher. Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu are the best options, but guys like Melky Cabrera and Brett Lawrie are also good options. Whoever starts at short, whether it be Tim Anderson or Jimmy Rollins, could be a value option. And if you’re stacking Sox, go ahead and include Adam Eaton at the top of the order. Boyd hasn’t been much better against left-handers.
Stack suggestion: Adam Eaton (expected lineup slot: 1), Jose Abreu (2), Melky Cabrera (3), Todd Frazier (4), Brett Lawrie (5)
Texas Rangers – Texas gets LHP Sean Manaea tonight, and Manaea is really, really struggling against right-handers. He has faced 162 righties so far, and they have a .362 wOBA against him, and his xFIP against them is 5.26. It would be better if this game were in Texas instead of Oakland, but Texas righties are still in a good enough spot to consider. Jurickson Profar likely continues to lead off and is a great option, especially at his price point on DK. Ian Desmond hitting out of the two-hole is also a good option as he remains hotter than a witches’ titty. Down at the bottom of the order, Elvis Andrus and Robinson Chirinos are good value options, and they could make for a wrap around stack option with Profar and Desmond at the top. Adrian Beltre would also be a good option if he plays, but he’s missed four straight. Ryan Rua is also a decent option in the middle of the order.
Stack suggestion: Elvis Andrus (7), Mitch Moreland (8), Robinson Chirinos (9), Jurickson Profar (1), Ian Desmond (2)
Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays lead the way in implied run totals in Vegas. Jose Bautista is expected to return to the lineup, so the top four in the Jays lineup should return to normal tonight. Bautista is nice and cheap on DK, which is where the Jays are priced much more attractively. The best play on the team may be Michael Saunders with the platoon advantage against Jerad Eickhoff. Saunders is on a six-game hitting streak in which he’s 11-for-22 with two home runs. Also hot is Edwin Encarnacio who had a big weekend against Baltimore going 6-for-12 with three home runs in his last three games.
Stack suggestion: Jose Bautista (1), Josh Donaldson (2), Edwin Encarnacion (3), Michael Saunders (4)
**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility
- Victor Martinez (only option on FD as C, but a great option there)
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia (better value on FD)
- Robinson Chirinos
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Dioner Navarro (better value on FD)
- Jose Abreu
- Joey Votto (better value on FD)
- Paul Goldschmidt
- Freddie Freeman
- Anthony Rizzo (GPP option on DK)
- Jason Kipnis
- Jurickson Profar (better value on DK)
- Brett Lawrie
- Brian Dozier
- Ian Kinsler
- Todd Frazier (better value on FD)
- Josh Donaldson (better value on DK)
- Adrian Beltre
- Jake Lamb (better value on (FD)
- Jefry Marte (punt option on DK)
- Jimmy Rollins/Tim Anderson (whoever starts at SS for CWS)
- Elvis Andrus
- Freddy Galvis
- Zack Cozart (better value on DK)
- Corey Seager (GPP only)
- Jay Bruce (better value on FD)
- Jose Bautista (better value on DK)
- Melky Cabrera
- Ian Desmond (better value on FD)
- Michael Saunders
- Bryce Harper (GPP only)
- Giancarlo Stanton (GPP only on FD)
- Adam Eaton (better value on DK)
- David Peralta (better value on FD)
- Max Scherzer
- Carlos Carrasco
- Zack Greinke (better value on DK)
- James Shields (GPP on DK only)
- Kyle Hendricks
- Mike Bolsinger
- Wei-Yin Chen
Download today’s research chart from this Google Sheet.