Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: June 21, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis
Below we’ve got breakdowns of each fantasy relevant game for Tuesday’s 15-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel along with player rankings and projections.
After the jump we’ll break down each fantasy relevant game on Tuesday night from a DFS perspective.
Rockies @ Yankees
This one isn’t at Coors, but Yankee Stadium is still pretty hitter-friendly and the pitching matchup of Nova-Bettis is fairly hitter-friendly as well. Neither pitcher has pronounced splits, so hitters from either side of the plate are in play. But the Yankees lean lefty-heavy in the lineup, so Yankee lefties are the better options. Carlos Beltran remains hot with a 210 wRC+ in the last 14 days, and Didi Gregorius is running hot as well with a 203 wRC+ in the last seven. Chase Headley could be a salary relief option hitting from his better left side if he happens to hit sixth or higher in the order. Brian McCann is an option as well at his thin position.
For the Rockies, their lefties like Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon are options against Nova, though Blackmon has been struggling lately and might only be an option if you stack Rockies. And if you do stack Rox, righties Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story are options as they handle right-handers fine and are priced reasonably away from Coors. The righties figure to be low-owned, so they could also be used as one-offs in GPPs. Nick Hundley is also an option at the thin catcher position.
Stack suggestion: Rockies 1-5
Padres @ Orioles
More bats in this one. Luis Perdomo starts for the Padres and in a small sample size of 42 big league innings he has really struggled against lefties striking out just 11.4 percent of lefties and walking them at an 8.6 percent clip. He has struggled with righties as well thanks to a .478 BABIP against them, but he strikes righties out over 20 percent of the time. It’s lefties that can really do some damage here. Chris Davis is the obvious name here, Pedro Alvarez could be a cheap candidate to go yard with a nice price tag on FD, and Hyun-Soo Kim is a cheap option if he hits second.
As for the Padres, Wil Myers is still scorching hot with a 219 wRC+ in the last 14, and he’s getting a positive park shift on the road. He’s pretty pricey on DK, but he’s plenty affordable on FD. The only other Padre to consider is Alexi Amarista as a punt option at shortstop.
Giants @ Pirates
Giants bats are in a good spot against Wilfredo Boscan making a spot start, which will be his first major league start. The problem is that Giants bats are so damn expensive. Jarrett Parker has been going well the last week and is priced somewhat accessibly, but every other Giant is just way, way expensive. Were you to pay up for one guy to have some exposure, Brandon Belt is the best option. Johnny Cueto will be on the mound for San Fran but he is also over-priced, and Pittsburgh’s lineup is a tough matchup for righties.
Diamondbacks @ Blue Jays
Bats from both teams are very much in play here. Pitching for Toronto will be fly ball machine Marco Estrada. He has kept the ball in the park at a better than average rate in his year and a half with the Jays, but he hasn’t always been so successful in doing so and is always a candidate to give up a couple dingers in a game. Jake Lamb with his .287 ISO vs. RHP is a fine candidate to go yard, and Paul Goldschmidt can take anyone out of the park. Both guys are priced better on DK than they are on FD, but Lamb is the only cash game option. Goldy should be low-owned making him a nice GPP option on DK. Chris Herrmann is another option at the thin C position, and recently recalled Socrates Brito could be a salary relief/punt option if he finds his way into the lineup.
As for the Jays, they’re all hotter than a witch’s titty. Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders all have a wRC+ over 200 in the last 14. Saunders doesn’t have the platoon advantage here, so perhaps he’s best used for a stack or GPPs, but Donaldson and E5 are options anywhere you can afford them. Devon Travis is also hitting his stride and is working on a seven-game hit streak in which he is 13-for-27 with two home runs. If he happens to hit higher than eighth in the order, he’s going to be very tough to pass on, especially on DK where he’s priced quite nicely. Russell Martin is another option at the catcher position.
Stack suggestion: Toronto 2-6
Braves @ Marlins
Jose Fernandez! Fernandez trails only Noah Syndergaard and Clayton Kershaw in major stats like K-BB% and xFIP, and Thor happens to be pitching today as well. Fernandez has been on some kind of run in his last seven starts with 71 strikeouts and only nine walks in…get this…only 47 innings. That works out to a K/9 of 13.6. He’s only allowed seven earned runs in those seven starts, and four of the seven came in his last outing. He has a fantastic matchup today against Atlanta who has been 22 percent worse than league average vs. RHP. And while the Braves don’t strike out a lot, Fernandez doesn’t need a good matchup to rack up Ks.
Despite all the accolades, Fernandez may not be the best option today. For one thing, Thor is a viable alternative as are guys like Corey Kluber and Chris Sale who come with a bit more risk but with better price tags as well. On FD in particular Fernandez doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as he’s $1,100 more expensive than Syndergaard. He’s also $800 more expensive than Thor on DK, but if you like Fernandez that’s the spot to use him. I’d say his price on FD could drive enough people away that he’ll be low-owned enough for GPP use, but I’m not confident that will be the case.
White Sox @ Red Sox
Chris Sale has an ERA over 6.00 in his last five stars. His xFIP is over two runs lower, but an xFIP of 3.99 isn’t good enough for someone like Sale. He has traded whiffs for contact this season and it hasn’t worked out well. In these horrific last five starts his hard hit rate is 36.6 percent. Go back to striking out over 30 percent of the batters you face, Chris. That’s never a bad plan.
All that said, Sale is absolutely a GPP option tonight on DK. At just $8,700 on DK he’s not in the league of Syndergaard and Fernandez but in the league of Nola and Roark. Yeah, the matchup with Boston is awful and, again, he’s been awful himself. But there’s certainly value potential in that DK price tag, and it seems very unlikely that he’s anything other than low owned.
Sox bats are an option against Sale, but, as always, they’re expensive. Perhaps someone like Chris Young is a good value option, and Mookie Betts would be the guy to pay up for if you want to. But Sale on DK is the only real serious option in this game.
Royals @ Mets
As mentioned, Kershaw is the only pitcher in the league with better numbers than Syndergaard, so Thor is absolutely in play tonight in a neutral matchup against the Royals in his favorable home park. He’s also priced pretty accurately on both sites, so you won’t be overspending to roster him even though he’s predictably expensive.
The only real questions are whether there’s another starter too cheap to pass up (which we’ll get to in a moment), and whether Thor will be too highly owned for GPP use. As to the first question, I’m tempted to go with the not-yet named cheaper starter, but I’ll put up no serious argument if you want to roster Thor in cash. As for GPPs, my guess is that other decent options drive his ownership down just enough that he’s not too chalky for GPP use.
Mets left-handed bats are also worth a look against Ian Kennedy who has a 47.5 percent fly ball rate against lefties. None of New York’s lefties are hitting all that well right now outside of maybe Curtis Granderson and James Loney, but Granderson, Neil Walker and Michael Conforto (if they don’t stupidly demote him) are all candidates to go yard tonight. Granderson is the only one that’s a cash game play.
Mariners @ Tigers
James Paxton only has four starts under his belt this season, but his K-BB% of 23% ranks seventh best among starters with at least 20 innings. Detroit isn’t a great matchup for him, but they do strike out a bit more than average, so Paxton could be a GPP option if you’re enamored with him. If you are, his price tag on FD presents more value potential than his DK salary. As for bats, Seattle left-handers could be worth a look against Justin Verlander who has a 47.5 percent fly ball rate against lefties. But he’s got a solid 3.66 xFIP vs. LHH, so don’t go crazy with Seattle bats. Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager could both be considerations on DK where they’re priced a bit better.
Rays @ Indians
Here’s that cheap starter I was talking about. Well, maybe not “cheap.” Maybe “not overly expensive in a very appealing matchup” is a better way to put it. Corey Kluber will cost you more than $1,000 less than Thor, Fernandez and Cueto on both sites. He also has a great matchup against the Rays who have the second highest strikeout rate vs. RHP and a middling wRC+.
People are likely going to be scared off by the eight earned he allowed in his last start, but that was a tough luck start. For starters, he struck out seven and walked only one, but he was primarily horribly unlucky. He got BABIP’d with a .444 BABIP in that start despite having a soft contact rate (26.3 percent) that was equal to his his hard contact rate. Admittedly, Kluber has allowed four earned runs or more in six of his 14 starts, but he also has two scoreless outings and five other starts with at least seven innings pitched and only one or two runs allowed. If he’s too risky for you to use in cash, so be it. But I’m comfortable with him in cash on either site, and he makes for a fantastic GPP option.
Reds @ Rangers
Colby Lewis regression has to be coming at some point. The Reds may not be the most likely team to get that regression started as they rank 27th in wRC+ vs. RHP, but Lewis is just so ripe for a stinker. There’s the obvious fact that his xFIP is almost two full runs higher than his 2.81 ERA. Lewis does lean fly ball heavy which can help a pitcher’s ERA beat the ERA estimators since fly balls go for hits less often than other batted ball types. But the problem is that he’s not generating weak fly outs. Take someone like the aformentioned Estrada who had a 27.4 percent hard hit rate last year en route to his stellar, fly-ball driven ERA. By comparison, Lewis’s hard hit rate is currently 37.4 percent, which is the third highest rate in the league among qualified starters. My god, he is going to get pounded at some point.
Lefties Joey Votto and Jay Bruce are in the best position to expose Lewis tonight, and Votto’s priced so well on both sites that he may be impossible to pass on. Bruce is priced much better on DK but is an option on both sites. Also feel free to give RHH Adam Duvall a look as he has not had any trouble hitting for power against same-handed pitching.
Stack suggestion: Cincinnati 2-6
Angels @ Astros
We’ve got another fly ball pitcher going here with Hector Santiago having fly ball rates of 42.1 and 53.7 percent against left- and right-handed hitters, respectively. Given that Houston leans right-handed heavy and that this game is in righty-friendly Houston, Astro bats make plenty of sense tonight. Carlos Correa and George Springer are great options with reasonable price tags (especially Correa on DK), and Jose Altuve is also a good option with a nice salary on FD. Carlos Gomez and Evan Gattis are also options to extend a stack or to provide a bit of salary relief, and Jake Marisnick is a punt option if he plays.
Stack suggestion: Houston 1-5
Phillies @ Twins
Both starters, Aaron Nola and Tyler Duffey, are worth a look in this one. Both teams are below average against right-handed pitching and each have strikeout rates a bit higher than average. Nola is the much more intriguing option with an impressive 21% K-BB% and an xFIP under 3.00. He has struggled of late allowing 10 earned runs combined in his last two starts without making it out of the fourth inning in either start. But he could certainly be a sneaky GPP option in this matchup with Minny.
As for Duffey, he’s your GPP option on FD if you want to spend nothing on a pitcher. The Phillies rank dead last in wRC+ vs. RHP, and despite his 5.56 ERA, Duffey has an xFIP and SIERA under 4.00. Compared to today’s other starters, Duffey only ranks mid-pack in hard hit rate, so he has likely been the victim of bad luck to some degree.
Brewers @ Athletics
If you’re looking to go as cheap as you can with a pitcher on DK, Sonny Gray is your man. Make no mistake, he has been bad. He has an ERA in the mid-fives, and his xFIP and SIERA in the mid-fours aren’t all that encouraging. But the Brewers have the highest strikeout rate in the league vs. RHP, and Gray will only run you $6,600 on DK. I prefer something more like a Kluber/Sale combo in DK GPPs, but Gray is certainly worth a flier there as well.
**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility
- Joey Votto
- Chris Davis
- Edwin Encarnacion
- Paul Goldschmidt (GPP only, DK only)
- Wil Myers (GPP only, FD only)
- Jose Altuve (better value on FD)
- Devon Travis (better value on DK)
- Rougned Odor
- Neil Walker (better value on DK)
- Robinson Cano (GPP only, DK only)
- Kolten Wong
- Josh Donaldson
- Jake Lamb (better value on DK)
- Pedro Alvarez (better value on FD)
- Chase Headley
- Nolan Arenado (GPP only)
- Kyle Seager (GPP only, DK only)
- Carlos Correa (better value on DK)
- Troy Tulowitzki
- Didi Gregorius
- Trevor Story (GPP only, better value on FD)
- Alexi Amarista
- Xander Boagerts (GPP only, FD only)
- Carlos Gonzalez
- Jay Bruce (better value on DK)
- George Springer
- Shin-Soo Choo
- Mike Trout
- Carlos Beltran (better value on FD)
- Yoenis Cespedes (better value on DK)
- Carlos Gomez (better value on DK)
- Jake Marisnick (better value on FD)
- Mookie Betts (GPP only, better value on FD)
- Hyun-Soo Kim (better value on FD)
- Socrates Brito
- Corey Kluber
- Noah Syndergaard
- Jose Fernandez
- Chris Sale
- Aaron Nola (GPP only)
- James Paxton (GPP only)
- Sonny Gray (GPP only, DK only)
- Tyler Duffey (GPP only, FD only)
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.