Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: June 28, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis
Below we’ve got breakdowns for each game of Tuesday’s 15-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel along with player rankings, projections and a research chart.
After the jump we’ll break down each game on Tuesday night from a DFS perspective.
Mets @ Nationals
Both pitchers in this one are at least worth a look. One of those pitchers is Lucas Giolito who will be making his major league debut. Giolito probably has some decent strikeout upside against a Mets team that strikes out a bit more than average vs. RHP. But with this being his debut and because his walk rate was in triple digits in 14 Triple-A starts this year, he’s a GPP-only option. And I wonder if he’s a good GPP option. His prices are OK but don’t offer huge value potential, and I worry his ownership level will be higher than it should be since people love a shiny new toy. Pass.
Opposing the rookie will be Matt Harvey. Harvey has been better in his last five starts with a 2.25 ERA and 5:1 K:BB ratio. But he’s only striking out about seven guys per nine innings in that stretch and his xFIP is a good-not-great 3.71. I honestly don’t know how fixed Harvey is or how broken he was to begin with. But I do know that he’s ridiculously cheap on DK and his matchup isn’t imposing at all as the Nats rank 18th in wRC+ vs. RHP. There aren’t many good options on DK with a price tag smaller than five digits, so Harvey may provide excellent salary relief in any contest format.
As for bats, you can roster Bryce Harper, a man with a 186 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last, for only $3,600 on FD. He has been struggling, so it’s understandable if you want to pass on him in cash. But he’d make for a fine GPP play.
Rangers @ Yankees
I continue to be concerned that Cole Hamels is hurt, and I have no interest in paying anything close to what he’ll cost today. But he is good enough, and the Yankee lineup is left-handed enough, that the Yanks bats aren’t really in play today.
Ranger bats, however, are very much in play against CC Sabathia. Sabathia has had a bit of a renaissance this year, and it’s not all fluky. He’s generating a lot of soft contact and limiting hard contact, so he deserves some credit. But he has been a bit lucky with a 4.2 percent HR/FB rate and a strand rate higher than he has ever posted in a season. He’s also got a walk rate way too close to double digits. So yeah, some regression is definitely due. He’s also dealing with an ankle issue and allowed five runs in 4.1 innings in his last start.
The best options are right-handers Ian Desmond, who has a 209 wRC+ in the last 14 days, and Adrian Beltre, who has a 141 wRC+ vs. LHP between this year and last along with great price tags on both sites. Robinson Chirinos and Ryan Rua also have good numbers against lefties. Chirinos is a cash option at his thin position, though Rua is best reserved for a Rangers stack. And speaking of thin positions, SS Elvis Andrus has been going well lately and provides nice salary relief on both sites.
Stack suggestion: Rangers 2-6
Red Sox @ Rays
Not a lot of bats are in play in this one. Though Boston leads the league in wRC+ vs. RHP, a lot of their right-handed bats are struggling in the last week or two. Lefties David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley, Jr. are options against Chris Archer, though I’d prefer to pay up for Ortiz if you want BoSox exposure. As for Archer, he can’t be trusted against this team.
The best option in the game is Rick Porcello. The Rays rank 20th in wRC+ vs. RHP and have the second highest K% vs. RHP. According to my own little matchup stat, the Rays are the best fantasy matchup for any pitcher going tonight. Porcello has been decent this year with an ERA just under 4.00 and an xFIP/SIERA right around the same spot. Porcello has an excellent 4.8 percent walk rate, but his strikeout rate is right around league average. That said, this is the type of matchup where his strikeouts will play up. Porcello also gives up a bit too much hard contact, but that’s mitigated somewhat by this game being in Tampa and not Boston. Porcello is priced very, very well on FD where he’s an option in cash or GPP.
Cubs @ Reds
Just quickly, thanks to Kris Bryant for the triple dong last night. That was quite helpful.
Unsurprisingly this game is all about the Cubbies. Jon Lester will face a Reds team that ranks 24th in wRC+ vs. LHP with a slightly higher than average strikeout rate. Lester has given up a few home runs in his last couple of starts, but he’s still rocking a 2.10 ERA (3.29 xFIP) and good contact rates. The biggest issue with Lester today is price. He makes little sense on FD where better options like Porcello and names to be discussed later will cost less than Lester. But if you like him, you can find a way to fit him in on DK.
As for bats, Kris Bryant should be wildly popular following his triple dong last night, so stay away from him in GPP outside of a Cubs stack. He’s in a fine spot against the lefty John Lamb, but Bryant isn’t a big splits guy, so he’s no more of an option than he’d be against a bad right-hander. Willson Contreras is a good option if he starts out in left field, but he definitely won’t be behind the plate as David Ross will take his usual spot behind the dish to catch Lester. Ross is actually a good salary relief option today with a slightly-better-than-average wRC+ vs. LHP between this year and last.
Other options include, Javier Baez, Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo, though all are reserved for GPPs only. Baez and Zobrist are GPP0only because they’ve been struggling of late, but they both have good numbers vs. LHP. Rizzo is GPP-only because his price remains high even when he faces a lefty. He’s not as good against LHP but he’s still plenty good, and he’s been going well lately. He could certainly be a part of a Cubs stack.
Stack suggestion: some combination of Chicago 1-6 depending on lineup structure
Indians @ Braves
Corey Kluber is in a fine spot tonight against the Braves who are tied for the worst wRC+ vs. RHP. However, the Braves don’t strikeout much, which makes them only a slightly-better-than-average fantasy matchup. An excessively high price tag on DK probably removes him from consideration there, but he’s priced sharply on FD, so he’s a cash option there. He does have the ability to rack up Ks against anyone, but I’d prefer his matchup or his price tag have a bit more value potential in it to roster him in GPP.
Some Cleveland bats are definitely worth a look against Matt Wisler who leans very fly ball-heavy. Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor have the best numbers on the team against RHP, and both guys have been going well lately. Kipnis is priced well enough for cash use, but Lindor is a Cleveland stack option only. Lonnie Chisenhall has also been going well and could provide nice salary relief on DK (but he’s over-priced on FD). Just about all Cleveland hitters are better values on DK, so only consider a stack there.
Stack suggestion: Cleveland 1-5 (or thru 6 if Chisenhall hits sixth)
Marlins @ Tigers
The best play here is Miami bats, particularly lefties, against Mike Pelfrey. Righties will do just fine against Pelfrey, but he’s unsurprisingly worse against lefties. Christian Yelich, Justin Bour and Derek Dietrich are the Marlins with the best numbers against RHP. Bour has been scorching hot lately with a 286 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Dietrich owns a 138 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last and is a really nice value on FD. Yelich hasn’t been going as well as Bour and isn’t as cheap as Dietrich, so he’s probably best used in a stack. Giancarlo Stanton would also work in a Marlins stack as his 172 wRC+ in the last 14 days indicates he may be getting it together. Marcell Ozuna could also be included in that stack if he returns to the lineup.
As for the Tigers, many of their hitters just missed the cut when I was deciding on my positional rankings. Miguel Cabrera was the last man out at first. Ian Kinsler was the last man out at second. Nick Castellanos, Justin Upton and James McCann also just missed the cut to be included in the player rankings below. Adam Conley leans fly ball-heavy against righties, so the righty-heavy lineup Detroit has does match up well against him. If you’d like to stack Tigers, be my guest, but they don’t quite make the cut as cash plays.
Stack suggestion: Marlins 3-6 (or thru 7 if Ozuna plays)
Dodgers @ Brewers
Julio Urias has only started six games this season so the following comes pre-loaded with that caveat, but his xFIP and SIERA are lower than any other starter in action today. Urias is racking up Ks at an almost 30 percent clip, though his swinging strike rate indicates something lower in the 20’s might make more sense. He’s also showing decent control with a walk rate right around average. The biggest knock on Urias is that he hasn’t pitched into the sixth inning, and he’s not a cash option as a result of the Dodgers likely continuing to be cautious with their youngster. But with a matchup against the Brewers who have the sixth highest K% vs. LHP, Urias is definitely a GPP consideration, especially as a cheap SP2 on DK.
As for bats, there are some one-off options. Ryan Braun has a 166 wRC+ vs. LHP between this year and last and a 153 wRC+ in the last 14 days, so he’s a one-off option on DK where he’s reasonably priced. For the Dodgers, Joc Pederson and Corey Seager have solid numbers against right-handed pitching and wRC+’s north of 160 in the last 14 days. Pederson is priced fantastically on FD but aggressively on DK. Seager is priced sharply on both sites and thus is probably a GPP-only option.
Twins @ White Sox
The only player worth a look here is Jose Quintana. The Twins rank 26th in wRC+ vs. LHP and have the second highest K% vs. LHP, so this is a great matchup for Quintana. He’s over-priced on DK, but he’s an option in any contest type on FD, though I’m of the opinion that there are better options. I worry about Quintana’s high hard contact rate and wonder if he’ll be able to continue keeping balls in the park at a well above average rate while giving up so much hard contact.
Cardinals @ Royals
Matt Carpenter s the only player, hitter or pitcher, that I highlighted as a target on my sheet from this game. Carp has a 161 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last and has a favorable matchup against RHP Yordano Ventura. Carp has also been hot with a 233 wRC+ in the last 14 days. The problem is that he’s quite expensive on both sites and thus is probably a GPP-only option in lineups where you take some shots on cheap pitchers and spend on bats.
Blue Jays @ Rockies
I always fade Coors in GPPs, so you won’t see any stack suggestions below, but you do need to have exposure in cash games. The best Colorado options against a left-handed starter are Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Ryan Raburn. Story is a bit risky as he’s dealing with a finger injury, but if he’s in the lineup, he makes plenty of sense on FD where he’s reasonably priced. Raburn is risky as well as he’s been struggling of late, though he is attractively priced on DK. Your best bet is probably just Arenado who has a 144 wRC+ in the last 14 days and reasonable enough price tags on both sites. Nick Hundley is also an option on DK.
For the Jays, Edwin Encarnacion may be worth paying up for in cash. He’ll be especially popular after double donging last night, and he doesn’t really have splits issues. If you can’t quite afford E5, Michael Saunders is a hair bit cheaper and has the platoon advantage on Eddie Butler who is downright woeful against left-handers. If Saunders is still too rich for your blood, Devon Travis is a hair cheaper. He hasn’t shown splits issues early in his career, and he has a 221 wRC+ in the last 14 days.
Phillies @ Diamondbacks
Zack Greinke is in a decent spot here against the Phillies who rank 28th in wRC+ vs. RHP. The reason it’s just a decent spot and not a good one is the fact that the Phillies have an average strikeout rate and Arizona isn’t a pitcher-friendly park. Greinke’s ERA is over three runs higher at home than it is on the road, and even his home xFIP, which strips out some of the bad luck involved in the ERA gap, is more than a run higher than his road xFIP. That obviously makes him feel iffy in cash, and his drop in strikeout rate this season (below league average) also makes him feel iffy in GPPs. His price isn’t great on FD, but he’s a bit under-priced on DK. I’d lean toward him in GPPs over cash, but he may be a bit too highly owned to be a great GPP play.
The only bats really worth a look here are Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb. Both have been scorching hot in the last couple weeks, though both are pricey as a result of their strong recent play. Lamb may see some decent ownership levels with the platoon advantage against Jerad Eickhoff, but Paul Goldschmidt could be a bit overlooked in this one and thus makes for a decent GPP option, more so on DK than FD.
Astros @ Angels
Stick with the studs in this one. Both Mike Trout and Carlos Correa have been swinging hot bats recently and are the best options from this game. Trout is a bit more expensive than Correa, but he’s a fantastic option against Scott Feldman and the stud I’d prefer to pay up for here. Luis Valbuena and Jason Castro could also be cheap options with the platoon advantage on Tim Lincecum. Both Valbuena and Castro have been going well, and they’re good salary relief on both sites.
Orioles @ Padres
Oh for this game to be in Baltimore. Erik Johnson will start for the Padres today and is easily the most fly ball-heavy starter of the day, but Petco Park will help mitigate that advantage the O’s have. That said, Chris Davis and Manny Machado are still excellent options against a right-hander, and Davis is even worth paying up for in cash games. Pedro Alvarez also has some pop, especially against righties, and is a nice salary relief option. And if you were to go with a Baltimore stack, O’s righties like Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo are all just fine without the platoon advantage.
Stack suggestion: Baltimore 1-5
Pirates @ Mariners
The Mariners have a couple right-handers, Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez, who torch left-handed pitching, and they’ll get to face LHP Jon Niese tonight. Right-handers have a .386 wOBA against Niese this year, so Cruz and Gute are in a great spot. Cruz is much more reasonably priced on FD than he is on DK, and Gute is a nice value on both sites. Chris Iannetta also hits lefties well, and even though he’s struggled of late, he’s priced well enough on FD to consider there.
Athletics @ Giants
A Giants stack could be worth a look here as a contrarian play, but basically the whole lineup ranges from somewhat over-priced to very over-priced, so this is probably just a game to ignore altogether.
**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility
- David Ross
- Nick Hundley (better value on DK)
- Willson Contreras (better value on FD)
- Victor Martinez (better value on FD)
- Robinson Chirinos
- Chris Iannetta (better value on FD)
- Chris Davis
- Edwin Encarnacion (better value on DK)
- David Ortiz
- Justin Bour
- Paul Goldschmidt (GPP only, more affordable on DK)
- Anthony Rizzo (GPP only)
- Derek Dietrich (better value on FD)
- Jason Kipnis (better value on DK)
- Devon Travis (better value on FD)
- Ben Zobrist
- Matt Carpenter (GPP only)
- Jonathan Schoop (GPP only, more affordable on FD)
- Nolan Arenado (better value on DK)
- Kris Bryant
- Pedro Alvarez
- Adrian Beltre
- Josh Donaldson (more affordable on DK)
- Manny Machado (GPP only, more affordable on DK)
- Trevor Story (better value on FD)
- Javier Baez
- Elvis Andrus
- Corey Seager
- Troy Tulowitzki (better value on FD)
- Carlos Correa (GPP only)
- Mike Trout (better value on DK)
- Joc Pederson (better value on FD)
- Michael Saunders
- Ryan Raburn
- Franklin Gutierrez
- Bryce Harper (better value on FD)
- Christian Yelich (better value on DK)
- Nelson Cruz (better value on FD)
- Ian Desmond
- Ryan Braun (better value on DK)
- Ryan Rua
- Cody Asche
- Corey Kluber (better value on FD)
- Rick Porcello (much better value on FD
- Zack Greinke (better value on DK)
- Jon Lester (better value on DK)
- Julio Urias (GPP only)
- Matt Harvey (better value on DK)
- Jose Quintana (better value on FD)
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
Additional projections and values are the same projections listed in the projection tabs.