Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: June 29, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis
Below we’ve got breakdowns for each game of Wednesday’s eight-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 Wednesday night from a DFS perspective.
Mets @ Nationals
Max Scherzer is unsurprisingly the top projected pitcher of the night as he almost always is as long as Kershaw or Fernandez aren’t pitching, and neither of them is in action tonight. Scherzer has a nice matchup with the Mets who rank 15th in wRC+ vs. RHP with the sixth highest K% vs. RHP. The issue here will be price. It’s always tough to fill out your hitter slots on FD when you roster a really expensive pitcher. On DK you can usually offset some cost of your SP1 by finding a bargain for your SP2, but as you’ll see, that will prove difficult tonight. That said, you pretty much have to find a way to make him work in cash lineups. There are some other options we’ll get to if you want to look elsewhere in cash, but all other options have warts. In GPPs, as always, feel free to fade the top pitching option of the night.
As far as bats go, the only options are Washington lefties Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy against RHP Logan Verrett. Verrett hasn’t put up good numbers in his short career, but he hasn’t shown issues with splits. And it’s not like Harper and Murphy are going all that well. Harper has been just barely better than league average in the last 14 days, and Murphy has been a bit worse than average in that span. That said, Harper has a 186 wRC+ vs. RHP in the last two years and is cheap as he’s ever going to be, so he’s an option. That’s especially true since this is a short slate.
Rangers @ Yankees
Masahiro Tanaka is one of the alternatives to Scherzer in cash games, but he’s probably not a better option. For starters, he’s definitely not an option on FD where he’s way over-priced, but you could consider him on DK. The other problem is matchup. According to my own little DFS matchup stat, Tanaka’s matchup with the Rangers is the third worst matchup of the evening. Texas is below average in wRC+ vs. RHP, but they have the sixth lowest K% vs. RHP. And of course any time these two teams play the ball park isn’t going to be pitcher friendly. If anything, Tanaka is an SP2 if your SP1 isn’t Scherzer.
At the plate, fire up your Yankee lefties. I say lefties because the lineup will be full of them against RHP Nick Martinez given how many switch-hitters New York has. Martinez has a career xFIP of 5.19 and a career xFIP vs. LHH of 5.48. Their best options against right-handers are Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira. Unfortunately, Beltran could well be out of the lineup tonight after he was removed from Tuesday’s game with a hamstring cramp. The MRI results were negative, but it would be no surprise if he got the night off. As for Tex, he’s 5-for-15 with two home runs since returning from the DL four games ago.
Other good options include Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius given that they play at shallow positions. Didi has been going well with a 170 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Both he and McCann are better values on FD than DK, which is the case for most Yanks.
Stack suggestion: My guess is that Teixeira, McCann, Gregorius, Starlin Castro and Chase Headley all hit consecutively. Basically, McCann/Teixeira (whoever hits higher in the order) through Didi is the stack.
Indians @ Braves
Danny Salazar is another alternative to Scherzer in cash games given that he’ll be facing the Braves who have the lowest wRC+ vs. RHP. But there are plenty of reasons not to like Salazar. For one, the matchup with the Braves isn’t as good as it first appears because the Braves have the ninth lowest strikeout rate vs. RHP. Second, Salazar isn’t that much cheaper than Scherzer, $1,300 on DK and $1,100 on FD. While those may seem like large price gaps, so is the gap in the quality of pitchers we’re discussing here, and the quality gap is much larger than the price gaps. Salazar’s walk rate is a worrisome 12.3 percent, which makes him very hard to trust in cash games. I won’t use him in cash, and the only spot I’ll really consider him is in GPPs on FD.
Against Salazar, Freddie Freeman is a nice option. He’s the only Brave bat in play, but he’s very much in play. Freeman has a 238 wRC+ in the last 14 days and a 143 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last. He’s priced very attractively and remains a good salary relief option at a position where we rarely look for it or get it.
Cleveland left-handed bats are in play against Casey Kelly. Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana lead the Indians in wRC+ vs. RHP and are the best options. Kipnis is the only one with a decent price tag, and that’s only on DK. All Cleveland bats continue to be over-priced on FD, so ignore them there. Salary relief options include Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin who have been swinging hot bats and will have the platoon advantage on Kelly.
Stack suggestion: Cleveland 1-5
Dodgers @ Brewers
The guy I’m most drawn to here is Brock Stewart, who will be called up to make his first major league start. Stewart started the season at High-A and was quickly moved to Double-A where he made nine starts in which he struck out 62 and walked 10 in 56.1 innings. He was then promoted to Triple-A where he made three starts in which he struck out 27 and walked only two in 18.2 innings. Impressive.
His matchup for his debut is about as good as it can be. He’ll face the Brewers who rank 22nd in wRC+ vs. RHP and who easily have the highest K% vs. RHP. He’s obviously cheap since this is his first career start, so he makes for great salary relief on a day where it’s hard to find with arms. The only question is whether you can trust him in cash as he’ll obviously work for GPPs. He averaged over six innings per start in both Double- and Triple-A which helps assuage some concerns about pitch count. Given that there aren’t other good cheap options and that it’s so preferable to roster Scherzer in cash, I’m good with Stewart as an SP2 in cash as well.
The other starter here is Junior Guerra, who joins Scherzer and Salazar as the only three pitchers in action today with a strikeout rate over 20 percent, though Guerra’s is nowhere near 30 percent like the other two. The Dodgers have an average strikeout rate vs. RHP, so perhaps Guerra has a bit of strikeout upside. The problem is that his price tags are just about right and stifle the value potential he may have.
Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez all have a wRC+ north of 120 vs. RHP between this year and last. And Seager, Turner and Pederson all have a wRC+ north of 150 in the last 14 days. Gonzalez has really been struggling but has historically hit well in Milwaukee and went 3-for-3 there last night. Pederson is way under-priced on FD and a great option there, though he’s priced about right on DK. Seager is priced sharply on both sites but is a bit more affordable on FD. Those two are your cash options while AGonz and Turner would work in a stack.
Stack suggestion: Los Angeles 2-6
Twins @ White Sox
There are few options in this game. Neither pitcher can be trusted, and these teams rank 23rd and 24th in wRC+ vs. right-handed starters like they’ll be facing. The best option is Adam Eaton who has a 122 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last and a 155 wRC+ in the last 14 days. He’s over-priced on DK, but he’s a decent little value on FD. The only other guy worth a look is Alex Avila with the platoon advantage on Ricky Nolasco. Avila is seven for his last 19, though he’s oh-fer in his last seven ABs.
Royals @ Cardinals
Carlos Martinez is yet another alternative to Scherzer. Martinez has a matchup with the Royals that is similar to Tanaka’s with the Rangers as the Royals are a bit below average vs. RHP, but they strike out less than average. With strikeout and walk rates a bit below average, Martinez just isn’t that appealing in cash games. And with sharp price tags on both sites, he doesn’t offer as much value potential in GPPs as you’d like.
The top third of St. Louis’ order is a good option tonight. With Aledmys Diaz out for the time being, it appears Brandon Moss may get to hit out of the two-hole, at least against right-handers like they’ll face today. Moss has a 118 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last and lead off hitter Matt Carpenter has a 161 wRC+ vs. RHP. Three-hole man Matt Holliday has a 127 wRC+ vs. RHP. All three have been going well and would make for a nice mini-stack. They’re all priced much better on FD than DK, so only stack them there. Carp is too expensive to use outside of a Cardinals stack.
Stack suggestion: St. Louis 1-3
Giants @ Athletics
Sean Manaea will return from the DL to start for the A’s tonight. Manaea is not an option, but right-handed bats against him are. Buster Posey owns a 140 wRC+ vs. LHP dating back to last year and a 159 wRC+ in the last 14 days. He’s priced very, very well on DK, though not so much on FD. The other right-handed option is Mac Williamson who is 6-for-25 with two home runs against left-handed pitching this year. He’s a punt option on either site if you need one.
A couple A’s lefties are options against the fly ball-prone Jake Peavy. Josh Reddick and his 137 wRC+ vs. RHP returned to the lineup last night, and given that he’s just back from the DL, his price tags are very reasonable. Stephen Vogt is also an option at his thin position with a 118 wRC+ vs. RHP and reasonable price tags on both sites.
Pirates @ Mariners
Pittsburgh right-handers are worth a look tonight against LHP Wade Miley who will make his return from the DL. Miley doesn’t really have splits issues, but the Pittsburgh lineup just leans righty-heavy. Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer have the best numbers vs. LHP, and they’re also the only Pirates swinging a half decent bat lately. Mercer has arguably been their best hitter recently, and he’s priced nicely on FD. He tends to lead off against lefties. Jung-Ho Kang and David Freese are also worth a look. If you want to stack Pirates, the four guys mentioned here likely hit 1-4 in the order.
Seattle lefties could be options tonight against Jameson Taillon. Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager have the best numbers on the team vs. RHP, though both have been struggling. Seager in particular has been struggling, but he’s also priced quite nicely on DK where he could be an option. Adam Lind is also an option with a 122 wRC+ vs. RHP since this evening slate is light on top notch first basemen.
**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility
- Brian McCann
- Buster Posey (better value on DK)
- Stephen Vogt
- Yasmani Grandal (better value on FD)
- Alex Avila
- Mark Teixeira
- Freddie Freeman
- Adrian Gonzalez (better value on DK)
- Adam Lind (better value on FD)
- Prince Fielder
- Jason Kipnis (FD only)
- Robinson Cano
- Scooter Gennett
- Matt Carpenter (GPP only, FD only)
- Daniel Murphy (GPP only, DK only)
- Didi Gregorius
- Corey Seager (better value on FD)
- Jordy Mercer (better value on FD)
- Francisco Lindor (less expensive on DK)
- Jonathan Villar
- Bryce Harper
- Joc Pederson (better value on FD)
- Shin-Soo Choo (better value on DK)
- Adam Eaton (better value on FD)
- Andrew McCutchen
- Carlos Beltran
- Josh Reddick (better value on FD)
- Matt Holliday (better value on FD)
- Lonnie Chisenhall (better value on DK)
- Mac Williamson
- Max Scherzer
- Brock Stewart
- Danny Salazar (slightly more affordable on FD)
- Carlos Martinez
- Masahiro Tanaka (DK only)
- Junior Guerra
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.