Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: August 1, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis
Below we’ve got breakdowns for each game of Monday’s eight-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel along with player rankings, suggested lineups, and a projections/research chart. Any discussion of a hitter’s stats date back to the beginning of 2015 unless otherwise noted.
Yankees @ Mets
The pitchers in this game have xFIPs of 4.90 and 4.74 over the last 30 days, so some bats are worth a look here. Left-hander CC Sabathia will start for the Yanks, and Wilmer Flores is the only Met with good numbers against lefties. Yoenis Cespedes also has good numbers vs. LHP, but he’s likely headed to the DL. Flores has a 169 wRC+ vs. LHP and pretty decent price tags on both sites. Right-hander Logan Verrett will go for the Mets and Yankee switch-hitters have the best numbers vs. LHP. Mark Teixeira is priced nicely on both sites and is a decent option at an unusually thin 1B position today. And Carlos Beltran is an option on DK where he’s priced decently.
Twins @ Indians
Cleveland is the biggest favorite of the night in Vegas at -220, and the Twins have a 91 wRC+ vs. RHP with a slightly higher than average strikeout rate, so Danny Salazar is in play tonight. Salazar has a 6.14 ERA in his last four starts but a .373 BABIP and 64 percent strand rate are mainly to blame. Salazar deserves a little blame himself for inducing very little weak contact in this rough stretch, but his strikeout and walk numbers have been above average, so the bad luck is the main culprit. He’s more affordable on DK than FD, so he’s an SP1 option there in cash games if you can’t afford Stephen Strasburg, and he’s also an option in GPPs.
The only bat that really stands out in this one in Jason Kipnis who owns a 144 wRC+ vs. RHP and a 206 wRC+ in the last 14 days. Kipnis is pricey on DK, but affordable enough on FD.
Royals @ Rays
This is a pretty good pitching matchup between Chris Archer and Danny Duffy, but I lean toward Archer. Their ERAs over the last 30 days are similar, but Archer has the better underlying numbers thanks to a big advantage in strikeouts and a walk rate that’s a little higher than Duffy’s but safely better than league average. Plus, Duffy is risky against the Rays who hit lefties much better than righties with a 114 wRC+ vs. LHP. The Royals have an 87 wRC+ vs. RHP, though they strikeout less than average. But Archer can rack up K’s against anyone on the right night, so he’s an option in GPPs on either site.
As mentioned, the Rays hit lefties very well. Evan Longoria, Logan Forsythe and Brandon Guyer all have a wRC+ vs. LHP between 149 and 160. Collectively, they are priced better on DK, so Rays could make for a stack option there. Steve Pearce also has solid numbers vs. LHP, so he could be included in a stack. For cash games, Longoria has been swinging the best bat of the bunch and he’s priced nicely on DK.
Marlins @ Cubs
Cubs stack. The Cubs have five guys with a wRC+ vs. LHP of 137 or higher, and they’ll get LHP Adam Conley tonight. The five guys are Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler, and Anthony Rizzo. Fowler has been struggling and Rizzo is too pricey, so they should only be used as part of a stack. But the other three have been swinging it well and will all work for cash games. Baez is priced really well on both sites and with his 176 wRC+ vs. LHP he’ll be hard to pass up. Bryant and Zobrist are both priced a bit better on DK, though Bryant is priced well enough for use on FD as well.
Behind the paywall you’ll find breakdowns of the remaining games, player rankings, suggested lineups and my projections/research chart.
Blue Jays @ Astros
No pitcher in action tonight has a better SIERA than Marcus Stroman in the last 30 days. Some bad luck with fly balls leaving the yard has his ERA about a full run higher than his 2.66 SIERA in this stretch, but he has generated ground balls on about two thirds of all batted balls allowed, so the home run issues haven’t sunk him. Stroman has also upped his strikeout rate in this stretch to a bit above average, and he could add to those gains tonight against a Houston team that has a 23.8 percent strikeout rate vs. RHP. He’s priced well enough on both sites but especially on FD.
You can also fire up a Toronto stack here. They’ll face Doug Fister whose 5.84 SIERA in the last 30 days is higher than any other pitcher going tonight. What’s crazy is that as bad as Fister has been lately it could easily be worse as his HR/FB rate in that stretch is a tiny 2.6 percent. That could turn around in a hurry against the Jays. Edwin Encarnacion has been swinging the best bat lately, so he’s the best option for cash games, especially on DK where he’s priced much more affordably. Fister leans fly ball-heavy against lefties, so left-hander Michael Saunders and switch-hitter Justin Smoak are options as well. Ideally Smoak would hit eighth and Devon Travis would hit ninth so you could do a wrap around Jays stack back through three or four in the order.
Nationals @ Diamondbacks
Strasburg’s 2.08 ERA in his last five starts is a tad lucky given a .152 BABIP and 9.2 percent walk rate. But the strikeouts have been there and he has been limiting hard contact, so it’s not like swift and serious regression is on the way. He’s got a good matchup against and Arizona team that strikes out at an above average rate against pitchers of either handedness and that has a wRC+ of only 88 vs. RHP. The only real issue with Stras is price. If you can fit him into cash games lineups, please do so by all means. I do think I’d fade him in GPPs given he’s by far the biggest name pitcher of the slate and a short slate at that.
Red Sox @ Mariners
Anytime Seattle faces a left-handed starter Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez have to be in consideration. Cruz’s wRC+ vs. LHP is 190 and Gute’s is 154. They’ll get LHP Eduardo Rodriguez tonight who has a 6.51 ERA (5.05 SIERA) in nine starts this season. His ERA in his last three starts is 3.06, but his SIERA in the same stretch is less impressive at 4.60. Cruz is priced better on FD and Gute on DK, but neither is priced out of use on either site. Gute may be the guy to lean to for cash exposure because of his 224 wRC+ in the last seven days.
For the Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts is a nice option against LHP James Paxton. Bogaerts has a 151 wRC+ vs. LHP and a 161 wRC+ in the last 14 days. He’s way too expensive on DK but priced about right on FD. And because 1B is a little thin in this slate, Hanley Ramirez could also be an option. He’s also over-priced on DK but is a nice value on FD.
Brewers @ Padres
Both of these teams are great matchups for right-handed pitchers, and two right-handers are starting in this one. Unfortunately those right-handers are Jarred Cosart and Jimmy Nelson who have SIERAs this season of 5.66 and 4.83, respectively. Nelson’s 2.83 ERA in his last five starts seems appealing, but a 4.56 SIERA over the same stretch takes some shine off that. Of the two I could see using Cosart as a pure punt play. He’s dirt, dirt cheap, especially on DK, and he was good in his last start (his first since April) in another good matchup against the Phillies. I don’t think I’ll end up going that route, but it’s the ultimate salary relief GPP option.
Assuming you don’t gamble on Cosart, consider Kirk Nieuwenhuis as a salary relief option. Nieuwenhuis manages to be about average with the platoon advantage, and he’s running hot with a 199 wRC+ in the last 14 days.
**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility
- Edwin Encarnacion (better price on DK)
- Justin Smoak
- Mark Teixeira
- Hanley Ramirez (better price on FD)
- Jason Kipnis (better price on FD)
- Ben Zobrist (better price on DK)
- Logan Forsythe
- Devon Travis (better price on FD)
- Nelson Cruz (better price on FD)
- Michael Saunders
- Franklin Gutierrez (better price on DK)
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis
- Jose Bautista (better price on DK)
- Dexter Fowler
- Carlos Beltran (better price on DK)
- Brandon Guyer (better price on FD)
- Stephen Strasburg
- Danny Salazar (better price on DK)
- Chris Archer
- Marcus Stroman (better price on FD)
- Jarred Cosart
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.
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.