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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: August 16, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis

Below we’ve got player rankings with commentary, suggested lineups and a projection/research chart for Tuesday’s 15-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Player Rankings

**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility

Catcher

  1. James McCann – It’s never a bad idea to punt at C, and McCann is your best punt option today. He has a 137 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and is going fairly well going six for his last 17 with a home run. He’s nice and cheap on both sites.
  2. Gary Sanchez – In 10 games since being called up Sanchez is hitting .275 and already has a couple home runs. His third home run will be in play tonight against the fly ball-heavy Marco Estrada. Sanchez is a really nice value on DK.
  3. Yasmani Grandal – Grandal was on an absolute heater at the beginning of the month, but he’s now 0-for-10 in his last three games. Don’t trust him in cash, but a Dodgers stack could be interesting getting a positive park shift in Philly against Vince Velasquez, who leans a bit fly ball-heavy and who has a 4.77 SIERA in his last five starts. Grandal is too expensive on DK.
  4. Stephen Vogt – Probably better to save at C, but Vogt is above average with the platoon advantage and went 8-for-20 last week before going 0-for-3 against a left-handed starter last night. He also has a really nice matchup against Lucas Harrell who I have projected as the best matchup for LHH on this slate.
  5. Wilson Ramos – Coors. Typically something I fade, especially in GPPs. And Ramos is very pricey, Coors be damned.

First Base

  1. David Ortiz – Ortiz appears to be out of his early August slump going seven for his last 17 with two home runs. He’s got a 176 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and gets RHP Yovani Gallardo who has a 4.90 xFIP vs. LHH dating back to last season. Feel free to pay up for Big Papi when/if you can.
  2. Anthony Rizzo – Rizzo has a 164 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and will face RHP Chase Anderson who has a 1.70 HR/9 allowed to LHH dating back to last year. Papi is probably the guy I prefer to spend on, but Rizzo is a few hundred cheaper on DK, and Rizzo could be the better option if you like a Cubs stack.
  3. Adrian Gonzalez – Again, I kind of like Dodgers as a sneaky play against the struggling, fly ball-prone Velasquez in hitter-friendly Philly. Like Grandal, AGonz is priced better on FD, which is the site I’d be inclined to consider Dodgers on.
  4. Freddie Freeman – Freeman is scorching hot with a 218 wRC+ in the last 14 and a 318 wRC+ in the last seven. He also has a 140 wRC+ vs. RHP this year and a fine matchup with RHP Ervin Santana. Freddie is a better value on FD than DK.
  5. Joey Votto – Votto has been hot basically since the Break, and he’s currently working on a seven-game hit streak in which he is 14-for-30.

Behind the paywall you’ll find the remainder of the player rankings and commentary, suggested lineups and my projections/research chart.

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Second Base

  1. Jose Altuve – Houston’s matchup with Jaime Garcia isn’t ideal since Garcia keeps the ball on the ground at an extremely high rate, but Altuve is damn near matchup-proof. For one thing he’s hitting .314 on ground balls this season, and his 193 wRC+ vs. LHP is tough to ignore. Feel free to pay up for him.
  2. Neil Walker – Walker is on some kind of roll. Going back to July 27, Walker has a freakish .502 wOBA. He’s got a good matchup against rookie Braden Shipley who has a 5.12 xFIP vs. LHH in his short career. Plus, Walker is getting a nice positive park shift on the road in Arizona, and the Arizona bullpen is one of the most hitter-friendly bullpens in the league.
  3. Ian Kinsler – I failed to mention this when discussing James McCann, but the Tigers will face LHP Danny Duffy who leans pretty fly ball-heavy vs. RHH. Tigers could be sneaky candidates to go yard tonight. Kinsler is priced much better on DK than FD.
  4. Ben Zobrist – Zobrist regularly follows Rizzo and Kris Bryant in the lineup, so he’s an option if you want to stack Cubs. Zo is priced better on FD.
  5. Daniel Murphy – More Coors.

Third Base

  1. Kris Bryant – I mentioned Chase Anderson’s 1.7 HR/9 vs. LHH, right? Well, he’s got a 1.59 HR/9 vs. RHH, so this matchup will suit Bryant just fine as well.
  2. Kyle Seager – Seager has a 162 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and a 166 wRC+ in the last seven. He has a very good matchup against RHP Jhoulys Chacin who has a 5.11 xFIP vs. LHH dating back to last season. Seager is priced better on FD than DK.
  3. Manny Machado – Machado has a very good matchup against LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, but I’ll be more inclined to just spend on Bryant.
  4. Chase Headley – Headley is nothing but a punt play or perhaps part of a cheap Yankees stack in a GPP. He’s a switch-hitter who is average from the left side, so perhaps he could run into one against fly ball-prone Estrada.
  5. Jose Ramirez – Ramirez had an 18-game hit streak snapped last night. In that streak he posted an impressive .504 wOBA. He’s too pricey on DK, but he’s priced well on FD and could be a GPP option there, as could an Indians stack.

Shortstop

  1. Didi Gregorius  – Like catcher, short is often a position to just find some savings and worry less about the best option at the position. Which is why Didi will be in a large portion of my lineups tonight. He’s nice and cheap on both sites, the matchup with Estrada is good, and he’s going well with a 129 wRC+ in August.
  2. Carlos Correa – Correa is running hot with a 255 wRC+ in the last seven. He’s affordable enough on DK that he could be an option over Didi there. Otherwise, he’s reserved for an Astros stack if you go that route.
  3. Brad Miller – Miller has a 130 wRC+ vs. RHP this year and gets RHP Edwin Jackson tonight. Miller also has a 187 wRC+ in the last 14, though he doesn’t have attractive price tags tonight.
  4. Trea Turner – Yawn, Coors.
  5. Corey Seager – Seager is disconnected in the order from the other Dodgers I like, AGonz, Grandal and Joc Pederson. But were he to be grouped more closely with those hitters than normal, he’d be a good option to include in a Dodgers stack.

Outfield

  1. Mike Trout – Ariel Miranda will be filling in for an injured James Paxton tonight, which does wonders for Trout’s value. He’s all too reasonably priced on DK given this change in matchup.
  2. Andrew Benintendi – In his first 10 major league starts this season, Benintendi has acquitted himself nicely with a .430 wOBA. Were he to hit up the order, his value would skyrocket. But even at the bottom of the order he’s too cheap and performing too well not to like him.
  3. J.D. Martinez – Here’s another Detroit RHH that could be sneaky against Duffy. Martinez owns a 155 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and has been excellent since returning to the lineup on August 3 with a .490 wOBA since then, which doesn’t include the home run he hit last night. He’s a better value on DK than FD.
  4. George Springer – Springer has started to come out of a slump with a 210 wRC+ in the last seven. He also has a 165 wRC+ vs. LHP this season.
  5. Joc Pederson  – Joc is nine for his last 21 with home runs in his last two games. He typically hits behind AGonz and Grandal, which would make for a nice, potentially sneaky, stack.
  6. Brandon Guyer – Guyer has a 207 wRC+ vs. LHP this season. He, Ramirez and Mike Napoli hit consecutively in the lineup twice last week against a left-handed starter. If they do so again tonight, they’d make for a nice stack. Guyer is priced much better on FD as is Ramirez.
  7. Khris Davis – Oakland’s matchup with Lucas Harrell is better for LHH, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still good for RHH. And Davis doesn’t have much of a splits problem with a 115 wRC+ vs. RHP this season.
  8. Mookie Betts – Surely you’re aware of his three home run day on Sunday, but are you aware Mookie has a 216 wRC+ in August? Or that is was preceded by a 179 wRC+ in July? The dude stays hot.
  9. Charlie Blackmon – Speaking of hot, Blackmon is hotter than two mice making a mouse porno inside a wool sock on a tin roof in August. Blackmon now has a 10-game hitting streak going in which he is 24-for-47 with nine home runs. Ho. Lee. Schnei. Kees. If you’re paying up for one Coors guy to get some exposure in cash games, it’s Blackmon.
  10. Stephen Piscotty – Piscotty has a 171 wRC+ vs. LHP this season. It kind of doesn’t matter given the bevy of other options today, but I felt like I should mention it.

Starting Pitcher

  1. Noah Syndergaard – Arizona ranks fifth worst in wRC+ vs. RHP and has the fifth highest K% against them, so this is certainly a good matchup for Thor. He hasn’t been quite as dominant lately, but he still has a healthy 3.45 ERA (3.48 SIERA) in the last 30 days. He’s reasonably priced across the board.
  2. Kenta Maeda – Maeda has suffered from some tough luck with fly balls leaving the yard recently, but it hasn’t been a problem all season, so don’t get hung up on it. Plus, the matchup isn’t dangerous against a Philly team that ranks 29th in wRC+ vs. RHP. The Dodgers are one of the four or five biggest favorites of the slate around -160, so Maeda is a good cash option. I don’t think he has the upside for GPPs.
  3. Blake Snell – I do think Snell has the upside for GPPs. Snell has a 29 percent K% in the last 30 days, better than any other pitcher going tonight, and he’ll face the Padres who have the second highest K% vs. LHP. I’m even fine with Snell in cash, but I heartily recommend him in GPPs.
  4. Corey Kluber – Decent matchup here for Kluber against the White Sox who rank 22nd in wRC+ vs. RHP with an average strikeout rate. Kluber’s 1.80 ERA over his last five starts is a bit fortunate given his 3.62 SIERA in that time frame, but he’s pitching well of late nonetheless. Cleveland is the biggest favorite of the evening slate as of this writing, so Kluber is a cash option. He’s priced more reasonably on DK than FD.
  5. Justin Verlander – Verlander has been pitching well with a 1.75 ERA (3.21 SIERA) in his last five starts with a 28.8 percent K%. The Royals rank 27th in wRC+ vs. RHP and Detroit is a slight favorite, so Verlander could be a cash option. He’s priced better on FD than DK, but I’ll likely prefer two or three other pitchers in cash on that one-pitcher site.
  6. Jason Hammel – Hammel has a 23.1 percent K% in his last five starts and will face the Brewers who easily lead the league in K% vs. RHP, which makes Hammel a GPP option. I think he’s over-priced on both sites so I’ll look elsewhere, but he’s an option.
  7. Jameson Taillon – Taillon has been excellent of late with a 1.97 ERA (3.20 SIERA) in his last five starts. However, his matchup with San Francisco is a tough one, even in hitter-friendly San Fran. With plenty of other viable options today, you don’t have to force it with Taillon.

Suggested Lineups

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.

8-16 DK

8-16 FD

Research Chart

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. – Multiplier based on projected FIP (based on ZiPS) of opposing pitcher against hitters of that handedness

BP Adj. – Multiplier based on 2015 Fangraphs HR park factor for LHH or RHH

Pen Adj. – Multiplier based on 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.

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