Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: August 22, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis
Below we’ve got player rankings with commentary, suggested lineups and a projection/research chart for Monday’s eight-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.
**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility
- Gary Sanchez – In his first 16 games Sanchez is hitting .361 with six home runs. Almost all of that damage has been against right-handed pitching, so the kid isn’t only a platoon option. He and the Yanks will get RHP Cody Martin tonight in Martin’s fourth career start. Sanchez remains too cheap on FD.
- Brian McCann – McCann hasn’t been quite right for some time, but he is coming off a decent week in which he hit .285, hit a home run and stole a base. He also has that nice matchup with Martin and has the platoon advantage (which he needs more than Sanchez). He’s cheaper than Sanchez on DK if you need to save a few hundred bucks.
- Sandy Leon – Dating back to August 5 Leon is hitting .439 with four home runs and has almost as many walks as strikeouts. For the season he has a 248 wRC+ vs. LHP. Today he’ll face LHP Blake Snell who has been good early in his career but who has a 4.33 xFIP vs. RHH. Leon is priced better on DK.
- Anthony Rizzo – The Cubs will get Edwin Jackson tonight, he of the 5.20 ERA (5.32 SIERA) in six starts this season. Rizzo has a 158 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and has two hits in each of his last four games.
- Hanley Ramirez – Hanley is another Boston right-hander that could give Snell some trouble. It bears mentioning that the Sox trail only the Cubs in wRC+ vs. LHP. Hanely is going well hitting .433 in his last eight games. He’s priced a bit better on DK.
- Clint Robinson – Prepare to see a lot of Nationals listed here today. My projections view lots of Nationals favorably despite the matchup with Dylan Bundy, who has admittedly been pitching well. Bundy leans fly ball-heavy, so I could see a few Nats taking him deep tonight. Robinson, if in the lineup, could provide some salary relief on day where it’s not exactly easy to come by.
Behind the paywall you’ll find the remainder of the player rankings and commentary, suggested lineups and my projections/research chart.
- Daniel Murphy – Murphy has a 171 wRC+ vs. RHP this season. It should be also pointed out, in conjunction with Bundy’s fly ball tendencies, that the “HR as L” park factor for Baltimore last season (per Fangraphs) was tied for the highest in the league with Colorado and Yankee Stadium. Murphy is priced a bit better on DK.
- Logan Forsythe – Forsythe has only played one game since a four-game absence with a toe injury, but he donged in his first game back, so that lessens concerns about his health. Forsythe has now homered in his last three games and in five of his last eight. He also has a 138 wRC+ vs. LHP this season.
- Ben Zobrist – Zobrist has recently come out of a funk and is hitting .322 in his last eight games. He often hits right behind Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, which is always a good spot, especially when facing Edwin Jackson. Zo is priced better on FD.
- Kris Bryant – Bryant is on a tear. Entering Sunday’s game he had a 244 wRC+ in the last 14 days. And don’t worry about him not having the platoon advantage against Jackson. Bryant has a 147 wRC+ vs. RHP this season, and Jackson has the highest xFIP vs. RHH of any pitcher going today.
- Anthony Rendon – Rendon has a 161 wRC+ in the last 14 days and does just fine without the platoon advantage with a wRC+ of 113 vs. RHP. Don’t pay for him on DK unless it’s part of a stack, but his FD price is fine.
- Jake Lamb – Lamb has admittedly been awful lately garnering just two hits in his last 40 at-bats. Woof. But he’s in a very good spot today at home against Mike Foltynewicz who has a 5.12 xFIP and 1.84 HR/9 against LHH this season. Lamb could be worth a flier.
- Trea Turner – More Nats! Turner has solidified his role as the lead off man and has not shown any problems with splits. He’s quite pricey on both sites, so he’s not someone you have to force into cash game lineups. But he obviously works well as the beginning to a Nats stack.
- Xander Bogaerts – Shortstop is painfully thin today, especially on DK where some of the guys I like only qualify at other positions like 2B. Bogaerts has been struggling of late, but he did put together a six-game hitting streak last week before it was halted on Sunday. He’s certainly priced well enough, so I’m good with him on DK in the decent matchup with Snell.
- Wilmer Difo – Difo has now started consecutive games and were he to start a third time in a row (unlikely) he could be a cheap punt option in a lineup I like a lot tonight.
- Bryce Harper – Harper definitely has his groove back as he’s hitting .433 with a couple dongs in the eight games since he returned from a short absence. I’d pay up for him whenever you can.
- David Dahl – With Charlie Blackmon out the last couple of days, Dahl has found himself in the lead off spot. I like him even if Blackmon returns and Dahl goes back to the five hole given the matchup against Jimmy Nelson who has a 4.88 xFIP vs. LHP dating back to last year.
- Mookie Betts – Mookie had his eight-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday, but he’s obviously the Boston RHH most likely to give Snell some trouble. He’s relatively more affordable on DK than FD.
- Matthew Joyce – Joyce has a 152 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and has an excellent matchup against Doug Fister who has a 5.20 xFIP and 1.50 HR/9 vs. LHH dating back to last season. He hardly ever starts, but if he’s in the lineup, he’s very good salary relief, especially on FD.
- Ryan Braun – Don’t overspend for Braun on FD, but he’s priced well enough on DK. He’s fine without the platoon advantage with a 132 wRC+ vs. RHP this season. The main thing I don’t like about him is Chad Bettis’ tendency to keep the ball on the ground.
- Tyler Naquin – Naquin has a 161 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and a decent enough price tag on FD.
- Jon Lester – Despite there being plenty of big name pitchers going tonight, it’s a tough slate for pitching. Plenty of those big names have been struggling of late, and pricing on both sites is very sharp on pitchers. Lester is the one obvious name as he and the Cubs are easily the biggest favorite of the slate at -230. He’s a tad over-priced, but probably worth paying for in cash games.
- Jameson Taillon – Taillon has been very solid recently with a 2.53 ERA (3.26 SIERA) in his last five starts. He has a nice matchup tonight against Houston who is average per wRC+ vs. RHP with an almost 24 percent strikeout rate vs. RHP. Taillon is a bit over-priced on DK, but he’s priced quite nicely on FD.
- Stephen Strasburg – Strasburg has an unseemly 7.30 ERA in his last five starts, but his SIERA is 3.87 in that stretch. His strikeout and walk rates in that stretch aren’t far off what they’ve been all year. He has allowed a bit more hard contact of late, but not so much more that his BABIP should be .389 and his strand rate should be 53 percent. The strand rate is particularly strange given that he hasn’t a problem with home runs lately. There’s some upside in his matchup as the O’s strikeout more than average vs RHP, but they also have a 111 wRC+ against them. Stras is priced a tad better on DK if you like him.
- David Price – Price has allowed too much hard contact all season and has been doing so in the last month as well. He’s also lost quite a few swinging strikes in the last month, but I just find him hard to ignore in what’s arguably the best matchup of the day against a Tampa team that’s below average in wRC+ vs. LHP and strikes out more than 25 percent of the time.
- Michael Pineda – Pineda leads all pitchers in action tonight in swinging strike rate, both for the season and in the last 30 days. He has a pretty tough matchup against Seattle who has a 110 wRC+ vs. RHP with a below average strikeout rate. But he’s priced well enough on DK, and his ability to miss bats always gives him plenty of upside. GPP only.
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. – 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.