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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: August 26, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis

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

Player Rankings

**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility

Catcher

  1. Welington Castillo – This is an excellent matchup for Arizona RHH against LHP Brandon Finnegan who has a 4.72 xFIP and 1.90 HR/9 vs. RHP dating back to last season. I have Finnegan in a virtual tie as the best matchup for RHH tonight. Castillo has a 155 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and a 200 wRC+ in the last 14. He’s a bit overpriced on DK, but priced well on FD.
  2. Travis d’Arnaud – Finnegan is tied with Adam Morgan as the best matchup for RHH, and d’Arnaud and the Mets will get Morgan tonight. Morgan leans very fly ball-heavy vs. RHH and has a 1.99 HR/9 vs. RHH dating back to last season. Catcher is usually a position where I like to go cheap, and d’Arnaud is about the only cheap option I like tonight.
  3. Evan Gattis – Gattis has a 131 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and a 198 wRC+ in the last 14. He and the Astros will face LHP Drew Smyly tonight who leans fly ball-heavy and has a 1.68 HR/9 vs. RHH dating back to last year. Gattis is priced best on FD.
  4. Russell Martin – The third best matchup for RHH tonight is LHP Pat Dean, and Martin and the Jays get that matchup tonight in their hitter-friendly home park. Martin has a 256 wRC+ in the last 14 and decent price tags on both sites.
  5. Gary Sanchez – The catcher position has to be pretty deep today for Sanchez to be the fifth ranked option. The kid has a ridiculous .527 wOBA in 80 PA this season. His prices have caught up to him, but no one would fault you for plugging him in cash lineups.

First Base

  1. Paul Goldschmidt – Again, great matchup here with Finnegan. It also bears mentioning that Cincy has one of the worst bullpens in the league. Goldy has a 186 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and a 187 wRC+ in the last 14. He’s worth paying for anywhere.
  2. Edwin Encarnacion – Again, great matchup here with Dean. E5 has a 200 wRC+ in the last 14 and is more affordable on DK than FD.
  3. Joey Votto – Votto has a .503 wOBA since the All-Star break, which covers a span of 160 PA. He has a 162 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and is more than reasonably priced on FD.
  4. David Ortiz – RHP Ian Kennedy leans very fly ball-heavy vs. LHH and has a 1.93 HR/9 allowed to LHH since last season. Ortiz has a 180 wRC+ vs. RHP this season and a 254 wRC+ in the last 14. Ortiz is pricey, but everyone listed at this position is pricey, especially on DK.
  5. Anthony Rizzo – With some other really good 1B options tonight and a half-tough matchup against Bud Norris, Rizzo could be a bit low owned tonight. He has a 161 wRC+ vs. RHP this season, so he’s capable of a big day in any matchup and could be a good GPP option as a result. He’s more affordable on FD than DK.

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 – Again, good matchup for Houston RHH vs. Smyly. Altuve has a 197 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and is all too reasonably priced on DK where he’s almost impossible to pass up.
  2. Brian Dozier – Doze has been almost as good vs. LHP as Altuve has with a 194 wRC+ against them. He’s been hot with a 223 wRC+ in the last 14. He’s pricey, but he has a nice matchup against LHP Francisco Liriano, so he’s an option if affordable.
  3. Jean Segura – Another Arizona righty here. Segura is going well with a 181 wRC+ in the last 14, and he’s priced decently on DK.
  4. Daniel Murphy – Murphy is basically always an option vs. RHP with a 168 vs. RHP this season, and he’s especially an option against a righty making his second career start, which is the case with Jeff Hoffman starting for Colorado. The problem is that Murph is very pricey and there are other stud options at the position. He’s a bit like Rizzo in that he could be low owned enough to consider in a GPP.
  5. Neil Walker – Walker is set to return from the paternity list tonight and will get that excellent matchup against Morgan. Walker has been very good from the right side this season with a 166 wRC+vs. LHP.

Third Base

  1. Josh Donaldson – Donaldson hasn’t quite been himself lately, but he has that good matchup against Dean and has a 166 wRC+ vs. LHP this season. He’s more affordable on DK than FD.
  2. Wilmer Flores – Flores has a 186 wRC+ vs. LHP this season, so he’s an excellent candidate to take advantage of the matchup with Morgan. Flores is an insanely good value on FD and is almost impossible to pass on there.
  3. Pedro Alvarez – Anytime Alvarez faces a below average right-hander, he’s an option to go deep. He’ll get RHP Luis Cessa tonight in New York, which is one of the few places as favorable to left-handed power hitters as Baltimore is.
  4. Manny Machado – Machado also gets that matchup with Cessa, and his reverse splits (140 wRC+ vs. RHP) make it a good matchup for him as well. I think I’d only use Machado if stacking O’s in a GPP.
  5. Kris Bryant – Bryant, like Sanchez, seems criminally under-ranked at the bottom of this list. He’s on a seven-game hitting streak in which he has a stupid .616 wOBA. He’s wildly expensive, and the matchup with Norris isn’t a great one. But Bryant is arguably matchup-proof.

Shortstop

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – One more Toronto right-hander against Dean. Tulo is priced well on both sites and has a decent 140 wRC+ in the last 14.
  2. Carlos Correa – Correa has reverse splits, so I don’t love the matchup against the left-handed Smyly for him as much as I do for some of his teammates. But he’s priced very, very well on DK, so he’s very much in play there.
  3. Didi Gregorius – Nice matchup here for Didi against Yovani Gallardo who has a 4.95 xFIP vs. LHH dating back to last season. Tulo and Correa are basically the same price or cheaper on DK, but Didi is cheap enough on FD.
  4. Asdrubal Cabrera – Cabrera typically hits second against lefties, and given that I’m not on lead off man Jose Reyes, Cabrera would make for a good start to a Mets stack against Morgan. He can also save you an extra $100 bucks on FD compared to Didi.
  5. Chris Owings – Owings is an Arizona righty that is an option to be a part of a D’Backs stack if he hits high enough in the order. He often hits eighth which would be no good, but lately he has been hitting sixth and could definitely be a part of that stack if he hits in that spot.

Outfield

  1. George Springer – One more Astro right-hander. Springer has a 173 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and a 177 wRC+ in the last 14. Like his teammates, Springer is priced better on DK than FD, so the Astros could be a stack option on that site.
  2. Yoenis Cespedes – Cespedes is by far the Met most likely to take advantage of the matchup with Morgan. He has a 190 wRC+ vs. LHP this season and is 7-for-22 with three home runs in five games since returning from the DL. He’s pricey but worth it in cash games.
  3. Matt Joyce – If Joyce happens to be in the lineup, he’s an excellent salary relief option on FD. He gets RHP Matt Garza tonight and has a 155 wRC+ vs. RHP this season. Seriously, Joyce is a must play on FD if he’s in the lineup.
  4. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – I’m including Newy as an alternative salary relief option in the event that Joyce doesn’t start tonight. There’s not a ton of value I like out there tonight, so if you’re desperate for some savings, consider Newy.
  5. Mike Trout – Trout is another one of these studs who could be a bit lower owned tonight. Justin Verlander has been pitching well, so Trout might not be overly popular tonight. But Verlander does lean a little fly ball heavy, so Trout could be a sneaky candidate to dong tonight. Like Bryant, he’s about matchup proof.
  6. Stephen Piscotty – Piscotty is very good vs. LHP with a 160 wRC+ against them this year. He has an excellent matchup vs. LHP Ross Detwiler whose 6.21 xFIP dating back to last season is the worst among all of tonight’s starters. Piscotty is too expensive on DK, but he’s a good option on FD if you can find some room for him.
  7. J.D. Martinez – Martinez went 0-for-5 on Thursday, but from his return to the lineup on August 3 until Wednesday he posted a .516 wOBA.
  8. Nelson Cruz – Another GPP option. Cruz likely won’t be heavily owned against Chris Sale, but he has a 163 wRC+ vs. LHP that means he can take anyone deep on any day.

Starting Pitcher

  1. David Phelps – No pitcher in action tonight has a lower SIERA over the last 30 days than Phelps. He has a 3.05 SIERA (1.31 ERA) and a 32.5 percent strikeout rate in his last four starts. He also has a great matchup with the Padres who rank dead last in wRC+ vs. RHP with the second highest strikeout rate. Phelps is priced well on both sites but extremely well on FD.
  2. Chris Sale – As has been discussed, Sale is pitching a bit more to contact this season, but he still has a near 25 percent strikeout rate and an ERA in the low threes thanks to some solid contact management. He’s been managing contact in the last 30 days even better than he has for the season, so he’s a fairly reliable option at the moment, even in an average matchup against Seattle. He’s priced decently on both sites.
  3. Mike Fiers – Fiers has been pitching really well with a 3.72 ERA (3.45 SIERA) in his last five starts with a 26.5 percent strikeout rate. He’s got some strikeout upside with that recent K rate and a matchup with the Rays who have the third highest K% vs. RHP. He’s priced nicely on both sites.
  4. Corey Kluber – I’d reserve Kluber for GPPs simply because he has the stuff to put up a big day against any opponent. But Texas is a tough opponent as they don’t strikeout much, and the ball park is obviously not one that is pitcher-friendly. If you want to take a shot on him, he’s a bit more affordable on DK.
  5. Felix Hernandez – Felix has a decent matchup with the White Sox who rank 23rd in wRC+ vs. RHP with an average strikeout rate. Felix has a 3.32 ERA in his last six starts, though he has been a tad bit lucky. His walk rate is in the double digits in that stretch, and he’s been fortunate to have a low BABIP and high strand rate that haven’t compounded the problem that is the walks. He’s priced a bit better on DK than FD but not all that well on either site.

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.

8-26 DK

8-26 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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