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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: July 15, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis

Below we’ve got breakdowns for each game of Friday’s 14-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel along with player rankings, suggested lineups, and a projections/research chart.

Game Breakdowns

Red Sox @ Yankees

There are a couple of hitters to consider from this game, but ignore the pitching options. The Red Sox are a brutal matchup for Michael Pineda, which makes him un-rosterable tonight, even if you think his peripherals indicate a better second half is coming. And Steven Wright faltered in his last three starts of the first half with a 6.89 ERA. He won’t continue to be that bad, but he also won’t be as good as he was in the first half.

The bats to consider are David Ortiz, Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius. Big Papi owns a 178 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season, and he has a 175 wRC+ in July. He’s a bit more affordable on FD. As for McCann and Didi, they were both on a tear before the break with wRC+’s of 216 and 197 in July, respectively. Both are great values on FD but over-priced on DK, which has been a trend with Yankee bats for awhile.

Mets @ Phillies

If Yoenis Cespedes plays tonight, he could be an option given his strong numbers in July and against right-handed pitching between this year and last. But it seems more likely that he’ll be out this evening. Curtis Granderson has similar numbers to Cespedes in July and against right-handed pitching. He’s also priced well on FD and is priced decently on DK.

If Cespedes sits, Jeremy Hellickson might be worth a look. The Mets are the third best matchup of the day according to my own little matchup stat, and they’d be even more vulnerable without Cespedes. For the season Hellickson has an ERA and ERA estimators all very near 4.00, and his strikeout and walk rates are both a bit above average, so he’s been pretty decent. The strikeouts tailed off in his last five starts before the break, but he still managed contact well, as he has all year, which is always encouraging. There are probably better options in his price range on DK, but he does have value potential on FD and could be a GPP play there.

Pirates @ Nationals

Washington is one of two big favorites in Vegas tonight, which automatically puts Stephen Strasburg into consideration for cash games. If you look at his 0.87 ERA in his three starts prior to the Break, you might think he’s a must-play. But be aware that his xFIP in those three starts was 3.74 and his walk rate was in double digits. Stras managed to strand 100 percent of the base runners he allowed in those three starts, so luck played a big part in his dominant stretch. The starting pitcher for the other big favorite (we’ll get to him in a bit) is a better option today, so pass on Stras.

The only bats worth a look here are some Washington righties. Francisco Liriano has been woeful this season with an ERA and SIERA over 5.00, but he’s still been decent against same-handed hitters (lefties) with a 3.47 ERA and 4.26 xFIP along with a 56.7 percent ground ball rate against LHH. But his xFIP against RHH is 5.71, so guys like Jayson Werth, Danny Espinosa, Anthony Rendon, and Trea Turner (if he plays) are good options. Werth owns a 155 wRC+ vs. LHP dating back to last season and is the rare guy who is priced better on DK than he is on FD. Espinosa was hot before the break with a 180 wRC+ in July, and he’s priced well on FD. Turner led off in the last game before the Break and would be an excellent value on both sites were he to hit in that spot again.

Royals @ Tigers

Ian Kennedy and Justin Verlander will face off in this one, and while neither is a great option tonight, they do allow for some hitters to be in play given their fly ball tendencies. Both pitchers lean fly ball-heavy against opposite-handed hitters, so lefties could be good options against these right-handed starters.

Eric Hosmer owns a 135 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last, and he’s under-priced on both sites. Saving money at first base isn’t typically something you want to look to do, but it’s definitely an option with Hosmer tonight. Detroit has a very righty-heavy lineup, but switch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia could be good salary relief on FD and LHH Steven Moya could be good salary relief on DK. Miguel Cabrera is also in play with a 156 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season and reasonable price tags on both sites.

Brewers @ Reds

Earlier I mentioned Hellickson as a potential GPP option on FD, but I’m unlikely to go in that direction because Anthony DeSclafani is probably a better option on that site in that format. DeSclafani is slightly more expensive, but he has a superb matchup. The Brewers rank 25th in wRC+ with the highest strikeout rate in the league vs. RHP. DeSclafani made his first start of the season on June 10 and has made six starts total. His first two starts didn’t go so well, but in the four starts since he has 25 strikeouts compared to only three walks in 27.2 innings. His 3.98 xFIP indicates he’s had a bit of luck keeping the ball in the yard and stranding runners in that stretch, but that’s the only red flag for a guy with a cheaper-than-average price tag on FD today.

As for bats, Joey Votto is the only name to seriously consider. He has a 179 wRC+ in July and a 158 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season. He’s priced well enough on both sites.

Orioles @ Rays

Chris Archer is a boom-or-bust type pitcher with four starts this season in which he recorded double digit strikeouts and four starts in which is he has allowed five or more earned runs. Tonight he has a boom-or-bust matchup with the O’s who have the 10th highest strikeout rate vs. RHP but also the highest ISO vs. RHP. The game being played in Tampa helps keep Archer in consideration, but it’ still risky. If you like him, a GPP on DK is the spot to use him.

If you’re not gambling with Archer, plenty of O’s are worth a look. Left-handers Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez are the best value options (Davis is only a value on DK), but the O’s also have plenty of righties that can hit same-handed pitching. Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop each have a wRC+ over 130 vs. RHP dating back to last season, and Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo has some thump against righties as well. All four of those right-handers are very expensive on FD, but Machado and Jones are semi-affordable on DK. With the exception of Matt Wieters, any combo of consecutive hitters in their order is a stack option for GPPs.

As for Tampa bats, Corey Dickerson and Brad Miller are their lefties with above average numbers against right-handed pitching. Dickerson has a 162 wRC+ in July and is a nice value on both sites. Miller is priced out of use on FD but is an option on DK at a thin position.

Rockies @ Braves

I’ll make this one quick. Carlos Gonzalez has a 146 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season and is only $3,500 on DK. Tonight he’ll face RHP Lucas Harrell who has a career xFIP vs. LHH of 4.67. Even though this game isn’t at Coors, CarGo is very much in play.

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

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Indians @ Twins

With Stephen Strasburg and a yet-to-be-named starter starting for heavily favored teams tonight, Carrasco and the Indians at -150 doesn’t make for the absolute best cash play. But the yet-to-be-named starter isn’t priced nearly as well on FD, which happens to be where Carrasco is priced better, so Carrasco could be a cash option there. He could also be a GPP option on FD given his reasonable price point and the presumed popularity of the starters going for the big favorites of the night.

A couple Cleveland bats to consider are Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana who both have strong numbers against right-handed pitching and who were swinging good bats before the Break. Kipnis is priced just about right on both sites while Santana is priced nicely on FD but not on DK.

Marlins @ Cardinals

Two lefties will be on the mound in this one, and each team has a right-handed bat that destroys left-handed pitching. Miami’s guy is obviously Giancarlo Stanton who has a 172 wRC+ vs. LHP dating back to last season and who has a 190 wRC+ in July. Marcell Ozuna also hits left-handed pitching very well, but he was scuffling prior to the Break. The biggest deterrent to using Miami bats is Jaime Garcia‘s heavy ground ball rate. For the Cards, Stephen Piscotty owns a 169 wRC+ vs. LHP dating back to last season. Piscotty is expensive on DK but reasonably priced on FD.

Dodgers @ Diamondbacks

Just a few bats to consider here. Jake Lamb has a 128 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season and has a 221 wRC+ in July. He continues to be very pricey on DK but very reasonably priced on FD. For the Dodgers, a couple guys in the back half of their order could be worth a look. Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal were swinging good bats before the break with wRC+’s of 146 and 245 in July, respectively. And both have above average numbers against left-handed pitching dating back to last year. Puig is priced well on both sites and Grandal is a decent value on FD. They’re getting a nice positive park shift on the road.

Blue Jays @ A’s

Not a single guy playing in this game is highlighted in my research sheet as a target. Moving on…

White Sox @ Angels

LHP Hector Santiago struggles with right-handed hitters. In large part thanks to a 51.7 percent fly ball rate against right-handers, Santiago has a 5.34 xFIP vs. RHH this season. He’s allowing 1.82 home runs per nine to righties, so some Chicago righties are candidates to go yard tonight. Todd Frazier is probably the best bet with a 140 wRC+ vs. LHP and a 149 wRC+ in July. He’s affordable enough on either site but not a huge value. Brett Lawrie is also an option with a 124 wRC+ vs. LHP and a 129 wRC+ in July. He’s a decent value on DK. Other than that, Mike Trout.

Astros @ Mariners

You won’t be able to roster both Strasburg and the other yet-to-be-named heavily favored starter tonight in your DK cash games, and the best DK SP2 cash option may be starting in this game. The Mariners are a -125 favorite at home, so James Paxton is an option as a cheaper SP2. Paxton has an ERA and SIERA a bit under 4.00 for the season with slightly above average strikeout and walk numbers. It should be noted that Paxton was not as good in his last six starts before the Break with his strikeout rate tailing off, but Houston has the fourth highest strikeout rate vs. RHP. Paxton is priced even better on FD than he is on DK, but there may be guys mentioned above with more upside in GPPs, and you don’t need to gamble with Paxton in cash on a one-pitcher site. So DK cash games as an SP2 is Paxton’s spot tonight.

As for bats, Seattle lefties Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Seth Smith were all swinging very hot bats before the Break and all have very good numbers against RHP. With the exception of Seager on DK, they’re a bit under-priced across the board but especially so on FD.

Houston bats could also be an option in a GPP. Jose Altuve and George Springer have superb numbers against left-haned pitching, and Carlos Correa is in play simply because shortstop is thin. Most Astros are priced better on DK than they are on FD, so a Houston stack could be an option in a DK GPP.

Giants @ Padres

Madison Bumgarner is obviously the previously unnamed heavily favored starter. The Padres have hit left-handed pitching well this season, but a .346 BABIP is definitely driving some of that and they still have the fifth highest strikeout rate vs. LHP. And when I say they have hit lefties well, I don’t mean they’ve hit Bumgarner well. In two starts against the Pads this season MadBum has allowed three earned runs in 15.2 innings with 20 strikeouts and only two walks. In his last six starts before the Break MadBum had a 2.08 ERA (2.98 SIERA) with a 25.3% K-BB%. So yeah, don’t sweat San Diego’s numbers against lefties so far.

Bumgarner is priced so well on DK that it seems impossible not to roster him in cash games there. He’s priced so reasonably there that it also seems hard to pass on him in GPPs, even though fading him is certainly the contrarian play. He’s priced just about right on FD, so you don’t have to roster him in cash there, but the next best option, Carrasco, is also priced just about right. If you simply need to go cheaper to make a cash lineup there work, Carrasco is an acceptable alternative.

The only bat really worth a look here is Brandon Crawford who owns a 121 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season and who has a 210 wRC+ in July. He’s a bit over-priced on DK but priced very well on FD.

Player Rankings

**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility


  1. Brian McCann (better value on FD)
  2. Yasmani Grandal (better value on FD)
  3. Evan Gattis (better value on DK)
  4. Nick Hundley (better value on DK)
  5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (better value on FD)

First Base

  1. David Ortiz (better value on FD)
  2. Joey Votto
  3. Chris Davis (better value on DK)
  4. Eric Hosmer
  5. Miguel Cabrera

Second Base

  1. Robinson Cano
  2. Jason Kipnis
  3. Jose Altuve
  4. Brett Lawrie (better value on DK)
  5. Scooter Gennett (better value on DK)

Third Base

  1. Kyle Seager (better value on FD)
  2. Todd Frazier (better value on DK)
  3. Pedro Alvarez
  4. Jake Lamb (better value on FD)
  5. Anthony Rendon


  1. Carlos Correa (better value on DK)
  2. Brad Miller (better value on DK)
  3. Trea Turner
  4. Didi Gregorius (better value on FD)
  5. Brandon Crawford (better value on FD)


  1. Carlos Gonzalez
  2. Mike Trout
  3. Giancarlo Stanton
  4. Corey Dickerson
  5. Curtis Granderson
  6. Yasiel Puig
  7. Jayson Werth
  8. Seth Smith
  9. George Springer
  10. Stephen Piscotty

Starting Pitcher

  1. Madison Bumgarner (better value on DK)
  2. Carlos Carrasco (better value on FD)
  3. James Paxton (DK only, cash only)
  4. Stephen Strasburg (better value on DK)
  5. Anthony DeSclafani (FD only, GPP only)
  6. Chris Archer (GPP only)
  7. Jeremy Hellickson (FD only, GPP only)

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.

7-15 DK

7-15 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. – 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.


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