Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: July 19, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis
Below we’ve got breakdowns for each game of Tuesday’s 15-game evening slate on DraftKings and FanDuel along with player rankings, suggested lineups, and a projections/research chart.
Orioles @ Yankees
This game blurb could be almost exactly the same as yesterday’s was for the contest between the same two teams. Neither pitcher is in play, and a couple of bats for each team are worth a look. For the O’s, it’s their lefties with pop against the right-handed Nathan Eovaldi. Chris Davis didn’t play Monday due to an illness, but there’s a decent chance he’s back tonight. If he plays, he’s priced very reasonably on both sites. The other lefty option is Pedro Alvarez who is priced well on FD and eligible at 3B there. The O’s have some right-handed bats that are good against same-handed pitching, but Eovaldi has a 3.67 xFIP and a 54.2 percent ground ball rate vs. RHH, so pass on guys like Machado, Schoop, Jones and Trumbo tonight.
For the Yanks, as has been said often here about them recently, consider their hitters at shallow offensive positions. Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius have both been going well lately with wRC+’s over 150 in July. McCann is priced well on both sites, and Didi remains a nice value on FD.
Dodgers @ Nationals
Reynaldo Lopez will make his MLB debut tonight starting for the Nats. Lopez has just 11 innings above Double-A, and he walked six batters in those 11 Triple-A innings. The Dodgers rank 13th in wRC+ vs. RHP, so a few Dodger bats are options tonight. Corey Seager makes the most sense with a 159 wRC+ vs. RHP, but he’s not priced all that well on either site. He’s a bit more affordable on FD if you like him. Joc Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez also have solid numbers against RHP and both have nice price tags on FD.
The Nationals rank fourth in wRC+ vs. LHP, so there should be more Nats to like tonight against LHP Scott Kazmir, but Jayson Werth is the only name that really stands out. Werth has 148 wRC+ vs. LHP between this year and last, and he has a nice price tag on FD. The same is true of Ryan Zimmerman, though Zim has really been struggling with a 46 wRC+ in July. If you’re feeling a Nats stack, basically all their right-handed bats are under-priced on FD, so you could take a shot on them in a GPP there.
Marlins @ Phillies
This doesn’t totally make sense but I could see rostering either Vince Velasquez or a few Marlins bats, but I have no interest in rostering Miami starter Jose Urena or any of the Phillies he’ll be facing.
The case for Velasquez begins with the fact that he has been excellent in his three starts since re-joining the rotation. He has a 2.12 ERA (3.15 xFIP) with a 28.6 percent strikeout rate and a solid 5.7 percent walk rate. The biggest issue with Velasquez tonight is matchup. The Marlins rank 14th in wRC+ vs. RHP with the sixth lowest strikeout rate. According to my own little matchup stat, VV has the sixth worst matchup of the slate. He’s also priced very sharply, not over-priced, but appropriately priced. The Phils could be a bit of a favorite given Miami is starting a rookie, so perhaps VV has some cash appeal, but there are probably better options.
Just because Velasquez may not be someone to roster, that doesn’t make Marlins great options or anything. But there are some things to like about Miami lefties. Velasquez has a 4.06 xFIP vs. LHH and leans a little fly ball heavy against lefties with a 42.9 percent fly ball rate. The Marlins bats are getting a positive park shift on the road in this one, so there’s a decent chance they get one of those fly balls out of the yard. Justin Bour, Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich all have a wRC+ of 130 or higher vs. RHP between this year and last. Bour is a nice value on DK, Yelich is more affordable on FD, and Dietrich is priced pretty well on both sites.
Brewers @ Pirates
The only option in this one is Jameson Taillon. He has been solid in five starts this season with a 3.86 ERA (3.75 SIERA) and really good control (4.4% BB%). His strikeout rate is a tad below average, but he has the chance to rack up some K’s in tonight’s matchup against Milwaukee who easily has the highest K% vs. RHP. The problem with Taillon is that will be his first start since hitting the DL with a shoulder injury, and you have to assume the Pirates will be careful with their young pitcher. That removes him from cash consideration, but he could rack up enough K’s in a shorter outing to be worth rostering in a GPP. He’s a bit under-priced on both sites and thus a GPP option on either site, but he’s very, very under-priced on FD.
Mets @ Cubs
Well, what a pitching matchup this is, or at least appears to be, with Noah Syndergaard facing Jake Arrieta. Both guys have a sub-3.00 ERA and have the two best ERAs among qualified pitchers in action tonight. BUT. In their last four starts their ERAs are 5.23 and 6.75, respectively. Woof.
Things look a bit better for Thor who has a 3.53 SIERA in those four starts thanks to strikeout and walk rates that are still above average (though not elite). A .414 BABIP is the main culprit, though Thor is partly to blame in that he hasn’t generated a ton of soft contact. You have to wonder if the bone spurs he’s pitching with are limiting his effectiveness. The matchup with the Cubs is obviously a tough one, and the Mets are a decent-sized underdog in this one, so the only spot you could consider Thor is in a GPP. He’ll be low owned and the Cubs strike out a bit more than average, so there is potentially some upside there.
As for Arrieta, he has been straight up bad recently. His strikeout rate has been below average, and his walk rate is in double digits in his last four starts. His hallmark has been his ability to induce weak contact, but he’s been hit quite hard in this recent bad stretch. The Mets are an above average matchup for Arrieta, but I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him right now. Like Thor, he feels like more of a GPP play.
Braves @ Reds
These are two really bad teams, so there’s not a lot to look at in this one. That said, Cincy’s best left-handed bats are in play against RHP Tyrell Jenkins making his second start of the season. Joey Votto has a 159 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last and a 153 wRC+ in July, which isn’t counting the home run he hit last night. He’s worth his price tag on both sites. Jay Bruce has been scuffling of late, so he’s not as good of an option as Votto is, but he’s an OK option on DK. For the Braves, the only guy to consider is Anthony Recker, who was mentioned here yesterday as a punt option and is a punt option again today with the platoon advantage assuming he starts.
Twins @ Tigers
This one is all about the righty-heavy lineup of the Tigers against LHP Tommy Milone. Five Tiger right-handers have a wRC+ north of 130 against LHP between this year and last and three more have a wRC+ north of 120. Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos are the only ones in the bunch who have been going well of late, so they’re the preferred options, especially Castellanos who is priced well on both sites. The other guy to really consider is James McCann who has a 132 wRC+ vs. LHP and is the minimum price on FD. He’s probably a better catcher punt than Recker on that site. But if there’s any Tiger right-hander you like, feel free to roster them, and a Tigers stack is definitely an option.
Behind the paywall you’ll find breakdowns of the remaining games, player rankings, suggested lineups and my projections/research chart.
Giants @ Red Sox
These teams are two of the worst possible matchup for pitchers, so don’t go near the starters in this one. That said, none of the bats jump out as super obvious plays with the exception of David Ortiz. Big Papi has a 176 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last and a 151 wRC+ in July. San Fran starter Jake Peavy leans pretty fly ball-heavy against lefties, so Ortiz is definitely a candidate to dong tonight. He’s quite a bit more affordable on FD than DK. Other lefties like Jackie Bradley and Travis Shaw are also options given the fly ball tendencies of Peavy, but neither guys is priced all that attractively. As for the Giants, Rick Porcello has been above average all season long, so San Fran bats aren’t great options. Brandon Belt is priced pretty well on DK, but there are a lot of good options at 1B tonight.
Indians @ Royals
Not much catches my eye in this one. Danny Salazar skipped pitching in the All-Star game because of a sore elbow and wasn’t great in his last few starts before the Break. Plus the Royals aren’t a great matchup since they make a ton of contact, so I’ll pass on Salazar tonight.
Kansas City will apparently start a guy named Brian Flynn, a left-hander who hasn’t pitched in the majors in 2014 when he threw all of seven innings. Mike Napoli and Francisco Lindor have excellent numbers against left-handed pitching, though Lindor is pretty pricey. But Napoli is priced quite well on FD and has a 179 wRC+ in July. It’s going to be very tough to choose between Nap, Davis, Papi and Votto on FD.
Padres @ Cardinals
Not all lines in Vegas were out as of this writing, but at -200 the Cards are at least going to be among the biggest favorites of the night if not the biggest favorite. That automatically puts Carlos Martinez into cash consideration and the matchup with San Diego only adds to his appeal. The Pads have the third lowest wRC+ and third highest K% vs. RHP, which easily makes them one of the best matchups of the night. Martinez is priced very well on both sites, and I honestly have no idea how you pass on him in cash games. His 1.41 ERA in his last five starts is a bit deceiving, but his 3.51 SIERA is still plenty good and the second best SIERA of any starter in action tonight over the last 30 days. But given his likely popularity, feel free to fade him in tournaments.
Rays @ Rockies
The Rays are well below average against right-handed pitching and don’t have a single player with a wRC+ over 115 vs. RHP between this year and last. But if you want exposure to Rays bats in Coors, Corey Dickerson is probably your best bet as he has pop against righties. Dickerson is priced quite nicely on DK.
The Rockies honestly aren’t overly appealing either with only two hitters owning a wRC+ north of 120 vs. LHP dating back to last seaosn. Ryan Raburn may be the best option for exposure with a 150 wRC+ vs. LHP and reasonable price tags on both sites. Trevor Story has a 121 wRC+ vs. LHP and a solid price tag on FD. Given his shallow position, Story is also a good way to get exposure to Rox.
Blue Jays @ D’Backs
Toronto bats against Zack Godley in Arizona seem like they should be an obvious play, but I’m not overly drawn to Blue Jays. The best options are Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion, but they’re almost prohibitively expensive. Michael Saunders is closer to affordable, especially on DK, and is the guy to roster if you’re looking for Toronto exposure. For the D’Backs, Jake Lamb remains curiously under-priced on FD. He has a 134 wRC+ vs. RHP between this year and last and a 246 wRC+ in July.
Astros @ A’s
Dillon Overton will make his third start of the season tonight for the A’s, and in his first two starts he has an 11.42 ERA and a 7.25 SIERA. He’s been pretty good in almost 100 Triple-A innings this season, but there’s no reason this isn’t a nice matchup for Houston. The big boys at the top are where you should look. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa all have better price tags on DK than FD, though Springer is priced about as well on FD and Altuve isn’t priced attractively there. Evan Gattis and Jake Marisnick could also be included in an Astros stack.
As for Keuchel, he’s half interesting. His 2.78 ERA in his last five starts looks nice, but a 4.07 SIERA doesn’t really back it up. The ball park in Oakland is favorable, and his price tag on DK is a tad low. But the A’s are just about average against lefties and don’t strike out much against them, so the matchup isn’t a good one. I’m waffling here. Keuchel scares me, but Houston is likely a decent favorite against Overton. SP2 Cash options are hard to come by on DK today, and Keuchel’s price tag might be just enticing enough to roster him.
Rangers @ Angels
Let’s make this one quick. Feel free to roster Mike Trout any time you like. And Kole Calhoun is in a good spot against RHP Kyle Lohse who leans fly ball-heavy against lefties. Calhoun is a bit under-priced on both sites and Trout is appropriately expensive on both sites.
White Sox @ Mariners
In case you haven’t noticed, Jose Quintana has been struggling lately. In his last four starts, Quintana has a 5.33 ERA and 5.18 SIERA. What’s insane is that he’s been that bad despite having a .209 BABIP. To be fair, quite a few balls have left the yard and those don’t count towards BABIP, but that’s not exactly an encouraging caveat. Don’t go near Quitana.
But feel free to go near a couple Seattle right-handers against Quintana. Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez have wRC+’s of 195 and 155 against LHP dating back to last year, respectively. Cruz is plenty affordable on both sites, and Gutierrez is a downright bargain on both sites.
**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility
- Brian McCann
- Nick Hundley (better value on DK)
- James McCann (better value on FD)
- Victor Martinez
- Anthony Recker (better value on DK)
- Chris Davis
- David Ortiz (better value on FD)
- Joey Votto
- Mike Napoli (better value on FD)
- Miguel Cabrera
- Jose Altuve (better value on DK)
- Ian Kinsler (better value on DK)
- D.J. Lemahieu
- Derek Dietrich
- Matt Carpenter
- Carlos Correa (better value on DK)
- Marcus Semien (better value on FD)
- Trevor Story (better value on FD)
- Didi Gregorius (better value on FD)
- Corey Seager
- George Springer
- Ryan Raburn (better value on DK)
- Justin Upton
- Corey Dickerson (better value on DK)
- Jay Bruce
- Mike Trout
- Nelson Cruz
- Jayson Werth (better value on FD)
- Michael Saunders
- Franklin Gutierrez
- Christian Yelich (better value on FD)
- Jake Marisnick
- Carlos Martinez
- Dallas Keuchel (better value on DK)
- Jake Arrieta
- Jameson Taillon (better value on FD)
- Noah Syndergaard
- Vincent Velasquez
- Aaron Sanchez (better value on FD)
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
July – Hitter’s wRC+ in July
L/R – Hitter’s 2015-2016 wRC+ against LHP or RHP
Projections and values are then included for each site.