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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: July 20, 2016 – DraftKings & FanDuel Analysis

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

Game Breakdowns

Orioles @ Yankees

Michael Pineda against the Baltimore lineup presents GPP options galore. Pineda is rocking a 3.33 SIERA this season but has a 5.56 ERA to go along with it thanks to his inability to induce weak contact. His numbers over the last 30 days follow that same pattern, so there’s little reason to trust him, especially against the O’s who rank fourth in wRC+ v. RHP. But Baltimore does have the seventh highest K% vs. RHP and Pineda has a 27.2 percent K%, so there’s certainly a chance he racks up some Ks. There’s enough value potential in his price tags on both sites to gamble with him in GPPs.

As for the O’s, lefties like Chris Davis (assuming he’s over his illness) and Pedro Alvarez would make plenty of sense given their good numbers against right-handers. But Pineda arguably has some reverse splits issues, and the O’s have several right-handers who are very good without the platoon advantage. Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop are their best righties against same-handed pitching. Machado is priced nicely on DK but has admittedly been struggling lately. Schoop has been going well and is priced well on FD. If you like an O’s stack, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo could also be included in it.

For the third day in a row, Yankee left-handed bats at shallow positions are worth a look. Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius have a nice matchup against Yovani Gallardo. McCann is priced well on both sites, and Didi is priced quite nicely on FD. Didi continues to swing a hot bat with a 161 wRC+ in July including a 2-for-3 night on Tuesday.

Dodgers @ Nationals

The starters in this one are on very different paths lately. Bud Norris is good all of a sudden with a 2.86 ERA (3.00 SIERA) in his last five starts with superb strikeout and walk rates. Opposite Norris will be Gio Gonzalez whose season-long struggles have intensified recently. In Gio’s last five starts he has a ghastly 6.92 ERA with a 5.00 SIERA. But Gio has an above average matchup against the Dodgers and Norris has a below average matchup against the Nats, and my projections embedded below (based on Fangraphs Depth Chart projections) like Gio a lot more than Norris tonight. Washington is also the favorite in this one, so you might gamble with Gio.

Even though Gio has been bad, the Dodgers rank 28th in wRC+ vs. LHP, so they’re a stay away. For the Nats, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy have very good numbers against right-handed pitching dating back to last season, and Norris has a 4.87 xFIP vs. LHH this year. Murphy is pricey but that’s because he’s been hot lately with a 185 wRC+ in July. He’s not so over-priced that he can’t be used. Harper is very reasonably priced, though his wRC+ in July is only 96.

Marlins @ Phillies

The Phillies rank dead last in wRC+ vs. LHP by a significant margin, so Wei-Yin Chen is in play. Chen has had trouble limiting hard contact and keeping balls in the yard this season, which is the main reason his ERA is 4.90 compared to a 4.25 SIERA. Chen’s numbers in his last four starts have been better, but a .243 BABIP has helped a lot and his contact management issues remain. That said, with low price tags and with this matchup, Chen makes plenty of sense. The Marlins are a small favorite in this one, so Chen will work for cash games. Given that strikeouts aren’t really his thing, he’s probably better suited for cash than GPPs.

Philadelphia bats could work in GPPs tonight. Chen’s contact management issues obviously work in their favor, and this game being in Philly as opposed to Miami works in their favor as well. Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph have been swinging hot bats in July, so they’re the best options on the team. They both have nice price tags on both sites. Additionally, Andres Blanco, Cameron Rupp and Carlos Ruiz all have good numbers against left-handed pitching between this year and last. Blanco and Ruiz would make for decent punt options if they’re in the lineup.

The Marlins will face RHP Jeremy Hellickson, so lefties Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich are options given their 130+ wRC+’s vs. RHP. Dietrich has been scuffling, but he’s a nice value as a result. Yelich has been going well with a 135 wRC+ in July, which doesn’t include the home run he hit on Tuesday night. Yelich is pricey on DK but very reasonably priced on FD. If you want to stack Marlins, add Giancarlo Stanton to the lefties just mentioned, which should give 3-4-6 in the Miami order.

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

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Brewers @ Pirates

The only player in this game that is highlighted on my sheet is Ryan Braun. Braun has a 160 wRC+ vs. LHP between this year and last and will face LHP Jeff Locke tonight. However, Braun has just a 37 wRC+ in July, which obviously isn’t encouraging. Based on his recent struggles, he’s probably more appealing in GPPs.

I suppose you could consider Jeff Locke given that Milwaukee ranks 23rd in wRC+ vs. LHP with the seventh highest strikeout rate vs. LHP. Locke has a 3.57 ERA in his last four starts, but a 4.51 SIERA isn’t nearly as encouraging. As of this writing Pittsburgh was the third biggest favorite of the evening slate, so Locke could be a cheap, cheap cash option on a night where that’s a tough thing to settle on.

Giants @ Red Sox

Boston is one of two big favorites tonight (along with St. Louis), and their starter, Drew Pomeranz, has a 1.31 ERA (3.21 SIERA) in his last four starts. That might seem like an obvious cash play, but Pom has a decidedly below average matchup against the Giants who rank 11th in wRC+ vs. LHP with the sixth lowest strikeout rate. On top of that, this is Pom’s first start with Boston, and, unfortunately, this game is being played in Boston and not out on the West Coast that has contributed to some of Pom’s success this season. He’s also way, way over-priced according to my model. So yeah, the hallmarks of a good cash game play (big favorite, good recent performance) are present, but there are plenty of mitigating factors.

As far as bats go, let’s just stick to the big names in this one. David Ortiz unsurprisingly donged last night against Jake Peavy and could easily do so again tonight against Matt Cain. Ortiz has a 176 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season, and he has a 151 wRC+ in July, which doesn’t include Tuesday’s home run. He’s still affordable enough on FD if you can fit him in and even worth squeezing in on DK if possible. For the Giants you have Buster Posey who has a 148 wRC+ vs. RHP and a 175 wRC+ in July. He’s a bit under-priced on FD and priced just about right on DK.

Padres @ Cardinals

Paul Clemens is apparently starting the second game of the doubleheader for San Diego. Clemens has the highest projected rest-of-season FIP of any starter in action tonight, so fire up the Cards who rank second in wRC+ vs. RHP. Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz have the best wRC+’s vs. RHP among Cards between this year and last. Grichuk hit lead off last night, which meant that trio hit 1-2-4 in the order. Stephen Piscotty hits three and is pricey and better against left-handers, but he could certainly be included in a Cards stack. Aledmys is also pricey and only someone I’d use as a part of a stack. But Holliday is priced well on DK and Grichuk is priced well on FD if you want to use them in cash games.

As mentioned, St. Louis is the other big favorite of the evening slate, so Jaime Garcia deserves cash consideration. The problem is that Garcia has a 4.55 ERA in his last five starts (4.27 SIERA), and there really hasn’t been any bad luck involved. Perhaps he’s a had a bit of bad luck with the long ball, but below average strikeout and walk rates have been the real problem. Garcia has always been better at home, and that’s held true this season as he has a 3.88 ERA at home compared to 4.40 on the road. That and the Vegas line are appealing, but then there’s also the issue of the Pads having three right-handed hitters with very good numbers vs. LHP. Ultimately I think he’s cheap enough to be worth rostering in cash games, but feel free to fade him in any type of contest and especially in GPPs.

Of those three Padres with good numbers against LHP, Matt Kemp is the only one with a decent price tag today. Wil Myers and Melvin Upton are over-priced on both sites (especially Upton), but Kemp is a really nice value on FD.

Rangers @ Angels

These two teams combined for 14 runs last night and could light up the scoreboard again tonight. Texas will start Martin Perez who has a 4.77 xFIP vs. RHH between this year and last. That means Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are very much in play. Trout has a 163 wRC+ in July and is well worth paying up for on either site. And Pujols double donged last night for the second time in three games, so he’s also swinging it well. Pujols is priced very attractively on FD.

Los Angeles will start Hector Santiago who has a 5.08 xFIP and 54.5 percent fly ball rate against RHH between this year and last. Texas has quite a few righties that can take advantage of this matchup and potentially cash in on some dong potential. Adrian Beltre has the best wRC+ on the team vs. LHP between this year and last, though his wRC+ in July is only 58. But he’s cheap enough on either site to have some value potential. Ian Desmond and Robinson Chirinos also have nice numbers vs. LHP. Desmond is priced well on DK and Chirinos is a good value on either site. It’s unfortunate that Chirinos double donged last night as it will likely draw more ownership to him than he would have had otherwise. Elvis Andrus is also an option with above average numbers vs. LHP and a 129 wRC+ in July. He’s priced well on FD.

Player Rankings

**Players are listed according to their FD positional eligibility


  1. Brian McCann
  2. Robinson Chirinos
  3. Buster Posey (better value on FD)
  4. Cameron Rupp (better value on DK)

First Base

  1. David Ortiz (better value on FD)
  2. Albert Pujols (better value on FD)
  3. Chris Davis (better value on DK)
  4. Tommy Joseph (better value on FD)

Second Base

  1. Kolten Wong (better value on DK)
  2. Derek Dietrich
  3. Daniel Murphy
  4. Jonathan Schoop (better value on FD)

Third Base

  1. Pedro Alvarez
  2. Adrian Beltre (better value on DK)
  3. Maikel Franco
  4. Manny Machado (better value on DK)


  1. Didi Gregorius
  2. Elvis Andrus (better value on FD)
  3. Aledmys Diaz
  4. Andres Blanco


  1. Mike Trout
  2. Bryce Harper
  3. Ian Desmond (better value on DK)
  4. Ryan Braun (better value on DK)
  5. Matt Kemp (better value on FD)
  6. Matt Holliday (better value on DK)
  7. Christian Yelich (better value on FD)
  8. Randal Grichuk (better value on FD)

Starting Pitcher

  1. Wei-Yin Chen (better value on DK)
  2. Jaime Garcia
  3. Gio Gonzalez
  4. Michael Pineda
  5. Drew Pomeranz
  6. Bud Norris
  7. Jeff Locke (better value on FD)

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.

7-20 DK

7-20 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

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.


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