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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy, May 14, 2015

Good morning everyone! Below we’ve got a discussion on the pitching situation for tonight’s late slate on DraftKings. We’ve also got a discussion on which teams are the best to pick hitters from as well as player rankings for each position.

Forecast

As of right now it appears the only games that have any chance of weather are in Los Angeles and San Diego. However, my guess is that the rain won’t do much to change the course of these games. Monitor throughout the day.

Pitching Perspective

If you’re playing the early slate, you know how bad the pitchers are today. It doesn’t get much better in the night cap.

Johnny Cueto ($10,100) looks like the clear ace. He’ll be pitching in a great offensive ballpark, but he’s learned to maneuver it by now. The Giants will be receiving an even bigger park shift from their last series in Minute Maid Park, but their lineup doesn’t frighten me at all. Cueto is striking hitters out (8.24 K/9) but his GB% at 38.1% is alarming. In his last four seasons of action, Cueto has averaged right around a 50% GB%. If you can’t keep the ball out of the air consistently at Great American Ballpark, you’re going to get hurt. As for Cueto, I think he does just fine tonight.

Tyson Ross ($9,200) also takes the bump tonight. He’ll be at home in Petco Park in a great pitching environment. The great thing about Ross is that he gets strikeouts and ground balls. He’s sporting a 10.62 K/9 and a 60.0% GB%, those are good numbers. When a pitcher is doing that to an offense, it’s hard to get burned. The Nationals lineup has actually been swinging the bat pretty well, spurned by an non-humanlike performance from Bryce Harper. Top to bottom though, I don’t think Ross has too much trouble getting his way through it. He’s a second option behind Cueto.

That’s where the slate drops off.

Doug Fister ($8,300) is a solid and efficient pitcher, but he doesn’t strike anyone out. As a result, he doesn’t make my lineups very often.

Drew Hutchison ($6,300) is a great tournament option, but I’m not sure he’s worthy of being trusted in cash games. He has great strikeout potential, but the Astros lineup is capable of cruising through any arm.

Roenas Elias ($7,100) also has some tournament appeal as the Red Sox lineup is in shambles. He has the benefit of pitching at home in Safeco Field, but otherwise, I’m not particurlarly on him. 

Stack Options

Well, since there aren’t many great pitching options in the night slate, you’re probably figuring their must be plenty of stacking options, right? Wrong.

The Cincinnati Reds will get Tim Lincecum, who has actually been surprisingly solid this year. The important part of this though is that the game is being played at Great American Ballpark, the best park for homeruns. Lincecum has been really solid at getting groundballs this year (54%) but in recent years has been burned by the longball (averaging just about 1HR/9 last three seasons). I like Joey Votto ($4,300) a whole lot, and would even dip into Jay Bruce ($4,100) for tournament action.

The best offensive environment outside of GABP is Minute Maid Park. Drew Hutchison and Roberto Hernandez will do their best to serve meatballs to the hitters in this game. I’d focus most of my attention getting action on both sides of this game. Whether it be the top of the Blue Jays order (Donaldson, Bautista, EE) or the top of the Astros (Altuve, Springer, Valbuena) you are going to want to have exposure to this game.

Hutchison gives up plenty of home runs so you can gain some value exposure to Valbuena and Castro who will carry the platoon advantage, in order to pay up at other spots. This game carries the highest total (8.5), make sure you have exposure.

The Dodgers are the last team I’d feel comfortable stacking in cash games or GPPs. This year the Dodgers as a team are just mashing right-handed pitching. Hopefully that trend continues today as the Rockies will throw out another no-name right-hander. Steamer projects Chad Bettis at a 4.22 FIP this season (better than I was expecting), but he should be no match for the Dodgers. Funnel the left-handers into your lineups.

The Yankees left-handers have a nice matchup with Erasmo Ramirez, but because of the park and their salaries, I’m reserving them for tournament options only. Although, Brian McCann ($3,700) is a great value catcher.

Player Rankings

Catcher

  1. Brian McCann -$3,700- New York Yankees
  2. Russell Martin -$4,900 – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Yasmani Grandal -$4,100 – Los Angeles Dodgers

First Basemen

  1. Adrian Gonzalez – $4,500 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Joey Votto – $4,300 – Cincinatti Reds
  3. Edwin Encarnacion-$5,500 – Toronto Blue Jays

Second Basemen

  1. Jose Altuve -$4,200 – Houston Astros
  2. Luis Valbuena -$3,700 – Houston Astros
  3. Devin Travis -$3,300 – Toronto Blue Jays

Shortstops

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – $4,400 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Jimmy Rollins -$3,700 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Hanley Ramirez -$4,300 – Boston Red Sox

Third Basemen

  1. Josh Donaldson -$4,700 – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Todd Frazier -$4,500 – Cincinnati Reds
  3. Alex Guerrero -$3,000 – Los Angeles Dodgers

Outfield

  1. Jose Bautista -$5,000 – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Joc Pederson -$4,400 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. George Springer -$4,900 – Houston Astros
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury -$4,700 – New York Yankees
  5. Billy Hamilton -$4,200 – Cincinnati Reds

Starting Pitchers

  1. Johnny Cueto -$10,100 – Cincinnati Reds
  2. Tyson Ross -$9,200 – San Diego Padres
  3. Doug Fister -$8,300 –Washington Nationals
  4. Roenis Elias -$7,100 – Seattle Mariners
  5. Drew Hutchison -$6,300 – Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Chase Whitely -$5,700 – New York Yankees
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