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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: May 23, 2015

Good morning everyone! Below we’ve got a discussion on the pitching situation for the entire day 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 that the only threats for rain are in Kansas City and Colorado. Both appear to show just chances of thunderstorms, but these are things you’ll need to closely monitor throughout the day.

Pitching Perspective

Klubot engaged. Have you guys watched Corey Kluber’s last couple of starts? He’s the pitcher we saw last year again. Kluber possess immense strikeout upside and the ability to work deep into games. He gets a nice matchup with the Cincinnati Reds who are experiencing a huge negative park shift away from Great American Ballpark. The Reds are carrying a team total with implied run odds below three. Load up on Kluber, he’s a great play in cash games and tournaments.

Oh, but also the Dark Knight is pitching tonight. Matt Harvey has been dominant in his return to the mound this season, and I expect no less tonight against the woeful Pirates offense. Harvey has a K/9 of 9.22 right now and also carries a 2.97 xFIP. He’s the most expensive pitcher on the slate but is one that you’ll want to pay up for. I don’t think you have to do much deciding between Harvey and Kluber, but I’d push to get at least one in my cash games.

After the top two guys, things take a slight downturn in terms of “safeness.” Chris Sale takes the mound against the Minnesota Twins who have been sneaky good against left-handed starters this year. Sale was already roughed up by the Twins earlier this season, but he’s too dominant to completely eliminate exposure to, especially in tournaments. Sale has elite strikeout upside and has the ability to be the best pitcher on the slate. He’s preferred in GPPs.

Stephen Stasburg has a matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies which you think would be particularly enticing. However, Strasburg has been the most tilting starter in MLB DFS history. He has a nice price point ($9,500) to center a team around, and the Phillies are carrying a team total around 3 runs. Strasburg is pretty heavily favored at (-152), so I’m on him for cash games as well as GPPs.

Those are four solid options, so rather than breakdown a specific section for the following pitchers, I’m just going to rank them below in the player rankings. But, I also like Cole Hamels and AJ Burnett tonight.

Stack Options

There are a lot of really good pitching options today, so the stack options are limited, but can be effective.

First off I should note that there is a game in Coors Field. It appears to be one of the games with a slight weather concern, but with this being a “day” game, I’m certain we will probably see a game. However, don’t sleep on the forecast, continue to monitor this game. **Also of note: there is a doubleheader here today, make sure you know which game is being counted on the slates. It appears for early only, the 4:10 game is being counted.**

If or when the game does go though, hop on both the teams in play, the Rockies and the Giants. The Giants salaries have sort of inflated, but the Rockies have been adjusted for their lack of offense despite playing at home in Coors. DFS Twitter has been up in arms about the Rockies production, namely Troy Tulowitzki, but given his skill set and lineup spot, I don’t think I can turn away from him at his price point. All other hitters in this game, typically the 1-5 hitters from each team are great options for cash games and tournaments.

The second best game for offense is the game in Detroit. Batman Lance McCullers and Kyle Lobstein will take the mound for their respective teams, and that should be a fun time for hitters. The Astros have a lineup that is set up to destroy left-handed pitching, and I expect them to have a field day with Lobstein. Altuve, Springer and Gattis are my favorite plays from this lineup and all rank highly at their respective positions.

For the Tigers side of things, it is the usual suspects. Miguel Cabrera has insane numbers against all handedness and should be a top option at first base today as he’ll get a nice park boost in his favor. The problem with the Tigers are the typically inflated salaries, but you should be able to gain exposure cheaply by using Anthony Gose at the top of the lineup and mixing in some salary relief guys from Coors Field.

If you’re looking to go off the map and get exposure to a different set of bats look to the Indians. The Indians have a matchup with young right-hander Anthony Descalifini. The nice thing about the Indians is they set up really well to take on right-handed pitchers because of their ability to get nearly all left-handed. They’ll feature 6-7 left-handed bats at the minimum today and should give Descalifini fits for it. I love the top guys like Brantley and Moss, and I especially like Kipnis at a shallow second base position.

Last but not least, I like the Toronto bats at home just about every time they play. That’ll be the case today as they get a look at young left-hander James Paxton. Paxton is a solid arm, but the Blue Jays have great options against left-handed pitchers. Donaldson and Bautista are two of my favorites.

Player Rankings

Catcher

  1. Buster Posey -$5,100- San Francisco Giants
  2. Carlos Santana -$4,100 – Cleveland Indians
  3. Evan Gattis -$3,900 – Houston Astros

First Basemen

  1. Brandon Belt – $4,500 – San Francisco Giants
  2. Miguel Cabrera – $5,500 – Detroit Tigers
  3. Edwin Encarnacion-$4,600 – Toronto Blue Jays

Second Basemen

  1. Jose Altuve -$4,600 – Houston Astros
  2. Jason Kipnis -$4,900 – Cleveland Indians
  3. Joe Panik -$3,800 – San Francisco Giants

Shortstops

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – $4,400 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Starlin Castro -$4,000 – Chicago Cubs
  3. Hanley Ramirez -$4,500 – Boston Red Sox

Third Basemen

  1. Josh Donaldson -$5,300 – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Nolan Arenado -$4,100 – Colorado Rockies
  3. Kris Bryant -$5,100 – Chicago Cubs

Outfield

  1. Jose Bautista -$5,300 – Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Nelson Cruz -$5,400 – Seattle Mariners
  3. George Springer -$4,800 – Houston Astros
  4. Carlos Gonzalez -$4,400 – Colorado Rockies
  5. Charlie Blackmon -$4,200 – Colorado Rockies

Starting Pitchers

  1. Matt Harvey -$11,500 – New York Mets
  2. Corey Kluber -$11,300 – San Diego Padres
  3. Chris Sale -$10,600 –Chicago White Sox
  4. Stephen Strasburg-$9,500 – Washington Nationals
  5. Cole Hamels-$11,000 – Toronto Blue Jays
  6. AJ Burnett -$8,900 – Pittsburgh Pirates

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