An ugly hazy rainy type of Saturday in Jersey City makes for the prefect day for baseball in other places. MLB DFS can be a great escape that way. Last night was a blast watching big scores pile up from coast to coast, with the Indians, Padres and Nationals stacks going off. The day was truly dominated by pitching, however, with five separate pitchers going over 50 fantasy points on FanDuel from up and down the salary spectrum.
Tonight’s shorter slate has less appealing pitching options by a far margin, so we might be in for another big offensive night that isn’t bolstered by so much affordable pitching. The slate is going to be a wild one again, we have a Coors game with a high total and some great stacking spots to work with. Keep an eye on the Live News Blog as always for all the latest, the NewsGod saved me once again with the early word about yesterday’s Oakland vs Houston game cancelling.
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Coors Field – Pick ‘Em
Little bonus here that I expect to market-correct before lock, but as of right now the top-ranked Padres are going under-owned on both sites. The team share is still huge at over 20% which is why this is a mention not a focus, but there’s still upside in the top stacks tool. On FanDuel the Rockies are going under-owned by a few points on a much smaller share. On DraftKings they’re going over-owned, however, so be aware of how things develop from site to site heading into lock.
San Francisco Giants – 8-1-2-3-4 – Joey Bart – Mike Yastrzemski – Alex Dickerson – Evan Longoria – Brandon Belt
We’re in rough waters already, on a short slate we have to go a fair ways down the board to find a team with the right ownership to probability of success ratio, in this case the Giants are a reasonable contender for our MLB DFS purposes. While I wouldn’t necessarily bet on them in the real life game, there could be ample opportunity against Luke Weaver. Weaver is a pitcher I like for upside and I expect to have a fair amount of him on the other side of this matchup as well. He has shown a propensity for getting lit up from time to time, yielding too many home runs and opportunities in general. The pitcher has allowed eight homers already in just 24 innings in 2020, and is carrying a 4.90 xFIP for the season so far. For his career, Weaver has a 1.36 HR/9 to left-handed hitters, which adds a tiny bump of appeal to the Giants lefty bats.
The Giants are not a good team but they’ve certainly been frisky this season. With the outbursts of runs in their home park creating discussions of juiced balls and changing park factors, the Giants are carrying a reasonable implied team total of 5.2 going into their matchup on the road. The team ranks in the middle of the slate with a .169 collective ISO and a 21.2% team strikeout rate, while their team WRC+ sits six percent above average and they’re generating hard contact 45.5% of the time, which ranks them fourth on today’s slate.
The top end of the Giants order is drawing solid marks in my home run model and they project reasonably well. Left handed Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson should be the top two hitters in the lineup against the right-hander. Yastrzemski is off to a terrific start in 2020 with a .290/.409/.589 slash, seven home runs, a .298 ISO and a WRC+ 67% above average. In the leadoff spot the on-base percentage adds a ton of appeal as he’s able to create points of his own or set the table. Dickerson doesn’t pack a tremendous amount of power, but at just $2,200 on FanDuel and $3,200 on DraftKings he’s a highly affordable bat in a great spot.. The outfielder is projected for a WRC+ six percent above league average by Steamer and isn’t without some skill. In 2018 he had a career-high 285 plate appearances with the Padres and managed to hit 10 home runs. 17 of his 19 career homers have come against right-handed pitching.
The veteran bats in the middle of this lineup are slightly more comfortable to roster, at least on name recognition. Third baseman Evan Longoria is having a vintage year with a .293/.330/.485 slash, a .192 ISO and a WRC+ 19% above average. he has four home runs in his 109 plate appearances and is inexpensive and under-owned hitting third in this lineup. Hitting cleanup, lefty Brandon Belt is a great home run option here and should provide some quality protection for Longoria. I like working both of them into stacks. For his career, Belt has 101 of his 134 home runs against right-handed pitchers, and his numbers for 2020 are sizzling.
We like Wilmer Flores better against a lefty in general, but he’s fine to utilize hitting fifth in this lineup, we’re playing the Giants stack here after all. With multi-position eligibility at first and second base Wilmer is an interesting option that helps get to different constructions with this team. On the season he has seven home runs, a .221 ISO and a WRC+ 21% above average in his 120 plate appearances, though five of those seven homers have come against lefties.
Donovan Solano and Brandon Crawford are interesting middle infield options from late in this lineup. They’re inexpensive on both sites and both have shown quality enough throughout their careers that we can justify the move. Solano is having a nice 2020 so far, in his 115 plte appearances he’s at .336/.374/.486 with a WRC+ 36% above average. Crawford has been less special but ultimately fine, with a .258/.337/.398 slash, three home runs and 10 RBIs in his 104 plate appearances. Crawford is more a mix and match option in a small amount of my Giants shares, the value at the position is too great for some of the other options on the board, though he will be low-owned and sneaky here.
Catcher Joey Bart is the Giants top prospect and will one day be breathlessly discussed by overexcited broadcasters in the same sentence with Giants legend Buster Posey. This is an unfair expectation, but it’s what the kid deals carries. The slugger has a 60 grade game power upside in traditional scouting and 70-grade defense behind the dish. Bart his 16 home runs over 338 plate appearances at AA and AAA in 2019 and appears mostly ready, though he’s scuffled through his first 30 plate appearances. At just 6.8% ownership on DraftKings, we can work Bart into enough catcher shares to get over the field on him in Giants stacks.
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Los Angeles Dodgers – 6-7-9-1-2 – A.J. Pollock – Joc Pederson – Austin Barnes – Mookie Betts – Corey Seager
This is becoming a thing. The Dodgers are going under-owned on almost every slate at this point, it’s entirely due to their pricing. This makes for a great opportunity for sharp MLB DFS players. Like I said on Live Before Lock yesterday, take price and matchup and everything else entirely off the table and if I told you at the start of the season you had to play this Dodgers team every night, but they would almost always be under-owned, would you take the deal? For the best lineup in baseball, I’m pretty sure I would.
The Dodgers have a tough matchup against Lance Lynn. The starter has a 28.4% strikeout rate and a 4.01 xFIP in his seven starts in 2020, a year after posting a 28.1% mark ith a 3.13 xFIP over 33 starts. Lynn currently sits in the 58th percentile in exit velocity allowed and 54th in hard hit, but most of the other statcast marks are on the extreme high-end of the board. he’s pitching well. Still, this Dodgers lineup is stacked and in play.
Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger are going to run you up to $11,500 for the pair alone. Still, there’s nothing like starting your lineup out with two low-owned MVPs. Betts has been on fire with his new team throughout 2020 and is firmly in the running for the award in the National League this year. Bellinger has struggled more over his first 144 plate appearances but has still hit eight home runs and has a .221 ISO. His WRC+ four percent below average will surely come around quickly.
Corey Seager has been smoking everything his bat comes in contact with in 2020. The excellent shortstop option costs $5,200 on DraftKings hitting second, it’s difficult to put him together with the other two but it makes for a hell of a three-man. So far in 2020 Seager has eight home runs and a .312/.359/.596 slash with a .284 ISO. He costs just $3,600 on FanDuel and makes a killer one-off option as well.
With Bellinger surrounded in the lineup by Chris Taylor and Max Muncy the Dodgers have three straight options in the heart of this lineup who offer multi-position eligibility. The flexibility of playing Chris Taylor at shortstop or in the outfield and Max Muncy at first or third base lets you do a lot with builds with this team. The more you mix and match and make different decisions, the easier it is to get even further afield with an already low-owned stack. The pair are off to slow starts over the first half of the sprint, but we saw Muncy hit 35 home runs in just 589 plate appearances in 2019 and Taylor is an affordable differentiator in a very high-end spot if he’s hitting third as projected.
A.J. Pollock and Joc Pederson are strong options in the outfield from later in this lineup. Pollock is carrying a decent .272/.321/.515 slash with a .243 ISO and six home runs on the year, while Pederson is on the side of splits that he generally crushes. He’s at a disappointing .215/.326/.443 so far this season, but the .228 ISO is solid and he still creates runs 13% better than average. For his career, Pederson has hit 119 of his 128 home runs against right-handed pitching. Catcher Austin Barnes and second baseman Enrique Hernandez make for quality change-ups late in this lineup as well, despite the same-handed pitching matchup. Barnes will be an extremely low-owned catcher option at just $3,200 and under one percent ownership on DraftKings.
With everyone on the team projected for under 10% ownership across the MLB DFS board tonight we can put this team together in any affordable construction we can find. The suggested stack attempts to create some value to spend on pitching and a second stack, but there is a workable path that I don’t hate on DraftKings to using mostly expensive bats with two low-cost pitchers and the Giants stack.
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