MLB DFS: Welcome to the Friday Yahoo MLB DFS Picks and Strategy guide. As we head into the holiday weekend, do not forget all the fantastic Awesemo content, so before you lock in your baseball lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s MLB rankings and projections. Not a member? Sign up HERE.
For Friday’s free Spotlight Hitters and Stacks article click here
For Friday’s free Spotlight Pitchers article click here
Greetings Gamers! Let’s see what sort of fun we have on tap today!
Act fast as Yahoo is running a $4,500 prize pool contest with no management fee for just $3 per lineup with a maximum of ten that is rapidly filling up – they also have their marquee $15,000 with $2,000 top prize for Friday as well!
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We will utilize this series to point out the different nuances, tips and tricks to building a solid Yahoo! tournament lineup.
Yahoo! has a similar roster setup as most of the two-pitcher formats, but their salary cap is quite a unique puzzle to tackle each day. It’s worthwhile to spend some time trying out different roster combinations – playing with how much of the salary cap you are allocating to pitching and hitting. The savvy gamer will be able to find some gems among the hitters in the $7-10 range which is crucial to working in some top-shelf talent.
For those of you new to the site, please note that the scoring has been tweaked since last season. When compared to the other popular scoring formats it’s more punitive for pitchers allowing base runners and is less rewarding for “team stacking” (i.e. taking three or more hitters from the same team in adjacent or nearly adjacent spots in the batting order). Yahoo offers discounts for runs and RBI, compared to individual batter scoring of slightly more points proportionally for extra base hits, walks and hit by pitch categories.
In the past, I’ve found that even though the Yahoo! format allows us to roster as many as six players from the same team, their unique pricing and two-pitcher format have somewhat muted the need for team stacking and as detailed above, the slight changes to their scoring system will continue to encourage that trend.
For those of you new to Yahoo!, learning how to read into the pitcher pricing is key to building competitive lineups. The minimum price for pitchers is $25 while we can see some of the top-shelf aces like Chris Sale, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander crest just over $60 depending on their recent performance and matchup.
RHP Jake deGrom at San Francisco Giants ($53) – 3.5 implied run total
The game in San Francisco is going to be 20-30 degrees cooler than any other outdoor game east of the Rocky Mountains and it is one of the best pitchers in the game, facing a less-than-daunting offense in baseball’s friendliest pitching venue. Add in the reasonable price tag and you can see why RHP Jake deGrom will be one of the most popular options on Friday in all formats.
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Miami Marlins ($56) – 3.0 implied run total
The main concern with rolling out LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu is that he has only topped 95 pitches once in his last six starts – in reverse chronological order they have been 94, 89, 81, 107 and 94. That said he is the perfect tournament pivot away from RHP Jake deGrom as the extra $5 will keep him at around 30-40% of deGrom’s popularity and he is in an equally favorable matchup against a slightly worse offense, but in a more pitching neutral ballpark (though it improves dramatically as the sun and temperature go down).
David Price at Baltimore Orioles ($51) – 3.8 implied run total
Our third top-shelf pitching option is LHP David Price and though the Red Sox have nearly a 2-to-1 chance at garnering the victory, he does have the face the designated hitter and it is going to be hot and humid in Baltimore. Which moves him just below Ryu and definitively below deGrom all things considered on Yahoo.
LHP J.A. Happ ($38) vs Colorado Rockies – 4.4 implied runs
While the Rockies are of course not as fierce on the road, they actually have a 71 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes ballpark factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100) meaning that they score 29% less than the average team does on the road.
While they boast a couple of solid righties in Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Ian Desmond if Happ is able to negotiate them, he very well could be in line for a victory as the Yankees have the top implied run total of the slate and for his salary savings, this is an intriguing risk to assume with the New York hurler. Rookie RHP Brendan McKay ($36) vs Chicago White Sox is the other option in this pricing tier with the only “partial” knock against him being that we are hoping is outstanding strikeout rate does translate to The Show, he does get better “weather” than Happ being in the controlled environment of Tropicana Field.
As mentioned above, it is important to know how to find discounted hitters in solid situations and also understand what the “opportunity” cost may be by giving up a key power hitting position like 1B/3B for a discounted option who may not have a lot of power. For this purpose we will target the $7-$11 salary range.
C – Mike Zunino vs RHP Reynaldo Lopez ($7)
Once again we have Zunino at the minimum salary and even though he is likely to be batting at the bottom of the order, we are looking to him for his home run upside and RHP Reynaldo Lopez has allowed 48 since the beginning of last season which is the fourth most in the league. It just takes one swing and for the minimum price there is not a lot of downside. If you have a few extra bucks and LHP David Price ends up being one of the more popular pitching options, then Pedro Severino – $10 is in an intriguing leverage spot with the platoon advantage and we know that Price is not afraid to challenge batters in exchange for outs, which means Severino could put a couple balls in play.
1B – Trey Mancini vs LHP David Price ($10)
If we are looking for a leverage play with additional synergy, then Trey Mancini and Pedro Severino are both in a favorable position and will barely be a blip on the radar for other gamers. This one is for tournaments only, but again if David Price ends up being popular, his demise if it happens will likely be caused by this Baltimore duo. Otherwise I would prefer to utilize the 1B slot as part of a team stack or with a player in a less daunting matchup like Joc Pederson – $14 vs RHP Zac Gallen who should be leading off or Albert Pujols – $14 in an outstanding matchup against RHP Mike Leake and if Pujols is out with the sore hamstring he suffered last night, Justin Bour has been sent to AAA-Salt Lake, so it could be Luke Bard in the mix.
2B – Joey Wendle vs RHP Reynaldo Lopez ($7)
If we are looking for some extreme savings, then Joey Wendle at the minimum price against a shaky pitcher against whom he holds the platoon advantage along with the potential of pairing him with teammate Mike Zunino at the bottom of the Tampa Bay batting order give us some synergistic savings.
3B – Tommy Edman vs RHP Tyler Mahle ($7)
Like most of the Cincinnati right-handed hurlers, Tyler Mahle is abysmal against lefties and it is going to be in the mid-90s with a 55-60% humidity range on Friday in the Great American Ballpark which is just too good of a situation to overlook as long as Edman is leading off as expected with Matt Carpenter on the shelf.
SS – Andrelton Simmons vs RHP Mike Leake ($12)
RHP Mike Leake has allowed the fifth most home runs over the last two seasons and he is proportionally worse against fellow right-handed hitters AND while I do not reference BvP often, the Halos certainly have it in this matchup (see full breakdown here) and Simmons is right in the mix with a .412 average going 14 for 34, 1 HR, 4 DBL, 0 BB, 0 Ks against Leake.
OF – Austin Meadows at RHP Dylan Bundy ($11)
Austin Meadows is fine as part of a synergy strategy creating a “wrap around” stack with teammates Mike Zunino and Joey Wendle if he is leading off, or he can be employed as a solo option in a phenomenal lefty/righty matchup against RHP Reynaldo Lopez.
OF – Dominic Smith at RHP Tyler Beede ($9)
OF – Corey Dickerson vs RHP Jake Arrieta ($12)
If the weather cooperates, we can do some home run hunting with Corey Dickerson and ideally teammate Colin Moran – $13 who should get the start at the hot corner for the Pirates and this duo should be adjacent in in the batting order which makes them a perfect pair with the platoon advantage against RHP Jake Arrieta who has allowed a 2.06 HR/9 to lefties this season with a 5.63 ERA, 5.36 xFIP, sketchy 10.5 BB% and a downright awful 14.6 K%. Add in switch-hitter Josh Bell – $19 and we have one heck of a power trio.
As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.
Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac
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