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 Zack Greinke at Miami Marlins ($57) – 3.3 implied run total
This is an excellent matchup for RHP Zack Greinke as he does an excellent job of keeping same-handed hitters in check with a 25.7 K%, 3.60 xFIP and low 4.3 BB% since the beginning of last season and in Marlins Park even the 1.34 HR/9 is not really a concern. Likely Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson are going to be the only batters in the lineup swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate. Last Friday our next pitcher LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu – $56 hung seven innings of one run ball on the Marlins for 29.8 Yahoo points which is what we would be looking for from Greinke at this price point.
On the season Miami has an 81 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes ballpark factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100) meaning they score 19% less against righties than the average team in the league. With a .128 ISO which is the worst in the league, 6.9 BB% which is second worst and a 26.1 K% which is the third worst.
The only knock against rolling with Greinke is that we are paying top dollar.
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu at Washington Nationals ($50) – 3.9 implied run total
While this is not an easy matchup against the Nationals on the road, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu has been off since last Friday so he should be well rested for this matchup with the surging Washington squad who has been getting by on smoke-n-mirrors. They will roll out a host of righties to counter the Dodgers’ southpaw, but he is one of the best hurlers in the game. This is an intriguing tournament pivot if Zack Greinke draws a lot of popularity on Friday.
RHP Jose Urquidy ($25) at St Louis Cardinals – 4.4 implied runs
This is going to be a wildly popular pitching option after rookie RHP Jose Urquidy went wild in his last start with nine strikeouts, two hits and one earned run over 7.0 innings on 98 pitches against the Texas Rangers on his way to 39.2 Yahoo points. If you are playing more than three lineups, then looking to target against Urquidy with a couple Cardinals for some double leverage is a savvy move… otherwise at this price point and popularity, there will be safety in numbers and we can differentiate our lineup in other ways. I would not be surprised if Urquidy is on over half of all Yahoo tournament rosters on Friday. As an added bonus, he did have around a 30 K% during his time at AA and AAA so there is potential there.
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 – Wilson Ramos vs RHP Dario Agrazal ($7)
This is an easy one if Ramos is in the lineup then get The Buffalo in yours as he should be in the middle of the order and is solid in same-handed matchups. If you are looking for someone with upside then Tom Murphy – $11 is in a nice situation as he should be in the heart of the order for the Mariners against LHP Daniel Norris.
1B – Miguel Cabrera vs LHP Yusei Kikuchi ($7)
Miggy is on pace for nine home runs and 65 RBI this season with 30 total extra base hits. Yes, it is bad, but so is LHP Yusei Kikuchi who has allowed 22 round-trippers this season, the #6 mark in the league. If you are ever looking for an excuse to roster the most recent Triple Crown winner, then tonight is the night. While not at a discount, Joc Pederson – $13 is not expensive and he is in the mix for a home run against RHP Anibal Sanchez who traditionally struggles with opposite-handed hitters.
2B – Jason Kipnis at RHP Jakob Junis ($13)
In all honesty, there really are no projected starting second basemen that are jumping off the page. If you are spending then Max Muncy – $20 at RHP Anibal Sanchez would be the top-shelf option… otherwise just stick to someone on the team you are stacking if it makes sense.
3B – Tommy Edman vs RHP Jose Urquidy ($7)
This is all about the minimum price point and the fact that he will be leading off against the most popular pitching option on the night. The other discount option would be Colin Moran – $11 against RHP Zack Wheeler in CitiField where he should be batting fifth and will have the platoon advantage with some pop in his bat.
SS – Leury Garcia vs RHP Michael Pineda ($11)
This is not a bad spot for jack of all trades Leury Garcia who has a little pop, some speed on the base paths, is a switch-hitter and can play multiple infield and outfield positions.
OF – Nomar Mazara at RHP Daniel Mengden ($11)
While RHP Daniel Mengden does a decent job at not imploding on the mound, this is a favorable price point for Nomar Mazara who will have the platoon advantage and should be batting cleanup for the Rangers.
OF – Josh Reddick at RHP Jack Flaherty ($7)
It will be interesting to see how popular RHP Jack Flaherty is on Friday night against the ‘Stros who will be without the designated hitter slot and likely will only have two or three lefties at the very most in their lineup. If they only have two, then Flaherty is a decent option at $34 who almost made the pitching section – either way, Reddick at the Yahoo minimum salary is a reasonable punt play.
OF – Dwight Smith Jr.at RHP Griffin Canning ($7)
If you are looking for a discount dandy on the late slate then Dwight Smith is your guy if he makes the lineup as all it takes is one swing of the bat for a double and an RBI and he will “pay off’ this price point.
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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