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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 Walker Buehler vs Arizona Diamondbacks ($50) – 3.1 implied run total
This is an easy choice for me as RHP Walker Buehler is facing the Diamondbacks who are projecting with a 3.1 implied run total which is one we typically do not see this side of the Miami Marlins or San Francisco Giants. This will be the fourth time that Buehler has squared off against Arizona and while it is no guarantee of tonight’s performance, he has gone 18.0 innings with 20 strikeouts, just two home runs allowed – though a surprising nine earned runs on just 17 baserunners as he has been a victim of sequencing and bad luck in the prior meetings.
RHP Cal Quantrill vs Colorado Rockies ($34) – 4.1 implied run total
This season the current active roster of the Rockies has compiled an 82 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes ballpark factors creating a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100) which means that Colorado is scoring 18% less runs than the average team against right-handed pitching and it is ahead of only the Tigers and Marlins. Though he has faced only 163 hitters in The Show, RHP Cal Quantrill has held same-handed hitters to a .239 wOBA, .125 ISO with a miniscule 2.9 BB% and a solid 25.5 K%. Lefties have been a struggle, but he has been decent for a rookie with a .352 wOBA, .196 ISO, 16.6 K% but the 9.3 BB% is alarming – at least the only difficult lefties in the lineup should be Charlie Blackmon and Daniel Murphy (reminder David Dahl is on the injured list).
LHP Drew Smyly at San Francisco Giants ($28) – 4.3 implied runs
Look, on the surface there is no denying that LHP Drew Smyly has been awful with his 7.01 ERA, 1.64 WHIP and 20 home runs allowed in 69.1 innings – however, the price, matchup and location of this game are all in his favor and he does have a strikeout per inning this season and that is the currency of the realm in DFS MLB. TOURNAMENTS ONLY (YES ALL CAPS) and understand that there is risk here, but there is also a path to getting the top-shelf hitters from the Yankees and Red Sox with the extra salary cap.
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 at LHP Marco Gonzalez ($7)
Having spend the first six years of his career with the Mariners, Mike Zunino is not stranger to the “batter’s eye” in Seattle. We are playing him for one good swing of the bat in the hopes he gets a home run or an RBI double and that will take care of his minimum salary on Yahoo.
1B – Jesus Aguilar at LHP Marco Gonzalez ($10)
While this has been a mostly lost season for Jesus Aguilar he has shown signs of life since being acquired by the Rays and he should garner a favorable slot in the batting order with the platoon advantage. While he has managed a paltry .198/.286/.314 slash line with only four extra base hits in 86 at bats this season against southpaws, he was solid for the Brewers prior to this year with a .289/.372/.536 slash line with 29 extra base hits in 235 at bats previously with the platoon-advantage.
2B – Freddy Galvis vs LHP J.A. Happ ($12)
While it is never exciting rostering the switch-hitting Freddy Galvis he is better against southpaws and there is always a chance he could put one just over the fence or perhaps steal a base and maybe with a little luck accomplish both in the same game… also known as getting a Jack and a Bag per our friends North of the border.
3B – Matt Carpenter vs RHP Chris Archer ($9)
Yes, he has been hurt and even fouled a ball off his foot on Wednesday, but if he is in the lineup at the top of the order, it is going to be nearly impossible to pass on him at this discounted price point. Since the beginning of last year, RHP Chris Archer has let opposite-handed hitters get to him for a .222 ISO with a 1.89 HR/9 rate which gives Carpenter some solid tournament upside.
SS – J.P. Crawford vs LHP Jalen Beeks ($10)
It is likely that as the “bulk reliever” LHP Jalen Beeks is only going to be good for around 70 pitches or three innings which means that Crawford should have a couple opportunities against right-handed pitching on Friday. He has been outstanding defensively for the Mariners and had some timely hits, making him one of the few bright spots for the franchise that has traded away most of their talent between the offseason and the recent trade deadline and lost several others due to injury.
OF – Jesse Winker vs RHP Yu Darvish ($13)
RHP Yu Darvish has been pretty, pretty good of late and he should be popular for his reasonable price tag on Friday. If he gains some popularity with The Masses, we will want to consider a leverage stack against him beginning with Jesse Winker and fellow lefty Josh VanMeter – $9 who have both been solid and if we want to round things out then Nick Senzel – $11 has a stellar bat and recent callup Aristides Aquino – $14 is on one heck of a heater.
OF – Hunter Renfroe vs LHP Kyle Freeland ($11)
Yes he disappointed us after getting a couple mediocre southpaws in Seattle, but here is the perfect chance for him to make it up to us against the PUTRID LHP Kyle Freeland who has been abysmal this season and for added fun, include Wil Myers – $9 and enjoy the show!
OF – Franmil Reyes at LHP Devin Smeltzer ($11)
Oh if only he were still a Padre he would be in the preceding paragraph, but he has his own decent opportunity on Friday night against LHP Devin Smeltzer who still needs some seasoning before he is going to be a consistent pitcher. Reyes has tremendous power against pitchers of either-handedness and he there is a distinct possibility that The Masses will overlook him with his new team if he is in the bottom third of the batting order.
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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