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When determining which way to go with my daily lineups, there are a couple of things that I look at before even both deciding which players to roll with.
First thing’s first, I always check the Vegas odds, specifically the over/under. One thing to keep in mind is that Vegas lines are made with the intention of getting the public to bet both sides. An over/under of 8.5 is meant to entice as many people who think there will be 7 or 8 total runs as opposed to 9 or 10. With that said, the higher the over/under, the better the chances of a successful DFS lineup selection. It’s a fairly basic concept, but failing to employ it is a quick way to deplete bankrolls.
Secondly, the probable pitchers and the ballparks are factors in every decision that is made. It’s obvious that playing Troy Tulowitzki in AT&T Park against Madison Bumgarner isn’t an ideal situation. It’s not a linear process though. It’s not a mindset of “never start players facing Pitcher A, B or C.” Clayton Kershaw’s career ERA at Coors Field is over 5.00; same goes for Justin Verlander’s ERA at Yankee Stadium over the last four years. This provides a value opportunity because some DFS players might shy away from big name pitchers.
With all this said, here my value plays for Draftstreet as well as which pitchers are favorable for today. There will be a lineup at the end of the article. As is always the case, be sure to check BaseballPress.com for up-to-the-minute lineup information and always double-check the weather.
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For those that have been regular readers of this column, or even passersby, you’ll know that full MLB slates can get up to 2500 words here and I finally figured maybe this isn’t the best way to inform the readers about the days’ MLB picks. Most people with families and 9-5 jobs probably don’t have time to read 2500 words every day.
I also wanted to place more emphasis on the players I thought were at the top of their position for a given day. Just simply listing the plays I like out of every game gives no weight to one player over the other.
Lastly, I wanted to place a bit more emphasis on large tournaments (or GPPs). While it’s true, a lot of luck needed to win a tournament with a 1000 people in it, there’s also some measure of skill by knowing which pitchers and which lineups to target.
From now on, this column will feature players/pitchers to target for both GPPs and cash games separately. Each will have their own segment with a bit of explanation at each position. The three options are given to reflect different price points and guys I particularly like will be italicized.
|First Base||Second Base||Shortstop||Third Base|
|Matt Adams (STL) – $6461||Neil Walker (PIT) – $7324||Erick Aybar (LAA) – $6565||Adrian Beltre (TEX) – $7799|
|CJ Cron (LAA) – $5824||Jason Kipnis (CLE) – $5369||Elvis Andrus (TEX) – $5215||Kyle Seager (SEA) – $6966|
|Chris Davis (BAL) – $3348||JJ Hardy (BAL) – $4625||Manny Machado (BAL) – $6065|
First Base – Matt Adams and CJ Cron are both very solid plays today and that makes it unnecessary to pay for an expensive first baseman. I’d probably lean Adams just because he’ll hit higher in the lineup, but either is fine. Davis vs. a lefty is a punt play, but his strikeout rates vs. lefties isn’t much different from righties over the last couple of years. Again, it’s not a bad punt play if all that’s needed is a cheap option for someone to “run into one.”
Second Base – I’m a fan of Neil Walker a lot tonight. Not only does he hit much better from the left side, but Shelby Miller is a pretty good bet to get lit up. If I can save money at first and short, paying at second and third might not be a bad way to go tonight. There aren’t many great plays so for me it’s either try to fit Walker into the budget or just hope Kipnis and company can rock the Yankees and David Phelps.
Shortstop – Short is a lot like first base today. There are enough cheap options that going expensive really isn’t necessary. I wish Aybar hit higher in the lineup or he’d be in a lot of my DFS lineups. I always like Andrus against lefties so call me a sucker if it doesn’t go well again today. JJ Hardy is another “I hope he runs into one” type of play but I’d rather have Andrus considering the price difference is fairly negligible.
Third Base – Like Andrus and Rios, I’ll always have a tough time not taking Adrian Beltre against any left handed pitcher. For his price, I’d rather have him than Anthony Rendon in lineups today. I like Seager’s match-up a lot tonight but I always worry about starting any hitter in Seattle. Machado I’m hoping just keeps his hot streak rolling, but realistically, it’s between Beltre and Seager for me tonight at third base. It’s worth paying up for either of them.
|Catcher||Outfield 1||Outfield 2||Starting Pitchers|
|Salvador Perez (KC) – $6578||Michael Brantley (CLE) – $9180||Alex Rios (TEX) – $5273||Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – $30,505|
|Brian McCann (NYY) – $5390||Jayson Werth (WAS) – $8524||Oscar Taveras (STL) – $4595||Odrisamer Despaigne (SD) – $10,372|
|Josh Hamilton (LAA) – $6325||Oswaldo Arcia (MIN) – $4428||T.J. House (CLE) – $8835|
|Adam Jones (BAL) – $6266|
Catcher – I don’t normally pay for catchers, but this might seem a good night to pay for Sal Perez. He’s been much better in his career hitting against lefties and he gets a not-good lefty tonight in Drew Smyly. If saving money is the option, then McCann is just fine for tonight against the lefty TJ House. I will be taking one of those two, though. Even the punt plays tonight are awful and I’d like to have at least some upside possibility.
Outfield 1 – Both Brantley and Cruz seem to be fairly safe options (though price independent, I’d rather have Brantley tonight). Adam Jones has continued to murder lefties this year, with his OPS at 1.239 in 103 plate appearances. It’s not the norm for his career, but at that price, I’ll take the risk.
Outfield 2 – Like the rest of the top of the Rangers order, Rios is a good play against most any lefty (particularly one like Smyly). Taveras was batting second last night and if he’s up there again tonight, that’s a pretty good place to be (between Carpenter and Holliday). Arcia is a good cheap option against any righty pitcher, tonight is no exception.
Starting Pitchers: I’m avoiding Gio Gonzalez against Baltimore so tonight it is about Kershaw and the scrubs. There really isn’t much for pitching tonight. Volquez sucks, Harang sucks, Lewis sucks, and Colon is not trustworthy. And those are the 3-6 pitchers by price tonight. I’ll take the risk on Despaigne (strikeouts weren’t his problem in the Minors so that has to turn around eventually). Other than that, eh? House has a decent match-up I guess but he’s not very good.
*Those looking for a cheap UTIL option, I’ll be using Billy Butler a lot. He’s sucked this year but he’s raked against lefties for his career. At a shade over $4K, it’s a worthy gamble.
Large Tournament (GPP) Lineup Stacks:
- Pittsburgh vs Shelby Miller: Miller is just an absolute mess right now and I have to think he’s in some way pitching injured. Regardless, the Pirates are one of the best in baseball against righties and Miller has given up 7 ER and 3 HR in 10.2 IP against the Pirates in two starts this year. Literally, every player in that lineup is a good play except whoever starts at short.
- Texas vs. Hector Santiago: I’ll always stack Andrus/Beltre/Rios against any lefty pitcher. Tonight is no different.
- Washington vs. Wei-Yin Chen: Chen isn’t horrible (he’s not good, either) but Washington is pretty good as a squad against lefty pitching. The three most expensive options for the Nats – Rendon, Werth, Zimmerman, are probably the best options, too, but Ramos isn’t a bad option, either.
- St. Louis vs. Edinson Volquez: Volquez is not a good pitcher and the top of the Cardinals lineup has the potential to rake against him. Carpenter and Adams are must-starts (and not expensive) while Taveras would be in a good position (and very cheap) if he hits second.
- Anyone. Literally anyone. I’ll go with Despaigne because he does have a good mix of pitches and has shown strikeout ability in the Minors. Shelby Miller is a VERY high-variance play so he’s a shot in the dark. There are a pile of bad pitchers today, though, so pick names out of a hat. It’s irrelevant. They are almost all bad options.
Good luck with your DFS today!
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