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MLB Rundown 04.16.2019

What to expect from this article:

The length of this article will vary since sometimes it’s necessary to go in depth on certain pitchers and there are some slates where there won’t be many hidden nuggets to share. I reference FanDuel and DraftKings the most just because that’s what 90% of people play on, but this information is just as valuable for sites like Yahoo, FantasyDraft, Draft, or wherever you play. Most of the analysis will be centered around pitching but also noting how batters will be impacted because of it. I will regularly review lineups and contests from the night before and sometimes provide direction on what types of games the slate is best suited for. Your expectation should not be to scan for names to just start plugging players into your lineup. Instead, learn the thought process and reasoning for why I’m using players in my lineups. Ultimately the decisions are yours and I’m just trying to provide you with as much useful info as I can. Let’s set realistic expectations and take ownership of our decisions and I’m confident that we’re going to have a very strong season.

Note: Always be sure to check for weather concerns! Always check to make sure a player that I talk about actually made the lineup that day!

HUGE SLATE. And just a HEADS UP, FanDuel locks at 6:35 ET tonight. That’s an earlier start than usual, so DraftKings opted out of the first two games and will lock at 7:05.

*The early games are BOS @ NYY and PIT @ DET.

Follow @JeffKCollins for updates.

Updated 5:47 ET

Pitchers

Main Targets

Tyler Glasnow — Gets ahead of batters early now with a 68.8% first-pitch strike rate which has led to big improvements with his 4.7 BB%. When runners get on he’s bad at holding them, so the BB% is more key for him than most pitchers. With 50% ground balls and 32.8% Ks, it’s tough to say anything bad about him at this point.
Use: FD + DK Cash/GPP

Stephen Strasburg — We know Stasburg is good, but let’s look at just how bad the Giants are. They have a 52 wRC+, which is second-lowest behind the Rockies. Their .114 ISO is second-lowest behind the Tigers. They are batting below the Mendoza line as a team. They strike out 24.9% of the time. Plus San Francisco has a 33.2% O-Swing (only behind the Twins and Tigers), which is key because that fits Strasburg’s game plan — to get batters to chase. Outside of Jaime Barria (2.2 innings pitched), Strasburg has the lowest Zone% (37.2) on the slate.
Use: FD + DK Cash/GPP

GPP Pivots

  1. Nick Pivetta — It may seem crazy to go back to Pivetta after how he’s been lit up this year, but I seriously think he’s as good as ever. He’s been incredibly unlucky somehow giving up over 2 HR/9 despite a 26.5% fly ball rate. His pitches are super high quality right now. It just doesn’t make sense why he wouldn’t strike out 9 Mets tonight while limiting the damage enough to get a QS.
  2. Matt Boyd (FanDuel) — The biggest improver from 2018 to 2019 probably, Boyd leads the way with a 40.% K rate. Only faces two lefties, but this is a weak Pirates lineup with an added DH and Boyd can strikeout RHBs at high rates too.
  3. Colin McHugh — Has developed a slider with 9 to 10 inches of horizontal movement that generates nearly 50% whiffs per swing! This pitch drops in effectiveness against lefties of course (25% Wh/Sw), but the A’s figure to only send Grossman, Morales, and Profar at him from the left side of the plate. Amazing splits matchup that plays into his best pitch.

DraftKings Cash SP2: Nick Pivetta

DraftKings SP2 Punt: None that I could even talk myself into mentioning. UFCollective thinks that Kyle Gibson is going to be everyone’s choice here, but I don’t like it. He didn’t get through 5 innings against the Mets or Royals in his first two starts and has given up 8 ERs with 8 Ks. He’s a pitch-to-contact guy without much strikeout upside.

Others to consider: Max Fried, Shane Bieber, Jose Quintana, Jon Gray

Scouting Report

Chris Sale — I just wanted to give everyone a look into what Sale is doing this year compared to previous seasons:

That last graph is his whiffs per swing, so basically how often he’s fooling batters enough to swing and miss. If you aren’t good at reading graphs, I’ll just say… it doesn’t look good.

Favorite Stacks

  • Try to stack the max allowed (4 on FD, 5 on DK)
  • When building out with a lineup builder, I use primarily four man stacks on FD with some three man stacks. On DraftKings the stacks range from three to five, but mostly five.
  • Start small with your stack when constructing your lineup and get your favorite three guys from the stack in there. Then begin filling out the rest of your lineup and you’ll start to figure out what other pieces of the stack you’re able to include. If it’s the 3-4-5-7 of the order instead of the 2-3-4-5, that’s gonna happen a lot and is totally fine.
  • It’s fine to stack in cash games, but what’s more important is getting the best values in there. So a lot of times you’re almost stacking by accident just because a lot of players from the same team are the best plays in terms of value that day

 

Expected Offense (higher implied runs)

  1. Rangers (5.39)
  2. Dodgers (4.89)
  3. Rays (4.97)

Unexpected Offense (lower implied runs)

  1. Yankees (FanDuel)
  2. Braves
  3. Royals

Game Theory: On slates this big, you have to worry about ownership percentages THE LEAST. It gets so spread out that it’s tough for anyone to truly be “chalk”. An offense that is popular that I’m lower on than most is the Astros, but considering many of the guys will be sub 10% ownership and they still grade out Top 5 at their positions (even if not #1 or #2 like others have them), I’m not trying to “X” them out of my lineups, or not play them if the stack fits nicely with the rest of my lineup.

FanDuel Value Fillers (sub $3k): Marwin Gonzalez, Yonder Alonso, Brian Dozier, Jake Cave, Ji-Man Choi

DraftKings Value Fillers (sub $4k):  Brian Dozier, Andrelton Simmons, Ji-Man Choi, Starlin Castro, Darrin Fletcher

Positional Rankings. Top Tier in bold. In order to not favor one site over the other, these are loosely based on raw point projections… not based on point per dollar (PP$) or interest level. With this info combined with the pricing of the site you’re playing on, it should be easy enough to figure out the best plays. The sites have players listed at different positions too (FanDuel you don’t even have to play a catcher), and since DraftKings lets you play guys at different spots I’ll use the FanDuel positions as a guide.

 

C

  1. J.T. Realmuto
  2. Willson Contreras
  3. Willians Astudillo
  4. Wilson Ramos
  5. Tyler Flowers

 

1B

  1. Max Muncy
  2. Paul Goldschmidt
  3. Pete Alonso
  4. Jose Abreu
  5. Ji-Man Choi

 

2B

  1. Ozzie Albies
  2. Mike Moustakas
  3. Brandon Lowe
  4. Brian Dozier (consider in cash on both sites)
  5. Jose Altuve

 

3B

  1. Anthony Rendon
  2. Matt Carpenter
  3. Nolan Arenado
  4. Alex Bregman
  5. Josh Donaldson

 

SS

  1. Corey Seager
  2. Elvis Andrus
  3. Trevor Story
  4. Gleyber Torres (FD GPP)
  5. Andrelton Simmons

 

OF

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Cody Bellinger
  3. Aaron Judge (FD GPP)
  4. Ronald Acuna
  5. Joey Gallo
  6. Joc Pederson
  7. Christian Yelich
  8. Austin Meadows
  9. Max Kepler
  10. Tommy Pham