Flipping the Script (MLB) - Friday 4/12
I am just your average DFS player who has found a way to become profitable in a cash game setting. For most of us, DFS is a losing battle and I am here to give an easy break down of the top plays in both the NBA, NHL, and MLB on larger slates.
Friday, April 12
Well we made it! Another Friday is here and we have got ourselves one last MLB slate to tackle before we head off into the sunset for approximately two days. Tonight we have a solid 12 games to pick from with a couple of good arms to target and a few salivating matchups for run production. As mentioned in my first MLB article, the format of the blog will be similar to that of my NHL articles, with three separate categories: Pitcher (High, Mid, Lower-Tier), Top Teams to Stack, and Best One-Off Plays. Before we get to it, let’s take a quick look at my tournament MLB lineup for 4/11:
- P – Joe Musgrove (PIT) – 41
- C/1B – Mitch Moreland (BOS) – 28.2
- 2B – Robinson Cano (NYM) – 0
- 3B – Eduardo Escobar (ARI) – 31.7
- SS – Fernando Tatis (SD) – 9.5
- OF – Pablo Reyes (PIT) – 0
- OF – Andrew Benintendi (BOS) – 6
- OF – Starling Marte (PIT) – 6
- UTIL – Michael Conforto (NYM) – 9.2
131.6 —- 145.5
Recap: I started my roster going back and forth between Jon Gray and Joe Musgrove, but settled on Musgrove as he was sure to have much lower ownership against a struggling Cubs lineup. Sadly, it ended up being the man opposing Musgrove that had the highest score of the night as Jose Quintana dominated the Pittsburgh hitters through seven innings. That hurt my lineup as Pittsburgh was one of my favorite under the radar stacks with Quintana in bad form to start the year.
After plugging in my Pittsburgh players I quickly grabbed the two big lefties for the Red Sox, with Mitch Moreland manning first base and Andrew Benintendi filling out my last outfield spot. Moreland had another fantastic game and continued his hot start to the season. Benintendi did not do anything spectacular but also didn’t put up a zero so I wasn’t complaining.
The Mets were my next stack, as I paired Robinson Cano with Michael Conforto in an effort to capitalize on the streaking New York hitters. Cano put up a dud and Conforto reached his floor, but it was Pete Alonso who continued to show that the spotlight does not affect him as he produced the big home run late in the game. With everything but shortstop and third base filled it became a pretty simple decision to go with Fernando Tatis at shortstop and Eduardo Escobar at third base, giving me exposure to a game that I expected to have fireworks with the rookie Pedro Avila and the struggling Zack Godley going head to head.
Overall we finished with a final score of 131.6 which was good enough to cash in the one double-up I played, but was about 15 FDP behind the cash-line in my tournament game. Luckily we have a larger slate tonight so we can get back to our cash-game strategy.
With that being said, let’s get to today’s top MLB cash-game plays of the day:
1. Carlos Carrasco ($10,500) vs. Kansas City Royals – After having won their first two games of 2019, the Royals have lost ten straight games and now get to face tonight’s top pitching option in Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco is not a guy who guys super deep into games as his pitch count often gets run up, but his statistics support the high-tier label as he boasts a 3.04 SIERA, a 29.8% strikeout rate, a low walk rate of 5.4%, and a 15.1% swinging strike rate. The one negative for him tonight is that the Royals are a contact friendly team, as they only strike out at a 19.5% clip. I don’t think that will necessarily deter me away from going with a guy like Carrasco but an argument can be made that the ceiling is relatively low due to the matchup.
2. J.A. Happ ($9,400) vs. Chicago White Sox – I am personally never a huge fan of playing a guy over $9,000 who has yet to make it out of the fifth inning in a game this year, but when we look at J.A. Happ statistics it can give us the comfort we need to stick with him tonight. He sees a good matchup with a pretty bad White Sox team and gives us some decent strikeout upside at a $1,100 discount off of Carrasco. The White Sox lineup is sure to have plenty of right-handed bats throughout, but Vegas has New York as one of the heaviest favorites and the White Sox with the second lowest implied total tonight.
1. Julio Urias ($8,500) vs. Milwaukee Brewers – My problem with any of the Dodgers pitchers is that Dave Roberts always has a quick hook. This limits the upside of your starter going deep into a ballgame. However, after yesterday’s bullpen blow-up, it would not surprise me to see Urias finally complete a full six innings. Many will stay away from this matchup as the Brewers have one of the best lineups in the National League, but when we dig further we will see that their best hitters (aside from Ryan Braun) are all lefties. With Urias having the platoon advantage I will be strongly considering him in cash-games tonight if I absolutely need the extra salary.
2. Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,300) vs. Baltimore Orioles – I will 100% be taking the wait-and-see approach with Rodriguez tonight, but there is a case to be made that he is in a good spot tonight against an Orioles team that has exceeded expectations early on but is still a weak lineup. Obviously Rodriguez has struggled mightily to begin the year with talk that he is not throwing certain pitches enough, but his overall statistics tell us he should eventually break out of his funk. I think Rodriguez is much better suited as a tournament play, but with Vegas having the Red Sox as heavy favorites and the Orioles with one of the lower implied totals, I could see the appeal in him.
Trent Thornton ($7,600) vs. Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays have sneakily been one of the best teams in baseball since the 2018 All-Star break so they’re not a team I often like to target. However, they get most of their production out of their pitching staff and scrap for enough runs to support them. When looking at their lineup Yandy Diaz stands out as the one guy I genuinely would be afraid to pitch to, but aside from him the rest of the lineup is subpar. Thornton has only had two major league starts in his career up to this point and his minor league statistics would tell us that he is bound to regress eventually. However, in those two starts he has pitched to the tune of a 2.24 SIERA (lowest on the slate), a 39.5% strikeout rate (highest on the slate), and just a 5.3% walk rate. It’s a dart throw at best and I surely will be paying up at pitcher, but if you absolutely need to spend this far down Thornton is my favorite option in this price range.
Top Team to Stack
1. vs. David Hess (BAL)
Much like last night, the Red Sox come in as my top projected stack of the night. Boston welcomes David Hess and the Baltimore Orioles into Fenway Park tonight with their offense having the highest implied total of the night. Hess’ splits show us that there is not much of a platoon advantage, which gives us the go-ahead to stack both right-handed bats and left-handed bats from this Red Sox lineup. The issue we run into is that they are some of the more expensive hitters so if we are trying to go for a full stack you’ll need to plug in some value plays. For me, I will be focusing on the same three guys I did last night with Mitch Moreland ($4,000), Andrew Benintendi ($3,600), and Rafael Devers ($3,100). Moreland has seen his price increase at a rapid pace which gives me some pause, but he has also been the best hitter in this lineup by a pretty wide margin. If you can afford it, Mookie Betts ($4,800) and J.D. Martinez ($4,500) are always in play at their respective positions.
2. vs. Drew Smyly (TEX)
In his two starts this year, Drew Smyly has yet to get out of the fourth inning after missing the entirety of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery. To make matters worse for Smyly, he has to face off against Khris Davis ($4,600) and a hot Athletics lineup in the hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. The issue we are going to run into is that the top of this lineup is priced up for their matchup with Smyly tonight so it will be difficult to play both Oakland and Boston in your lineups unless you pay down at pitcher. That being said, the top of this lineup should be heavily targeted starting with Marcus Semien ($3,900). From there you can make a case to play Matt Chapman ($4,300) despite his huge price increase, Stephen Piscotty ($3,800), and Khris Davis. If you are looking for cheaper guys in the lineup, Chad Pinder ($3,200), Mark Canha ($2,600), and Jurickson Profar ($3,100) are all far less expensive and still get you exposure to this offense.
3. vs. Mike Fiers (OAK)
The Yankees, Astros, and Mariners all grade out ahead of the Texas Rangers in my projections tonight, but the issue is that each of those lineups are priced up with most of their players being borderline unreasonably priced. Therefore, we are going to need to do our best to find the most value we can tonight if we want to play the top hitters of the slate. The Rangers offer that value that we are looking for, as only one player is priced over $3,500 in their lineup. They see a good matchup with the aging Mike Fiers who has a below average strikeout rate and gives up a lot of fly balls. When the temperature heats up in Texas we often see offensive fireworks and it would not surprise me in the slightest if this one ended up crushing the over of 10.5 runs. I will be looking to target both the lefties and righties at the top of the order as Fiers does not have extreme splits. Shin-Soo Choo ($3,300) should be leading off, with Rougned Odor ($2,800), Elvis Andrus ($3,400), and Nomar Mazara ($3,500) hitting behind him. Joey Gallo ($4,200) is always in play due to his power upside as well as the plethora of walks he has been taking this year, but he is also super expensive and I would rather pay the extra $400 for Khris Davis.
Best One-Off Plays
Jose Ramirez ($3,400) vs. Brad Keller (KC) – Keller has not pitched particularly bad this season as he has to deal with a poor bullpen and a lack of run support. However, his statistics tell us that he is not a guy we should necessarily shy away from when it comes to targeting bats against him. Tonight we have an opportunity to roster Jose Ramirez at under $3,500 and I don’t see why I will not be automatically locking him in my cash-game lineups. Sure, he has struggled with a lack of offensive support around him as pitchers have the ability to pitch him more carefully. However, I still trust in the fact that Ramirez will start to turn things around and with the skill set that he brings to the table he is severely underpriced tonight. Lock and load Ramirez at third base tonight.
Tyler White ($2,200) vs. Wade LeBlanc (SEA) – As I briefly mentioned earlier, the Houston Astros are in a great spot tonight against the Mariners but their hitters are insanely expensive. However, if Tyler White gets the start tonight he becomes one of my favorite one-off value plays of the night at a position that does not have any one player that stands out as a must play. This way, you’ll get exposure to this lineup with the opportunity for White to spend his at bats attempting to drive guys in.
Yonathan Daza ($2,000) vs. Drew Pomeranz (SF) – For the bear minimum price, Daza stands out as a solid value play going up against one of my favorite pitcher to pick on in Drew Pomeranz. Now, San Francisco is certainly no Coors Field, but no matter where Pomeranz throws I do not think it will matter much and should be a guy we target a lot over the course of the season. With David Dahl on the IL, Daza should pick up the start against the lefty and slot in somewhere atop the order.
Wil Myers ($3,000) vs. Luke Weaver (ARI) – Anytime you can roster a power/speed threat like Wil Myers for under $3,500 it almost is a no brainer. He hits atop the order so is guaranteed to see at least four at bats, and Weaver has not pitched particularly well to start the year. There are a ton of value options tonight in the outfield that can be considered in cash-games (Daza, Jarrod Dyson, Jakob Bauers, Tyler Naquin, Ian Desmond), but Myers still grades out as a fantastic one-off play with huge upside.
Renato Nunez ($2,600) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) – Although I think Rodriguez has a strong chance to right the ship tonight for himself and the other four Boston starting pitchers, Nunez should be hitting fourth or fifth tonight and has been consistently producing under the radar. He has put up fantasy point in nine of his first twelve games, with seven of those being 6.2 FDP or more. On the off chance Rodriguez struggles with his control again and gets hit around, Nunez should be right in the thick of it and is a solid consideration at third base tonight with his safe floor.
I hope all of this information helps those who have been struggling a bit and I look forward to continuing to cover the NBA, NHL, and MLB. Best of luck tonight flipping the script! As always, leave any comments or suggestions below.