Home Run Derby: Friday, April 26th
Calling home runs, besides great fun, often makes the difference between a wildly profitable night in DFS and missing the cash line. Throughout the 2019 MLB season, I will endeavor to find a few home runs in three salary tiers on DraftKings. Join me throughout the year and call your home runs for monthly and seasonal RotoGrinders prizes. Without further ado, let’s play Home Run Derby!
Throughout this season, I will produce the Home Run Derby for main slates on DraftKings 2-3 days per week — selecting a home run from three different pricing tiers. If you want to call your home runs, please use these tiers for your selections to be eligible for any Derby prizes. Here are the tiers.
Luxury Box – $4,500 and above
Club Seats – $3,500 – $4400
Bleachers – Below $3,500
Hitters must be selected from the DraftKings Main Slate.
Schedule this Week: Monday, Tuesday, Friday
Happy Friday, Grinders! Tuesday night provided 29 home runs across the MLB. Yet, I still could not find one! While I spent Tuesday bemoaning my brutal slump, other RotoGrinders members were piling up home runs in bunches. We will cover the shifts when we get to the leaderboard — but first here are my picks for a very busy 15-game Friday night slate.
Unless specified, the statistics provided for each hitter and pitcher are combined for 2018 and 2019. I will note when I switch over to exclusively using statistics for 2019.
Mike Trout – OF – $5,600
Trout in 18-19 – 45 HR, .318 ISO, 44.8 FB%, 44.3 Hard%, 91.2 MPH aEV
Duffy vs RHH – .177 ISO, 88.1 MPH aEV, 44.6 FB%, 38.1 Hard%
To be honest, I do not have a great deal to add to the statistics listed above. There are several reasons why Mike Trout can Scrooge McDuck his way through several dollar bills in the offseason if he desired — the better than $400 million dollar man is unquestionably the best player in baseball. To add to the ridiculous stat-line that Trout built since last year — Trout’s barrel percentage has been in the top 1% of the MLB two of the previous four seasons. The other two seasons? I dreadful top 4% and top 7%.
Danny Duffy is making his first start in 2019 against a relatively weak Angels offense. With that said, Trout is still Trout. Duffy struggled mightily last season against RHH — made evident by his 1.5 HR/9 versus that side of the plate. I desperately need a home run to get back in the game. It is high time I roll with the best.
Matt Carpenter – 3B – $4,100
Carpenter in 18-19 – 39 HR, .255 ISO, 47.6 FB%, 47.7 Hard%, 89.6 MPH aEV
DeSclafani vs LHH – .290 ISO, 88.8 MPH aEV, 43.3 FB%, 42.1 Hard%
Matt Carpenter remains one of my favorite players in the MLB for a variety of reasons. For one, he doesn’t wear batting gloves — which makes him look really tough. Also, in his first year as a full-time player in the MLB, I was able to land Carp in my dynasty baseball league making him eligible for a ridiculous cheap starting cost when I signed him to a multi-year deal the following year. If only I signed him for… I don’t know… forever.
Carpenter is off to a slower start when compared to his ridiculous pace in the second half of last season. However, even with his current ISO in 2019 resting below .200 — his FB-rate is at 52.2% and a Hard% just shy of 40. His HR/FB-rate is 8.6%. That is going to come back up at some point — meaning the home runs will come.
Anthony DeSclafani might be the perfect elixir for that low HR/FB%. Against LHH, DeSclafani’s HR/9 is at 2.6 since the beginning of his 2018 season. Woof.
Wellington Castillo – C – $3,400
Castillo in 18-19 – 8 HR, .149 ISO, 36.5 FB%, 33.3 Hard%, 89.9 MPH aEV
Norris vs RHH – .202 ISO, 90.2 MPH aEV, 42.7 FB%, 44.4 Hard%
This range again. I missed on Travis Shaw twice this week at a really cheap price for a few home runs. Shaw is still in this tier but has a matchup with Jacob deGrom tonight. I will be kicking myself all weekend. In the meantime, let’s try a White Sox hitter against a power-prone lefty.
Since 2019, Daniel Norris is making a habit of doling out hard hits to right-handed batters. With a 1.7 HR/9, opposing righties frequently hit fly balls against Norris. A shift to Chicago will not help Norris’ cause on Friday night. We could probably find a worse punt than Wellington Castillo for this slate.
Edit – I am going to pivot to Marwin Gonzalez at $3,300 with Castillo not being in the lineup.
Leaderboard (sortable by column)
Well, howdy. Tuesday night created some buzz in the Home Run Derby contest. Ropediddy was able to collect a season-best four home runs to put himself back into contention. Well, you would have thought so until the scorching-hot WestCrook1 found three of his own home runs to make 14 the new high mark on the leaderboard. Erichanlon was able to collect two home runs to stay in second with 13 total home runs.
Will this be the end of my drought? Will we see another quad-bomb tonight? Will we see greater than 35 home runs? All of these questions will be answered when I am back next week to write my article. Until then, good luck, everyone.
I am happy to announce that at the end of each month I will be rewarding the highest home run total with a RotoGrinders T-shirt. Having a rough month? Don’t let up. The RotoGrinders member with the most home runs throughout the season — until the end of August — will be awarded a 3-month Combo Premium subscription to start the NFL season!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the article, stick around for the rest of the MLB season. Want to compete against me? Drop your expensive, mid-tier, and cheap home run calls in the comments (DraftKings pricing). Otherwise, give me a follow on Twitter where I typically post slate-relevant statistics and embarrassing comments about professional wrestling.
Statistics for this article are obtained from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, RotoGrinders Daily Research Console, and Baseball Savant.