Home Run Derby: Tuesday, May 21st
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: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Happy Tuesday, Grinders! Welcome back for another week of home run hunting, power prognostication, fly ball fishing… I think you get it. Friday brought redemption for the long ball — as the MLB provided 41 home runs. Today, we sift through a hefty 14-game slate — rife with offensive contexts and potential home runs. David Hess pitches at home against the Bronx Bombers. Lance Lynn pitches in warm Arlington. Miller Park hosts the Reds and Brewers. Here are my home run picks for tonight followed by a leaderboard update.
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.
Happy David Hess Day, everybody! In honor of this glorious day, I am going to do something a little bit different today. Normally, I would try to find a variety of plays from across the slate. Today, though, I am just going to target my favorite home run spot in the top two tiers — hoping to cash in on Hess and continue my May run. As you can see with a glance at Hess’s overall numbers throughout 2018-2019, the man is a home run waiting to happen. The man compiled a 6.7 K/9 with a massive 2.3 HR/9 during this stretch and yes, still pitches in the big leagues. Flabbergasting as that may be, I will not look this gift horse in the mouth — whatever that means.
Gary Sanchez – C – $5,200
Sanchez in 18-19 – 31 HR, .261 ISO, 47.2 FB%, 39.5 Hard%, 91.5 MPH aEV
Hess vs RHH – .260 ISO, 89.2 MPH aEV, 54.0 FB%, 35.1 Hard%
With 13 home runs this season, the top Yankee home run pick is an easy call with the absence of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Sanchez hit a home run last night and is going to be a threat to do so daily while the Yankees play in Baltimore. The Orioles starting staff is bad and their bullpen is horrendous. Orioles’ relievers in 2019 own a league-worst 1.91 HR/9 and 20.0 HR/FB%. Usually, HR/FB% is a metric we use to detect potential regression — which might be the case here. On the other hand, they could just be really bad with a really bad ballpark to pitch in. Latter sounds about right.
Clint Frazier – OF – $4,200
Fraizer in 18-19 – 6 HR, .176 ISO, 35.0 FB%, 36.0 Hard%, 89.1 MPH aEV
Hess vs RHH – .260 ISO, 89.2 MPH aEV, 54.0 FB%, 35.1 Hard%
Currently, we project Clint Frazier to bat ninth today on the road against David Hess. This means that Clint Frazier might meet the only prerequisite for being in play against David Hess — being in the lineup. I will line up a pivot later on when lineups come out if he is absent from today’s batting order.
Kendrys Morales – 1B – $3,600
Morales in 18-19 – 23 HR, .162 ISO, 35.3 FB%, 40.9 Hard%, 92.2 MPH aEV
Hess vs LHH – .244 ISO, 88.5 MPH aEV, 45.8 FB%, 36.8 Hard%
Well, technically, Hess is better against lefties — in a getting trapped in a cage with a black bear is better than getting trapped with an anaconda sorta way. Just when cash game players breathed a sigh of relief as Morales was DFA’d by the Athletics — he reemerges expeditiously in a better offensive context at a bargain bin price.
I won’t bother trying to woo you with Morales’ hard-hitting profile. He fills a need today. End of discussion. That aEV, though…
You’ll notice that I am an idiot and disregarded my own rules! For that reason — and as a punishment — I am going to switch to the $2900 Yonder Alonso against Justin Verlander. Hopefully, I am not rewarded after the above nonsense with Kendrys Morales. My apologies.
Leaderboard (sortable by column)
One would think with 41 home runs I would be congratulating a handful of contestants on multi-HR nights. Nope. nrcave and whitetrashballerz were the only two contestants to pick two home runs — mainly because they were able to find a bomb from one of the lower tiers. One of the big issues with Friday night was of the 41 home runs, 10 of them were hit by Cubs or Dodgers. Since nobody wanted Cubs against Scherzer and the Dodgers were mainly in the same tier, we saw a host of solo shots for our members. Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, and George Springer accounted for every home run on the leaderboard with Kyle Schwarber pushing the aforementioned nrcave and whitetrashballerz to two apiece.
So, the dust settles and we are left with a tie atop the May standings between SmoothLH20 and DJESQUIRE with seven taters each. Shanekern03 was the first RotoGrinders home run hunter to get to the 20 home run mark and is positioned to fight for the 3-month Combo Premium prize awarded at the end of August. Business is certainly picking up. With a large slate today, I am certain these standings will shift. Will we have a new leader in May? Can someone pass Shane? We will answer these questions tomorrow for a split-slate Derby day. 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.