Home Run Derby: Wednesday, June 13th
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Over the past couple of years, my blog for RotoGrinders has taken on many shapes and forms. I spent time identifying plays for Single Entry tournaments, chronicled results in All-Day contests for MLB on FanDuel, and even published a blog covering the Royal Rumble. During the 2018 MLB season, I will search for a few home runs in different salary tiers on FanDuel and call my shot. I implore all of you to join me this season and make your tiered home run calls in the comments section below. Without further ado, let’s play Home Run Derby!
Today, we “swing for the fences” with a few home run calls for today’s main MLB slate. We will use FanDuel pricing as a reference and choose a home run from the following price tiers:
Luxury Box – $4,000 and above
Club Seats – $3,000 and above
Bleachers – below $3,000
Mike Moustakas – 3B – $4,100
Happy Hump Day, Grinders! There is nothing better than leading off an article that discusses dongs with a Hump Day greeting. Jokes aside, we have a solid nine-game slate to sift through today.
Admittedly, I am not very fond of this tier tonight. We are rife with big names but lacking any excellent spots. My initial thought was to put a picture of Bryce Harper here and move on, but Harper might not make the lineup tonight after getting hit on the toe last night. For that reason, I am going to lock in Mike Moustakas.
Moose’s opponent tonight, Tyler Mahle, is hemorrhaging offense to left-handed batters this year. While he escapes the treacherous confines of the Great American Smallpark, his power-related statistics are still pretty scary. Here is Mahle’s relevant line versus lefties this season.
2018 vs LHH – 9 HR, 2.4 HR/9, 4.88 xFIP, 40.2 FB%, 45.9 Hard%, .278 ISO
Yikes! If that is not frightening enough for Reds fans, take a peek at Moose’s relevant statistics against opposing righties this season.
2018 vs RHP – .261 ISO, 91.2 MPH avg. exit velocity, 204-ft avg. BB distance, 45.9 FB%, 49.0 Hard%
After digging into this matchup, I suppose this tier is not so bad.
Scott Schebler – OF – $3,400
In this tier, we stay in the same game and pick on a massive flyball pitcher backed by a poor bullpen. Scott Schebler continues to hit leadoff for the Reds offense; the Reds find themselves in the American League with a DH again.
Jason Hammel cannot help himself with fly balls. Against lefties, Hammel currently has a 50.4 FB% and 1.4 HR/9. The HR/9 is likely lower because of his home stadium. While I did not bring up the not so ideal ballpark, the two pitchers in this game might mitigate the stadium layout issues.
Schebler boasts a .200 ISO, 90.2 MPH avg. exit velocity, and 38.1 Hard% versus opposing righties. His FB-rate is down, but a matchup with Jason Hammel should even things out. Hopefully, Kansas City has favorable weather because this game is ripe for the picking.
Jedd Gyorko – 2B – $2,700
Similar to this tier yesterday, I am going to take a flier on some boom-or-bust upside. Jedd Gyorko draws a matchup with young Eric Lauer. Lauer might have a bright future but he does not seem to be ready quite yet.
Assuming Gyorko draws a lineup spot tonight versus the southpaw, he might be primed for a home run or two. In a ridiculously small sample, Gyorko carries a .440 ISO, 43.5 FB%, and 43.5 Hard% versus left-handed pitching this season. Obviously, those numbers are going to go south, but Gyorko always possesses power/strikeout upside. Gyorko is a welcome sight for both DFS sides of the game. We like to hunt for home runs with him and we like to target his strikeouts with opposing pitchers.
Eric Lauer currently has a 204-ft average batted ball distance versus righties this season. That might explain his 1.7 HR/9 and .214 ISO. Cardinal righties seem like appropriate picks for power tonight.
Tuesday Derby Results and Leaderboard
We witnessed 29 home runs last night. Mike Trout, Mitch Haniger, Didi Gregorious, and Ryon Healy all homered twice. Contestants strgzer585 and GMen813 both landed two home runs as well, aided by Dodgers and a ridiculously cheap Carlos Correa. GMen813’s efforts last night pushed him up the leaderboard; a leaderboard that is starting to take shape with 11 contestants having at least 3 home runs. Good luck with your predictions of power tonight!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the blog, stick around for the entire MLB season. Want to compete against me throughout the year? Drop your expensive, mid-tier, and cheap home run calls in the comments (FanDuel pricing). Otherwise, give me a follow on Twitter where I love to post statistics about the MLB slates during my research.
Statistics were pulled from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, RotoGrinders, and Baseball Savant for this blog.