MLB DEEP DIVE – 4/15/17 (LATE)
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Now let’s get down to business!
James Paxton [LHP – SEA] vs TEX – While not the easiest of matchups, there are a lot of factors in Paxton’s favor tonight. The most obvious is of course that he will be pitching in Safeco Field and the next most important is that he is a hard throwing left-handed pitcher. On the flipside, current Texas batsmen have posted a .337/.378/.455 slash line in 101 at bats, though they have managed just six extra base hits. As the highest favorites at -175ML to garner the victory, I am going to be rolling with the Mariners hurler as one of my key pitchers in all formats.
Kenta Maeda [RHP – LAD] vs ARZ – When the Diamondbacks are out of Chase Field, they lose a lot of their venom on offense (cwidt… snakes, venom). Maeda has a 30% K-rate against right-handed hitters and if he can work around lefties David Peralta and Jake Lamb, he should be in the mix as the top scoring pitcher of the night.
Adam Conley [LHP – MIA] vs NYM – On small slates like this we are going to have to plant our flag from time-to-time. Tonight I am going with a pitcher in the Mets/Marlins game, but it is not the one that most people will be looking for. Conley hails from Washington State and is pitching just about as far away from his home state that he possible can. He has had a strong history against the current Mets hitters, who are horrible against southpaws, with a .208/.274/.333 slash line with 25 strikeouts against just eight extra base hits. It will be a massive surprise to see Conley on more than 10% of all tournament rosters and with the variance that is an inherent part of daily fantasy baseball, which is most definitely in our favor. Now he just needs to perform on the field!
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at RHP Nate Karns, KCR – Over his last 123.2 innings pitched against right-handed hitters, Karns is allowing a 1.60 HR/9 and a 35.2% hard hit rate. This plays right into the hands of the Halos and we can target OF Mike Trout, 1B C.J. Cron, 1B Albert Pujols and even 3B Jefry Marte as a punt option. Additionally, OF Kole Calhoun is someone who will go overlooked even on a ten team player pool and he is fine to swap in for Pujols or Cron if you are looking for an Angels mini-stack.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs LHP Patrick Corbin, ARZ – While we want to pick on Corbin, it is a little tricky with the Dodgers who have had their issues against lefties. They have added 2B Logan Forsythe in the offseason and he will be in the top half of the order and is a home run threat, even in spacious Dodger Stadium. OF Yasiel Puig may have turned over a new leaf and he is an interesting option in tournaments with his ability to rack up fantasy points with his bat and his speed on the base paths. Here is where it starts to get tricky, OF Scott Van Slyke does see times against lefties, he is not a consistent option which leaves recent callup OF Trayce Thompson (Klay Thompson’s brother) and all-or-nothing utility man Kike Hernandez.
Seattle Mariners vs RHP Andrew Cashner, TEX – Loading up on the Mariners is a fine option in tournaments because so many gamers are afraid of Safeco Field. The counter to that is Andrew Cashner and his 1.56 HR/9 against hitters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate. 2B Robinson Cano has really learned how to hit for power in Seattle after taking a season and a half to adjust and he is a sneaky option at the keystone position. Over at the hot corner 3B Kyle Seager boasts a .353 wOBA and a .194 ISO over his last 920 lefty/righty matchups. OF Nelson Cruz also has immense power against righties and lefties and he is heating up.
Freddie Freeman (1B) – ATL vs LHP Clayton Richard, SDP – Freeman really stepped up last season with his lefty/lefty power posting a .222 ISO and a .388 wOBA in 231 plate appearances. While Clayton Richard last allowed a home run to a lefty waaaay back in 2013, it would not be a surprise for Freeman to get a couple doubles.
Jake Lamb (3B) – ARZ at RHP Kenta Maeda, LAD – As mentioned in the Maeda recommendation, he is susceptible to lefties and Lamb’s power plays in any park.
Dansby Swanson (SS) – ATL vs LHP Clayton Richard, SDP – It is a very small sample size, but Swanson ROCKS southpaws and I am locking and loading him into my lineups tonight. In the event he sits, I will pivot to Andrelton Simmons of the Angels who is similarly priced on most sites or I will look to Corey Seager or Asdrubal Cabrera in the event I undertake a complete lineup overhaul.
Mitch Haniger (OF) – SEA vs RHP Andrew Cashner, TEX – Haniger is an interesting off-season acquisition for the Mariners since he has tremendous power against right-handed pitchers and he is replacing the oft-injured Franklin Gutierrez who signed with the Dodgers, but wait for it… is already on the disabled list. In an admittedly small sample size of 136 plate appearances, Haniger has a .229 ISO and a .361 wOBA in righty-righty matchups which is a nice baseline for his discounted price point.
Ryan Schimpf (2B/3B) – SDP at R.A. Dickey, ATL – As we saw last season, Schimpf has insane power from the left side of the plate, however, he has not had much luck making contact this season. He is being patient and has tallied eleven walks in his last six games, despite just one hit (a home run in Coors Field on Wednesday).
SHORT SLATE STRATEGY
FanDuel: Tonight I will be looking to roll with LHP James Paxton – $8,200 as my main pitcher in all formats, though I would not be opposed to using RHP Kenta Maeda – $8,600 who is similarly priced, at home in an equally good ballpark and though he does not have the same strikeout upside, he will be facing the pitcher instead of a designated hitter. At shortsop, I am looking to SS Dansby Swanson – $2,600 who really opens up a lot of salary cap, particularly when paired with a discounted catcher or a cheap outfielder. In tournaments rounding things out with three Mariners hitters is a fine differentiation ploy.
DraftKings: There are two different roster builds I am looking at in the low dollar tournaments on DraftKings. The first will be to pair RHP Kenta Maeda – $10,000 and LHP James Paxton $9,800 or replacing one of those hurlers with LHP Adam Conley – $6,900. The Mariners are again an intriguing option who will probably be an overlooked “stack” on a night when no particular team really stands out. By going with SS Dansby Swanson – $3,600 and a punt catchers (Chris Herman, Mike Zunino, Robinson Chirinos) we will still have close to $4,000 for the remaining half dozen batters, even if we take both of the expensive pitcher options.
FantasyDraft: In order to have a decent lineup and roster both RHP Kenta Maeda – $19,200 and LHP James Paxton $18,400 we need at least three cheap options such as Dansby Swanson – $7,200, Justin Bour – $6,600 and one of the Los Angeles Dodger platoon outfielders drawing the start to leave about $8,500 for each of the five remaining positions. Using LHP Adam Conley – $13,800 will also grant significant salary cap flexibility