MLB Deep Dive – 4/26/17

What’s up fellas? I’ll be filling in for Loughy the next couple days here on the Deep Dive. I’ll try to go game-by-game tomorrow, but due to the sheer number of games today I’ll be doing tiered plays today. These Tiers will be based loosely on a point-per-dollar basis based on DraftKings and Fantasy Draft scoring. I’ll try to note when something sticks out at FanDuel for me. #LetsGetIt

Starting Pitching

Tier 1

  1. James Paxton, LHP, Mariners ($8,200 DK, $8,900 FD, $16,000 FDraft) — Paxton comes in as my number one arm on all sites, in all formats. It is not a take I necessarily expect many across the industry to agree with, which is all the better for GPP formats (though he’s still my #1 in cash games as well). Most analysts simply do not realize just how good James Paxton is. He was victimized a bit by the long ball and some bad batted ball luck in his last start before the A’s (but still struck out 8 in 4.1 IP), but before that had been absolutely lights out in his previous three starts. Paxton features perhaps the best left-handed fastball in baseball, a cutter that acts more or less as his changeup, and a knuckle curveball. He can throw all three pitches for strikes and gets whiffs with all three. Pardon my French, but this guy is f——— legit and people don’t realize it. The matchup with the Tigers is not bad, with enough Ks in the lineup for Paxton to deliver on his salary, and obviously no Miguel Cabrera in the lineup is very helpful. From FanGraphs, here’s a chart of where Paxton ranks among all starters since July 22 of last year in terms of percentiles in each category. Yeah. All in.
  1. Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals — This game is a near lock to get postponed so I’m not going to waste words on Martinez, but if the game somehow goes I love him at home tonight vs. the Blue Jays
  1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets ($12,600 DK, $11,500 FD, $24,400 FDraft) — Thor will take on the Braves at home tonight in what is a solid if not spectacular matchup. The Braves are middle of the pack in strikeout rate vs. right-handed pitchers, but have had a below average offense vs. right-handed pitching so far. Syndergaard is an absolute beast of a pitcher, capable of pitching deep into games and generating a ton of whiffs and strikeouts. If you’re paying up at pitcher today, Thor is your man. He’s about as safe as they come and brings upside to the table as well. Your bats are going to suffer a bit if you roster him, but he’s got the upside to be worth the cap hit.

Tier 2

  1. Johnny Cueto, RHP, Giants ($11,100 DK, $9,600 FD, $21,600 FDraft) — The Giants’ right-hander is not one of my favorite pitchers due to a lack of upside, but at home against a banged up Dodgers’ team, he needs to be mentioned. Likely more of a cash game play that a GPP play, Cueto should get the job done, though he’s unlikely to find his way onto many of my rosters.
  1. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles ($7,800 DK, $8,100 FD, $15,000 FDraft) — Bundy has been fantastic so far despite facing the very tough Red Sox offense twice already, and he would be higher on this list if not for some concern I have with trends in his velocity. His two most commonly used pitches (fastball and slider) have decreased in velocity every start so far this year. It hasn’t been a big drop, but it is still certainly worth noting and dampens my enthusiasm for the young right-hander. Because of the matchup against the strikeout happy Rays, he is still very much in play, but I do very much prefer Paxton in this price range.
  1. Trevor Cahill, RHP, Padres ($4,200 DK, $6,900 FD, $8,400 FDraft) — This is mostly a price play and I do not recommend paying for Cahill on FanDuel. It is a very tough matchup heading into Chase Field to face on a potent Diamondbacks lineup, but Cahill has exhibited such strong swing and miss stuff and is so cheap that he deserved a mention. Certainly a risky play but one that will allow you to load up on all the best hitters. He will be on some of my rosters.

 

Catcher

Tier 1 

  1. Matt Wieters, Nationals ($4,100 DK, $3,200 FD, $8,100 FDraft) — I do not particularly want to pay this price tag for Wieters, but catcher is so awful today that it may be worth it just because he’s hitting in Coors Field. Catcher stinks! SAD!
  1. Buster Posey, Giants ($3,500 DK, $3,600 FD, $6,800 FDraft) — Posey does not have a particularly good matchup against Alex Wood and the Dodgers, and has to hit in the toughest park in MLB out in San Francisco. But both of those facts are priced into his DK and Fantasy Draft price point, and he still has a very strong history against left-handed pitchers (.463 wOBA vs. L in 2017; .381 wOBA vs. L in 2016). He’s a very solid play at this price point despite have a couple of things going against him.

Tier 2 

Pick some scrub and pray?

 

First Base

Tier 1 

  1. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals ($4,900 DK, $4,200 FD, $9,600 FDraft) — Zimmerman has made some adjustments at the plate and is tearing the cover off the ball right now. While he is unlikely to stay healthy all season, he certainly is right now and facing Tyler Chatwood in Coors Field is the top overall first base play.
  1. Wil Myers, Padres, ($4,800 DK, $4,200 FD, $9,300 FDraft) — Myers gets the benefit of hitting in Chase Field while facing a pitcher in Zack Godley who is both not very god and gives up the long ball. Myers is swinging a hot bat early on this season and the Padres have one of the highest team totals on the board at just over 5 runs.

Tier 2

  1. GPP SPECIAL — Freddie Freeman has been destroying baseball this year, particularly vs. RHP, and, if you’re fading Noah Syndergaard, don’t be afraid to add Freddie to your roster. He will carry extremely low ownership, but has had a TON of success against Thor in their few encounters so far. In nine career plate appearances against Thor, Freeman has struck out just twice, has a home run, triple, and double, and an average exit velocity of over 95 mph. It is still no doubt a tough matchup, but at least so far it’s one that Freeman has largely dominated.

 

Second Base

Tier 1 

  1. Daniel Murphy, Nationals, ($5,300 DK, $4,200 FD, $10,400 FDraft) — It’s Coors Field vs. a mediocre pitcher. Roster him if you can, just know he will be extremely popular after last night’s explosion.
  1. Brian Dozier, Twins, ($5,000, $3,800 FD, $9,600) — This is a dream matchup for Dozier vs. Cole Hamels who still carries a much bigger name than his skill warrants. Hamels gives up plenty of HRs to right-handed bats, and is also poor at holding runners. Dozier has been running this season with 5 steals on the year already, so he has power and speed upside in this matchup, is in a great hitting park, and also has had a ton of success against Hamels in the past with an average exit velocity of 96.8 MPH. He’s a wonderful GPP pivot away from Daniel Murphy

Tier 2

  1. Yangervis Solarte, Padres, ($3,800 DK, $3,100 FD, $7,600 FDraft) — Perhaps not the highest upside of plays, Solarte will still be hitting cleanup in Chase Field vs. Zack Godley and a very bad Arizona pitching staff. He comes at a nice discount from the top options and should have a solid game in the desert. Probably more of a cash game play than a GPP play, but he is certainly usable in all formats.

 

Shortstop

Tier 1

  1. Trea Turner, Nationals, ($5,400 DK, $4,500 FD, $10,500 FDraft) — You get the idea by now.
  1. Elvis Andrus, Rangers ($3,800 DK, $3,000 FD, $7,500) — Andrus will be hitting in the middle the Rangers lineup and is off to a nice start in both the power and speed department with 3 home runs and 5 steals already. He’s quietly been quite good vs. lefties for a couple of seasons now, and benefits from a hitter’s park and a cake matchup against Twins’ lefty Hector Santiago. There is a lot to like here for Andrus who also comes at a very reasonable price point and often goes overlooked.

Tier 2 

  1. Taylor Motter, Mariners, ($3,100 DK, $3,200 FD, $6,000) — Motter has been one of the better hitters in baseball so far, and has both power and speed. He’s got a nice matchup against Daniel Norris who struggles against right-handed hitters, and Mother remains simply too cheap, particularly on DraftKings and Fantasy Draft. He’s the top price-saving option at shortstop.

 

Third Base

Tier 1 

  1. Miguel Sano, Twins, ($4,600 DK, $3,300 FD, $9,000 FDraft) — Yes, I’m forgoing Coors Field to list Miguel Sano as my top overall third baseman. Please do not @ me. I love this matchup for Miguel in Texas against Cole Hamels who does not scare me at all. Sano is hitting the ball harder on average than any player in MLB right now and has a great chance to take Hamels deep tonight. Sano is an incredible value on FanDuel. The Twins make for a very sneaky stack tonight.
  1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies, ($5,600 DK, $4,800 FD, $10,800 FDraft) — I don’t necessarily love the matchup vs. Tanner Roark who does limit hard contact pretty well, but this is still Nolan Arenado in Coors Field…so yeah.

Tier 2

  1. Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks ($3,900 DK, $3,800 FD, $7,800 FDraft) — As much as it pains me to recommend a hitter against my main man Trevor Cahill, Lamb has been a beast vs. RHP and especially at home at Chase Field makes for a pretty outstanding play. I do expect him to be among the most popular hitters on the slate, so I will likely fade in my GPPs, but he’s definitely a strong play at this price point.

 

Outfield 

Tier 1 

  1. All the Coors Field outfielders, led by Bryce Harper and Charlie Blackmon
  1. Christian Yelich, Marlins, ($4,400 DK, $4,000 FD, $8,700 FDraft) — This is a play that I expect to go very overlooked tonight but I love it in all formats (particularly GPP). Yelich has hit the ball very hard vs. right-handed pitchers, and Vince Velasquez gives up a ton of hard contact to left-handed bats. Yelich has also dominated Vince in the past and I expect more of the same tonight. I love taking Yelich in smaller parks away from Miami and I would not be surprised to see a home run out of Yelich tonight.
  1. Nelson Cruz, Mariners, ($4,200 DK, $4,100 FD, $8,000 FDRAFT) — Cruz is far too cheap for a matchup against a mediocre, fly-ball prone left-handed pitcher in Daniel Norris. Prefer Cruz in cash games as opposed to GPPs where he is certain to carry MASSIVE ownership. Cruz vs. lefties is certainly no secret at this point.

Tier 2: 

Here’s a list of other outfielders I’ll be targeting on my rosters tonight: Carlos Gomez, David Peralta, Jay Bruce, Manuel Margot, Khris Davis, Michael Conforto, and Jason Heyward

 

Good luck tonight! Be sure to tune into the deep dive for further analysis.