MLB Late Slate Focus 5/4/17

Happy Thursday, everybody!  We wanted to give you a free sneak peek at some of our premium baseball content for Thursday’s Late game set.

We have five games tonight to look at and – As always, check the site for updates on weather and lineups and reference the projections if you are a premium member, and if you are not, there are great values and reasons to do so, especially if you are only focused on baseball.

FanVice is offering several different content subscriptions that can lighten the load for your research and really help you improve your game!

Premium (MLB) Package: encompasses all MLB content including in-depth articles, premium videos, projects, cheat sheets and the vaunted “expert” Slack Chat where you can interact with all of the FanVice contributors and a plethora of likeminded gamers who love to talk sports around the clock and the best part is that there are NO TROLLS ALLOWED.

Premium (all inclusive) Package: this includes all premium content (shows, articles, projections, cheat sheets, etc.) for MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, PGA and MMA as well as the Slack chat.  The best part is that you will be guaranteed at your monthly rate for life and if you want to pay annually, you get 12 months of content for 10 months cost.

Value Package: if you are just dabbling in DFS or like to have a little action on Fridays or during the weekends, then this option is for you.  This package includes all premium shows and cheat sheets for all of the sports.  It is perfect if you are playing DFS just a couple times a week.

Now, let’s get to it!

I am picking one high salary and one low salary per position, focusing on DraftKings pricing/value.

Pitchers

Dan Straily – MIA at TB – Straily at $9,600 on DraftKings does not feel great, but he does offer players the highest swinging strike rate on the slate (11.2%) and the highest K-rate (27.4%) going against a Rays team that whiffs 25.7% against RHP. He also comes in as the underdog, Vegas-wise, with an expected runs against of over four runs, so that, combined with the high price, could make a the high K-upside Straily as much less owned, even on a short slate.

Adam Wainwright – STL vs. MIL – Waino has been better this season so far, giving up some hard contact (34%), but balancing that with a 22% K rate and a lowish 5.9% walk rate. The weather is in question here, but forecasts are calling for a strong wind (18-20 mph) blowing in from left field. The Brewers whiff nearly 26% of the time against RHP and are 22nd in wRC+ in split.

 

Catchers

Yadier Molina – STL vs. MIL – Thin backstop night, especially with NYM d’Arnaud likely to miss tonight with a sore wrist. Molina has a high contact rate (84%) and an above average hard hit rating (113 – 100 is average) this season and should be batting sixth in the lineup.

Rene Rivera – NYM at ATL – The wind might be blowing in and the game itself, like so many today/tonight, is under weather watch, but Rivera ($2,200 on DK) should get the call for d’Arnaud and gets a good matchup against ATL SP Jaime Garcia, who has a 5.35 SIERA this season. Garcia also rocks a 36.5% HH rate against RHH as well as a 5.13 xFIP and 1.6 HR/9 IP in split.

First Basemen

Hanley Ramirez – BOS vs. BAL – Ramirez has picked up the hard contact lately, scoring a 213 expected power and 168 hard contact rating (100 is average for both) over the last seven days and has a 148 expected power over the last 30 days. BOS should have a high scoring night against recently called up BAL starter Tyler Wilson and Ramirez will have lots of scoring chances in the middle of the Boston order.

Justin Bour – MIA at TB – Bour ($3,200 on DK, projected batting sixth) has hit very well this season, with a 147 expected power over the last 30 days and faces TB SP Matt Andriese, who has given up a 41.4% hard hit rating this season.

Second Basemen

Jedd Gyorko – STL vs. MIL – Gyorko has been the best power hitting player, on this slate, at the position, with a robust 195 expected power over the last 30 days. In doing so, the Cardinals have placed Jedd right in the fourth spot in the lineup. Historically, MIL SP Chase Anderson has done considerably worse against RHH, and while that has not shown up in the home run rate (0.5 per 9IP compared to 1.9 in 2016), his HR/FB rate is aberrantly low at 5.6% so far in split, well below his 16.1, 12.8 and 16.2 the three seasons prior.

Danny Espinosa – LAA at SEA – A tourney only homer flyer here, as Espinosa ($2,800) has a .272 ISO in split here and has 123 expected power overall the last 30 days. SEA SP Miranda has been much, much better this season against RHH, as he was well over 43% hard contact last year at home against RHH his rookie year. This season’s sample is only 34 batters, so is it is possible that he could get touched by an Angels lineup that is sixth in the league against LHP this season in wRC+ (106).

Third Basemen

Manny Machado – BAL at BOS – Few hitters have been better this season with less results than Machado, who currently has a 190 expected power over the last 30 days, but “only” a 136 results output to show for it. He is crushing and BOS SP Kyle Kendrick does not have the stuff to shut Machado down. In a 10 run game total, Machado is the key bat to target in your exposure to that game.

T.J. Rivera – NYM at ATL – At $2,800 on DK, Rivera is a cheap punt play with a 134 expected power over his 36 at bats over the last month. He has an 83% contact rate and 10% walk rate over that span as well, so his underlying metrics across the board are surprisingly solid, as are his above average running ratings as well. Against the aforementioned Garcia, Rivera has a plus matchup here and is an even more prime punt if he is higher than 7-8 in the lineup.

Shortstop

Jean Segura – SEA vs. LAA – Segura should be leading off against LAA SP Alex Meyer in a game total that is a surprisingly high (for Safeco Field) 8.5 runs, with the Mariners holding an expected total of 4.4 runs. Segura has slightly overperformed to his power metrics recently, but against Meyer, who has been a below average pitcher for the last three seasons, even in sparse duty, he is a solid play if paying up here.

Andrelton Simmons – LAA at SEA – The same comments for Espinosa apply to Simmons ($3,300), who adds in the impact of being super unlucky over the last six games. Simmons has hit with an 87% contact rate, 135 hard hit rating and 166 expected power with almost nothing to show for it. A .200 BABIP, a zero actual output rating means he is really seeing/hitting the ball well and has some progression pending for his results.

Outfield

Stephen Piscotty  – STL vs. MIL – As productively pregnant as Manny Machado, Piscotty has a 187 expected power for the season but has only actually produced a 98 output rating, a huge gap. He has hit too many ground balls this season, even if hard, at 48%, but has an okay 38% fly ball rate. A good matchup for him against Anderson if the weather is in their favor.

Ben Gamel – SEA vs. LAA – Against Meyer, at $3,000 and batting second, Gamel is in prime position to create damage for the Mariners. Gamel has a strong 225 expected power rating with a 47% fly ball rate to make for some homer potential in this plus matchup tonight.

Mookie Betts – BOS vs. BAL – He has not come out of the blocks well this season, but over the last seven days, he has shown signs of breaking back, but the results have followed yet, which is perfect for what we want to look at in DFS. Over that span, Betts has shown a 146 expected power, 92% contact rate, 59% fly ball rate and 152 hard contact rate, but only has a .180 BABIP and 61 output power rating to show for it. He is ready to explode, and the high total and matchup against BAL SP Wilson should give you great confidence to lock/load Betts in your lineups tonight.

 

Good luck, players! – JW