MLB Tournament Thoughts by ShipMyMoney aka Adam Scherer – 4/13/2018 Greetings Gamers!  We wanted to give you a free sneak peek at some of our premium baseball content to for tonight’s $10,000 Home Run on FantasyDraft with a manageable $25 entry fee and a 12-entry limit, so we will not see the field swamped by anyone one player with a large bankroll.

Anyone signing up for a new account and depositing with FantasyDraft while going through the FanVice link or using the promo code “FanVice” will be eligible for:

    1. 30 days of FanVice premium content (current FanVice subscribers will have their expiration date extended by 30 days).
    2. A deposit bonus from FantasyDraft
    3. Additionally, you will receive a 10% “rakeback” from FantasyDraft on your “site fees” in the form of FantasyDraft Cash which can be used immediately to enter contests.

    Now let’s get down to business with some insight from ShipMyMoney!

Starting Pitchers

Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros, $22,900

Cole is expensive, but he is a different pitcher this season as the Astros have gotten him to throw his two-seam fastball (his worst pitch) less while increasing his slider and curveball usage.  He has thrown his slider 25 percent of the time and his curveball 14.7 percent of the time through two starts this season compared to 17.4 and 12.1 percent last season.  He is throwing both pitches more frequently to lefties as well, which used to be his biggest weakness.

The former Pirate has a 17.7 percent whiff rate on his slider and 36.7 percent whiff rate on his curveball this season which has led to a 43.1 percent strikeout percentage and 19.6 percent swinging strike percentage through his first two starts.  I do not worry about ownership as much on slates this big and Cole stands out as the top pitching option to pay up for.

Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians, $18,700

Clevinger has been one of my favorite DFS pitchers since he was called up last season and that is not changing this season- though his increased price tag has made it a bit tougher to consistently roster him.  While I prefer Cole if I have to choose one of the two, Clevinger offers plenty of upside at a lower price point.  Clevinger has struck out just 17.7 percent of hitters with an 8.7 percent swinging strike rate so far this season, but he has faced two teams that are difficult to strike out in the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals.

Clevinger will face the Toronto Blue Jays tonight which, while not an easy matchup, offers a bit more strikeout upside.  The Jays also feature a lineup heavy with right-handed hitters.  He has struck out 26.8 percent of righties while allowing just a .263 wOBA since the start of last season.  He has two quality breaking balls that he can mix in with his fastball to make life difficult for right-handed hitters.

Jacob Faria, Tampa Bay Rays, $10,900

Faria has struggled through his first two starts of the season, lasting a total of just 5.2 innings and striking out only two hitters.  Both of those starts were against the Boston Red Sox, however, so he gets a bit of a pass- especially because his price tag has decreased.  His velocity this season is in line with his velocity last season and the movement on his pitches has been similar as well.

So far, he has not had quite as much rise on his fastball as he did last year, but he still ranks 7th in vertical fastball movement amongst all starting pitchers who have thrown at least 50 fastballs this season.  Tonight’s game will also be played at Tropicana Field which should benefit him as well.  Philadelphia is a decent offense, but they are not as dangerous as the Red Sox and they strike out more often.  Faria’s price tag makes him well worth the risk as an SP2 tonight.

 

Infield

Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox, $9,100

Davidson appears to be an improved hitter this season as he spent the offseason working on his plate discipline.  Early returns have been good as his o-swing percentage has dropped from 33.4 percent last season to 19.3 percent this season and his overall swing percentage has dropped from 48.4 percent to 36.2 percent.  His zone contact and overall contact percentages are also up a few percentage points.  Davidson has a ton of power when he is able to make contact, and his improved eye at the plate makes that a more frequent result.

Davidson has a .446 xwOBA so far this season and a .348 xwOBA against lefties since the start of last season.  The only concern for Davidson is that it is going to be cold in Minnesota, so the ball will not carry as much.  Keep an eye on the weather for possible snow but, if the game plays, I want to roll the dice on Davidson in tournaments.

Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics, $8,500

Olson is infield and outfield eligible, making it easy to find room for him in your lineup.  Like Matt Davidson, Olson has all kinds of power and his biggest issue is his ability to make contact.  Rostering him against pitchers that pitch to contact is a strong move because the pitcher’s strategy eliminates Olson’s biggest hole.  That is the case tonight as he faces Mike Leake, who has struck out just 12.2 percent of left-handed hitters since the start of last season.  Leake has an excellent 56.0 percent groundball percentage allowed to lefties, but Olson has a career 46.9 percent fly balls percentage against right-handed pitchers.  His swing should allow him to elevate the ball against Leake and do damage.

 

Outfield

J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox, $9,100

Martinez is not off to the hottest start for the Red Sox, but his .446 xwOBA suggests that his .301 actual wOBA is not something that we should be overly concerned about.  His struggles have led to a reduced price tag, however, which makes him a prime outfield target on tonight’s slate against Chris Tillman.  Tillman was one of the worst pitchers in baseball last season and is not missing any bats to start this season.  Martinez has a chance for a monster game tonight.

Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres, $7,200

Renfroe is one of my favorite plays whenever he faces a left-handed pitcher as he has massive power and does not strike out as often.  Renfroe has struck out just 18.8 percent of the time against left-handed pitching since the start of 2016 while posting a .360 ISO and .430 wOBA.  Ty Blach has struck out just 11 percent of right-handed hitters that he has faced since the start of last season while allowing 1.2 home runs per nine innings.  Renfroe is a top value option with plenty of upside.

Best of luck in taking second place tonight! ~ ShipMyMoney