Welcome to another edition of HMF’s MLB slate breakdown. We have a massive 15-game main slate with some high-priced pitching options and a game in Coors. My favorite Fanduel tournament plays are listed below.
Corey Kluber ($9,900): Kluber is the overall top pitching option on the slate. He’s facing off against an all righty White Sox lineup whose team total of 3.2 runs is the second lowest on the slate and this White Sox team has just been putrid against righties this season. They have the 6th highest K% and the 3rd lowest wRC+ against righties this season. Kluber has a history of being a slow starter but, this is a really nice spot for him and I like him slightly more than Justin Verlander ($9,400).
Justin Verlander ($9,400): While I love Kluber and he’s my number 1, Verlander is right behind him. The Twins have been right around league average this season in terms of K% against and wOBA against righties this season but, outside of Dozier, Sano, and maybe Kepler, there aren’t many bats you’re afraid of. Verlander has as much K upside as anyone on the slate and his price has dropped almost $1,000 since his last start. This price tag is a little too cheap on Verlander and I love him in tournaments tonight.
Sean Manaea ($7,400): Manaea, like Triggs, is another Athletics pitcher that people tend to underrate in my opinion. The strikeout upside is real with this kid and he’s been really solid since the end of last season. The Mariners haven’t struck out against lefties this season but they also have the 5th worst wRC+ against lefties this season, probably what’s contributing to their low 3.6 team total. Haniger and Cruz are definitely scary righties at the top of that lineup but, I’m willing to save some money with Manaea in tournaments tonight.
Detroit Tigers: If you guys haven’t already, I encourage you to check out Xstats.org. They’re doing some really cool work with Statcast statistics (Exit Velocity, average fly ball distance, etc.) and one of the stats they’ve created is Expected wOBA. They basically take all the batted ball data and calculate what should’ve been a hit and what shouldn’t have been a hit. Anyways here are the numbers/ranks on some Tigers players.
Ian Kinsler (xOBA: .359)
Nick Castellanos (xOBA .357)
Miguel Cabrera (xOBA .448)
Victor Martinez (xOBA .322)
James McCann (xOBA .446)
All of those guys, except Kinsler, have a higher expected wOBA than actual wOBA so, they’re due for some positive regression. Not to mention they’ve killed Lefty pitchers so far this season with a .330 wOBA (6th in the league) and a 116 wRC+ (Also 6th). Combine that all with a pitcher who struggles vs. righties and we have a fantastic spot for the Detroit Tigers. Love all those guys I listed above for tournaments and I think this team total is too low for Detroit.
LA Angels: There’s one obvious LA team you need to stack tonight and it’s the Angels. They’re going up against by far the worst pitcher on the slate, Mat Latos. Trust me, as a White Sox fan, I know that Latos absolutely does not belong in the MLB. Rarely do you see a total this high for and Angels team in Anaheim but at 4.7 runs it’s tied for the third highest on the slate. Latos had an xFIP over 5 last season and allowed at least a .750 OPS to both sides of the plate. This is a guy who doesn’t strike anybody out facing a team who strikes out less than anyone in the league against righties. The Angels are going to put the ball in play tonight and in a game with so much variance, sometimes you’re just looking for a team that can get the bat on the ball, especially in cash. I like the top three in this order Yunel Escobar ($2,900), Kole Calhoun ($2,600), and Mike Trout ($4,900) and I don’t mind either of the first basemen, Albert Pujols ($2,700) and C.J. Cron ($2,200) depending on how much salary you need.
LA Dodgers/Arizona Diamondbacks: This will probably be the most popular game to target tonight, it has the same total as Coors and the prices are a lot cheaper. While I think the Dodgers Lefties are in a nice spot, there’s definitely a lot of merit to fading them. Taijuan Walker is not as bad as people seem to think and he has actually been better against lefties in his career, a .306 wOBA and a 3.90 xFIP against lefties is not bad at all. Last year vs. 272 lefty batters Walker allowed just a .204 batting average and so far, this year he’s allowing just a .195 batting averaging against 46 lefties. Looking at the popularity of the Dodgers today I’ll probably just stick to a one off of Yasmani Grandal ($2,800) or Joc Pederson ($2,500) and I would consider throwing Taijuan Walker ($7,400) into a tournament lineup. On the other side of the ball, I also think Alex Wood is a very talented young player, who also goes a little under the radar. He’s definitely shown some platoon splits but his numbers vs. Lefties have been near elite throughout his career and his numbers against righties were better last season. I’m probably going full fade of this game but if I’m taking a one off from Arizona it’s lefty masher Yasmany Tomas ($3,200). Bet the under on this game.
Other Stacks to consider: Chicago Cubs, SF/COL (Depending if it’s going to be chalky or not), Texas Rangers
Billy Hamilton ($3,300)/Jose Peraza ($3,100): More of a “Two-Off” I guess but both these guys should be fairly popular against Jon Lester. We all know the Lester is possibly the worst pitcher in the league at holding on baserunners given that he is, for some reason, incapable of fielding a baseball. His numbers could also get worse this season without his pal David Ross behind the plate. Love the stolen base potential of Hamilton and Peraza tonight, not to mention Hamilton also homered twice off Jon Lester last year.
Corey Dickerson ($3,100): Rob and I nailed Dickerson the other day and I think you can go right back to the well in a matchup against righty Mike Fiers. We all know that Dickerson mashes righties, with a wOBA of .372 and a wRC+ of 128, vs righties throughout his career. However he also mashes groundball pitchers, .984 OPS, and Mike Fiers induces a decent amount of groundballs, love Dickerson as a GPP one off today.
Matt Carpenter ($2,900): It sucks that Carpenter is first base eligible only now on Fanduel but this price tag on him is just wayyyy to cheap against Wily Peralta. Carpenter is an excellent hitter, a doubles machine, and should have a nice shot at putting the ball in play againdt Wily Peralta in Milwaukee.
Thanks for the read guys! Good luck to everyone tonight, if you enjoyed this article feel free to check out some of the other content on the site and make sure to give HMF a follow on Twitter by hitting that button below. You can follow me personally on Twitter @tj_brashears or catch me on the Fantasy Life app @tjb128.
Author: TJ Brashears
A part time college student and full time fantasy player, TJ has been playing season long fantasy for 6 years now. He has had some success in his main league during that time, making the playoffs each year and bringing home two championships. TJ found his love for football when his Chicago Bears made a Super Bowl run back in 2005 and found his love for Fantasy when his team made a championship run with Aaron Rodgers at the helm in 2011. TJ’s love for fantasy football runs so deep he even wrote a college application essay about it. He’s played through many ups (drafting Knowshon Moreno in the last round in 2013) and downs (Spending a first round pick on Trent Richardson). However, TJ discovered the exciting world of daily fantasy during the 2015 NFL season and hasn’t looked back. He had moderate success during NFL and NBA seasons and really started putting the majority of his emphasis on DFS during baseball season. TJ looks forward to helping people become profitable players and is simply happy to have more players to sweat/tilt with him.