MLB DFS 8/7/18 Ben’s Building Blocks
Max Scherzer (-215): Max comes in as the top overall option as he does on 99% of the slates that he pitches. He has the highest strikeout rate on the slate (35%) and it’s not even close, but he is so much higher-priced than the field that it becomes a roster construction question. He has a *somewhat* tough matchup with the Braves given their contact-heavy nature and the amount of lefties he will see, but at the end of the day it’s Max Scherzer. I’m all for playing Max if you can afford him, but he seems more of a GPP play than cash games based off his inflated price.
Zack Greinke (-168): Greinke will benefit from the same matchup that Zack Godley saw last night against the Philadelphia Phillies. Greinke has been his typical self this season with very strong control and above-average strikeouts while giving up a lot of hard-contact. He’s good enough at generating swings and misses that the hard-hits rarely hurt him, and he is in another elite K spot tonight as the Phillies rank second overall in strikeouts against RHP. His strikeouts have ramped up to almost 30% over the last 30 days and he continues to be more comfortable pitching at home. He doesn’t have the same type of floor as Max, but that is priced in and I think I prefer Greinke overall for the price tonight.
Chase Anderson (-205): Anderson figures to be the chalk mid-priced option as he takes on everyone’s favorite DFS team the San Diego Padres. Outside of this elite matchup, Anderson has been throwing much better recently sporting a 4.28 SIERA and a 21% strikeout rate over the last 30 days. The one issue that has plagued him all season has been his tendency to allow homeruns which shouldn’t be a huge issue against this weak Padres offense. It’s as good of a spot as you can get when you’re Chase Anderson, and he is viable in all formats tonight.
Pablo Lopez (+145): Lopez has actually been exceptional for the Marlins since getting the call from the minors sporting a 3.95 SIERA and a 53.9% groundball rate. He doesn’t possess much strikeout upside (19.7% K%), but there is reason to believe that can increase given his 10.0 swinging-strike rate. The Cardinals are not as good offensively as you would think, ranking 17th in wRC+ against righties and are one-day removed from getting shut down for 5 innings by Wei-Yin Chen. Locking in Lopez allows you to pay up at pretty much every other roster spot, and he is playable in all formats tonight.
Top Tier: Shin-Soo Choo- Choo is the prototypical cash game play most days given his solid power for a leadoff man and his on-base skills. It continues to be an extremely positive hitting environment in Texas, as evidenced by another 11 run O/U tonight. King Felix is not the pitcher he once was, and he should struggle with the amount of left-handed batters in the Rangers order starting with Choo at the top.
Mid Tier: Greg Bird- Bird was two feet from two homeruns last night, so let’s hope some positive variance hits as we go back to the well tonight against Reynaldo Lopez. Lopez has tons of potential for the White Sox, but he hasn’t put it all together yet and has pitched to a 6.19 xFIP with 11.2% walks against left-handed batters this season. Bird has been absolutely locked in boasting a 51.4% hard-hit rate and a 64.7% fly-ball rate over the last 14 days. Bird is too cheap for the power upside so let’s hope he can find that extra foot of distance tonight.
Low Tier: Jeff McNeil- McNeil was smashing at all level of the minors this season, and has done nothing but produce for the Mets since getting the call to the big leagues. He homered last night, and is in another solid spot tonight against Sal Romano and the Reds bullpen. Romano is allowing 41.9% hard-hits to left-handed batters this season and the price is too good for the power McNeil has shown thus far.
Tournament Stack of the Day
New York Yankees- I don’t typically feature the Yankees in this section because they are an obvious play, but I can’t ignore them tonight against Reynaldo Lopez. As I said above with Greg Bird, Lopez has a ton of long-term potential, but he pitched above his head for much of the beginning of the season and the Yankees are in a true smash spot tonight. His strikeouts are almost non-existent this season which should make it really tough for this Yankee team not to pop off some runs early. Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorious, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird are perfect for the full stack and you can add in Miguel Andujar and Neil Walker depending on how the lineup looks.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)