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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (4/27)

This content will be dedicated to providing you with an easy-to-follow breakdown of the elite cash plays, GPP plays, and leverage stacks.

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Pitching

last updated (ET): 4/27 4:13 PM

 

Walker Buehler- Buehler has been exceptional to start the season. He has shown incredible control early on in the 2021 campaign with a 1% BB%. His star pitch early on has been his incredible curveball. He has a Whiff% of 42%, which is exceptional. Buehler has been limiting exit velocity and slugging % to start the season. This is good news for him because that’s where the Reds have done a majority of their damage this season. The Reds have four players in the top 10% of XSLG, with Castellanos in the top 2% of all hitters. If Buehler can limit the Reds’ power he will find success in this matchup. Jesse Winker has been the Reds best hitter as of late with an 18.4% barrel percentage. There are a lot of strikeouts late in the order if Buehler can navigate the dangerous top.

Lucas Giolitto- Giollito has been consistent to start the year, picking up right where he left off last year. The biggest difference in Lucas’ game this year has been the elimination of his curveball from his repertoire. His changeup has an additional 3 inches of break from last year’s average. With a Whiff% of 44%, K% of 42%, and hard hit rate of 23%, Giolittos changeup has been one of the better pitches in all of baseball to start the year. The Tigers will deploy a majority right-handed lineup, their best hitter to start the season has been Baddoo. Baddoo hits from the left side, so his changeup should neutralize the high barrel% Baddoo has to start the year.

The high-end pitching options are appealing on this slate. I would look to prioritize them in cash games and look to differentiate elsewhere with the bats.

Ian Anderson- Anderson is the mid-range pitching option that I would consider in cash. If you need to save some money on the mound, Anderson could provide you with some salary relief. Anderson is one of the better young arms in baseball and made a name for himself last year helping the Braves during their playoff run. Anderson was exceptional last time out, throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings versus the Yankees. Anderson has an elite matchup today. The Chicago Cubs have put up some double-digit run games, and those are masking just how bad they have been to start the season. The Cubs have six everyday players with a Whiff% over 25%. Baez is leading the way with a whopping 49.4% Whiff (yuck). Anderson gets the benefit of the NL not having a DH on top of facing a strikeout heavy Cubs roster. Anderson has just as much upside as Buehler and Giolitto on this slate.

Cristian Javier- Javier is sporting an elite K rate on this young season. His 34% K percentage is up 11% from last season so some regression should be headed his way. It may not be today though, Javier gets a juicy matchup vs the Seattle Mariners. No batter in the Mariners’ order scares me. They are either average or below average in every category across the board. Javier will be on my radar until this K rate starts to stabilize.

 

Top Projected Batters

last updated (ET): 4/27 4:21 PM

Batters

C

Yasmani Grandal- Since 2019 Urena has given up two times the amount of home runs to left-handed batters compared to right-handed batters. Urena has consistently gotten crushed by power lefties. I am not seeing anything in his advanced data that would suggest him making any changes to limit left-handed power. The entire middle of the White-Sox order is one of the more intriguing stacks on the slate.

Victor Caratini- If you’re looking to pay down at the catcher position, look no further than Caratini. The young switch-hitting catcher will hit near the bottom of the Padre order, but they are sporting a healthy team total of over 5 and he is a way to get cheap exposure to a dangerous Padres lineup that is finally hitting their stride.

1B

Freddie Freeman- Freeman has had a slow start to the season following his MVP campaign. Trevor Williams is a pitcher the DFS community has looked to attack for years. As always we will need to monitor to wind to see the type of hitting environment we are dealing with in Chicago. I like Freeman as a one-off either way.

Shohei Ohtani- Ohtani pitched last night so we will need to monitor his availability. I would Ohtani is ready to go! He gets a great matchup vs a pitcher who struggles to keep the ball in the ballpark. Foltynewicz has given up an exit velocity of 91.5 mph this season. That is a recipe for disaster when Ohtani and Trout are in town. If the roof is open in Arlington, this is an elite-hitting environment that we need to be taking advantage of.

Yulieski Gurriel- The Astros are one of my favorite stacks and getting a lower owned piece to them is appealing. Yuli may go overlooked at a loaded first base position. This is another game that we are monitoring whether the roof will be open or closed. If the roof is open, we could have high winds blowing out to left field.

2B

DJ LeMahieu- DJ is in the midst of a pretty ugly slump. I think it’s important to take early season results with a grain of salt and not lose sight of all of our priors. We have a multi-year sample of DJ destroying lefties that do not create swings and misses. If DJ gets going, the entire Yankees lineup could be shortly behind him.

Jose Altuve- Altuve came off of the covid list and stepped right into his lead-off role last night. The high end of second base today is a bunch of guys who dominate in these platoon matchups. Altuve will look to get things started for the Astros stack.

Jake “Rake” Cronenworth- A stable to the Karma Nation core plays, Croneworth won’t be popular but for his reasonable hid 3k price tag he is someone I am looking at to round out a Padres stack or play as a potential one-off. Croneworth has multi-hit upside and I already touched on the Padre’s healthy team total above.

3B

Alex Bregman- Bregman’s advanced numbers are right around all of his career averages. He has always been one of the more consistent hitters in baseball. Bregman dealt with an IL stint and is still on top of his game. Bregman is a scary hitter when you can’t make him swing and miss. Bregman will work counts and be a difficult our for Marco Gonzalez.

Yoan Moncada- Moncada is your prototypical cash play for tomorrow. His wOBA has been above league average over his past 50 PA. Moncada has been extremely patient at the plate this year and he has finally started to break out in fantasy. I like Moncada as a cash one-off or a core piece to a dangerous White Sox stack.

Gio Urshela- One of the lone bright spots for the Yankees so far this season, Urshela is in the upper echelon of hitters when it comes to exit velocity and hard-hit rate. Urshela’s struggles have come from his chasing pitches out of the strike zone and not making consistent contact. Despite a high chase rate, Bruce Zimmerman has struggled to strike batters out this season. If Urshela stays disciplined this is a spot where we can get some upside for an extremely affordable price tag.

SS

Fernando Tatis Jr.- Short stop is loaded today and it is a spend-up position for me. The conversation has to start with Tatis. Talk about a hot streak, Tatis is on a tear right now coming off of the IL. There was an initial scare that this would be a long-term issue for Fernando, but he looks just as good as he always has. I expect him to be rather popular today.

Fransisco Lindor- Lindor has had a slow start to the beginning of his Mets career. A lot of his advanced metrics suggest that things will turn around for Lindor. He hit his first home run as Met over the weekend. We will see if that sparks him to get on a nice hot streak heading into May and the warmer months ahead.

Tim Anderson- Tim wasted no time jumping right back into the action atop the White Sox lineup. Anderson has picked up 14 hits in his first eight games back off of the IL. He has shown some of the stolen base upsides we are looking for from him. If Anderson gets more aggressive on the base paths, the sky is the limit for his fantasy potential on a day in and day out basis.

OF

Yankees OF- It’s difficult not to start off with the Yankees outfield duo today. I know the Yankees have burned us a few times this season already, but in DFS we need to have short memories. Now is not the time that we should be getting off of the Yankees. Getting the Yankees at reasonable ownership due to the high-priced pitchers and lack of production so far means we should be heavily invested in every format.

Red Sox OF- It would be doing a disservice to how exceptional they have been over their careers versus southpaws not to have the Red Sox in here. Peterson has shown some flashes of being a solid big league arm to start the year, but I am going to trust the larger sample size here. Martinez continues to be one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Martinez is the prime example of why the 2020 small sample sizes shouldn’t be weighted too heavily. Kike for under 4k will always be an investment for me versus a lefty.

Mets OF- On the opposite side of the Red Sox, we have the Mets OF. Like Lindor, Conforto hit his first home run over the weekend. Could that be the spark that finally gets him out of this awful slump he has been in to start the year? Nimmo and Dom Smith have been bright spots for the Mets to start the year. This Mets lineup is littered with lefties and then Pete Alonso is thrown in the middle of them. Richards has had control issues which could spell for a big day from walk specialist, Brandon Nimmo.

Stacks

“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen

last updated (ET): 4/27 4:19 PM

“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)

Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo homeruns, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.

When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.

Immediately a team that jumps off the page are the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels will have an elite hitting environment today in Arlington. The middle of the order for the Angels will be extremely popular, but for good reason. Two of the league’s elite hitters, Ohtani and Trout, will make their way into a plethora of my lineups today.

SD, ATL, and the Yankees are all in play as our highest projected stacks today. If you are concerned about the Yankees being the chalkiest stack of slate, I completely understand your hesitation. I personally don’t think this a spot I would avoid, even at high ownership.

ATL feels like the team that won’t get the ownership of this group of three. We know the talent at the top of the Braves order have struggled outside of Acuna. Freeman, Albies, and Ocuna have just as much upside as any group on the slate, and their price tags will prohibit high ownership.

If you’re looking for a low owned leverage stack, look no further than the Nationals. They possess a team stack projection over 40, but a cumulative ownership of under 5%. Turner will be one of the only pieces of this lineup to have any ownership. A healthy TT in the high 4s on a large slate and under owned, smells like a successful gpp stack.

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