The Triple T
For those unfamiliar with my article, I will be listing my three favorite MLB players at each position – two of my favorite higher-priced guys and my favorite “value” play, which will be denoted with a star “*”. As it relates to that value play, I am using Fanduel MLB players priced around $3000 on that site as a gauge, but all the plays can be applied to both sites. Please note that these are NOT the only plays I like, but I can’t list everyone and truly try to narrow down the MLB field as much as possible.
Use these MLB plays along with your own research! Remember, this is a GPP-style article so I take some more chances than others. The format for this article is not set in stone so if there is something you want to see or would like me to consider changing, please let me know. After all, this site is for YOU. Let’s dive in!
*Be sure to compare with your own research from our incredible MLB matchup tool!
A star (*) denotes the “value” or lower tier play at each MLB position.
* I am going to start listing the risk level next to my pitchers and stacks to give full disclosure of what we are getting into with each guy*
The Top Three
Scherzer – low risk
Bieber – moderate risk
*Snell – HIGH risk
Boom-or-bust: Chavez – high risk
Max checks in at a ridiculous price today, but it is hard to find a better matchup than the downtrodden Tigers. Detroit has the highest K rate in the league to righties over the last month and rank 3rd worst in wOBA over that same time frame. Max is in an elite spot and really the only hangup is his price. We have been preaching value pitching a lot lately, but this might need to be an exception as all the other pitchers on the slate today have extremely high risk attached to them.
What is up with Blake Snell? That seems to be the burning question everyone is asking. Depending on who you ask, the answers range from nothing, to mechanics, to everything. I am in the camp that thinks there isn’t TOO much wrong with him and he is due for positive correction. Last year’s total numbers were a little unsustainable, but this year they’ve done a complete 180 and are at the opposite end of the spectrum. I tend to think the real Blake Snell falls somewhere in the middle. He could be experiencing a run of bad luck of epic proportions given that his xfip is almost two points lower than his ERA, his BABIP sits at a bloated .357, and his strand rate is well below the league average. In fact, his xfip is basically identical to what it was last season! His K rate of 11.96 is almost 1 K more than last year’s great number and his SwStr% is 3% higher than it was last year! Speaking of that SwStr %, it fell to a troubling 9% and 5% 2 and 3 games ago respectively, which was deeply concerning, but it could have just been an aberration (playing the K non-existent Angels will do that) as his SwStr rate was back up over 12% last game. Snell should really be classified as a BOOM-OR-BUST guy given his shaky results this season but frankly, there just isn’t very much other pitching to recommend in the mid range, so I had to roll Snell in the mid-tier. It could be a nice grab for us if these positive corrections start to come today as it isn’t often we can grab a previous year’s Cy Young winner in the mid-8’s and today is as good a day as any against the Rangers. Snell’s ERA is three points lower at home than on the road this year while Texas is striking out at a league-high clip to lefties this season and sport the 8th worst wOBA to southpaws away from Arlington. The upside is there for Snell today, it is just a matter of whether he puts it together. *Arrieta is also an option in this range, though his upside is much lower as he doesn’t rack up the K’s, but faces a Marlins team that should be rolling out a decent amount of righties in a pitcher’s park.
Needing a boom-or-bust pitcher, we will go to the other side of that Rays/Rangers game. Let me be clear…with Max on the board, we will need incredible upside from whatever pitcher we choose that isn’t him, and I am not sure Chavez carries that upside so this play should only be reserved for deep GPPs where you want to absolutely load up on bats. Last start we recommended Chavez and got a gem from him at low single digit ownership but to be fair, that was against the Tigers. Today he gets the much more powerful Rays which gives him the B-O-B classification. The Rays should be rolling out at least five lefties and Chavez is a reverse splits pitcher. He is allowing a .242 wOBA to lefties while giving up a .344 number to righties. This should help to offset the many good lefties that TB rolls out. To top it off, his ERA is almost 3 points lower on the road than it is at Arlington. Again, not a play I think we should necessarily go to unless needing major salary relief and playing multiple lineups.
Top Three MLB Plays by Position
* value: Kendrick
*Baez (he’s a little over the threshold but there’s not much else in that range)
Outfield (6 for good measure):
Other positional value below
Aguilar, N Walker, A Frazier, Dozier, Bote, Hiura, Wendle, Iglesias, Chang, Cain, Eaton, Braun, Bauers, Eloy Jiminez, Ervin, Marisnick, Bradley
Top MLB Team Stacks (both sites, no order)
Cleveland (Lindor/Kipnis/Santana/Mercado) – moderate risk – Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me. Well, what happens when I get fooled a third time? That’s hopefully not what we’re heading for today with this stack. Cleveland burned a lot of folks yesterday which may lower their ownership, but even that’s unlikely as they have one of the highest implied totals on the board today of any team not playing in London. The difference between today and the last couple is that Ynoa is actually really bad where Means and Cashner at least hold their own. Ynoa is allowing a wOBA over .400 to righties and a .333 number to lefties. His 42% hard contact and 46% flyball rate to lefties is not going to play well in a hot Camden. Even after the last couple nights’ debacles, the Indians still rank 2nd in ISO and 4th in wOBA to righties over the last 30. This should be a nice rebound spot for them.
Was (Rendon/Turner/Soto/Kendrick/Robles) – Dozier for value – moderate risk – Am I glutton for punishment or something? I going back to every team that has burned me over the past couple days – that’s baseball for you…have to have a short-term memory in baseball. Jordan Zimmermann is back for the Tigers and we have always loved targeting him over the years, so why stop now? Washington sports the 6th highest team ISO to righties over the last 30 days and despite their lack of success over the last two days against Detroit’s weak lefties, I don’t mind going back, especially where a couple guys offer us some salary relief like Kendrick (3000 FD), Robles (3500 FD), and Dozier (2700 FD).
Milwaukee (Braun/Yelich/Moose/Cain) – moderate risk – Aguila for value – I typically try not to go out of my way to target Brault as he isn’t great but he isn’t a complete gas can either. The reason I am going to them today is that they provide a bunch of salary relief just like Washington. We can roll Braun, Aguilar (if in), H Perez, and Cain for under $11,000. That kind of salary relief can afford us the opportunity to spend up for the higher priced Yelich or Moose or even a stud on another team to diversify. Brault is allowing a whopping .374 wOBA to righties and Moose and Yelich can be in play due to his 64% HC and 46% FB rate to southpaws.
Boom-or-Bust Under The Radar MLB Stacks (high risk, should be reserved only for tourneys)
CWS (Abreu/Jimenez/Moncada/McCann) – moderate risk – Minny is rolling out Thorpe, who wasn’t even really an effective pitcher in the minors.
Pit (Bell/Dickerson/Moran/Reynolds) – high risk – Davies hasn’t been effective for months, especially to righties and surprise…Pitt holds the 4th best wOBA to righties over the last month.
Cubs (Rizzo/Schwarber/Heyward/Baez/Bryant) – moderate risk – No Coors on the slate? Go to the next best thing, Great American.
Hon mention: Cin (Suarez/Senzel/Puig)
As always, remember to make sure these players are indeed in the lineup, that weather is okay, and keep an eye on vegas odds. My favorite site for MLB Vegas odds is: http://www.vegasinsider.com/mlb/odds/las-vegas/. Don’t forget that MLB is by far the highest variance sport but by truly digging in to the numbers and turning over every stone, we can mitigate that variance. Please follow Top Flight Fantasy Sports on Twitter and Facebook if you haven’t already and good luck!