The Triple T: Tim’s Top Three
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
Cole – moderate to high risk
German (moderate risk)/Fiers (low risk)
*Vargas – moderate risk
Boom-or-bust: Jon Gray
Notes: We only have one really expensive pitcher to pay up for (at least on FD) and that is Cole. I do like Cole as he can always rack up the K’s, but it is a tad tougher matchup than usual in a bad park and there are a lot of decent mid range options tonight so I don’t think we have to go all the way up to Cole tonight. I like Clevenger some and the dude has over a 40 % (!!!) K rate to both sides of the plate in his small sample of work so far this season, but the matchup and workload is why I didn’t shout him from the rooftops. You can insert him above but note that he comes with huge risk. For what it is worth, Minnesota has tailed off lately, ranking 18th in ISO and 24th in wOBA to righties over the last month after being in the top five in those categories for much of the year. I wish Mike Fiers was a tad cheaper, but he should provide you with a nice sollid floor tonight against the White Sox. Fiers has been close to stifling in almost all his starts since the beginning of May, going 13 straight games allowing 3 ER or less. His ERA is also over 2 runs lower at home than it is on the road and you can’t argue with 11 of his 13 starts being of the quality variety. His ceiling is probably capped due to a low K rate, but Chicago’s league-high 26% rate to righties over the last 30 days could help that a little. German also provides decent value on FD though his stadium is a little scarier. Even so, despite Toronto hitting batter of late going into the break, German looked great upon return from the IL going 6 innings with 6 Ks while just allowing 1 run and inducing a 16% swinging strike rate. Vargas and Chirinos should grab a fair amount of ownership on FD with both ringing in at a cheap $6800. Given how they’ve pitched this season as well as their weak opponents tonight, they are both priced well below their worth and should be in play for cash games and single-entry tourneys. Chirinos will probably have the lower ownership, but he has the more dangerous park and I fear Baltimore more than I do Miami which is why I decided to list Vargas over him. An interesting TOURNAMENT-ONLY pivot is Jon Gray. DK didn’t seem to give Coors pitcher much of a discount but they got their usual FD discount which makes him a little intriguing there. He has shown us that he can be trusted in Coors in the right situations and tonight gets a mediocre Reds offense that ranks 24th in wOBA to righties over the last month while striking out at the 8th highest clip. I think he gives us a tad more risk than a Chirinos or Vargas, but he gives us a higher ceiling for just $500 more.
Cole – moderate risk
Fiers – low risk
*Vargas – moderate risk
Boom-or-bust – Duffy
Top Three MLB Plays by Position
(no one else I truly love worth paying up for)
* value: Thames
Outfield (6 for good measure):
Other positional value below
Pujols, N Lowe, Lamb, Brosseau, Hiura, Carpenter, Turner, A Simmons, Adames, Reyes, Kiermeier, Peullo, Bauers
Top MLB Team Stacks (both sites, no order)
Yankees (Sanchez/Judge/Hicks/Didi) – low risk – I will get the obvious one out of the way. The Yankees get possibly the biggest gas can on the slate in Aaron Sanchez in the bandbox of Yankee Stadium. I know we have Coors on the slate but I expect the Yanks to command a good deal of ownership so there is no secret here. On huge slates like tonight, I try to maximize my points by focusing on visiting teams so that we are guaranteed all nine innings of ABs, but I will make an exception here. Sanchez is allowing a slugging percentage over .448 to both sides of the plate and he displays slight reverse splits (or neutral, if anything) which is not ideal in facing this lineup of righty-mashers. The Yanks hold the best wOBA and 2nd best ISO to righties this season and shouldn’t relinquish those positions after this one.
Astros (Bregman/Altuve/Springer/Brantley) – low risk – With Coors on the slate and myself choosing to largely fade it outside of one or two guys, its imperative that we get exposure to the next best thing – Arlington. Jesse Chavez has actually been decent since assuming the role of a starter this season, but one thing he has that will not work in his favor here are heavy reverse splits. He’s allowing a slugging percentage of over .500 to righties while holding lefties to a paltry .278. He is allowing a rate of homers that is double to righties (1.49/9) what it is to lefties (.68) and striking righties out at a lower clip. Because of that, we want to focus on the righties from Houston more than anything in this one. I know what you’re thinking…that Altuve, while a righty, has been trash thus far. I believe there is reason for hope and optimism with him and that he is just getting unlucky. If you look at his best couple years, his BABIP was significantly higher than it is this season. His K rates are about in line with previous seasons, walk rates are about the same and hard contact is actually higher than most other seasons which tells me he is seeing the ball fine. ISO higher than seasons past. The one major difference is that BABIP. We should start to see some positive correction coming soon and a series in Texas against mediocre pitching could do the trick.
LAD (Bellinger/Muncy/Turner) – Seager can be added as part of a stack – moderate risk – This is one that I am kind of hoping goes a tad under the radar since E-Rod isn’t a terrible pitcher. This matchup provides some intrigue because he is the rare lefty that struggles against lefties and this Dodgers lineup contains a couple lefties that excel against left-handed pitching. Bellinger and Muncy have both crushed lefties this season – Bellinger to the tune of a whopping .455 wOBA and .359 ISO and Muncy at .386/.263 marks. Rodriguez is allowing an eye-popping .562 slugging and a HR/9 rate well over 2 to lefties. Even more, Boston’s bullpen has been less than stellar this season and it projects to be a very warm game in the small confines of Fenway. E-Rod is a tad better to righties, but I think we can still throw Turner in this stack given his extremely cheap price tag and remarkable 71% hard contact to soouthpaws over the last month.
Boom-or-Bust Under The Radar MLB Stacks (high risk, should be reserved only for tourneys)
Tampa (Meadows/Pham/Diaz/A Garcia) – Lowe and Kiermeier for value – moderate risk – Bundy hasn’t been a guy I have really wanted to target lately, but he does seem to be reverting back to form after a pretty decent run to start the year. He had a decent start against Tor last game, but still allowed alarming flyball rates and has given up 5 homers over his past 3. He is carrying reverse splits this season, allowing over 2 HR/9 to righties so I would favor the righties on TB more than the lefties, but Lowe provides some decent value in this stack so don’t ignore him either. TB has been a little sluggish lately which is the reason for the moderate risk tag.
Angels (Trout/Upton/Bour/Ohtani) – moderate risk – These four guys have been absolutely raking against righties in the middle of that lineup over the last month. Trout, Ohtani, and Upton all sport wOBAs over .458 while Bour follows with a respectable .338 number. Leake is worse to righties so normally that is where my focus would be, but truth us, he hasn’t been that great to lefties either so I don’t mind playing them, especially when Ohtani has an ISO over .400 and Bour checks in at a .368 mark. The Angels are indeed at home so I may favor some other stacks over them but I just can’t ignore those numbers to righties while Leake is allowing over 40% hard contact to both sides of the plate as well slugging percentages hovering aroud .500 to both. Park factor makes them a moderate risk.
Cleveland (Lindor/Santana/JRam/Kipnis) – Bauers for value – moderate risk – Cleveland was one of the biggest disappointments to start the season but have sharply turned that around. They are now in the wild card hunt and over the past month, are a top-four team in wOBA and ISO to right handed pitching. In fact, they have 7 guys in their projected lineup that have ISOs over .200 to righties over the past month. Even JRam who has been the biggest disappointment sports a .357 wOBA, .286 ISO and 40% hard contact to righties in that time. The moderate risk is because of Kyle Gibson. He isn’t a guy that I typically am dying to attack, but he can be susceptible to lefties and the Indians can roll out a ton of them.
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!