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
Bieber – moderate risk
Greinke – moderate risk
Tanaka – moderate risk
Boom-or-bust: Bailey – high risk
Notes: deGrom sticks out like a sore thumb as the top pitcher on the slate at first glance and should be the highest owned in all formats. We have to remember…this is a GPP article so we want to zag when everyone else zigs (when it makes sense, of course). I know I will be asked, so let me just say that there’s nothing wrong with deGrom. A matchup with the Marlins is one of the best a pitcher can have and the stadium is one of the best a pitcher can pitch in. I am sure Rich will recommend him for cash and if Gary had a FD cash article today, he would most likely recommend him. In tourneys though, we have to be willing to open ourselves up to some risk in order to possibly grab a higher ceiling and I think Bieber gives us that today. Bieber should have significantly less ownership as his matchup is implied to be a tougher one. It is, no doubt, as guys like Cruz, Kepler, etc are much better than anything Miami is rolling out, but the matchup isn’t as awful as many think it may be. The Twins are without a couple big bats in their lineup and as a result, over the last month rank 20th in wOBA and 23rd in ISO to righties after being posted up at the top for most of the year. Miami is absolutely awful so do not get me wrong, deGrom isn’t a bad play at all and I would get exposure to both if playing more than one lineup, but I think a tourney pivot to Bieber could leave us with a higher ceiling. I like to list one in each “tier” so to speak, so instead of just listing the top two highest priced pitchers, I like Greinke as well as bit lower. Stl has been the worst team to righties by far over the last month. These guys just aren’t hitting and Greinke has been nothing short of great this year despite losing a ton of velocity. He has reinvented himself and should be able to pay off against a team that is sporting a league-worst .125 ISO and .273 wOBA over the last month to RHP. Tanaka carries some risk because he is Tanaka and pitching in tiny Yankee Stadium, but this is a case again of risk-reward as we tend to like to target in GPPs. He checks in at only 8K on Fanduel and for a guy that can put up 45 in the right matchup, that is a pretty reasonable price. Toronto has been hitting righties well, ranking 10th in wOBA over the last month to them, but they have had some cupcake matchups. This one will be a little tougher and their 24% K rate to RHP in that time frame leaves us with some high ceiling possibility for Tanaka. A guy that may actually be fairly popular, particularly on DK, is Homer Bailey. Homer gets a matchup against the Tigers who sport the 2nd worst wOBA and 5th worst ISO to righties over the last 30 days. This one is more about matchup than it is about Bailey as he has shown extreme volatility. The Royals appear content to drive him into the ground though, even getting him up to 121 pitches a few starts ago. This is one that could truly go either way, but he is cheap enough where we can take a plunge on him in a line. Sandy Alcantara offers a pivot off of him on both sites if you’re uneasy about rolling Homer, though I question if he can grab the win bonus against deGrom where I think Homer should be in line for that against Zimmermann.
Top Three MLB Plays by Position
*Check to make sure these guys are starting – Sundays are notorious for rest
Sanchez (too cheap on DK – lets hope he is in)
* value: N Lowe
Outfield (6 for good measure):
Other positional value below
Thames, Kipnis, Wendle, Lamb, R Nunez, Kang, B Crawford, A Garcia, Eaton, Kiermeier
Top MLB Team Stacks (both sites, no order)
Tampa (Y Diaz/Meadows/Pham/Kiermeier) – Brosseau and Lowe for value – low risk – I made a joke last night that no matter the circumstance, we should just stack whatever team is facing the Orioles from here on out. Well, as much as I was being a little facetious, there is almost a shred of truth to the statement. The Orioles are awful. Their bullpen is among the worst in the league and today we should be getting a bullpen game from them. Normally I approach those games with apprehension, but their bullpen is so bad and so taxed that I am not letting it stop me. This Tampa team has been shredding since the break and they are still insanely affordable. They should be the highest owned stack on the slate and it shouldn’t even really be close, but that’s okay, it’s chalk I will gladly eat.
Yankees (Sanchez/Judge/Voit/Didi) – moderate risk – This stack gets Marcus Stroman today and while he isn’t a guy I typically go out of my way to attack, this Yanks offense is bound to break out soon. Stroman isn’t allowing a ton of hard contact and inducing a decent amount of soft contact, but the Yanks still carry one of the higher upsides on the slate. The Jays are trying to trade Stroman so I don’t see them pushing him hard and the Yanks have been a top five team to righties over the last month, despite laying a couple eggs recently. I am suggesting this stack because I think they go slightly underowned today given the matchup and recent performance which makes it a nice little spot for a tourney. If you don’t feel confident in the Yanks, see below for a few more options.
Boom-or-Bust Under The Radar MLB Stacks (high risk, should be reserved only for tourneys)
Cubs (Rizzo/Baez/Bryant/Schwarber) – moderate risk – This stack acts as a nice pivot off of the Yanks, facing Trevor Williams in Wrigley. I don’t expect this stack to have much ownership because they all play positions (except Baez) that are in higher demand elsewhere. For example, Rizzo will be competing with Nate Lowe, Voit, and EE ownership at first base and KB will be competing with Yandy Diaz and Moustakas at third. This will suppress ownership of this high upside stack making them a nice tourney option.
Royals (Merrifield/Modesi/Dozier) – high risk – This is another one that should go underowned based on the positions they play. They get gas can Zimmermann in Kaufman and while many will be targeting Homer bailey as a punt, they may not give much attention to the offense that could get him the win.
Brewers (Yelich/Moose/Thames/Braun) – Hiura for value – moderate risk
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!