Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday!
Like always, we have a great slew of games on our hands to discuss today, as there are 11 games on the main slate today, and if you want to sweat it out the entire day, there is also a set of 15 games in the all-day slate. These games we see today aren’t ace-filled like the previous ones have been, yet we are coming up on a new challenge to face this Sunday. The sample size.
Baseball is very stats-driven, but they biggest key of effectively using these stats is to interpret them: Which ones are noise, which ones are the most beneficial to us, and when to start looking at these beneficial statistics.
At this point in the season, for Starting Pitchers, most of our options have pitched through 5-6 starts, except for those who have been hurt, promoted from AA/AAA ball, etc. I personally believe that 5-6 starts is enough to see how these SP’s have been doing against a whole bunch of teams, and how they look in 2016. Yes, we haven’t seen double-digit starts yet, but we can get an idea of how they’ll continue to do throughout the season. But what about our bats? This is tricky.
For the studs who have played every on most days, we are looking at anywhere between 100-125 total plate appearances. For the normal guys, we have seen anywhere between 80-100 appearances, and for the low-tiered guys, we have seen mostly between 50-80 appearances. Is this enough? Sometimes, as we can start to get an idea about how these certain players will do, however we have to keep in mind of how baseball is such a high-variance sport, and 100 plate appearances may not do it enough.
For me especially, I will make sure that if the appearances are solid (because one guy could have a 30 K% in 2016, but only have 10 PA’s) and consistent, and continuing my theme of breaking down the pitchers we want to use, who we want to attack against, and the bats to do so.
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Aaron Nola, SP: $10,100 – On any other slate of games, I highly doubt Nola is $10k, yet here he is. He’s gotten off to a pretty good start in the 2016 season, sporting a 2.65 SIERA, 29.10 K% (with a 10% SwStr%), and a 50% GB through 6 starts. The great thing about Nola is how much he shreds against righties, with a 1.89 xFIP, 33.70 K% and a 2.30 BB%. Again, it’s all about sample size, as it is through 6 starts, yet it still shows how he’s dominating against them. Nola should face 5 right-handed bats from the Marlins today, and if he can pitch around the likes of Justin Bour, Derek Dietrich and Christian Yelich (which I think he can do just that), he’s in for a great outing.
John Lamb, SP: $7,200 – Do not be scared away from his 5.80 ERA through 10 starts in 2015 (has mostly been in the Minors so far in ’16), because he sported a very solid 3.50 SIERA last year, which shows positive regression for Lamb. In 2015, Lamb had a pretty solid 26.40 K% (with a 10.60 SwStr%), and did pretty well for himself against righties (something that the weak Brewers team has a lot of), however I am not over-the-moon about Lamb. Why? He didn’t do that hot against lefties in ’15, almost to the point of it being concerning, and it’s never good when your SP has a 37.60 GB%. So when/where would I use him, and why? Well, due to the fact that he has a very low LD% and a Hard%, it’s very unlikely that he’ll blow up in your face, and combined with his pretty solid strikeout rate, I would use him as a solid SP2 in cash games.
Tanner Roark, SP: $7,600 – It’s been a trait of mine to suggest playing guys apart from the aces, and I’ll do it again, as we have a prime case of high risk/high reward. Roark is not that bad of a pitcher, and as you remember a few weeks back against Minnesota, he has some serious strikeout upside. Granted, the Minnesota Twins are not the Chicago Cubs, however you cannot overlook the fact that Roark has a 3.7 SIERA, 50.5 GB%, 3.70% HR/FB (although he is risky against Chicago, he doesn’t have the risk of giving up multi-HR performances), and a 22% K-rate. In addition to that, the fact that he is pitching apart from Jake Arrieta, he’ll see super low ownership. High risk, high reward.
Cameron Rupp, C: $3,300 – You’ll see more Philly bats down below, as I love what the low-owned Phillies stack brings to the table against a very weak Justin Nicolino and the Miami Marlins. In his Career, Nicolino has a very weak 5.69 SIERA, 7.10 K%, and an abysmal 5.59 xFIP, 6.40 K%, and a .327 wOBA against righty bats. Rupp mashed southpaws to the tune of a 16.4 K%, .242 ISO, .387 wOBA and a 147 wRC+ in 2015.
James McCann, C: $3,200 – The Tigers are in a pretty prime spot against Martin Perez today. Do not be feared by Perez’ 3.6 ERA, as the more realistic 5.33 SIERA shows us what you really need to know about Perez, as he is a very inconsistent pitcher here in 2016. Through 6 starts this season, Perez has a 12.60 BB%, 30% Hard, and a 11.5% HR/FB rate. Perez also doesn’t do well at all against righties, with a 5.02 xFIP, 10% K-rate and a .345 wOBA given up to them so far. McCann has done really well against southpaws, with a .237 ISO, .390 wOBA, and a 149 wRC+ in 2015. The only thing to be a little worried his McCann’s 20% K-rate, but I don’t think it should be an issue against Perez, who struggles to get guys out at the plate.
Darin Ruf, 1B: $3,800 – Like I mentioned before with Cameron Rupp, I love what the low-owned Phillies stack brings to the table. Nicolino has a very weak 5.69 SIERA, 7.10 K%, and an abysmal 5.59 xFIP, 6.40 K%, and a .327 wOBA against righty bats. Ruf has killed against southpaws to the tune of a 10.50 BB%, a .289 ISO, a .466 wOBA, and a 201 wRC+ in 2015. I cannot stress how much of a must-play this is. It’s simply yummy.
Brett Wallace, 1B/3B: $2,700 – If for some reason you cannot fit Ruf into your roster, look no further than Wallace. Although he is facing Harvey in a fantastic pitcher’s park (although Colon went yard yesterday), Harvey has struggled greatly thus far with a 4.76 SIERA, 16.6 K%, and a 40% GB rate. Harvey has also struggled against lefties. Wallace is a great value play, has he has hit righties to the tune of a .189 ISO (should be better than .180), a .368 wOBA (should be around .330), and a 130 wRC+ (wRC+ average is at 100). It isn’t the best but for the price, it gets the job done.
Chase Utley, 2B: $3,600 – I really do believe that the Dodgers will do very well for themselves against Toronto today, against Marco Estrada and Co. Don’t be fooled by his 2.64 ERA, as his 4.18 SIERA shows more human-like traits he should have, as Estrada has sported a 38.10 GB%, and a 5.89 xFIP against lefties, combined with a 16.70 BB% and a .321 wOBA. Utley has done very well against righties, to the tune of a 12.20 BB%, a .174 ISO, .402 wOBA, and a 151 wRC+. He may not have that much pop in his bat, yet it is worth it with his ability to get on base.
Robinson Cano, 2B: $4,800 – If you can afford him, oh my. Cano has been crushing it thus far into the season, and draws a good matchup against Collin McHugh, as Collin has given up a 5.03 xFIP and a .338 wOBA to left-handed bats. Cano owns RHP’s to the tune of a .387 ISO, .491 wOBA and a 234 wRC+. Again, those stats are off the charts great, and although they definitely won’t hold for the rest of the season, we can still get an idea that Cano does very well against RHP’s.
Maikel Franco, 3B: $4,000 – Like I mentioned before with Cameron Rupp, I love what the low-owned Phillies stack brings to the table. Nicolino has a very weak 5.69 SIERA, 7.10 K%, and an abysmal 5.59 xFIP, 6.40 K%, and a .327 wOBA against righty bats. Franco has done very well for himself against LHP’s to the tune of a 13.0 BB%, a .232 ISO and a .359 wOBA. The only concerning element is that he strikeouts a bit too much for our liking, which would make me only play Franco in tourney’s due to his high K-rate.
Jake Lamb, 3B: $3,400 – Lamb and Co. draws a good matchup against Foltynewicz, who has sported a very weak 33% GB, and a 32.50 Hard% in ’16 thus far, with a 5.03 xFIP, a 17% K-rate, and a .401 wOBA given up to lefties this season. Lamb has done very well against RHP’s this season with a 10% BB, .181 ISO, .358 wOBA, and a 115 wRC+
Jose Iglesias, SS: $3,100 – As I mentioned above with McCann, Detroit is in a pretty prime spot against Perez. Through 6 starts this season, Perez has a 12.60 BB%, 30% Hard, and a 11.5% HR/FB rate. Perez also doesn’t do well at all against righties, with a 5.02 xFIP, 10% K-rate and a .345 wOBA given up to them so far. Although Iglesias doesn’t have the HR upside, he makes up for it with his 11.50 BB%, .386 wOBA and a 146 wRC+ in ’15 against southpaws.
Joc Pederson, OF: $3,600 – As I mentioned above with Utley, I do believe that the Dodgers will do very well for themselves against Toronto today, against Marco Estrada and Co. Estrada has sported a 38.10 GB%, and a 5.89 xFIP against lefties, combined with a 16.70 BB% and a .321 wOBA against lefties in ’16. Pederson has done very well against RHP’s in 2016 thus far with a .217 ISO, .390 wOBA, and a 143 wRC+. He’s usually mostly in play in Tournaments with a high strikeout rate, but I’m willing to overlook it in a prime matchup.
Corey Dickerson, OF: $3,500 – The Rays have a fairly good matchup against Nick Tropeano, but I like Dickerson the most out of this bunch. Tropeano has not done very well for himself against lefties in 2016 thus far, has he gives up a 5.29 xFIP, and a 17.90 BB%. Although it was only really been a month, Dickerson’s .371 ISO, .383 wOBA and 155 wRC+ won’t stay, but those numbers are insane, something that points to the fact that Dickerson is still very good against RHP’s.
David Peralta, OF: $3,600 – As I mentioned above with Lamb, Arizona draws a good matchup against Foltynewicz, who has sported a very weak 33% GB, and a 32.50 Hard% in ’16 thus far, with a 5.03 xFIP, a 17% K-rate, and a .401 wOBA given up to lefties this season. Peralta has done very well against RHP’s this season with a low strikeout rate, a .186 ISO, .357 wOBA and a 114 wRC+ in ’16.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Only 1 issue today: Milwaukee-Cincinnati has some threat of rain, and as of 2:11 A.M EST on Saturday Night, it has a 24% chance at 1pm (first pitch), and as the game gets going along, current forecasts has 2pm at 42% chance of rain, and then it slowly dwindles down. I highly doubt that the game gets canceled due to rain, as if it impacts it at all, I likely see the game being delayed for a few hours (or even 30 minutes) until it goes away. However, anything can happen, so I would keep an eye out, especially because it has one of the highest O/U’s on the docket.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Not much to be excited about here. Jake Arrieta is the big favorite against the ‘Nats today at -265, however I won’t use him because I am very uneasy to be paying $13k for him, when you can get Aaron Nola for less, and get the bats you want. In other games, DET-TEX and CIN-MIL have the biggest O/U’s at 9 total runs, something I definitely took into account when writing up James McCann and Jose Iglesias, as there should definitely be some offense to have in that game. Other than that, there aren’t other eye-popping info about Vegas we should take into consideration, as most games could go either way with an 8 O/U
Thanks guys for sticking around! Hopefully this helped when setting your lineups for the day, as hopefully you saw not only the players I selected, but why! Good luck to everyone, and I’ll see you at the top of the Tournament Leaderboards come Sunday Night.
Happy Mother’s Day!