Welcome to the first edition of Def Pen’s MLB Daily Fantasy breakdown series. In the inaugural breakdown, the top pitching options of the night, as well as the top hitting stacks of the night, will be analyzed. I will be using FanDuel’s pricing and scoring system as that is my personal preference.
*Important Note: When playing FanDuel daily fantasy baseball it has become evident that having a strong starting pitcher is an integral part of the success of a lineup. Strikeouts are weighted heavily in FanDuel’s scoring system thus making guys with a high strikeout upside very appealing. The SIERA stat (Skill interactive ERA) has become very popular amongst sabermetrics crowds of baseball and helps understand just how good the pitcher is. These two aspects of strikeout percentages and SIERA combined with ballpark factors as well as weather factors are all taken into consideration when analyzing the best fantasy pitcher of the night.
1. Kenta Maeda $8,400: Maeda’s coming off a performance in which he seemed to have righted the sinking ship of which his season was thus far, posting 8ks, going 7 innings and most importantly putting up 49 FanDuel points. Despite Kenta having a rough start to his 2017 campaign, he boasts a 9.35 K/9 (Strikeouts per nine) and faces the San Diego Padres who have an abysmal 24.9% strikeout rate (third worst in MLB). Additionally, the game is being played in Petco park, which implies for a lower average run total thus giving another advantage to Maeda. Despite his ERA sitting at a 6.58, his SIERA is a 3.69 which suggests he is pitching better than his ERA states. Synopsis: Maeda has good implications for tonight’s game and is priced pretty cheap on FanDuel allowing you to afford some more expensive hitters, making him my favorite play of the night.
2. Chris Archer $9,600: Archer is facing the Toronto Bluejays, a team in which he faced just a few days ago giving up only 1 ER while striking out 5, going 7.1 IP, and putting up 38 FanDuel points. It’s no secret that the Blue Jays have been awful this year, putting up the 4th worst runs per game in the MLB. Combine this with Archer’s history of being a high strikeout pitcher, the Blue Jays having a 22.7% strikeout rate as well as hitting an awful .228 average vs right handed pitching this year and you get a pretty good fantasy pitcher for tonight.
3. Michael Fulmer $9,400: While his SIERA this year hasn’t been that great, boasting a 4.00, Fulmer has the best opposing matchup of the night. The Oakland Athletics rank 3rd to last in runs scored per game, and have the 4th highest strikeout rate in the MLB. While Fulmer has shown he can strike hitters out, posting a 7.55 k/9 thus far this season. This along with the fact that he is pitching in Oakland which in the past few years has been stereotypically a pitcher’s ballpark, brew a perfect storm of factors for a solid outing by Fulmer.
Other Notable Pitchers: Dallas Kuechel $10,700, Yu Darvish $10,600, Danny Salazar $10,200, Mike Foltynewicz $7,400
*Important Note: While often times you can get lucky by selecting individual players off of different teams, the best strategy for MLB Daily Fantasy is to stack hitters in a lineup as to rack up runs/RBIs if a guy scores another guy in your lineup. Think of it as similar to a QB/WR stack in football, where both get the points for a touchdown connection so by starting both and in the case that they score a touchdown you are getting seemingly double the points. This works in the same way, wherein if you stack a lineup you are maximizing your potential points.
1. Cleveland Indians: Their opposing pitcher in Jason Hammel has a horrible 5.16 SIERA on the season. The Indians have also fared quite well vs right handed pitching this year posting a .266 BA as a team. With guys in the top/middle of the order who can put up huge games and have been quite good on the season, look for the Indians to be one of the best hitting stacks of the night.
Optimal Stack (with their projected spot in the lineup): (2) Fransisco Lindor (3) Michael Brantley (4) Edwin Encarnacion (5) Jose Ramirez
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: They are playing in Coors field, which should be enough reason at all to stack a lineup historically. However, they also obtain one of the best matchups of the night, facing German Marquez who has put up a grotesque 7.20 ERA thus far on the season. The Diamondbacks always have a high upside as they are the 4th highest in runs scored per game and steal the most bases out of any other team in the majors. They also slash a .271 average with 28 (!!!) homers hit against right-handed pitching on the season. I expect a few more to leave the park tonight coming from the Diamondbacks side of the ball.
Optimal Stack (with their projected spot in the lineup): (1) AJ Pollack (2) David Peralta (3) Paul Goldschmidt (4) Jake Lamb
3. Los Angeles Dodgers: While the ballpark may not favor hitters that much, the matchup for them is great. They face Jhoulys Chacin who has given up a total of 10 ER over his last two starts. The dodgers also fare very well when facing a right-handed pitcher, hitting .263 with 21 home runs. They have a few guys who have fared particularly well vs righties in Corey Seager, Andrew Toles, and Cody Bellinger all who are lefty hitters.
Optimal Stack (with their projected spot in the lineup): (1) Andrew Toles (2) Corey Seager (3) Justin Turner (5) Cody Bellinger
As always with MLB Daily Fantasy make sure you keep up with the confirmed lineup announcements as players get scratched daily for various reasons. If you have any questions comments or concerns feel free to contact me on twitter.
My Personal Lineup of the Night (Subject to change based on news):