Friday DFS MLB Plays

Brandon Belt Fantasy Baseball

Welcome to Friday’s edition of RotoMinds Daily MLB Plays. Back to a full slate of games with an absurd number of viable starting pitching options.

Pitching Rankings

  1. Max Scherzer
  2. Felix Hernandez
  3. Michael Pineda
  4. Zack Greinke
  5. Gerrit Cole
  6. Carlos Carrasco
  7. Ubaldo Jiminez
  8. Garrett Richards
  9. Chris Archer
  10. Jeff Samardzija
  11. Noah Syndergaard
  12. Scott Kazmir
  13. Andrew Cashner
  14. Collin McHugh
  15. Phil Hughes

Max Scherzer is the clear cut top option tonight against the Phillies. One thing you will notice as the year progresses… we will often target a team immediately after their series at Coors field. It’s not secret that pitches break differently in the mountains than they do closer to sea level. Many teams struggle picking up pitches the first game back after a long series in Colorado. To be fair, Scherzer would be the top play tonight either way… the Phillies just aren’t a very good team. Max has seen a nice bump in K rate since moving to the national league and should have plenty of run support tonight. King Felix Hernandez is next in line despite the poor park shift on the road at Toronto. The Blue Jays lineup is a mess right now and Josh Donaldson is also out tonight… fire up Felix in your tournaments. I love Michael Pineda tonight against the Rangers. Pineda was amazing two starts ago when we used him in all of our cash games and he racked up 16 strikeouts. Thankfully he followed up the gem with a dud on the road against the Royals and we can expect reduced ownership levels as a result of this most recent performance. Carlos Carrasco has huge strikeout upside but isn’t priced as aggressively as some of the other big names on our list. Target Carrasco in all formats tonight. We were on the money last night with Julio Teheran in his break-out game this year… tonight’s Julio Teheran is Jeff Samardzija. I will have some Samardzija exposure in tournaments tonight and you should too!

Catcher Rankings

  • Buster Posey
  • Michael McKenry/Nick Hundley
  • Brian McCann
  • Miguel Montero
  • A.J. Pierzynski
  • Wilson Ramos

Buster Posey is the top play at catcher tonight in a matchup with Kyle Kendrick at Coors Field. Posey is usually reserved for LHP matchups but the platoon advantage isn’t nearly as important when the game is played at Coors Field against Kyle Kendrick. Posey is an elite play if you have the cap space to get him in tonight. Next in line is whoever is catching for the Rockies… this isn’t just me wanting Coors exposure ethier… if you download the hitting data and filter by position you will see both Colorado catchers rank very well tonight. Also consider Brian McCann and Miguel Montero. McCann has a relatively high HR score for us tonight but I personally prefer Miguel Montero back in Arizona against his former team. Montero loves the park in Arizona. Montero almost came through with a HR last night at Petco (hit halfway up the wall for a double). I love Pierzynski as part of a Braves LHB mini stack.

1st Base Rankings

  • Freddie Freeman
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • Brandon Belt
  • Ben Paulsen
  • Jose Abreu

Brandon Belt, Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo all share the top spot tonight at 1B and all rank as top 10 overall hitters tonight on a full slate. Brandon Belt gets the best possible park shift in baseball against Kyle Kendrick… it doesn’t get much better than this. Belt finally broke out against the Reds (another great park shift) and hit a few homeruns for us. We expect more of the same this weekend at Coors Field. Next in line is Anthony Rizzo who let us down last night but will almost certainly bounce back in a big way tonight at Chase Field in Arizona. Rizzo benefits from a massive positive park shift compared to last night at Petco against a very hittable pitcher in decline. We will definitely be on the Cubs in tournaments tonight. Freddie Freeman represents the best value at 1B and is a strong target in all formats tonight even in a pitchers/neutral park.


2nd Base Rankings

  • Robinson Cano
  • Jason Kipnis
  • Joe Panik
  • DJ LeMahieu – depends on lineup order
  • Stephen Drew
  • Neil Walker

Robinson Cano is the top play in a positive park shift tonight at Toronto. Marco Estrada is near the worst in the league at allowing hard contact. Hard contact in a hitters park is never a good thing. Cano is an elite value at his price tag on FanDuel. Jason Kipnis is having a great year and gets another nice matchup tonight. Kipnis comes in with a .356 RotoMinds adjusted wOBA in tonight’s game which is a little low for a top target but the position is fairly weak tonight. Also consider Joe Panik (Coors field), DJ LeMahieu and Neil Walker is a sneaky pick against Syndergaard tonight. I think Syndergaard could struggle tonight.

3rd Base Rankings

  • Kris Bryant
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Mike Moustakas
  • Nolan Arenado
  • Kyle Seager

Kris Bryant is the top play at 3B tonight in a positive park shift in Arizona. Bryant hit a HR last night for us at Petco and should have a nice game tonight against the soft tossing Collmenter. Bryant is a great play in all formats if you have the cap space. Alex Rodriguez ranks off the charts in hard contact… A-Rod is still one of the most powerful hitters in the game and he has a very high probability of hitting a HR tonight. Aramis Ramirez is next in line. Alex Wood has been scratched and the gascan himself, Eric Stults is taking his place. The Brewers were built to hit LHP and should have a nice game tonight. Mike Moustakas deserves a look with his low price tag on FanDuel. Also consider Nolan Arenado and Kyle Seager in all formats tonight.


ShortStop Rankings

  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Ian Desmond
  • Brad Miller
  • Danny Santana (Only if leading off)
  • Brandon Crawford

Troy Tulowitzki ranks as the #1 shortstop play tonight like every other night he takes the field at home. Ian Desmond is another strong target that continues to hit 2nd for the Nationals. Desmond was kind to us over the past 10 days with multiple HR’s. Brad Miller is another elite target tonight leading off for Seattle against a pitcher allowing a ton of hard contact in a positive park shift. Also consider Danny Santana if and only if he is leading off and Brandon Crawford.


Outfield Rankings

  • Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz
  • Angel Pagan, Nori Aoki, Denard Span, Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, Carlos Beltran
  • Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Khris Davis, Giancarlo Stanton, Michael Brantley, Mark Trumbo, Justin Maxwell

Mike Trout is the top play once again. Trout has a nice positive park shift at Fenway park against the Red Sox. Trout comes in with a .401 RotoMinds adjusted wOBA in this matchup. Bryce Harper, Nelson Cruz and Giancarlo Stanton are all elite power hitters and are fine plays in all formats. Nelson Cruz gets the biggest boost in park factor and matchup tonight.

Colorado and San Francisco Outfielders – Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan are all elite plays in cash and tournaments tonight thanks to their matchup at Coors Field with two below average pitchers on the mound. Both sets of outfielders ranks exceptionally well in the model.

Brewers – The Brewers OF is now an elite target in tournaments thanks to the pitching change in Atlanta.

Look to the Yankees (Gardner, Beltran) and the Diamondbacks for deeper plays tonight.

Team Stacks – 8 teams worth stacking tonight. 

Rockies – Gonzalez, Blackmon, LeMahieu, Paulsen, Arenado

Cubs – Bryant, Rizzo, Fowler, Montero

Giants – Belt, Pence, Pagan, Posey

Mariners – Miller, Cano, Cruz, Seager

Brewers – Gomez, Braun, Ramirez, Davis

Royals – Moustakas, Gordon, Morales, Cain

Indians – Kipnis, Santana, Brantley, Chisenhall

Braves – Freeman, Pierzynski, Peterson, Markakis

Nationals – Harper, Desmond, Span, Zimmerman

Good luck!

Be sure to use the 5-22 UPDATED Hitting Data and our optimal lineups when they are posted later this afternoon. 

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