Thursday DFS MLB Plays


Welcome to Thursday’s edition of RotoMinds Daily MLB Plays. The write-up is going to be pretty short tonight because its very repetitive of the last few nights with very similar core target for us.

Pitching Rankings

  1. Matt Harvey
  2. Jake Arrieta
  3. Michael Wacha
  4. Gio Gonzalez
  5. Roenis Elias
  6. Carlos Rodon
  7. Trevor Bauer
  8. Chris Young
  9. Anthony DeSclafani

Matt Harvey is the clear cut top play on Thursday night despite the road matchup/negative park shift and low air density tonight. Harvey is an elite strikeout pitcher against a team what just lost one of its most dangerous hitters (Mark Trumbo). Harvey is now facing Robbie Ray who is making a start instead of Jeremy Hellickson. The Mets hitters all rank very well in our model and should provide the run support needed for Harvey to pick up those 4 points on FanDuel. Next in line (and on a different level) is Jake Arrieta. Arrieta is on the road against the Nationals which isn’t the best matchup for a pitcher like Arrieta. Jake has big tournament upside due to his strikeout potential when he is on. Arrieta had done a great job all season limiting the long ball until he ran into the Royals who tagged him for 4 home runs (some of it was weather related but something was definitely up with his delivery). Michael Wacha is next in line on the road against the Dodgers. Wacha had a nice outing last time out against this Dodgers team but allowed a late homerun and wasn’t able to pick up the win. We like to target teams immediately after leaving Coors Field and the Dodgers got done late last night…. so we love Wacha in tournaments and multiple pitcher sites tonight.

Catcher Rankings

  • Robinson Chirinos
  • Bayan Pena
  • Anthony Recker (if in lineup)
  • Geovany Soto (like a lot if he gets the start tonight)

Catcher is pretty thin tonight but the guys listed above are all fine plays. I’m guessing 2-3 of the 4 will be in the lineup tonight. Brayan Pena has a lot of value as a switch hitter and sometimes the Reds have him hitting closer to the top 5-6 of the order which is a huge boost. Chirinos has shown great power against LHP and gets to hit at home in some pretty nice weather for hitting tonight

1st Base Rankings

  • Joey Votto
  • Jose Abreu
  • Carlos Santana
  • Paul Goldschmidt
  • Lucas Duda

With the pitching change in Arizona, Joey Votto is now the #1 ranked 1B play in our model. Votto is on the road at Philly against Aaron Harang. Harang is an aging pitcher who is very hittable and Votto has had success in the very limited sample size going 3 for 6 with a HR. Votto is a strong play in all formats. Jose Abreu is next in line and the injury doesn’t seem to be too much of a concern after hitting another HR last night. The key thing to note here is the relatively low air density that will create a favorable hitting environment tonight. Carlos Santana is another great GPP play that well definitely be under owned tonight. The hitting conditions in Kansas City are similar to the situation in Texas tonight. Lucas Duda was a top play before the Diamondbacks announced they would start the lefty tonight. Robbie Ray has been pretty bad against lefty bats so Duda is definitely still in play in your tournaments.

2nd Base Rankings

  • Robinson Cano
  • Jason Kipnis
  • Chase Utley
  • Adam Rosales
  • Daniel Murphy

2nd base is another position that changed quite a bit based on the pitching change in Arizona. Daniel Murphy was easily the top play with Hellickson on the mound but he has fallen in the rankings a bit against a LHP. The park shift, weather and general game script are still there for Murphy so I wouldn’t shy away from him much if you liked him prior to reading this. Robinson Cano is now the top play in projection against Erasmo Ramirez. The numbers here still weight long term (up to 3 year) data so Cano edges out Jason Kipnis in the model but we can’t ignore the year that Kipnis is having. If you have the cash I’d definitely look to Kipnis over Cano…. Cano just represents better “value” in the model.

3rd Base Rankings

  • Matt Carpenter
  • Evan Longoria
  • Kyle Seager
  • Ruben Tejada/Eric Campbell

Matt Carpenter is the top play in the model at 3B and a strong target in your tournaments tonight. The price point is a little extreme for cash games but he is a near must play in tournaments tonight due to the low ownership levels we expect with him on the road against the Dodgers. Evan Longoria and Kyle Seager are next in line and playing in the same game tonight. Longoria ranks a little better due to his long history of success against LHP. The ball park isn’t exactly a hitters park but Longoria is used to playing in a poor park in Tampa. Kyle Seager is a strong tournament play in part of a Mariners mini stack with guys like Cano and Nelson Cruz. Also consider whoever is at 3B for the Mets tonight depending on lineup spot.

ShortStop Rankings

  • Elvis Andrus
  • Jhonny Peralta
  • Jake Elmore
  • Alexei Ramirez
  • Brad Miller

Shortstop doesn’t really have much of a top play tonight but there are several viable options. Elvis Andrus ranks as the top guy but his upside is limited with such a watered down lineup around him. Jhonny Peralta is easily the top contrarian play tonight due to price and the road matchup at Dodger Stadium. Jake Elmore is a great punt play on DraftKings again tonight. The final SS rankings will largely depend on batting order of the teams tonight.

Outfield Rankings

Michael Cuddyer is the #1 OF play and the #1 overall hitter in the model tonight thanks to the massive park shift/low air density and the opposing starting pitcher. Cuddyer has a massive .462 RotoMinds adjusted wOBA in this situation and ISO numbers over .200. Cuddyer is an elite value if he is in the lineup tonight for the Mets.

Outfield Tier 1:

Bryce Harper, Nelson Cruz, Delino DeShields, John Mayberry, Michael Brantley, Curtis Granderson

Outfield Tier 2:

Jay Bruce, Marlon Byrd, Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton, Steven Souza, Joey Butler, Brandon Moss, Avasial Garcia

Mike’s Top Four Team Stacks

Mets – Cuddyer, Mayberry, Tejada, Granderson

Reds – Votto, Frazier, Pena, Bruce, Byrd

White Sox – Eaton, Cabrera, Abreu, Ramirez, Soto

Indians – Kipnis, Brantley, Santana, Moss

Good luck!

Be sure to use the our optimal lineups when they are posted later this afternoon. 

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