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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside of the strike zone than outside of the strike zone in terms of xwOBAcon between 2015 and 2019.

One implication of that split is that plate discipline and contact skills can have an impact on a hitter’s contact quality. But is that impact significant enough to make a difference for fantasy managers? And if changes in plate discipline and contact skills don’t drive contact quality changes, what does? 

This article is part one of a three-part series that will detail findings related to those questions. Part one will introduce the research and discuss the findings, part two will identify potential fantasy values for 2021 based on the findings, and part three will discuss the longer-term applications of the findings.

 

The Math

xwOBAcon can be broken down into four variables:

  1. zxwOBAcon: xwOBAcon against pitches inside of the strike zone.
  2. oxwOBAcon: xwOBAcon against pitches outside of the strike zone.
  3. zBBE%: Percent of batted balls against pitches inside of the strike zone.
  4. oBBE%: Percent of batted balls against pitches outside of the strike zone. Since oBBE% + zBBE% represents all of a hitter’s batted balls, oBBE% can be expressed as 1-zBBE%.

With those variables in mind, the following equation represents xwOBAcon:

xwOBAcon = (zxwOBAcon * zBBE%) + (oxwOBAcon * (1-zBBE%))

One way to determine how much influence each of those variables has on changes in xwOBAcon is to hold all other variables constant while applying a one standard deviation increase to the variable in question. The graph below shows both the scale of a one-standard-deviation change in each variable as well as the average effect of that change on xwOBAcon for the sampled hitters.

Although the standard deviation of season-to-season changes in zxwOBAcon is the smallest of the three variables, its effects on xwOBAcon are the most significant by far. Using 2020 weights for wOBA(2), a one-standard-deviation increase in zxwOBAcon would be the equivalent of a hitter adding more than six home runs to their home run total at the expense of outs(3), while a one-standard-deviation increase in oxwOBAcon is worth about two home runs, and a one-standard-deviation increase in zBBE% is worth about one home run.

That zBBE% is by far the least significant of the three variables in this regard does not mean that plate discipline and contact skills never drive changes in contact quality, but those skills are likely not worth focusing on when searching for potential xwOBAcon risers. Instead, fantasy managers should look for likely zxwOBAcon risers to spot contact quality based draft values.

 

Spotting zxwOBAcon Risers

Since season-to-season changes in zxwOBAcon (and each of the other variables) can be approximated by a normal distribution, around 16% of hitters will improve their zxwOBAcon by more than one standard deviation each season. Identifying the hitters likely to be a part of that top 16% will allow fantasy managers to find undervalued hitters in drafts.

One aspect of hitters who tend to find themselves in the top 16% of zxwOBAcon risers each season is that they are overwhelmingly rebound candidates(4). Rebound candidates account for 80% of hitters who increased their zxwOBAcon by at least one standard deviation in season x+2, despite making up just under half of the sampled hitters. And rebound candidates in general tend to see their zxwOBAcon increase season-to-season, especially compared to non-rebound candidates.

To some extent, that breakdown should be expected. That hitters don’t maintain all of their declines (or gains) in zxwOBAcon each season -- although valuable information -- is not particularly notable.

What is notable, though, is the extent to which rebound candidates bounce back season to season. The average rebound candidate posts a higher zxwOBAcon in season x+2 than they did in season x, and nearly two-thirds of rebound candidates post a zxwOBAcon in season x+2 that’s at least 95% of their zxwOBAcon in season x.

Still, not every rebound candidate is a lock to recoup most of their zxwOBAcon losses in season x+2. It’s not clear what separates hitters who bounce back from those who don’t -- the size of a hitter’s drop in zxOBAcon had no bearing on the size of their rebound -- but fantasy managers should probably expect less robust bouncebacks (or a continued decline) from hitters who saw their zxwOBAcon decline in two consecutive seasons(5).

Even so, with 60% of rebound candidates recovering all of their season x+1 zxwOBAcon losses (and then some) and three-quarters of rebound candidates posting a season x+2 zxwOBAcon that’s more than 90% of their zxwOBAcon in season x, rebound candidates available for steep discounts make for attractive draft picks.

 

What This Means For 2021

In part two, I’ll go into more detail on players who suffered most from drops in zxwOBAcon in 2020 and establish target draft pick ranges for those players. For now, here are the five hitters who saw their zxwOBAcon drop most between 2019 and 2020 (min. 100 batted ball events against pitches inside of the strike zone):

Player 2019 zxwOBAcon 2020 zxwOBAcon Difference
Joey Gallo 0.693 0.416 -0.277
Carlos Correa 0.549 0.368 -0.181
Yoan Moncada 0.505 0.359 -0.146
Josh Bell 0.513 0.369 -0.144
Cody Bellinger 0.532 0.398 -0.134

Joey Gallo jumps out as the biggest faller in zxwOBAcon by a wide margin. Based on the research outlined above, fantasy managers should not be concerned about the scale of Gallo’s decline in zxwOBAcon, and the relative likelihood of a bounceback season (in terms of contact quality) makes Gallo an attractive buy-low candidate if he falls in drafts.

Yoan Moncada is another player who is a good bet to rebound in 2021. Coronavirus-related drags on Moncada’s 2020 performance should (hopefully) be non-issues in 2021, and the data supports a zxwOBAcon rebound under normal circumstances. 

The last player I’ll touch on here is Cody Bellinger. Fantasy managers who may be worried about Bellinger’s steep performance drop off between 2019 and 2020 should prepare for him to rebound in a big way next season, and the 25-year-old represents a potential bargain in drafts because of his relatively poor 2020.

Notes:

  1. Players sampled were those who hit at least 200 batted balls against pitches inside of the strike zone and 50 batted balls against pitches outside of the strike zone. Each hitter/year combination counts as one hitter in the sample, so players may be counted multiple times if they qualify in multiple seasons.
  2. It’s worth noting that xwOBAcon is not the ideal metric for this exercise because the weights for each hit type change each season. xSLG is likely a more fitting metric for that reason, but xSLG was not available and xwOBAcon is still a serviceable metric.
  3. Or around 14 singles or several other combinations of improved batted ball production.
  4. For this article, rebound candidates are hitters who saw their zxwOBAcon decrease from season x to season x+1.
  5. Rebound candidates whose zxwOBAcon losses were mostly the result of launch angle struggles were no more or less likely to bounce back than those whose losses were mostly the result of exit velocity decreases. There were only 36 sampled instances of hitters posting zxwOBAcon losses in consecutive seasons with a third consecutive season of data, and that small sample size makes those impacts unclear.



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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season.

Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below on this list.

Understanding the injury landscape is key in all forms of fantasy baseball, especially when setting DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Consider this your one-stop overview of fantasy-relevant injuries around the MLB.

 

MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

Note: this post is automatically updated throughout the day, every five minutes, in case new injury updates are reported.
 

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Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers from said situations. 

We will highlight players who could see a change in their given lineup position entering 2021 and the fantasy outlook. We will also discuss notable trends on batting orders that teams put out to finish the year and into the playoffs to try and gather an early idea of what to expect entering 2021. Lastly, there will be mention of players returning from injury and those that are entering free agency. 

Again, much will change. As players retire, sign, get traded, get injured or news breaks these notes will be updated. This is just a very early look to give drafters an advantage if things hold true. This is solely focusing on the lineups and offensive side of the ball. This is going to be a six-part series; we will start with the teams from the American League West. 

 

Oakland Athletics 

Key Free Agents: Tommy La Stella, Marcus Semien, Robbie Grossman, Jake Lamb

Returning from injury: Matt Chapman 

  • Both Tommy La Stella and Marcus Semien are entering free agency leaving a hole to be filled atop the lineup. These two were often hitting first and second in the lineup. 16 of the final 21 games these two hit first and second in the order. The only players to sneak in during the five games were Laureano for three games at the leadoff spot, Grossman four times in the 2-holes
  • If they don’t re-sign either and look to utilize options within, the obvious options to move up are Matt Chapman and Ramon Laureano
  • Chapman was routinely hitting third or fourth but did get the occasional game batting second. Depending who gets brought in could determine where he lands in the batting order.
  • Worth noting is that Robbie Grossman did bat second in five of the final 11 games of 2020. This was with Chapman out of course. But he too could be on his way out as a free agent. 
  • Ramon Laureano fell out of favor and was batting towards the bottom of the lineup batting 6-8 in 14 of the final 16 games of the 2020 regular season. This trend continued into the playoffs. However, prior to the La Stella trade, he would consistently bat second for the most part. In the first 30 games, he hit second 25 times and in four of the games he didn't, he was out of the lineup. With La Stella and Semien out of the picture, he should find his way back up there. This is assuming they do not re-sign them or make other acquisitions. 

 

Texas Rangers

Key Free Agents: Shin-Soo Choo, Jeff Mathis

Returning from injury: Danny Santana, Elvis Andrus

  • Shin-Soo Choo is a free agent entering his age-38 season. He could call it quits. 
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit top-three (typically third) in each of the final 27 games of the season. I don’t see this changing. Solid contact skills that lead to a 14% strikeout rate and a .280 batting average. The fantasy value takes a hit as he loses catcher eligibility BUT he does offer a plus speed tool, stole eight bases in 2020 and is on a team that ranked 5th on stolen bases overall. He also offers 3B and SS eligibility so you pair that with potentially hitting top 3, it could lead to good value in deeper mixed leagues and AL-Only. 
  • Leody Taveras got the opportunity to get some run in 2020. Upon getting called up, he led off instantly. Even prior to Choo landing on the IL. He then went on to lead off in 26 of the remaining 33 games played in 2021. This included a stretch of leading off 23 straight. Of the 7 games he didn’t lead off, he hit ninth three times and then batted eighth, seventh and second one time each while only sitting once.
  • Taveras could start in the minors in 2021. Why the concern about that? Well, he only hit .227/.308/.395 and struck out 32.1% of the time in his short stint in 2020. Also, prior to 2020, he only played 65 games above High-A. Also, the return of Danny Santana and service time could also play a part. This is a situation to monitor.
  • Danny Santana returning will be in the mix for a spot at the top of the lineup. When he wasn’t injured he often found himself hitting second or third. You will likely see him get a chance to stick around there but at least in the top-five. Nick Solak and Willie Calhoun being the main competition for those spots in the order. All should remain in the top-five with Gallo likely slotting into the middle of it all. 
  • In the final 11 games of the season, Solak did hit second four times and third twice and fifth three times. He should be a sure thing for a top 5 lineup spot. 
  • Calhoun never really came around after getting hit in the face in spring training. He did, however, hit second in seven of the final 13 games of the season. Calhoun and Solak would seemingly swap lineup spots depending if they were facing LHP or a RHP. Calhoun would get the higher spot vs RHP. 
  • Andrus fell out of favor early on and never really got back to the top of the lineup after that. Not sure if he will get a shot or not. He fell to the seventh/eightth spot relatively quickly last year and could return there in 2021. A hot spring training could change that of course. 
  • Why is Jeff Mathis a “key free agent?" That’s because Sam Huff seems to be in line (as of now) to be the starting catcher entering 2021. That still is hard to buy for similar reasons as Taveras though. At just 22 years old, prior to 2020 he never played above High-A. It is hard to believe that he enters 2021 as the starting catcher but a mid-season call-up seems realistic at the very least. There is big time power potential here but could drag the batting average through the mud and the strikeouts are a concern. In terms of player comp on the offensive side, Gary Sanchez comes to mind. 

 

Los Angeles Angels

Key Free Agents: Andrelton Simmons

Returning from injury: Luis Rengifo and Franklin Barreto 

  • This is more interesting in terms of seeing how the lineup will shake out with the youth. You have Jo Adell coming into 2021 after a rough 2020. Do we see him start off in MiLB? Didn’t flash much in Triple-A in 2019 either so he might get a start down there. 
  • This lineup might be set in terms of David Fletcher leading off with Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani hitting either in the 2-4 or 3-5 range.
  • This will depend on Jared Walsh who hit second in each of the final 15 games of 2020. This should be his spot to lose.
  • Upton went from a platoon bat to hitting every day. Not sure if he will return to hitting daily. But he would typically bat sixth and if they don’t sign anyone or find him a platoon partner, he could offer sneaky RBI upside late in drafts batting sixth in this lineup. 
  • It seems Franklin Barreto and Luis Rengifo will be fighting it out for the 2B spot. Although Jahmai Jones finished the season there. Having already logged 178 total games at Double-A, he could be in the mix as well. Whoever wins the spot likely bats at the bottom of the lineup. 

 

Seattle Mariners 

Key Free Agents: None

Returning from injury: Jake Fraley, Dylan Moore, Sam Haggerty, Mitch Haniger, Shed Long Jr., Tom Murphy

  • J.P. Crawford should get the chance to hold onto the leadoff spot in 2021. He led off all but 12 games last year and there is no reason to think he cannot continue to lead off. Although he only posted a .336 OBP and .303 wOBA, he might need to continue to show some growth to sustain the top spot. Especially with Dylan Moore returning from injury.
  • Of the 12 games that Crawford did not lead off, Moore led off in five of them. However, he routinely hit in the 2-hole behind Crawford. 
  • Moore had himself a mini-breakout and assuming he is healthy, he should get an early run in the top of the order again. Let’s just hope the strikeouts continue to come down. After never striking out more than 20% at any minor league level, he has now struck out 33% and 27% in his first two MLB seasons and it could continue to improve. He only has 151 games under his belt at the MLB level after all. 
  • When healthy, Haniger would routinely hit second in the order. This could actually take place again. I would guess Crawford would get moved down between the two but it is worth monitoring as someone will be affected by this.
  • Shed Long Jr. had a down year. He started off the season leading off then quickly fell out of favor and into the bottom half of the order where he eventually settled down there. Injuries likely played a part in his struggles and a hot spring could give him a chance to earn his way back up. But until we see the Mariners willing to give him said chance, you cannot assume that is going to be the case. 
  • Kyle Lewis and Kyle Seager are solidified in the middle of the order. 
  • Ty France came to the Mariners via trade and over the final 20 games, he never hit below fifth. After being traded to Seattle, France put up a .302/.362/.453 triple slash with a .354 wOBA and a 129 wRC+. The Mariners will likely want to see if they can continue to get that out of France and he will be given a chance early on to prove he belongs in the middle of the order. 
  • My concern: With Tom Murphy and Mitch Haniger back from injury, France might find himself fighting for a spot in the middle of the order with these other two. I would assume Murphy falls of these three if I had to guess. I could also see Crawford being pushed down as well allowing France to stay put in the 5-hole.
  • Evan White did not perform as anticipated this year but I buy into the skillset and believe he will bounce back. Just know, he will need to earn his way up given the players who have had breakouts or outperformed him in 2020. He will play every day at first base due to defense alone but the bat will play. We haven’t seen the best of White, but be mindful that a spot batting in the bottom third of the lineup seems likely at this point.

 

Houston Astros 

Key Free Agents: Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, George Springer 

Returning from injury: Yordan Alvarez 

  • George Springer and Michael Brantley leaving really leave a couple of holes in the lineup. We saw Springer and Brantley consistently hit first and third in the lineup in 2020. Springer has led off as long as I can remember for this team in general. 
  • When Springer was out of the lineup this season, we saw a mix of Altuve, Tucker, and Straw get a chance to lead off. I would bet on Altuve getting the first shot as he usually hits second as it is. We saw Altuve finish the year batting second in each of the final 13 games and again in the playoffs. Altuve did struggle in the regular season but we saw him return to form in the postseason posting five home runs and a .375/.500/.729 triple slash and a .508 wOBA. Obviously, it was a small sample, but so was the 60-game season as a whole and to think Altuve is as bad as he was during it is a mistake. He should find himself at the top of the lineup in 2021. 
  • Yordan Alvarez is recovering from his knee surgery and should be back and slot into the middle of the order so that would help fill the gap Brantley leaves.

  • Carlos Correa often found himself in the sixth or seventh spot in the lineup but in the ALCS he was bumped up to the cleanup spot. That could speak to their confidence in him and he could find himself getting the chance to prove himself in the middle of the order in 2021.
  • Alex Bregman is another player who struggled for the Astros this season. Many of the Astros hitters struggled. We saw him fall from third in the lineup during the regular season to fifth in the lineup during the playoffs. He should remain in this range and if they do not re-sign Springer or Brantley, we could see Correa and Bregman being the players to move up a bit. 
  • Kyle Tucker hit fifth in 25 of the final 31 games in the regular season and we should finally get a full season of Kyle Tucker and he should hit fifth or sixth. He did hit sixth in the postseason and with Alvarez coming back and the other pieces to the puzzle we discussed, fifth or sixth in the batting order is likely. 
  • Dusty Baker seems to like Aledmys Diaz and gives him playing time when he is healthy. We saw him bat eighth and play LF or DH in the playoffs. But it was on the weak side of a platoon with Reddick on the strong side. With Reddick out of the picture, we could see Straw take over the strong side of the platoon. 
  • Myles Straw has a career .281 batting average and .366 OBP vs RHP while struggling mightily vs LHP in his small sample in the majors. Could lead to the platoon early on and more chances vs LHP as he earns them. Straw consistently posted double-digit walk rates with sub 20% strikeout rates and he did so in 2019 as well in his cup of coffee at the big league level.  His skill set lends itself well to leading off as a speed-first player with solid on-base skills. 
  • Yuli Gurriel is what he is at this point. He was batting seventh in the playoffs and was batting sixth in nine of the final 13 games of the regular season and then down to seventh in the playoffs. He struggled this year but not much changed in the profile to suggest he can’t hit for a solid average (as usual) in 2021. The only notable change was the pull rate. It was down 10.4% and he went more to an all-fields approach in the process so the fact that he had a career-worst BABIP of just .235 is surprising. But it is something one would expect to correct itself next year given the track record. However, Gurriel is entering his age-37 season with his best days are surely behind him and other players around him entering their prime or outperforming him, he seems likely to fall into the bottom third of the lineup and will need to hit his way up.



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2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike Trout, and much more.

Be sure to subscribe to the Benched With Bubba Podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!

Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, and every weekend from 6-8 AM ET. You can also find new weekly shows on the site under RotoBaller Radio podcasts.

 

Benched with Bubba Podcast - Episode 317

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Win Big with RotoBaller in 2020!

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MLB DFS Cheat Sheet for 10/21/20 (Premium Content)


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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (10/21/20) - MLB DFS Lineups

The 2020 MLB World Series continues on Wednesday night with Game 2 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. In Game 1, the Dodgers chased Rays' starter Tyler Glasnow in the fifth inning and wound up with eight runs in the middle innings to cruise to an 8-3 victory. Big games from Bellinger, Betts, Turner, and Muncy fueled the win, as well as a vintage-Kershaw performance (6 IP, 2H, 1 ER, 8 K, 1 BB). The Rays managed six hits and three earned runs, but they struck out 10 times and obviously couldn't contain the Dodgers explosive offense.

I'll be going through some of the best plays at each position on DraftKings with a GPP/tournament lineup build in mind. That's not to say that these players won't work in cash-game lineups, but we're looking to provide high-upside plays for the most part (it's more fun that way, anyway). Everything changes with Showdown contests. In these contests, you will need to select one player to be your "Captain" - this is the most important piece as your Captain will earn 1.5x fantasy points (and his salary is 1.5x higher as well). After that, you need to select five additional hitters to fill out the rest of the lineup while staying under the $50,000 salary cap. DraftKings does allow you to select pitchers in these contests, but they're always priced at a premium and they're definitely more prone to getting pulled early than during the regular season.

In this article, I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the DraftKings main slate on 10/21/2020. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel and other sports too.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me on Twitter @kringstad19

 

 

Note: I'm not touching either pitcher in this game, and you'd be wise to do the same. Blake Snell would be the one to target if you feel the need to go there, but he'll need a ton of points to reach value at his salary and I'm not sure he gets there with how good this Dodgers lineup is and his extremely-improbable chances of pitching past the fifth inning. Additionally, they don't strike out much against LHP (19.4% average K% in projected lineup) and Snell's strikeout rate has dipped in the playoffs (23.8%). 

Captain:

Randy Arozarena ($9,600, $14,400 CPT)

I'd be doing a disservice to the fantasy community if I didn't list Randy as the top option at Captain for tonight's slate. I should probably check on this, but I'm almost positive that he has hit a homer and/or had a huge DFS day every single time I've recommended him for the past three weeks. This shouldn't take too much analysis - you know how lethal he is at this point. He posted a crazy .359 ISO and .422 wOBA in his 76 regular-season plate appearances...he has somehow elevated to a .419 ISO and .473 wOBA during the playoffs. His 24 runs+RBI accounts for about 20% of the Rays scoring in the playoffs. Gonsolin is a fine pitcher, but he has a high 40.2% FB% and he likely won't pitch too deep into the contest as he just pitched on Sunday. Do your best to get to the young phenom as he's on the short-list of Showdown slate-breakers.

Corey Seager ($10,400, $15,600 CPT)

Seager is my favorite pay-up option on the Dodgers tonight. Only AJ Pollock outpaces his numbers against southpaws among the Dodgers as his .232 ISO, .347 wOBA, and low 17.3% K% against LHP are metrics to attack. The aspect that makes Seager most attractive tonight, though, is how well he is seeing the ball. His form is incredible as he has posted double-digit DK points in six of his last 10 games and four games of at least 26 DK points. Snell is a really tough pitcher to get to, obviously, but Seager's recent form and low strikeout rate give him a better chance at succeeding than most. Plus, the team doesn't let Snell pitch past the fourth (maybe fifth) innings, so Seager will get at least a few at-bats that aren't against the top-tier starter. Getting to both Seager and Arozarena should be doable and is highly recommended as most will look to get to Mookie Betts, Bellinger, and Muncy after their huge outputs in Game 1.

Other options: Will Smith ($8,200, $12,300 CPT)

 

Utility:

Will Smith ($8,200)

This is a good price on Smith as he has been very consistently productive and profiles well in matchups against LHP. His 15% BB%, 15% K%, .294 average, .400 OBP, and .370 wOBA against LHP's all stick out as solid metrics. He also profiles well against Snell in particular, who relies on his fastball (50.6%) and holds an inflated 1.8 HR/9 rate. Smith had a .333 average, .733 slugging percentage, .478 wOBA, and six of his eight homers against fastballs in 2020. He's averaging 8.75 DK points over his last four games and his .289 ISO and .413 wOBA make him a threat to pop for a big day on any given slate.

Austin Meadows ($5,800)

This is one where we're trusting his career numbers more than his abbreviated 2020 season (just 39 PA's) and what he has shown in the postseason. He holds a .276/.345/.508 slash line with a .232 ISO and .355 wOBA for his career, but he hit just .108/.154/.270 this season and his metrics have only marginally improved through 65 postseason plate appearances. He should slot in toward the top of the order against Gonsolin and company, which gives him immediate value at his salary. It is notable that he hit the ball hard in his second at-bat after he entered the game late in Game 1, blasting a 103 MPH flyout that had a .840 xBA off Joe Kelly in the ninth inning. The last thing I'll note is that the one thing Meadows did do well this season was hit RHP for power as he had a .216 ISO over 111 PA's in 2020 (and a decent .331 wOBA). He'll likely get just one chance to produce off Gonsolin, but it's likely that he'll get at least a few at-bats against RHP in this one.

Cody Bellinger ($9,000)

Bellinger will surely be popular as he has hit a homer and produced at least 16 DK points in each of the last two games. His 378-foot blast in the fourth inning came off of an inside fastball from Tyler Glasnow and it exploded off the bat at 107.8 MPH (second to Muncy's double two innings later). He only has two zeroes in the point column over his last 10 games and he has put up double-digit DK points in half of them. Snell has had an issue with homers this year (1.8 HR/9) and has allowed four bombs over his 19 and 2/3 innings pitched in the postseason. Bellinger had a .333 ISO on the season and has eight homers in the playoffs, so he's happy to oblige.

Other options: Manuel Margot ($5,200), Kevin Kiermaier ($4,000), AJ Pollock ($7,400)

 

*** Use my promo code RING to get 10% off any product on the site! ***

Good luck in your DFS contests and make sure to give me a follow on Twitter @kringstad19!

 



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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season.

Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below on this list.

Understanding the injury landscape is key in all forms of fantasy baseball, especially when setting DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Consider this your one-stop overview of fantasy-relevant injuries around the MLB.

 

MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

Note: this post is automatically updated throughout the day, every five minutes, in case new injury updates are reported.
 

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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season.

Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below on this list.

Understanding the injury landscape is key in all forms of fantasy baseball, especially when setting DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Consider this your one-stop overview of fantasy-relevant injuries around the MLB.

 

MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

Note: this post is automatically updated throughout the day, every five minutes, in case new injury updates are reported.
 

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MLB DFS Prop Picks for Tuesday (10/20/20) - Monkey Knife Fight

The first pitch of the World Series goes tonight and that means more props to play on Monkey Knife Fight.

Even though it was a shortened 60-game season, with an expanded playoff, the teams with the two best records managed to reach the World Series.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the team that consistently has one of the highest payrolls in the sport. They have been seeking their first World Series crown since 1988 and they have been close, losing the World Series in both 2017 and 2018.

On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Rays are a bargain enterprise have never won the World Series, losing in their only appearance in the championship round in 2008.

Here are some angles to consider for the first game of the World Series on Monkey Knife Fight:

Editor's Note: Here's a great special offer for all RotoBaller readers from our Monkey Knife Fight friends: New AND Existing Player Bonus. All players receive a 100% matched signup or reload bonus up to $50 with code 'BALLER'. Sign up and deposit, and use our prop picks to get off on a winning foot! 

 

TAMPA BAY-LOS ANGELES

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MORE OR LESS

Clayton Kershaw LESS THAN 6.5 STRIKEOUTS

There are few players in this series that come with the wildcard credentials of Kershaw. He may be the best pitcher of this generation but he has also struggled at times in the postseason and has recorded seven or more strikeouts in two of his past 10 postseason starts. However, the Rays are a team that tends to strike out. During the regular season, their strikeout rate of 26.9% was the second-highest rate in baseball and it’s gone up to 29.9% in the postseason. Still, can Kershaw be trusted?

Tyler Glasnow LESS THAN 5.5 STRIKEOUTS

Glasnow recorded 18 strikeouts in 11 innings through his first two playoff starts this year but has seven strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings since. The Dodgers also happen to sit on the other end of the spectrum for strikeouts. Their strikeout rate of 20.3% was the third lowest rate in baseball.

Mookie Betts MORE THAN 1.5 HITS + WALKS

The star Dodgers right fielder is hitting .311 with an .852 OPS in the playoffs and while he has yet to hit a home run, he’s consistently getting on base, and that includes reaching on multiple hits plus walks in nine of 12 postseason contests.

RAPID FIRE

Randy Arozarena -0.5 fantasy points vs. Yandy Diaz

Diaz, the Rays’ third baseman, is hitting .125 with a .489 OPS in the playoffs, compared to Arozarena, who is the hottest hitter in baseball. Arozarena has hit .382 with a 1.288 OPS in 14 playoff games. Take Arozarena against anyone right now but especially against Diaz.

Cody Bellinger -0.5 fantasy points vs. Brandon Lowe

Bellinger has been coming on for the Dodogers and while he’s hitting a mediocre .250, he has a .911 OPS, has walked eight times and driven in 10 runs in 12 playoff games. Lowe, on the other hand, is mired in a terrible slump, hitting .115 with a .360 OPS in the playoffs. The regular season was different, Lowe was the much more dangerous hitter, but it’s hard to go against their recent results.

Corey Seager +0.5 fantasy points vs. Mookie Betts

As good as Betts has been in the playoffs, hitting .311 with an .852 OPS, it’s not as good as Seager who has six home runs, 15 RBI, a .298 batting average and 1.124 OPS in 12 postseaason contests. Betts has been good but Seager has been great.

 

HOME RUN DERBY

Looking for a trio of players that might combine for more than 0.5 home runs? Try Randy Arozarena, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger, a trio that has combined for 16 home runs in the playoffs.



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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (10/20/20): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice

It was a circuitous route to get here, yet after a season chock full of potential landmines, the 2020 World Series kicks off Tuesday night. After a pair of thrilling Game 7’s left it feeling like it could have easily been the Astros and Braves taking to the diamond to crown the sport’s best in a season unlike any other in history, we get the analytically-minded Rays squaring off with the title-deprived Dodgers in a collision of baseball’s premier squads. 

With that comes the fact that multi-game slates, they’re done; kaput. Pitchers? They’re out, too, at least on FanDuel. Instead, we’ve got FD’s version of what they rolled out for the NBA Finals, headlined by an “MVP” and a “STAR.” Price tags don’t change for any of these roles, so there’s less salary cap maneuvering and more slotting in each individual fantasy managers’ favorite bats.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 10/20/20. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. Be sure also to check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel, and other sports. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @davithius.

 

FanDuel DFS MVP Selections

Randy Arozarena, TAM @ LOS ($8,500)

With stagnant price tags, if you’re keen to roster Arozarena, it’s virtually improbable to not see him in the MVP or Star slot. His first taste of the postseason has been historic with seven home runs already to his credit, while he closes in on the record for most hits in a playoffs by a rookie. Facing Clayton Kershaw is a less than optimal head-to-head showdown, but surprisingly, it’ll be Kershaw who will have to adjust to Arozarena’s staggering output, a turn of fortune that would have been inconceivable before the playoff bubbles were arranged. Having amassed a 1.288 OPS in 55 postseason at-bats, getting the Rays’ breakout star at a price tag that is third-highest on the board is undoubtedly worth consideration.

 

FanDuel DFS STAR Selections

Mookie Betts, LOS vs. TAM ($9,000)

Much in the same ilk as Arozarena, those eyeing Betts are likely to slot him in at one of the additional bonus slots, making the Dodgers’ wunderkind two-way star a sound choice at Star. Set to square off against Tyler Glasnow to begin the proceedings for L.A., Betts shouldn’t be wary of Glasnow’s limited pitch mix, as the Dodgers’ leadoff batter mashed heaters to a .620 SLG during the regular season, accounting for 20 extra-base hits. Of course, Glasnow is a different breed of heater in his own right, but Betts retains top shelf value due to his spot in the order and propensity for scampering around the basepaths. With stacks somewhat antiquated from a DFS perspective, taking the best bat available is always a method worthy of consideration.

 

FanDuel DFS Utility Selections

Justin Turner, LOS vs. TAM ($7,000)

Coming into the NLCS, Turner’s bat was uncharacteristically silent. Yet, over the seven games, he played an unheralded role in providing consistent production out of the No. 3 spot, scoring a run in each of the last five contests. Collecting 10 total bases and three walks in that span, Turner has been the catalyst at the heart of the Dodgers’ order and finds his price tag either alongside true boom-or-bust selections or below bats that have been scuffling as of late. The last time Turner played in the World Series, he reached base at a .385 clip.

Hunter Renfroe, TAM @ LOS  ($6,000)

Renfroe didn’t exactly hit left-handed pitchers with consistency during the regular season, producing a .146 average. So why are we discussing him, you may ask? He walloped five home runs against southpaws over the 60-game slate before socking a grand slam in the postseason. During 2020, Renfroe has delivered a .669 xSLG on fastballs from lefties and a .525 mark against breaking pitches. The five-player nature of the Game 1 slate means that for as coveted as points will be, there will need to be an upside play somewhere, and Renfroe is a sound bat to target for those interested in such a strategy. 

Mike Brousseau, TAM @ LOS ($4,500)

It took all of one day of World Series action for the Brosseau versus lefties recommendation to appear. Any frequenter of DFS columns here at RotoBaller knows our staff’s general affinity for Brosseau when facing a lefty, and with good reason -- he produced a 1.121 OPS against left-handers in 2020; then come the postseason, he blasted a homer off Aroldis Chapman to advance his club to the ALCS. With his price tag held in check by his platoon-capped playing time, Brosseau should benefit from -- if nothing else -- facing Kershaw at least twice. The Rays’ utility infielder would derive considerable upside from batting leadoff, which manager Kevin Cash may opt to deploy. (Manuel Margot could also earn those honors, in which case, he too could be in play.)

 

RotoBaller Sample DFS Lineups

Sample FanDuel Lineup 

 

Please note that these are sample lineups designed only to show how you might use the above lineup picks in your own lineup. You should always check the weather and lineups before they lock to ensure players you are choosing are playing tonight.

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Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a twist on 2021.

Be sure to subscribe to the Benched With Bubba Podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!

Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, and every weekend from 6-8 AM ET. You can also find new weekly shows on the site under RotoBaller Radio podcasts.

 

Benched with Bubba Podcast - Episode 316

Thanks for listening to today's episode! Be sure to tune in throughout the week, and to also follow RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube, and iTunes for the latest fantasy news and analysis.

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DraftKings, FanDuel MLB DFS (10/18/20) (Premium Content)

Well, this is it. The stage is set for a second night of the greatest scenarios in all of sports - a high-stakes Game 7. The Houston Astros came back from down 0-3 to force last night's Game 7 in the ALCS, but rookie Randy Arozarena hit his record-setting seventh homer of the playoffs and the combination of Charlie Morton and a dominant bullpen gave the Rays their second World Series birth in franchise history. Now we'll get to bear witness to another game with literally everything on the line. The Atlanta Braves will be throwing out their best arm in Ian Anderson while the Los Angeles Dodgers will at least begin with Tony Gonsolin on the bump. Keep in mind that both teams will be giving it their absolute best shot, so the starters are more prone to a quick hook than any other game this season. Only select a pitcher on DraftKings (you don't have that option on FanDuel Showdown slates) if you truly believe he has a shot at paying off his price tag. I will not be touching either pitcher on tonight's Showdown slate.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 10/18/20. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. Be sure also to check out all the Vegas Odds for today's slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel, and other sports. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @davithius.

 

DFS Captain/MVP/STAR Selections

Ronald Acuna Jr. ($9,000 FD, $9,200 DK, $13,800 DK CPT)

The general rule-of-thumb with getting these Captian/MVP/Star selection correct is to try to identify the top three scorers of the night and get them into these multiplier spots. DraftKings scales up the pricing for the Captain slot, while FanDuel keeps pricing the same for the MVP and Star slots, so that's something to keep in mind. My top projected scorer tonight is Ronald Acuna Jr. He hasn't had the best postseason as he's slashing .190/.320/.286 through 11 games, but he does have four doubles, a homer, three RBI, nine runs scored, and six walks. Gonsolin had top-tier numbers (1.94 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 27.9% K%, 13.6% SwStr%) during the regular season, but he's a RHP, and his elevated 40.2% FB% is something Acuna can certainly take advantage of. Acuna's numbers against RHP this season: 1.020 OPS, .354 ISO, and a .423 wOBA.

Mookie Betts ($8,500 FD, $9,600 DK, $14,400 DK CPT)

Betts is a very close second in my projections for tonight's game. Unlike Acuna, Betts doesn't strike out against RHP (12.6%). Like Acuna, he absolutely mashes righty's as he holds an elite .323/.385/.677 slash line with an incredible .354 ISO and .438 wOBA. He has a hit in eight of his last 10 games played as he has continued to serve as the catalyst of the offense at the leadoff spot. Anderson is very good - he's a high-strikeout (29.7% K%), groundball-heavy (52.5% GB%) pitcher who has a sparkling 1.95 ERA and 2.54 FIP for the season. However, he can be wild (10.1% BB%) and throws his four-seam fastball about 47% of the time and Betts hit for a .321 average and .620 slugging percentage against fastballs this season. Selecting Betts is one of the safer, more confident picks you can make on a slate such as this.

Freddie Freeman ($8,000 FD, $9,400 DK, $14,100 DK CPT)

Freeman would be the third player I'd consider using in one of my multiplier slots. He has been the hottest hitter on the team as he has two homers, three doubles, six RBI, and nine runs scored in his last 10 games. Freeman somehow actually crushes RHP better than Acuna and Betts as he holds a 12% K%, .373/.495/.733 slash line, and a .360 ISO and .499 wOBA. We don't want to weigh handedness splits too much, especially in the abbreviated season, but those are absolutely insane numbers. Don't overthink these - play the best players in the multiplier spots.

*Yes, I am sad that I can't just recommend Randy Arozarena again. The time will come.*

DFS Utility Selections

Corey Seager ($9,500 FD, $9,800 DK, $14,700 DK CPT)

Seager is the right on the bubble of being in the Captain/MVP/Star consideration. He's the most expensive position player on both sites, but his form is impossible to ignore on a one-game slate. Again, Anderson is really good, but he can lose his control a bit and his dominance diminishes a bit against LHB. This elevates Seager, who didn't strike out much against RHP (15.3% K%) and held a .998 OPS, .301 ISO, and .416 wOBA against them in 2020. Seager has been the hottest Dodgers hitter as he has six homers, four doubles, and 15 RBI over his last 10 games played.

Justin Turner ($7,000 FD, $8,000 DK)

We need to save a little salary if we're going to fit as many of the above hitters in as we can. Enter Turner. He's likely going to hit in the third spot for the Dodgers, who are projected to score 4.5 runs today. Though he may only see Anderson once or twice, he has a great .340/.419/.495 slash line with a .397 wOBA against RHP this season. His .155 ISO isn't great, but he gets on base and does damage when he gets there, which makes him a solid value at this salary.

Dansby Swanson ($6,500 FD, $7,400 DK)

Swanson works great as a salary-saver as well. He has a .874 OPS, .216 ISO, and .373 wOBA against RHP this year, and he's in great form as he has double-digit fantasy points in three of his last five games (and six of his last 10). He hit for a .809 OPS with 10 homers, five steals, 35 RBI, and 49 runs scored, so this production hasn't come out of thin air. Swanson looks good on both sites.

Austin Riley ($4,500 FD, $7,200 DK)

The young slugger is more of a priority on FanDuel due to his rock-bottom pricing, but he's definitely viable on both sites. He didn't have a solid 2020 but we know he has power as he held a .245 ISO last season and has launched 26 homers since he came into the league. He hasn't been great against RHP but as stated in this article, pitchers will likely have a short leash so the splits stats can be given a slight nerf in importance. Gonsolin is expected to start and he holds a high 40.2% FB%, which is a number to attack with a hitter like Riley.

Marcell Ozuna ($7,000 FD, $8,400 DK)

If you can fit him in, Ozuna looks really good today and his somewhat-depressed pricing. He has been great in his last 10 games with double-digit fantasy points in 50% of his games, including a monster 4-for-5, two-homer performance in Game 4. He hit for a crazy 1.067 OPS with 18 homers, 56 RBI, and 38 runs scored in the regular season. He had a .437 wOBA, 54.4% hard-hit %, and a 15.4% barrel rate on the season, which were all in the top 6% of the MLB in 2020.

RotoBaller Sample DFS Lineups

Sample FanDuel Lineup 

 

Sample DraftKings Lineup 

 

Please note that these are sample lineups designed only to show how you might use the above lineup picks in your own lineup. You should always check the weather and lineups before they lock to ensure players you are choosing are playing tonight.

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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season.

Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below on this list.

Understanding the injury landscape is key in all forms of fantasy baseball, especially when setting DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Consider this your one-stop overview of fantasy-relevant injuries around the MLB.

 

MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

Note: this post is automatically updated throughout the day, every five minutes, in case new injury updates are reported.
 

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Daily MLB DFS Value Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings - October 17, 2020


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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (10/17/20) - MLB DFS Lineups

The Houston Astros have come all the way back from down 0-3 to tie the series up and force a Game 7 on Sunday. Can they pull an '04 Red Sox and get it done? They'll have Lance McCullers Jr. on the mound but all hands will be on deck for both teams as we get to witness the most exciting of all sports scenarios. The Dodgers are looking to stave off elimination themselves as they'll do battle in Game 6 and are down 3-2 in the series.

I'll be going through some of the best plays at each position on DraftKings with a GPP/tournament lineup build in mind. That's not to say that these players won't work in cash-game lineups, but we're looking to provide high-upside plays for the most part (it's more fun that way, anyway). As a reminder, it is best practice to stack 3-5 hitters from the same team for DFS purposes, so try to envision how the games will play out and build your lineups from there This mindset changes a bit in these condensed slates - use your best judgment but be careful not to put all your eggs in one basket. Utilizing unique lineup combinations (i.e the nine, one, two, and three hitters) is another great way to differentiate.

In this article, I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the DraftKings main slate on 10/17/2020. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel and other sports too.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me on Twitter @kringstad19

 

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Walker Buehler - SP, LAD vs ATL ($8,000)

Buehler has a 0-0 record with a 23/11 K/BB ratio over 13 playoff innings. That's a lot of strikeouts, but that's also a very concerning number of walks for a pitcher who had a small habit of it (7.5% BB%) in the regular season. He has also given up two playoffs homers, which was a thorn in his side all year as he holds a slate-high 1.7 HR/9. All that considered, Buehler still holds the highest upside among today's pitchers due to his slate-leading 28.6% K%, 12.3% SwStr%, and .178 batting average against. The Braves' projected lineup has six hitters with a strikeout rate north of 23% against RHP and they have the lowest implied total on the slate at 3.7 runs. Buehler may even be less rostered than he deserves to be thanks to his five-walk outing against the Braves in Game 1.

Charlie Morton - SP, TB vs HOU ($7,500)

I'm a fan of Morton as an SP2 on DraftKings today. He comes in as the cheapest pitcher on the slate, his team is favored to win, and we just saw him pick up 21.1 DK points against this same team in Game 2. His season-long 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP were awful, but he seems to have made an adjustment as his fastball has gained some juice and he has picked up 11 strikeouts in the playoffs compared to just three walks and one earned run. His 24.7% strikeout rate is good-not-great, but the 'Stros don't strike out much against RHP anyway. This play is more about Morton's potential to shut the offense down long enough to get the quality start, at least five strikeouts, and a chance at the win bonus.

Other options: Max Fried ($7,800)

 

DraftKings DFS Infielders

Freddie Freeman - 1B, ATL vs LAD ($5,200)

There are a few Braves bats to take a look at as one-offs, and they're all the players you'd expect. If I had to choose one, though, it'd be Freeman. He incredibly has put up at least 10 DK points in five of his last six games, including 14 DK points in each of the last two contests. He hit .373/.495/.733 with a .360 ISO and .499 wOBA against RHP this season. He also had a slate-low 12% K% and a slate-high 18% BB% against RHP this season. Buehler is a really talented pitcher, but he did struggle with the longball as he gave up 1.7 HR/9 and held a 17.9% HR/FB rate.

Brandon Lowe - 2B, TB vs HOU ($4,400)

Lowe is finally starting to come through for the Rays after struggling up to this point in the postseason. He has scored nine and 14 DK points in the last two games and he's starting to look more like the slugger who led the team with 15 home runs and an insane 17.5% barrel rate. His .369 xwOBA, .264 xBA, and .555 xSLG all led the Rays this season as well, and his .238 ISO against RHP is notable. McCullers Jr. is a fine pitcher with a decent strikeout rate, but his 34.9% Hard Hit % and .320 xwOBA against indicate that he can definitely be hit.

Yandy Diaz - 3B, TB vs HOU ($3,400)

I love me some Yandy as a salary-saver at the deep third base position. He may not even be in the lineup, so watch out for that. He hit .307/.428/.386 this season, but he's actually appealing due to his patience at the plate. He was in the top 4% of the league in both K% (12.3%) and BB% (16.7%). It's not exciting, but hey, the points still count for DFS purposes. Diaz's tidy .322 xwOBA further speaks to his penchant for getting on base, which he'll hopefully get the chance to do against Lance McCullers Jr. and company.

Other options: Corey Seager ($5,200), Alex Bregman ($4,600), Will Smith ($4,500)

 

DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Randy Arozarena - OF, TB vs HOU ($5,000)

Acuna is a fine "pay-all-the-way-up" option as well, but there's no way I'm going to leave Randy out since he hits a homer every time I recommend him. You know the deal with him by now: he's trying to go yard on every swing and the result is a hard-hit ball more often than not. He has six home runs in his last 10 games and he holds a .330 average and .983 OPS. McCullers is a fine pitcher who limits homers and flyballs, but he notably gives a lot of hard contact (34.9% hard hit%) and can struggle with walks (8.8% BB%). Arozarena's likely to get zero fastballs and a bunch of junk, but one mistake from McCullers (or any bullpen arm) and Randy won't hesitate to send out another moonshot into orbit.

George Springer -  OF, HOU vs TB ($4,500)

Though I do like Morton today, a few Astros batters stand out as great plays on today's slate. Springer is head-and-shoulders above the others due to his amazing form and how his season-long numbers stack up against RHP's such as Morton. He hasn't posted a scoreless DK game in his last 10 contests and has had consecutive outings of 22, 14, and 11 DK points heading into tonight's pivotal Game 7. He has five homers in his last 10 games and a .929 OPS and .277 ISO against RHP this season.

Kyle Tucker - OF, HOU vs TB ($3,200)

Tucker, like Springer, is also in great form as the Astros have come all the way back from down 3-0 in the series. Tucker has scored at least two DK points in nine of his last 10 games and he just put up 18 DK points with a two-run homer in Friday's win. He has an impressive (team-leading) 44.5% Hard Hit% for the season, and his .455 xSLG isn't too shabby either. He had nine homers and eight steals for the year, so the power and speed combo is present. Tucker is at a really low price-point and could even be hitting fifth for a red-hot lineup - get him in there.

Other options: Austin Meadows ($3,600), Kike Hernandez ($3,000)

 

DraftKings DFS Stacks

I like the Rays as a stack today against McCullers Jr. He's not the best pitcher to attack because when his sinker is on, he's tough, but he has shown that he can be hit hard at times and he has had a bit of a walk issue. The Dodgers have the highest implied total on the slate and while I'm fine with one-offs and mini-stacks, I'd hesitate to get too much exposure to the high-priced bats as a few of them (Betts, Turner, Smith, Bellinger) don't profile well at all against LHP.

 

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Good luck in your DFS contests and make sure to give me a follow on Twitter @kringstad19!

 



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Daily Fantasy Baseball (DFS) Cheat Sheet and Lineup Picks for October 17, 2020


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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season.

Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below on this list.

Understanding the injury landscape is key in all forms of fantasy baseball, especially when setting DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Consider this your one-stop overview of fantasy-relevant injuries around the MLB.

 

MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

Note: this post is automatically updated throughout the day, every five minutes, in case new injury updates are reported.
 

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2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock.

Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!

Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, and every weekend morning from 6-8 am ET as well. You can also find new weekly shows on the site under RotoBaller Radio podcasts.

 

Explain Yourself!

Pierre and Nick look at the biggest variations in ADP for the TGFBI 2EarlyMocks and identify the most notable reaches and value picks.



Thanks for listening to today's episode! Be sure to tune in throughout the week, and to also follow RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube and iTunes for the latest fantasy news and analysis.

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Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it.

Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the 60-game sample size filled with seven-inning doubleheaders to see what we can glean from it.

In this space, I'll take a look the leaderboard for Barrels to point out some surprising results in order to determine whether there might be carryover into 2021.

 

2020 Barrel Leaderboard

image taken from BaseballSavant

 

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS, SD)

"El Niño" was supposed to be an asset due to his speed, with 20-20 or even 20-30 potential over a full season. He wasn't supposed to become one of the best power hitters in the game, especially in his second MLB season at age 21.

Tatis was the easy leader in total barrels, smashing 32 of them for a league-best 12.5% Barrel/Plate Appearance rate. Only Miguel Sano had a higher rate of Barrels per Batted Ball Event. A hard-hit rate and exit velocity in the 100th percentile? Sure, why not.

The best part of it all is that, unlike a pure slugger like Sano, he maintained a healthy 12.8% K-BB% along with a .298 xBA. Oh, the speed was still there too. His 11 steals was sixth in the majors in this brief campaign.

In the earliest of early 2021 mock drafts, I've seen Tatis go first overall and it's hard to argue against. Mike Trout doesn't run anymore and having an elite shortstop might be more valuable than Ronald Acuna or Mookie Betts in the outfield. Some might predict regression in the power categories for Tatis but I'm not betting against him.

 

Corey Seager (SS, LAD)

This one is surprising but not really. Seager was the top prospect in baseball before winning Rookie of the Year in 2016. He launched 26 homers that year along with a 44% hard-hit rate and an excellent xslash line of .308/.385/.528. He followed up with similar numbers in 2017 and another All-Star appearance before succumbing to injury. Seager took only 101 at-bats in 2018 and then, despite an Opening Day homer, got off to a slow start in 2019. He hit one lonely homer in all of April, finishing with a .326 SLG that month. He recovered to post decent numbers but found himself more valuable in points leagues as he hit 44 doubles, the most in the National League, while his HR total dropped to 19.

Due to the diminishing power returns, Seager wasn't considered a starting-caliber shortstop by fantasy managers entering 2020. His NFBC ADP ahead of the actual start of the season was 133 overall, placing him as SS17. That allowed managers to take advantage of a discounted cost for his services including this author, who was smart lucky enough to draft him in TGFBI.

Once he settled in at the second spot in a stacked Dodgers lineup behind Mookie Betts, there was no looking back for Seager in 2020. He finished the abbreviated season third in xBA (.330) behind only Freddie Freeman and Juan Soto, fourth in xSLG (.653) behind Bryce Harper and the aforementioned MVP candidates. Of course, he also finished second in Barrel rate per PA at 12.1%. For someone not considered an elite power hitter, Seager showed that when healthy, he can be among the best.

 

Teoscar Hernandez (OF, TOR)

A victory lap of sorts is tempting here, as I've been touting Hernandez's Statcast numbers since 2018 when he first got regular playing time in Toronto. That year, he ranked ninth with a 9.4 Brls/PA% that was higher than Nelson Cruz and Giancarlo Stanton. In 2019, his Barrel rate fell down to 6.7, ranking 74th among qualified batters. Although the power was still there with 26 HR on the season, his .230 average following the previous year's .239 made him a fringe starter in roto leagues.

2020 was a classic prime-age breakout, as his power was buoyed by a .295 xBA that led to a 59-point jump in batting average. How did his expected average go from the bottom 4% to the top 8% in the matter of a year? Small sample syndrome?

His plate discipline certainly didn't improve. His walk rate went down and his chase rate increased from 25.1% to a career-worst 30.9%. His tendency to swing-and-miss didn't get better but his bat speed might have.

The key difference in his profile is how he hit the fastball in 2020 compared to years past. His expected slash line against fastballs in 2019: .255/.371/.546. His expected slash in 2020: .372/.496/.832.

image taken from BaseballSavant

Those who think Hernandez came out of nowhere haven't been paying attention. His spot in the heart of a young lineup full of thunder reaffirms his status as a top-100 player next draft season.

 

Brandon Lowe (2B, TB)

This analysis only applies to regular-season stats, so let's just pretend this postseason isn't happening. Lowe was among the leaders in Barrel%, xSLG, and even xwOBACON in 2020. He also cut his strikeout rate down by 8.7% to 25.9%, closer to league average. The Rays are becoming a more homer-friendly club with Lowe pacing the way. In fact, he led the team with 14 HR, 37 RBI, and 36 R. The pressure of the postseason may have gotten the best of him but Lowe is just 26 and should continue to be a power bat at second base for years to come.

 

Byron Buxton (OF, MIN)

A regular on the Sprint Speed leaderboard, where he ranks in the 99th percentile, Buxton finally made consistent noise with the barrel of his bat. While Twins sluggers like Mitch Garver and Max Kepler had a letdown season, Buxton could finally be living up to his lofty expectations. It feels as if he's been a fledgling prospect for years but Buxton is also just 26.

After years of posting sub-.400 xSLG numbers, he reached .441 in 2019 and broke through in 2020 with a .551 xSLG that ranked 19th among qualifiers. The most notable difference is his newfound ability to hit the breaking ball.

image taken from BaseballSavant

The most surprising aspect of his "breakout" year was that he didn't actually improve his poor plate discipline and tendency to chase, he doubled down on it. Buxton's chase rate jumped to 48.9% which is a full 20 points higher than league average! He also got far more aggressive, swinging on 51% of first pitches, a figure that has risen every year he has been in the majors. Fortunately, Buxton's increased swings have come with increased contact both in and out of the zone. And when he hit the ball, he hit it hard as 47.9% Hard% tells us.

The other thing that stands out in his profile more so than usual is the walk rate, or lack thereof. Over 135 plate appearances in 2020, he walked a grand total of two times. That would equate to 1.5% for those counting at home. On one hand, it's frightening to consider entrusting your fantasy fortunes to someone who is hacking away at every pitch like a ballplayer in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. On the other hand, a five-tool prospect who's figured out how to hit the ball as hard as anyone and runs faster than everyone in the game that happens to be on a loaded lineup is hard to pass up on draft day.



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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (10/16/20): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice

With one swing of the bat, Carlos Correa ensured we get at least one more multi-game slate for the DFS season. Once down, 3-0 in the ALCS, Houston will now look to even the series on Friday night with their Game 1 starter back on the mound. In the Senior Circuit, the Atlanta Braves will look to finish off the Dodgers in a game that should feature mostly bullpen arms for both teams.

Two elimination games mean there could be some weird managerial moves to frustrate DFS players but it also means Friday could be the last time we could see more than one baseball game in the same slate. Without further ado, let's dig into what should be a fun Friday night in baseball.

I'll provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel main slate on 10/15/2020. Be sure to check out all the MLB player news, including late scratches, and the projected and confirmed daily MLB lineups for each DFS slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like DraftKings, and other sports. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Schwarze_Mike.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Framber Valdez - HOU vs. TB ($9,500)

Valdez took the loss in Game 1 but the offense only put up one run for him. Valdez pitched well allowing just two runs in six innings while striking out eight. He induced 13 swinging strikes on 95 pitches. Valdez did walk four in the contest but the base on balls was not an issue for him during the regular season - he had just a 5.6 percent walk rate - so I'm willing to give him a pass and roll with the Astros lefty as the main pitching option tonight.

Tampa Bay is a strong offense, but they also have a ton of swing-and-miss in their game making them as good of a matchup as you'll find among World Series contenders. The Rays had a league-worst 28.5 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitching in the regular season so Valdez should have a safe enough floor as he should rack up some K's and he is the best bet on the slate to pitch deep into the game. Astros manager Dusty Baker rode Zach Greinke in Game 4 and that move worked out well for Houston. Expect the veteran skipper to let Valdez go as long as he's effective after Houston burned through seven pitchers last night.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

Will Smith - C, LOS vs. ATL ($3,100)

The Dodgers are the top stack of the evening as they'll face a plethora of Atlanta bullpen arms in a must-win game for LA. Smith has been batting fifth in the batting order which has been a great spot for RBI production. He has five RBI in his last four games and got hot late in the season with a .348 batting average in September. He should come up multiple times with men on base and should return value.

Brandon Lowe - 2B, TB vs. HOU ($3,400)

This is the contrerian-play of the evening as Lowe has been struggling mightily and also faces a tricky L/L matchup versus Valdez. Lowe has been struggling mightily this postseason but homered on Thursday and has strong reverse-splits this season. Lowe posted the ninth-best OPS against southpaws this season and while 2020 is inherently a small sample size, Lowe has good career numbers versus lefties as well.

Edwin Rios - 3B, LAD vs. ATL ($2,400)

Rios is one of the cheapest ways to get a piece of the Dodgers offense assuming he's in the starting-nine. With manager Dave Roberts managing for his job, I can't imagine leaving Rios on the bench would be a popular move in LA after the 26-year-old homered in back-to-back games. Rios is a cheap option who is swinging a hot bat and can be paired with the high-priced Dodger bats to create a wrap-around stack.

Corey Seager - SS, LAD vs. ATL ($4,200)

With all the money we saved by playing Rios we might as well play his partner on the left side of the Dodgers infield. Seager mashed this season posting an elite .585 slugging percentage and carried that production into October. He took an O-fer on Thursday but Seager had 10 hits in the five games before that and has been making great contact.

FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Mookie Betts - OF, LA vs. ATL ($4,500)

Betts is the most expensive bat on the slate but he also has the safest floor as the leadoff hitter for the team with the highest implied run total. Betts should bat five times in this game versus the Atlanta bullpen and he's too good of a hitter to not do much with the opportunities he'll have in this game. The last time the Dodgers had their backs against the wall, Mookie reached base twice in the first inning and scored two runs. He should be all over the bases again tonight making his combination of safety and upside worth the price tag.

Michael Brantley - OF, HOU vs. TAM ($3,100)

Brantly is another player I'll be using to try and be more contrarian on a small slate. Like Lowe, Brantley faces an L/L matchup to start the game which hopefully will suppress his ownership. Also like Lowe, Brantley has good career numbers versus southpaws and will bat third in the order, a prime slot for RBI and run production. Brantley has been swinging a hot bat and is actually $100 cheaper than he was on Thursday. 

Cristian Pache - OF, ATL vs. LOS ($2,400)

Pache is another solid salary-saving option that has been a staple in this column for days. The rookie took over in the Atlanta outfield when Adam Duvall went down with an injury and ran with the starting job. The rookie has reached base safely in three-straight games and his speed gives him the chance to add fantasy points on the base paths. He'll bat lower in the order but his defense should keep him in the game ensuring he gets enough at-bats to warrant fantasy consideration.

 



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Daily MLB DFS Value Plays for FanDuel, DraftKings for 10/16/20 (Premium Content)


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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season.

Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below on this list.

Understanding the injury landscape is key in all forms of fantasy baseball, especially when setting DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Consider this your one-stop overview of fantasy-relevant injuries around the MLB.

 

MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

Note: this post is automatically updated throughout the day, every five minutes, in case new injury updates are reported.
 

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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (10/15/20): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice

If you’re hankering for an age when rotations were clear cut and the next day’s starting pitcher was known well in advance during the postseason, today is not the slate for you. Instead, we bring you Clayton Kershaw as the cream of the crop, but even he was scratched from his start just two days ago due to recurring back issues. 

Factor in that the Dodgers’ offense seemingly played the first three innings of Game 3 on rookie mode before promptly being shut down, and you’ve got a whirlwind slate where it’s best to assume you’ll have no idea whose pitching until they’re standing on the mound. 

I'll provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel main slate on 10/15/2020. Be sure to check out all the MLB player news, including late scratches, and the projected and confirmed daily MLB lineups for each DFS slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like DraftKings, and other sports. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, @davithius.

 

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw - ATL vs. LOS ($10,100)

Really, Kershaw is the only arm that I can in good conscience recommend. Of course, fantasy managers will want to keep an eye on his back ailment, and in the case that he is ruled out, slot in whomever the Dodgers tab in his place. With neither the Rays or Astros having A.) announced a starter until a few hours before first pitch, and B.) both clubs sounding as if they’ll deploy their bullpens for much of the contest, the pitching attention focuses on L.A. and Atlanta. 

That would also put Braves starter Bryse Wilson in play, but there’s the aforementioned 15-run eruption that the Dodgers delivered a night ago. In 15 career big league appearances, Wilson owns a 5.91 ERA. All of that was essentially a long-winded way of saying: Kershaw is the arm to target. He has struck out 19 batters in 14 postseason IP to this stage and is the only starter who could reliably go deep into an outing.

 

FanDuel DFS Infielders

Austin Barnes - C, LOS vs. ATL ($2,300)

Keeping the price tag down somewhere is imperative with so many sluggers available Thursday, so fantasy managers can consider Barnes, who has been Kershaw’s primary catcher this season. Despite entering Game 3 cold Wednesday, Barnes’ first two playoff appearances this year saw him collect multi-hit performances.

Ozzie Albies - 2B, ATL vs. LOS ($3,800)

After hyping up Albies earlier in the week against Kershaw, we’re going back to the well since they never got to face one another. During the 2019 year, Albies particularly clobbered breaking pitches when batting right-handed (.438 BA), which should particularly be a consideration when facing Kershaw. Factor in that Albies enters play on a four-game hit streak with 15 total bases in that stretch, and his top tier price tag no longer seems so gaudy.

Alex Bregman - 3B, HOU vs. TAM ($3,800)

We’ve reached the stage of the MLB DFS season where I can finally break out phrases such as “his swing looks excellent” as a means of justification for making it into this article. In the case of Bregman, it’s particularly applicable, because despite the fact that he’ll face a who’s who of Rays bullpen arms, his swing has looked better than the three singles that he has collected in the ALCS. With not many other appealing hot corner options, fantasy managers can consider paying up for Bregman’s power-packed bat.

Carlos Correa - SS, HOU vs. TAM ($3,400)

If Bregman’s swing looks good, then Correa’s looks elite. The shortstop spot will be hotly contested, and while you could make a case for any of the four major candidates, Correa’s hot bat and slight price dip below Corey Seager puts him up for higher consideration. With Game 5 bumped to a 2 p.m. PT start, it’ll play right unto Correa’s favor, as all five of his homers this postseason have come during day games.

 

FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Randy Arozarena - OF, TAM vs. HOU ($3,700)

Arozarena’s emergence during the postseason has been astounding. Having smashed his fifth home run of the playoffs in Game 4, he is now slashing .442/.489/.907 in his last 43 at-bats, making him a lethal bat to roster no matter whom Houston rolls out on the mound. Despite likely being one of the premier cash plays on the board, there is no format in which Arozarena’s production wouldn’t fit the bill.

Michael Brantley - OF, HOU vs. TAM ($3,200)

In a scenario where managers will have no guess as to who could be pitching for the vast majority of a contest, that actually makes Brantley even more of an appealing selection due to his overall success (.341 BA) this postseason. In albeit very small sample sizes, Brantley has tagged lefties and righties equally, posting a 1.009 OPS against southpaws and a 1.032 OPS against right-handers. A staple of the Houston order, Brantley is also not a likely candidate to be removed from the contest, which gives him a leg up on other similarly-priced players.

Cristian Pache - OF, ATL vs. LOS ($2,400)

Any concerns about Pache’s stage presence was quickly calmed over the past two games where he has filled in quite well in the outfield for the injured Adam Duvall (oblique). After socking an RBI double in Game 2, he promptly responded with a homer in Game 3. His price tag is still his largest draw, but despite his spot in the batting order, he seems poised to keep up his level of production now that he’s on the game’s biggest stage.

 



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MLB DFS Prop Picks for Thursday (10/15/20) - Monkey Knife Fight

The playoff baseball run continues, with two more championship series games going tonight. That means lots of opportunities to play props and win with Monkey Knife Fight.

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost the first two games of their series with the Atlanta Braves but scored 11 runs in the first inning of Game 3 on their way to a 15-3 win. They’re back in the series and looking to even up in Game 4.

The Tampa Bay Rays were fortunate to have a 3-0 series lead and the Houston Astros managed to get a 4-3 win to stay alive in Game 4. Can the Rays finish the job in Game 5?

Here are some angles to consider for the Thursday’s baseball games on Monkey Knife Fight:

Editor's Note: Here's a great special offer for all RotoBaller readers from our Monkey Knife Fight friends: New AND Existing Player Bonus. All players receive a 100% matched signup or reload bonus up to $50 with code 'BALLER'. Sign up and deposit, and use our prop picks to get off on a winning foot! 

 

HOUSTON-TAMPA BAY

View Contest

MORE OR LESS

Brandon Lowe LESS THAN 1.5 RUNS + RBI

While Lowe was one of the most productive second basemen in baseball this season, he’s mired in a horrible slimp. In the past nine games, he’s 1-for-32, so it’s pretty tough to count on him contributing to multiple runs.

George Springer LESS THAN 1.5 HITS + WALKS

While Springer is a valuable player for the Astros, he has managed to walk just once in the playoffs, leading to him reaching base multiple times in three of 10 postseason games.

Randy Arozarena MORE THAN 1.5 TOTAL BASES

How ridiculous has Arozarena’s playoff run been? He has put up multiple total bases in nine of 11 playoff games, slugging a ridiculous .907. He’s the best offensive threat in the Tampa Bay lineup.

Jose Altuve MORE THAN 1.5 TOTAL BASES

Following a brutal regular season and a slow start to the postseason, Altuve has picked up in a hurry. He’s 11-for-25 (.440 AVG) in the past six games, hitting five home runs. He’s an adventure in the field but that doesn’t appear to be messing with him at the plate.

RAPID FIRE

Willy Adames +0.5 hits + walks vs. Alex Bregman

Adames is hitting just .129 in the playoffs but he’s not afraid to take walks, giving him a .325 on-base percentage, which is almost respectable. Bregman has been okay, hitting .270 with a .386 on-base percentage but that’s not enough of an edge to like Bregman minus a half hit and walk against Adames.

Jose Altuve -0.5 total bases vs. Joey Wendle

Two players at opposite ends of the spectrum right now. Wendle is 2-for-17, with just two singles, in the past six games. Compared to Altuve, who has five home runs in the past six games, this doesn’t seem like a fair fight.

 

LOS ANGELES-ATLANTA

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MORE OR LESS

Clayton Kershaw LESS THAN 5.5 STRIKEOUTS

He’s been pushed back a couple of days because of back issues but the Dodgers ace has been effective, recording at least six strikeouts in four of his past five starts. This is more a concern about his health, that maybe he’s not going to get pushed too late into this game.

Ronald Acuna Jr. LESS THAN 1.5 HITS + WALKS

The Braves star outfielder is just 1-for-16 in the past five games and while he will take a walk, it’s a bit of a challenge to count on him reaching base multiple times in Game 4.

Mookie Betts LESS THAN 1.5 TOTAL BASES

Betts started the playoffs with multiple total bases in the first five games of the postseason but has been held to one or fewer in the past three games. He has hit one home run in 135 career playoff plate appearances.

Corey Seager MORE THAN 1.5 TOTAL BASES

In the past five games, Seager has gone 10-for-20, which makes it easy enough to like him for a couple of bases.

RAPID FIRE

Max Muncy +0.5 total bases vs. Justin Turner

In the playoffs, Muncy is slugging .538, while Turner is really struggling, slugging .167 in eight playoff games.

Freddie Freeman +0.5 total bases vs. Corey Seager

As great as Seager has been, it’s still tough to consider Freeman as an underdog. He slugged .640 during the regular season and while it’s .481 in the playoffs, he’s been hitting against the Dodgers.



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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (10/15/20) - MLB DFS Lineups

We head into Thursday with 2 game slate featuring a potential elimination game in ALSC Game 5, and then we get NLCS Game 4. It appears Clayton Kershaw will be returning to the mound after missing Game 2 with back spasms, so how healthy is he really? Blake Snell will make a start for the Rays while Bryse Wilson will make a start for the Braves. It appears the Astros are going with a bullpen game, and the way we know Dusty Baker can use a bullpen, that should be fun.

Kershaw will be very popular when looking at the slate, and it is hard not to play Kershaw even with the back health questions. He is the top option, and it is not even that close. Snell will be starting on three days rest, so we are not sure just how effective or just how long he will be throwing before Kevin Cash utilizes that strong bullpen. Wilson is making a start for a Braves team that was beaten down in Game 3 does not look good and will make the Dodgers bats very popular again today. For now, when looking at the slate, it appears to be a combo of Kershaw and Snell, and that should be very chalky. I am ok with that chalk; differentiate with the bats. If there is more clarity, not the Astros bullpen situation, the option to punt with one of their long relievers is also in play.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 10/15/2020. The lineup will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel, and other sports. If you have any questions or comments, contact me on Twitter @bdentrek.

 

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw - P, LAD vs ATL ($9,400)

Kershaw is in line for the start today after missing Game 2 with back spasms. We know back injuries can always pop back up, but we have to rely on that on this short slate if he is good to go. Just remember when something similar happened to Max Scherzer last season, he still came back and dealt. Kershaw will be the chalk tonight and rightfully so as he has been nothing short of great this season and this postseason. He has allowed three runs in his 14 postseason innings where he has struck out 19 batters. He faces a Braves team who struck out 27.8% of the time versus LHP this season, and barring the back acting up; he should be in line for another strong start of 6+ innings.

Blake Snell - P, TB at HOU ($8,300)

Snell will be taking the Rays ball as he tries to help win the World Series clinching game. This will be the first time Snell has pitched on 3-days rest, and it will be fascinating to see how many innings he pitches tonight. He has not made it through five innings in any start this season or the postseason. He allowed four runs in his last start versus the Yankees on three home runs but was flawless in his previous start versus the Jays. Snell's price tag is very steep as he takes on an Astros offense hitting it well and does not strike out often. He will likely throw four innings and then give the ball to the bullpen. He has the highest ceiling out of the options, not named Kershaw, but the upside tonight is quite risky for his price tag. It's Snell or rolling with one of the Astro's long relievers for cheap tonight.

DraftKings DFS Infielders

 Max Muncy- 1B, LAD vs Bryse Wilson  ($4,900)

It has not been the best of seasons for Muncy, but the postseason has changed things for Muncy. He has hit safely in four of five games for the Dodgers, hitting .333 (6-18) with four extra-base hits (two home runs) and has scored nine or more DK points in four of five games. He went deep twice in Game 3 and now faces Wilson tonight. Wilson does not have a massive sample size, but he has been walloped by LHH in his career allowing a .437 wOBA this season and a .456 wOBA last season to LHH. Last season he also allowed 2.7 HR/9 to LHH. It could be a long game for Wilson or maybe a short one and a long game for the Braves bullpen. Either way riding the hot bay of Muncy seems like a great idea.

Jose Altuve - 2B, HOU vs Blake Snell  ($4,600)

Altuve failed in the Wild Card round, but since then, he has hit safely in six of the last seven postseason games for a .407 average and four home runs. He has scored 14 or more DK points in five of seven games and should be in line for another strong night tonight. He will face Snell for one or two at-bats and then the Rays pen. He was also moved to the third spot in the batting order for Game 3, allowing for even more RBI situations. Altuve is a great target tonight and is definitely in play even if you are starting Snell.

Other Options: Ozzie Albies (ATL vs LAD) $4,200

Edwin Rios - 3B, LAD at Bryse Wilson ($2,800)

Rios was held off the NLDS roster for the Dodgers, but when his name was on the NLCS roster, I became giddy. When I saw him in the Game 3 lineup, I was ecstatic. When he went deep in his first at-bat, I was over the moon. Rios is a bat that is all or nothing most of the time, but it is mighty when he makes contact. In his short MLB career, he has a 17.6% barrel rate to go with a 51.8% hard-hit rate and a .521 xwOBAcon. He is a great value tonight facing Wilson, and no one would be shocked if he found the seats again tonight.

Corey Seager - SS, LAD at Bryse Wilson ($5,000)

Seager's magical 2020 continued last night as he went 3-4 with a home run and a double and then was rested for the second half of the game. He has now hit safely in his last four games, going 9-12 with four doubles, two home runs, and has scored 26+ DK points in three of the last four. Seager is on fire right now and has a great matchup tonight. He will be worth the price tag tonight, so do not hesitate unless you are getting frisky with a Dodgers fade or using Swanson against Kershaw.

Other Options: Dansby Swanson (ATL vs LAD) $3,900

DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Cody Bellinger - OF, LAD at Bryse Wilson ($4,900)

It has not been the season that Bellinger wanted, but he is sure finishing it with a bang. He has now hit safely in all seven postseason games with four extra-base hits and has 10+ DK points in three of the last four games. He has been hitting sixth for the Dodgers, making Bellinger an interesting piece of a back end of the lineup Dodges stack. If you are not into Bellinger, then Betts is obviously in play; just another $800 to get there.

Cristian Pache- OF, ATL at Clayton Kershaw ($2,000)

I wrote up Pache as a value play yesterday, and he goes deep to make that one pay off in a big way. He will be making a start again tonight, given a tougher matchup versus Kershaw, but still a great value if needed. He has extra-base hits in each of his last two games, scoring nine or more points. Pache is not a must-play, but if looking for savings, he is a solid play. He has also been batting ninth, and he makes for a great piece of a wrap-around stack with Acuna, Freeman, and Ozuna.

Randy Arozarena - OF, TB at HOU Bullpen ($4,700)

The Postseason of Arozarena marched on last night as he went deep yet again, giving him five home runs and nine extra-base hits in this postseason. He has hit safely in nine of 11 games and has been a fantasy scoring machine. There is no reason outside of potential chalk to not play him tonight in a game that will showcase a very sketchy Astros bullpen. Load up on Arozarena and the Rays as they look to wrap the series up tonight.

DraftKings DFS Stacks

  • Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves (Bryse Wilson, RHP)
  • Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros (HOU Bullepn, RHP)
  • Contrarian Stacks: Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, LHP)



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MLB DFS News and Injury Alerts




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Advertorial (hidden from app but not partners) Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season.

Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below on this list.

Understanding the injury landscape is key in all forms of fantasy baseball, especially when setting DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. Consider this your one-stop overview of fantasy-relevant injuries around the MLB.

 

MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

Note: this post is automatically updated throughout the day, every five minutes, in case new injury updates are reported.
 

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