MLB DFS Strategy

DISCLAIMER: I tend to make BOLD predictions that usually don’t coincide with projection websites. I like to think of myself as a realist in my belief that not all of the 5k pitchers will hit 20 points on every single slate. I also don’t believe that all pitchers max out around 40 points. In real life, anomalies happen and I try to predict them. That being said, let’s get right into it.

The Chalkboard

This slate is interesting. It will be hard to predict ownership percentages with only one high priced pitcher on the slate (who is facing the Diamondbacks), but I will do my best to provide the most accurate predictions to my ability.

Madison Bumgarner ($9,900) SFG @ ARI – 15%

Why? – The only pitcher at this price point will give him some ownership. Ownership may be lower due to his matchup against the Diamondbacks. I think whatever direction his ownership moves will go towards Kyle Hendrick’s ownership. (ex. Mad Bum owned at 10%, then Hendricks will be at 30%)

Like/Dislike? – I uhh…I don’t know what to do – Don’t get me wrong, I love his potential here and elite pitchers have proven that they can have great games against elite offenses. If he weren’t playing at Chase Field, I would like him a lot. The park factors scare me, but I think it’s necessary to play him in at least one lineup because I think he has the highest floor.

Carlos Rodon ($8,700) DET @ CWS – 7.5%

Why? – High strikeout upside and recent performances will draw people in.

Like/Dislike? – Like (CAUTION) – Yes, he has performed well, but remember that Rodon is a lefty. Who smashes lefties? That’s right kids, the mother fuckin’ Detroit Tigers. I’ll play him in one or two lineups, but that won’t stop me from having one or two lower owned Tigers stacks.

Brad Peacock ($8,500) HOU @ LAA – 11%

Why? – He has massive strikeout appeal, but a bad matchup will slightly depress ownership.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike-ish – Can’t trust him to go 6 innings, but his strikeout upside is too high to not give him some thought here. He and Newcomb are in the same boat for me. If YOU think they will pitch 6 innings, play them!

Mike Clevinger ($8,200) KAN @ CLE 4.5%

Why? – Kansas is another one of those teams that scare people off.

Like/Dislike? – Undecided – On one hand, Kansas is a crazy scary offense. On the other hand, Clevinger has sexy strikeout upside and Kansas hasn’t been playing too well lately. I’ll play him in one lineup due to his depressed ownership and high K potential.

Dinelson Lamet ($8,200) SDP @ MIA – 5.5%

Why? – He’s been playing well, but the thought of Giancarlo Stanton will send shivers down everybody’s spines and lower ownership.

Like/Dislike? – Like – Giancarlo Stanton is really the only guy I’m scared of. Lamet has a 2.82 ERA in August and throughout the second half of the season has a 3.69 ERA with 45 Ks through 39 innings. Giancarlo can’t hit a homer in every game right?…….right???

Kyle Hendricks ($8,000) CHC @ PHI – 25%

Why? – Biggest favorite on the slate versus a high strikeout team. People will be all over him.

Like/Dislike? – Both – I don’t like taking a guy who is owned this highly, but this matchup is too good to ignore. I honestly may completely fade him tonight because I don’t think he will be in the winning lineup. What’s the point in playing a pitcher in a GPP who you don’t think can win you the slate? I think he’s a great cash option, but I think I will fade him in all GPPs.

Sean Newcomb ($7,700) COL @ ATL 3%

Why? – Colorado may not be at home, but people still don’t like to take pitchers against them.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike-ish – Newcomb hasn’t really gotten blown up that much. At the same time, he isn’t guaranteed 6 innings. If you think he will pitch 6 innings then I would recommend taking him. I just don’t know the likelihood of that happening.

Zach Davies ($7,300) MIL @ LOS – 2%

Why? – It’s hard to feel comfortable with a pitcher against a high powered offense like the Dodgers and people will stay away.

Like/Dislike? – Undecided – I kind of like Davies because of his recent performances paired with how the Dodgers have been playing since the injury to Cody Bellinger. That said, you take a risk anytime you play a pitcher against an offense like the Dodgers. I think I would play him if I only had $7,300 left at pitcher, but I won’t go out of my way to take him.

Taijuan Walker ($7,100) SFG @ ARI 6%

Why? – Name recognition at a low price. Walker has usually been priced up in the $8,000 range and people will pick him because they see him priced down. Also, the line started in favor of the Giants, but San Francisco is so bad at baseball that Walker is now favored over Bumgarner…WTF?

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – San Francisco just doesn’t strikeout. This was proven by the 4 strikeouts amassed by Zack Greinke over 6.2 innings last night. I’m not willing to take a worse pitcher in the same scenario.

Buck Farmer ($7,000) DET @ CWS – 5%

Why? – He’s moving back up from Triple-A and performed like shit in his last 2 MLB starts. He performed well in his only start against the Sox which will give a little ownership to him here.

Like/Dislike? – Like – Probably my favorite punt play tonight. Yes, he played poorly in his last 2 starts. Take into account that Farmer’s last 2 starts were against the Rays (when they were smashing any righty they faced) and Arizona (he was bound to fail). His first start of the year he scored 62 FDP. Guess who he pitched against? That’s right, the White Sox.  The White Sox are worse against RHP and have been mediocre all year. Farmer has been decent in Triple-A since he got bumped down with a 3.93 ERA and 114 Ks over 123.2 innings. He’ll probably give up a dinger to Nicky Delmonico, but I can see him playing 6 innings with 7 strikeouts, 2-3 earned run and possibly the win. Not bad for a guy who only costs $7,000.

Jason Hammel ($6,800) KAN @ CLE – 1%

Why? – He’s facing Cleveland which means he’s a bad option.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – @ CLE ‘nuff said.

Mike Leake ($6,700) TAM @ STL 2%

Why? – He has been bad in last 2 starts. Cardinals pitchers not named Carlos Martinez never garner ownership over 5%.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I’m going to go with my gut and say his slump will continue. I’ll wait and see how he performs in this game to decide whether or not to give him a shot in his next start.

Blake Snell ($6,700) TAM @ STL – 2%

Why? – An average pitcher against an above average offense doesn’t garner much ownership.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – St. Louis get on base and just hits singles until you give up 8 earned runs. I’m staying away tonight.

Tyler Skaggs ($6,500) HOU @ LAA 1%

Why? – Pitchers rarely go above 1.5-2% when facing the Astros.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – The Astros are still terrifying regardless of how they have been playing of late.

Ross Stripling ($6,000) MIL @ LOS 5.5%

Why? – Milwaukee is implied for only 3.9 runs. Milwaukee is swinging like a fat kid trying to murder the piñata at a birthday party. His ownership will be high, but will be slightly lower due to the news released that this will be a bullpen game.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – I would like him if the Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts didn’t say that this would be a bullpen game. He stated that Stripling would be limited to roughly a 55 pitch count. If that is the case then I don’t like Stripling tonight.

Ben Lively ($5,900) CHC @ PHI 0.5%

Why? – N/A

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – N/A

Kyle Freeland ($5,800) COL @ ATL – 2%

Why? – The focus will be on other pitchers at this same price point with a better matchup.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – Surprisingly, Freeland pitches better at home. I’m going with everybody else and fading him tonight.

Odrisamer Despaigne ($5,500) SDP @ MIA 2.5%

Why? – Unproven pitcher, but he is facing the Padres. His matchup alone will give him a little bit of ownership.

Like/Dislike? – Dislike – He hasn’t proven himself as a starter. Although, he is playing against the Padres who strikeout like crazy….hmm…nope, I can’t play him here. I want to, but I can’t.

Favorite options listed in order

1.) Dinelson Lamet ($8,200) – Solid floor/high upside

2.) Carlos Rodon ($8,700) – Highest total upside on the slate

3.) Buck Farmer ($7,000) – Highest point per dollar upside on the slate

4.) Madison Bumgarner ($9,900) – You need to play him. He is the most likely to hit 50 points of any pitcher

5.) Kyle Hendricks ($8,000) – I personally don’t like him tonight, but this matchup is too good to ignore. He’s a solid floor option, but not as much upside as other options tonight


That’s it for this breakdown. I hope this article gave you some insight on some lower owned options that could give you an edge on the competition. Follow me on Twitter @JoeJBerg and let me know if this article helped you out. I would like to once again thank Sean Kane for allowing me the opportunity to give some of my advice through these articles. Let’s go win some money and show everybody the Lineup Logic crew means business!

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