MLB Deep Dive: DraftCheat

Tonight we have a one of the larger MLB contests that has been run by FantasyDraft, with a $30,000 prize pool and a very affordable $25 entry fee.  In the spirit of this contest, here are some of the players I am eyeing for my tournament lineups.


Starting Pitcher

Jeff Samardzija, $17,600

We’ll start with the matchup here. Samardzija will get the benefit of taking on the San Diego Padres, who as a team have struck out at the highest rate vs. right-handed pitchers of any team in MLB at 26%. They are also in the bottom 10 in the league in terms of wOBA vs. RHP at .290. The Padres stink. Samardzija will get to pitch in the best pitcher’s park in MLB in San Francisco, and despite what looks like a rough start to the year for Samardzija, he’s actually pitching fairly well. He got knocked around in Coors Field last time out, but we can forgive him that start, and he’s had fairly tough matchups overall. Samardzija introduced a splitter into his arsenal late last year and has been a much better strike out pitcher ever since. This year, the splitter has induced a whopping 38% whiff/swing rate. He’s my #1 pitcher tonight in all formats and I predict he outscores Max Scherzer tonight.

Chase Anderson, $14,000

The Brewers’ RHP gets only a mediocre matchup against the Braves who rank in the middle of the pack in most offensive categories vs. right-handed pitchers, but I like that this game is in Miller Park (which inflates strikeouts), and that Anderson has dominated left-handed bats, which is the side of the plate that most of the Braves swing from. Don’t expect a dominant start here, but Anderson should pitch well and comes at a nice discount. When it’s all said and done I expect him to rank near the top of the starting pitcher list in terms of point-per-dollar performance.


Eric Thames, $9,600

Assuming he’s in the lineup today after exiting on Wednesday to hamstring tightness, this is a dream matchup for Thames. He’ll get a steady diet of fastballs from Bartolo Colon, and if you can’t fool Eric Thames, well, good luck. This guy is for real and I’m not scared of the price bump at all. The #1 overall hitter tonight for me.

Nick Castellanos, $7,600

The Tigers slugger does not have much in terms of results to show for it, but he’s hitting the ball as hard as anyone in baseball through the first month of the season. Castellanos ranks third in MLB in terms of “Barrels” per plate appearance, and has a very nice matchup tonight against Mike Pelfrey who is just an all-around putrid pitcher. Take the steep discount here and invest in Castellanos. The home runs are coming, perhaps tonight.


Yasmany Tomas, $7,800

I’m expecting big things from the Diamondbacks tonight against Kyle Freeland, a ground ball specialist who doesn’t miss many bats. We saw what happened to Clayton Richard in Arizona a couple of nights ago, and Freeland is a very similar pitcher to Richard. Tomas mashes left-handed pitching and should thrive in this matchup. Stack him up with other Diamondbacks and watch your stack go kaboom!

Jay Bruce, $7,200

This is a GPP recommendation only, but Jay Bruce is one of the most powerful plays on the board tonight in tournaments. He’s got a ton of power, and as good as Max Scherzer is, he gives up a lot of hard contact and home runs to left-handed hitters. Bruce has fared well against Max in the past, with just 2 strikeouts in 12 career appearances vs. Scherzer and a 99 MPH average exit velocity. He’s got a very solid chance of taking Scherzer deep and if it happens you are going to pass A LOT of teams in tournaments where Scherzer is likely to be the most popular pitcher.


Good luck out there tonight! ~ DraftCheat

Peter Christiansen

Peter Christiansen

Peter Christensen (aka DraftCheat) has been playing DFS full time since 2014. He’s a multiple time Live Finalist in MLB, NFL, NBA, and CFB, and took home the FanDuel Playboy College Football Championship for $100,000 in 2015. An analytically based player and unapologetic member of #TeamMath, DraftCheat prefers the GPP style of play and is a huge proponent of using Game Theory to improve results. A lifelong Minnesota resident, he grows weary of cheering on his hapless hometown teams. You can find his work on for both articles as well as the Deeper Dive live video show airing regularly at 5pm ET or on Twitter @DraftCheat.

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