MLB Tournament Thoughts – DraftCheat

Tonight on FantasyDraft, we have a tasty $20,000 Home Run with a very manageable $25 entry fee and a 25 entry limit so we will not see the field overrun by anyone one player with deep pockets.  All 30 teams are in action which provides us with many potential paths to glory.  Here are a few of my top plays that I am focusing on for tournaments.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Wood – LAD vs COL – $18,400 – The Dodgers’ lefty is pitching like a legitimate ace this season, pounding the strike zone, missing a ton of bats and generating strikeouts, and boasting an absurd 67% ground ball rate when batters do manage to make contact. He gets a good matchup against a Rockies team that has struggled away from Coors Field, and Wood is poised to dominate once again. The only issue is the relatively low pitch count that manager Dave Roberts keeps him on, but Wood has been so good that he has gotten the job done regardless. He comes at a discount compared to guys like Strasburg and Archer but should match their fantasy production.

Masahiro Tanaka – NYY vs TEX -$13,600 – Tanaka’s numbers look absolutely putrid on the surface. A 6.34, 1.49 WHIP, and a 5-7 record. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find a pitcher whose skill set remains entirely intact from past years but has likely run into some bad batted-ball luck. He’s actually missing more bats than he ever has in the past, and the primary reasons for his poor performances have been a dramatic increase in BABIP (up to .324 this year after .271 and .242 in the past two seasons) and HR/FB ratio (which sits at 25% compared to 12% and 17% in 2016 and 2015, respectively).

Yes, opponents are hitting Tanaka very hard, but that could change at any time, and if it does we may see some dominant performances from the Yankees’ right-hander. He’s at a steep discount tonight on FantasyDraft and I’ll be investing.

 

Infield

Jed Lowrie – OAK at CHW – $7,200 – The A’s infielder has been a legitimately good hitter this season, particularly from the left-side of the plate where he sports a .375 wOBA. Lowrie is cheap, gets a great matchup against Mike Pelfrey who struggles against left-handed hitters, and also gets a very nice park upgrade for tonight’s game as the White Sox’ stadium is much more hitter friendly than the Oakland Coliseum. If you need some salary relief at infield tonight, Lowrie should be your guy.

Tommy Joseph – PHI at ARX – $6,800 – The Phillies’ right-hander has big power when facing off against opposing left-handed pitchers, and he’ll have the pleasure of taking on home run prone Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin in a great hitting environment in Chase Field tonight. Joseph sports a whopping .277 ISO against lefties this season and is very cheap on Fantasy Draft. He’s one of the top value plays on the slate.

 

Outfield

Mallex Smith – TBR vs BAL – $7,200  The Rays’ outfielder has been running wild this season with 9 stolen bases in just 21 games since being called up. He gets an absolute dream matchup tonight against the putrid Ubaldo Jimenez. Ubaldo is bad at many things, but in particular he struggles against left-handed hitting (Mallex swings from the left-side), is very wild (possible free passes to first base), and is one of the worst pitcher in MLB at holding runners (Mallex should be running wild should he reach base). Smith is one of the top plays on the board tonight regardless of salary, and he’s very cheap. Load up.

Avisail Garcia – CHW vs OAK – $7,200 – The White Sox slugger has been amazing this season, flashing big power and paying DFS dividends frequently. That should be the case again tonight in a nice home matchup against Jharel Cotton, a pitcher who has been hit VERY hard by right-handed hitters with a 41% hard contact rate. Garcia is better against left-handed pitchers, but he’s still been very impressive against right-handed pitching and this matchup sets up very well for him at an affordable price point.

 

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 www.FanVice.com 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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