MLB DFS Lineup (8/21/2020)

MLB DFS has been a tough nut to crack lately. I was spot with Shane Bieber as pitcher. As for the offense, the Red Sox and Dodgers scored 7 and 6 runs, respectively, but we are not quite spot on with the hitters who would be responsible for driving in those runs. For example Cody Bellinger and Xander Bogaerts were the ones to own yesterday. Sometimes offenses you least expect to pop off do such as the Padres and Giants but most of their production came from just 1 - 2 players. In the case of the Padres that was Eric Hosmer and for the Giants it was Wilmer Flores. How are we supposed to predict that? Don't you love the variance of baseball!

Well we just keep trying until we get our next tournament takedown. For today, we will take a slightly different approach. Instead of grabbing the highest priced pitcher, we will resort to the reverse Coors effect. I described this phenomenon in a previous article. In a nutshell, you will want to go with pitchers who are facing an offense that just left Coos Field. The rapid adjustment to sea level conditions after spending 2 - 4 days in high elevation can really mess with the way a batter sees his pitches. Not just you lose the extra 20 - 30 feet on long flyballs that can potentially clear the fences but the pitches you see have way more movement at sea level and the do at mile high elevation. Batters leaving Coors Field typically need 2 - 3 days to adjust to the normal movement of pitches.

Here is a nice spreadsheet displaying the reverse Coors effect this season.

So far only the Dodgers and Padres pitchers have had the luxury of facing teams who recently left Coors Field. Overall teams struggle to reach their typical run production and pitchers going against them tend to outperform thier season averages. So what does this mean for today? We roll with Garrett Richards. Yes, he is mainly a mediocre pitchers and the Astros offense is lethal (even when not cheating!). However, Petco Park is a pitcher's park for a reason: cool ocean temperatures, expansive outfield, and sea level elevation. Richards probably won't have high ownership so if we can get 35 - 40 FD points out of him and then pay up for offense, we can have a very profitable evening.

As for offense, we will stick with the Dodgers again. This time our focus will be on lefties. Jon Gray has had some issues with the Dodgers left-handed bats but it's the left-handed bats of the Dodgers that thrive against right-handed pitching and the types of pitches Gray throws. Consider the following evidence from 2019 and 2020 for the Dodgers stack I will most likely roster today.

Max Muncy: 0.887 OPS against RHP, 1.206 OPS against 4 seam fastballs, .855 OPS against sliders.
Justin Turner: 0.852 OPS against RHP, 0.981 OPS against 4 seam fastballs, 1.064 OPS against curveballs.
Cody Bellinger: 1.063 OPS against RHP, 1.058 OPS against 4 seam fastballs, .848 OPS against sliders.
Joc Pederson: 0.920 OPS against RHP, 0.933 OPS against 4 seam fastballs, 1.262 OPS against curveballs.

Gray, like most pitchers, will throw four seam fastballs as his primary pitcher. He does mix curveballs and sliders to keep the opposing hitters honest. That will be touch against the heart of the order for the Dodgers. They are a patient group of batters and they can hit several types of pitches, especially the ones Gray tends to throw. We can't expect all four hitters in our Dodgers stack to pop off but if we can get one to put up a monster game and the rest do OK, then we will be in an outstanding shape.

For the rest of our offense, we can always stack another team but with all of the savings we have by going with Richards as our pitcher, let's pay up for the top talent from the top teams. That leads us to the Indians and Twins and more specifically Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Sano.

We all know that Lindor and Ramirez are the heart of the Indians offense. Cleveland has sstuggled somewhat at the plate but they are still one of the top teams in the American League and Lindor and Ramirez are plenty capable of putting up monster numbers. Both are typically .900 - 1.000 OPS type hitters and we get them at the #2 and 3 spots in the lineup.

Miguel Sano has also been a bit off this year but he has gone deep against Danny Duffy and in fact his OPS against LHP as well as against the types of pitches Duffy throws is what is driving us towards Sano. Consider the Sano's stats below for 2019 - 2020.

OPS against LHP: 1.007
OPS against 4 seam fastball: 1.179
OPS against change-ups: 1.400

Sano is also at the age where a hitter will realize his peak so we are confident Sano will only get better this season, especially with the protection Cruz offers batting right before him. So what about Cruz? This 40 year old veteran is still a best. Check our his numbers below for 2020.

OPS against LHP: 1.548
OPS against 4 seam fastball: 1.417
OPS against change-ups: 1.567

If I were in Vegas right now and I can put some money on whether Cruz will hit a HR today, I would do it. Cruz in among the league leaders in most hitting categories and is a legitimate MVP contender.

Here are sample lineups for both DK and FD.



Good luck and enjoy the start to your weekend!