We have a 10-game MLB Tiers fantasy baseball slate for Friday. Something to always remember when playing Tiers is with a player pool so limited, it is likely a large portion of the field is aware of who the “best plays” are. But in a sport such as baseball, where variance reigns supreme, you will need to avoid the chalk in a few spots in order to take down a GPP. Stacking in Tiers where you can is another thing to take advantage of.
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Tier 13B Anthony Rendon, WAS at CIN
SS Trevor Story, COL vs. TOR
OF Christian Yelich, MIL at PIT
3B Nolan Arenado, COL vs. TOR
This is going to surprise you guys, but I’m recommending a Coors fade. Story and Arenado should dominate the ownership in this tier. The Rockies have a 7.2 team total for tonight — 1.8 runs better than the next-highest team. They are facing Edwin Jackson, who has a 5.1 xFIP since the start of 2018 and has allowed five homers and 16 total runs in 14 innings this season. I would imagine 70% of people or more will be running out one of Story or Arenado.
Meanwhile, the reigning NL MVP will have the platoon advantage against Chris Archer, who has given up a .342 wOBA and .208 ISO to lefties since the start of 2018. Yelich has completely dominated this season, with 21 home runs and 45 RBI in 50 games. He very well could take down the award in back-to-back years. Yelich has an insane .323 ISO against righties since the start of 2018. Being able to leverage the field with a player of Yelich’s caliber is a rare occurrence worth taking advantage of.
Rendon also has been productive this year, though he has not displayed as much power as the rest of the tier. He has 10 home runs and 18 doubles in 42 games and is hitting .320. He is likely to be the lowest owned in this tier and possibly could be a sub-10% play. That said, I still would prefer Yelich. Rendon will be facing Tyler Mahle, who has huge lefty/righty splits. He has allowed 111 fewer points of wOBA and 124 fewer points of ISO to righties than lefties.
Tier 3C Gary Sanchez, NYY vs. BOS
1B Anthony Rizzo, CHC at STL
SS Francisco Lindor, CLE at CHW
SS Adalberto Mondesi, KC at TEX
OF Austin Meadows, TB vs. MIN
Tier 3 is a fun group of players. I do not believe there will be an obvious chalk play here with plenty of great hitters in favorable spots. If I had to guess the most popular player, I would say Lindor. He faces off against Dylan Covey, who has allowed four earned runs in three of his past four starts and carries a 5.47 ERA. Lindor also has a .240 ISO against righties since the start of 2018. That said, Lindor is a good play worth rostering. I would not be concerned with the high ownership in this tier.
My favorite play of the tier is probably Dozier. Though there is no clear chalk in this tier, I think Dozier is very likely to be low owned. He is the least recognizable hitter and shares a good matchup with a superior fantasy player in Mondesi. Ariel Jurado has pitched well so far this year but has made only two starts. Last season, he had a 5.93 ERA. The key for Dozier in this matchup is the sinker of Jurado, which he deploys 65% of the time against righties. Dozier has a .270 ISO and .407 wOBA against right-handed sinkers, and .235/.367 against the pitch overall. Just be aware Dozier left last night’s game with a chest injury and is considered day-to-day.
It also is worth giving a look to Sanchez despite a tough matchup with Chris Sale. Sale has been great since the start of 2018, with a .263 xFIP. That said, he still has been worse against righties than lefties. He gives up 11.5% more fly balls, 27 more points of wOBA and 77 more points of ISO to right-handed batters. Sanchez has a .324 ISO against lefties the past two seasons.
Tier 4SS Trea Turner, WAS at CIN
OF Marcell Ozuna, STL vs. CHC
OF Max Kepler, MIN at TB
1B Carlos Santana, CLE at CHW
OF Alex Gordon, KC at TEX
3B/OF Kris Bryant, CHC at STL
Unlike Tier 3, there are a couple of obvious fade candidates for me in this group. Bryant almost assuredly will be the highest owned player, as he is a much higher caliber of hitter than anyone else in this tier. Though he recently missed a couple of games with an injury, Bryant is enjoying a comeback season. He already has hit the same number of home runs (13) as he had last season, but in half of the games.
I also would recommend against Turner, who boasts little power and instead relies on elite speed on the base-paths. He has not had a multi-steal game since Opening Day, after having seven last year. After some injury issues of his own, the Nationals might be trying to keep Turner a little safer.
My two favorite plays here are stacks with earlier selections. Santana is a great fit for facing Covey, who is another heavy sinker-baller. Since the start of 2016, Santana has dominated right-handed sinkers, with a .332 ISO and .447 wOBA against them on a whopping 249 batted ball events. Gordon also has done well against righty sinkers, with a .230 ISO and .385 wOBA. Stacking Santana or Gordon with Lindor or Dozier, respectively, can add a good bit of correlation to your Tiers lineups.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is amicsta) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.