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 1OF Nelson Cruz, MIN at KC
2B Keston Hiura, MIL at COL
OF Ryan Braun, MIL at COL
SS Trevor Story, COL vs. MIL
It is the last regular-season Friday Tiers slate of the year, so it is only right that it is also a Coors slate. The good folks at DraftKings have clearly grown tired of my constant call to fade the land of home runs, loading this group with three hitters from that game.
If you are going to take on a Coors bat, I would prefer to go with Story. The Brewers have an absurd 7.8 run total tonight and are likely to be the most popular stack in any DFS format. The Rockies still have a very strong 5.9 run total and will be facing pitcher Zach Davis, who has a 5.18 xFIP on the year. Story has hit primarily leadoff over the past month, and he has a .260 ISO and .380 wOBA against righties in 2019. Davis is also a heavy sinker-baller, deploying the pitch 59% of the time to right-handed batters. Story has a .249 ISO, .420 wOBA, and 166 wRC+ against sinkers for his career. This year his numbers are .316/.452/184 against sinkers.
If you would like to fade Coors (my typical choice), Cruz is a fantastic option, as he is most nights. He is fifth in wRC+ on the year. The slugger will have the platoon advantage over Eric Skoglund, which has paid massive dividends all year. Cruz has a .473 ISO against left-handed pitching in 2019, and Skoglund has a 5.81 xFIP over the past two seasons.
Tier 3OF Aaron Judge, NYY at TEX
2B/3B D.J. LeMahieu, NYY at TEX
3B Miguel Sano, MIN at KC
C Mitch Garver, MIN at KC
2B/SS Jonathan Villar, BAL at BOS
1B/OF Trey Mancini, BAL at BOS
We have no bats in Coors here, but three different teams being represented by two players. So let’s see who the best option would be for each team. The Yankees have a seven-run team total and are likely to be the most popular of this group, but if you wanted to use one, I would go with LeMahieu. I would expect most to go with Judge when playing a Yankee due to his prodigious power, but LeMahieu has been no slouch against lefty pitching in 2019. His ISO is .259 when facing lefties, lower than Judge’s .313, but still excellent given the difference in expected ownership. Joe Palumbo has given up four homers in 13.2 innings, so it is likely he can serve the long-ball up to anyone.
Baltimore is a big dog to the Red Sox, so they come in with a 4.5 run total tonight. With that said, they will likely go overlooked in this group if you want to build a contrarian lineup. Nathan Eovaldi has massive platoon splits, allowing 55 more points of wOBA and 110 more points of ISO to lefties than righties over the past two seasons. This year, Eovaldi is allowing a .360 ISO to lefties, but just .124 to righties, a 236 point difference. Given this information, I would roll with the switch-hitting Villar over the right-handed Mancini.
If you are looking to build a Twins stack, I like pairing Cruz with Garver given his insane power numbers on the year. Against lefties, in particular, his ISO is .410 on the year. If for whatever reason Garver finds himself on the bench, not atypical for catchers, Sano is still a useful option. His ISO when facing left-handed pitching is .349 this season. The Twins are my top Tiers stack of the night, and you can include Eddie Rosario from Tier 5 to complete it.
Tier 4OF/SS Jon Berti, MIA at PHI
OF Bryce Harper, PHI vs. MIA
OF Austin Meadows, TB at TOR
C Yasmani Grandal, MIL at COL
SS Xander Bogaerts, BOS vs. BAL
2B/3B Mike Moustakas, MIL at COL
3B Anthony Rendon, WAS vs. CLE
This is a seven-player tier, but you know I’m going to recommend that you cut it down by fading the Milwaukee guys. I would probably put Berti on the fade list as well given that the Marlins have such a low team total (four runs). Already we have shorted the pool enough to make some strong decisions. Even if you don’t feel terribly compelled to play a particular player in this group, it is a good tier to mix up if multi-entering in GPPs. None of these players are guys we are looking to stack with other tiers.
Meadows has had a great year, and he has heated up in a big way after a down summer. The outfielder has an absurd .366 ISO and 231 wRC+ in September. That number leads the league. We haven’t seen a ton of T.J. Zeuch, but he has been solid so far with a 4.21 xFIP. That may have some people off of Meadows, though I think past the Milwaukee bats we probably don’t need to worry too much about ownership in this group.
Xander Bogaerts is the class of this tier in my opinion. We should get him at an ownership discount due to the presence of Coors guys in the tier, but his Red Sox have a 6.6 run total of their own. Asher Wojciechowski is terrible, with a 5.81 xFIP on the year. Bogaerts has a .243 ISO and .395 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season. Wojciechowski is allowing an average batted-ball distance of 220.2 feet to righties this season.
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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.