Weekend Warriors – Research and Analysis for the MLB DFS Main Slate on Saturday, July 8th

Baseball on the weekends is glorious.  As a family man, I don’t have the energy or the drive to have any fun of any kind by the time the weekend rolls around.  I just want to be boring and lame and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am sure you have heard of the term “Weekend Warrior”.  For me, it has a different meaning these days.  Being able to juggle the demands of life throughout the week and still having the dedication to remain prosperous in MLB DFS is my battle.  For my fellow dedicated DFS players, this article is for you.

  • Main Slate Musings

This might be a pretty tricky slate to navigate. There are no real aces on the mound and we are going to have to choose from several upper middle tier options. There are no teams with outlandish Vegas projected run totals to focus on and there aren’t really any teams with totals to pick on. The Rockies are projected for 6.0 runs but that’s run of the mill for their home games. The Rangers are projected for 6.1 runs but I believe that is going to drop to the mid-5.5 range by first pitch. We also have a couple teams with pitchers that are new so we are going to need to figure out what they have to offer as well.

  • Pitching

Andrew Moore had a fantastic minor league career prior to being called up to the Majors last month. He didn’t have much experience beyond double-a ball but he has certainly held his own. In his two starts, he has pitched 15 innings, struck out 8 batters, allowed 11 hits, 3 HRs, and 6 earned runs. He has 31 and 34 points on Fanduel in his two starts and his analytics say that he can keep it up. In the two games, he had a 67% strike ratio and didn’t walk a single batter. He held opponents to a 28% hard hit rate, 291 foot batted ball distance and a 91 MPH exit velocity.

Oakland has actually been hitting right-handed pitching very well over the past two weeks (409 at-bats). Over that time frame, they have a .344 wOBA (4th best), .232 ISO (tied for 3rd best), and a .810 OPS (4th best). The silver lining for Moore is that the Athletics have the second highest strikeout rate (28.1%) over that time frame.

Jeff Samardzija has been throwing the ball very well lately. Over the past three weeks, he has a 69% strike ratio (3% higher than year-long average), a 93.5 MPH average pitch speed (.7 MPH faster than year-long average), and has held opposing batters to a 30% hard hit rate with an 89 MPH exit velocity. Not only is he locating his pitches well but he is throwing harder and opposing batters are really struggling. In his last 11 starts, he has allowed more than three runs just once and that was in Colorado against the Rockies in the thin air. He’s rock solid for cash games.

The Marlins have been a middle of the road team against righties over the past two weeks and shouldn’t scare you off of Jeff. They are basically right in the middle of every category with a .325 wOBA, .159 ISO and a 22.2% strikeout rate. He’s the type of play on an eight-game slate where you either use him or stack against him because you think the Marlins will rock his world.

Jake Arrieta is the highest priced pitcher on the slate and will face off against the Pirates at home. His last game was his best of the season when he held the Reds to one hit over seven innings. He will likely be highly owned because he’s the biggest name on the slate. I have zero issue fading him for the other two pitchers listed above.

If you do go with Arrieta I won’t blame you. The Pirates have struggled against righties over the past two weeks. They have the third worst wOBA (.278) and the fourth-worst OPS (.649).


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  • Stack of the Day

The Arizona Diamondbacks have a projected run total of 5.5 runs at the opening line. They face the talented youngster, Luis Castillo (R) of the Cincinnati Reds. Castillo has been striking opposing batters out at will but has been prone to the long ball in his three starts. He throws extremely hard (97.7 MPH AVG) but has been tagged for five home runs in his 16.1 big league innings.  If he struggles with his control the Diamondbacks will send a few of those pitches into the bleachers at Chase Field, a notorious hitters park.

David Peralta bats second in the lineup and is severely underpriced when facing righties. He has hits in nine of his last eleven games and A.J. Pollock is back leading off which only helps Peralta pick up some RBI.

Jake Lamb is one of the best hitters in MLB against righties and a hard thrower like Castillo might be in trouble against Lamb. He has over a .250 ISO against righties and jacked two home runs on Thursday night (I hope two more on Friday, I am all over him in DFS).

Lastly, I really like going down in the lineup to grab Daniel Descalso who has been batting 7th against right-handed pitchers. He has a .336 wOBA against righties and has a 34% hard hit rate over the past two weeks. He has hits in eight of his last nine starts as well which has resulted in a 13-for-34 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, and 10 runs batted in.

This doesn’t mean that Drury, Pollock, and Goldschmidt are not good plays or won’t possibly end up in my stack on Fanduel or Draftkings, but the three listed above are my building blocks for my teams with the pitchers listed up top. From there I will plug in players that I have researched and mini-stacks of two batters on a team. I really don’t like any other offenses enough to stack players up just for the sake of doing so.


Lastly, remember that there isn’t a wrong way or right way to construct a lineup until after the results are in. Whatever you do, just make sure you do it with sound research and analysis. Winning lineups may sometimes look like someone just threw darts at a board but nobody truly plays like that with money on the line. Game theory and research can be the best of friends for GPP’s.



Good luck to all of my fellow weekend warriors! You can find me on Twitter @DFSnDONUTS where I love to interact with my followers and enjoy the sweat of a big night with you.


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