DFS Army Full Count – MLB Game Breakdown, Advice, and Strategy for FanDuel and Draftkings – May 18th, 2019

Welcome to the DFS Army MLB Full Count! You have to start your research somewhere, and often times going game by game and breaking down every matchup and its key players is the first step in our process. My name is Michael aka @MadnessDFS on Twitter, make sure to give me a follow as I’ll occasionally make updates to the advice in the article. But, you’ll mostly find me in our VIP coaching forums where I provide detailed lineup maneuvers and answer all lineup questions. With that said, let’s get it started!

My take on a consistent process – looking at pitchers

I always start a slate by looking at pitching, not only do you get a grasp on who the pitchers are that you want to target. But it also gives you an idea of what offenses are in good spots against bad/vulnerable pitchers. I start my research by going straight to the Nilly’s MLB Carnage Report, this is where we can analyze all the pitchers on the slate in a compact, yet detailed manner.

I also head to the Research Station and check out the DFSA grades on the SP matchups on the day. Below are the top three grades of the day and the very right is where you can see two of the most important scores for my daily analysis. The Kscore is something that I value heavily when selecting a pitcher, as we know that strikeouts are king for pitchers in MLB DFS. Of the three, Nola and Smith have the highest scores and will be someone I have my eyes on here.

  • Stephen Strasburg – Stras gets a matchup with the Chicago Cubs who have an implied total of 3.9 runs. He has had at least 7 strikeouts in all his starts this season except for one and the Cubs definitely have some K’s in their lineup. Strasburg is the most expensive pitcher on the day, but he’s well worth it.
  • Griffin Canning – Canning gets a matchup with the Kansas City Royals who have an implied run total of 3.9 runs as well. The most intriguing thing about Canning for me is that the Angels are letting him go out there and pitch. He went over 100 pitches in their last game and really looks like he has some good stuff. The Royals have a pretty average strikeout rate at 22.2%, but Canning makes a lot of sense as an SP2.
  • Aaron Nola – We have yet another 3.9 implied run total for the Colorado Rockies. Nola is coming off of a rough outing against the Brewers but has pitched well lately. The Rockies have proven they have a lot of strikeouts in their lineup, recently giving up 17 strikeouts to Chris Sale. No, Nola is not Sale, but he is a very good major league pitcher and the Rockies strikeout at a 23% rate and are not good away from home, Nola is a very good option.

Finding pitchers to attack

You can use the carnage rating system in order to find pitchers to attack, or you can use a similar process I used with finding pitchers to target and use the Research Station.  Let’s take a look at who has the lowest DFSA grades on the day:

These are three pitchers that we can look to attack with opposing offenses due to a number of reasons that are played into the DFSA grades. Dakota Hudson gets a matchup with the Texas Rangers who have an implied run total of 5.7 runs. The issue here is the weather, there seems to be some rain in the area, so make sure to keep an eye on the Weather Station before lock. Jesse Chavez gets a matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals on the other side of this game if it is good to go both of these teams are viable as full stacks given the pitching matchups. Finally, Hector Velazquez gets a matchup with the Houston Astros in Boston. I love targeting offenses in Boston because of the park upgrade for most teams. The Astros lineup is full of incredible hitters, I like them a lot here.

Full Count Breakdown:

Tampa Bay Rays (-120) @ New York Yankees (+111)

Both Blake Snell and Mashiro Tanaka are viable pitchers today and I have zero interest in stacking either of these teams because of this. If I had to pick between these pitchers I would take Snell because of the Rays low strikeout rate. Tanaka will struggle to find the K’s and in a smaller ballpark, give me the guy with more K upside.


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Austin Meadows, Tommy Pham

GPP Note: One-offs only


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Gary Sanchez

GPP Note: One-offs only

Toronto Blue Jays @ Chicago White Sox

This game is very interesting to me because of Lucas Giolito. The Blue Jays offense is simply not good and Giolito is pitching out of his mind in his last two starts. Toronto strikes out at a 23.4% rate, yet Giolito is averaging under a 20% k rate on the season. He’s struck out at least seven batters in each of his last three starts. I can see some people point chasing here, but I think I’ll be going elsewhere.


5-star plays: Justin Smoak

4-star plays: Rowdy Tellez, Randal Grichuk

GPP Note: One-offs only


5-star plays: Jose Abreu

4-star plays: Welington Castillo

GPP Note: One-offs only

Colorado Rockies (+160) @ Philadelphia Phillies (-174)

I touched on the Rockies offense a bit when I broke down Aaron Nola, I’ll have zero interest in the Rockies offense here. The Phillies, on the other hand, are very playable. They have an implied run total of 5.2 runs and have a very scary lineup.


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Charlie Blackmon

GPP Note: One-offs only


5-star plays: Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper

4-star plays: JT Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen

GPP Note: I like the Phillies stack a good bit here

St. Louis Cardinals (-126) @ Texas Rangers (+117)

I touched on these two teams a bit earlier, neither of these pitchers is worth a look but we know the offenses are. The one thing we need to be careful of is the weather, keep an eye on the Weather Station before this thing locks.


5-star plays: Paul Goldschmidt, Marcell Ozuna, Matt Carpenter

4-star plays: Paul DeJong, Yadier Molina

GPP Note: Watch the weather but I love the Cardinals


5-star plays: Joey Gallo, Shin-soo Choo

4-star plays: Ronald Guzman, Nomar Mazara

GPP Note: I love the Rangers as well if this game can go

Oakland Athletics (-118) @ Detroit Tigers (+109)

Matt Boyd has turned himself into a very nice major league pitcher, but I don’t love attacking the A’s offense with pitching. The Tigers offense just isn’t good enough for me to want to consider stacking them up.


5-star plays: Khris Davis

4-star plays: Mark Canha, Matt Chapman

GPP Note: I like a number of one-offs here


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Nick Castellanos

GPP Note: One-offs only

Los Angeles Dodgers (-146) @ Cincinnati Reds (+135)

I like Walker Beuhler here, but I don’t trust the price tag on Tyler Mahle. I really like the Dodgers in this spot, especially the lefties. Mahle has given up a hard contact percentage of 41.7% this season. Load up on these lefties and even righties in the Great American Smallpark.


5-star plays: Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson

4-star plays: Alex Verdugo, Corey Seager

GPP Note: The Dodgers might be my favorite stack on the entire day


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Joey Votto, Jesse Winker

GPP Note: One-offs only

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Baltimore Orioles (+131) @ Cleveland Indians (-142)

I don’t love the Orioles offense but they get a nice matchup against Adam Plutko. With that said, John Means has pitched extremely well for his price tag and I may look at him as a potential SP2 option.


5-star plays: Anthony Santander, Dwight Smith Jr.

4-star plays: Chris Davis, Trey Mancini

GPP Note: They make for a very nice mini-stack


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez

GPP Note: One-offs only

New York Mets (-124) @ Miami Marlins (+115)

Steven Matz is coming off of the IL and will get a nice matchup for his first game back. The Marlins gave Jacob deGrom some trouble today, but I’m willing to go back to the well with Matz here as long as he’s not limited in any way.


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Peter Alonso

GPP Note: One-offs only


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Starlin Castro

GPP Note: One-offs only

Houston Astros (-111) @ Boston Red Sox (+103)

I touched on the Astros offense shortly when breaking down Hector Velazquez. I think they are just under the Dodgers as one of the betters stacks of the day. Corbin Martin pitched very well in his first major league start, I’ll let the public chase those points. I don’t expect him to have the same success against the Red Sox in Boston.


5-star plays: Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, George Springer

4-star plays: Carlos Correa

GPP Note: I like the Astros a good amount here


5-star plays: JD Martinez, Mookie Betts

4-star plays: Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez (DK)

GPP Note: I like the Red Sox here as well

Chicago Cubs (+130) @ Washinton Nationals (-141)

I touched on Stephen Strasburg earlier, I like him a good amount, so no interest in the Cubs for me. I’m patiently waiting for the Jon Lester blow-up game to happen, this could possibly be the spot. Trea Turner back in the lineup is huge for this offense.


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: None

GPP Note: Nothing I like here against Strasburg


5-star plays: Anthony Rendon, Kurt Suzuki, Trea Turner

4-star plays: Juan Soto, Brian Dozier

GPP Note: I really like the Nats here and think they may go under-owned

Milwaukee Brewers (+113) @ Atlanta Braves (-122)

Kevin Gausman is a guy that I look to pitch every once in a while, but this Brewers offense is elite, so I’ll have some interest in them. Chase Anderson has bee surprisingly decent this season, I won’t have any interest in pitching him but I don’t know that I’ll stack up the Braves, although they’re smoking the ball right now.


5-star plays: Christian Yelich

4-star plays: Eric Thames, Mike Moustakas, Ryan Braun

GPP Note: Super contrarian stack here


5-star plays: Austin Riley

4-star plays: Josh Donaldson, Ronald Acuna

GPP Note: One-offs or mini-stacks for me

Pittsburgh Pirates @ San Diego Padres

Given the ballpark and these teams, I have next to no interest in these offenses or the pitchers in this game. This looks to be a cross off game for me.


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Gregory Polanco

GPP Note: One-offs only


5-star plays: Eric Hosmer

4-star plays: Franmil Reyes, Manny Machado

GPP Note: One-offs only

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Kansas City Royals (+154)@ Los Angeles Angels (-168)

I touched on Griffin Canning earlier and I’ve got a good deal of interest in him. I also like the Angels offense here in their matchup with Jake Junis. Ohtani makes this lineup look a lot prettier.


5-star plays: Ryan O’Hearn

4-star plays: Adalberto Mondesi, Whit Merrifield

GPP Note: I probably like Canning more than this offense


5-star plays: Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani

4-star plays: Tommy La Stella

GPP Note: I like the Angels a good amount here

San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Madison Bumgarner draws a pretty decent matchup here. This Dbacks offense really isn’t great, I will say I like him a lot more if the roof is closed. Zack Godley has been bad, but if he’s going to ever rebound then this is the spot to do so, I like him as a cheap SP2.


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: None

GPP Note: I’ll have more interest in Godley


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: None

GPP Note: More interest in Bumgarner

Minnesota Twins (-134)@ Seattle Mariners (+124)

Jose Berrios is normally much better at home at the Mariners have a very good offense. I think I’ll be more likely to go with Berrios given the spot. There are better options than both of these offenses here tonight.


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: CJ Cron

GPP Note: One-offs only


5-star plays: None

4-star plays: Daniel Vogelbach

GPP Note: One-offs only

As always I appreciate everyone who gave the article a read! Feel free to mix it up with me in our coaching forums as news breaks and lock approaches.

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