Get your MLB DFS research started with DFS Army’s Full Count! Pitching advice, stack strategy, home run calls, and everything you need.
Welcome to another year of the DFS Army MLB Full Count! You have to start your research somewhere, and oftentimes going game by game and breaking down every matchup and its key players is the first step in our process. My name is Eric aka @Razzle11Grinds on Twitter, make sure to give me a follow as I’ll occasionally make updates to the advice in the article out on Twitter as well as inside our coaching forums. With that said, let’s get it started!
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My Take on a Consistent MLB DFS Process – Looking at Pitchers
I always start an MLB 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. Below are the two pitchers that popped out to me at first glance.
- Tyler Chatwood – I have no idea where this Tyler Chatwood came from. He has been absolutely dominant in his two starts so far in 2020. He has 19 Ks in 12.2 innings and now faces a KC squad that has 50 Ks over their last 7 games. I expect some regression towards the mean here but I do think we need to ride this out while he is hot. He also could just be turning a new leaf without the previous coaching staff around.
- Jordan Yamamoto – As long as we learn that Yamamoto is a full-go, I can’t help but love him against an Orioles offense that struggles a ton against RHPs. He is making his MLB season debut but from my understanding had been pitching at the alternate site in anticipation of making his first start.
- Nate Pearson – Super excited to have this big arm available to use for DFS purposes. He has massive K upside but the match-up is a bit worrisome, even though ATL has been struggling overall. He definitely is far from safe but it’s hard to not love K upside for DFS purposes, especially while ATL is cold.
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Full Count Breakdown for MLB DFS:
Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Indians (-120)
Reds – Luis Castillo
Indians – Carlos Carrasco
This game has opened with a total of just 7.5 runs. We get an elite level SP match-up here (as long as Carrasco is completely back from his health scare last season). The Reds lineup weakened without Moustakas on Wednesday with no word as to his status for Thursday. I really don’t want to look at the hitters from this game but I do think both SPs have the upside we need for GPPs. I am always a HUGE Castillo fan, as I relied a TON on my own change-up in my pitching days.
CIN 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Nicholas Castellanos
GPP Note: Castellanos stayed hot and hit his 6th HR of the year against Bieber and then picked up another hit Wednesday against Clevinger.
CLE 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Francisco Lindor
GPP Note: The CLE offense is in a funk yet. They have to wake up at some point but Vegas doesn’t think it will be this game.
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New York Yankees (-151) @ Philadelphia Phillies
Phillies – Zach Eflin
Yankees – Jordan Montgomery
Eflin is making his 2020 debut after dealing with some back issues during summer camp. He isn’t very stretched out but could probably get to around 75 pitches in this match-up. Eflin gave up 28 HRs in 163.1 innings in 2019. I am a big Montgomery fan and think he has upside in this match-up but I do also think that Philly is very dangerous at the plate. They have a couple of LHBs that can hit LHPs pretty well.
PHI 5-star plays: JT Realmuto
4-star plays: Bryce Harper, Jean Segura
GPP Note: Phillies are a bit rusty but there’s a lot of power in this lineup from both sides of the plate
NYY 5-star plays: Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu
4-star plays: Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela
GPP Note: The Yankees are up to 23 HRs in 11 games so far this season
Toronto Blue Jays @ Atlanta Braves (-133)
Blue Jays – Nate Pearson
Braves – Touki Toussaint
The game has opened with a total set at 9 runs. I am very intrigued by this SP match-up even though Toussaint has struggled at the MLB level (mostly against LHBs). Pearson is a big-time prospect with a monster arm. I know the match-up stinks for him but the Braves offense isn’t clicking on all cylinders at this point so Pearson offers us really nice upside. Toussaint gets a lineup that is mostly RH heavy unless TOR enters a few different bench bats. Pay attention to the lineups because if TOR stays very RH heavy then Toussaint has sneaky upside.
TOR 5-star plays: Cavan Biggio
4-star plays: Travis Shaw, Bo Bichette
GPP Note: H
ATL 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Ronald Acuna Jr, Marcel Ozuna
GPP Note: The Braves are so hit or miss and it’s frustrating to see as this lineup should consistently do damage. Just wait until Acuna and Freeman start clicking.
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Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago White Sox (-130)
Brewers – Josh Lindblom
White Sox – Gio Gonzalez
The game has opened with a total set at 9 runs. Lindblom left his first start with an injury and while his overall line looks pretty weak, he was actually pitching pretty well overall. I think he has some upside in him as he learned a TON about how to actually pitch in the KBO and was the KBO MVP last season. Lindblom is the better DFS pitcher than Gonzalez, the problem is that the Brewers offense is far weaker than the White Sox at this point.
CWS 5-star plays: Luis Robert
4-star plays: Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada
GPP Note: The White Sox are at their best against RHPs
MIL 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Keston Hiura
GPP Note: Just interested in one-offs as the Brewers offense looks broken at the moment.
Minnesota Twins (-196) @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Twins – Kenta Maeda
Pirates – JT Brubaker
The game has opened with a total set at 8.5 runs. Brubaker is making his first start and third appearance of the season. He is filling in for Keller in this spot but I just don’t know if he goes much more than 4 innings. Could certainly turn into a bullpen game for PIT and if they are behind, the weak side of their bullpen is below-average. Maeda has looked absolutely spectacular for MIN so far this season and draws a very juicy match-up.
PIT 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: NONE
GPP Note: Just don’t think very highly of the Pirates bats
MIN 5-star plays: Nelson Cruz
4-star plays: Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario
GPP Note: The Twins have 16 HRs against RHPs so far this season
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Chicago Cubs (-166) @ Kansas City Royals
Cubs – Tyler Chatwood
Royals – Brad Keller
The game has opened with a total of 9.5. Keller is making his season debut after testing positive for COVID. We do not know what kind of length he has at this point so I am going to assume he will max out at around 4 innings for his first start and will try to update if I hear any differently. Chatwood has been absolute lights out, dominant to begin the season. He has 19 Ks in 12.2 innings, to go with just 6 hits and 4 walks (the 4 walks is a pleasant surprise since he’s had control issues the last couple of seasons).
CHC 5-star plays: Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber
4-star plays: Jason Kipnis, Ian Happ
GPP Note: The Cubs are rolling to begin the season and they keep getting contributions from every spot in the lineup. That makes it tough to pick a stack. When that’s the case, I generally stack them in multiple ways.
KC 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Adalberto Mondesi, Salvador Perez
GPP Note: Not very interested in KC but Chatwood can get wild and points can add up quickly in an inning with walks.
San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies
Giants – Tyler Anderson
Rockies – Kyle Freeland
Giants appear to be sending out Tyler Anderson for a traditional start (by traditional I mean he probably goes 4 innings). He slides into the spot vacated by Smyly. Freeland is somebody I think has a bounceback season but the problem is that a handful of Giants have hit him EXTREMELY well in their careers. I am curious to see what kind of a line Vegas puts once we get Tyler Anderson as the confirmed SP or an update to the SF plans.
SF 5-star plays: Wilmer Flores, Donovan Solano
4-star plays: Mike Yastrzemski, Darin Ruff
GPP Note: The Giants are a team that I think will do their best work against LHPs as the season progresses.
COL 5-star plays: Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado
4-star plays: Matt Kemp, Charlie Blackmon
GPP Note: STACK, STACK, STACK!
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Los Angeles Angels (-164) @ Seattle Mariners
Angels – Dylan Bundy
Mariners – Taijuan Walker
This game has opened with a total set at 9 runs. Bundy was super chalky in his last start, which was against SEA, and he struggled in the first inning but settled in and ended up picking up 8 Ks. He has looked really good so far for the Angels and should carry ownership here. The big question is how many who were burned by that first inning, will look elsewhere? Walker had a horrific start against HOU and then bounced back ridiculously against OAK and was absolutely dominant.
LAA 5-star plays: Mike Trout
4-star plays: David Fletcher
GPP Note: Trout is 9 for 14 with 3 HRs against Walker.
SEA 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Kyle Seager, JP Crawford, Kyle Lewis
GPP Note: The 3 guys above are the only one’s really doing anything for SEA at this point.
Miami Marlins @ Baltimore Orioles
Marlins – Jordan Yamamoto
Orioles – Wade LeBlanc
No line posted yet for this game after the team’s played a doubleheader on Wednesday. I think that Yamamoto has a really interesting upside as he flashed strong stuff last season. He is making his first start of 2020 but I believe he was stretched out at the alternate site. LeBlanc just isn’t anything special, however, when facing the Marlins you automatically get an interesting bump for GPPs.
MIA 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Jesus Aguilar, Brian Anderson
GPP Note: The Marlins really don’t intrigue me but I think Aguilar and Anderson make for GPP one-off plays at very little ownership
BAL 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: NONE
GPP Note: Really only interested in Orioles bats when they face LHPs.
Houston Astros (-124) @ Arizona Diamondbacks
Astros – Brandon Bielak
Diamondbacks – Zac Gallen
This game opened with a total set at 9 runs. Gallen has looked really sharp this season so far, coming off of a 9 K performance against the dangerous Dodgers lineup. I am really confused as to why the Marlins dealt him away but that’s for another day. Gallen gets a tough match-up against an HOU offense that might be warming up a bit. Bielak draws a start for HOU but he has been working in relief so far. He could approach 65-70 pitches if everything goes well.
HOU 5-star plays: George Springer, Yuli Gurriel
4-star plays: Carlos Correa, Michael Brantley
GPP Note: I think really highly of Gallen but I also think this HOU offense is on the verge of going off for a week. Just need Altuve to get hot and the top half of the lineup because EXTREMELY dangerous.
ARI 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: David Peralta, Kole Calhoun
GPP Note: I wrote in this spot that there was no upside in this offense and then they went out and spanked the HOU pitchers on Wednesday night. I hate stacking teams against what could be bullpen type games. Bullpen games allow managers to pick and choose how he wants to match-up.
Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics (-148)
Rangers – Mike Minor
Athletics – Mike Fiers
This game has opened with a total of 8.5 runs. Minor has struggled a bit this season but I expect that to get straightened out over the next few starts. OAK hasn’t been rolling on offense but they do have 7 HRs in 122 PAs against Minor as a roster. Fiers has given up 10 HRs total to 4 guys on the Texas squad (all 4 should be in the lineup).
TEX 5-star plays: Shin-Soo Choo
4-star plays: Rougned Odor, Joey Gallo
GPP Note: Team ISO of .171 over the last 5 games
OAK 5-star plays: NONE
4-star plays: Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano
GPP Note: OAK hit 4 HRs on Wednesday night
Stacks of the Day: Main Slate
- New York Yankees: With Eflin making his season debut here, I don’t know how you can’t be all over the Yankees and their power. He gave up 28 HRs last season and the Yankees are hitting HRs in bunches so far this season. Just don’t stack 1-4 or 1-5 as I think that’s the mistake a lot of people make with this team thinking that they have to have Judge, Stanton, and Torres together.
- Chicago Cubs: Keller is making his debut and I imagine he isn’t very sharp. I love the Cubs’ power and they are getting contributions from up and down the lineup. Imagine how scary the offense will be when Rizzo and Bryant get it figured out at the plate!
- Chicago White Sox: Lindblom is an interesting SP but he struggled a bit with the Pirates and this White Sox lineup is FAR more dangerous than the Pirates. I think Luis Robert-Yoan Moncada makes for the best mini-stack on the slate. I do hate having to choose between the 1B but Abreu is the one performing better than Encarnacion.
MLB Dinger of the Day – Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays
Between 2019 and the few innings of 2020, Toussaint has allowed an ISO of .301 to LHBs. He struggles mightily with batters from that side as he allows a hard-hit rate of nearly 46% to LHBs. Biggio is generally sneaky as he gets left out of stacks because people want to jam in Bichette, Gurriel Jr, Vlad Jr, and a guy like Teoscar so far. Biggio is the one that I want to make sure I get in GPPs and I will be using Tellez and Shaw as well (both LHBs).
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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