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MLB DFS: Yahoo MLB Picks, Strategy, Lineups, Sleepers: June 28 (FREE)

Eric MacPherson

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MLB DFS: Welcome to the Friday Yahoo DFS MLB strategy guide. As we head into the weekend, do not forget all the fantastic Awesemo content, so before you lock in your baseball lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s MLB rankings and projections. Not a member? Sign up HERE.

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For Friday’s free Spotlight Hitters and Stacks article click here 

For Friday’s free Spotlight Pitchers article click here 


Greetings Gamers! Let’s see what sort of fun we have on tap today!

Act fast as Yahoo is running a $6,000 prize pool contest with no management fee for just $3 per lineup with a maximum of ten that is rapidly filling up – they also have their marquee $15,000 with $2,000 top prize for Friday as well!

Click this link and use the promo code Awesemo when making your first deposit and you will be eligible for $30 of “free play” which Yahoo matches the first $30 of your deposit (Yahoo Sports Rewards Points, aka YSRP which can be used to enter any paid contest immediately).

We will utilize this series to point out the different nuances, tips and tricks to building a solid Yahoo! tournament lineup.

Salary Cap

Yahoo! has a similar roster setup as most of the two-pitcher formats, but their salary cap is quite a unique puzzle to tackle each day.  It’s worthwhile to spend some time trying out different roster combinations – playing with how much of the salary cap you are allocating to pitching and hitting. The savvy gamer will be able to find some gems among the hitters in the $7-10 range which is crucial to working in some top-shelf talent.

Scoring System

For those of you new to the site, please note that the scoring has been tweaked since last season. When compared to the other popular scoring formats it’s more punitive for pitchers allowing base runners and is less rewarding for “team stacking” (i.e. taking three or more hitters from the same team in adjacent or nearly adjacent spots in the batting order). Yahoo offers discounts for runs and RBI, compared to individual batter scoring of slightly more points proportionally for extra base hits, walks and hit by pitch categories.

Basic Strategy

In the past, I’ve found that even though the Yahoo! format allows us to roster as many as six players from the same team, their unique pricing and two-pitcher format have somewhat muted the need for team stacking and as detailed above, the slight changes to their scoring system will continue to encourage that trend.

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Target Pitchers

For those of you new to Yahoo!, learning how to read into the pitcher pricing is key to building competitive lineups. The minimum price for pitchers is $25 while we can see some of the top-shelf aces like Chris Sale, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander crest just over $60 depending on their recent performance and matchup.

RHP Merrill Kelly at San Francisco Giants ($45)

While I have been on both sides of targeting against and actually rolling with 30-year old rookie RHP Merrill Kelly, it has mostly been a price play when I have utilized him on my rosters. Friday he is at the highest price point of the season on Yahoo, but with this matchup, I am willing to pony up as he should be in the mix for 85-95 pitches and even though the Giants got to see him last Sunday in Arizona, there was not much they could do to hinder his performance.

On the season San Francisco has an 81 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes park factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100) which means that the Giants are scoring 19% less than the average team does this season against right-handed pitching and they have a low 4.0 implied run total at home on Friday night.

RHP Sean Reid-Foley vs. Kansas City Royals ($28)

Word is that Toronto is going to give RHP Sean Reid-Foley the start and while he has struggled in his 37.1 innings between last season’s callup and two relief appearances this season with a 6.75 ERA, 1.668 WHIP and seven home runs allowed, he does boast an 11.3 K/9 rate and at just $3 above the minimum pitcher price tag, he is worth a look against a Royals squad that has been a middle of the road squad against right-handed hurlers this season with a 20.9 K% (#24), 98 wRC+ (#19) and a modest .172 ISO (#24).

As long as Reid-Foley only has to deal with a couple of left-handed hitters, his 34.6 K% against his last 81 same-handed hitters in The Show could very well come into play. He will be 24-years old at the end of August and in 565.1 minor league innings he has a double digit K/9 rate and went 104 pitches in his last start for AAA-Buffalo on June 18th.

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RHP Jacob deGrom vs. Atlanta Braves ($51)

While I would prefer to spend on the Dodgers hitters, if we are going to roll out with a top-shelf pitching option, then looking to RHP Jacob deGrom who is priced for this tougher matchup is a great place to go. Atlanta has a solid lineup top-to-bottom, but we know that deGrom is elite and the Braves have a minuscule 3.5 implied run total. They do have some players with above average strikeout rates against right-handed pitching in Ronald Acuna 25.9%, Josh Donaldson 24.5%, Austin Riley 32.8% and Tyler Flowers 29.4%. Since the beginning of last season, deGrom has struck out 34.7% of all same-handed hitters and his 28.4% against lefties during that same period is not to shabby either.

Discount Dandies

As mentioned above, it is important to know how to find discounted hitters in solid situations and also understand what the “opportunity” cost may be by giving up a key power hitting position like 1B/3B for a discounted option who may not have a lot of power.  For this purpose we will target the $7-$11 salary range.

C – Yadier Molina at LHP Eric Lauer ($9)

This is an interesting option as it will be no surprise to see gamers flocking to one of the sub-$10 catching options in the Coors Field Extravaganza and the veteran backstop does have the platoon advantage and can still get it done at the plate.

1B – Paul Goldschmidt at LHP Eric Lauer ($12)

While he has not exactly been living up to the hype in his first season with the Redbirds, but if you are not spending for a top end option, there are definitely worse ways to go than taking Goldy against a lefty at a favorable price point. Even with his “slump” this season, over his last 261 righty-lefty matchups since the beginning of 2018, he has tallied a .395 wOBA and a .269 ISO… there is no need to second guess ourselves.

1B – Joc Pederson at RHP Antonio Senzatela ($15)

Yikes, but this is just a mis-pricing that there is no reason not to follow The Masses in the hopes we get a mammoth Coors Field home run and punish those not savvy enough to just accept a gift opportunity.

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2B – Nicky Lopez at RHP Sean-Reid Foley ($8)

He is one of the Royals better prospects and while he has not flashed much fantasy upside, he is a buck off the salary floor, should be batting near the top of the order and will have the platoon advantage against a pitcher that does allow a lot of base runners.

3B – Eugenio Suarez vs. LHP Cole Hamels ($8)

Damn, he has not been great with his .244 average this season, but he does have 30 extra base hits and when we look at last years numbers of .283/.324/.460 with 34 HR, 104 RBI and 79 runs scored, this price is a steal (just not he only has two of those in the last two years #DadJokes).

SS – Paul DeJong at LHP Eric Lauer ($11)

By using him along with our other Cardinals discount dandies in Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina will give you a cheap stack and it can be augmented with OFs Jose Martinez and Harrison Bader for some minimum priced power.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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