We’re back here on this Monday morning to deliver some FanDuel MLB DFS Picks with an eye on getting our week started on a profitable note!
While I’m still searching for that big win that will catapult us to a real nice season, today’s nine-game slate provides some nice opportunities in GPP formats to get it done and start to feel real good about the research and time that goes into building these lineups.
Without any more hesitation, let’s get to it!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – August 10, 2020
P – Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) – $8,400 vs. SF
The Astros take on the light-hitting Giants in this one tonight and I like the potential that McCullers brings to the table despite a tough start to the season in his return from Tommy John surgery.
Prior to his operation, it was clear McCullers sported some of the nastiest stuff in the game, but that stuff hasn’t quite been there in posting a 9.22 ERA/5.97 FIP with a 4.61 BB/9 and 1.98 HR/9 to this point. Much of that damage came his last time out when he allowed eight runs while not escaping the fourth innings of a start in Arizona where he was perfect through three before the D-backs opened up the roof at Chase Field, thus turning the venue into a launching pad that McCullers could not avoid.
Now, he gets back home to Houston against a Giants team that’s surprised some with a 19th-ranked .308 wOBA on the season, although they don’t hit for much power with a 21st-ranked .152 ISO to boot.
The good news for his fantasy potential is that he’s fully stretched out as he threw 90-plus pitches in his first two starts of the season and his K-rate of 7.24 this season sits well below his 10.01 career mark. I would expect a start in which he racks up a ton of K’s in the near future while McCullers’ 55% left-on-base rate to this point in the season is in for major positive regression towards his 72.2% career mark. Keep in mind this guy owns a 3.83 ERA/3.32 FIP/3.35 xFIP with that 10.01 K/9 and a tiny 0.73 HR/9 for his career, and it’s only a matter of time until he sees some of that positive regression kick in behind an offense that always has potential to explode for plenty of run support.
C/1B – Matt Olson (OAK) – $3,500 vs. LAA
The AL West-leading A’s are on fire right now, having won nine straight games. That said, it hasn’t exactly been their offense that’s carried them as Oakland has uncharacteristically scuffled while ranking 17th with both a .310 wOBA and .163 ISO on the season. While most of the league’s hitters are still catching up to the pitching, I would anticipate Oakland’s big guns getting it going soon and I believe tongiht is a nice opportunity to do so against right-hander Julio Teheran and the Angels’ bullpen.
Teheran had a late start to his season, and allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks in 2.2 innings in his first start of the season in Seattle. He won’t last long in this one as he threw just 52 pitches in that one as he’s still getting stretched out, so we should see plenty of an Angels bullpen that ranks 21st with a 4.35 ERA but also 25th with a 4.91 xFIP.
Enter Olson who boasts a ton of power in that left-handed bat. He’s hitting just .164 on the season, but he’s already launched five homers and owns a .273 ISO on the campaign to go along with a 126 wRC+. I would expect a ton of hits to start falling for the slugger given his minuscule .125 BABIP that’s in for some monumental positive regression towards his .279 career mark.
The power has still been there, as has his on-base ways with a massive 20.3% walk rate on the season, so look for Olson to continue his power stroke while seeing more hits fall as the positive BABIP regression kicks in.
2B – Rougned Odor (TEX) – $2,800 vs. SEA
I have Odor in this lineup for now given the positional fit and the projected Rangers batting order against the Mariners and right-hander Justin Dunn tonight, but we might have to re-jig our lineup as we see the confirmed batting orders roll in as the day moves along.
I mean, Odor seems to have one of the longest leashes on a starting spot I have ever seen as he’s struggled mightily the last two seasons and currently sits with a .114 average and 17 wRC+ to this point in the season. That said, he’s hit for plenty of power in his career and is coming off a 30-homer, .234 ISO season in 2019. He’s hit at least 30 home runs in three of the last four seasons as well.
That’s important because Dunn has struggled mightily with the long ball so far in his rookie season, posting a huge 3.86 HR/9 on the year while the Mariners’ bullpen enters this one sporting a 2.18 HR/9 that ranks 28th in the league. On top of that, Seattle’s bullpen has been one of the worst groups in baseball by way of their 6.78 ERA while their 6.44 FIP, 5.63 xFIP and massive 5.50 BB/9 don’t exactly point to positive regression moving forward.
He’s struggling early, but he hits for power and he’s projected to hit third for a Rangers lineup projected to score five runs tonight, so I’ll pencil him into this lineup for now.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $3,400 vs. LAA
Chapman is another A’s star who has scuffled some at the plate in the early going, hitting .246 with a small .290 OBP, but like with Olson, Chapman’s power has been just fine as he’s launched four homers, three doubles and a triple as part of his .262 ISO on the season – a number that sits above his .244 career mark.
Of course, the all-world third baseman is about as reliable as they come at the dish. He doesn’t hit for the highest of batting averages with a .257 career mark, but we’re here for the power with that career .244 ISO while he’s coming off a 36-homer, 91-RBI campaign while posting an .848 OPS in the process. I’ve also noted plenty of times in the past with Chapman that he has handled both lefties and righties fairly equally throughout his career, so we’re not worried about any splits-related tendencies when we roster the former first-round pick.
Projected to hit third in the lineup and one spot ahead of Olson, Chapman is a must in any A’s stack tonight.
SS – Marcus Semien (OAK) – $2,700 vs. LAA
Semien’s cheap price has us left with probably more money than we’d like to leave on the table in this lineup, one of the reasons why I may have to mix it up as we see some confirmed lineups come throughout the day.
The cheap price is a stark contrast to last season, however, as Semien is also struggling out of the gate coming off a season where he garnered some MVP consideration behind Mike Trout and Alex Bregman.
He’s been a nice combination of power and speed throughout his career and hit 33 homers with 10 steals last season, but has just a single homer and a single stolen base to this point in the season to go along with a .085 ISO, .211 average, .237 wOBA and an ugly 55 wRC+.
That said, manager Bob Melvin is going to give Semien every opportunity to get out of this early-season slump and he’s going to do so while hitting at the top of the A’s lineup. That in itself makes him a necessary piece of this stack for an A’s team projected to score a healthy 4.8 runs in this one tonight.
Speaking of runs, Semien’s spot atop the Oakland batting order netted him 123 runs scored last season and despite his struggles this season he still has 11 runs in 16 games on the 2020 season. While the numbers aren’t great either way, he’s also hit right-handers better than lefties so far this season while his .240 ISO against righties last season was slightly superior to his .230 mark against lefties.
Either way, I’m plugging his power/speed potential into this lineup to be sure.
OF – Ramon Laureano (OAK) – $3,500 vs. LAA
If you saw what happened yesterday with Laureano, you won’t be surprised to know that he may not play in this one tongiht after being a big part of a benches clearing brawl with the Houston Astros. That said, if a suspension is handed down today, odds are Laureano will appeal and will therefore still be available in this one. Needless to say, we’ll keep an eye on this one as we move along throughout the day and be sure to follow me on Twitter @BKemp17 for updates.
If he’s in the lineup, we want this guy in ours. He’s been Oakland’s best bat so far this season, posting a .925 OPS, .396 wOBA and 165 wRC+ on the season with three homers and a stolen base to boot. The power/speed potential has been there since day one with this guy as he’s homered 32 times with 21 steals in 187 career MLB games while he owns a .222 ISO, .859 OPS, .360 wOBA and 131 wRC+ for his career to this point.
He’s projected to hit second in the lineup if he indeed plays, so we certainly want this bat in there to complete our four-man A’s stack tonight.
OF – Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) – $3,200 vs. SEA
Next man up in our Rangers stack is Choo who is actually going to be in the leadoff spot for the Rangers and our stack this evening.
Like so many players across the league right now, Choo has struggled at the plate in hitting just .194, but the’s maintained his power with three homers as part of his .278 ISO while his .377 career OBP is as good of an indication as any that he will get things turned around on an overall basis moving forward. The power is obviously a big factor here, but we also want that OBP tonight out of the leadoff spot ahead of our other stack members while Choo also brings some stolen base potential to the table coming off a 15-steal season at the age of 37 in 2019.
Dunn has allowed one steal in his seven innings so far this season, but combined with a 6.2-inning sample from last season, Dunn has allowed five stolen bases in just 13.2 career big-league frames so far. That rate isn’t sustainable, however it’s probably a good idea to target Dunn with power and speed in this stack as he’s had walk and home run issues early in his big-league career.
OF – Joey Gallo (TEX) – $4,000 vs. SEA
Of course, a mandatory part of any Rangers stack tonight is Gallo who is clearly the team’s top offensive player.
I noted many players have struggled early in the season, however Gallo isn’t one of them as he’s off to a fine start at the plate in the power/speed department. He’s never going to hit for a high batting average, but Gallo has hit four homers and stolen two bases so far while he’s posted a .319 ISO, .886 OPS, .376 wOBA and a 138 wRC+. He appeared in only 70 games last season, but still hit 22 homers after hitting at least 40 in both the 2018 and 2017 seasons. Gallo also has 20 career steals across 429 big-league games.
If that weren’t enough, the big man is in at least the 90th percentile in hard hit rate, xwOBA, xSLG and barrel percentage this season, according to Statcast.
He has the opportunity to be one of the highest-scoring players on this slate tonight, so look for Gallo to lead the way for our Rangers stack in this one.
UTIL – Nick Solak (TEX) – $2,800 vs. SEA
Completing our lineup and our four-man Rangers stack is Solak who has scuffled to this point in the season but does bring some intriguing tools to this matchup while he’s projected to hit second in the order, which is why we certainly want him in this spot.
He’s yet to homer this season, but Solak posted a mammoth .305 ISO while homering 10 times in just 30 Triple-A games last season before coming to the majors and hitting five homers in just 33 games as part of a real nice .198 ISO in his first taste of big league ball. All told, he hit 32 homers across three levels last season. Solak also has some quality stolen-base upside here as he swiped 21 bags at the Double-A level in the 2018, and while he stole seven across three levels last season, he has two stolen bases to his credit early this season.
Despite hitting .233 with no homers and a 94 wRC+, Solak still has a .340 OBP thanks to a 12% walk rate that actually exceeds his 10% K-rate to this point. He has big-time walk rates in his minor league career, so I like his chances of getting on base ahead of Gallo in this one tonight, which is a nice consolation if he isn’ hitting for power at the moment, although that will come very soon.
Add it all up and Solak has some cross-category potential against one of baseball’s worst pitching staffs tonight.