It was a real nice night last night with my FanDuel MLB DFS Picks as that’s back-to-back day of profits.
Max Scherzer was the right choice as he hurled six innings of one-run ball, striking out seven while earning the win over the Mets.
Our three-man White Sox stack did a real nice job as well. Jose Abreu continued his assault on Tigers pitching as he doubled twice, singled, knocked in two runs and scored two runs himself – all at 3.5% ownership. Yoan Moncada didn’t have a great night with just an RBI, but Tim Anderson singled, walked and scored two runs.
Our four-man Rays stack did damage as well, led by Mike Brosseau who actually hit in the leadoff spot. Brosseau hit a leadoff homer, doubled, scored two runs and had that RBI from the dinger. Manuel Margot delivered excellent value, recording a double, a single, an RBI and a run scored. Hunter Renfroe also doubled and knocked in two runs, although Jose Martinez let us down a little bit with just a walk to his credit.
We were set up nicely for Mike Trout to tee of on Mike Fiers, but Trout recorded just a single on the night in a wildly disappointing outcome.
Still, we’ll take the profits and move on to tonight’s eight-game main slate!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – August 12, 2020
P – Kenta Maeda (MIN) – $8,700 vs. MIL
The top-priced pitcher on the slate is Zack Greinke against the Giants, but Greinke hasn’t had his strikeout stuff going early in the season while the Giants don’t strikeout a ton as a team.
Rather, Maeda has a higher strikeout rate to this point in the season, but I like his matchup far better against a Brewers team that ranks 29th with a 28.9% K-rate against right-handed pitching this season.
Maeda’s pitched well this season, posting a 2.65 ERA/3.21 FIP with an 8.47 K/9 but also a tiny 1.59 BB/9 clip across his three starts and 17 innings of work so far for his new club in Minnesota. Maeda is the owner of a 9.76 K/9, but his mark as a starting pitcher is slightly lower, but still a quality 9.56 K/9 rate.
The knock on Maeda previous was that he doesn’t go deep into games, but he’s pitched six innings in each of his last two starts, and my hope is that he racks up plenty of strikeouts early on to give us a nice floor even if he doesn’t go deep into the ball game.
On top of the strikeout potential against the Brewers, I like that Milwaukee ranks just 25th with a .292 wOBA for the season against right-handed pitching and with the Twins favored to win this on on the moneyline, Maeda makes for a solid play in all formats tonight.
C/1B – Max Muncy (LAD) – $3,600 vs. SD
The Padres and Dodgers collide again tonight in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers will face right-hander Zack Davies in the process.
Davies has usually been a pretty solid pitcher in terms of command and run-prevention, but I just see this potent Dodgers lineup having success against him in this one.
Davies doesn’t strike out many at all with a career 6.39 K/9 clip, and while Davies owns a 3.89 ERA/4.19 FIP for his career as well, he’s not going to overpower this patient Dodgers lineup and I believe they can sit on some of his stuff tonight.
Muncy is as patient as they come at the plate and is an on-base machine. He owns a .361 career OBP thanks to a 14.8% walk rate, but hits for plenty of power with a career .254 ISO including a .200 mark this season. He’s hit four home runs, and the good news is he hits both lefties and righties quite well for when this Padres bullpen comes in.
I like the power potential here against the righty, however.
2B – Brandon Lowe (TB) – $3,200 vs. BOS
Lowe didn’t get the start in last night’s contest against the lefty Perez, but come in to pinch hit and recorded an RBI double. That said, there is some pinch-hit downside here as Mike Brosseau could come in and hit for Lowe against a lefty reliever, but I still like Lowe – projected to hit second in the order – to start this one against Zack Godley.
Godley has been good in two of his three outings, but was also shelled against the Yankees for five runs in just 3.1 innings in one of his three outings this season. He’s also the owner of a 4.66 career ERA and posted a 5.97 ERA/5.20 FIP last season.
For his part, Lowe is off to an excellent start this season, posting a .310 ISO, .395 wOBA and a 162 wRC+ with three homers in 17 games on the year. Lowe was on pace to perhaps take down the AL Rookie of the Year award last season as he hit 17 homers with a .243 ISO and 125 wRC+ in 82 games, but he was injured and that cost him much of the rest of the season.
We get a little bit of stolen base potential here, but Lowe is swinging a red-hot bat right now so let’s get him into this lineup tonight.
3B – Yandy Diaz (TB) – $2,500 vs. BOS
Diaz was off to a slow start to his season after enjoying a breakout season last year, however that changed in last night’s contest in Boston.
Diaz went 2 for 5 with a run scored and two RBI in last night’s win, and while he hits better against left-handed pitching, I’ll get his cheap bat into this lineup as he’s projected to hit in the three-hole behind Lowe and the third member of our stack.
It’s not that he can’t hit righties, either. He posted a solid .176 ISO and 95 wRC+ against them last season, it’s just that he hit lefties for a far superior .272 ISO and 158 WRC+. Nonetheless, he posted a quality 39% hard-hit rate against righties last season and launched seven home runs against them.
The bat is going to heat up at some point, and despite his splits leaning towards lefties, the value potential is there in the three-hole coming off a nice night at the plate last night/
SS – Gleyber Torres (NYY) – $2,700 vs. ATL
Torres is another bat that is off to a slow start this season, however you just know the youngster is going to turn it around.
After all, Torres hit 38 homers last season as part of his .256 ISO, .358 wOBA and 125 wRC+. For good measure, he also swiped five bases after stealing six in his rookie season. The guy has hit 62 home runs over the last two seasons with 11 steals with a career .227 ISO, .347 wOBA and 119 wRC+. He’s going to get it going after starting this season with a .151 average and 41 wRC+ through 16 games.
He’ll take on right-hander Huascar Ynoa who posted a 5.33 ERA/5.52 FIP at Triple-A last season. The Yankees make for a nice stacking option as a result, but he’s not going to go deep into the game and the Braves have one of the better bullpens in baseball. As a result, I’m not using a Yankees stack but rather using Torres as a one-off with a decreased price.
Torres has hit lefties better in his career, but has posted a .206 ISO, .803 OPS, .337 wOBA and 112 wRC+ against righties for his career. In other words, his bat is 12% above league-average against righties with park factors included.
At the end of the day, we’re getting a big bat at a cheap price and I’ll look for him to turn things around tonight.
OF – Austin Meadows (TB) – $3,200 vs. BOS
There’s plenty of bats around baseball that have struggled out of the gate as the hitting generally hasn’t caught up to the pitching yet, and Meadows is no exception.
I mean, he still has a 106 wRC+ on the season, but he hasn’t homered yet and is hitting just .241 after a huge rookie season last year in which he homered 33 times and stole 12 bases while hitting .291 with a .380 wOBA, .268 ISO and 142 wRC+.
All that said, let’s dig into the splits where we discover something awesome. That would be his .294 ISO, 1.097 OPS, .458 wOBA and 205 wRC+ against righties. Furthermore, he has actually picked it up at the plate despite a rough night last night, doubling in three straight games prior to that one while recording five total hits in that time. He also attempted two steals on Monday, but was successful on only one.
Nonetheless, the bat is heating up and I like that he’s attempting steals. He’s still mashing right-handed pitching, so the prospects against Godley are rather good for the Rays’ leadoff hitter tonight.
OF – Joc Pederson (LAD) – $2,900 vs. SD
Projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight against the right-hander Davies, I always like me some Pederson against just about any right-handed pitcher.
All he’s done against right-handed pitching in his career is mash them for a powerful .264 ISO, .857 OPS, .363 wOBA and 131 wRC+. He plays almost strictly against right-handed pitching as he’s hit 117 of his 126 career home runs off of a right-handed pitcher.
This season, Pederson is hitting just .196, but that’s also his ISO figure as well with three homers and a 14.3% walk rate on the season. It’s not hard to see why Dave Roberts likes him out of the leadoff spot against righties with that walk rate and big-time power against them.
The Dodgers are projected to score 5.3 runs tonight, so grabbing the leadoff man with huge power against Davies isn’t the worst idea in the world.
OF – Mookie Betts (LAD) – $4,100 vs. SD
Next man up in this four-man Dodgers stack is Betts who is off to a fantastic start to his Dodgers career, one that’s going to last a long time thanks to that mega-extension.
Betts has posted a .281 ISO, .383 wOBA and 149 wRC+ in his first season in Dodger blue to this point, hitting four home runs and notching a stolen base in the process.
The good news is that nearly all of that success has come against right-handed pitching. Betts has demolished righties to the tune of a .327 average, .367 ISO, 1.071 OPS, .446 wOBA and 192 wRC+ against righties so far. All four of his homers and all six of his doubles have come at the expense of a right-handed pitcher. Interestingly, his lone steal came against a southpaw.
All that said, his splits for his career are almost dead even. He’s a .301 hitter against both lefties and righties while his 135 wRC+ against righties is just two ticks under his .137 mark.
Projected to hit in the two-hole behind Pederson tonight, Betts is a must in this cash-aimed lineup tonight.
OF – Cody Bellinger (LAD) – $3,900 vs. SD
Completing this lineup and our four-man Dodgers stack is Bellinger who is projected to hit third in the Dodgers’ lineup tonight.
The 2019 NL MVP is scuffling to this point, however. He has two homers and a steal, but also a .167 average .211 wOBA and 35 wRC+. He’s also walking at just 6.5%, well below his 12.2% career mark.
But, I mean, come on. While I’m not going to expect Bellinger to hit at his MVP level again this season, there’s no way that his slump lasts much longer. This guy is the owner of a career .274 ISO, .373 wOBA and 136 wRC+. Those are elite numbers.
The numbers are still weak against righties, but the good news is that all of his damage – albeit just the two homers and a double – came against a righty while he’s just 2 for 22 against lefties.
There’s also two reasons why I like Bellinger specifically, and the second why I like the Dodgers as a whole: One, Bellinger is 4 for 8 with a homer in his career against Davies. And secondly, while I believe they’ll get to Davies, he just doesn’t go deep into games often, maxing out at 5.2 innings this season. With that in mind, it’s nice to see they’ll face a struggling Padres bullpen that owns a 22nd-ranked 4.92 ERA, 24th-ranked 4.88 FIP and 23rd-ranked 0.0 fWAR.