It was our best lineup of the young season last night and one that hit in both cash and GPP contests.
This despite another uneven effort from Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd. Boyd once again struggled early on, not so much with command as he didn’t walk a batter, but rather was fooling no one. The Royals scored four earned runs on nine hits across five innings against Boyd, but Boyd’s six strikeouts in that time mitigated the damage and at least gave him a serviceable score.
Our Tigers stack received production largely from only Jonathan Schoop who homered and added a sac fly on the night while C.J. Cron walked and Niko Goodrum added a sac fly of his own in the Tigers’ 5-4 win.
Our Angels stack really stepped up for us as both Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani homered while Mike Trout went 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored. Anthony Rendon chipped in two walks and a run scored himself.
Finally, Nelson Cruz did his part as well (as did Aaron Judge if you read yesterday’s piece), notching an RBI double to add to the cause.
It was a real nice lineup – one that was better if you went with Judge as I did in a few of my lineups along with Cruz – as we move onto tonight’s eight-game main slate!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – July 30, 2020
P – Dinelson Lamet (SD) – $9,200 vs. SF
Tonight’s lineup is probably better suited for cash games, but I’d still throw it into a GPP or two as I did with last night’s lineup despite the projected high ownership of some of the players involved.
Nonetheless, I am getting my hands on one of my favorite DFS pitchers in the form of the Padres’ Dinelson Lamet who slides is as the team’s No.2 starter behind Chris Paddack and is now well removed from his spring, 2018 Tommy John surgery.
Lamet is one of the game’s top strikeout artists as he posted a 10.94 K/9 in his rookie 2017 season before undergoing the TJ procedure, but he came back last season to post a monster 12.95 K/9 in his 73 innings of work. Among starting pitchers that pitched at least 70 innings last season, Lamet’s K-rate ranked third behind two men named Cole and Sale. That’s special company.
Getting deep into games has been an issue in his young career to this point and Lamet was pulled after five innings and 80 pitches in his first outing of the season, but still struck out eight while walking only one against the D-backs on July 25.
Tonight, he faces a Giants team that has struggled offensively as expected – despite a seven-run effort mostly off the Padres’ bullpen last night – as their .285 wOBA ranks 23rd and their 24.5% K-rate, while ranked 16th, is an elevated number.
At the end of the day, Lamet is my top arm on the slate by a mile.
C/1B – Pete Alonso (NYM) – $3,900 vs. BOS
I’ll be rolling out a pair of four-man stacks in this one tonight, beginning here with the Mets and Alonso coming off a rookie record and MLB-leading 53 home runs a season ago.
Alonso blasted his first homer of the season on Tuesday, a laser shot over the monster at Fenway, and while it’s his lone homer on the season, we could very well see another tonight as he feasted on left-handed pitching last season.
Alonso punished lefties to the tune of a massive .347 ISO, .941 OPS, .381 wOBA and 141 wRC+ in 2019, although his splits were actually almost dead even with slightly more power indeed coming against left-handed pitching.
The matchup is an extremely favorable one against Red Sox left-hander Martin Perez who was tagged in his season-opening start for four runs in five innings, although he didn’t allow a homer. He’s coming off a 5.12 ERA from last season and righties had their way with him for an .836 OPS and .353 wOBA with a 1.54 HR/9 to boot.
Considering his struggles against right-handed hitters last season, I’ll be glad to stack four right-handed Mets bats in this one as they target the Green Monster in left field at Fenway this evening.
2B – David Fletcher (LAA) – $3,000 vs. SEA
He’s not the biggest power threat in the game, but Fletcher has quickly become one of the top bat-to-ball hitters in baseball and could threaten for the batting title in the truncated 60-game season.
The 26-year-old played his first full Major League season last year, and hit .290 with a .350 OBP that often had him hitting in the leadoff spot ahead of a gentleman named Mike Trout.
All he’s done so far this season is hit .435 with a .500 OBP, .442 OBA and 191 wRC+ with two doubles and a stolen base. He’s yet to homer and hit just six in 154 games last season, but Fletcher also doubled 30 times last season and tripled another four, so he does have some extra-base potential despite the lack of home run upside.
He’ll take on left-hander Marco Gonzales in this one, a pitcher he’s enjoyed success against in the form of a .364 average (8 for 22) with three doubles and a triple while striking out just twice in 25 plate appearances against him.
His splits were fairly even last year, but at this point Fletcher appears to be a great source of hits/walks/runs while setting the table ahead of Trout, Anthony Rendon, Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani.
3B – Anthony Rendon (LAA) – $4,000 vs. SEA
Next man up in this stack is Rendon who didn’t have the best of nights last night for us but still managed to get on base twice, something he did with the best of em’ last season.
Rendon’s .412 OBP from last season was the fourth-best mark in the big leagues after Trout, Christian Yelich and Alex Bregman, but of course we’re not here for the OBP.
We’re very much here for the power potential and Rendon brought plenty of that with 34 homers and a .279 ISO – both of which were career-highs while his 154 wRC+ speaks for itself. As I noted in yesterday’s piece, Rendon hits both lefties and righties quite well, but his numbers were a little better against lefties last season when he posted a .301 ISO, 1.050 OPS, .418 wOBA and 158 wRC+ against southpaw pitching.
He hasn’t seen much of Gonzales at all in his career, just two plate appearances, but he does have a double in that time while seeing 10 pitches total, so I would suggest he sees the ball well out of his hand, as he does for many pitchers in the game.
Out of the projected three-hole, I expect a bounce back effort from the all-world third baseman tonight.
SS – Amed Rosario (NYM) – $2,500 vs. BOS
It’s always a comforting feeling knowing you are getting the leadoff hitter in a stack, and like with Fletcher and the Angels, we have that here with Rosario and the Mets.
Still just 24 years old, Rosario continues to display a nice combination of power and speed. That said, against a left-hander like Perez, the power plays up while the stolen base potential is lessened, and that’s fine with me.
Last season, Rosario hit 15 homers and stole 19 bases, but his bat was miles better against lefties who he hit for a .311 average, .216 ISO, .887 OPS, .370 wOBA and 134 wRC+ a season ago. Just three of his 19 steals came against a lefty, but the good news is that Perez struggled mightily with stolen bases last year, allowing a whopping 13 of them in just 165.1 innings – a huge number for a left-handed pitcher.
Rosario has indeed hit lefties very well for his career and he’s also enjoyed success off of Perez in his career against him, going 2 for 6 (.333) with a homer and a walk against him in their brief history against one another.
I’ll let the power/speed combination set the table for our four-man Mets stack tonight.
OF – J.D. Davis (NYM) – $2,400 vs. BOS
One of the breakout players from the 2019 season was Davis as he received a big bulk of playing time, appearing in 140 games for the Mets just one season after appearing in only 42 contests for the Astros.
Davis took advantage of that playing time in spades, hitting 22 home runs as part of his .220 ISO, .373 wOBA and 136 wRC+. For good measure, he swiped three bases as well.
He raked both lefties and righties last season, but his numbers slightly favored left-handed pitching who he hit for a .227 ISO, .913 OPS, .378 wOBA and 139 wRC+. That said, one thing that sticks out in a big way is that he posted just a .101 ISO and . 673 OPS against left-handers on the road while mashing them for an elite .347 ISO and 1.145 OPS at home. He also did far more damage against right-handers at home, as well.
While that trend continued throughout the 2019 season, home/road splits can be volatile from season-to-season, and with a new season at hand, I will give Davis a crack at bucking the trend in an extremely favorable matchup in a very nice hitters’ park for right-handed bats.
OF – Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) – $2,600 vs. BOS
Completing our four-man Mets stack is Cespedes who played hero on Opening Day with a long home run to left that gave the Mets a 1-0 win. That was one of his two homers on the season as he seemingly has not missed a beat in the power department despite playing only 119 games since the end of the 2016 season due to various ailments.
Like with many hitters in this lineup, Cespedes boasts nearly dead-even splits in his career. He owns a .228 ISO, .824 OPS, .348 wOBA and 123 wRC+ for his career against left-handed pitching while he’s fared well in his career against Perez, going 5 for 15 (.333) with a double and a triple with just one strikeout in 18 career plate appearances against the veteran southpaw.
He’s projected to hit sixth in tonight’s lineup, which would give us a 1-2-4-6 stack if FantasyLabs’ projected lineup holds true, but I don’t mind having Cespedes doing the cleaning up for this stack one bit.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $4,500 vs. SEA
Trout had a productive night last night, but we’re still waiting for that monster game from the three-time MVP as he sports just a .167 ISO on the season, a far cry from his .353 mark from last season and his .275 mark for his career to this point.
If you read my piece yesterday, you’d know Trout produced a reverse-splits season last year and hit right-handed pitching better than he did lefties. That said, it’s not as if his work against lefties was poor either while he’s absolutely destroyed Marco Gonzales in their lengthy history against one another.
All Trout did against lefties last season was post a .294 ISO, .989 OPS, .408 wOBA and 161 wRC+, numbers that aren’t too shabby despite some slight reverse splits. There’s also the fact that Trout has owned Gonzales, going 12 for 28 (.429) with three doubles and two homers against him while striking out just two times across 25 plate appearances against him.
As a result, there’s no logical way we can leave Trout out of any Angels exposure, especially since their bullpen continues to struggle with a 5.65 ERA/6.35 FIP on the season while allowing 4.40 BB/9 and a whopping 2.20 HR/9 to this point in the young season.
UTIL – Justin Upton (LAA) – $2,700 vs. SEA
Upton got back on the saddle last night with a solo home run that proved big for our lineup as he came in at low ownership, and I’ll look for him to ride that confidence into this matchup tonight.
Again, if you read yesterday’s piece, you’d know that Upton has been a reverse-splits hitter in each of the last two seasons as he’s hit right-handed pitching far better than he has lefties, but there’s some good news for this particular matchup tonight.
One is the fact that he hasn’t been a reverse-splits hitter his entire career as he raked lefties for a massive stat line of a .344 average, .384 ISO, 1.155 OPS, .472 wOBA and 202 wRC+ as recently as the 2017 season. Yes, the 202 wRC+ means his bat was 102% above league average against lefties that season.
Additionally, his home run last night came against a left-handed Mariners reliever. While he’s gone just 4 for 18 (.222) in his career against Gonzales, two of those four hits have gone for a home run, giving him a .333 ISO, .856 OPS and .360 wOBA against him in their history against one another.
At this price, I continue to believe Upton brings excellent value to the table to clean up this 1-4 Angels stack tonight.