Last night’s results were extremely frustrating despite cashing in some lower stakes GPPs.
It was one of those nights that looked wildly promising early in the night as we sat near the top of GPPs through the first few innings of the earlier games. Kenta Maeda was dealing against the Tigers, and cruised through five one-hit innings with six shutouts. That said, a three-run homer surrendered to Miguel Cabrera in the sixth erased plenty of those gains made in the first five innings. He ended up with the quality start and the win with six frames of three-run ball with nine strikeouts.
Our Red Sox stack did something similar. They knocked around rookie right-hander Dean Kremer for even earned runs in 2.2 innings as we got all kinds of run, RBIs and doubles from Alex Verdugo, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. The Red Sox led 8-0 after three innings. They would score just one run from their on out off the Orioles’ mop-up relievers. That crushed us.
We received a home run from Anthony Rizzo – his second in as many nights – but also just two walks from Kyle Schwarber.
Finally, we received fantastic value from Adam Frazier who hit a first-inning home run off Kyle Hendricks and later singled. Unfortunately, Gregory Polanco’s three points on the night didn’t follow suit.
The Red Sox pumping the brakes on their offensive outburst hurt big-time, as did that homer from Cabrera off Maeda. Nonetheless, we’ll take a small profit and move onto tonight’s six-game main slate!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – September 24, 2020
P – Corbin Burnes (MIL) – $10,600 vs. STL
It’s a fairly thin crop of pitchers on this six-game slate and while Ian Anderson and Lance Lynn certainly deserve their fair share of consideration, I don’t think we should be going anywhere else but with Burnes in this one.
The electric right-hander has long had front-line rotation upside it’s shown this season as he’s actually been among the best pitchers in all of baseball this season. Indeed, he owns an ERA of 1.77 to go along with a 1.79 FIP/2.90 xFIP and a monster 13.34 K/9 in that time while keeping the ball in the yard at an eye-popping rate. Let’s check in on his MLB ranks in those areas among qualified pitchers:
- ERA – 1.77 (3rd)
- FIP – 1.79 (1st)
- xFIP – 2.90 (8th)
- K/9 – 13.34 (4th)
- HR/9 – 0.16 (1st)
Again, he’s clearly been among the best pitchers in the game along with the Trevor Bauer’s, Jacob deGrom’s, Shane Bieber’s and Yu Darvish’s of the world.
The matchup is also extremely attractive. Burnes gets a Cardinals team that is tied for 22nd with a .306 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching and one that sports a K-rate of 23.9% that sits in the bottom half of the league.
He pitched just 4.2 innings against the Cardinals in his second-to-last start, and while he labored a bit, he also struck out 10 while allowing only one earned runs despite five hits and three walks against. He also followed that outing up with six shutout innings with nine strikeouts over the Royals, another team that struggles versus righties.
You’re not going to talk me about of Burnes on this slate tonight.
C/1B – Salvador Perez (KC) – $3,600 vs. DET
Hopefully Perez hasn’t gotten all of the power out of his system quite yet as he’s been on fire of late.
Perez clobbered two three-run homers in last night’s blowout win over the Cardinals. The Royals scored 11 runs in that one and that’s an encouraging sign against Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer who has struggled mightily this season.
Coming off Tommy John surgery, Fulmer is on a strict three-inning limit this season, but it’s been a struggle to even get that deep at times. He’s managed to reach his three-inning ceiling just five times in nine starts this season. He also brings an 8.17 ERA/6.73 FIP into action while allowing walks at a 4.26 BB/9 clip but more importantly home runs at a 2.49 HR/9 rate. He also ranks in the bottom 14th percentile or worser, as per Statcast, in whiff rate, K-rate, xERA, xBA, xSLG, exit velocity, hard hit rate and xwOBA. He was one of the better young pitchers in baseball a few years back, but has struggled mightily since.
All the sudden, Perez has 10 home runs on the season to go along with a massive .311 ISO, .356 average, 1.038 OPS, .432 wOBA and 177 wRC+. He’s hit six home runs over his last nine games and has logged 16 RBI in that time. He also doubled in last night’s game and while he’s just 4 for 17 (.235) in his career off Fulmer, he’s homered twice against him and even stolen a base off him too.
Let’s look for him to stay hot in this matchup.
2B – Hanser Alberto (BAL) – $2,900 vs. BOS
While the Red Sox could surely get some damage done again tonight against Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb, I believe the Orioles are in for some offensive production as well as they take on southpaw Martin Perez.
tinLet’s be honest, Perez is a well below average big-league pitcher. He enters this one sporting a 3.88 ERA on the season, but his 4.79 FIP, 5.18 xFIP, 5.40 SIERA and tiny 1.63 K/BB ratio on the season all point to some monumental regression moving forward. When he’s pitching at home this season, I always like to point out his career 5.04 ERA at Fenway Park in nine starts while he also owns a 4.77 ERA in 11 career starts against the Orioles.
Enter Alberto who isn’t having a great season, but that’s mostly come against right-handers as his numbers off lefties are great. He owns a .356 average, .877 OPS, .376 wOBA and 138 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. The power hasn’t quite shown up this season as he owns just a .133 ISO versus lefties on the season as well, but at the top of the lineup he’s certainly been settle the table quite nicely for the O’s against southpaws this season.
Finally, he’s gone 5 for 12 (.417) with a homer and a double in his career against Perez, so let’s get him into the lineup out of the valuable leadoff spot tonight.
3B – Isaac Paredes (DET) – $2,100 vs. KC
After my stacks were laid out I had to punt at third base with a cheap option, and there were actually a few names within my $2,300 price range up for grabs. That said, Tigers youngster Isaac Paredes is the best of the bunch in that department.
Paredes is hitting just .230 with one homer and a .262 wOBA on the season in his 93 trips to the plate. That said, here is a 21-year-old player in his first tour of the bigs, but also a player that has hit at every level he’s played at in his minor-league career. As a 20-year old at Double-A last season, Paredes raked for a .282 average, .358 wOBA and 133 wRC+ in 127 games. His 39 games as a 19-year-old at Double-A included a .321 average, .388 wOBA and 142 wRC+. In other words, this guy can hit, he’s just continuing to feel out big-league pitching.
After slumping earlier in the month, Paredes will bring a nine-game hit streak into action tonight and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored just last night. While there’s no extra-base hits involved, he’s also hitting .357 off lefties this season, and he’ll take on Royals southpaw Kris Bubic in this one tonight.
It won’t take a ton of production for him to exceed value tonight, but let’s look for him to run into one and generate some extra-base power in this one tonight.
SS – Adalberto Mondesi (KC) – $2,900 vs. DET
Next man up in this four-man Royals stack is Mondesi who should once again hit out of the two-hole in this one tonight and should absolutely net some steals if he’s able to reach base against Fulmer and this Tigers bullpen that we will see a big chunk of tonight.
Now, Mondesi’s numbers against righties this season leave plenty to be desired. He’s hitting just .203 with a brutal .243 OBP on the season against righties. That said, while you can’t steal first, I’d be shocked if he didn’t attempt a steal should he reach base. Despite a bad OBP on the whole, he leads all of baseball with 20 stolen bases on the season and has still managed 17 steals despite awful numbers against righties. He’s certainly far more valuable in fantasy and DFS circles than he is in real life.
He does have some pop with four homers, eight doubles and two triples on the season and he his power has played up versus lefties. That’s important because Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris has been piggybacking Fulmer’s starts for much of the year, so he’s likely to bring his excellent .255 ISO on the season versus lefties into play tonight as well.
While he’s without a steal in six plate appearances in his career against Fulmer, Mondesi is also 3 for 6 with a double and a triple in his career against him, so let’s look forward to the cross-category production out of the two-hole tonight.
OF – Whit Merrifield (KC) – $3,600 vs. DET
If you’ve followed these pieces before, you’ll remember that I love using Merrifield against these Tigers as he’s crushed Tigers pitching throughout his career. Merrifield has also had his way with Fulmer as he too brings plenty of power and speed the table as well.
In his career against Detroit, all Merrifield has done is post a .985 OPS in his career across 323 trips to the plate. We’re not exactly dealing with a small sample here, folks, Merrifield just loves hitting against the Tigers.
He also loves hitting against Fulmer. In his career against his divisional foe, Merrifield has gone 9 for 21 (.429) with two home runs in that time, good for a cool .286 ISO, 1.143 OPS and .490 wOBA off of him.
For the season, Merrifield has clubbed nine home runs while also stealing 10 bases. Eight of those nine long balls for the season have come against right-handed pitching, as have seven of his 10 steals while he owns a .330 wOBA and 107 wRC+ against right-handers on the season on the whole.
Nonetheless, this has more to do with his Tigers-killing ways and success off Fulmer along with his power and stolen base potential in this matchup tonight.
OF – Jorge Soler (KC) – $3,000 vs. DET
Completing this four-man Royals stack is Soler who brings plenty of thump to the table and has posted some serious reverse splits of late.
When he broke out with an AL-leading 48 home runs last season, 39 of those came against a right-handed pitcher as he posted a monster .318 ISO, .939 OPS, .384 wOBA and 140 wRC+ on the season off righties. While he also crushed lefties last season, all of those figures were superior versus righties.
This season, he’s still posting some serious reverse-splits. His sample against lefties is small not only because of the truncated season, but also because he had a recent stint on the IL as well. He’s struggled against southpaws, but is once again mashing right-handers to the tune of a .225 ISO, 337 wOBA and 112 wRC+ on the season. Those numbers aren’t nearly as eye-popping against righties as they were last season, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking there isn’t as much home run potential as we also have to include Fulmer’s serious home run issues as well.
He’s 0 for 5 in his career against Fulmer, but there’s no way I’m leaving the righty-mashing outfielder out of this lineup tonight.
OF – Austin Hays (BAL) – $2,400 vs. BOS
Next man up in our Orioles stack is Hays who could see some increased ownership last night after a big night at the plate last night. Nonetheless, I see value upside here and that’s all that matters.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a successful 21-game stint in the big leagues last season when he hit four homers and stole two bases as part of a .265 ISO, .309 average, .947 OPS, .393 wOBA and 146 wRC+ in 75 trips to the plate.
The numbers aren’t as gaudy this season, but he now has three homers and two steals in 29 games after homering as part of a three-hit night last night. It was his second homer in his last five games while he’s recorded three multi-hit games in that time. He’s gone 9 for 19 (.474) with two walks and those two homers along with four runs scored and two RBI.
The splits aren’t outrageous as he’s been slightly more productive on the whole against righties, but his .154 ISO against lefties is superior to his .077 mark against righties. He’s only 1 for 4 in stolen base attempts, so perhaps we should dial down the stolen base potential.
Nonetheless, we’re here for the power and red-hot bat, an attractive combination at this price tag.
UTIL – Ryan Mountcastle (BAL) – $3,600 vs. BOS
Completing our three-man Orioles stack here is Mountcastle who is having a big rookie season for the O’s despite owning some reverse splits in his small 2020 sample.
Mountcastle has logged just 122 plate appearances this season, but he’s homered five times as part of a .183 ISO, .330 average, .899 OPS, .383 wOBA and 144 wRC+ on the season. This comes on the heels of a 25-homer season across 127 games at the Triple-A level in 2019 while he also hit .312 with an .871 OPS, .367 wOBA and 117 wRC+ while playing against far older competition at just 22 years of age.
The now 23-year-old has logged all five of his homers against righties and three of his five doubles against righties, but he’s still hitting .296 with two doubles in 27 at-bats against lefties, good for a solid 99 wRC+ against southpaw pitching.
All that said, his splits last season were quite traditional. He clobbered lefties for a .959 OPS at Triple-A last season compared to a .835 mark versus righties. Minus his 2018 season at Double-A, his minor-league splits have been about as traditional as it gets.
Also, there’s the fact that home runs play up at Fenway for right-handed hitters facing left-handed pitching. Playing ping pong with the Green Monster isn’t all that difficult to do for right-handed bats versus left-handers pitchers while Mountcastle has more than enough power to get up and over the monster in this one tonight.