It was a travel day for me and my family following a long weekend trip away on Tuesday, but Monday’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks hit nicely on Monday.
Led by 7.2 innings of shutout ball with 11 strikeout against the Rockies, Dinelson Lamet anchored our lineup with perhaps the best outing of his MLB career to this point.
A 10-run sixth inning by the Blue Jays helped and eventually pushed us across the cash lines in GPPs.
We’ll look to keep the good times rolling on tonight’s solid nine-game main slate!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – September 9, 2020
P – Dane Dunning (CWS) – $7,700 vs. PIT
There’s nothing like a matchup against the Pirates and that’s what young White Sox right-hander Dane Dunning has in front of him tonight.
Dunning enters this one sporting a tidy 3.86 ERA/2.80 FIP/3.14 xFIP on the season across his three starts and 14 innings so far. More importantly, the talented youngster has racked up strikeouts at a monster 11.57 K/9 clip to this point.
That said, the one concern here, especially on FanDuel, is that he hasn’t been getting deep into ball games. Dunning has maxed out at five innings in a start this season and therefore hasn’t been eligible for the 4 quality-start points FanDuel awards. That said, it’s not a pitch count issue as he threw 88 pitches his last time out and should be able to throw 95-plus in this one.
Against this Pirates offense, 95 pitches could go a long way. They enter this one sporting an MLB-worst .265 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching and their elevated 24.9% K-rate against righties checks in at 24th league wide.
The Pirates are therefore projected to score just 3.9 runs in this one, but I believe Dunning can enjoy his deepest MLB game in this one tonight while racking up the punchouts once again in the process.
C/1B – Freddie Freeman (ATL) – $4,000 vs. MIA
The Braves clobber right-handed pitching and yet are projected to score a so-so 4.5 runs tonight against Marlins righty Pablo Lopez.
That’s because Lopez enters this one sporting a real nice 3.05 ERA/2.56 FIP on the season. The 24-year-old is certainly making strikes after his 5.09 ERA/4.28 FIP season from 2019, but this simply has far more to do with how this three-man Braves stack has fared against right-handed pitching this season.
Additionally, the Braves will face a Marlins bullpen that ranks 28th with a 5.42 FIP and 5.40 xFIP while their -0.7 fWAR is tied for 26th. The Braves should certainly beat up on this Marlins bullpen, but I also like their chances against Lopez after he was shelled for five runs his last time out against the Rays.
Enter Freeman who has simply pounded right-handed pitching this season. All he’s done to righties so far is turn in a monster .313 ISO, 1.119 OPS, .459 wOBA and 189 wRC+ on the season. He’s homered seven times this season – all off of righties – and 12 of his 14 doubles on the campaign have also been at the expense of a right-handed pitcher.
So, while Lopez has generally been real good this season, I expect the Braves in this lineup to have their way with him before getting to this weak Marlins bullpen.
2B – Robinson Cano (NYM) – $3,300 vs. BAL
The Mets look like one of the better cash stacks on this slate tonight as they are projected to score 5.6 runs in this one off of right-hander Jorge Lopez of the Orioles.
The second Lopez we are targeting in this lineup, Jorge will make his third start of the season for the Orioles coming off five shutout frames against the Yankees his last time out. That said, he owns a 5.59 ERA on the season to go along with a 4.94 SIERA. Furthermore, this is a guy that owns a career 5.87 ERA/4.99 FIP and is coming off a 2019 season in which he worked to a 6.33 ERA/5.55 FIP in 123.2 innings with the Royals last season.
The Mets are another team that has pummelled right-handed pitching this season, so let’s get a left-handed stack in here against a pitcher in Lopez who has allowed a career .887 OPS, .373 wOBA and 1.82 HR/9 to left-handed bats in his career.
Enter Cano who is enjoying a resurgent season at the age of 37, hitting .319 with a .381 wOBA and 144 wRC+ with seven homers to boot. He’s also clobbered right-handers to the tune of a .234 ISO, .970 OPS, .404 wOBA and 159 wRC+ on the season.
The veteran is slumping a bit at the moment, but this would appear to be a fine matchup to get off the schneid tonight.
3B – Edwin Rios (LAD) – $2,200 vs. ARI
The third base position didn’t gel well with my stacks in this lineup, but I am loving the one-off value potential that Rios brings to the lineup tonight against the D-backs and right-hander Taylor Clarke.
Clarke has pitched 27.1 innings of 2.96 ERA ball, but also owns a 4.74 FIP/4.41 xFIP with a 4.65 SIERA as well, so look for some regression from the righty in his near future.
That said, this is more about what Rios has done to right-handed pitching over the last couple of seasons. Last year, he hit 31 homers at Triple-A, posting a massive .305 ISO in the process. He did so while hitting righties for a .935 OPS in the process.
He was then promoted to the bigs where he hit four homers as part of another huge .340 ISO in his 56 plate appearances, hitting righties for a .375 ISO, 1.046 OPS, .424 wOBA and 168 wRC+ in the process.
This season, Rios has hit right-handers for a big-time .273 ISO on the season to go along with a .332 wOBA and 110 wRC+. His numbers this season are a little more subdued, but make no mistake: this guy crushes right-handed pitching.
At the end of the day, it would appear Rios brings plenty of power potential to the table at a near-minimum price.
SS – Dansby Swanson (ATL) – $3,500 vs. MIA
While Lopez has been better against right-handed hitters both this season and in the past, this once again has more to do with the player than the pitcher.
After all, Swanson brings some real attractive power and stolen base potential into this one.
He’s hitting .295 with a .359 wOBA and 122 wRC+ on the season with six homers and four stolen bases to boot. That said, he’s enjoyed some reverse-splits this season as the righty-swinging shortstop has hit right-handed pitching for a .212 ISO, .903 OPS, .386 wOBA and 140 WRC+ on the season. All six of his homers have come against a righty while 11 of his 12 doubles and three of his four steals have as well.
Now, Lopez has generally not been susceptible to the stolen base, but he has allowed three in 38.1 innings this season, which is about 14 if he were to throw 180 innings in a full season, which counts as an elevated number. Therefore, I’m giving Swanson some stolen base potential here in addition to the power he’s brought to the table against righties here in 2020.
OF – Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL) – $4,400 vs. MIA
I’ll go ahead and complete my three-man Braves stack here with Acuna who is playing at an extremely high level at the moment.
The Braves were stymied by young right-hander Sixto Sanchez last night, but Acuna has four homers and two steals in a five-game span prior to last night’s 0 for 4 outing, and that’s exactly what we expect from the young phenom: power and speed.
For the season, Acuna has hit nine homers and swiped four bases. The good news is that all nine of his homers have come against a right-handed pitcher, as has all six of his doubles and all four of his steals.
So, if you add it up, the numbers are massive against right-handed pitching. Acuna has touched righties up for a eye-popping .402 ISO, 1.115 OPS, .458 wOBA and 188 wRC+ on the season. At home against righties, he’s enjoyed an increased .468 ISO, 1.245 OPS, .502 wOBA and 218 wRC+.
SunTrust Park in Atlanta can be quite generous to hitters at times, and clearly Acuna enjoys hitting there, but almost exclusively against righties.
Again, while Lopez has good numbers on the season, I anticipate these three righty-mashing Braves to get to him and the Marlins’ bullpen in this one.
OF – Brandon Nimmo (NYM) – $2,900 vs. BAL
I like the price we’re getting Nimmo at here considering how well he fares against right-handed pitching.
Out of that valuable leadoff spot, he’s one of the top table-setting hitting against right-handed pitching in this league. He owns a .398 OBP thanks in part to a big 15.7% walk rate on the season, but he also brings power to the table against righties as well.
All he’s done against right-handers this season is hit .308 with a monster .447 OBP, .242 ISO, .997 OPS, .428 wOBA and a huge 175 wRC+. Like Acuna above, Nimmo has been at this very best at home against righties where he’s posted a .306 ISO, 1.130 OPS, .472 wOBA and 204 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching.
He’s not a burner on the basepaths and Jorge Lopez doesn’t allow a ton of steals, but he does have a stolen base on the season and swiped a career-high nine in his 140 games in 2018, so I’ll give him a sliver of stolen base upside as well.
Nonetheless, he’s here for the power and elite on-base skills he brings to the table against right-handed pitching out of the leadoff spot for one of baseball’s top offenses against righties.
OF – Michael Conforto (NYM) – $3,200 vs. BAL
Let’s keep this four-man Mets left-handed stack rolling here with Conforto who has been out of his mind against right-handers this season, both at the plate and on the bases.
Conforto enters this one hitting .367 with a 1.002 OPS, .432 wOBA and 178 wRC+ on the season. What’s interesting is that four of his seven homers on the season have actually come against a lefty, so his .246 ISO versus lefties is superior to his .184 mark against righties. He’s also posted a .927 OPAS, .396 wOBA and 153 wRC+ on the season against lefties. Of course, his ability to mash both sides is a big plus if the Orioles’ try to match lefty on lefty later in the ball game out of the bullpen.
On top of his seven homers and 12 doubles on the season he also has three stolen bases, and while he’s also been caught three times, I like the fact he’s at least attempting steals, although his 47th percentile ranking in terms of top sprint speed helps explain his 50% success rate.
Nonetheless, the power here is massive and add in the six stolen base attempts on the season and I love the cross-category potential this guy brings to the table day in and day out.
UTIL – Dominic Smith (NYM) – $3,400 vs. BAL
Completing this lineup and our four-man Mets stack here is Smith who appeared to be blocked at first base by Pete Alonso last season, but has made his way into the lineup as a regular thanks to his righty-mashing ways this season.
The lefty-swinging Smith – who now roams the outfield – has absolutely blasted right-handed pitching to the tune of a .356 ISO, 1.108 OPS, .453 wOBA and 191 wRC+ on the season. He’s hit seven homers – six against a righty – while 13 of his 16 doubles have come at the expense of a righty.
The 25-year-old sports a big .410 BABIP against righties that’s likely due to regress, but also note his percentile rankings, as per Statcast. Smith ranks in the 83rd percentile in xBA, 76th in hard hit rate, 87th in xwOBA, 92nd in xSLG and 87th in barrel percentage.
It would appear the breakout is real. Although his numbers from last season were also excellent, he was limited to part-time duty, but is now a full-time member of this righty-mashing Mets lineup and it should be fun to watch them rough up Lopez and potentially the Orioles’ bullpen despite their strong results so far this season.