I didn’t manage to get any DraftKings MLB DFS Picks out for Sunday’s slate, however I stayed red-hot with my picks with an extremely profitable night on Saturday.
The picks were profitable on the strength of our starting pitching. It was definitely the right move to pay up for the top arm on the slate in the form of Justin Verlander as he hurled six innings of one-run ball to go along with 11 strikeouts while earning the win over the Mariners.
While Verlander’s 36.3 fantasy points were excellent, we received massive value from the 29.35 fantasy points Homer Bailey delivered at just $5,800. Bailey tossed seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out six in a win over the Indians. We have picked on Cleveland and their ice-cold offense with Brad Keller and Homer Bailey, two value pitchers, and have received unbelievable results in the process.
Our bats were led by Derek Dietrich who homered and tripled while driving in three. Scott Schebler teamed up with Dietrich to notch nine points of his own thanks to a hit, a walk, a run and an RBI.
Our four-man Mets stack was solid, if unspectacular. Wilson Ramos and J.D. Davis combined for just a walk, but Pete Alonso doubled, walked and scored a run while Amed Rosario chipped in five fantasy points of his own.
Ozzie Albies and Johan Camargo were very good in our Braves mini-stack as they combined for four hits, two runs, two RBI and a walk.
It was another excellent lineup as I look to stay hot on tonight’s nine-game main slate!
P – Trevor Bauer (CLE) – $10,400 vs. SEA
The Mariners have been one of baseball’s best offenses this season, however they were quieted by a couple of Cy Young-caliber pitchers over the weekend in the form of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, and things will not get any easier tonight against Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer. Due to the Indians’ weak offense, this one is expect to be a low-scoring game on both sides, but the Indians are slight -111 favorites against left-hander Yusei Kikuchi as he has struggled in the early going. That said, we are simply here for Bauer’s elite strikeout upside and we’ll let the rest take care of itself. Seattle struck out a combined 22 times against Verlander and Cole, and could struggle again against Bauer and his 10.98 K/9 on the season. He also owns a 2.29 ERA and has gone seven innings in two of his three starts with a hiccup, but still seven strikeouts, in his most recent start at Detroit. We need to be here for his strikeout upside in this one tonight.
P – Joey Lucchesi (SD) – $9,000 vs. COL
I rostered Lucchesi for his most recent start at San Francisco and he was blasted for seven runs in that outing after not having allowed a run over the first two starts to his season. That could make some gun shy on the young left-hander, but Lucchesi gets a nice chance to bounce back tonight against a Rockies team that has struggled mightily on offense this season. The Rockies enter this one ranked 29th with a .250 wOBA on the season while their 26.4% strikeout rate is the sixth-highest clip in all of baseball. As a result, Lucchesi brings some real nice strikeout upside to the table as he put together a 10.04 K/9 rate in his rookie season last year and has increased that clip to 10.67 early in the 2019 campaign. He owns a 4.40 ERA so far, but he also owns an elite 1.83 FIP and 2.86 xFIP. Considering the opponent, his strikeout upside and his fantastic peripheral numbers, I certainly have faith in a bounce-back start for Lucchesi tonight in the pitching-friendly confines of Petco Park in San Diego.
C – Roberto Perez (CLE) – $2,900 vs. SEA
We are rostering a couple of pricey pitchers on this slate tonight as well as a rare five-man stack with a c0uple expensive pieces in there, so we are going to need to find serious value elsewhere in the lineup and I believe we could have that here with Indians backstop Roberto Perez. Perez is hitting just .161 on the young season with a small .573 OPS, but I believe he’s got some pop against left-handed pitching like he will see tonight against Kikuchi. He’s 0 for 7 with two walks against lefties this season and he posted just a .650 OPS against lefties in 2018. However, he crushed lefties to the tune of a powerful .257 ISO and .807 OPS in the 2017 season. Yes, that is two seasons ago now at this point, however the right-handed hitting catcher has proven he’s got pop against lefties. He’s notched three hits including two doubles over his last three games, so let’s give the catcher a shot at a very valuable price tonight.
1B – Lucas Duda (KC) – $3,700 vs. CWS
Here is where we will kick off a five-man stack. It’s a risky play only suggested in GPPs, but it is an extremely low-owned play as a group while I think the Royals have some big-time upside tonight against the White Sox and right-hander Ervin Santana. After pitching just 24.2 big league innings last season and getting knocked around to the tune of a 8.03 ERA and 7.94 FIP, Santana was rocked in his 2019 debut as he yielded seven earned runs on seven hits, three homers and three walks across just 3.2 innings of work. While the Royals’ offense is far from the best in the bigs as their .320 wOBA this season ranks 17th, I believe they can get it going tonight. Duda started cold this season, but he homered in yesterday’s game to snap the slump. He’s been a streaky big league hitter and he owns a career .234 ISO and .837 OPS against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, he is 5 for 14 (.357) with a gomer and a double in his career against Santana. I think there’s plenty of value to be extracted with the first baseman tonight.
2B – Whit Merrifield (KC) – $4,600 vs. CWS
It will be Merrifield who will technically lead off our stack tonight as he will be in the leadoff spot tonight against Santana. Merrifield power is more prevalent against left-handed pitching, but Merrifield is slashing .328/.357/.522 on the young season including a .360 average and .885 OPS against right-handed pitching. He has a homer, two doubles and a triple against right-handers this season. Merrifield has some of the best power/speed potential in baseball as he’s homered 31 times and stolen 79 bases over the last two seasons including a league-high 45 steals last season. He has two homers and five steals on the young season, and while four of those five steals have interestingly come against lefties, the upside is best against righties. Santana allowed a steal in his first start this season and White Sox catcher Welington Castillo is 0 for 6 trying to throw out potential base stealers this season. It’s easy to like the cross-category upside with Merrifield tonight, especially when we factor in his .412 average, two doubles and one steal in 17 career at-bats against Santana.
3B – Brian Anderson (MIA) – $2,900 vs. CHC
The Marlins are once again going to struggle offensively this season, but perhaps their offense can come alive tonight against a pitcher that is struggling mightily this season in the form of Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish. After missing most of last season with an injury, Darvish has been brutalized this season to the tune of a 7.50 ERA and 7.74 FIP across three starts. He has walked batters at a massive 8.25 BB/9 clip and has allowed 2.25 HR/9 on the season, an unsightly rate. As a result, I believe we can squeeze some value out of what should be a low-owned mini-stack, beginning here with Anderson. Anderson hit 11 homers and produced a solid .757 OPS as a rookie last season, and while he’s hitting just .228 this season, he’s homered twice and swiped a pair of bases as well in the early going. Both of his homers and steals this season have come against righties while he is projected to hit in the valuable two-hole in this one tonight.
SS – Adalberto Mondesi (KC) – $5,100 vs. CWS
As poor as the Royals offense may be as a whole, they have a couple of excellent pieces atop the lineup as Mondesi also carries plenty of power/speed potential into this game tonight. He was fantastic in homering 14 times and stealing a whopping 32 bases in just 75 games after his promotion as a 22-year-old last season, and Mondesi is picking up where he left off this time around with two homers, five steals and an .884 OPS across 15 games to kick off this season. He’s doubled and tripled four times each as well. In terms of some advanced stats against righties, Mondesi has posted a very powerful .273 ISO and .850 OPS on the year to this point while three of his five steals have come against right-handers. Mondesi is hitless in six career at-bats against Santana, but this is mouth-watering matchup for the young shortstop given the cross-category upside he carries in versus a struggling pitcher.
OF – Alex Gordon (KC) – $4,200 vs. CWS
It’s been a excellent start to the season for Gordon after a couple of miserable campaigns at the plate. Gordon is hitting a whopping .360 at the dish to this point while he carries a whopping 1.092 OPS into this one as well with three homers. The left-handed hitting Gordon is mashing both lefties and righties to begin the season, but against right-handers he sports a powerful .231 ISO and 1.012 OPS and his walk rate of 8.9% matches his strike rate to a tee. Obviously, Gordon isn’t going to hit like this all season, but he’s still hot at the plate coming off a two-hit game on Sunday and a four-hit game on Friday. He should get himself some nice RBI opportunities tonight hitting out of the three-hole and behind both Merrifield and Mondesi who should have themselves in scoring position by virtue of an extra-base hit or stolen base. Gordon has faced Santana for 49 at-bats in his career, hitting two homers, doubling three times and stealing a base, good for a .779 OPS and .184 ISO off of the veteran.
OF – Hunter Dozier (KC) – $3,600 vs. CWS
Dozier finally completes our five-man Royals stack as he is white-hot entering this one tonight. Dozier is a former top pick of the Royals and it’s taken him some time to get it together, however he has taken off this season in the early going. Dozier homered 11 times in 102 games last season, but posted just a .673 OPS. That said, he posted a very powerful .203 ISO against right-handed pitching and all 11 of those homers came against righties, meaning the right-handed hitting Dozier had some reverse-splits from last season. This season, he has hit two of his three homers against righties and is hitting .313 with a .219 ISO and .910 OPS against righties. Furthermore, Dozier is on a tear at the moment as he’s rattled off four straight multi-hit games with two homers, a double, six runs and four RBI over that span. Let’s look for him to stay hot in this one tonight.
OF – Curtis Granderson (MIA) – $3,400 vs. CHC
Completing our lineup as well as our Cubs mini-stack is the veteran Granderson who hasn’t hit much to begin the season, but when he has hit, it’s been for power. Granderson is hitting just .146 on the young season, However he has two homers and a double as well, giving him an extra-base hit for 50% of his hits this year. His power might not be what it used to be, however Granderson still hit 13 homers in just 343 at-bats just last season, one year after hitting 26 long balls the year prior. Both homers for Granderson this season have come against right-handed pitching, giving him a strong .188 ISO against righties. Another aspect to like here is the fact Granderson is projected to hit in the leadoff spot in this one tonight, the most valuable spot in the lineup. Given Darvish’s struggles with walks and home runs, I like the value upside Granderson brings to the table tonight.