Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks did not get the job done, ending what was a solid week up until this point.
Justin Verlander didn’t give our lineup a chance as the AL Cy Young hopeful was clobbered for six earned runs in just two innings of work while taking the loss against the visiting Mariners. Verlander had been cruising entering this start, but the volatile nature of MLB DFS reared its ugly head in this one.
Our second starter Andrew Suarez was decent at best as he pitched just five frames, giving up three earned runs while striking out four. He too ended up in the loss column thanks to yielding a pair of home runs in the second inning that accounted for all of the damage against him.
Our top stack of the Rays did fine and this group essentially did all the damage for Tampa in their 5-4 win over the Orioles. Ji-Man Choi showed more power against righties with a solo homer, Matt Duffy recorded an RBI double and Jake Bauers had a hit and three RBI. Unfortunately, Joey Wendle did not start this one despite being white-hot at the plate.
Our Dodgers stack didn’t produce much as a Kike Hernandez double was most of the damage there while Austin Barnes did not get the start behind the plate.
Lastly, Steve Pearce was hitless in three at-bats as our one-off outfielder.
We will look to get back on the winning track on tonight’s 14-game main slate!
P – Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) – $9,700 vs. BAL
The Red Sox and Orioles kick off a three-game set in Baltimore tonight, and I am liking Eovaldi to continue his recent stretch of elite starts against a very weak Orioles lineup. Baltimore is among the league’s highest strikeout clubs against right-handed pitching as their 24% K-rate off righties is the sixth-highest mark in baseball, which should give a boost to Eovaldi’s decent 22.6% strikeout rate. Since coming to Boston, the right-hander has yet to allow an earned run on just seven hits and one walk across 15 innings, with nine strikeouts. The Red Sox are currently favorites in the -190 range, so I think we have a real good shot at a nice score with the Red Sox newest starter tonight.
P – Shane Bieber (CLE) – $8,300 vs. CWS
Bieber should be able to provide us nice value given the White Sox and their high-strikeout ways, especially as of late. Bieber enters play sporting a mediocre 4.58 ERA, but his ERA indicators are much better as he carries a tidy 3.17 FIP and 3.60 xFIP into action, suggesting he’s been on the wrong end of the luck spectrum so far this season. Bieber brings a nice 23.5% strikeout rate with him into action tonight, but given the White Sox are in a three-way tie for the highest strikeout rate in the league against righties at 25.7%, we should see an increase in that mark tonight. Furthermore, the White Sox lead baseball with a massive 33.5% strikeout clip over the last week, so I think we could have a big-time strikeout game from the 23-year-old right-hander tonight.
C – Jose Briceno (LAA) – $3,000 vs. OAK
We are going to have a couple pricey bats in our lineup tonight and our pitching isn’t overly cheap, so we will need to find some value in the lineup, and I think we have that with the catcher Briceno. Briceno has handled himself well at the MLB level this season as he owns a .294 average in 74 plate appearances, but this is a guy who mashed lefties at Triple-A as he gets set to face A’s southpaw Brett Anderson tonight. Briceno posted a huge 1.091 OPS against lefties at Triple-A this season, a number that included a huge .727 SLG. He will be an extremely low-owned commodity on this big slate, so some extra-base pop from the young catcher could go a long way tonight.
1B – Luke Voit (NYY) – $3,500 vs. TEX
The Yankees take on Rangers left-hander Mike Minor tonight, and considering Minor owns a road 6.50 ERA, I think we can target him with a trio of right-handed New York bats tonight, beginning here with Voit. Voit should still see low ownership, but he’s shown the ability to left-handed pitching as he owns a career .250 ISO against left-hander at the big league level. He’s boasted some reverse splits at Triple-A this season, but last season he hit lefties for a huge 1.060 OPS at Triple-A. He could very well eclipse value with some power tonight against the lefty Minor.
2B – Gleyber Torres (NYY) – $4,600 vs. TEX
Torres has scuffled somewhat at the dish over the last couple of weeks, but his power against left-handed pitching as been simply undeniable this season, and he’s projected to hit in the cleanup spot tonight for Aaron Boone’s Yankees. Entering play tonight, Torres has posted an impressive .278 ISO and a .961 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. Those figures inch up to a .282 ISO and a 1.007 OPS at home against left-handers on the year. He makes for a high-upside play out of the value cleanup spot tonight.
3B – Jefry Marte (LAA) – $3,400 vs. OAK
Marte isn’t going to give you much in the batting average department, but his power is what we are after here as he forms a very, very low-owned mini-stack with Briceno. Marte has just a .644 OPS against lefties thanks to a terrible .232 OBP against the, but he has clubbed all four of his homers against lefties this season and owns a powerful .200 ISO against them on the year. Marte has largely been a sporadic player in his big league tenure, but his owns a very nice .215 career ISO against southpaws and has hit 14 of his 27 big league homers against lefties despite facing righties in 70 more at-bats. Let’s look for some low-owned production from this mini-stack tonight.
SS – Jorge Polanco (MIN) – $3,700 vs. DET
The Twins travel to Detroit tonight to take on right-hander Jordan Zimmermann who has struggled over his last four starts after a very strong six-start stretch. Polanco doesn’t hit for much home run power against righties, but it’s real hard to argue with his huge .346 average and .936 OPS against right-hander on the season. Polanco missed 80 games due to a PED suspension, so his sample size is low for this year, but it’s worth nothing he hit righties for a decent .161 ISO last season, so he does have some pop against right-hander. Nonetheless, we will use that impressive OPS to kick off our three-man Twins stack as he’s projected to hit in the three-hole tonight.
OF – Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) – $5,100 vs. TEX
With Stanton’s numbers against left-handers this season combined with his career numbers against Minor, I think it’s a no-brainer to include him in this lineup, especially in a Yankees stack. Stanton enters tonight’s game sporting a massive .349 ISO and 1.111 OPS on the season against southpaws, with a .349 batting average to boot. Those figures against lefties also come with a massive .455 wOBA. In his career against Minor, Stanton is 7 for 21 (.333) with four homers and a double against the veteran southpaw. Let’s simply lock and load the lefty-masher tonight.
OF – Eddie Rosario (MIN) – $4,400 vs. DET
Rosario broke out without a massive season in 2017, and he’s building on that season with another big campaign in 2018 despite the Twins being well out of contention. Against right-handed pitching this season, Rosario owns a big .233 ISO and .907 OPS to go along with a hefty .381 wOBA. Rosario has also hit Zimmermann for power in his history against him as he is 4 for 13 (.308) against the veteran righty with a homer and two doubles, good for a huge .692 SLG, .978 OPS and .385 ISO. He should hit in the valuable two-hole tonight, which should be good for some cross-category production from the outfielder.
OF – Max Kepler (MIN) – $3,800 vs. DET
Finishing off our lineup and our three-man Twins stack tonight is Kepler who has hit Zimmermann well while, but interestingly owns some reverse-splits on the season. Kepler has clubbed 14 homers and 24 doubles on the season, and although he has hit lefties for a .219 ISO and .821 OPS compared to a .173 ISO and .714 OPS against righties, that ISO figure still shows solid power. He is 3 for 7 (.429) with two runs and two walks in his career against Zimmermann, but also owns a massive .936 career OPS at Comerica Park in Detroit in a solid 57 at-bat sample size. I like his chances against Zimmermann tonight in a venue where he clearly feels comfortable.