Most of last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks performed very well, however three of our four Dodgers in the stack produced very little, making it tough to lock in some profits on the large, 14-game slate.
Our top pitcher J.A. Happ was excellent yet again for the Yankees, spinning seven innings of one-hit ball while striking out four, notching his third consecutive win as a member of the Yanks in as many starts.
Our second pitch Jaime Barria delivered fantastic value and his strikeout upside indeed paid off. Barria went just five innings, however he allowed just one earned runs, a solo homer, to go along with seven strikeouts, earning his eighth win of the season with the strong effort. Nice to have both of our pitchers land in the win column!
Our Royals mini-stack of Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield performed nicely as Perez easily eclipsed value with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored on the night while Merrifield delivered on his cross-category upside with a hit, a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Precisely what we were looking for here.
Our Indians mini-stack also delivered, with Yonder Alonso recording a hit, a run and three RBI while Jason Kipnis walked and stole a base. Solid production here.
However, aside from Justin Turner’s three-hit night, including a double, and possibly Manny Machado and his hit, RBI and stolen base, our Dodgers stack mostly let us down. Kike Hernandez and Matt Kemp remained cold at the plate with just two walks between them.
Still, that lineup delivered pretty solid results, and hopefully you were able to use the picks to get into the money!
Let’s go ahead and move onto tonight’s 10-game main slate!
P – Kevin Gausman (BAL) – $8,700 vs. MIA
Spending down on pitching and spending up on bats has worked well so far this week, so once again I will duck a top arm in Gerrit Cole and move down to Gausman as my top arm of the night. He’s not having an excellent season by any means, but Gausman is coming off a beautiful start against the Brewers in which he hurled eight innings of one-run ball to go along with eight strikeouts. Tonight, he takes on a struggling Marlins offense that ranks 27th with a tiny .251 wOBA over the last seven days while their .670 team OPS against right-handers this season ranks 28th. They also have the 11th-highest strikeouts rate against righties this season at 22.7%, so I am very comfortable with Gausman tonight as the Braves sit at -219 favorites in this one.
P – Shane Bieber (CLE) – $8,300 vs. CIN
Bieber is another mid-range priced pitcher who has a nice matchup against a Reds team projected to score less than four runs tonight in Cincinnati. Bieber is enjoying a very strong rookie season in which he has posted a 4.24 ERA, but he’s also logged a 3.02 FIP and 3.50 xFIP, suggesting he’s been on the unfortunate end of the luck spectrum thus far. The 23-year-old right-hander has produced a 24.3% strikeout clip this season, and he will take on a Reds team that has struck out at a 24.9% clip over the last week, the fourth-highest mark in baseball. At -158 favorites, I like the chances Bieber notches a win tonight as the Indians’ offense should be able to back their starter against right-hander Robert Stephenson.
C – Yadier Molina (STL) – $4,200 vs. WAS
Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been real good on the road with a 3.10 ERA on the season, but he is running into the league’s hottest offense right now as the Cardinals have posted a .410 team wOBA over the last week, easily the highest mark in the baseball. Therefore, I will roll out a four-man Cardinals stack, all of whom are hitting right-handed pitching well this season. The right-handed hitting Molina boasts some big reverse splits this season and has knocked righties around for a .194 ISO and .811 OPS on the campaign while 13 of his 15 homers have come against righties. He’s also posted an .840 OPS so far in the second half, so lock in the reliable veteran in a nice matchup tonight.
1B – Jose Martinez (STL) – $4,100 vs. WAS
Martinez has hit well against both lefties and righties this season, but in terms of power, he too sports some notable reverse splits and has hit righties for more power than lefties. Martinez sports a solid .178 ISO and a nice .853 OPS against righties compared to a .105 ISO and .773 OPS against lefties. Martinez hasn’t hit for a ton of home run power in August with a .133 ISO, but he also sports a big .993 OPS after a real quiet July, and he is riding a six-game hitting streak into action tonight. He’s been a real consistent producer for the most part this season, and should get to Hellickson tonight.
2B – Jason Kipnis (CLE) – $4,200 vs. CIN
As mentioned, the Indians face young right-hander Robert Stephenson of the Reds tonight, a pitcher who struggled in his first big league start of the season against a poor Mets offense. Given how he has performed lately, Kipnis makes for a nice play as part of a mini-stack. Kipnis has logged an .802 OPS for the month of August so far, and we may just get more stolen base upside as well as he swiped his fifth base of the season in last night’s game. Prior to last night, he had seven hits in his previous three games, so I am looking for Kipnis to get back to swinging a hot stick in support of Bieber tonight.
3B – Matt Carpenter (STL) – $5,600 vs. WAS
Carpenter has been baseball’s top power bat for some time now, and the numbers are just off the charts. Carpenter enters tonight’s contest with a whopping .317 ISO and .999 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching. Since the All-Star break, Carpenter has punished opposing pitchers to the tune of a massive .470 ISO and 1.229, and that is in a big sample size of an even 100 at-bats. He’s now up to 33 homers and 33 doubles on the season and has a mammoth .442 ISO in the month of August and has hit eight homers over his last 14 games. Yup, he’s a lock for me tonight.
SS – Willy Adames (TB) – $4,100 vs. NYY
I am also going to roll with a low-owned mini-stack tonight from the Rays, beginning here with the young infielder Adames. Adames is clearly becoming more comfortable, and consistent, at the plate as the season moves on as he is riding a seven-game hitting streak into tonight’s game and owns a big-time .282 ISO and 1.134 OPS so far in the month of August. His .154 ISO against righties this season trumps his .108 mark against lefties while five of his six homers for the season have come against righties. The 22-year-old also had an OPS over 100 points higher against righties at Triple-A prior to his call up, so he has displayed some reverse-splits all season long as he takes on right-hander Luis Cessa who has pitched to a poor 4.50 ERA in the big leagues this season.
OF – Marcell Ozuna (STL) – $3,700 vs. WAS
I think we can get real nice bang for our buck tonight with Ozuna who has heated up at the plate along with many of his teammates as of late. Ozuna has logged at least one hit in eight of his last nine contests and owns a .780 OPS in the month of August after scuffling to a brutal .564 OPS in the month of July. Out of the cleanup spot, Ozuna has three two-hit games over his last four and has knocked in three runs and scored three while doubling and tripling in that time as well. I’d like more home run power, which he has, but I will take the production nonetheless at this price.
OF – Melky Cabrera (CLE) – $3,900 vs. CIN
On an Indians team that will see some ownership tonight, the Kipnis/Cabrera mini-stack should be able to remain fairly low-owned on a 10-game slate. Cabrera has actually been red-hot at the dish lately, logging a three-hit night last night while he’s rattled off three consecutive multi-hit games and is 7 for 12 with a homer, two runs and six RBI over his last three games. He has stepped up as a contributor in an extremely banged up Indians outfield, and I will look for him to keep it going tonight against a targetable pitcher in Stephenson.
OF – Brandon Lowe (TB) – $2,900 vs. NYY
I am actually digging this play tonight as Lowe should see tiny ownership this evening, but given his number against righties at Triple-A and overall power this season, this play could give this lineup a real shot in the arm with some production. Lowe is actually hitless in 19 at-bats so far in the big leagues this season, so that should drain his ownership even further. That said, Lower produced a huge .309 ISO and .993 OPS in 205 plate appearances at Triple-A, while he also produced a 1.014 OPS against right-hander at Triple-A. He had 12 homers in just 135 Triple-A at-bats against righties, and it shouldn’t be long before he plays long ball at the big league level.