Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks were a bit of a mixed bag, but at the end of the day, we left a lot of production on the table.
Our top pitcher Zack Wheeler got the job done in spades, but as has been the case for Wheeler and other Mets’ starters this year, he got almost zero run support and could not end up in the win column despite the strong outing. Wheeler hurled seven innings of one-run ball and struck out 10, but the Mets supported him with just one run and New York eventually fell 2-1 in 13 innings.
Our other starter Alex Wood began his night strong, but he didn’t end up with a good line while going just four innings. In those four frames, he struck out four, but also gave up seven hits, two walks and three earned runs while taking a no decision.
Our top stack of the A’s was disappointing. We received yet another Khris Davis home run, but the A’s scored nine runs, most of which were produced by the supporting cast and not the heart of the order.
Our second stack of the Astros also disappointed aside from Marwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez doubled and homered to easily eclipse value, but Josh Reddick and Evan Gattis combined to go a disappointing 0 for 7 with a walk.
Lastly, our one-off outfielder, Avisail Garcia, went just 1 for 5 with a run, but also struck out three times on a night where his team scored eight runs.
We will look for notable improvement on tonight’s jam-packed 15-game slate!
ATL @ PIT / PHI @ WAS / SD @ COL
P – Blake Snell (TB) – $11,500 vs. KC
There is just one team on this max slate that is currently projected to score fewer than three runs tonight, and that is the Kansas City Royals as they take on left-hander Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays. Snell is in the midst of a breakout season, one that has seen him pitch to a tidy 2.10 ERA to go along with a whopping 28.5% strikeout clip. At home, his numbers get even more ridiculous. Snell as a sub-1.00 ERA at home this season (0.97), albeit with a lower strikeout rate. The Royals rank 29th with a .652 team OPS against left-handed pitching, so Snell is the safest pitchers on this slate in my opinion, and his price is actually reasonable given the matchup.
P – Michael Kopech (CWS) – $7,600 vs. MIN
Kopech, the highly-touted flame-throwing right-hander, will make his MLB debut tonight for the White Sox at home against the rival Minnesota Twins. Kopech has long been considered one of the Sox’s top prospects and has compiled a 3.70 ERA, but also a 3.29 FIP, with a huge 31.3% strikeout clip at Triple-A this season prior to his call up. He has produced a big-time strikeout clip throughout his minor league career and the 22-year-old figures to carry his high-strikeout stuff to the big leagues. The Twins present a much weaker lineup than they rolled out earlier in the year due to trades, and rank 18th with a .311 wOBA in the season’s second half. I think we’re getting nice value here.
C – Max Stassi (HOU) – $2,900 vs. SEA
Stassi and the Astros take on right-hander Mike Leake and the Mariners tonight, and his low cost allows us to roll out a fairly expensive stack, but Stassi has power and will be part of a Houston mini-stack tonight. He was crushing lefties earlier in the year, but Stassi now owns superior power numbers against right-handed pitching in the form of a .183 ISO and .750 OPS against righties. The downside here is that he has struggled in the season’s second half, hence the sub-$3K price. That said, we will roll the dice on a low-owned matchup against a pitcher who has yielded more power to right-handed hitters than lefties this season.
1B – Matt Olson (OAK) – $4,100 vs. TEX
The A’s face another struggling right-hander tonight and given the fact they have been one of baseball’s best offenses for a while now, we will roll out the same stack tonight as we did last night and hope the heart of the order does the damage tonight. Ariel Jurado has posted an ugly 6.41 ERA and 6.27 FIP with a 2.03 HR/9 clip in five starts this season, so he’s arguably the most targetable pitcher on this slate. Enter Olson who has clobbered righties for a .242 ISO and .809 OPS on the season with 19 homers and 17 doubles. I really like the bang we can get for our buck with Olson at a hair over the $4K mark tonight.
2B – Jed Lowrie (OAK) – $4,400 vs. TEX
As mentioned yesterday, the switch-hitting Lowrie has hit for more power against right-handers than he has lefties this season, so he makes perfect sense in this matchup tonight. Against lefties, Lowrie has just a .132 ISO and .740 OPS, however against righties his numbers jump to a .225 ISO and .850 OPS. After a very quiet month of July, Lowrie’s bat has perked up in the month of August, but he’s still yet to get on a big-time tear. That could very well start tonight against a pitcher who has yielded a combined 12 earned runs over his last two starts.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $4,500 vs. TEX
Also mentioned in yesterday’s piece is the fact that the right-handed hitting Chapman has produced some reverse splits this season, meaning he’s hitting right-handers for more power than he is lefties this season. Chapman enters tonight’s contest sporting a powerful .249 ISO and .882 OPS against righties compared to a still-solid .187 ISO and .829 OPS against southpaw pitching. Despite not contributing much yesterday, Chapman has exploded in the second half of the season as evidenced by his .348 ISO and 1.097 OPS since the All-Star break. The breakout star is a real nice play in this matchup.
SS – Marwin Gonzalez (HOU) – $3,300 vs. SEA
After a big night last night, Gonzalez’s price actually dropped by $200 for tonight’s matchup, so we will complete our Houston mini-stack with the utility man who has ramped up his production big-time since the All-Star break. Gonzalez is hitting righties for more power than lefties with a .169 ISO and .760 OPS against righties compared to a .132 ISO and .663 OPS against left-handers. Gonzalez has also mashed in the second half to the tune of a huge .261 ISO and .949 OPS compared to just a .125 ISO and .660 OPS that he produced in the first half of the season. He’s also 6 for 11 (.545) in his career against Leake.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $5,100 vs. TEX
Given the way he has been producing in the power department as of late, I’m surprised Davis’ price isn’t actually higher than the $5,100 we are getting him at tonight. After homering in last night’s game, Davis has produced a unworldly .443 ISO and 1.109 OPS in the month of August and an equally impressive .477 ISO and 1.142 OPS so far since in the second half of the season. Also certainly worth mentioning is the fact that Davis owns some significant reverse splits where he has compiled a huge .331 ISO and .934 OPS against righties compared to a .254 ISO and .832 OPS against lefties. He’s a no-brainer for me tonight.
OF – Ian Happ (CHC) – $3,700 vs. DET
We are going to finish off our lineup with a couple of one-off outfielders who are cost efficient, but also in good matchups with value upside. Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann has regressed to a brutal 5.96 ERA since the All-Star break, so he is certainly targetable tonight. The switch-hitting Happ has hit righties much better than lefties this year with a .194 ISO and .818 OPS against righties compared to a .138 ISO and .669 OPS against lefties. He also has a .238 ISO and .893 OPS on the road against righties, so we will lock in the sophomore at a real nice price in a favorable matchup.
OF – Brandon Lowe (TB) – $2,900 vs. KC
Although he hasn’t produced a whole lot since his big league promotion, Lowe actually had two hits and two RBI the last time we used him in one of these lineups, so let’s extract more value out of him tonight as he mashed at Triple-A prior to being called up. Lowe produced a 1.014 OPS at Triple-A against right-handed pitching this season and he produced an overall .309 ISO at the minors’ highest level in the 2018 season. He takes on Royals’ right-hander Glenn Sparkman who has a 4.95 ERA in the big leagues and a 4.58 at Triple-A this season, so it appears we have a targetable matchup tonight.