Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks certainly had some bright spots, but some holes elsewhere in the lineup made it tough to cash in any profits in tournaments or cash games.
Our top pitcher of the night in Blake Snell delivered big-time, hurling six innings of one-run ball to go along with 11 strikeouts while earning his 15th win of the season in a 4-1 victory over the Royals.
Our second starter Michael Kopech endured some poor luck in his MLB debut. Kopech’s outing was a brief one as a rain delay shortened his evening to just two innings. In those two innings, the flame-throwing right-hander allowed zero earned runs on three hits and to go along with four strikeouts.
Our top stack of the A’s got to right-hander Ariel Jurado, and the Khris Davis home run parade continued as the scorching hot slugger clubbed his 38th homer of the season to tie for the MLB lead. Matt Chapman doubled and scored while Jed Lowrie enjoyed a two-hit night while reaching base all four times with two walks, a run and an RBI as well. Unfortunately, Matt Olson went 0 for 4 at the end of our stack.
Our Houston mini-stack didn’t produce much at all, which was disappointing against a targetable arm in Mike Leake.
Lastly, our two one-off outfielders in Ian Happ and Brandon Lowe produced nothing at all, especially since Happ didn’t start. Lowe went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts as his big league struggles continue.
We’re still looking for a profitable lineup this week as we stare down tonight’s 10-game main slate!
P – Lance Lynn (NYY) – $8,000 vs. MIA
After three excellent outings to begin his Yankee tenure, Lynn was roughed up by the Blue Jays in his most recent start, but I’m still loving his matchup tonight against the light-hitting Marlins in the pitcher-friendly confines of Marlins Park in Miami. Lynn hurled 16.2 innings of one-run ball to go along with 22 strikeouts in his first three Yankee outings before yielding five runs in four innings against the Jays. Still, he has pitched to a 2.161 ERA and 1.56 FIP as a Yankee while striking out a whopping 11.8 hitters per nine innings. The Marlins 28th with a .670 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, so I am certainly going to try and extract value out of the veteran right-hander tonight.
P – Jon Gray (COL) – $7,800 vs. SD
Gray may be pitching in the league’s most hitter-friendly venue tonight, but he’s also facing one of the worst offenses in baseball as well as one of the most strikeout-prone offenses in baseball, so I am once again going to try and extract value from the right-hander at a very attractive price. Gray has largely produced very good results since spending a couple of weeks in the minors at the beginning of July, producing a 2.83 ERA with a 23.9% strikeout rate in the second half of the season. He’s still been the unluckiest starting pitcher in baseball as his overall 4.76 ERA is miles above his tidy 3.23 FIP and 3.08 xFIP, while his K-rate sits at an impressive 27.4%. He takes on a Padres team tonight that ranks dead last in the big leagues with a .660 OPS against righties to go along with a 25.8% K-rate against them, good for the highest mark in baseball alongside the Chicago White Sox.
C – James McCann (DET) – $3,100 vs. CHC
While the Tigers have struggled big-time in the season’s second half, they are a much better offense against left-handed pitching and have hit southpaw Jon Lester well in their history against him. Lester has a career 6.05 ERA against the Tigers in 11 starts as well as a 6.35 ERA in five starts at Comerica Park in Detroit. The Tigers rank 29th in OPS against righties, but rank a decent 17th against lefties, so perhaps a sneaky Tigers stack gets the job done tonight, beginning with McCann. He is pretty bad against righties, but McCann owns a career .225 ISO and .816 OPS against lefties while he is 2 for 4 with a double in his career against Lester. We could have real nice value here.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) – $5,500 vs. LAA
The Angels are rolling out journeyman right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne tonight, he of a 6.29 ERA at the big league level this season, so we are going to attack him with a pricey D-backs stack. Goldschmidt has hit lefties for more power than righties this season, but his .231 ISO and .900 OPS against right-handed pitching are still both elite figures. He also had a .243 ISO and 1.008 OPS since the All-Star break and has a homer against Despaigne across 10 at-bats. Add in his five steals against righties and we have excellent cross-category upside in this matchup tonight.
2B – Ketel Marte (ARI) – $3,700 vs. LAA
First, a disclaimer. I would not blame you one bit for not wanting to use Marte in this lineup as his numbers against lefties are far superior to his numbers against righties, but I decided to include him in a stack rather than use a one-off second baseman in this lineup. You could also substitute the Tigers’ Niko Goodrum in here as he fits, but that would mean a five-man Tigers stack. I am going four and four tonight and using Marte. After all, he’s notched at least one hit in five of his last six games with a pair of doubles in that time. He’s also got a bit of stolen base upside, so we will use Marte as part of this four-man stack.
3B – Jeimer Candelario (DET) – $3,700 vs. CHC
Candelario will face his former teammate Jon Lester tonight, and the switch-hitting youngster has superior numbers against lefties this season than versus righties. Candelario owns a powerful .202 ISO and .815 OPS against lefties on the season compared to a .175 ISO and .695 OPS against righties. He is also set to assume leadoff duties in this matchup, giving him some extra value atop the lineup. His bat has also perked up big-time lately as he is riding a four-game hit streak entering play tonight with five hits in that span, but all five of those hits have gone for a double. He also has nine runs scored over his last nine games, so I am excited about the value upside here.
SS – Jose Iglesias (DET) – $3,500 vs. CHC
Iglesias has been sneaky-good against lefties this season and I think we can extract some nice value out of him, especially as he’s set to hit in the two-hole against a guy he has had success against in the past. This season against left-handers, Iglesias owns a .317 average, .195 ISO and .879 OPS. Those are fantastic numbers at this price. Furthermore, he is hitting for a powerful .182 ISO and .788 OPS in the second half of the season compared to a .106 ISO and .677 OPS in the first half. He’s 3 for his last 7, and is interestingly also 3 for 7 with a double and a stolen base in his career against Lester. Iglesias already has a career-high 14 steals this season, and given Lester’s pickoff troubles, he could certainly provide some upside in that department tonight.
OF – Nicholas Castellanos (DET) – $4,600 vs. CHC
We will complete our Tigers four-man stack here with Castellanos. Fresh off winning AL Player of the Week honors for last week, Castellanos absolutely mashes left-handed pitching as evidenced by his .397 average, .224 ISO and 1.065 OPS against southpaws on the season. Castellanos has also obliterated Lester in their history against one another. In nine at-bats against the veteran southpaw, Castellanos has five hits including three home runs and eight RBI. That’s good for an eye-popping 2.111 OPS and 1.000 ISO. Look for another big night from the breakout star tonight.
OF – David Peralta (ARI) – $5,500 vs. LAA
Peralta has enjoyed an excellent season to this point and he has also been the best hitter in baseball over the last week. Across the last seven days, Peralta leads baseball with a .744 wOBA, 1.933 OPS and a 1.333 SLG. He’s hit three homers, doubles once, knocked in seven and scored three runs as well. Peralta has hit right-handed pitching for an elite .278 ISO and .992 OPS on the season as a whole, but also a .316 ISO and 1.108 OPS at home against right-handed pitching. Lastly he has mashed Despaigne for a career .438 average (7 for 16) with a homer, a double, a triple, five runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Lock and load here.
OF – Jon Jay (ARI) – $4,100 vs. LAA
I wanted A.J. Pollock here, but given the cost, we had to pay down for Jay. Still, Jay provides nice upside as he’s projected to hit in the leadoff spot against the struggling right-hander Despaigne. Jay literally does all of his damage against righties as all three of his homers and all 18 of his doubles this season have come against righties despite still logging 127 at-bats against lefties. He’s hit righties for a nice .766 OPS at home this season and has two multi-hit efforts over his last three starts. I love his run-scoring upside tonight as the leadoff hitter for a team projected to score five runs.