Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks were fine in the pitching department, but largely incomplete as our main stack of the Braves were rained out prior to their favorable matchup against the Marlins.
Our top pitcher Rich Hill wasn’t elite, but he did toss six innings of one run bull en route to a no decision. He didn’t provide the strikeout upside we desired though as he punched out just four Brewers on the night. All and all a solid effort from the veteran southpaw.
Our second pitcher Jacob Junis allowed four earned runs in just 5.2 innings, but thanks to 10 runs of support, Junis landed in the win column while punching out five. Two of the four earned runs allowed came on the last batter he faced, so it could have been better, but we will take the win at what was a low cost.
Catcher Elias Diaz was replaced by Francisco Cervelli in the starting lineup, and our other Pirates didn’t do much at all as they mustered just two runs against Cole Hamels and the Cubs’ bullpen. Our one off David Fletcher went hitless in four at-bats in the Angels’ 7-2 loss in Tampa Bay.
We will look to improve on tonight’s nine-game main slate!
CIN @ WAS
P – Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) – $10,500 vs. NYM
There is a plethora of top arms on the slate in Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and Zack Greinke, but I am going to pay down for my pitching and grab a couple of right-handers that I believe can bring similar upside to these arms at cheaper prices, beginning here with Foltynewicz. The Braves’ righty is enjoying a career year as he will enter tonight’s contest sporting a tidy 3.04 ERA and 3.55 FIP to go along with a real nice 28.4% strikeout clip. Foltynewicz is actually coming off four straight poor outings, but facing a Mets team that ranks 24th with a .706 OPS against righties while posting a league-worst .626 OPS at home this season should cure what ails the fireballer.
P – Nick Pivetta (PHI) – $8,500 vs. MIA
Pivetta certainly has a fantastic matchup tonight as he takes on a poor Marlins offense at home this evening. Pivetta may own a 4.85 ERA, however his FIP of 3.61 and his xFIP of 3.25 suggest he has been extremely unfortunate to boast such a high ERA figure. There is also the fact that Pivetta is a strikeout machine as he owns a huge 29% strikeout clip on the season and is coming off a 12-strikeout effort his last time out against the Reds. Pivetta also owns a tidy 2.98 FIP and a 31.5% strikeout clip at home this season, so I am looking for a big effort from the right-hander against one of baseball’s weakest offenses tonight.
C – Kurt Suzuki (ATL) – $3,800 vs. NYM
We will be rostering a one-off catcher tonight in the form of the Braves’ Kurt Suzuki, who simply clobbers left-handed pitching as he takes on Mets southpaw Jason Vargas tonight. Vargas is allowing an even 1.000 OPS to right-handed hitters this season, and Suzuki has touched lefties up for a big .226 ISO and .817 OPS on the season. His output has been down so far in the second half of the season, but against a pitcher struggling immensely to righties, I am liking the bang for the buck tonight with the veteran backstop.
1B – Ronald Guzman (TEX) – $3,700 vs. BAL
As per usual in the summer, the hitting conditions are very favorable at Globe Life Park in Arlington and the Rangers are projected to score a slate-high 5.9 runs as a result against Orioles right-hander Andrew Cashner. Cashner owns a poor 4.33 ERA and an even worse 4.81 FIP on the season, so he’s certainly a targetable arm on the slate. Enter Guzman who has some pop in that bat as evidenced by his nine homers and .170 ISO on the season in a less than full-time role. Guzman isn’t the most powerful bat on the slate, but the price is right and he also is part of a four-man Rangers stack tonight.
2B – Jonathan Villar (BAL) – $3,300 vs. TEX
Given the favorable hitting conditions in Texas tonight, the Orioles aren’t a bad play themselves as they carry some value at their prices. Villar came over to Baltimore in the Jonathan Schoop deal and is expected to return from the DL and make his Orioles debut tonight in Arlington. He’s not having the same season he did in 2016 when he hit 19 homers and stole 62 bases, but Villar still has pop with six homers on the year to go along with 14 steals in under 300 at-bats. The switch-hitting infielder has done more damage against lefties this season, but he works just fine with the power/speed upside at this price in a three-man Orioles stack.
3B – Adrian Beltre (TEX) – $3,800 vs. BAL
The power might be down, but Beltre is still hitting the middle of the Texas lineup, which should give him a fair amount of RBI opportunities against Cashner. All five of his homers and 10 of his 13 doubles this season have come against right-handed pitching while Beltre owns a solid .287 average on the campaign. He saw his five-game hit streak snapped with an 0 for 4 on Tuesday, but Beltre was swinging a white-hot bat as he went 10 for 23 over the five-game stretch. He fits well as a low-cost option against a targetable arm.
SS – Tim Beckham (BAL) – $3,800 vs. TEX
Beckham should once again hit in the leadoff spot for Buck Showalter’s Orioles tonight, a spot that should provide cross-category opportunities against right-hander Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo has been roughed up for a 6.26 ERA this season and the Orioles are coming off a seven-run output yesterday in New York. Beckham has hit lefties better than righties this season, but the right-hander Gallardo has actually yielded more damage to right-handed hitters than he has lefties this season. Beckham is 4 for 10 with a double over his last two games, so let’s roster the leadoff man while he’s feeling it.
OF – Mark Trumbo (BAL) – $3,900 vs. TEX
Trumbo still owns some raw power in that bat, something that should play well in Arlington tonight. On the season, he has clubbed 12 homers and owns a strong .178 ISO, a number that creeps up a little bit to .184 against right-handed pitching. Trumbo has enjoyed nice career success against Gallardo as he’s 6 for 11 (.545) with a double against the veteran righty. Trumbo is 4 for 13 with four runs scored and two RBI over his last three games, so it appears he too is swinging a confident bat at the moment.
OF – Joey Gallo (TEX) – $4,700 vs. BAL
Gallo is one of the top power threats on the slate, albeit he is certainly a boom-or-bust play. He’s already clobbered 26 home runs this season, 17 of which have come against right-handed pitching. Gallo owns just a .189 average against righties, but has hit them for a big .249 ISO and .438 SLG. Gallo has been swinging a powerful bat to kick off the second half as he owns a massive .375 ISO and .928 OPS so far after the All-Star break, so let’s hope he keep swinging that big stick tonight in a favorable matchup.
OF – Willie Calhoun (TEX) – $3,900 vs. BAL
I like Calhoun’s upside at a reasonable price as he completes our four-man Rangers stack. He hasn’t hit for a ton of power between Triple-A and the big leagues this season, but he has hit for plenty of power throughout his minor league career as he posted a .257 ISO at Triple-A in 2017 after coming from the Dodgers to the Rangers in the Yu Darvish trade. A big night for Calhoun should include some runs scored from other in this stack as he should hit at the end of the group.