The bats we used with yesterday’s DraftKings MLB Picks did some damage, but we got a couple of disappointing efforts with the pitcher we went with.
Zack Greinke was by no means terrible, but his final line doesn’t get the job done. He pitched seven inning of one-run ball, but Greinke struck out just four against a strikeout-prone Phillies club. Greinke also received zero runs of support while he was in the game and took a tough-luck loss as a result.
Our second pitcher Chase Anderson had himself an excellent matchup against one of baseball’s worst offenses, however he failed to deliver. He ended up lasting just 4.2 innings while yielding four earned runs to go along with only four strikeouts.
Our bats showed up, beginning with our three-man Rangers stack. Robinson Chirinos walked and scored, but Adrian Beltre provided nice value with a solo home run and scored a pair of runs himself. Elvis Andrus had just one hit, but also an RBI and a run scored.
Our four-man Angels stack did more damage as Shohei Ohtani hit a first inning three-run homer and stole a base as well as part of a two-hit night. Justin Upton also homered as part of a two-hit night himself. Add in Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols and we received seven hits including two homers with seven runs scored, six RBI, two walks and a stolen base from that stack.
Unfortunately, Brandon Drury was placed on the DL before last night’s game against the Red Sox, so another second baseman was needed in the lineup.
Let’s move on to tonight’s nine-game main slate!
P – Mike Clevinger (CLE) – $9,500 vs. MIN
There are some expensive arms atop this slate, but with Luis Severino’s severe struggles of late and Clayton Kershaw facing a dangerous Athletics offense, I am going to pay down a little bit for pitching tonight, beginning here with Clevinger. The Indians right-hander isn’t striking out hitters at quite the same clip as last season, but still owns a strong 24.3% k-rate while that number creeps up to 25.2% at home. Clevinger enters play sporting a tidy 3.48 ERA and 3.40 FIP and faces a Twins team that isn’t nearly as good on offense after trading away Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar. Let’s lock in the Indians right-hander who should also get some nice run support from one of the best home offenses in baseball.
P – Jhoulys Chacin (MIL) – $7,500 vs. SD
The matchup didn’t work for Anderson, but I am going to give it another go with Chacin. Chacin has been particularly good at home this season despite the hitting-friendly confines at Miller Park in Milwaukee. His 3.46 ERA at home trumps his 4.16 mark on the road while his home 3.38 FIP is notably an improvement on his 4.79 mark on the road. Also of important note is the fact his strikeout rate goes from a measly 16.4% on the road all the way up to 23.2% at home. Against one of the league’s worst offenses against righties, one of the league’s worst road offenses and one of baseball’s most strikeout-prone club, Chacin has sneaky-good upside with his quality results at home.
C – Tyler Flowers (ATL) – $3,500 vs. WAS
Nationals left-handed Tommy Milone has been good in two starts with the big club this season, but this is still a guy who posted a mediocre 4.19 ERA at Triple-A before his call up and also a guy who posted a 7.63 ERA in 48.1 MLB innings last season. The Braves have some low-cost players who can mash lefties, like Flowers who will enter tonight’s contest sporting a .250 ISO and 1.236 OPS on the season off of southpaws, albeit in a 40 at-bat sample size. That said, despite logging 71 more at-bats against righties, Flowers has clubbed three of his four homers this season off of lefties. Over his career he is a more powerful bat against southpaws, so I will lock in Flowers at low ownership at an attractive price tonight.
1B – Jesus Aguilar (MIL) – $4,800 vs. SD
Chacin should also get some run support tonight from a powerful Brewers offense that takes on Padres right-hander Brett Kennedy who will make his MLB debut tonight in Milwaukee. Aguilar owns very even lefty/righty splits this season, and owns a huge .305 ISO and .931 OPS on the season versus right-handers. Aguilar hasn’t hit for much average lately, but the power remains as he clubbed his 27th homer of the season in last night’s losing effort. He should certainly get some RBI opportunities out of the projected cleanup spot tonight.
2B – Travis Shaw (MIL) – $4,600 vs. SD
Shaw is now eligible at second base which is nice because we can use Mike Moustakas at third base in this stack. For his part, Shaw is a big-time power bat against right-handed pitching as evidenced by his big .282 ISO and .901 OPS against righties while 21 of his 22 long balls have come against opposite-handed pitching. Shaw has swung a powerful bat in the second half with an overall .231 ISO since the All-Star break to go along with a real nice .360 wOBA. He’s homered in two of his last three games, so look for him to continue to flex that muscle this evening.
3B – Mike Moustakas (MIL) – $4,100 vs. SD
Moustakas is a lot like Shaw in the sense that a large portion of his power comes from right-handed pitching. Entering play tonight, Moustakas sports a powerful .240 ISO and a .799 OPS against right-handed pitching on the season. He too is swinging a powerful bat coming out of the All-Star break as he owns a .217 ISO in the second half, although that is almost directly in line with the .218 mark he posted in the first half. Moustakas has homered in back-to-back games, so let’s make it an even three in this matchup tonight.
SS – Johan Camargo (ATL) – $4,100 vs. WAS
Continuing with our Braves stack, Camargo is another Brave who has handled left-handed pitching with plenty of power this season. The 24-year-old infielder has clobbered left-handers for a massive .295 ISO and .931 OPS on the season while six of his 13 homers have come against lefties despite logging 115 fewer at-bats against southpaws than he has right-handers this season. Camargo is a sneaky-good option on this slate with that power upside.
OF – Adam Duvall (ATL) – $4,000 vs. WAS
The reason the Braves landed Duvall in a deal with the Reds is due to the fact he hits left-handed pitching for plenty of power, so he will get the start tonight against Milone. Duvall has posted a powerful .207 ISO against left-handed pitching this season while his .759 OPS against lefties in far superior to his .646 mark against righties. Duvall has faced Milone just three times in his career, but he has a homer in that span as well. He completes our three-man Braves stack against the veteran Milone.
OF – Lorenzo Cain (MIL) – $4,100 vs. SD
I wanted Christian Yelich in this spot, but Yelich’s $5,700 price tag was too steep to handle, so we will go with another cross-category producer in the form of Lorenzo Cain. While Cain has posted monstrous numbers against lefties this year, he’s still hitting .275 with a .370 OBP against righties. He’s also swiped 19 bases this season and scored 56 runs. Cain will likely hit second in the Brewers’ lineup tonight, so he is technically going to set the table for this stack, so if he can get on, steal a bag and score a couple runs tonight we should be in good shape with this play.
OF – Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS) – $3,800 vs. TOR
The Red Sox will face right-hander Mike Hauschild tonight, a pitcher who posted a 4.88 ERA with the Astros Triple-A affiliate before coming to Toronto. Bradley’s overall numbers for the season aren’t looking good due to a poor first couple months, but his power and speed upside has returned, making him a nice play in a hitter-friendly venue in Toronto tonight. Since the All-Star break, Bradley is hitting for a big-time .260 ISO and has a huge .286 ISO in the month of August so far. He’s also stolen 11 bases on the season, so we can see the power/speed upside is there, especially against a targetable right-hander.