Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks simply delivered.
Our top starter Jose Berrios got the job done as expected with his seven innings of one-run ball to go along with eight punchouts against the visiting Royals. The strong outing earned the young right-hander his ninth win of the season and lowered his home ERA to 2.49 and his home FIP to 2.15. Keep that in mind.
Our second starter Chase Anderson didn’t allow an earned run in his outing, but it wasn’t exactly a stellar one, either. Anderson yielded eight hits and walked a pair during his 4.2 innings of work. He struck out four, but obviously did not qualify for a win.
Our main stack of the Rays mashed and carried our bats. Wilson Ramos homered, C.J. Cron doubled and Daniel Robertson knocked in the game-winning run in the 10th. In total, our three-man stack went 8 for 15 with a homer, a double, four runs scored and three RBI.
Our Red Sox stack didn’t do as well, but the lefty-mashing Steve Pearce did hit a home run. Eduardo Nunez went hitless in three at-bats and Blake Swihart didn’t get the starting nod.
Lastly, our Twins mini-stack was decent thanks to Eduardo Escobar’s three-hit night to go along with an RBI.
Let’s put that nice night in our back pocket and move onto tonight’s jam-packed 15-game slate!
P – Trevor Bauer (CLE) – $13,600 vs. CIN
It’s either Bauer or Verlander for top pitcher on tonight’s slate and I’m giving the edge to Bauer. It’s real tough to make a case against the right-hander right now as he’ll enter tonight’s contest sporting a 2.45 ERA while his 2.17 FIP also strongly agrees with his work. Not only is the right-hander excelling in run-prevention, but he’s punching opposing hitters out to the tune of a 31.3% clip and has seven double-digit strikeout outings under his belt this season. The Reds have some very capable bats at their disposal, but Bauer has been too good to pass up whenever he takes the hill.
P – Julio Teheran (ATL) – $7,400 vs. TOR
With the cost related to Bauer, we are going to have to pay down for our second starter and I will go all the way down to Teheran who takes on the Blue Jays tonight at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. He’s not the most reliable arm, but Teheran brings nice strikeout upside as he owns a 23.5% strikeout rate at home this season. It’s also encouraging to see the Blue Jays projected to score just four runs as well. Teheran was roughed up for five earned runs against the Yankees in last start, but he struck out 10 in that start and has two double-digit strikeout performances across his last four outings. He carries notable risk, but I will take his strikeout upside tonight at this price.
C – Austin Barnes (LAD) – $2,800 vs. SD
Despite paying down for a second starter, we are still going to need some value-type bats in our lineup and I believe we have that with a four-man Dodgers stack against Padres’ lefty Eric Lauer. Lauer has been decent lately, but has been touched up for a 5.06 ERA and 5.30 FIP at home while he’s yielded a 2.45 HR/9 and a .960 OPS versus right-handed bats at home this season. Barnes is having a poor season after an excellent 2017 campaign, but his numbers improve greatly against left-handed pitching. He’s also 3 for his last 10 with two runs and a stolen base over his last three games, so perhaps he can build on that modest recency in a favorable matchup tonight.
1B – Yonder Alonso (CLE) – $4,000 vs. CIN
The Indians should be able to get Bauer some run support tonight against Reds’ right-hander Sal Romano who has pitched to a 6.11 ERA on the road this season. Considering he has also allowed an .898 OPS to left-handed hitters this season, we are going to target him with a trio of Indians lefties. Enter Alonso who hit a homer in last night’s contest and now owns a nice .192 ISO and .804 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching and has posted an .894 OPS so far in the month of July after struggling through June. Let’s catch Alonso while he’s hot.
2B – Jason Kipnis (CLE) – $3,800 vs. CIN
Kipnis hasn’t exactly rebounded from a poor 2017, but he’s been good lately and his combined with price and matchup, I have no problem rostering the veteran tonight. Kipnis doubled and homered in yesterday’s contest and he’s now 4 for 10 with two doubles, a homer, two runs scored, three RBI, four walks and a stolen base over his last four games. Interestingly, the left-handed Kipnis owns better numbers this season against left-handed pitching, but given the recency and the fact the vast majority of damage against Romano comes from lefties, Kipnis works just fine in this three-man stack.
3B – Logan Forsythe (LAD) – $2,700 vs. SD
Back to our Dodgers four-man stack here with Forsythe. To be honest, I would not blame you one bit if you wanted to avoid the veteran infielder given his struggles this season, but he’s part of a four-man wrap-around stack and is technically leading off the group, so we just need him to reach base and score some runs to eclipse value. He did so with a walk and run scored in his last start on Sunday, and if he can do so again tonight we could get enough value out of him to make this a worthwhile play.
SS – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,700 vs. SD
One of my favorite players against left-handed pitching, Hernandez is enjoying another quality season in the power department. He’s already blasted 15 homers on the season which is four more than all of last season in 94 fewer plate appearances. Seven of those homers have come against left-handed pitching while Hernandez owns a powerful .226 ISO versus southpaws. He’s also projected to his in the very valuable two-hole for Dave Roberts tonight, so lock in the diminutive power threat in an excellent matchup tonight.
OF – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $4,200 vs. SD
Taylor completes our four-man Dodgers stack tonight against the lefty Lauer. Taylor is projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight as he carries a .221 ISO and .806 OPS into tonight’s contest against left-handed arms for the season. Taylor’s cross-category upside was on full display in last night’s game as he went 2 for 5 with a double, a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base. He’s homered 10 times, doubled 20 times and stolen four bases this season, so I will easily take that all-round production against one of the most targetable pitchers on the slate tonight.
OF – Michael Brantley (CLE) – $4,800 vs. CIN
Our three-man Indians stack is complete here with the addition of Brantley. He’s putting together an excellent season for the Tribe has he carries a .209 ISO and .906 OPS into action against right-handed pitching this season. He’s been an absolute doubles machine lately as he has doubled six times over his last eight games and sports an overall .851 OPS for the month of July so far. Given his spot as the projected two-hole hitter for Terry Francona tonight, I will look for some quality cross-category production from the veteran outfielder tonight.
OF – Kole Calhoun (LAA) – $2,900 vs. SEA
Calhoun and the Angels take on right-hander Mike Leake of the Mariners tonight, and I like this play for a few of reasons. First, price. Second, Calhoun is projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight, a very valuable spot in the lineup. Lastly, he has been much better since his DL stint in June as he’s posted a massive .320 ISO and a nice .819 OPS in the month of July so far. He also brings a little bit of stolen base upside to the table with four steals on the season, so look for Calhoun to keep it going tonight, hopefully out of that leadoff spot.