First, my apologies for the lack of DraftKings MLB DFS Picks articles over the last few days as a long, well-earned weekend vacation took place with the family.
That said, I am back today to deliver what I believe will be some profitable picks to get our week started on the right note.
We have a 14-game DraftKings main slate on our hands tonight with a few weather spots to keep our eyes on, and possibly avoid, across the slate.
Let’s get it!
*Today’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks are aimed at GPPs
CHC @ PIT / CIN @ DET / MIA @ ATL
P – Jon Gray (COL) – $9,600 vs. STL
Usually with Trevor Bauer on the slate he is a lock-and-load for me, but with the Cardinals and Bauer’s opponent, the Twins, both sporting run projections of 3.9, and with Gray’s strikeout upside, I am going to pay down for Gray as our top arm. Let’s also keep in mind Gray’s work since a short stint at Triple-A. Gray has made two starts since returning to the Rockies, yielding just two earned runs across 14.1 innings to go along with 12 strikeouts. He was seriously due for some positive regression, and is still likely to regress positively as his 3.00 FIP and 2.86 xFIP are well under his 5.16 ERA. Gray enters play sporting an elite 28.2% strikeout clip as well. I don’t believe we get Gray under $10K again this season after tonight’s start.
P – Danny Duffy (KC) – $7,700 vs. CWS
Duffy is prone to the odd blowup from time to time, like the seven earned runs he allowed in his last start, however he can also be lights out, like he was while allowing one earned run with 21 strikeouts over his previous 22 innings and three starts prior to the aforementioned blowup. That stretch of three excellent starts included seven shutout frames with eight strikeouts in a win over the White Sox in Chicago on July 14th. Despite the pitching-friendly confines at Duffy’s home park at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, we actually want to roster Duffy on the road. His road ERA of 3.54 is miles under his ugly 6.48 mark at home while his strikeout rate jumps from 18% at home to 21.8% on the road. It’s also nice to see that the White Sox are the league’s most strikeout-prone team against lefties at a whopping 25.9% on the season.
C – Alex Avila (ARI) – $3,500 vs. TEX
The Rangers will send super-veteran Bartolo Colon out to the mound tonight to start against the D-backs in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field in Arizona. Avila got off to a brutal start this season, but has absolutely mashed in the month of July and has had good success against Colon in their history against one another. Avila has obliterated opposing pitching to the tune of a .381 ISO and 1.197 OPS for the month of July and actually posted a strong .190 ISO in the month of June as well. That’s two months of excellent power from the left-handed hitting catcher who has done all of his damage against righties this season. He is also 4 for 8 with two homers and a double in his career against Colon, so I am digging Avila as a low-owned option at catcher tonight.
1B – Justin Smoak (TOR) – $3,800 vs. OAK
The Blue Jays are currently projected to score just 3.7 runs tonight, but Trevor Cahill’s work hasn’t been overly inspiring lately and we know that Smoak has plenty of pop in that bat. He isn’t having the same All-Star type season he did in 2017, but Smoak is still hitting right-handed pitching for a big-time .257 ISO and .879 OPS on the season, number that are much better than the switch-hitting first baseman sports against left-handed pitching. He too is enjoying a very powerful month of July as evidenced by his huge .271 ISO and .955 OPS for the month. I believe we are getting real good bang for our buck tonight with Smoak as part of a mini-stack.
2B – Daniel Descalso (ARI) – $4,500 vs. TEX
Descalso is quietly enjoying a very powerful season for the D-backs and forms a quality mini-stack with Avila in their matchup against Colon. The left-handed hitting Descalso has interestingly posted superior power numbers against left-handed pitching than he has righties, but he still owns a powerful .199 ISO and .847 OPS against righties on the season. 15 of his 16 doubles have come against righties, but the three of his nine homers coming against lefties in significantly less at-bats against them is the reason for the elevated numbers against southpaws. Nonetheless, he’s also posted a .902 OPS in the month of July, so let’s roster the second baseman to complete our D-backs mini-stack tonight.
3B – Yangervis Solarte (TOR) – $3,600 vs. OAK
Solarte is a lot like Smoak in the sense that he is giving us solid power upside at a very reasonable cost. Solarte is also a switch-hitter, but he’s hit lefties for more power this season than he has righties. Still, he’s clubbed nine home runs this season against right-handed pitching to go along with 13 doubles against righties as well. Overall, he has 17 homers and 20 doubles on the season, good for a .176 ISO, which is approaching his career-high of .180 set in the 2016 campaign. He will certainly be a low-owned player, but with power upside at a nice price.
SS – Manny Machado (LAD) – $4,800 vs. MIL
Now that we have our two mini-stacks out of the way, we will open up our four-man main stack of the Dodgers against Brewers left-handed Wade Miley. Miley pitches in plenty of traffic as evidenced by his 1.39 WHIP and huge 13.7% walk rate, so we can make out very well if our Dodgers can be patient and powerful tonight. Machado has shown a little more power against righties than he has lefties this season, but he still owns a powerful .225 ISO and .902 OPS on the season against southpaws. He homered for the second time as a Dodgers in last night’s game and has a hit in 10 of 11 games as Dodger and has registered four multi-hit games in that span.
OF – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $4,200 vs. MIL
Taylor is a very solid cross-category upside player tonight, especially out of the projected leadoff spot for Dave Roberts’ club. He enters play tonight sporting a powerful .203 ISO on the season against left-handed pitching, and he’s also scored 62 runs, knocked in 50 himself and swiped four bases to boot. Taylor is a very consistent hitter with at least one hit in 11 of his last 13 games while he’s also a modest 1 for 3 with a double in his career against Miley. He’s a very solid all-round hitter with nice cross-category upside in this matchup tonight.
OF – Matt Kemp (LAD) – $4,200 vs. MIL
Kemp has obliterated left-handed pitching this season and has enjoyed solid success in his large sample size history against Miley. Kemp enters tonight’s contest sporting a massive .307 ISO and .957 OPS on the season against southpaw pitching. He’s been very consistent as well as Kemp has posted an OPS of at least .749 and an ISO of at least .185 in every month this season. For July, he owns that solid .185 ISO and a nice .854 OPS. In his career against Miley, Kemp is 8 for 30 (.267), with two homers and a double, good for powerful .233 ISO against the veteran southpaw. Look for his bat to produce some RBIs tonight out of the projected three-hole.
OF – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $4,000 vs. MIL
Completing out Dodgers four-man stack tonight is the lefty-mashing Hernandez. Hernandez has posted a solid .191 ISO this season against left-handed pitching, although his power against righties has been superior with a .254 ISO. Let’s also keep in mind that he absolutely obliterated lefties to the tune of a .309 ISO and .946 OPS last season, so we know that he boasts notable power versus southpaws. After a massive June, his power has been down in July, however this is an excellent matchup to get back on track as Hernandez is projected to hit in the cleanup spot tonight, which should afford him many RBI opportunities.