We had some fantastic pitching and our Indians four-man stack panned out inside of last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks, however our four-man Cardinals stack really dragged us down.
Our top pitcher on the night was Charlie Morton as he was once again filthy in hurling seven innings of one-run ball – a solo homer to Chris Davis – while striking out 12 Orioles and cruising to victory in the process.
Our second starter, Patrick Corbin, pitched with a heavy heart after the death of his best friend Tyler Skaggs. Corbin made Skaggs proud by tossing seven innings of one-run ball himself while striking out seven. Unfortunately for Skaggs, the bullpen blew the slim one-run lead he left with before the Nationals walked it off in the ninth, so we took a tough-luck no decision despite the strong effort.
Our Indians stack delivered value, but mostly just from two of the four players, led by Jake Bauers. Bauers was all over it as he enjoyed a four-hit night that included a double and three singles. Bauers recorded three RBIs and scored a run as well. Jose Ramirez also had a nice night as he singled twice, scored three runs and knocked one in himself. Jason Kipnis didn’t do much with a walk and an RBI while Bobby Bradley’s big league struggles continued with and 0 for 3. It’s unfortunate he couldn’t get a hit or two as he left four men on base.
Our Cardinals stack received some hits, but few of substance. Tyler O’Neil was our best player as he singled and doubled on the night. Paul DeJong singled and Dexter Fowler doubled, but we needed much, much more from this lineup against one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball.
Our pitching set us up for a big night but pur bats largely didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
Let’s look for better fortune on tonight’s big 14-game main slate!
P – Chris Sale (BOS) – $11,800 vs. TOR
To be honest I’m seeing some risk here as the Blue Jays have been able to get to Sale on a couple of occasions this season. That said, both of those games came in Boston and Sale has absolutely dominated the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto where this one will be played tonight. Besides, the strikeout ceiling here is massive and the win upside is as well, so I’ll go ahead and pay the lofty price for the talented left-hander. Entering this one tonight, Sale owns a 3.82 ERA for the season, but his 2.96 FIP and 2.99 xFIP are much more fond of his work. The strikeouts are coming by the bushel as Sale owns a massive 13.14 K/9 on the season. Now, the risk is the fact that Sale has allowed a combined eight earned runs in nine innings against the Blue Jays this season and eight earned runs over his last two starts, spanning 11 innings. Still, he has 18 strikeouts over those 11 innings and at least 10 in 10 of his last 13 starts. Sale still owns a 2.81 ERA in 14 starts and 17 career appearances against the Blue Jays, but also a tiny 1.60 ERA in eight starts and nine appearances against the Blue Jays in Toronto. I’ll assume the risk and shoot for the stars with Sale tonight.
P – Walker Buehler (LAD) – $10,900 vs. ARI
Similar to last night, I am looking to give this lineup a big foundation with a couple of top arms while searching out some value stacks. Buehler and Sale have something in common this season as they have both struck out 16 batters in a game, with Sale actually reaching 17. Interestingly enough, both of those outings came at the expense of the Colorado Rockies. Buehler enters tonight’s contest sporting a 3.43 ERA on the season to go along with a 2.87 FIP and 3.36 xFIP. His 9.65 K/9 clip is a very healthy number and essentially right in line with his 9.86 mark for his brief career to this point. After striking out 16 Rockies in a complete-game victory, Buehler was touched up for seven earned runs in 5.2 innings in the rematch in Colorado in his last start. Still, he owns a 3.05 ERA, 2.94 FIP and 3.20 xFIP at home to go along with an increased 10.35 K/9 and a minuscule 0.81 BB/9 clip. Coming off a month in which he struck out 11.29 batters per nine innings, so I’ll take the big strikeout ceiling and the win upside at roughly -230 and roll with Buehler and the Dodgers tonight.
C – John Hicks (DET) – $2,100 vs. CWS
There are a couple of left-handers going in this one tonight in Chicago and a couple of high projected run totals with even the Tigers projected score five runs off of lefty Ross Detwiler and the White Sox bullpen. The Sox bullpen ranks 18th with a 4.59 ERA and 21st with a 4.69 FIP, so it’s a targetable group. The Tigers are also an improved offense against lefties and we can scoop a few of their low-cost bats to do some damage at low ownership tonight, beginning with Hicks. Like many Tigers, it’s been a tough year for Hicks. His numbers against lefties this season are no good, however he’s shown some big-time power against lefties in the past and is certainly capable of running into one tonight. Last season, Hicks hit lefties for a .291 average, .165 ISO and .822 OPS with a big 125 wRC+. In 2017, he hit lefties for a powerful .213 ISO. While he’s yet to find his groove, the value he would bring with a home run tonight would be immense at this price and he gives us some cost flexibility in the process.
1B – Jose Abreu (CWS) – $4,4o0 vs. DET
Abreu has done some notable damage against the Tigers in his big league career to this point and I think he has a ton of upside against left-hander Tyler Alexander. It’s Alexander’s big league debut tonight after posting an ugly 6.23 ERA, 5.27 FIP and a 4.44 xFIP with a 2.08 HR/9 at Triple-A this season. He’s been much better in his minor league career prior to this season and has very strong K:BB numbers, but the White Sox are still projected to score 5.6 runs tonight and the Tigers’ bullpen is among the very worst in baseball, so I have no problem running out a four-man White Sox stack for game two of a day/night double-header. Abreu enters this one with a .347 average, .200 ISO, .934 OPS and a big 150 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. He also owns a .960 OPS and 164 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching at home where this one will be played tonight. He also has a career .985 OPS against Tigers pitching, so I’ll take the Cuban slugger all day long in this matchup tonight.
2B – Jose Rondon (CWS) – $2,100 vs. DET
Another player that has some serious value upside and provides cost flexibility for this lineup is Rondon who has done some fine work against left-handed pitching in the past. It’s been a struggle so far this season as he’s hitting just .188 with two homers, however he’s displayed some notable power prior to this season. He hit for a big-time .240 ISO in 42 games last season, the same number Abreu has this season, for reference. He posted a .246 ISO with 18 homers in just 80 Triple-A games last year, so we know the power is there. He’s been at this best this season against left-handed pitching as he’s hitting .250 with a .107 ISO anc .657 OPS against southpaws. While those numbers aren’t great, he owns a .131 average, .049 ISO and .412 OPS against righties. All three of his doubles and one of his two homers have some against a lefty. The price is clear evidence that the floor is low, but Rondon does have a big .913 OPS in his career against the Tigers across 30 at-bats with three homers in that span, so I’ll take the value upside here as well.
3B – Jeimer Candelario (DET) – $3,200 vs. CWS
Continuing with a three-man Tigers stack is Candelario who has had a disappointing season at the big league level. After showing promise with 19 home runs in his first full big league season last year, Candelario has scuffled to a .207 average with just two homers in 47 games this season, numbers that led to a demotion to Triple-A. That said, Candelario went down to the minors and absolutely raked as he hit five homers and posted a huge .286 ISO in 21 Triple-A contests. He also posted a massive 1.058 OPS as well. Furthermore, Candelario’s best work in the minors this season indeed came against left-handed pitching as he clobbered southpaws for a cool 1.500 OPS with three homers, a triple and a double across 24 at-bats against a southpaw. The switch-hitter was also at his best against lefties last season when he posted a .196 ISO, .842 OPS and a big 131 wRC+ against them. I think he will see tiny ownership on this big slate but I think the value potential is through the roof as well.
SS – Niko Goodrum (DET) – $3,800 vs. CWS
Completing our three-man Tigers stack is Goodrum who is also a switch-hitter. His splits are actually quite interesting as well while he brings a nice power/speed combination to the lineup. Goodrum hit 16 homers and swiped 12 bases in 131 games last season in what was a mini-breakout for the versatile Goodrum. This season, the power hasn’t been quite as big with six home runs, but he’s also on pace to exceed last year’s stolen base mark with seven steals on the year. The power upside has been bigger against right-handed pitching as he’s hit righties for a .155 ISO compared to a .140 mark against lefties, but the bat has been much more productive overall against left-handers. He’s hitting .300 with an .819 OPS and 119 wRC+ against left-handers, meaning his bat has been about 19% above league average against left-handers this season. That said, all six of his homers have come against righties as well as 14 of his 17 doubles, but he’s still swiped a pair of bases against a lefty and owns an .858 OPS and 129 wRC+ on the road against lefties this season.
OF – Leury Garcia (CWS) – $4,300 vs. DET
We have a couple of outfielders left in this White Sox stack and that begins with Garcia who is projected to hit in that extremely valuable leadoff spot in this one tonight. A common theme in this lineup, Garcia is a switch-hitter who brings power and speed to the lineup. The power is probably best described as pop as Garcia has stroked five homers on the season but he’s also swiped eight bases as well. He’s done his most powerful work, however, against left-handed pitching as he has hit .317 with a .159 ISO and .839 OPS against lefties with a .358 wOBA and 126 wRC+ as well. Those numbers increase slightly to an .864 OPS, .371 wOBA and a 135 wRC+ at home against lefties this season. Garcia is coming off his best month of the season at the plate in June and has been absolutely on fire by going 21 for 62 (.339) with six doubles, two homers, 14 runs scored, four RBI and a stolen base since June 13th. That production combined with his spot at the top of the order should secure him a nice night tonight.
OF – Eloy Jimenez (CWS) – $4,000 vs. DET
Completing our four-man White Sox stack is Jimenez who has certainly found his stroke at the plate after a tough start to his big league career. The outfielder has now clobbered 14 home runs on the season and owns a .232 ISO as well with a .750 OPS. Those numbers are fabulous considering he posted just a .139 ISO and .674 OPS in the months of March and April. Jimenez is coming off a scorching-hot month of June where he posted a massive .318 ISO and .942 OPS to go along with a 145 wRC+. His work has been superior against right-handed pitching this season as he sports some reverse splits, but has still hit lefties for a rock-solid .170 ISO as well. Besides, he posted an eye-popping 1.275 OPS in 46 at-bats against left-handers in Triple-A last season as he tore through minor league pitching. He’s homered in two of his last three games and actually owns a massive .286 ISO and .879 OPS with a 132 wRC+ at home against lefties this season, so I’m all over the 22-year-old rookie against one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball tonight.
OF – Albert Almora Jr. (CHC) – $3,200 vs. PIT
I had $3,400 left with an outfield spot to fill after inputting my stacks into this lineup and of that group, I like Almora the most. He has been better against lefties in his big league career prior to this season, but in 2019 the splits have reversed and Almora’s bat has been more powerful against right-handed pitching. On top of that, he will face a pitcher in Chris Archer who has big-time home run issues this season with a 2.20 HR/9 on the season, a 1.86 HR/9 to right-handed hitters and a 1.96 HR/9 at home against right-handed hitters this season. He also owns a 5.56 FIP against righties at home, so we have something to work with here. Almora has shown some increased pop this season with seven homers and will just need one more to tie a career-high. Five of those seven homers have come against a right-handed pitcher, as have nine of his 10 doubles. He owns a .160 ISO and .740 OPS against righties compared to a .096 ISO and .565 OPS against lefties. He also owns a .180 ISO and .855 OPS to go along with a 117 wRC+ against righties on the road this season. I think we have sneaky home run upside with Almora at a very reasonable cost tonight.