My recent struggles continued with last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks as our stacks just couldn’t produce enough in what was a very high-scoring slate.
Our pitching was solid but unspectacular. Chris Paddack, who I got at under 3% owned is most GPPs, hurled five innings of three-run ball with six strikeouts. He allowed six hits and failed to land in the win column.
Our second pitcher Jakob Junis was better, throwing seven innings of two-run ball to go along with five strikeouts. He ended up with a no decision as he left with a 2-1 deficit and the Royals rallied for the win after he was removed from the game.
Our four-man Nationals stack started well but largely didn’t get the job done, save for Anthony Rendon. Rendon hit a two-run homer in the first inning and homered once again, a solo shot in the ninth. Victor Robles’ zero didn’t help the cause. Brian Dozier had two singles, a walk and a run while Howie Kendrick was hit by a pitch and scored a run. We needed more from the latter three to get into the money.
Our Blue Jays mini-stack killed the lineup, however, as a Teoscar Hernandez single was the only damage that was done between himself and Danny Jansen.
Dansby Swanson singled twice, but was caught stealing once and picked off another time. Rough night on the bases.
Finally, our one off Josh VanMeter, at tiny ownership, posted a zero which obviously hurts real bad.
Nothing left to do but to keep grinding on a long season and tackle tonight’s eight-game main slate!
P – Jose Berrios (MIN) – $10,300 vs. SEA
I love me some Jose Berrios at home and that’s where he will be for tonight’s contest against the slumping Seattle Mariners. There’s no doubt the Mariners have pop in that lineup, however Berrios big league track record at home is too good to ignore. The home/away splits have tightened this season as he owns a 2.72 ERA at home and a 3.53 ERA on the road, however for his career he’s posted a 3.48 ERA at home and a 4.99 ERA on the road. His 3.20 FIP at home this season confirms that stout home ERA while he owns an 8.39 K/9 clip at home as well. I’d like to see that last number a little higher, however it gains upside given the fact the Mariners are tied for the fifth-highest strikeout rate in baseball against right-handed pitching at 25%. He’s surrendered two earned runs or less in five of his six home starts this season and owns a 1.88 ERA over his last three starts. There’s a few top pitchers on this slate tonight, but it’s tough not to like what Berrios can do for this lineup relative to his cost.
P – Miles Mikolas (STL) – $7,200 vs. MIA
Mikolas doesn’t bring the most strikeout upside to the table, but he’s pitched much better of late after a shaky start to the season and he gets a real favorable home matchup as well. Mikolas enters tonight’s contest sporting a 4.54 ERA and 4.70 FIP on the season, but he’s also posted an even 3.00 ERA over his last two starts, both of which came against the Cubs. Now, he’s been better at home where he owns a 2.87 ERA compared to a ghastly 7.52 mark on the road, however his ERA is artificially high on the road thanks to a massive 32% HR/FB ratio that has absolutely no where to go but down. After all, he’s pitching in the pitcher-friendly Marlins Park in Miami tonight where he’ll face a Marlins team that ranks dead last with a .279 wOBA against righties while their 25% strikeout rate is tied with the Mariners for the fifth-highest mark in baseball against right-handed pitching. There should be some value coming out of this one tonight with the Cardinals listed around -160 to win this one on the moneyline tonight.
C – J.T. Realmuto (PHI) – $4,100 vs. ARI
There are a few teams that are going to see high ownership tonight in the Twins, Braves, Blue Jays and Orioles thanks to the pitching matchups in those games, however I wonder if we can sneak a reasonably priced Phillies stack into a GPP tonight given their 4.9 projected run total and favorable home matchup against right-hander Merrill Kelly. Kelly enters this one sporting a 4.12 ERA, 4.56 FIP and 4.71 xFIP on the season, however those numbers worsen to a 6.00 ERA, 5.87 FIP and 5.74 xFIP on the road where he’s allowed 1.50 HR/9 and a massive 5.25 BB/9 rate that is inching towards his tiny 5.75 K/9 rate. He also owns reverse splits and has allowed a .992 OPS to right-handed hitters on the road with a 7.53 FIP as well. Therefore, three of our four Phillies are going to be right-handed, beginning here with Realmuto who has hit right-handed pitching for a big-time .222 ISO and .931 OPS at home this season with a 147 wRC+ to boot. He’s a rare power/speed threat for a catcher with 10 homers and two steals on the season and should be able to give us plenty of value at a reasonable price tonight.
1B – Rhys Hoskins (PHI) – $4,400 vs. ARI
Next man up in the Phillies stack is Hoskins who may own some better power numbers against lefties but has also mashed right-handed pitching as well. Of course his .296 ISO and 1.051 OPS against lefties is wildly impressive, but I’m not arguing with a .232 ISO and .879 OPS against righties to go along with a .370 wOBA and 130 wRC. Furthermore, like his teammate Realmuto, his numbers jump at home where he’s actually hit for more power against righties in the form of a massive .312 ISO compared to his .250 mark against lefties. After a little bit of a slump from late May into early June, Hoskins is back to feeling it at the plate as he’s gone 7 for 15 (.467) with a double, a ghomer, three runs scored and five RBI over his last four games, all of which have come at home where he’s easily done the most damage this season. Add in Merrill’s struggles on the road and we have some big-time upside here with these Phillies tonight.
2B – Gordon Beckham (DET) – $3,500 vs. KC
If the Phillies stack doesn’t give us low ownership to differentiate in GPPs, these Tigers should as they get set to take on left-hander Danny Duffy in this one tonight. Sure, the Tigers are among the league’s worst overall offenses, however they actually perk up against left-handed bats with a decent .720 team OPS against them – good for 19th – compared to a poor .668 mark against righties (27th). Also, they’re facing a left-handed pitcher in Duffy who owns a 4.68 ERA on the season with a 5.12 xFIP while his 4.81 ERA at home is actually a little higher than his 4.50 mark on the road. Enter Beckham who is actually projected to hit in the valuable leadoff spot tonight. He hasn’t hit well this season off of lefties, but his career splits are about dead even so we should see some improvement off of left-handed pitching. He’s a career .286 hitter off of Duffy and has posted a powerful .200 ISO and .768 OPS this season in limited duty with three homers and two steals. We could have some sneaky power/speed upside with a low-owned Beckham out of the leadoff spot tonight.
3B – Dawel Lugo (DET) – $3,300 vs. KC
Next man up in a three-man Tigers stack is Lugo who had a great year at Triple-A and was therefore promoted to the big leagues for an extended look in what is a rebuilding year for the Tigers. Lugo posted an .861 OPS at Triple-A prior to his promotion, but also a .991 OPS against left-handed pitching the minors’ highest level before being called up. Now, there isn’t a ton of home run power to speak of as he hit just two homers before coming up in 126 at-bats and has just one long ball in the big leagues across 57 at-bats, but he also actually has a pair of triples in the big leagues and smacked eight doubles in the minors. He’s more of a singles/doubles hitter than a home run guy, as evidenced by the price, but I still think there’s value here against a struggling pitcher and a guy who has hit lefties well this season. He also stole 12 bases in Triple-A a season ago and had three prior to his call up this season so perhaps we can get fortunate and nab a steal from the low-cost, low-owned third baseman tonight.
SS – Jean Segura (PHI) – $4,200 vs. ARI
Next man up in our four-man Phillies stack is Segura who is hitting for more power than we’ve seen in a while from the shortstop. If the season ended today his .172 ISO would be his second-best number in his big league career and not by much from his .181 mark from 2016. He already has six homers in 251 plate appearances this season after hitting just 10 in 632 trips to the plate last season. Of course, we have stolen base upside as well with four steals on the season and at least 20 in every full season of his big league career to this point. The power upside is increased against lefties, but he’s also homered three times against a righty and all four of his steals have come against a right-hander. Like his teammates before him, his numbers increase at home where he owns a very nice .181 ISO and .841 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. He’s been all over the baseball lately as well as he’s gone 9 for 31 (.290) with four doubles, a triple, a homer, four runs scored, four RBI and a stolen base over his last seven games.
OF – Bryce Harper (PHI) – $4,200 vs. ARI
This seems like a very low price for Harper despite his up-and-down tenure with the Phillies to this point. I mean, the guy still has 11 homers, three steals and a .215 ISO on the season and is facing a pitcher with immense struggles on the road. Yes, the struggles are more against right-handers at home, but with Harper we get a 2-3-4-5 Phillies stack if the projected lineup at FantasyLabs holds true. Harper will technically lead off this stack out of the projected two-hole tonight. His splits are reverse to this point as he’s managed to do plenty of damage against left-handed pitching, but Harper also owns a .234 ISO and .792 OPS at home against right-handed pitching compared to a .138 ISO and .768 OPS on the road against righties. As a result, all four of our players in this stack have been much better at home than on the road. Harper has gone 12 for 31 (.387) with six doubles, a homer, four runs, nine RBI and a stolen base over his last eight games at home. I’ll take it.
OF – Nicholas Castellanos (DET) – $4,100 vs. KC
Completing this three-man Tigers stack is Castellanos who is their best bat against left-handed pitching. His overall slash line isn’t going to make your eyes pop, but Castellanos is a very solid producer against lefties as he owns a .237 ISO and .904 OPS on the season against lefties while those numbers jump all the way to a massive .381 ISO and 1.202 OPS on the road against lefties. His 207 wRC+ on the road against lefties is 107% above league average to give you an idea of just how dangerous this guy’s been on the road against southpaw pitching. The outfielder is riding an eight-game hit streak into this one tonight and has two doubles and a homer over his last six games with the home run coming in last night’s tough loss. He’s not going to give you anything on the basis, or in the outfield for that matter, but Castellanos is one of the league’s very best against lefties and we are getting him at a real nice price to cap this stack tonight.
OF – Jorge Soler (KC) – $4,700 vs. DET
I had exactly $4,700 left for a one-off outfielder tonight and the choice was an easy one with Soler going up against the Tigers and lefty Daniel Norris tonight. Norris has been giving up plenty of home runs with a 1.72 HR/9 against on the season despite a 16.7% HR/FB rate that isn’t outrageously high at all. He also owns a 4.60 ERA and 4.87 FIP on the season as well. It’s taken some time for Soler, once a top prospect with the Cubs, to find his footing at the big league level, but it appears he’s found it and more. Soler has already popped 17 home runs on the season and owns an overall .269 ISO. Now, he owns reverse splits to his point as 14 of his 17 homers have come against righties, but he has gone 4 for 10 with a homer and a double with that home run coming against Norris this season in an April 6th meeting. The dude is flexing plenty of muscle right now and I’m looking for some notable damage from the young slugger tonight.