This cold streak is getting to a boiling point, if that makes any sort of sense.
Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks ended up being just brutal and we aren’t getting much luck right now, either.
Our top pitcher from last night, Jose Berrios, had a solid outing as he pitched 6.2 innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts. However, he didn’t get any run support while in the game behind the league’s top offense and the bullpen was lit up for an eventual Twins loss.
Our second starter, Miles Mikolas, pitching against baseball’s worst offense in a pitcher-friendly park, was torched for five earned runs and took a hard loss.
Our four-man Phillies stack was completely dominated by Merrill Kelly, a pitcher who has struggled immensely on the road prior to last night’s 7.2-inning gem.
We did get a pair of doubles from our Tigers stack as Nick Castellanos and Gordon Beckham both doubled, but Dawel Lugo threw up a zero.
Finally, our one-off outfielder Jorge Soler also doubled and singled as well, but this just wasn’t nearly enough to rebound from Mikolas’ performance or the futility of our four-man Phillies stack.
Let’s keep grinding as we take a look at tonight’s nine-game main slate.
P – Matthew Boyd (DET) – $10,700 vs. KC
Boyd has arguably been the second-best pitcher in the American League this season behind the lights-out Justin Verlander. Boyd enters this one sporting a 3.08 ERA, but also a stout 2.91 FIP while his 2.8 WAR on the season ranks him third behind only Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn. Boyd is also racking up plenty of strikeouts this season with an 11.16 K/9 clip, good for the sixth-highest mark in the AL. Of course, a matchup against the Royals is a favorable one. Entering tonight’s contest, the Royals rank 28th with just a .281 wOBA against left-handed pitching on the season while their elevated 25.2% strikeout rate against lefties is the 11th-highest mark in baseball. Combine that with Boyd’s massive strikeout rate on the season and we should see plenty of strikeouts tonight. Boyd faced the Royals once earlier this season and pitched seven innings of two-run ball to go along with nine strikeouts in a winning effort. More of the same would be just fine tonight.
P – Marcus Stroman (TOR) – $7,600 vs. BAL
This is more of a cash lineup tonight so instead of going with Jack Flaherty in this lineup at the Mets, I’ll go with Stroman who has a much better track record on the road this season despite not sporting the best strikeout numbers. Stroman was touched up for six earned runs in his last outing against the D-backs, but that outing came at home. On the road this season Stroman has pitched to a 3.56 ERA, however his 2.22 FIP is a super-elite number and less than half of the 4.65 FIP he owns at home. He’s striking out just 6.82 batters per nine innings on the road this season, however I also like the fact that he owns a tiny 1.78 BB/9 on the road while he’s yet to allow a home run in 30.1 road innings this season. He’s faced the Orioles once earlier in the year and pitched 5.2 frames of two-run ball to go along with five strikeouts, but took a tough loss. I would certainly accept a similar outing this time but given the BLue Jays sit around -130 favorites to win this one tonight I want that win to boot.
C – Gary Sanchez (NYY) – $5,500 vs. CWS
Our cash-oriented bats start here with Sanchez who has arguably the best matchup on the slate as he takes on White Sox right-hander Ivan Nova. In a nutshell, Nova has been the worst qualified pitcher in the American League this season with his 6.28 ERA the highest mark among qualified pitchers. Now, he does owns a lessened 5.18 FIP and 4.63 xFIP, but it’s hard to imagine he sees that positive regression kick in tonight against this Yankees club. The Yankees are the league’s third-ranked offense against right-handed pitching, so I’m very comfortable with this four-man Yankees stack. Sanchez is having a massive season for the Yanks, slugging 20 homers so far to go along with an eye-popping .361 ISO figure. Furthermore, the power is coming more against right-handed pitching this season as he owns a stunning .392 ISO and 1.019 OPS against righties with a .353 ISO and .934 OPS against righties on the road. There appears to be a breeze blowing out to center at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago tonight, so the Bronx Bombers could very well live up to their nickname tonight.
1B – Kendrys Morales (NYY) – $2,700 vs. CWS
We are going to need some cost-conscious bats in this lineup as well but Morales fits right in the middle of this Yankees stack and is coming off his best performance at the plate in some time. Morales played in the first leg of the double-header against the Mets on Tuesday and he went 3 for 5 with a double, two runs and an RBI. The hits snapped a four-game hitless streak and a six-gamer if you count a couple of pinch-hit plate appearances mixed in. Interestingly, the last time he got a hit was part of a three-hit performance against the Red Sox on the first of June. Clearly, we’re dealing with a struggling player here, as evidenced by the price. However, one positive is that the switch-hitter has seen all five of his extra-base hits come against right-handed pitchers this season. He’s also historically been a better hitter as a left-handed bat as he owns a career .198 ISO and .787 OPS as a lefty compared to a .161 ISO and .765 OPS as a righty. He’s likely to see some ownership given the price and the matchup, so he’s fine to roll with in cash games tonight.
2B – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $3,200 vs. CHC
The Dodgers and Cubs get together tonight and the Dodgers will see a left-handed starter in the form of Jon Lester whose home/away splits favor the Dodgers in this one. Lester has pitched to a 2.45 ERA and 3.15 FIP at home, but he’s also posted a 4.97 ERA and a 4.87 FIP on the road while his 1.55 HR/9 on the road is much higher than the 0.98 mark he owns at home. Furthermore, Lester has regressed big-time lately as he’s allowed at least four earned runs in four of his last five starts and at least five in two of those five outings. He’s pitched to a 5.51 FIP to righties on the road as well, which is good news for the righty Taylor who leads off a Dodgers mini-stack tonight. Taylor has had essentially even lefty/righty splits over the last couple of the seasons, but this year he’s feasting on lefties to the tune of a real powerful .244 ISO while his .777 OPS against them is miles better than his .590 mark against righties. He has some stolen base upside tonight as well with for steals on the season while Lester is widely known to rarely throw to first base. He’s been better this year, but I could see Taylor running tonight on top of the power potential.
3B – Manny Machado (SD) – $4,400 vs. COL
The Padres and Rockies get together at Coors Field in Colorado tonight, otherwise known as by far the best hitter’s venue in all of baseball. This is once again where the cash lineup comes into play as Machado and his Padres teammates – along with a 5.3 run projection – should see some ownership against the right-hander Jon Gray. Now, you’ll have to bear with me here. Third base and outfield were left after my four-man main stack and Dodgers low-cost mini-stack, and Machado and his teammate that we’ll see soon made the most sense given the venue and reasonable price. However, Machado’s damage has overwhelmingly come against left-handed pitching this season as his massive .463 ISO and 1.254 OPS against lefties towers over his .095 ISO and .616 OPS against righties. His numbers do improve on the road against righties where he owns a .124 ISO and .711 OPS. Still, he’s 4 for 13 (.308) with a homer in his career against Gray and he posted nearly even splits last season with a big .242 ISO and .897 OPS against righties, so I certainly expect his splits to even out at the season moves along, hopefully beginning tonight against Gray.
SS – Didi Gregorius (NYY) – $4,300 vs. CWS
As it stands right now you have a choice to make at shortstop if you are stacking the Yankees as the recently returned Gregorius and teammate Gleyber Torres are both listed as only shortstops at DraftKings, although Torres should gain other position eligibilities now that Gregorius will get everyday reps at short. It’s safe to say that Gregorius hasn’t missed a beat after sitting out the first two and a half months of the season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery as he’s hit .429 with a homer and a double through the first 14 at-bats of his season. Both extra-base hits came off of a righty which is no surprise considering he hit right-handers for a .256 ISO and .854 OPS last season, good for a .358 wOBA and 126 wRC+. He has certainly developed into one of the top-hitting shortstops in the game, although there’s plenty of those these days, but he’s arguably one of the best against right-handed pitching. I’ll look for his bat to stay hot in a mouth-watering matchup tonight.
OF – Clint Frazier (NYY) – $4,400 vs. CWS
All due respect to his teammates above him in this stack, but I have a gut feeling that Frazier will be the highest-scoring player among the four Yankees in this lineup. A right-handed bat, Frazier owns some reverse-splits that could come in handy against a right-handed starter tonight. This season, Frazier has hit right-handed pitchers for a .237 ISO and .876 OPS, and while his .282 ISO is higher against lefties, his OPS is 100 points higher against righties while his .363 wOBA and 128 wRC+ against righties towers over his .310 wOBA and 92 wRC+ against lefties. Last season, Frazier hit right-handers for a .919 OPS in the minors to show that he certainly handled same-handed pitching quite well. Furthermore, he’s hit right-handers for a massive .343 ISO and 1.073 OPS on the road this season, so sign me up for the 24-year-old in a very attractive matchup tonight.
OF – Franmil Reyes (SD) – $4,700 vs. COL
One of the most underrated young bats in baseball, Reyes has taken off after a strong campaign last season that should have had him on the radar as one of the top up-and-coming power bats in the game. After clubbing 32 home runs between the minors and big leagues – 16 in each – last season , Reyes has already mashed 19 long balls this season and owns a massive .305 ISO to boot. The good news tonight is that he too owns some reverse splits this season. In fact, 17 of his 19 home runs on the season have come against right-handed pitching while he owns a massive .316 ISO and .852 OPS against them. Interestingly, he owns better power numbers at home in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park than he does on the road, but he still owns a 124 wRC+ with a .276 ISO on the road, numbers that bode seriously well for his upcoming contest at Coors Field in Colorado. Reyes should certainly be able to flex some muscle in this one tonight.
OF – Kyle Garlick (LAD) – $2,300 vs. CHC
This guy’s name makes me hungry for some reason, but nonetheless we could have some serious value on our hands as he completes a Dodgers mini-stack against the Cubs. Simply put, Garlick has absolutely mashed at the Triple-A level this season as he’s clubbed 12 home runs and owns a massive .345 ISO at the minors’ highest level. He hit 22 homers in the minors last season and another 18 the year before, so we know he can hit for power. His minor league splits are roughly even between lefties and righties, but he’s hit lefties for a slightly increased 1.026 OPS in the minors this season and his .835 OPS at Triple-A against lefties last season beat his .738 mark against righties. He only has eight big league at-bats to his name so far, all of which came this season and five of eight of which were pinch-hit opportunities, and he does have a double to his credit in that time. He’s projected to start against the lefty tonight and I sure hope that sticks as we could use the salary relief as well as the massive value upside with the 27-year-old outfielder tonight.