There was nothing wrong with our pitching in last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks, but we didn’t exactly extract enough value from our low-cost bats.
Gerrit Cole has certainly cooled down as he yielded four earned, all within the first three innings, in his start against the Rays, however he still went seven innings and struck out eight. Unfortunately, the Astros’ offense rallied late after Cole was out of the game and therefore he ended up with a no decision despite going deep into the ball game.
Trevor Bauer was once again dominant, tossing seven frames himself, however Bauer’s seven innings were of the scoreless variety. Bauer struck out eight as well, but he landed in the win column thanks to his offense backing him with six runs off, five of which came off of White Sox starter Dylan Covey.
We received some decent production from our Giants three-man stack, however the Royals didn’t give us much and Chris Young didn’t start thanks to Kole Calhoun coming off the disabled list.
We have a jam-packed 15-game slate on our hands tonight so let’s go ahead and do some damage!
LAD @ CHC
NYM @ COL
P – Mike Clevinger (CLE) – $10,800 vs. CWS
There are a couple of elite arms on the slate in the form of Justin Verlander and Chris Sale, however I am going to roll the dice and pay down for a couple pitchers who I believe can deliver on their big upside tonight. Clevinger isn’t cheap either, but I believe his upside can rival Verlander’s. Clevinger faces the same White Sox club that he posted 11 strikeouts against across seven innings of one-run ball in his last start. He brings a shiny 3.15 ERA and 3.36 FIP into action tonight and while his 21.9% strikeout clip isn’t super high, he should trend towards the 27.3% mark he posted last year during this start.
P – Vince Velasquez (PHI) – $8,600 vs. STL
Velasquez is a riskier option in terms of blowup possibility like we saw with 10 earned runs against the Brewers two starts ago. That said, he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts and he brings very high strikeout upside into action with his 28.3% strikeout clip. Velasquez sports a 4.74 ERA on the season, but both his FIP and xFIP sit at 3.54, meaning he’s been pretty unlucky this season as well. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last start to boot. Velasquez has elite strikeout upside and I am looking for him to keep rolling against a Cardinals team that ranks 20th with a .298 wOBA over the last seven days.
C – Yan Gomes (CLE) – $3,600 vs. CWS
There is one stack I am paying up for tonight, but in terms of the Indians I am going with value upside in this three-man group. Cleveland faces left-hander Carlos Rodon tonight who sports a 6.89 FIP through two starts this season. Rodon has also given up three homers in his 10 innings this season so I am going to pick on him with some low-cost Indians who clubber lefties. Gomes is having a big season against southpaws with a .327 average, .255 ISO and .985 OPS on the season. He’s homered three times over his last eight games so let’s look for more power tonight.
1B – Matt Adams (WAS) – $3,900 vs. BAL
The Nationals are the stack I am paying up for tonight, but make sure Adams is in the lineup prior to lock as he’s been on the bench nursing a finger injury over the last few days. If he starts, he’s an excellent option as Orioles’ right-hander David Hess is yielding a .948 OPS to left-handed hitters and is due for more negative regression with a FIP more than two runs higher than his ERA. Adams is having a nice year with a massive .331 ISO and .978 OPS against right-handed pitching and a .419 ISO and 1.142 OPS against right-handed pitching at home where he will be tonight.
2B – Daniel Murphy (WAS) – $4,300 vs. BAL
Murphy has only played in six games this year thanks to a knee injury, so there aren’t many numbers to speak of yet, however his matchup with Hess clearly a favorable one. Murphy hit .332 with a .231 ISO and .960 OPS against right-handed pitching in 2017 and has hit 48 home runs over the last two seasons. He is projected to hit in the five-hole tonight which should afford him some RBI chances that he may not need an extra-base hit to capitalize on.
3B – Erik Gonzalez (CLE) – $3,300 vs. CWS
Gonzalez is going to see some real low ownership tonight but I’m excited about his matchup against the lefty Rodon. Gonzalez has posted a .222 ISO and .863 OPS across 27 at-bats against southpaws this season for the Tribe, a big jump over his previous numbers against left-handed pitching. While it’s nice to have a track record, his lack of previous power will keep Gonzalez’s ownership very low, especially on a full slate. He could provide sneaky upside tonight.
SS – Miguel Rojas (MIA) – $2,600 vs. SF
A shortstop couldn’t financially fit with my stacks, so I am forced to go with a very cheap player at this position and I think Rojas is the best of a thin bunch at this price. Rojas takes on Giants’ left-hander Dereck Rodriguez tonight, a pitcher who is yielding a .300 average to right-handed hitters. Rojas doesn’t hit for a ton of power with an overall .115 ISO on the year, however he has clubbed seven homers and stolen three bases. If he runs into one tonight, it would go a long way for this lineup at what should be minuscule ownership.
OF – Bryce Harper (WAS) – $5,500 vs. BAL
Harper isn’t going very well right now, but his home run upside is always quite large. He paces the National League with 19 homers on the season and thus sports a big .286 ISO versus right-handed pitching while his .847 OPS against righties is nothing to scoff at either. I would like Harper to be hot when rostering him, but how bad Hess has been against left-handed bats it is a prime matchup for Harper to get going in.
OF – Juan Soto (WAS) – $4,500 vs. BAL
The 19-year-old Soto is a great story as he’s been flexing some big-time muscle since his call up last month. Soto has a huge .602 overall slugging percentage on the campaign, but interestingly he is hitting lefties for a ton of power despite hitting from the left side. Regardless, against the righty Hess, Soto has huge upside as he sports an .831 OPS against righties and had a .988 OPS against righties at Double-A prior to being called up. I have high hopes for the rookie again tonight.
OF – Brandon Guyer (CLE) – $2,800 vs. CWS
Guyer is back to his lefty-mashing ways in 2018 after a down 2017 campaign. He’s hitting southpaws for a big .255 ISO and .840 on the season after just a .108 ISO and .691 OPS in 2017. There is no hiding Guyer has been atrocious this season against right-handed pitching by going 1 for 34, which means he could leave the game for a pinch hitter when the bullpen comes in. That said, at this price I don’t mind using Guyer to attack Rodon as he’s been hitting lefties for notable power as evidenced by the aforementioned power figures.