A horrible Cardinals stack eliminated any chance of cashing in on last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks.
The St. Louis foursome gave us just three walks as Jordan Yamamoto once again dominated in his second big league start and has given the Cardinals nightmares each time.
Our pitching was solid, if unspectacular as Justin Verlander struck out eight across seven innings, but allowed three home runs – two in the first inning – and took the loss in the Astros’ 4-3 loss.
Jack Flaherty was good as he hurled seven innings himself, allowing three earned runs while also striking out eight. The complete and utter lack of run support caused him to take a loss as well.
Our A’s mini-stack was fabulous as we got plenty of value out of Beau Taylor who homered and scored a pair of runs. Ramon Laureano had a massive night, also homering and added a double as part of a four-hit night where he scored three runs and drove in three as well in the A’s 16-2 beatdown of the Orioles.
Finally, our Giants mini-stack delivered value on just one side as Kevin Pillar singled and doubled, but Tyler Austin posted a goose egg.
Too many passengers in that lineup last night so let’s turn our attention to tonight’s 10-game main slate and see if we can get across the cash line!
P – Andrew Heaney (LAA) – $8,400 vs. TOR
One of the most favorable matchups on the slate goes to Heaney who takes on the lowly Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto this evening. Tonight will mark just the fifth start of the season for the left-hander and he’s pitched to a 4.57 ERA, 4.97 FIP and a 4.13 xFIP across 21.2 innings on the season. However, he also owns a huge 12.46 K/9 through four starts, and while that numbers is sure to come down, I do like the fact that’s posted a pair of 10-strikeout games already this season. The Blue Jays are one of the worst overall offenses in baseball this season and their 23.9% strikeout rate against lefties is right smack-dab in the middle of the pack, however their .288 wOBA against southpaws is tied for 25th. Heaney has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of four starts this season including his last outing where he allowed just one earned run on the road against Tampa Bay across five innings of work. With the Angels expected to give him plenty of run support in this one and Los Angeles listed at around -170 to win this one on the moneyline, I’ll take Heaney at a reasonable price tonight.
P – Jon Lester (CHC) – $7,400 vs. CWS
You’re going to want to keep an eye on the weather in this one tonight as the Cubs/White Sox game is currently being threatened by rain, however I do like Lester’s upside in this one at home. Home has been where Lester has done his best work this season as he’s pitched to a 2.45 ERA, 3.17 FIP and 3.65 xFIP to go along with a 9.33 K/9. On the flip side, he’s posted a 5.82 ERA, 5.46 FIP, 4.79 xFIP with an 8.21 K/9 clip on the road, so we can see loud and clear that Lester is best when at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Now, the overall results just haven’t been very good lately at all. Lester has allowed 10 earned runs over his last two starts and has allowed fewer than four earned runs in just one of his last six starts, but that outing indeed came at home. The White Sox are a middle-of-the-pack offense against left-handed pitching and their 24.1% strikeout rate against lefties ranks them in the bottom half of the league, but I am liking Lester’s value in this one given his body of work at home this season.
C – Russell Martin (LAD) – $3,400 vs. SF
The Dodgers and Giants renew hostilities tonight in Los Angeles and the Dodgers get a real nice matchup against left-hander Drew Pomeranz who has been obliterated on the road this season. At home in the extreme pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Francisco, Pomeranz owns a 4.21 ERA. However, on the road, that ERA more than doubles to 8.87 while his FIP checks in at 7.62 with a 5.24 xFIP to boot. He’s yielded a massive 3.09 HR/9 and 5.40 BB/9 on the road as well, so we certainly have something to work with here with a Dodgers four-man stack, beginning here with Martin. In all honesty the catcher position was the last one I filled with $3,600 to spend, so I simply went with Martin to make it a four-man stack. He hasn’t hit lefties well this season, but throughout his career he sports better numbers against lefties with a career .778 OPS against them with a .739 mark against righties. He has an elite 11.9% career walk rate despite lacking power this season with just two home runs, but perhaps he can run into one at a low cost and give this lineup some value in the process.
1B – Josh Bell (PIT) – $4,800 vs. DET
The Pirates and Tigers will get together for another interleague matchup tonight and it’s shaping up to be a good nice for the home side, at least on offense. The Tigers will send right-hander Jordan Zimmermann to the mound for his first MLB start since a lengthy IL stint, and considering Zimmermann posted a 7.60 ERA with three home runs allowed in just 7.1 innings across a High-A and Triple-A rehab starts, he could be the most targetable arm on this slate. Add in the terrible Tigers bullpen and the Pirates should be able to score plenty of runs in this one tonight. Bell is posting MVP-caliber numbers this season after a down 2018 as he owns a massive .348 ISO and 1.084 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, he owns a .444 ISO and 1.150 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching at home this season. Bell homered in last night’s loss which gave him a homer, a triple, and two doubles over his last four games. I have high hopes for the first baseman tonight.
2B – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,200 vs. SF
Hernandez could bring elite value to the table as he takes on Pomeranz this evening. First, he is projected to hit in the leadoff spot where he often lines up against left-handed starters. Hernandez has shown an increased ability to hit right-handed pitching for power since the beginning of last season, but he is very much a more productive bat against lefties as he owns a .191 ISO and .799 OPS against them to go along with a .335 wOBA and 110 wRC+. The OPS at home against lefties climbs to .832 and the wRC+ slides up to 113. I’m really liking the fact that Hernandez hit his first home run in two weeks in last night’s game, so perhaps he will carry additional confidence to the plate in this one tonight. In fact, it wasn’t just an ordinary home run, but rather a grand slam, so I’m sure the confidence is elevated for this one tonight. At this price, we’d be silly not to use Hernandez especially out of that valuable leadoff spot tonight.
3B – Justin Turner (LAD) – $4,100 vs. SF
The home run power may not be as high as it was in 2016 when Turner clubbed 27 long balls, however he continues to produce against left-handed pitching. I mean, the OPS of .698 against lefties isn’t great at all, however his .167 ISO against lefties greatly outweighs his .121 mark against righties. This is a guy who hit lefties for a .244 ISO and 1.028 OPS as recently as last season and posted a massive .324 ISO and 1.181 OPS against lefties in the 2017 season. Days with gargantuan numbers like that 2017 season are behind Turner, however he clearly holds the ability to put up some damage against southpaws. Turner snapped a mini-slump with a double and a run scored in last night’s win over the Giants. Turner had a huge May and despite a lack of power he’s managed a nice 109 wRC+ here in the month of June. One of the best bat-handlers in the game, I like the price we’re getting Turner at against a pitcher that has struggled immensely on the road this season.
SS – Kevin Newman (PIT) – $4,000 vs. DET
Back to our Pirates stack here as Newman is set for leadoff duties against Zimmermann this evening, a spot that could see him step to the plate five or even six times this evening with the Pirates expected to score plenty of runs. Newman may not bring the most power to the table with only two home runs in 167 plate appearances on the season, but he does bring some stolen base upside to the table with four steals on the season. That said, the guy has been excellent this season against right-handed pitching as he’s hit .359 with both of his homers, both of his triples, seven of his nine doubles and all four of his stolen bases against right-handed pitching this season. The switch-hitting middle infielder owns a big .866 OPS, .366 wOBA and 128 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. There is no shortage of upside for Newman tonight as he’s going to see plenty of at-bats and despite a lack of home run power so far he brings plenty of cross-category upside to the table tonight.
OF – Cody Bellinger (LAD) – $5,600 vs. SF
Completing our four-man Dodgers stack is Bellinger who likely has a slight lead on Christian Yelich right now for NL MVP honors. It’s been an insane season for the first baseman/outfielder as Bellinger is doing everything for the Dodgers and not just on offense. This is a lefty on lefty matchup with Pomeranz, but I’m okay with the fact that Bellinger owns slight reverse splits on the season and has absolutely obliterated southpaws to the tune of a .378 ISO and a 1.187 OPS on the season to go along with a .477 wOBA and unbelievable 202 wRC+. In other words, with park factors included, Bellinger has been 102% above league average in terms of productivity against left-handed pitching. Oh, and Bellinger also brings stolen base upside into this one with eight steals on the season, two of which have come against a left-handed pitcher. There’s not much more convincing required to get this bat into your lineup tonight.
OF – Brian Reynolds (PIT) – $4,200 vs. DET
Part three of our four-man Pirates stack is Reynolds who is having a wonderful season with the Pirates after impressing early on at the Triple-A level. After bashing Triple-A pitching to the tune of a massive .367 ISO and 1.181 OPS across 13 games earlier this season, Reynolds has posted a .197 ISO and a .960 OPS across 52 games with the big club to this point in the season. The splits have been fairly even so far, but the slight advantage goes to right-handed pitching like he will see against Zimmermann tonight. Against big league right-handers this season, Reynolds is hitting .357 with a .190 ISO and .973 OPS to go along with a massive .412 wOBA and 158 wRC+. His Triple-A numbers favored lefties, however in Double-A last season his .871 OPS off of righties crushed his .639 mark against lefties. He’s projected to hit in the two-hole tonight so let’s look for a ton of value out of the 24-year-old Reynolds tonight.
OF – Starling Marte (PIT) – $4,600 vs. DET
Completing our four-man Pirates stack and this lineup is Marte who brings some serious cross-category upside to the table in this one tonight. Projected to hit out of the three-hole, Marte brings power with 10 homers and a .183 ISO on the season, but also plenty of stolen base upside with 11 steals on the season as well. He has swiped 30 or more bases five times in his career, including last season when he swiped 33. Like has been the case in the past, the splits on Marte are reverse as the right-handed swinger owns a .185 ISO and .830 OPS to go along with a .351 wOBA and 119 wRC+ against righties compared to a .175 ISO, .632 OPS, .261 wOBA and a 60 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Of course, the stolen base upside is much better against right-handers with 10 of his 11 steals coming at the expense of a right-handed pitcher. If the projected lineup at FantasyLabs holds true, we will have a 1-4 Pirates stack in this lineup tonight and I would be shocked if this group didn’t deliver some serious production tonight.