Happy summer solstice everyone!
Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks weren’t enough to get the job done despite a promising start to the night from our four-man Blue Jays stack.
It appeared we were off and running with a first-inning double from Randal Grichuk and a two-run homer from Teoscar Hernandez, but that’s about where our success with the Blue Jays would end. The home run was Hernandez’s only hit of the night while Vladdy Guerrero Jr. provided just one walk. Rowdy Tellez walked twice and Grichuk added a single, however I wanted more out of this group.
I also wanted more out of our three-man Orioles stack outside of Pedro Severino. Severino singled, walked, scored a run and even stole a base to lead the stack. After they got to opener Tayler Scott for two runs in the first, the Orioles were shut down by Wade Leblanc and his massive ERA for the next 6.1 innings. Jonathan Villar walked and scored a run while we received just a single from Keon Broxton.
Derek Dietrich had a decent night with a single and a pair of runs scored, but our bats largely disappointed.
Jake Odorizzi also disappointed as he postched just four innings, allowing four runs and striking out two in a loss to the Royals.
Frankie Montas was the highlight of our lineup with eight innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and striking out nine. What a season it’s been for the right-hander.
Let’s get to tackling tonight’s big 14-game slate and see if we can pocket some money entering the weekend!
P – Trevor Bauer (CLE) – $11,100 vs. DET
Chris Sale or Trevor Bauer? Well, Sale is the choice that carries less risk, but I wonder if Bauer has more value due to price and the fact that Sale hasn’t exactly pitched well against the Toronto Blue Jays. Current Blue Jays bats own a .222 ISO, .798 OPS and a .341 wOBA off of sale. I mean, the strikeout upside is huge, but I am going to pay down a little bit for Bauer as he takes on the lowly Detroit Tigers tonight at home. Bauer enters tonight’s contest sporting a 3.41 ERA, 4.12 FIP and 4.44 xFIP to go along with a 9.72 K/9 clip. Those numbers are a far cry from his Cy Young-caliber numbers from last season, however Bauer is coming off his best start of the season – which came against these very Tigers. In said start, Bauer hurled a complete-game shutout, allowing just four hits, zero walks and struck out eight. The Tigers rank 29th with a .282 wOBA versus right-handed pitching and their 26.4% strikeout rate against right-handers is tied for the highest mark in baseball alongside the San Diego Padres. It’s not an easy choice, but I’m seeing more value in Bauer tonight given the reduced price over Sale.
P – Sonny Gray (CIN) – $7,900 vs. MIL
This lineup takes a little bit of a GPP turn with this play as Gray carries risk into Milwaukee against a very good Brewers offense, however he has already dominated in Milwaukee once this season and the strikeout upside is probably higher than you think. First, Gray is racking up the strikeouts at a higher rate than ever before as his 9.92 K/9 here in 2019 would be a career-high if the season ended today. It’s also quite a bit higher than his 8.03 K/9 mark. Second, while powerful to be sure, the Brewers have the fourth-highest strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching this season with a 25.2% strikeout clip. In his lone start against the Brewers this season – in Milwaukee – Gray hurled six shutout innings to go along with nine strikeouts. His 55.9% ground-ball rate has helped him keep the ball in the yard and in turn has him sporting a 3.77 ERA, 3.22 FIP and 3.46 xFIP entering this one tonight. His work on the road this season has also been very good so I like the value we can possibly grab with Gray in Milwaukee tonight.
C – Yan Gomes (WAS) – $2,600 vs. ATL
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut tonight for the Braves, and while he’s been a very good pitcher in the big leagues for many years, Keuchel allowed 11 hits and three earned runs in his most recent tune up start in the minors and will face a Nationals team that has been very good against left-handed pitching this season. Gomes comes to us at a dirt-cheap price to kick off a cheap Nationals stack, although he’s not having a great year. That said, he’s a much better bat against left-handed pitching as he’s hitting .323 against lefties versus just .198 against righties. He also owns a huge .945 OPS against lefties to go along with a .161 ISO and big 149 wRC+, so you can argue he’s a massive bargain at this price tonight. I mean, the guy has hit left-handed pitching for plenty of power in recent years as evidenced by his .189 ISO against them last season and a huge .264 ISO against them in the 2017 season. I’ll take the sneaky-good numbers against lefties this season and roll with games at a minuscule price tonight.
1B – Derek Dietrich (CIN) – $4,400 vs. MIL
Dietrich gets first base eligibility now and I plan to use that to my advantage as the white-hot Reds take on a struggling right-handed pitcher in Chase Anderson tonight. Anderson owns a 4.08 ERA on the season, but also a 4.58 FIP and 4.52 xFIP to go along with a big 3.66 BB/9 rate and an elevated 1.54 HR/9 clip as well. His work at home this season has been good but that largely came as a reliever earlier in the season while he owns a 5.79 ERA over his last three starts at home. Dietrich has absolutely clobbered right-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .401 ISO and 1.005 OPS on the season. His best work has come at home, but he also owns a .256 ISO and .835 OPS on the season against right-handers on the road. Dietrich has just one hit against Anderson in seven at-bats against the right-hander, however that lone hit went for a home run, something that is a distinct possibility in a venue such as Miller Park that caters heavily to left-handed home run hitters. He’s having a huge year and I’ll look for that to continue tonight as he gets a four-man Reds stack started.
2B – Brian Dozier (WAS) – $3,700 vs. ATL
Next man up in our three-man Nationals stack against the left-handed Dallas Keuchel is Dozier who is simply obliterating left-handed pitching this season. After struggling all-round a season ago, Dozier is back to swinging his power stick as he owns a massive .375 average, .375 ISO and a 1.185 OPS on the season to go along with an eye-popping 201 wRC+ versus southpaw pitching here in 2019. It doesn’t really matter where he’s facing these lefties, but for good measure I’ll note that he owns a .346 ISO and 1.197 OPS on the season against left-handed pitchers at home on the season. Furthermore, Dozier is mashing in the month of June to the tune of a .408 ISO and 1.124 OPS with five of his 12 homers this season coming this month. He is also a stolen base threat despite having just one steal on the season as he’s stolen at least 12 bases in each of the last six seasons. Of course, his lone steal this season came against a left-handed pitcher. Finally, Dozier has crushed Keuchel in his history against the lefty as he’s gone 6 for 12 (.500) with a homer and a double against him, so sign me up for this power bat at a discounted price all day long.
3B – Eugenio Suarez (CIN) – $4,100 vs. MIL
While Dietrich is a left-handed bat, I am actually going to roster three right-handed bats against Anderson thanks to the pitcher’s reverse splits. Anderson has allowed a huge 1.001 OPS to right-handed hitters this season compared to just a .561 OPS against left-handed bats. He’s held lefties to a .174 average, but righties have hit him for a .333 average and a 2.29 HR/9, a number that jumps to a huge 3.75 HR/9 at home. I used Dietrich due to his outrageous numbers against righties, but I will roster three right-handed bats as well, beginning here with Suarez. His bat has been more productive against lefties, but let’s not forget that Suarez has a .212 ISO and has hit 11 homers versus right-handed pitching this season. Also, 11 of his 13 doubles have come at the expense of right-handed pitching as well. Overall he has 15 home runs on the season and despite going just 3 for 17 (.176) against Anderson, Suarez has hit two home runs off of him, good for a .353 ISO and .829 OPS in his career against the righty. Not a hard decision at all here.
SS – Willy Adames (TB) – $3,100 vs. OAK
After putting together my four-man Reds stack and three-man Nationals stack, I was left with an open spot at shortstop and just $3,500 to spend. Of that group, I like Adames the best as he lines up against right-hander Tanner Anderson and the Oakland A’s tonight on the road. That’s the good news as Adames has hit right-handed pitching better than lefties in his brief big league tenure to this point as he owns a .295 average with a .138 ISO, 789 OPS and a real nice 116 wRC+ against righties this season compared to a .155 average, .095 ISO, .470 OPS and a brutal 27 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season He’s homered six times overall, but he also brings some stolen base upside with three steals on the year, all of which have come against a right-handed pitcher. The 23-year-old will bring a modest four-game hit streak into tonight’s action and should see low ownership despite the small price this evening.
OF – Victor Robles (WAS) – $3,600 vs. ATL
Completing our three-man Nationals stack is Robles who has done some serious damage himself versus left-handed pitching this season. The young outfielder will enter tonight’s contest sporting a .228 ISO and .827 OPS to go along with a .115 wRC+ on the season against southpaw pitching. He has 11 home runs overall but also nine stolen bases to give us some real nice power/speed potential, just like Dozier. Of those nine steals, five have actually some against a left-handed pitcher, so his stolen base upside doesn’t appear to be hindered by a left-handed starter in Keuchel tonight. Robles is flexing some serious muscle of late as he’s gone 3 for 6 with two home runs and four RBI over his last two games. Those two homers came at home where Robles is clobbering left-handed pitching to the tune of a huge .308 ISO and .861 OPS on the season. I feel really good about the upside of this three-man stack against a pitcher in Keuchel who hasn’t faced big league bats in more than eight months.
OF – Jesse Winker (CIN) – $4,200 vs. MIL
Winker is projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight and there’s no way I am leaving him out of this stack as a result. Also working in his favor tonight is the fact that the righty-swinging winker is having an enormous season against right-handed pitching, making his splits quite reversed. He has hit 12 home runs on the season, all 12 of which have come against a righty. He has doubled 10 times, all of which have come against a righty. His lone triple on the season is, yes, against a righty. Add it all up and Winker owns a wild .261 ISO and .872 OPS to go along with a .362 wOBA and 121 wRC+ on the season against same-handed pitching. Winker is also mashing in the month of June to the tune of a .238 ISO and massive .956 OPS to go along with a 148 wRC+. Over his last four starts, Winker has gone 9 for 17 (.529) with a double, a triple, two home runs and seven RBI. There is massive value with this guy right now and hitting out of the leadoff spot is just the icing on the cake in this matchup.
OF – Nick Senzel (CIN) – $4,900 vs. MIL
Completing our lineup and four-man Reds stack is Senzel who is having quite the start to what should be a real nice big league career. He’s logged fewer than 200 plate appearances this season given the late call up, but he already has seven home runs and five steals to give us even more power/speed upside in this lineup tonight. Now, the numbers are superior against left-handed pitching, however he still owns a real nice .190 ISO against right-handed pitching and he’s been white-hot as of late. Senzel has homered three times over his last seven games and has eight RBI over that span. He is coming off a big night at the plate last night as he went 2 for 5 with a homer and three RBI. That home run came off of a right-hander in Freddy Peralta, so I’m not concerned with the splits as he’s shown the ability to hit right-handed pitching for power. /The upside on this four-man stack is big and I don’t think these guys will see a ton of ownership on a huge Friday night slate.