There wasn’t a ton to like about last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks.
Our top pitcher Matthew Boyd made good on his strikeout upside as he struck out 11 Rangers on the night and lasted seven innings, but a trio of solo home runs in the fifth was all the Rangers needed to get the win. That is now back-to-back games in which Boyd has allowed three home runs.
Our second pitcher Framber Valdez simply struggled and was even demoted to Triple-A after the game. Valdez, against one of the worst offenses versus left-handed pitching in baseball, allowed six earned runs and eight hits in just three innings of work as the Pirates thumped the Houston Astros 14-2.
Our four-man Phillies stack was just about the only thing that went right, although the production came from just two of the four members. Jean Segura led the way with a home run to go along with a single and three RBI. J.T. Realmuto doubled as part of a two-hit night and scored a run. Otherwise, both Scott Kingery and Rhys Hoskins were held in check, Kingery strikeout out for times and Hoskins walking once.
Our Red mini-stack did next to nothing with a Jesse Winker single accounting for all of that production.
Finally, our Tigers mini-stack also did nothing with a Nicholas Castellanos single and walk accounting for all of that production.
It’s an easy one to move on from as we look to tackle tonight four-game main slate!
P – Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – $11,900 vs. MIA
The first two of the Nationals’ three-headed starting pitching monster has carved up on the Marlins so far in this series, and there’s no reason to think Strasburg’s outing will be any different tonight. Max Scherzer hurled eight innings of shutout baseball with 10 strikeouts on Tuesday before Patrick Corbin tossed seven innings of one-run ball himself with nine strikeouts in a win over the Marlins on Wednesday. Now, it’s Strasburg’s turn to expose arguably baseball’s worst offense and one of the most strikeout-prone offenses against right-handed pitching. Entering this one tonight, the Marlins rank 29th with a .283 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching and their 25% strikeout rate against righties is the sixth-highest mark in all of baseball. On his part, Strasburg enters this one sporting a huge 10.59 K/9 on the season while his 3.40 FIP and 3.21 xFIP both sit below his 3.79 ERA. He’s actually been better on the road with a 2.92 ERA, 2.31 FIP and a 3.11 xFIP to go along with an increased 10.83 K/9. No reason not to pay the price for hands-down the top arm on the slate.
P – Tyler Beede (SF) – $6,200 vs. ARI
There is next to no pitching on this slate behind Strasburg, however you can go with Walker Buehler despite pitching in Coors Field considering he struck out 16 Rockies in his last start, but it came at home. I’m still going to fade the Coors effect and go with Beede despite plenty of risk here as well. The risk comes in the form of his 6.96 ERA and 5.78 FIP on the season with an enormous 6.96 BB/9 rate. The reward comes in the form of an elevated 10.02 K/9 on the season after posting a massive 12.72 K/9 across seven Triple-A starts prior to his big league promotion. Furthermore, the upside at home is huge. Beede has only pitched seven innings at home, and while he owns a 6.43 ERA in that time, he also owns a 3.76 FIP and 3.29 xFIP with a huge 15.43 K/9. Of course, the extreme pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Francisco ensure almost all of the Giants’ pitchers sport better number at home than on the road. The Giants are listed as slight -110 favorites to win this one tonight, giving Beede some win upside on top of the strikeouts upside. I’ll roll the dice on his value potential in this one tonight.
C – Buster Posey (SF) – $3,000 vs. ARI
Given the huge price paid for Strasburg there needs to be some cost-consciousness with our bats in this lineup tonight, and that begins with Posey against the left-hander Alex Young of the D-backs. Now, Young won’t likely pitch deep into this one as was used as a reliever in the minors prior to making eight starts, but he’s yet to pitch more than five innings in any of those starts and has pitched fewer than five in five of those eight starts. As result, we should see plenty of the middle-of-the-pack D-backs bullpen as well tonight. Posey’s home run power is once again down on the season and he hasn’t been doing much against left-handed pitching on the season either. That said, Posey posted an .829 OPS against lefties last season as well as a .993 OPS against lefties at home. He also mashed lefties for a .209 ISO and 1.019 OPS in 2017. He’s on the decline, but I have a hard time believing he will continue to struggle against lefties such as Alex Young for much longer. Besides, he’s bound to see a righty at least twice tonight and he owns a solid 96 wRC+ against righties on the season. Catchers are razor-thin on this slate, so I’ll use Posey as a cheap option to kick off a three-man Giants stack.
1B – Tyler Austin (SF) – $3,800 vs. ARI
Next man up in that Giants stack will be Austin who has simply been a lefty-masher throughout his big league tenure. In the 2o17 season, Austin hit lefties for a .368 average, .462 ISO and 1.258 OPS in a tiny 13 at-bat sample size. In 2018, Austin hit lefties for a massive .303 ISO and .846 OPS with a 123 wRC+ across an increased 89 at-bat sample size. This season, Austin has clobbered left-handers to the tune of a .233 ISO and .810 OPS across a 60 at-bat sample size. Sure, each sample has been small, but when we add it all up Austin owns a .292 ISO and .896 OPS in his career against left-handed pitching to go along with a 135 wRC+. The pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Fran have not hindered Austin’s production against left-handed pitching as he’s still mashed lefties for a huge .294 ISO and .964 OPS at home across 34 at-bats. At this price and with those numbers I am having a tough time leaving the low-owned Austin out of my lineup tonight.
2B – Donovan Solano (SF) – $3,100 vs. ARI
We will complete this three-man stack right away as Solano is set to hit in the valuable leadoff spot tonight and his bat has been good against left-handed pitching to this point despite a small sample. He’s logged just 31 at-bats against lefties at the big league level this season, but he’s hitting them for a .323 average and .787 OPS to go along with a 117 wRC+. In 17 at-bats against lefties at home, Solano is hitting .353 with a .892 OPS and 142 wRC+. In 24 at-bats against left-handed pitching at the Triple-A level this season, Solano has produced a .500 average and massive 1.264 OPS. To put it lightly, this dude has been hitting left-handers very well, albeit not for a ton of home run power. That said, his job in this lineup tonight is to get on base and score some runs, and the power would be a bonus. He carries a five-game hit streak into this one and considering he’s hitting out of the leadoff spot tonight we should be able to squeeze some value out of the right-handed bat at a small price.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $4,300 vs. LAA
I don’t see the A’s seeing a ton of ownership tonight with that game at Coors Field likely to take a big chunk of ownership along with the Nationals in Miami. I will be rolling out a four-man A’s stack in this one tongiht and a powerful one at that. The A’s will take on right-hander Griffin Canning whose been good with a 3.88 ERA, but also owns a 4.44 FIP and 4.63 xFIP to go along with an elevated 1.62 HR/9 clip, so there’s little doubt that he can be had in this one tonight. The A’s did actually get to Canning on the fourth of June in Los Angeles for four runs in six innings, and he owns a 5.06 ERA over his last four starts. Enter Chapman who has posted much better numbers against lefties than righties this season, but the power remains either way. He’s hit 19 homers on the season – 13 against righties – and 20 doubles – 15 against righties. I mentioned a few weeks back his splits would even out and that’s indeed happening as he owns a .240 ISO and .887 OPS against right-handers at this point while his 137 wRC+ against righties outweighs his 130 mark against lefties. He’s also white-hot at the plate by going 17 for 44 (.386) with three homers, six doubles, 12 runs scored and eight RBI over his last 12 games.
SS – Marcus Semien (OAK) – $4,100 vs. LAA
Semien brings plenty of cross-category upside to the plate and is once again set to hit in the leadoff spot tonight, something that always gives him a higher ceiling thanks to extra at-bat possibilities. Semien enters this one sporting a .161 ISO and .769 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching, but his 109 wRC+ tells us that his bat has been about 9% more production than league average against righties. He’s hit 11 homers on the season – nine of which have come against a right-hander – while 13 of his 18 doubles have also come against a righty. Finally, all five of his stolen bases to this point have come against a right-hander. Semien has also had solid success in a small sample against Canning as he’s gone 2 for 6 with a homer in his brief history against the youngster. He’s homered and doubled over his last three games and should be able to set the table for the power bats hitting behind him tonight.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $3,800 vs. LAA
I really don’t care about anything else with Davis other than we are getting a wildly powerful home run bat at a sub-$4K price which I will take any day of the week. It’s not like Davis is facing one of the league’s best arms here. At 1.62 HR/9, Canning is getting touched up by the long ball this season to be sure and who better to target him with than last year’s home run king? After all, Davis does have 16 home runs on the season and while his .215 ISO is down, it’s still a powerful figure. The dude has hit at least 42 home runs in each of his last three years including 48 – a career-high – last season. He’s hit just one homer in this span, but Davis is riding an eight-game hitting streak into this one tonight with a double in that span as well. He owns a .212 ISO on the season on the road against right-handed pitching and is 1 for 3 with a double in his brief history against Canning. Again, despite all the numbers, Davis remains one of baseball’s most dangerous home run threats and I’m thrilled to get him in this stack at a super-valuable cost.
OF – Ramon Laureano (OAK) – $3,900 vs. LAA
Completing our four-man A’s stack is Laureano who brings power and speed into this lineup as well as a nice, but brief history against Laureano. The power is certainly there with 12 home runs on the season and the speed is also there with nine stolen bases on the year. In fact, both the power and speed potential are increased by the fact that Laureano owns reverse-splits with a .186 ISO and .761 OPS with a 102 wRC+ against righties compared to a .155 ISO and .698 OPS with an 85 wRC+ against lefties. Furthermore, seven of his nine steals on the season have come against a right-handed pitcher. Laureano has hit four homers and three doubles over his last 12 starts with a trio of stolen bases mixed in. Finally, the budding star has gone 3 for 4 with a homer and a pair of doubles with a stolen base to boot against the right-handed Canning. I will take all of the above and roster Laureano with a smile on my face tonight.
OF – Charlie Blackmon (COL) – $5,700 vs. LAD
Sure, Buehler carved up the Rockies in his last start, but he did allow a pair of home runs in that outing, one of which came off the bat of Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon has actually had a nice history against Buehler while he’s on fire right now. Furthermore, his numbers at home this season are simply ridiculous. Entering this one tonight, Blackmon has launched 18 home runs this season, eight of which have come in the month of June. He’s now homered 15 times in the last two months. After posting a .397 ISO and 1.126 OPS in May, Blackmon has turned the heat up to the .400 ISO and 1.197 OPS in the month of June. Against right-handed pitching this season, Blackmon has posted a massive .331 ISO and 1.066 OPS. Against right-handed pitching at home, Blackmon has hit for an unbelievable .587 ISO and 1.569 OPS with an eye-popping 277 wRC+. Finally, he has gone 7 for 24 (.292( with two home runs in his career against Buehler, the best of any Rockie who’s logged more than three at-bats against the young righty. I have no problem paying up for Blackmon as a one-off tonight.