I mentioned in last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks article that there were a lot of high projected run totals, and man oh man was it a high scoring slate with a whopping 10 teams scoring at least nine runs on the night.
My picks fell short of the cash line, thanks in large part to some poor pitching, although we had some nice performances as well.
Stephen Strasburg’s night got off to a rough start as the White Sox touched him up for five earned runs in the first inning. He did settle down, however, and make it through five innings and actually ended up with a win thanks to the Nationals being one of those teams to score nine runs. He struck out six in those five frames.
Noah Syndergaard also didn’t have his best stuff, allowing three earned runs in 6.2 innings of work with just four strikeouts.
Our four-man Rays stack did some damage as Willy Adames hit a grand slam late in the game while Guillermo Heredia knocked two hits and Christian Arroyo had a single, a hit by pitch and a run scored. Unfortunately, Mike Zunino posted a zero which really hurt that lineup.
Our three-man Rangers stack also did some damage with each member notching nine fantasy points. Nomar Mazara singled, walked twice and scored a run, Ronald Guzman doubled, walked and scored a run while Rougned Odor singled, scored two runs and had an RBI as Texas scored 11 runs.
Finally, our one-off outfielder Keon Broxton was our best player as he homered, stole a base, singled and scored two runs. He’s really feeling it in that Orioles uniform.
After a red-hot first six weeks or so to the season it’s been some tough sledding, but I’ll stick with my research and tackle tonight’s 12-game main slate!
*I’ll be fading the following games due to weather concerns: ATL @ PIT / MIN @ CLE
P – Charlie Morton (TB) – $11,600 vs. DET
Although it didn’t work for me last night, I am going to pay a hefty price for high strikeout upside with my pitching again tonight, beginning here with Morton who gets a very favorable matchup on the road against the Tigers. Detroit now ranks dead last with a .283 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while their 26.3% strikeout rate represents the third-highest mark in baseball. Of course, Morton has found a whole new level beginning in the 2017 season when he signed with Houston when he posted an even 10.00 K/9. In 2018, he improved to 10.83 K/9, however in 2019 with the Rats he has increased that clip again to 11.09 K/9 and owns a 2.54 ERA, 2.88 FIP and a 3.42 xFIP to boot. The right-hander has control issues at times, however he should be able to handle arguably the worst offense in baseball tonight in a park that very much caters to pitchers at Comerica Park in Detroit. Give me this strikeout upside all day.
P – Chris Sale (BOS) – $10,600 vs. KC
The Royals can be a pesky offense at times as they probably hit better than most thought they would this season, however they’re not hitting well against left-handed pitching at all. Entering play tonight, Kansas City sports a .283 wOBA against left-handed pitching, good for 28th in the league while their strikeout rate is higher against lefties than it is righties at 24.8%, tied for the 10th-highest mark in the league versus southpaw pitching. The last time I rostered Sale was on Friday against the Yankees, but he allowed four earned runs in six innings, however he also struck out 10 batters. It’s the fifth time in his last six starts and the sixth time in his last eight that he has struck out at least 10 batters and he’s struck out at least 14 in two of his last five starts. When Sale is on a strikeout tear such as the one he’s currently on, he can be the most dominant pitcher in baseball and against the league’s 28th-ranked offense against lefties, I’ll take the star southpaw in this matchup any day of the week.
C – Danny Jansen (TOR) – $2,100 vs. NYY
I have to be extremely cost-conscious with my bats tonight as my pitching is clearly costing me a pretty penny, and Jansen’s price gives me a little bit of breathing room in terms of affording some quality bats with upside in this lineup. That said, he’s not just here due to price, but rather his ability to hit left-handed pitching as he gets set to face Yankees southpaw James Paxton tonight. Paxton may not last long given he pitched just four innings in his return from the IL last week, however perhaps Jansen can get a couple cracks at him before he exits the game. Jansen has been brutal against righties with a .139 average, .059 ISO and .419 OPs against them, but he’s hit lefties for a greatly improved .235 average, .147 ISO and .698 OPS – all decent numbers for a catcher. Furthermore, Jansen hit lefties for an .896 OPS at Triple-A last season and a massive 1.218 OPS at Double-A in 2017, so we know he can hit lefties and while he faces a good one tonight, he can provide massive value with any extra-base power he can bring to the table.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (STL) – $4,300 vs. CIN
Tied for my priciest bat in the lineup, Goldschmidt begins a mini-stack tonight against the Reds and right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, a pitcher giving up plenty of home runs while also struggling mightily on the road this season as well. Goldschmidt has also had plenty of success against the right-hander in the past. His Cardinals tenure isn’t exactly off to a white-hot start as he’s sporting a .178 ISO on the season that’s well below his .231 career mark, but he’s still popped 12 home runs on the season and owns an .808 OPS, so while his numbers are lagging career marks, he hasn’t been atrocious, either. He’s been a little better against right-handed pitching with a .177 ISO and .813 OPS to go along with a 117 wRC+ against them as well. DeSclafani has pitched to a 5.47 ERA on the road while allowing 2.12 HR/9 on the road and Goldschmidt has gone 8 for 15 (.533) with a homer and three doubles in his career against the right-hander, good for a .400 ISO and 1.522 OPS against the veteran. I’ll look for some power out of the perennial MVP candidate tonight.
2B – Jurickson Profar (OAK) – $3,400 vs. LAA
I won’t be rolling out a four-man stack for this lineup tonight but I will have a three-man stack going with the Oakland A’s against opener Cam Bedrosian who will likely be followed by right-hander Felix Pena as has been the case in six of Pena’s last seven outings. The A’s are projected to score a healthy 4.6 runs in this one tonight and I’ll roster some bats that have had success against right-handed pitching this season. Profar has hit better overall against left-handed pitching, but the switch hitter has displayed more home run power against righties as eight of his nine homers have come against right-handers and his .171 ISO against them is higher than his .156 mark against lefties. He’s off to a hot start to June after a very good May as he’s hit for a .273 ISO and .879 OPS so far for the month, or 3 for 11 with a homer and a walk. He’s homered nine times and swiped four bases on the season and I’ll look for his power/speed combo to show up in this one tonight.
3B – Matt Carpenter (STL) – $4,300 vs. CIN
I’ll complete my mini-stack right here with Carpenter who is projected to lead off in this lineup against the right-hander DeSclafani tonight. Carpenter, like Goldschmidt, has scuffled a little bit in the early going but his bat has perked up of late and as we’ve seen in the past, he is capable of going on a serious offensive tear. He is riding a five-game hit streak into tonight’s action and has homered twice over that span. Interestingly, his numbers are better against left-handed pitching as he owns a .205 ISO and .803 OPS against them, but still owns a .171 ISO and .724 OPS against righties and posted a massive .280 ISO and .930 OPS against right-handers last season, so I believe he’s got the ability to crush right-handed pitching to be sure. Also like Goldschmidt, Carpenter has absolutely owned DeSclafani in their history against each other, going 11 for 24 (.458) with three homers, two doubles and triple against him, good for a .542 ISO and 1.581 OPS versus the veteran. I think I’ll take that and run with it.
SS – Willy Adames (TB) – $3,200 vs. DET
I mentioned in yesterday’s piece that Adames has been in my lineups a lot of late, and he’s delivered some nice performances including smacking a grand slam in last night’s game. His bat perked up for a .159 ISO and .800 OPS in May after a rough April, and he’s gone 5 for 12 with that grand slam so far in June and has three two-hit games over his last four with a six-game hit streak overall. The right-handed hitting shortstop has actually been a notably better hitter against right-handed pitching in his career and he’ll see a righty starter tonight in the form of the Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull. Adames has hit right-handers for a .300 average, .169 ISO and .830 OPS on the season with a 128 wRC+ while he’s posted a huge .288 ISO, 1.085 and 192 wRC+ against right-handed pitching on the road. His slam last night indeed came against a right-handed pitcher. He’s cheap and he’s feeling it right now, so I’ll take the value upside and run.
OF – Ramon Laureano (OAK) – $3,500 vs. LAA
Continuing our three-man A’s stack against the Angels is Laureano who, as a right-handed hitter, has hit right-handed pitching far better than he has lefties this season. He’s also a real nice source of power and speed as Laureano has smacked eight homers on the season and swiped five bases as well. Laureano has 13 doubles on the season, 12 of which have come against a right-hander. He’s hit those eight homers as well, seven of which have come against a right-hander. Three of his five steals have come against a right-hander. Add it up and he has posted a .200 ISO and .808 OPS on the season with a .341 wOBA and 117 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season. His numbers increase to a .205 ISO, .880 OPS, .371 wOBA and 137 wRC+ on the road against right-handed pitching outside of the pitcher-friendly O.Co Coliseum in Oakland. he’s also red-hot at the plate right now, riding a whopping 15-game hit streak into this one with nine doubles, three homers and two steals in that time. He’s also 3 for 8 with a double, two homers, three RBI and a stolen base over his last two. Huge value upside here.
OF – Robbie Grossman (OAK) – $3,500 vs. LAA
Grossman used to be a player that was almost exclusively used against left-handed pitching, but his splits have reversed in recent years and he’s become an option against righties as well. For instance, he hit lefties for a .344 average, .232 ISO and .994 OPS in the 2016 season. In 2017 his splits were better against righties and in 2018 he went back to hitting lefties better. The back-and-forth trend has continued this season as Grossman’s .148 ISO and .710 OPS on the season against right-handers it much better than his .063 ISO and .528 OPS against left-handers. All four of his home runs and eight of his nine doubles have come against right-handed pitching while four of his five steals have come against righties as well. Grossman is also hot at the plate right now as he’s gone 5 for 9 with a homer, two runs scored, an RBI and while it was unsuccessful, a stolen base attempt as well. We have some pop and speed here with Grossman to complete our three-man A’s stack.
OF – Curtis Granderson (MIA) – $3,500 vs. MIL
I had $3,500 to use on a one-off outfielder in this lineup tonight and I’m rolling with Curtis Granderson who takes on right-hander Jimmy Nelson who is making his first big league appearance since back in the 2017 season after dealing with shoulder issues in all of 2018 and the first couple months of 2019. There’s a lot to like about Granderson tonight. First, he’s projected to hit in the ever-valuable leadoff spot. Second, Miller Park in Milwaukee is one of the best venues in baseball for left-handed hitters to hit home runs. Third, despite a .188 average, Granderson still has pop in that bat with six home runs on the season, all of which have come against right-handed pitchers such as Nelson. And finally, Granderson has excellent numbers against Nelson in his career as he’s gone 4 for 9 (.444) with two home runs and two doubles in his career against him, good for a cool .889 ISO and 1.949 OPS. I really like what he can bring to the table considering all of the above tonight.