It was a tough night all around for last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks.
Our pitching was a mix of poor results and bad luck.
The poor results came from Jack Flaherty as he yielded six runs (four earned) in just five innings of work against one of, if not the worst offense in all of baseball against the Marlins. The bad luck came later on in the night when Shohei Ohtani left his start against the Royals with an injury after throwing four innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts.
We rolled out a three-man Pirates stack last night, and although Pittsburgh scored 11 runs in their win over the Dodgers, the stack wasn’t overly productive. In fact, Josh Bell didn’t even get the start at first base. Sean Rodriguez eclipsed value with a run-scoring single, two runs scored and two walks on the night, but Austin Meadows had just one hit to his name. Sometimes you can be right and wrong at the same time in this gig.
Our Twins four-man stack was disappointing as Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano combined for a 1 for 8 on the night, although Mitch Garver and Robbie Grossman held up their ends of the bargain.
Let’s look for notably better results on tonight’s five-game main slate!
P – Gerrit Cole (HOU) – $14,000 vs. TEX
Despite the incredibly high cost, rostering Gerrit Cole against one the league’s most strikeout-happy clubs is a must on this short slate. Cole brings a super-elite 38.2% strikeout clip into action tonight against a Rangers team that leads all of baseball with 615 strikeouts on the season while their 446 punchouts against right-handed are also the most in baseball. Cole also brings a tidy 2.20 ERA and a 2.55 FIP into action. Although he’s yielded three earned runs in three of his last four outings, Cole’s strikeout upside makes him a must on this slate.
P – Matt Boyd (DET) – $5,800 vs. BOS
Rostering Boyd against the Red Sox has risk to be sure, however the Red Sox are not a good offense against left-handed pitching. In fact, Boston’s team .688 OPS against southpaw pitching ranks 26th in the league. They also own a 26% strikeout rate against lefties and Mookie Betts is on the DL. Boyd enters tonight’s contest at Fenway sporting a 3.23 ERA on the season and his 3.85 FIP is also a solid number. He’s not a big strikeout pitcher with an 18.6% strikeout rate on the year, however given all the factors above I don’t mind a roll of the dice at an extremely attractive cost tonight.
C – John Hicks (DET) – $3,400 vs. BOS
If James McCann makes his way into the Tigers’ lineup I would use him in this spot, but right now I am seeing Hicks as the projected catcher, so let’s roll with him. The Tigers rank seventh league-wide with a team .780 OPS against left-handed pitching as they take on southpaw Jalen Beeks who will make his MLB debut tonight. Hicks has had a real good year in increased playing time, and he clobbers lefties. Hicks owns a .324 average and .923 OPS against lefties this season. That’s more than enough for me to include him in my Tigers stack tonight.
1B – Justin Smoak (TOR) – $4,300 vs. BAL
The Blue Jays and Orioles get together tonight at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, and Orioles’ right-hander David Hess has struggled against left-handed hitters this season, yielding an .889 OPS to them. Enter Smoak who clobbers right-handed pitching as he enters play sporting a .250 ISO and .831 OPS against them on the season after a breakout season that included a .266 ISO and .856 OPS against right-handers. The switch-hitting slugger seems like as good of a best as there is on this slate to play some long ball tonight.
2B – Yangervis Solarte (TOR) – $4,000 vs. BAL
Another switch-hitting Blue Jay I want to use tonight is Solarte who is flexing some muscle in his first season in Toronto. Solarte has clubbed 12 homers on the season, six of which have come from the left side of the plate where he will hit tonight against Hess. His power numbers are a little better against lefties, however Solarte still owns a solid .182 ISO and .763 OPS against right-handed pitching. He’s also projected to hit second in the lineup, giving him nice cross-category upside tonight.
3B – Matt Duffy (TB) – $2,900 vs. SEA
In all honesty, third base was the last position filled in this lineup and we needed some value from this position, and with Duffy projected to hit in a favorable RBI spot at fifth in the Rays’ lineup, I will roll with him. Duffy takes on right-hander Mike Leake who has actually been worse against right-handed hitters like Duffy this season, allowing an .842 OPS to them. Duffy isn’t hitting for a ton of power after missing all of last season with injuries, but that’s not to say he isn’t hitting. Duffy owns an elite .362 average and .870 OPS against righties this season. This is a double reverse-splits matchup here, and a low-owned one at that.
SS – Jose Iglesias (DET) – $3,500 vs. BOS
Iglesias is not a big power threat, but he handles the bat well and could provide some low-owned value at the end of our Tigers stack tonight. Iglesias knocked in the only run of last night’s loss, his second RBI over his last four games. He recently completed a seven-game hit streak with three doubles in that span. Best of all are his numbers against left-handed pitching, where he’s actually hitting for sneaky power. Iglesias owns a .308 average, .231 ISO and .902 OPS on the year against southpaws. Some low-owned power would be a welcomed happening tonight.
OF – Curtis Granderson (TOR) – $3,700 vs. BAL
I like the left-handed pop from Granderson tonight out of the leadoff spot against the right-hander Hess. Granderson owns a solid .168 ISO and .750 OPS on the season against righties while all four of his homers have come against righties too. He’s hitting just .213 and is cold at the plate entering this contest, but as part of a three-man stack, against a pitcher struggling against lefties and hitting in the leadoff spot, I will roll the dice here on a small slate.
OF – Nicholas Castellanos (DET) – $4,500 vs. BOS
This guy is truly turning into one of the very best hitters in the American League. Castellanos’ .333 batting average ranks sixth in all of baseball and third in the American League. He is also crushing left-handed pitching to the tune of a .429 average and 1.081 OPS. He has at least two hits in six of his last nine games including five doubles and a homer. This guy is as good as it gets on this slate against left-handed pitching.
OF – Niko Goodrum (DET) – $3,900 vs. BOS
The switch-hitting Goodrum has shown some power from both sides of the plate in his first year in Detroit. Against lefties, Goodrum is hitting for a nice .790 OPS while his .162 ISO is also a solid figure. His .270 average from the right side is better than his .232 mark from the left, which is good considering he is projected to hit fifth where only a single could produce a couple of RBIs at the plate tonight. He also offers some stolen base upside with five steals this season, one of which came against a lefty.