I wasn’t able to get a DraftKings MLB DFS Piece out over the last few days, but I am back today to tackle this 12-game main slate and notch some profits early in the week!
P – Chris Sale (BOS) – $10,800 vs. COL
Usually I wouldn’t pay up for the most expensive pitcher on a slate when he is pitching at Coors Field. However, Chris Sale has discovered his elite form over his last couple of starts and the strikeouts are coming by the barrel at this point and I’m finding it awfully hard to resist his strikeout upside in this one tonight. Nothing in particular against the Rockies are their strikeout rate against lefties this season is around the middle of the pack, but man it’s hard to look at Sale’s last two starts and fade him on this slate. They haven’t been the best offenses he’s faced, but Sale has pitched 14 innings of one-run ball to go along with a whopping 24 strikeouts over his last two outings in Baltimore and in Chicago against the White Sox. He’s managed three double-digit strikeout games over his last four starts and punched out either in the other. He also hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start over his last four. I’m going to pay up and see what the high-strikeout southpaw can do in this one tonight.
P – Luke Weaver (ARI) – $8,800 vs. PIT
Weaver came over to the D-backs in an offseason trade that involved Paul Goldschmidt going the other way, so the pressure to perform was certainly there from the get go for the young right-hander. Weaver has done a nice job to perform under that pressure as he’s pitched to a 2.98 ERA so far while his 2.91 FIP is also quite fond of his work, as is his 3.52 xFIP. Weaver has posted some big strikeout numbers in the minor leagues and he’s delivered on that upside at the big league level this season and in fact for his career to this point as he owns a nice 9.93 K/9 mark on the year and a 9.31 K/9 mark for his career. The home numbers aren’t quite as good as the road ones, which isn’t surprising considering his hitter-friendly home confines of Chase Field in Arizona, but I like that the Pirates rank 25th with a .293 wOBA on the season, so I’ll look for another sturdy effort from the right-hander tonight.
C – Wilson Ramos (NYM) – $3,500 vs. WAS
I paid up for Sale at a sky-high price and Weaver also came in at a hefty rate, so we are certainly going to have to be cost-conscious with our bats and pick some players that carrie value upside at low prices and I will begin that theme here with Ramos as he takes on Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. Ramos hasn’t gotten off to a great start to his Mets tenure as he is hitting just .235 on the season with one homer and a brutal .586 OPS, but this guy has been one of the top power-hitting backstops in baseball for the better part of the last five season and I certainly believe the bat gets going sooner than later. Further to that point, I like the fact Ramos is coming off a two-hit effort in his most recent outing back on May 10th. It’s his first two-hit game since way back on April 4th and his first hits in three games. Ramos does have a homer against Helleickson across 11 at-bats against the veteran and I’ll look for more of the same in this matchup tonight.
1B – Matt Olson (OAK) – $3,900 vs. SEA
I am running out a pair of stacks in this one, but the A’s is going to be my main stack as it will be a four-man group in Seattle tonight against right-hander Mike Leake. I actually stacked against Leake with the Yankees his last time out, and he shocked me with seven innings of one-run ball and zero walks. The lack of walks isn’t shocking, but the run prevention is as he owns a 4.37 ERA on the season now, but also an ugly 5.35 FIP and 4.68 xFIP while he is allowing a very elevated 2.09 HR/9 on the season. Olson had a late start to his season due to injury but he’s once again swinging a powerful bat with two homers in nine games to go along with a .219 ISO. This guy hit 29 homers last season and posted a big-time .249 ISO and .830 OPS against right-handed pitching while he owns a .200 ISO and .825 OPS against righties in the early going this season. He is 5 for 16 (.312) with a double in his career against Leake, but I’m looking for a long ball tonight from the powerful lefty-swinging first baseman.
2B – Robinson Cano (NYM) – $3,500 vs. WAS
Cano began his Mets tenure this season with an Opening Day home run and hit well for a couple weeks to begin this season, but he’s endured a couple of cold streaks as well so far, including one that ran into the start of May. That said, Cano is swinging the bat well again as he’s gone 7 for 17 (.412) with two doubles, three runs and an RBI over his last four games. There’s no doubt the bat isn’t as powerful as it once was, but he has been fantastic against right-handed pitching this season as he’s hit .310 with a .190 ISO and .855 OPS to go along with a .364 wOBA against righties on the season while all 13 of his extra-base hits (three homers, 10 doubles) have come against righties. Clearly, his issues are against lefties who he’s hit .132 against on the season. Finally, I am loving the fact Cano has excellent numbers against Hellickson in a strong sample size as he’s gone 5 for 17 (.294) with two doubles, two homers and four walks against him. He should hit third against him tonight and I love the value at this price.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $4,500 vs. SEA
Perhaps my favorite play on this slate, Chapman reverse-splits tendencies and powerful career numbers against Hellickson have me thinking a big game is on tap for the stud third baseman tonight. First, Chapman is having a monster season at the plate after breaking out in 2018 as he’s already homered 10 times while he also owns a massive .273 ISO while his walk rate of 11.7% is not too far under his strikeout rate of 15%. Now, I mentioned the reverse-splits tendencies, but that hasn’t been the case this year as he owns a massive .500 ISO and 1.122 OPS against lefties. However, he also owns a bug .208 ISO and .852 OPS against righties and his .258 ISO and .886 OPS against righties last season were notably above his .163 ISO and .810 OPS against lefties. He’s young, so perhaps his splits will even out, but there’s little doubt this guy crushes right-handed pitching. He’s also 6 for 16 (.375) with three doubles and two homers in his career against Leake, so sign me up all day for this matchup tonight.
SS – Manny Machado (SD) – $3,700 vs. LAD
Rostering anyone against Kershaw at home was blasphemy just a couple short years ago, but injuries and a velocity decline have knocked Kershaw off the perch as baseball’s best pitcher into a tier of a bunch of good ones. His numbers are fine this season, but not nearly vintage Kershaw, either. In his five starts this season since missing time with a dead arm to begin the year, Kershaw has posted a 3.31 ERA, 3.75 FIP and 3.30 xFIP while his 8.54 K/9 is well under his 9.75 mark for his career. He owns a 2.41 ERA, 2.66 FIP and 2.94 xFIP for his career, so we can see he’s not as good as he once was while his home run figure of 1.38 HR./9 is more than double his 0.63 HR/9 career mark. Enter Machado who comes at a very reasonable price. Oh, and he’s also absolutely obliterating left-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .652 ISO and 1.444 OPS on the season with a 266 wRC+ against them. Those are insane numbers as he’s homered five times in just 23 at-bats against a lefty this season. He’s also 1 for 3 with a homer in his career against Kershaw, so let’s look for the lefty-bashing to continue in this one for Machado.
OF – Brandon Nimmo (NYM) – $3,500 vs. WAS
If this was last year the left-handed hitting Nimmo would be a lock to lead off against a right-handed pitcher, but he has taken a step back at the plate from what looked like a breakout 2018 season. Nimmo got on base at a massive .424 clip against right-handers last season while also destroying them for plenty of power to the tune of a .246 ISO and .946 OPS. It’s been a reverse story this season as the OBP against righties has dropped to just .327 and jumped to .419 against lefties for some reason while his .111 ISO and .616 OPS against righties leaves plenty to be desired as well. That said, I’ve done well when rostering Nimmo this season and I think this is a great spot for him to give us more value. I mean, Hellickson is allowing a .368 average and a massive 1.156 OPS to left-handed hitters this season and an even larger 1.387 OPS to left-handed hitters at home. Nimmo hit 17 homers and stolen nine bases last year so I am loving the value upside given Hellickson’s inability to get left-handed hitters out this season.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $4,000 vs. SEA
I will finish this lineup off with a pair of Athletics outfielders to complete our four-man A’s stack. As we know quite well by now, Davis is one of the very best home run-hitting players in this league and he is showing that power again this season with 12 home runs and a .279 ISO on the season. That said, prior to last night’s game in Seattle, Davis hadn’t homered since back on April the 12th when he homered for the third straight game. We know this guy can be streaky and his homers come in bunches, which is why I am thrilled that he clubbed a pair of long balls in last night game while it also happened to be his second consecutive two-hit effort as well. Like Chapman, Davis has been a reverse-splits hitters in the past, but he’s obliterating lefties this season. That said, he owns a powerful .206 ISO against righties and posted a massive .315 ISO against them in 2018. He’s doubled and homered against Leake in his 24 at-bats against him, but the home run upside is huge and the price is more than reasonable against a struggling pitcher who is yielding plenty of home runs this season.
OF – Stephen Piscotty (OAK) – $3,600 vs. SEA
I had some luck with Piscotty last week when I one-offed him and he homered for me, his fifth homer of the season after clubbing 27 home runs last season. Once again it’s very interesting as Piscotty is following the trend set by Chapman and Davis as he owns reverse-splits for his career but has hit lefties far better than righties so far this season. I mean, Piscotty tattooed right-handed pitching for a .232 ISO and .841 OPS last year, numbers notably above his .205 ISO and .776 OPS against lefties. his career numbers trend more towards lefties, but Piscotty still has two homers, three doubles and a triple against right-handed pitching this season and owns quality numbers against Leake. Piscotty has gone 6 for 17 (.353) with a double and a homer in his career against the veteran right-hander. He’s notched at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games, and like his teammates in this stack, Piscotty brings plenty of value to the table in this one tonight.