Happy belated Memorial Day to my friends in the U.S.!
We have a 12-game Tuesday slate on our hands this evening (KC vs. CWS has been removed) and one big weather concern to boot in the game featuring the Indians and Red Sox from Boston. Make note that I am completely avoiding this game as the weather doesn’t look promising and certainly not worth the risk of a PPD.
There are a couple minor weather concerns, as of late Tuesday morning in the Eastern Time Zone, in the games between the Cardinals and Phillies as well as the D-backs and Rockies, but not to the point where they are a fade, in my opinion.
Nonetheless, let’s take a crack at landing some profits early in the week and get those bankrolls back to growing after what has been a rather cold couple of weeks.
P – Rich Hill (LAD) – $10,800 vs. NYM
I never really expect Hill to go too deep into games, but the strikeout upside seems a little too high to ignore tonight and with the Mets projected to score just 3.3 runs – the lowest mark on the slate – I believe the Dodgers’ left-hander is in for a good one this evening. Hill enters this one sporting a 2.67 ERA, and while his FIP jumps all the way to 4.49, his xFIP comes back down to just 3.29, so the peripherals aren’t calling for huge regression although we should expect his 84.1% strand rate to come down closer to the 77.5% mark he posted last season. Hill is having some issues with the long ball this season with an even 2.00 HR/9 on the year, but his massive 25% HR/FB rate is due to crash any time now as he owns a stout 10.8% mark in that department for his career. The Mets rank ninth with a nice .334 team wOBA against lefties this season, but they also own the league’s fifth-highest strikeout rate against them at 26.8%, so I am going to roll with that strikeout upside and trust the tiny run projection to show through tonight with the Dodgers listed around -200 to win this one on the moneyline.
P – Trevor Richards (MIA) – $8,200 vs. SF
I am seeing some risk with other high-priced pitchers on this slate as Stephen Strasburg, for instance, is facing a good Braves offense on the road, so I am going to pay down a little bit and grab Trevor Richards in a favorable home matchup against the Giants. Richards isn’t having a great year with a 4.14 ERA but also a 5.08 FIP and 5.35 xFIP and the walks are high at 4.47 BB/9. That said, he is taking on a Giants team that ranks 28th with a .285 team wOBA against right-handed pitching while their overall .281 wOBA over the last week also checks in at 28th, so they are one of the coldest offenses in baseball as well. Richards is coming off a nice start over another poor offense in Detroit when he fired 5.2 frames of one-run ball while walking just one and striking out six in a no decision. This is certainly a battle of basement teams as the Marlins may very well struggle to score runs in support of Richards, but they are -112 favorites to win on the moneyline according to FantasyLabs, so let’s roll the dice against a weak offense in this one tonight.
C – Robinson Chirinos (HOU) – $3,500 vs. CHC
Jon Lester’s first handful of starts were absolutely brilliant, but he’s been touched up for nine earned runs over his last two starts spanning just 8.1 innings, so we are getting him at his worst as I plan to roll out a dirt-cheap mini-stack in support of my somewhat pricey main stack tonight. Chirinos has been a lefty masher for pretty much his entire big league career as he owns a very powerful .223 ISO and .833 OPS against them for his career and a strong .188 ISO and .798 OPS against them here in the 2019 season. What I like even more about this one tonight is Chirinos will take his hacks at home where he has obliterated the oppositions for a massive .267 ISO and .954 OPS on the season with four of his six long balls coming at Minute Maid Park in Houston as well. He’s not going to give you much of an average, but in terms of power he is one of the best catching options in DFS today. Despite Lester’s still-strong overall numbers, I’ll take the power-hitting backstop to continue his yeoman’s work at home this season.
1B – Rhys Hoskins (PHI) – $4,800 vs. STL
Now we have to be careful here as there is some light rain in Philadelphia tonight, so keep an eye on that situation as we approach lock. That said, there is also plenty of humidity and a relatively high temperature in Philadelphia tonight, which means very good hitting conditions as the ball flies in warm, humid weather. The ball has also been flying against Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright this season as he owns some ugly numbers in the form of a 4.82 ERA, 5.08 FIP and a 4.77 xFIP. Furthermore, he owns a brutal 6.75 ERA on the road in 25.1 frames and a large 1.78 HR/9 mark on the road as well. He is worse against lefties, as we’ll see in a minute, but he’s still posting a 5.01 FIP and 5.05 xFIP on the road against righties like Hoskins this season. Besides, Hoskins is hitting right-handed pitching for a huge .267 ISO and .914 OPS on the season as well as an eye-popping .362 ISO and .992 OPS at home against righties. No reason why he shouldn’t hit for plenty of power in this one tonight.
2B – Cesar Hernandez (PHI) – $4,200 vs. STL
Hernandez is enjoying a fine season to this point as he’s been displaying his power/speed/on-base uspside in the form of a five homers, a .167 ISO, three steals and a .362 OBP. That said, this is brewing to be a perfect storm for the second baseman. First, Hernandez is a switch-hitter, but as a left-handed hitter this season he’s mashed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .196 ISO, .920 OPS and a huge .389 wOBA. His 144 wRC+ tells us that his bat has been about 44% above league average against right-handed pitching this season. That said, his production against righties only tells half the story. Wainwright has been absolutely destroyed by left-handed bats this season as he’s allowed a .983 OPS and 2.11 HR/9 to them overall, but a massive 1.148 OPS and 2.70 HR/9 to lefties on the road. He owns an unsightly 8.92 FIP and 7.11 xFIP to lefties on the road as well. Needless to say, the combination of Hernandez’s big season against lefties and Wainwright’s flat-out brutality against left-handed bats gives us massive upside with Hernandez this evening.
3B – Justin Turner (LAD) – $4,100 vs. NYM
After filling out my main stack in the Phillies and my cheap Astros mini-stack, I had to find a relatively cheap mini-stack at shortstop and outfield to complete my lineup. Well, I am absolutely thrilled with what I was able to land here, beginning with Turner who takes on left-hander Steven Matz tonight. Matz has been touched up for a 6.10 ERA on the road across 20.2 innings on the season and a 1.017 OPS on the road against right-handed bats such as Turner. Turner has long been a lefty-masher as long as he’s worn a Dodgers uniform as he hit them for a powerful .226 ISO this season, a .244 ISO and 1.028 OPS last season and a silly-good .324 ISO and 1.181 OPS in the 2017 season. Now, at the age of 34, Turner doesn’t sport the same power he had earlier in his career, but he’s still socked six homers this season three of which have come against lefties in half the amount of at-bats he’s had against righties. Furthermore, he’s 3 for 12 (.250) in his career against Matz, but two of those three hits went for home runs and I’ll look for more of the same out of the projected and valuable two-hole tonight.
SS – Jack Mayfield (HOU) – $2,000 vs. CHC
I hope the projected lineups over at FantasyLabs really hit the nail on the head tonight as this lineup is only possible thanks to Mayfield and his minimum salary. Now, this isn’t a throw-in due to salary whatsoever as Mayfield is mashing Triple-A pitching this season to the tune of a .289 ISO thanks to 10 homers in ust 41 games after hitting 16 homers and stealing five bases at Triple-A in 2018. Mayfield posted an .868 OPS against lefties in Triple-A last season and a very similar .863 mark this season with three of his 10 long balls coming off of lefties. His MLB debut came just last night when he doubled across his four at-bats, something I would gladly take at this price. He and Chirinos are projected to hit seventh and sixth respectively, giving us a powerful back-to-back mini-stack at a combined price of just $5,500. I am pumped to see what these guys can accomplish tonight against the struggling left-handed Lester.
OF – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,400 vs. NYM
Hernandez usually gets the nod to leadoff against left-handed starters and that is projected to be the case again tonight against Matz, giving us a 1-2 mini-stack with Turner in the process. Hernandez simply blasted lefties to the tune of an unreal .309 ISO and .946 OPS back in the 2017 season, but his splits inexplicably reversed in 2018 despite still logging a solid ,.185 ISO and .780 OPS against southpaws.. That said, Hernandez is back to crushing left-handers here in 2019 as he’s hit them for a very powerful .233 ISO and huge .936 OPS while his 149 wRC+ against them tells us his production against lefties is just shy of 50% above league average. Hernandez is 3 for 11 (.273) in his career against Matz, but he too has a homer in his career against the southpaw. The Dodgers are projected to score a high 4.8 runs tonight, and getting the leadoff and two-hole bats is a very good idea with a projection as high as that, so they bring plenty of cross-category upside on top of the home run power tonight.
OF – Bryce Harper (PHI) – $4,300 vs. STL
This is simply my favorite player on this slate for several reasons. I already broke down just how atrocious Wainwright has been this season against left-handed bats, and we know, Harper can be one of, if not the most dangerous left-handed hitter in the game tonight, although Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger may have something to say about that. Nonetheless, Harper has actually hit left-handed pitching better than righties this season as he owns a .193 ISO and .753 OPS against righties, but an increased .254 ISO and .884 OPS against lefties. That said, his ISO jumps all the way to .229 at home against right-handed pitching and his .194 home BABIP against them is sure to climb steeply. There is also the case of his history against Wainwright as it’s both a productive and extensive history. Harper has logged 20 at-bats against Wainwright and has gone 9 for 20 (.450) with a homer and two doubles against him, good for a .250 ISO and 1.222 OPS against the veteran. Given just how bad Wainwright has been against southpaws this season, I’d be shocked if Harper didn’t have himself a night tonight despite a sl0w-than-expected start to his Phillies tenure.
OF – Andrew McCutchen (PHI) – $4,700 vs. STL
One downside to stacking the Phillies against Wainwright is the fact that they only have two left-handed bats in their projected lineup tonight: Harper and Hernandez. Still, McCutchen has enjoyed a powerful season against right-handed pitching while he brings some speed upside and he too has had plenty of success in his extremely large sample size against Wainwright. McCutchen has hit eight long balls this season with all right coming at the expense of a right-handed pitcher. He owns a powerful .208 ISO against them on the season and his 116 wRC+ at home against righties this season is 16% above league average. McCutchen doesn’t run as much as he once did, but he does have a pair of steals on the season. He’s also logged a whopping 61 at-bats in his career against Wainwright and has gone 18 for 61 (.295) with two homers, six doubles and a triple against him, good for a .230 ISO and .863 OPS against one of the better pitchers of the last 12 years or so. He is also projected to hit leadoff again tonight, a spot that carries a ton of value, so I’ll look for him to hit for some power and use his still-speedy legs to perhaps steal a base and score some runs tonight.