Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks were solid, if unspectacular, but given a lineup change the results really depended on what you used to replace a player.
The lineup change surrounded Robinson Chirinos of the Astros. I had mini-stacked Chirinos with a minimum-salary Jack Mayfield, but when Chirinos was scratched I personally went elsewhere with my lineup and that even included my Dodgers mini-stack that ended up producing nothing.
The pitching in last night’s lineup was solid, especially Trevor Richards who delivered a ton of value. Richards allowed a solo homer to the first batter he faced, but that homer was just one of two hits he allowed in the outing and the only earned run across his seven innings of work and five strikeouts, earning the win thanks to a ton of run support.
Rich Hill was solid, pitching six innings of two-run ball to go along with six strikeouts in a no decision against the Mets.
Our four-man Dodgers stack was good given the low ownership of the group save for Bryce Harper. Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run homer at 1.9% ownership for me while Harper doubled twice and had a pair of RBIs as well. Rhys Hoskins singled twice while Andrew McCutchen singled and scored a run.
Mayfield walked and scored a run, however if you stayed with Hernandez and Turner their zeros were easily the most disappointing performance of the night.
It’s essential to keep an eye on the starting lineups as the day moves along as a lot of my lineups have had to been altered due to some changes in the confirmed lineup from the projected lineup.
We have a nine-game slate on tap tonight, but I will personally be avoiding the Tigers/Orioles and Cardinals/Phillies games as the weather is too risky in my opinion.
Let’s get to it!
P – Blake Snell (TB) – $11,300 vs. TOR
Easily the top pitcher on tonight’s slate, Snell could be in for a big night tonight as the takes on the lowly Blue Jays who are simply struggling all-round on offense this season. Against left-handed pitching, the Blue Jays rank 28th with a team .275 wOBA while their 25.2% strikeout rate against southpaws ranks them 21st. After posting a 1.89 ERA and 11.01 K/9 en route to a surprising Cy Young victory last season, Snell owns a 3.07 ERA and a massive 12.61 K/9 on the 2019 season. Furthermore, his 2.81 FIP and 2.58 xFIP are even more fond of his work on the season, so perhaps Snell gets even better results moving forward. I actually used the left-hander in his last start against the Indians last week, and he pitched 6.2 innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts, but unfortunately didn’t get the win. That said, he has three games this season with at least 11 strikeouts, and I’m looking for a fourth in this home matchup tonight.
P – Pablo Lopez (MIA) – $6,600 vs. SF
You wouldn’t understand this pick on the surface even again the lowly Giants offense, however some deeper research is required to see the kind of upside Lopez has in this one tonight. On the season, the right-hander owns a 5.40 ERA, however his 4.05 FIP and 3.91 xFIP point towards some notable regression while he has a solid 8.71 K/9 and 2.44 BB/9 on the season. That said, Lopez is the owner of an ugly 8.26 ERA on the road, but an eye-popping 1.93 ERA at home while his 1.66 home FIP is proof of his excellent work at home this season. His K-rate jumps from 7.62 K/9 on the road all the way to 10.03 K/9 at home while he has yet to allow a home run at home in 23.1 innings on the season. The Giants were handled last night by Trevor Richards and considering their 28th-ranked offense against right-handed pitching will be up against a right-hander allowing just a .200 wOBA at home this season, combined with the strikeout upside, and we could have some serious value on our hands tonight.
C – Brian McCann (ATL) – $3,900 vs. WAS
The Braves are likely to see some ownership on this slate tonight as their projected six-run total is the highest on the slate, and that’s saying something considering there is a game at Coors Field tonight. The Nationals will send right-hander Anibal Sanchez to the mound tonight, he of a 5.10 ERA on the season and a 5.40 ERA to go along with a massive 6.12 BB/9 rate on the road this season. He also owns a 5.60 FIP and 5.59 xFIP on the road while he’s allowed a 3.48 HR/9 and a 1.041 OPS to left-handed bats on the road this season, so it’s a big opportunity for McCann tonight. In what should be his final season in the big leagues, McCann is having a real nice year for the Braves, especially against righties as he owns a .303 average with an .834 OPS to righties while all three of his homers have come against a right-hander. He’s also enjoyed plenty of success against Sanchez as he’s gone 11 for 38 (.289) with two homers and two doubles, even a stolen base, against him which is good for a .211 ISO and .857 career OPS against the veteran.
1B – Freddie Freeman (ATL) – $5,200 vs. WAS
Another left-handed bat against Sanchez, Freeman is most certainly poised for a huge night tonight. Freeman continues to be a very productive bat against left-handed pitching as well as right-handed pitching, but let’s make note of his .247 ISO and .958 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching while his power increases to a .265 ISO at home against right-handers. Perhaps the splits will lean towards righties moving forward as Freeman owns an insane 51.2% hard-hit rate on the year against righties compared to a 39.6% mark against lefties. He doesn’t have a steal this season, but Freeman has 10 last season and the stolen base upside is increased against Sanchez as he’s allowed four steals in 42.1 innings this season and 16 steals in just 136.23 innings last season. He has a history of stolen bases against, and considering his struggles against lefties, especially on the road, the cross-category upside with Freeman is simply massive tonight.
2B – Starlin Castro (MIA) – $2,500 vs. SF
I’m not worried about the Braves’ ownership tongiht as I have some bats in here that will see small ownership as well, beginning here with Castro who takes on a tough left-hander tongiht in Madison Bumgarner. I did some background research on Bumgarner to ensure this was a quality pick, and I found that despite how good he has been in his career, he owns an elevated 4.96 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins and a 5.08 ERA in five starts at Marlins Park in Miami. Castro would appear to be having a tough season, but he’s been good against left-handed pitching with a massive .340 average and .817 OPS on the season against southpaws while two of his three homers on year are against lefties. He also owns a .214 ISO and .857 OPS at home against lefties while he’s 3 for 9 (.333) with a double, two runs and two RBI over his last two games. Finally, he’s gone 14 for 33 (.424) with three doubles and stolen base in his career against Bumgarner, good for a .939 OPS against the talented lefty.
3B – Justin Turner (LAD) – $4,100 vs. NYM
Turner let me down in a real nice spot tonight, but I am going to give him a shot at redemption tonight as part of a Dodgers mini-stack against right-hander Noah Syndergaard and the Mets. He and his mini-stack partner won’t see a ton of ownership tonight, so a big night from these guys would help this lineup quite a bit. While I usually only roster Turner against lefties, the fact is that he is hitting a whopping .345 with an .874 OPS on the season with his OPS sitting at just .728 against lefties. His power is increased against lefties, but he still has three homers, two doubles and stolen base on the season against righties. Prior to last night’s 0 for 4 outing, Turner was 11 for 21 (.524) with two doubles, five runs, an RBI and a stolen base over his previous five games. Syndergaard is a tough pitcher no doubt, but Turner is 1 for 3 with a double against him and Syndergaard has been much more hittable this season than in previous years. With Turner projected to hit in three-hole tonight, he could get some RBIs without having to hit for extra-bases, but of course some power is welcomed as well.
SS – Corey Seager (LAD) – $4,000 vs. NYM
I’ll complete this Dodgers mini-stack right away as Seager is really swinging a quality bat after a slower start to the season after missing almost all of the 2018 season. Right away I love the fact that all five of his homers have come against righties while 10 of his 12 doubles have as well. He owns a powerful .208 ISO and .789 OPS on the season against righties, but he’s also posted an increased .224 ISO at home against righties this season. Seager is riding a five-game hit streak into this one as he has gone 6 for 21 (.286) with a double, a homer, five runs and six RBI in that span. Seager hit 26 homers in his rookie season and followed that with 22 the next year, and I will be shocked if he doesn’t cross the 20-homer threshold this season while continuing to hit doubles into the gaps. He too has had success against Syndergaard in a small sample as he’s gone 3 for 5 (.600) with a homer in his brief history against the hard-throwing right-hander.
OF – Garrett Cooper (MIA) – $3,300 vs. SF
Cooper hasn’t been in the big leagues long this season, but boy is he swinging a powerful bat as of late. He’s appeared in just 18 games in the big leagues this season, and he scuffled big-time early. However, Cooper has turned it up several notches as he has gone 4 for 9 with a double and a homer to go along with four runs and three RBI over his last two games. He’s homered three times over his last six starts and has a double in that time as well. In a small 23 at-bat sample against lefties, Cooper has two homers to go along with a huge .261 ISO against southpaws on the season. His minor league stats don’t tell us much as he hasn’t played a ton of baseball over the last couple of years, but he’s simply crushing the baseball right now and is red-hot at the plate. The matchup against Bumgarner isn’t easy, and the Giants have a good bullpen, so I will stick with a mini-stack with Cooper – projected to hit second – and Castro – projected to hit fourth – given their success against left-handed pitching on the season and recent hot streaks.
OF – Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL) – $5,000 vs. WAS
Acuna is my lone right-handed bat in the stack against Sanchez and he certainly owns better numbers against left-handed pitching on the season. He still has six homers and five doubles on the season against righties, and let’s keep in mind that Sanchez is susceptible to the stolen base and Acuna has six steals on the season, all of which have come against righties. He’s also the leadoff hitter for a team projected to score six runs, so there is not much reason in my mind to fade the talented young outfielder against a struggling starting pitcher, especially in a hitter’s park. Acuna does have an .810 OPS on the season at home against righties and his 115 wRC+ at home against righties is a couple ticks above his 113 wRC+ at home against lefties. He hasn’t notched an extra-base hit over his last seven games, but he is 3 for 10 with a stolen base over his last two, so I’ll gladly take the young stud to give us some cross-category production out of that valuable leadoff spot tonight.
OF – Nick Markakis (ATL) – $4,100 vs. WAS
Completing our lineup and four-man stack against Sanchez is Markakis who is another left-handed bat that should give Anibal some trouble tonight. The power isn’t overly high these days with the veteran Markakis, however he still has four homers on the season and while his 13.7% walk rate is higher than his 12.3% strikeout rate – a very rare occurrence in today’s MLB. He’s doing all of his damage against right-handed pitching as he’s hitting .310 with a rather powerful .183 ISO and excellent .907 OPS on the season against righties while his 138 wRC+ against righties tells us his bat is 38% more productive than league average against right-handed pitching. All four of his homers and 12 of his 14 doubles have come at the expense of a right-handed pitcher this season. He’s just 1 for 5 in his career against Sanchez, but that one hit is a double. He’s 4 for 16 (.250), but with two doubles, two runs and an RBI over his last four games. There should be some notable value to unlock with Markakis in this matchup tonight.