I don’t think I have ever received a zero from a four-man stack before, but that was inexplicably the case on last night’s slate with my DraftKings MLB DFS Picks.
The Nationals started Anibal Sanchez who has been rocked all season and I felt even better knowing the league’s worst bullpen would be coming in after Sanchez departed the game, for better or worse. Naturally, Sanchez hurled a gem and the four runs the Braves did get came on an Austin Riley grand slam. Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers all posted zeros in the most disappointing stack of the season.
Our pitching was decent as Pablo Lopez led the way with six innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts. He left the game when it was tied, so we didn’t land in the win column.
Blake Snell’s outing was wildly disappointing as he was touched up for two runs right away in the first inning, and while those were the only two runs he allowed, he lasted just six innings and struck out only five.
Starlin Castro provided real nice value with a triple, a run scored and an RBI while Garrett Cooper added an RBI himself.
Our Dodgers mini-stack did some serious damage as Justin Turner doubled as part of a three-hit game with a run and an RBI, however Corey Seager enjoyed a massive night with a homer, two doubles, two runs, an RBI and a walk.
Let’s move on from that brutal Braves stack onto tonight’s and see if we can turn things around on tonight’s seven-game main slate!
*I’ll be avoiding the Red Sox/Yankees game due to weather.
**Unlike most of my lineups, this lineup is better suited for cash games.
P – Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD) – $11,200 vs. NYM
The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets get together once again tonight and despite the Mets being able to hit left-handed pitching fairly well, they also strike out a ton against lefties to boot. Ryu is probably the front runner for the NL Cy Young award right now as he’s turned in a 1.65 ERA on the season with a 2.62 FIP and 2.82 xFIP to boot. His 8.54 K/9 on the season is a solid, if unspectacular number, however the Mets own the league’s eighth-highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season with a mark of 26.2%. Ryu has arguably been the most consistent pitcher in baseball this season as he has yet to allow more than two earned runs in a start this season and has allowed one earned run or less in five of his 10 starts this season including in four of his last five. Furthermore, he’s spun a shutout in three of his last four outings. He is a lock for cash games tonight thanks to these results and I’ll happily pay the price to make that happen.
P – Carlos Carrasco (CLE) – $9,500 vs. CWS
Carrasco had handled the White Sox on two occasions already this season and given the fact that he is due for some serious positive regression on his ERA I am really liking this pick tonight. Carrasco faced the White Sox in back-to-back starts in mid-May and pitched 12 innings of shutout baseball to go along with zero walks and 12 strikeouts, earning the win on both occasions. Carrasco enters this start tonight sporting a 4.60 ERA on the season, but his 4.13 FIP and 3.33 xFIP tell us better results are on their way. Furthermore, Carrasco owns a 5.61 ERA on the road this season, however his FIP falls all the way to 2.94 with an xFIP of 3.50 as well, so some serious positive regression is coming on the road. Carraco owns a big 11.05 K/9 on the season and will take on a White Sox team that is striking out at a 26.8% clip against right-handed pitching, the second-highest mark in the big leagues. All the stars seem to be aligning for a big performance from the Indians’ right-hander tonight.
C – Roberto Perez (CLE) – $3,700 vs. CWS
Perez is likely to see some ownership tonight as an affordable catcher who bashes lefties as he takes on a lefty in Manny Banuelos who has been rocked here in 2019. Banuelos owns a 7.71 ERA, 6.68 FIP and 5.04 xFIP on the season as he’s walking 5.56 batters per nine innings while allowing home runs at a huge 2.57 HR/9 clip. The home runs are likely to come down a little but as his 26.3% HR/FB rate inevitably drops, however the walks are unsightly and the Indians should have plenty of baserunners tonight as a result. Enter Perez who is having a massive season against left-handed pitching as he owns a huge .265 ISO and .959 OPS on the season against lefties to go along with an eye-popping .404 wOBA and 152 wRC+ that tells us he’s created 52% more runs than the league average against lefties. He’s already popped seven long balls this season and number eight, or nine, may not be far off for the backstop considering he homered off of him just a couple weeks ago while he’s 3 for 3 with two walks against Banuelos, all in that two-week span.
1B – David Freese (LAD) – $3,900 vs. NYM
The Dodgers are a potent offense against left-handed pitching and they will take on a left-hander in Jason Vargas who is certainly prone to the blowup. Vargas has settled down a little bit from a very rough start to the season, but it’s hard to ignore a pitcher with a 5.22 ERA while his 5.42 FIP and 5.81 xFIP certainly tell us that it’s been a rough go for the veteran southpaw. Furthermore, Vargas has been brutal on the road with a 6.75 ERA away from Citi Field this season while his 6.14 FIP and 6.08 xFIP on the road agree that he’s been awful away from home this season. Freese gets to hit in a prominent position against lefties – projected to hit third tonight – which makes sense considering the .805 OPS he’s posted against them. He’s actually sporting increased numbers against righties this season, but considering Freese has gone 8 for 14 (.571) with three homers and a double in his history against Vargas, I’ll lock him in and run in this matchup tonight.
2B – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $3,400 vs. NYM
A decent source of power and speed, Taylor has had his way with left-handed pitching this season while he too has a nice, albeit brief, history against Vargas. Since breaking out in the 2017 season, Taylor has more or less owned even lefty/righty splits, making him a solid option against both pitcher’s handedness. However, this season the splits are leaning hard left as he owns a huge .233 ISO and .843 OPS on the season against lefties compared to a .107 ISO and .597 OPS against righties. Taylor has hit four homers, three of them off a lefty, but he’s also swiped three bags on the season, however all of those have come against a right-handed pitcher. Nonetheless, Taylor has handled Vargas quite well in a small sample as he’s gone 1 for 1 with a double and a walk against the left-hander. He’s projected to move up the lineup a bit to the five-hole for this one tonight, so some RBI opportunities should await the versatile Taylor tonight.
3B – Justin Turner (LAD) – $4,200 vs. NYM
Since I am rolling out both a Dodgers and Indians stack tonight, you could use Jose Ramirez here as he fits the Indians stack and has had a much better season against lefties than he has righties, but for me it’s Turner as he’s the hotter hitter of the two and despite owning some reverse splits this season he has handled lefties with the best of em’ over the last few seasons. The bat has been better against righties as per his .895 OPS against them compared to a .728 mark against lefties while his 148 wRC+ against righties easily trumps his 94 wRC+ against lefties. However, from a power standpoint, Turner’s .215 ISO against lefties is much higher than his .099 mark against righties, and power is what we want. Even including an 0 for 4 performance on Tuesday, Turner has gone 14 for 31 (.452) with three doubles, six runs, three RBI and a stolen base over his last seven games. Not much hesitation on my part to roster the lefty-masher out of the projected two-hole tonight.
SS – Willy Adames (TB) – $2,900 vs. MIN
The Rays aren’t a great hitting team against left-handed pitching but I needed a cheap shortstop and I’ll use Adames out of the projected cleanup spot against the left-handed Martin Perez tonight. Perez may own a 2.95 ERA, but he also owns a 3.72 FIP and 4.38 xFIP while his career ERA sits at 4.51 after a 6.22 mark in 2018, so we may need to pump the brakes on completely avoiding the Twins’ lefty. We may need to get a bit lucky tonight as Adames hasn’t hit lefties at all this season with a .074 ISO and .420 OPS against them, but he should fare better against them soon as he owns a tiny .200 BABIP off of lefties as well, a number that’s sure to rise. Still just 23 years old, he showed some pop last season with 10 homers in just 85 games and he has four long balls across 48 games this season. He’s likely never going to be a super-productive bat, but at this price he won’t have to do too much to eclipse value this evening.
OF – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,700 vs. NYM
No surprise here as I roster Hernandez quite often against left-handed pitching as he crushes lefties and hits out of the leadoff spot, so he’s a cheap option that provides serious cross-category upside as a result. Entering play tonight, Hernandez already has eight homers this season, however four of those have come against a left-hander and he owns a .222 ISO and .895 OPS against lefties this season as a result. Hernandez homered on Tuesday night despite logging just two plate appearances as he’s a power threat most times that he steps to the plate. He’s been a part-time player for most of his big league career, but he’s blasted 32 homers over the last two seasons despite that fact and 40 over the last two-plus seasons if you want to include this season. I’ll certainly take that home run upside and combined with his spot at the top of the order, there is plenty to like about the Dodgers’ utility man tonight.
OF – Jordan Luplow (CLE) – $4,100 vs. CWS
Luplow didn’t have a strong start to his Indians tenure this season, however he has turned it up several notches of late and has become a big-time power threat in the middle of the Indians’ lineup. To be quite honest, he’s been one of the best batters against left-handed pitching this season as he has obliterated lefties for an unworldly .477 ISO and 1.183 OPS on the season while all six of his home runs have come against a left-handed pitcher. After posting a .000 ISO and .556 OPS through March and April, but he’s mashed to the tune of a .324 ISO and .861 OPS here in the month of May. I suppose you can say that Luplow has also had plenty of success against Banuelos has he has gone 3 for 5 with three home runs in his career against the left-hander. You don’t have to look too far back for this homers as Banuelos gave up five homers and 10 earned runs across two starts against the Indians in mid-May, the same two games that Carrasco started for Cleveland. He’s likely to see a ton of ownership, but it appears he’s a must for cash games.
OF – Jake Bauers (CLE) – $3,300 vs. CWS
Bauers brings plenty of value upside to this one tonight as he too homered off of Banuelos two weeks ago and we interestingly have the three players that provided the five home runs against him in this lineup tonight. The left-handed Bauers isn’t having a great season overall, but he’s been more productive from a power standpoint against left-handed pitching with a .163 ISO against them compared to a .114 ISO against right-handed pitching. That wasn’t the case last season, so these splits could even out, but for now that’s what we see and clearly he can hit Banuelos as he went 2 for 5 with that homer but also a double with three walks against him in five plate appearances, good for a cool 2.000 ISO and 4.000 OPS. He’s dirt cheap and will see a ton of ownership this evening, but Bauers, Perez and Luplow have pummeled Banuelos in their two meetings this season and a third time is a real possibility in the hitter-friendly confines of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago tonight.