There weren’t any DraftKings MLB DFS Picks released yesterday as the slate was a little but awkward and started at 12:15 pm ET, but I am back to deliver some picks tonight so let’s get our weekend started on the right note!
P – Tyler Glasnow (BAL) – $9,600 vs. BAL
Glasnow is an early Cy Young front runner in the American League as it appears he has put his tools together and is delivering on the ceiling that had many thinking ace-like potential as a prospect. It seems the Rays did quite well in getting him from the Pirates at last year’s trade deadline as Glasnow is the owner of an eye-popping 1.75 ERA on the young season while his 2.68 FIP and 3.13 xFIP are also excellent figures. He is striking hitters out at a 9.50 K/9 clip, but there’s reason to believe that number could elevate as well as he posted a 10.96 K/9 mark last season. Glasnow’s longest start if the season to this point came against these Orioles when he pitched seven innings of two-run ball, although it was also hit lowest strikeout total with only three punchouts in that outing. This Orioles offense is about middle of the pack in team wOBA and strikeout rate, but with the Rays listed as heavy -230 favorites in this one I don’t see much reason to fade Glasnow tonight.
P – Sonny Gray (CIN) – $8,200 vs. SF
The change of scenery from the Bronx to Cincinnati is just what the doctor ordered for Gray as he’s been excellent through his first handful of starts in a Reds uniform. Gray has authored a solid 3.64 ERA through six starts, however his 2.05 FIP and 2.85 xFIP to go along with a big-time 10.92 K/9 rate paint an elite picture of his work to this point. His last three outings haven’t been good on the surface as he’s allowed nine earned runs in those three outings, however he has only allowed one homer and four walks over his last 16.1 innings and he’s struck out 23 in that time, so again his surface numbers are much uglier than his elite peripherals as he’s had a FIP of 3.29 or under in all three of those starts. Gray gets a favorable matchup at home tonight as he takes on a Giants team that ranks dead last with a .267 wOBA on the season while their 23.7% strikeout rate is roughly middle-of-the-pack. I think we can squeeze nice value out of Gray in this one tonight.
C – Roberto Perez (CLE) – $3,200 vs. SEA
I am going to get some low ownership with my bats tonight to be sure and while Perez might see a little bit of ownership considering his price is a cost-saver, I like the upside he brings to the table against Mariners lefty Yusei Kikuchi tonight. Kikuchi has been so-so in his MLB career to this point as he owns a 4.45 ERA and 4.28 FIP while he hasn’t been able to generate strikeouts with a small 6.68 K/9 rate on the season. He’s also allowed almost all of his damage to right-handed bats like Perez. Perez has been real good against lefties in this young season with a .294 average, .176 ISO and .839 OPS against them and hit a home run off of Marlins lefty Caleb Smith on Wednesday night in Miami. He’s been good against lefties for most of his career and even hit them for a massive .257 ISO and .807 OPS as recently as 2017. He kicks off a four-man Indians stack tonight as he will wrap around to form a stack with the top of the order out of the projected eight-hole.
1B – Carlos Santana (CLE) – $4,600 vs. SEA
Interestingly the remaining three hitters in this Indians stack are switch-hitters who will turn around and hit from the right side against the southpaw tonight. Santana has been Cleveland’s best bat so far this season as he’s been an on-base machine with a massive .432 OBP on the year while he’s hit four homers and owns a huge .927 OPS as well. He’s long been an OBP master thanks to a big walk rate throughout his career, but he’s been hitting lefties extraordinarily well in the early going with a .407 average, .185 ISO and massive .1.135 OPS against them on the season. He’s hit right-handed pitching for a little more power than lefties in his career, but he still owns a .168 ISO and .821 OPS against left-handers in his career. Santana has actually hit a home run in three straight games entering this one tonight and he has six hits over his last 13 at-bats, so let’s look for him to stay white-hot in this matchup tonight.
2B – Derek Dietrich (CIN) – $4,100 vs. SF
Dietrich has quietly been one of the best power-hitters against right-handed pitching in the entire league this season as he lines up to face right-hander Tyler Beede who will make his season debut for the Giants tonight after coming up from Triple-A. Beede has actually been excellent at Triple-A with a 1.99 ERA in five starts, but he was pounded for a 8.22 ERA in 7.2 big league innings last season, so it’s no guarantee that he transfers his minor league success to the big leagues tonight. Enter Dietrich who has hit right-handed pitching to the tune of a eye-popping .321 ISO and .907 OPS on the season to go along with a .374 wOBA and five home runs. Although we have rostered Sonny Gray of the Reds, Great American Ball Park is a hitter-friendly venue, especially for left-handed hitters with home run power. This seems to line up perfectly for Dietrich as he is set to hit out of the five-hole tonight.
3B – Jose Ramirez (CLE) – $4,300 vs. SEA
How about getting an MVP-caliber hitter at a wildly discounted price due to a slow start? That’s the case with Ramirez as he has struggled to a .183 average with just two home runs this season, but it’s almost certain he gets things going soon. His 10.4% walk rate is above his career average and his 13.6% strikeout rate is still an excellent mark. Also, while he’s facing a lefty, he does have nine steals on the season, three of which have come against left-handed pitching. Ramirez is hitting an improved .233 against lefties this season compared to a .165 mark against righties, so it appears we have the proper handedness in this one tonight. This was a guy that hit lefties for a .209 ISO and .809 OPS last season and a huge .254 ISO and .953 OPS in the 2017 season. I am super-pumped to be able to get a guy with this track record at this price just because he’s out of the gate slow and I’m looking for his power/speed potential to show up tonight.
SS – Francisco Lindor (CLE) – $4,800 vs. SEA
Another player who was part of the MVP mix last season, Lindor comes at a reasonable price as well as he’s hitting just .231 with a tiny walk rate after beginning the year on the IL, but he has hit for power as well. He has three home runs in just 10 games on the season while he also brings stolen base upside with one steal so far and 25 of them in 2018. Lindor hasn’t hit left-handed pitching all that well this year as he’s just 1 for 11 so far, but that one hit was a home run, so at least the power stroke is still present there. Let’s also keep in mind that he mashed lefties for a .343 average, .240 ISO and 1.006 OPS last season as well, while seven of his 25 steals came against a lefty. Another thing we need to like about Lindor is the fact that he hits in the leadoff spot which gives us extra at-bat potential and run-scoring potential should he reach base. Like I am with Ramirez, I’m excited about the power/speed potential with Lindor at what I expect to be reasonable ownership tonight.
OF – Yasiel Puig (CIN) – $4,000 vs. SF
I had to be conservative with my funds here as I wasn’t able to afford high-priced outfielders, but I like Puig to form a mini-stack with Dietrich out of the cleanup spot tonight, meaning we have the 4-5 hitters against the righty Beede. While Puig has been much better against lefties through the first month of the season, he was very much a reverse-splits hitter last season with a huge .267 ISO and .921 OPS against righties compared to a .151 ISO and .628 OPS against lefties. While his career splits aren’t as drastic as those ones, he is a reverse-splits hitter for his career with a .207 ISO and .841 OPS against righties compared to a .171 ISO and .759 OPS against lefties. Of course, his stolen base upside is higher against righties as well with 48 career steals against a righty and 18 against a lefty. He has four homers and three steals on the season and I’ll look for more power and speed upside against a right-hander tonight.
OF – Jorge Soler (KC) – $3,900 vs. DET
This is where the ownership is going to get real low as Soler takes on Tigers left-handed Matt Boyd tonight. I needed a low-cost outfield mini-stack to complete my lineup tonight and I have identified one that will not only see tiny ownership, but one I believe can deliver some serious value. Now, Boyd has been very good this season with a 3.13 ERA and an elite 2.21 FIP, but he’s allowed home runs on just 5.7% of fly-balls, much lower than his 12% career mark and his 0.48 HR/9 rate is much lower than his 1.47 career mark. While the turnaround is likely real for Boyd, I do believe some home run regression is inevitable. This Royals team has also given Boyd problems in the past. Soler is 1 for 3 off Boyd, however he is also hitting left-handed pitching to the tune of a .257 ISO and .867 OPS on the season. He’s hit seven home runs on the season and I think Soler could be in for some more power in this one tonight.
OF – Chris Owings (KC) – $3,000 vs. DET
Completing our lineup and our Royals mini-stack is Owings who should see minuscule ownership. Now, he’s hitting just .100 on the year against left-handers, but Owings is 3 for 6 in his career against Boyd and has displayed pop against left-handed pitching in the past. After all, he does have two homers and four steals on the season after hitting 16 homers and stealing 23 bases over the last two seasons as a part-time platoon player, so we certainly do have the upside to see some pop and/or stolen bases tonight. He hit .269 with a .702 OPS against lefties in 2018, numbers that towered over his figures against righties. These Royals are not afraid to run regardless of who is on the mound as they already have 21 steals as a team against lefties while I’m excited to see that three of Owings’ four steals on the year have come against a left-handed pitcher. If this Royals mini-stack can get to Boyd for power and/or stolen bases, it would be a massive boost to this lineup due to the projected tiny ownership against a pitcher few will stack against.