Last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks just did not get the job done, which is unfortunate as there were some good matchups on hand and I felt real confident in our group.
First, our top pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez enjoyed himself a fantastic outing that included six innings of one-run ball to go along with seven strikeouts against the Blue Jays. However, a rock-solid Boston bullpen briefly coughed up the lead Boston had built with Rodriguez in the game, robbing him of a win in a game the Red Sox indeed went on to win.
Our second pitcher Brett Anderson did not fare nearly as well. Anderson lasted just 3.1 frames while allowing four earned runs against the Orioles. He struck out two. It was certainly risky rolling with Anderson in his return from the DL, but the matchup was a strong one, but he just didn’t have it on this occasion.
Our top stack of the A’s also disappointed as we received no extra-base production from any of our four power bats.
In fact, we didn’t receive a single extra-base hit on the night as our first mini-stack of Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi racked up a couple singles, two walks and a stolen base, but no extra-base production.
Lastly, our other mini-stack of Mike Zunino and Dee Gordon combined to go 2 for 8 with two walks and an RBI, however no extra-base production and no stolen bases from Gordon.
It was certainly a disappointing night, but let’s turn things around heading into the weekend on this jam-packed 15-game main slate!
P – Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) – $11,600 vs. TOR
This will be the third straight night that we win will target a Blue Jays team that is rolling in the youth movement towards the end of the season, and the youngsters struggled big-time in their most recent series in Boston. Things don’t figure to get much easier tonight against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka in the Bronx. Tanaka has spun a 3.61 ERA on the season while posting a real nice 25.2% strikeout rate. Tanaka was brilliant in his most recent start in Seattle where he hurled eight innings of shutout baseball to go along with a whopping 10 strikeouts. Combining his last two starts, Tanaka has allowed just one earned run over his last 15 innings to go along with 16 strikeouts in that span. With the Jays projected to score just 3.4 runs and the Yankees sitting as heavy -270 favorites in this one, I’m not hesitating to roster Tanaka in the slate’s top matchup.
P – Gio Gonzalez (MIL) – $6,700 vs. PIT
Gonzalez’s season has been full of peaks and valleys, but he enters tonight’s start on one of those peaks after impressing in his Brewers debut. Gonzalez pitched 5.2 frames of shutout baseball to go along with seven strikeouts against the Giants at Miller Park in Milwaukee in his Brewers debut. That’s the second time over the last three starts he’s allowed one earned run or less, however he has a six-run start in between those two outings, speaking to my opening point of an up-and-down season for the veteran southpaw. Gonzalez still brings nice upside with the Pirates projected to score just four runs and with the Brewers favored at -136 in this matchup. We need some value in this lineup somewhere, and I think we can get that as perhaps Gonzalez is turning his season around with his new club.
C – Gary Sanchez (NYY) – $4,100 vs. TOR
I expect Tanaka to get plenty of run support tonight as the Yankees take on Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada in what is a very favorable matchup. It’s important to note that the right-hander Gonzalez sports reverse-splits and has been lit up by right-handed hitters more than he has lefties this season as he has yielded a huge .942 OPS, .585 SLG and 2.31 HR/9 against right-handed bats on the season. Enter Sanchez who may not own a big batting average this season, but he has displayed plenty of pop against righties in the form of a .217 ISO. He’s just 5 for 24 (.208) in his career against Estrada, but four of those five hits have gone for home runs against him. Finally, Sanchez has two homers over his last six games, so let’s go with the slugging catcher given Estrada’s reverse splits and Sanchez’s power history against the veteran right-hander.
1B – Luke Voit (NYY) – $3,900 vs. TOR
Voit has wrestled the starting first base job away from Greg Bird, largely thanks to the massive power he is displaying against right-handed pitching. While Estrada has displayed reverse-splits this season, Voit has as well as he owns a massive .339 ISO and 1.010 OPS on the season against righties, albeit in just 56 at-bats. Still, he has homered six times in those 56 at-bats against righties while he has hit eight long balls on the season in only 90 at-bats. He’s displayed plenty of power throughout his minor league career, most recently with a .201 ISO with the Cardinals’ Triple-A club before coming to New York at the trade deadline. Safe to say the move has paid off for the Yanks and we will look to exploit this double-reverse-splits matchup this evening.
2B – Brandon Lowe (TB) – $3,800 vs. OAK
While our Yankees stack is going to see some ownership, we are also going to roll out a three-man stack that won’t see much ownership at all in the form of the Tampa Bay Rays against right-hander Edwin Jackson of the A’s. While Jackson owns a solid 3.26 ERA on the season, his 4.64 FIP and 4.77 xFIP suggest that he is in for some big-time regression, something we saw in his most recent start where he allowed four earned runs in just three innings to the Rangers, the second time he has allowed four earned runs in a start over his has four. Enter Lowe who has hit much better since a tough start to his big league tenure as he owns a powerful .221 ISO and .833 OPS against right-handed pitching in the big leagues so far after hitting right-handers for a big-time 1.014 OPS at Triple-A prior to his call up. He also has a massive .412 ISO and 1.057 OPS in the month of September so far, so let’s roll with the powerful bat of the left-handed hitting Lowe tonight.
3B – Miguel Andujar (NYY) – $4,400 vs. TOR
Andujar is another powerful right-handed bat in the Yankees lineup that we can use to exploit the reverse-splits of Estrada. Andujar actually has hit lefties and righties for almost identical power this season with a .219 ISO against righties and a slightly higher .221 ISO against lefties. Still, his .866 OPS against right-handers outweighs his .811 OPS against lefties while his .306 average against righties outweighs his .271 mark against lefties. Therefore, we could reasonably conclude that Andujar’s splits are slightly reverse, which is good news in this matchup. Also of good news is the fact he is hitting righties for an increased .250 ISO and .882 OPS at home this season, so we will certainly take the possible AL Rookie of the Year in a super-favorite matchup tonight.
SS – Willy Adames (TB) – $3,600 vs. OAK
Adames’ power hasn’t been too big to this point in his very young big league career, but when he has provided pop, it’s been against right-handed pitching. His .134 ISO isn’t anything special against righties, but it tops his .108 mark against lefties. Also, his .740 OPS against righties easily outweighs his .650 mark against lefties. Also worth noting is that his .779 OPS in the second half of the season is significantly better than the .604 mark he posted prior to the All-Star break. As part of this three-man Rays stack, I will happily use the low-owned youngster and hope for some pop in order to give this lineup a big shot in the arm.
OF – Jake Bauers (TB) – $3,600 vs. OAK
Bauers has largely scuffled at the plate since the end of July, however he’s displayed enough power against right-handed pitching that I don’t mind attempting to extract value of the rookie at an attractive price. Bauers will technically hit at the end of the stack, which means the hope is he can play some long ball with Lowe and Adames on base ahead of him. It’s certainly possible as Bauers has produced a nice .194 ISO against right-handed pitching on the season. He did homer for the first time in a while on Monday, so let’s look for more power from the 22-year-old tonight at very low ownership.
OF – Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) – $4,700 vs. TOR
The truth is Stanton has struggled against right-handed pitching for most of the season, but there’s no question he has massive power against them still. He owns a .204 ISO against righties, a tiny number compared to his massive numbers against lefties, but I still think we can use him against a right-handed pitcher that is yielding a ton of power to right-handed batters this season. There is also the fact that Stanton has an elite history against Estrada as he’s gone 7 for 20 (.350) against him with all seven hits going for extra-bases in the form of four home runs and three doubles. I’ll take that production every single day of the week.
OF – Brandon Guyer (CLE) – $3,200 vs. DET
Guyer comes into this lineup as a value one-off and as a lefty-masher against Tigers southpaw Matt Boyd. Boyd’s been pretty good this season, and Guyer is just 3 for 16 against him with no extra-base hits, but there’s no denying his production against lefties this season at very low costs. Guyer has produced a powerful .224 ISO and .813 OPS on the season against southpaw pitching. Those numbers increase to a .245 ISO and .870 OPS against southpaw pitching at Progressive Field in Cleveland where this one takes place tonight. As mentioned, we need value at some spots in this lineup and I think we have big value upside here with Guyer.