Another slate of MLB action, another day of DraftKings MLB picks. Let’s get to it!
P – Marcus Stroman (TOR) – $9,300 vs. MIL
The Blue Jays have sputtered out of the gate this season, winning just once in seven games, but that one victory came in Stroman’s first start of the season. Stroman will make his first home start of the season tonight at the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, however his ability to induce ground balls helps take away the hitter’s advantage. Stroman has induced ground balls 58.2% of the time in his career while allowing under 0.80 HR/9 to hitters on both sides of the slate. Keeping the ball on the ground at the Rogers Centre is a must and Stroman does it better than almost anyone which should allow him to enjoy success again tonight.
P – Vince Velasquez (PHI) – $9,200 vs. NYM
The Mets tore the Phillies apart in last night’s contest, however contact will be harder to come by tonight against the strikeout machine Vince Velasquez. He lasted just four innings in his first start of the season, but he racked up ten punchouts in the process. Control issues were to blame for the elevated pitch count in his first start, however the strikeout upside tonight is enormous as evidenced by his 10.44 K/9 figure from a season ago. He also produced a 3.96 FIP and 3.67 xFIP last season, indicating he pitched better than his 4.12 ERA would suggest. Strikeouts are the name of the game in DFS so let’s look for many more tonight to go along with improved control.
C – Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – $3,400 vs. CHC
In all honesty the catcher position was the last one I filled in this lineup, however I am thrilled to have landed Grandal. Coming off of a 27-home run season, Grandal has gotten off to a solid start in the power department this year with two homers and an .820 OPS through seven contests. Interestingly, his opponent tonight John Lackey gives up more home runs to right-handed hitters than he does lefties, however most other categories suggest lefties give him more trouble. Regardless, Grandal makes for a solid play tonight with power upside.
1B – Mitch Moreland (BOS) – $3,500 vs. BAL
Moreland has had an excellent start to his Boston tenure this season as he has now doubled five straight games with six doubles in that span. He carries a .321 batting average and a .903 OPS into tonight’s contest against Ubaldo Jimenez and the Orioles. Jimenez gets plenty of trouble from left-handed hitters, surrendering 1.53 HR/9 to lefties compared to just 0.65 to righties last season. He also has elevated fly ball rates, home run to fly-ball rates and hard contact rates to lefties, making Moreland a sneaky GPP play tonight.
2B – Devon Travis (TOR) – $4,000 vs. MIL
Travis will likely be in the leadoff spot for the Blue Jays again tonight against right-hander Chase Anderson of the Brewers. Anderson does not fare well against right-handed bats and Travis crafted a .798 OPS against righties in his career compared to .758 against lefties. In his career Anderson has given up 1.49 HR/9 to righties compared to a 1.16 figure against lefties. His OPS yielded to righties is .844 while lefties have managed just a .705 figure against the right-hander. Travis looks like a solid play at the top of a lineup that is expected to score runs tonight.
3B – David Freese (PIT) – $3,200 vs. CIN
Freese has himself a favorable matchup tonight against Reds’ left-hander Amir Garrett. Last season Freese produced a whopping .337 batting average and .963 OPS against left-handed pitching. Garrett’s MLB debut went swimmingly against the Cardinals last week as he pitched six scoreless innings with just two hits and two walks surrendered, however a right-handed middle of the Pirates order could give the rookie some trouble in his second go around. Freese is the beginning of what should be a low-owned stack this evening.
SS – Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) – $4,100 vs. MIL
Tulowitzki was a part of yesterday’s lineup and he didn’t disappoint while going 2 for 3 with two doubles and knocking in all three Blue Jays’ runs in the process. His salary has jumped $200 as a result and that makes sense considering he is set up for more success tonight against Chase Anderson. As mentioned, Anderson gets more trouble from righties than lefties and Tulowitzki should be able to take advantage. He hits lefties better than righties, but still has a solid .203 ISO and .838 OPS against righties in his career. He could be in the cleanup spot again today with Josh Donaldson dealing with a calf strain.
OF – Andrew Benintendi (BOS) – $4,100 vs. BAL
Forming a mini stack with Moreland, Benintendi is set to take advantage of Ubaldo Jimenez’s gaudy splits to lefties. Benintendi was named the top prospect in the league entering this season and is making good on that status with a solid .286 average and .807 OPS so far in his very brief MLB career. More specifically, he has a whopping .323 average and a .936 OPS against right-handed pitching thus far. He could very well do some damage in the two-hole for Boston this evening.
OF – Starling Marte (PIT) – $4,700 vs. CIN
Marte is an excellent play tonight as an outfielder with very high power/speed upside. He has a career .828 OPS against lefties compared to .784 against righties and stole 47 bases a season ago, the third most in the MLB. Marte figures to his second in the Pirates lineup tonight which could give him an extra at-bat tonight along with plenty of run scoring opportunities to go along with that power/speed upside.
OF – Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – $4,500 vs. CIN
McCutchen is in the lineup for many of the same reasons as Marte and Freese in the sense that he is a right-handed bat with excellent numbers against left-handed pitching. McCutchen has a career .949 OPS against lefties and while he has regressed some in recent seasons, he is still a threat against lefties and makes for a solid portion of this Pirates stack tonight.