It was another solid night with our DraftKings MLB Picks on last night’s nine-game slate. Although he didn’t get a win, Justin Verlander punched out nine Orioles, albeit with three earned runs against in just 5.2 frames. However, Garrett Richards shut down a potent Indians lineup with 5.2 innings of one-hit ball to go along with nine strikeouts of his own, notching a win in the process. We got excellent production from our three-man Astros stack as well while Ozzie Albies had a big three-hit night including a double against the Nationals. Lastly, Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu combined for five hits including a homer off the bat of Garcia, giving us a solid all-around night with our picks. Let’s keep things going on tonight’s five-game main slate!
P – Johnny Cueto (SF) – $9,600 vs. SEA
In his second start of the season, we can only hope Cueto can be as good as his first. In a tough road matchup at Dodger Stadium, Cueto silenced some potent Dodgers bats with seven innings of one-hit ball. While he struck out just four in the outing, we should be able to get a few more K’s out of the veteran right-hander against a swing-and-miss team like the Mariners. Seattle will also be without their top power bat in Nelson Cruz tonight, and with Seattle not being able use a DH in an NL park, Cueto should fare just fine in a hitting-friendly venue at AT&T Park in San Fran.
P – Sean Manaea (OAK) – $8,200 vs. TEX
Another hurler who dominated in his season debut is the A’s left-hander Sean Manaea. Going up against an improved Angels’ lineup, Manaea hurled 7.2 innings of one-run ball, yielding four hits and striking out seven. Unfortunately, he took a tough-luck loss, but we will roll with the strikeout upside against a big-time swing-and-miss team like the Rangers. The southpaw held opposing lefties to just a .222 average in 2017, so he should be able to keep the likes of Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor, Joey Gallo and Shin-Soo Choo quiet in the pitcher-friendly confines of the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland tonight.
C – Chris Iannetta (COL) – $3,500 vs. SD
The Rockies are in a pitcher-friendly ball park tonight in San Diego, but I don’t mind a four-man Rockies stack against any left-handed pitcher in any park. We’ve used Iannetta against a lefty already this season, and good reason considering he bashed southpaws to the tune of a .263 ISO and .967 OPS with six homers in just 80 at-bats. He’s already 2 for 5 against lefties this season, so let’s roster the lefty-masher as part of a Rockies stack tonight.
1B – Matt Olson (OAK) – $4,200 vs. TEX
Olson was one of the big stories for the 2017 thanks to a huge power surge in the second half of the year. As a left-handed bat, Olson has nice power upside against Rangers’ starter Doug Fister who yielded an .862 OPS to lefties last season. Olson absolutely clobbered right-handed pitching last season to the tune of a .434 ISO and a 1.081 OPS. While we can’t expect a repeat of that unreal production, Olson should be able to flex his muscle against right-handed pitching again in 2018.
2B – D.J. LeMahieu (COL) – $4,400 vs. SD
LeMahieu is projected to hit second in the Rockies’ lineup tonight against lefty Clayton Richard, which should give him plenty of run-scoring opportunities should he reach base this evening. He doesn’t hit lefties for a ton of home run power, but LeMahieu posted a .362 batting average and a stellar .961 OPS in 2017. He is a singles/doubles hitter against southpaw pitching which lends itself well to the large power alleys in Petco Park.
3B – Nolan Arenado (COL) – $5,000 vs. SD
Here is a guy that definitely does hit lefties for a great deal of home run power. Arenado posted unworldly numbers against lefties last year, but considering the park shift to San Diego, let’s focus on his road numbers. Arenado posted a .406 average, .395 ISO and a 1.279 OPS against left-handed pitching away from the extreme hitter-friendly conditions of Coors Field in Colorado. He is a no-brainer tonight, especially if you are rostering any Rockies.
SS – Trevor Story (COL) – $3,800 vs. SD
Story also put up some eye-popping numbers against left-handed pitching in 2017, but like Arenado, we will focus on his road numbers against southpaws. Story posted a .297 average, .284 ISO and a .962 OPS against left-handed hurlers outside of Coors Field in 2017. It’s hard to believe he is coming to us at a sub-$4K price tonight considering this, but we will take advantage nonetheless.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $4,600 vs. TEX
Davis hasn’t played long ball since opening day, so we can say that the two-time 40-homer outfielder is due. Perhaps not, but nonetheless he makes sense in an Oakland three-man stack tonight. Fister is better against right-handed hitters, but Davis hit righties for more power than he did lefties in 2017 in the form of a .293 ISO. He also posted a .333 ISO and .927 OPS at home last season, much better than his road numbers, so don’t like the ballpark or right-handed pitcher scare you away from Krush Davis tonight.
OF – Matt Joyce (OAK) – $3,200 vs. TEX
The left-handed hitting Joyce completes our three-man A’s stack against the right-handed Fister tonight. Joyce is mostly a platoon player, and he performed very well against righties in 2017. He posted a .256 ISO and an .855 against opposite-handed pitching in 2017, and like Davis, performed better at home power-wise with a .257 ISO and .886 OPS against right-handed pitching at the O.Co Coliseum.
OF – Dexter Fowler (STL) – $3,300 vs. MIL
Fowler enters this lineup as a one-off play, but I like his upside in Milwaukee against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin was much worse against lefties last season where the switch-hitting Fowler will stand against him tonight. Fowler broke out of a slump by going 2 for 5 with a homer in last night’s game, and he is set to hit leadoff again tonight, a very valuable spot to be sure. Increasing his value is the venue where he will play as Milwaukee’s Miller Park is one of the league’s top venues for left-handed home runs.