It was another real solid night with our DraftKings MLB Picks, our third straight productive lineup. While they struck out a combined five hitters, Johnny Cueto and Sean Manaea combined to pitch 14 two-run innings, both ending up in the win column. Obviously, we would like some more strikeouts, but I don’t think we can argue with those outings. We got a home run from Arenado, a two-hit, two-run outing from D.J. LeMahieu and a one-hit, two-RBI outing from Trevor Story, making our Rockies stack a productive one. Our A’s stack wasn’t as productive, but we got three hits including a double to go along with a run scored and an RBI from that three-man group. Our one-off Dexter Fowler also had a nice night, doubling and scoring two runs with two walks to boot. It was an excellent lineup and we will look for more of the same on tonight’s quiet three-man slate.
P – Robbie Ray (ARI) – $11,700 vs. STL
In terms of pure strikeout upside, there isn’t another pitcher on this tiny slate that even comes close. Ray is a must-have on this slate as he posted a massive 32.8% strikeout clip in a breakout 2017 campaign. Ray didn’t waste any time trying to matchup this clip in his first outing of 2018 as he punched out eight Rockies in just five innings, although he did cough up six runs as well. That said, we will go with Ray tonight to improve his control while maintaining that elite k-rate this evening in St. Louis.
P – Steven Brault (PIT) – $5,400 vs. CIN
He’s not going to light up the strikeout department at the same rate as Ray, but Brault has a decent matchup tonight against the Reds. I like the fact Cincinnati is projected at just 3.7 runs scored tonight as this game taking place in the more pitching-friendly confines of PNC Park in Pittsburgh as opposed to the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. That said, Brault hurled three scoreless innings with three strikeout in his season debut at Detroit last week, and we will roll the dice on his run-prevention on a short slate tonight.
C – Willson Contreras (CHC) – $4,700 vs. MIL
Brent Suter wasn’t as targetable for power last season as I thought he would be, but with the way Contreras hit lefties a year ago, I like his upside tonight nonetheless. Contreras posted a .243 ISO and a .916 OPS against southpaws in 2017, hitting 14 homers and 15 doubles across 266 at bats against them. He is set to hit in the cleanup spot tonight at the hitter-friendly Miller Park in Milwaukee.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) – $5,300 vs. STL
Despite the short slate, first base is once again a loaded position. My top stack of the night is the Diamondbacks, so we’re obviously going to default to Goldschmidt here who has no problems in the splits department. He will face right-hander Adam Wainwright tonight, and Goldschmidt has enjoyed career success against him to the tune of a 1.119 ISO and a .457 wOBA with two homers and a double across just 14 at bats.
2B – Ketel Marte (ARI) – $3,300 vs. STL
With Brandon Drury out of the picture, look for Marte to take on a bigger role with the D-Backs this season. The switch-hitter will hit from the left side to begin tonight’s contest against Wainwright, and it looks like he will hit in the five-hole which could be an optimal RBI spot tonight. Wainwright was brutal against left-handed bats in 2017, posting a 4.90 FIP against them and yielding an .821 OPS to them as well. He doesn’t bring much power, but I like as part of a four-man Zona stack tonight.
3B – Daniel Descalso (ARI) – $2,600 vs. STL
Another left-handed bat against Wainwright, Descalso is going to be much lower owned than the chalk Kris Bryant in this spot, so let’s roll with him as part of this stack. After all, Descalso posted a solid .172 ISO against righties in 2017. Projected to hit in the six-hole tonight, there could be some ducks on the pond for Descalso and his pop against right-handed hurlers.
SS – Addison Russel (CHC) – $4,000 vs. MIL
Completing our mini-stack with Contreras is shortstop Addison Russell. He hit left-handed pitching for a .184 ISO and .821 OPS in 2017, but also for a .245 ISO and .801 OPS in the 2016 season. Needless to say, Russel indeed has plenty of power against left-handed pitching. He will likely hit in the six-hole tonight, but with Contreras at cleanup, he could have some RBI opportunities as a mini-stack tonight against the southpaw Brent Suter.
OF – David Peralta (ARI) – $4,200 vs. STL
Considering Wainwright is notably worse to left-handed bats, we will go with the leadoff hitting Peralta tonight over A.J. Pollock. Peralta hits righties well, posting a .293 average and .825 OPS against them in the 2017 season. He also stole eight bases last season, giving us some upside in that department as well. At the end of the day, he holds nice upside as the leadoff hitter for a deadly Diamondbacks lineup.
OF – Lorenzo Cain (MIL) – $4,500 vs. CHC
John Lester is no easy feat, but we will attack him with a pair of right-handed bats here beginning with Cain. Cain hit lefties well in 2017, posting a .200 ISO and .824 OPS against them and he is already 2 for 4 with two doubles against them this season. Considering Lester can’t throw the ball over to first base, Cain also sports some nice stolen base upside considering he stole 26 bases a year ago.
OF – Ryan Braun (MIL) – $4,300 vs. CHC
I really like the upside of this mini-stack against Lester. Braun has enjoyed a lot of career success against the veteran Lester, going 7 for 16 with a pair of doubles, good for a 1.033 OPS. Interestingly, Braun has taken advantage of Lester’s issues with throwing to first base as he’s also stolen four bases off the lefty. He mashed lefties for a .253 ISO and .872 OPS last season, so let’s roll with this Brewers’ mini-stack tonight.