Tonight’s main slate at DraftKings includes just four games, with afternoon baseball being the name of the game today. The draft board is a bit narrower, however there is still money to be made so let’s take a look at this evening’s DraftKings MLB picks!
P – Blake Snell (TB) – $7,100 vs. TOR
Snell enters play tonight at a great low price option with plenty of strikeout upside to boot. In 63 innings at the Triple A level last season, Snell posted a whopping 12.86 K/9 and followed that up with an impressive 9.91 figure across 86 innings at the big league level. The Blue Jays possess a heavy power-hitting right-handed lineup, but this lineup is top-heavy. Russel Martin, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, and even Jose Bautista all produced an OPS of less than .800 against lefties last season while Travis, Martin and Pillar all hovered around the .700 mark. With such a small slate the pitching options are narrow and the strikeout upside is high here with Snell. Snell is a very sneaky play in GPP formats if he can keep the top half a Blue Jays lineup that has struggled out of the gate quiet for one more night.
P – Robbie Ray (ARI) – $8,300 vs. SF
Like Snell, Ray is a left-hander who boasts plenty of strikeout upside tonight at home against the Giants. Ray racked up an enormous 11.25 K/9 last season, however his 4.90 ERA was not an accurate reflection of his work. Rather, I look at the 3.76 FIP and 3.45 xFIP as a more accurate measure how his performance from last season, meaning Ray should be the beneficiary of some better luck this time around. He faces a lineup tonight that mostly hit poorly against lefties last season. The Belt, Pence, Posey combination in the heart of the order will be a stiff test for Ray, but other than that this Giants lineup does not pose a large threat to the left-hander. In fact, zero Giants posted an OPS over .900 vs. lefties last season and the aforementioned three batters were the only three above .800. Ray has an excellent opportunity in front of him tonight.
C – Evan Gattis (HOU) – $3,900 vs. SEA
Gattis sticks out to me as the best catching option tonight at a very thin position. Given Posey and Martin are facing these two pitchers tonight, this is an easy decision. Besides, Gattis mashed lefties to the tune of a .256 ISO and .886 OPS last season and that is what he will face tonight against Mariners’ southpaw Ariel Miranda. In a small sample of 47.1 innings against righties at the big league level last season, Miranda yielded an elevated 2.09 HR/9 and struck out just 2.76 righties per nine innings. Gattis should be able to put that big frame to work in the power department tonight.
1B – Logan Morrison (TB) – $3,300 vs. TOR
I keep thinking to myself: this position is thin. This is again the case here at the first base position, however I feel excellent about Morrison here given the way his season has started, but more important because of his matchup against Marcus Stroman. Stroman is an extreme ground-ball pitcher who throws his two-seam fastball 43.9% of the time to induce those ground balls, and Morrison hits the two-seamer very well. He has a career 1.35 pitch value/100 against the two-seamer, meaning for every 100 two-seamers he has seen he has produced 1.35 runs above the major league average. He also has a solid .808 OPS and a solid .340 wOBA in 13 career plate appearances against Stroman.
2B – Jose Altuve (HOU) – $4,900 vs. SEA
Ownership concerns aren’t at the top of my list tonight in a four-game slate, so let’s roll with the league’s best second baseman. Altuve has a career .344 batting average, .151 ISO and .890 OPS in his career against lefties, numbers that easily trump his career figures against right-handers. He also offers important stolen base upside tonight as he swiped 30 bases last year to go along with his 24 homers. He is a speed/power combination that cannot be left outside of this lineup tonight.
3B – Evan Longoria (TB) – $4,100 vs. TOR
Longoria makes for an excellent play tonight against the visiting Stroman. Like Morrison, Longoria hits the two-seam fastball well with a pitch value/100 of 1.15 in his career and an even better 2.85 last season. Also of note, Longoria has mashed Stroman pitching throughout Stroman’s young career. In 22 at-bats, Longoria has a .364 average, 1.119 OPS and a .470 wOBA against the right-hander. Those are monster numbers and I like those to continue this evening.
SS – Carlos Correa (HOU) – $4,800 vs. SEA
Continuing with the Astros stack portion of this lineup, Correa sets up quite nice for tonight’s matchup. Although his .803 OPS versus lefties in his career is just okay, he has an excellent .207 ISO which tells me the power is more than present. He also has a suppressed .269 BABIP against lefties, meaning some more luck should come his way against southpaws in the future. After all, his elevated 37.8% hard contact rate against lefties is higher than his 34.6% mark against righties. Overall he is a great play tonight in an Astros stack.
OF – George Springer (HOU) – $4,500 vs. SEA
For most of the reasons listed in the Gattis, Altuve and Correa portions here, the right-handed hitting Springer makes for an excellent play tonight. Springer has excellent splits against Southpaws where he has posted a career .249 ISO and .902 OPS against lefties. His excellent 41.1% hard contact rate against lefties just plays right into our hands tonight as Springer caps an Astros stack that should bode very well tonight at home.
OF – Corey Dickerson (TB) – $3,400 vs. TOR
Like Morrison and Longoria before him, Dickerson is another Tampa hitter who feasts on the two-seam fastball and who has excellent career numbers against Stroman. Dickerson’s career pitch value/100 against the two-seamer is a solid 1.26 and he also hits the cutter and slider well to boot, which are Stroman’s second and third most utilized pitches. Lastly, Dickerson has hit Stroman to the tune of a .976 OPS and .407 wOBA across 14 at-bats. He is a solid play as the leadoff hitter in this Tampa Stack.
OF – Nelson Cruz (SEA) – $4,500 vs. HOU
As a one-off play, Cruz makes a lot of sense. His power is almost unmatched in the game of baseball as he has clubbed at least 40 home runs in three straight seasons and has produced an ISO of at least .200 in nine straight seasons, which is every season minus his rookie year. Minute Maid Park favors right-handed bats in terms of home runs and Cruz fits that bill. He could give this lineup a real boost with a solid one-off performance tonight in Houston.