A fresh week of MLB baseball kicks off tonight as we look to take on a nine-game slate. It is a busy day elsewhere in the league today as executives and front office personnel will be focusing on the MLB Draft. While they focus on that, let’s focus on tonight’s slate and kick off the week with some winning picks!
P – Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – $12,700 vs. ATL
We will open up the lineup by grabbing the top arm on the slate in the form of Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg. While Strasburg’s 9.97 K/9 on the season is certainly impressive, it’s actually down from his career 10.51 mark, so some positive regression could be had in this area. He is also facing a Braves’ offense that ranks in the bottom half of the league in most offensive categories and struggles to hit home runs with just 59 on the season (27th). The Nationals’ offense is projected to score more than five runs today, so run support shouldn’t be an issue en route to a win this evening.
P – Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) – $7,800 vs. LAA
The way Tanaka has pitched this season I wouldn’t blame you for questioning this play. That said, he faces one of the worst offenses on the slate tonight in the form of the Troutless L.A. Angels. Tanaka’s 7.91 K/9 this season is actually higher than his 7.44 figure last season when he was a Cy Young contender. He will take on an Angels’ offense that ranks 26th in the league in OPS against righties and have struck out the 11-most times against righties on the season.
C – Sandy Leon (BOS) – $2,700 vs. PHI
Given that their projected run total is north of 6.5, getting some Red Sox exposure is necessary but a full Red Sox stack is likely better for cash games due to ownership reasons, so let’s get some lower ownership exposure here with Leon. The switch-hitting catcher will take his cuts from the left side tonight against Phillies’ right-hander Jerad Eickhoff. Eickoff sports an underwhelming 4.87 FIP and a 1.47 HR/9 to left-handed bats this season and has been notably worse to left-handed hitters in his young big league career, making Leon a valuable play at a very low price tonight.
1B – Jose Abreu (CWS) – $4,100 vs. BAL
Believe it or not the White Sox are one of the league’s best offensive teams against left-handed pitching so let’s put that theory to the test tonight as they face southpaw Wide Miley. Chicago leads the MLB in OPS against left-handed pitching and Jose Abreu has been a big reason why as he sports a whopping 1.128 OPS against southpaws this season. He also sports a .233 ISO and a huge 49% hard hit rate against lefties, making him an integral part of any White Sox stack tonight.
2B – Jonathan Schoop (BAL) – $4,600 vs. CWS
Another pitcher we can target tonight is White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey. Although better this season, Pelfrey sported a 5.19 FIP against righties in 2016 and considering Schoop is a reverse-splits right-handed hitter we can be confident in this pick. Schoop sports a .231 ISO and an .868 OPS against righties this season, the latter of which is the second best figure on the team. Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago favors the home run ball so keep that in mind as well.
3B – Matt Davidson (CWS) – $2,900 vs. BAL
The Chicago stack continues here with Davidson who could bring massive value to the plate tonight if he continues his season-long trend of mashing lefties. Davidson enters play tonight sporting a .286 ISO and a .950 OPS against lefties. I believe most DFS players will use Todd Frazier at this position tonight, but Davidson’s numbers are easily better than Frazier’s against lefties and his price is significantly lower, just as his ownership should be, making this a fantastic GPP play.
SS – Jordy Mercer (PIT) – $3,600 vs. COL
A sneaky play at the shortstop position, Mercer could be a valuable one nonetheless. He is suffering from a brutal .122 BABIP on the season against left-handed pitching which is the good news considering he hit lefties to a an .829 OPS in the 2016 season. This means positive regression is imminent for the Pirates’ shortstop and that could begin tonight against Rockies’ left-handed Kyle Freeman.
OF – Avisail Garcia (CWS) – $4,500 vs. BAL
The final bat in this three-man White Sox stack is outfielder Avisail Garcia. Garcia is enjoying a breakout season and has hit lefties to the tune of a .194 ISO and a team-leading 1.146 OPS on the season. He also has a 42.9% hard hit rate against lefties which helps explain his massive .583 BABIP against them. This number is due for regression, but the way he has swung the bat against lefties this season we simply can’t pass on him in a White Sox stack tonight.
OF – Hunter Renfroe (SD) – $4,300 vs. CIN
With the Reds’ sending right-hander Bronson Arroyo and his massive 2.84 HR/9 on the season to the mound tonight we should probably get some Padres’ exposure. Enter Renfroe who has a .205 ISO and a 36% hard hit rate against righties this season. In very limited time last season he hit righties to a .423 ISO and a 1.192 OPS, displaying serious pop against same-handed pitching. While Arroyo is worse to lefties than righties, I am confident in Renfroe’s abilities to hit right-handed pitching for big power.
OF – Trey Mancini (BAL) – $2,800 vs. CWS
Our third and final bargain of the lineup comes in the form of the right-handed hitting Trey Mancini. Mancini boasts huge value potential in tonight’s matchup considering he sports a .256 ISO and a team-leading .872 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. Only Chris Davis has hit righties for more power than Mancini this season, but it’s not by much. I will take the team’s OPS leader against righties and enjoy the significant savings in the process.