Last night was an extremely difficult night to get into the cash as the variance across the 15-game slate was fairly outrageous. We have another big slate this evening so let’s nail down tonight’s picks and get back into the money!
P – Jacob deGrom (NYM) – $10,400 vs. ATL
For the second time this season Mets’ right-hander Jacob deGrom will take the hill against his AL east rival, the Atlanta Braves. In his first start against Atlanta (and of the season) deGrom hurled six shutout frames while surrendering just two hits and a walk and striking out six. deGrom has an equally tasty matchup against the Braves this evening, a team he has a career 1.71 ERA and a whopping 6.20 K/BB ratio against over the course of nine career starts against them. He enters play tonight as a low risk, high ceiling play as out first pitcher in this lineup.
P – Matt Boyd (DET) – $6,500 vs. CLE
Our second pitcher of the night comes with much more risk than deGrom, however the ceiling is high here and Boyd makes for a solid GPP play for this lineup. Boyd has surrendered just six earned runs over his last three starts, a streak that began with Boyd tossing six innings of one-run ball against this same Indians team on April 16th. The strikeout upside tonight is increased due to the fact Cleveland has been quite brutal against lefties this year, as they could have as many as four starters tonight with strikeout percentages over 30% against left-handers this season. Additionally, they have just two players with an OPS over .751 against lefties this season. Boyd is a nice low-owned play as our second starter of the night.
C – Russell Martin (TOR) – $3,500 vs. NYY
Martin enters this lineup as one half of a mini-stack play against the Yankees tonight and there are some reasons why he is a solid fit. Martin had a sky-high hard hit rate of 45.8% against lefties in the 2016 season and has a solid .273 career batting average against Yankees’ starter C.C. Sabathia with a home run as well. Lastly, Martin should be a low-owned catcher tonight given the Blue Jays’ early season struggles which could make him a sneaky GPP play as a result.
1B – Hanley Ramirez (BOS) – $4,800 vs. BAL
We are going back to the well with a Red Sox stack tonight, this time against Kevin Gausman and his reverse splits. The right-handed Gausman sees most of his struggles come from right-handed hitters and the red-hot Ramirez could be a solid play tonight, albeit at some elevated ownership. Ramirez has four home runs over his last four games and has two homers and a 1.067 OPS in 13 career at-bats against the young righty. With Fenway Park giving up lots of home runs Ramirez is set for some more power tonight.
2B – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – $4,100 vs. BAL
The second man in this Red Sox stack is veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Like Ramirez, Pedroia has hit Gausman well with a .300 batting average and a homer to go along with a strong .450 SLG% across 20 career at-bats. The second base position has become a very deep position these days in the DFS circle and Pedroia will almost certainly come at a very low ownership given the power threats above him on tonight’s slate.
3B – Manny Machado (BAL) – $4,900 vs. BOS
For our third base spot tonight we will stay in Boston but head to the other dugout and take Orioles’ slugger Manny Machado. This is a very enticing matchup for Machado as Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz has surrendered a 2.12 HR/9 to right-handed hitters this season while Machado hit lefties to the tune of a .919 OPS in 2016. He has immense power and with Fenway surrendering a ton of home runs to left field on an annual basis this is a pick that I believe you must have in your lineups tonight.
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) – $3,300 vs. ATL
The Mets will take on Mets’ legend Bartolo Colon tonight in Atlanta and that could be a problem for the super-veteran right-hander this evening. Colon has plenty of struggles against left-handed hitting as he yielded an elevated 1.72 HR/9 figure to lefties last year while Cabrera checked in with a .208 ISO against righties compared to his .143 mark from the right side of the plate against lefties. Considering the switch-hitting shortstop boasts more power from the left side of the plate against a pitcher who struggles against lefties we could have a recipe for success here.
OF – Mookie Betts (BOS) – $5,200 vs. BAL
The third and final Red Sox hitter from this stack is Betts who has absolutely clobbered Kevin Gausman in his young career. Betts is a career 10 for 23 (.435) with three homers, eight runs and seven RBIs against Gausman. Gausman gave up a 1.63 HR/9 to righties last season compared to a 1.16 figure to lefties, and five of the six homers he has surrendered this season have come from right-handed bats. With this in mind Betts was an easy lock for this lineup.
OF – Steve Pearce (TOR) – $3,200 vs. NYY
Our second half of the the Blue Jays’ mini-stack comes in the form of slugger Steve Pearce. While Pearce homered twice in last night’s contest against the Yankees, he is in this lineup because he has obliterated left-handed pitching throughout his career, specially in the 2016 season. Pearce crafted a .305 ISO and a 1.032 OPS against lefties in 2016 and he also has a career 1.111 OPS against seven homers in just 65 career at-bats at the New Yankee Stadium. This is an excellent matchup at a low price for Pearce.
OF – A.J. Pollock (ARI) – $4,100 vs. WAS
Our lone Diamondback in this lineup comes in the form of A.J. Pollock. Pollock has enjoyed some career success against Nationals’ lefty Gio Gonzalez in his career and I am looking for more of the same tonight. Pollock is a career 4 for 9 hitters (.444) against Gonzalez with an .889 OPS to go along with a stolen base. He will hit in the leadoff spot for the D-Backs tonight and those steals could provide some extra value as Pollock has already swiped 11 bases this season.