Not a great lineup yesterday as we saw a couple of home runs and a solid, high-strikeout pitching performance from Rays’ ace Chris Archer, the rest of the lineup as well as our other pitcher simply didn’t deliver. That said, I’m excited to get right back on track with today’s DraftKings MLB Picks.
P – Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – $14,200 vs. SD
Despite the high price tag and the high ownership, I’m not about to let Kershaw slip through the cracks tonight. He hasn’t quite been in vintage Kershaw this season with a .261 ERA (high by this standard, but still excellent), but his 3.01 FIP is a little elevated for the ace southpaw. That said, he takes on a Padres team tonight that ranks 24th in runs scored on the season and have struck out the fourth most times in the bigs. Kershaw obviously brings the high strikeout upside to the table with an impressive 9.58 K/9 on the season and a win is most certainly in the cards for the majors’ best pitcher this evening.
P – Amir Garrett (CIN) – $7,100 vs. SF
We will summon another lefty as our second pitcher of the night as Reds’ southpaw Amir Garrett takes to the bump to battle the San Francisco Giants. Like Kershaw, Garrett will be facing a weak offense tonight as the Giants enter play sporting the second worst run production in the MLB with just 103 runs scored on the season while their OPS also ranks 29th at a measly .642 on the season. Garrett has been solid this season save for one blowup against the Brewers two starts ago when he surrendered nine earned runs. However, he has surrendered two earned or less in the rest of his starts this season and boasts solid strikeout upside with a 7.80 K/9 figure on the season.
C – Mike Zunino (SEA) – $2,900 vs. TEX
In all honesty this was the final position that I filled in this lineup, and Zunino’s price tag fit perfectly while I am happy to also get a low-owned, productiver bat from last season against left-handed pitching. It’s well known Zunino won’t accrue many hits, however he has plenty of pop in that bat and he lines up well against Rangers’ lefty Martin Perez tonight. Perez is a heavy traditional splits pitcher where right-handed bats give him much more trouble than lefties, and considering Zunino crafted a .250 ISO and 8.35 OPS against lefties in 2016 we could have a solid play here with the young catcher.
UPDATE – Zunino has been optioned to Triple-A. Use CIN C Devin Mesoraco as replacement.
1B – Chris Davis (BAL) – $4,200 vs. CWS
The Baltimore Orioles will take on White Sox starter Dylan Covey this evening, and considering the youngster enters play with a 7.29 ERA on the season let’s begin the Orioles’ stack here with Davis. Davis enters play riding a modest three-game hitting streak, however he is coming off perhaps his best game of the season where he had three hits including a homer with two runs scored and a walk last night against Chicago. Covey is giving up over 2 HR/9 to start the season and Davis had a .264 ISO and .828 ops against righties in 2016. Considering the hitting-friendly confines of Camden Yards in Baltimore I like his odds of playing long ball again here tonight.
2B – Jonathan Schoop (BAL) – $3,800 vs. CWS
Next up in the Orioles stack in second baseman Jonathan Schoop. While Covey has been surrendering home runs to both sides of the plate, he had displayed reverse splits in his short time in the bigs this season as righties have hit three homers off of him in just 7.2 innings, equating to an ugly 3.52 HR/9, albeit in a small sample size. If Covey is indeed a reverse splits pitcher, we have a solid matchup with Schoop considering he checks out as a reverse splits hitter. In 2016, Schoops crafted a .193 ISO and .772 OPS agianst righties compared to a .169 ISO and .688 OPS against lefties. He has began this season by posting a .281 ISO and a 1.012 OPS against righties, making him an excellent play today.
3B – Ryon Healy (OAK) – $3,300 vs. DET
Healy is included in this lineup as a standalone play, however he has an excellent opportunity for success tonight against Tigers’ right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann enters play tonight with a 6.18 ERA and a 5.42 FIP on the season while Healy hit right-handed pitchers very well after his callup to the bigs in 2016. He posted a .213 ISO and .853 OPS against righties while also hitting to a very solid .302 batting average in his first taste of big league action. He is off to a slow start this season against righties but considering Zimmermann is sporting a 2.84 HR/9 to righties this season Healy is certainly in play tonight.
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) – $3,600 vs. MIA
We will head to the Mets for a mini-stack beginning here with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. The Marlins will send Odrisamer Despaigne to the mound tonight and Mets’ lefties should be able to take advantage. Despaigne has a career 4.59 FIP against left-handed hitters and he isn’t exactly catching the Mets at the right time considering they rallied for an 8-7 comeback win in last night’s game against Miami. Cabrera is also riding a four-game hit streak into this game and has scored seven runs over his last four games.
OF – Curtis Granderson (NYM) – $3,600 vs. MIA
After a dreadful start to the season and a very low BABIP, it was only a matter of time before Granderson’s bat came around and it looks like that is starting to happen as he has recorded three hits over his last two games including two doubles two nights ago and home run in last night’s contest. He is the perfect example of a quality MLB hitter (maybe not for average, but for power) who was not getting any luck early on as evidenced by his low BABIP, however it would be wise to consider Granderson tonight while his bat continues to come around.
OF – Seth Smith (BAL) – $3,700 vs. CWS
Smith did some damage the other night when he was included in this lineup and I really like him back in this spot tonight against one of the most exploitable pitchers on the slate. I mentioned earlier Covey has surrendered more homers to right-handed hitters this season, however Smith was brought to Baltimore to hit right-handed pitching and that is exactly what he is doing this season. Smith is sporting a .212 ISO and .929 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching and has six hits including a double and three runs scored over his last two games. The Baltimore offense should do some damage tonight so Smith is a very good play out of that leadoff spot this evening.
OF – Hyun Soo Kim (BAL) – $3,600 vs. CWS
The final Oriole in this lineup is outfielder Hyun Soo Kim. Like Smith, Kim is an excellent bat against right-handed pitching as his .807 OPS and 121 wRC+ against righties since coming to Baltimore would suggest. Kim plays almost exclusively against right-handed pitching and that will be a good thing for his production this evening. Baltimore is projected to score 5.5 runs tonight, the most on the slate other than the two teams playing at Coors Field tonight, giving Kim another added advantage this evening. He will be a low-owned play and could have a big game this evening.