We had a real nice night with last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks as we got plenty of production up and down the lineup.
Our pitcher, Domingo German, got things off to a nice start as he hurled seven innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts in a winning effort over the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander allowed a pair of solo home runs that accounted for all of the damage done off of him in this one.
Our three-man Cubs stack did a nice job as well. Nicholas Castellanos stayed white-hot, especially against left-handed pitching, with a solo home run off of Jason Vargas and also singled and scored an additional run as well. Kris Bryant doubled and walked while Javier Baez walked and recorded an RBI, but also made good on his unique stolen base splits against left-handed pitching with a steal off of Vargas, his 10th of the season. Quality production here.
We also did very well in our three-man Tigers stack. Jake Rogers kept the power stroke going with a home run in this one, a two-run shot to add to his walk. Travis Demeritte had another nice game that included a pair of singles, a pair of runs scored and another stolen base, his third in just his 12th big league game. Finally Brandon Dixon provided a double but unfortunately also struck out four times. Still, we received excellent, low-owned production from this trio.
I rostered two one-offs last night, and one of them delivered some big-time damage as Brian Dozier continued his assault on left-handed pitching with a home run off of southpaw Alex Wood. Fellow one-off Josh VanMeter failed to provide value with just a single on the night, but it’s better than nothing.
It was a great night all-around and I’ll look to make it two in a row on tonight’s small six-game main slate.
P – Aaron Nola (PHI) – $10,100 vs. CHC
The top arm on this slate is left-hander Clayton Kershaw as he takes on the Miami Marlins in Miami tonight, but I am going to pivot to right-hander Aaron Nola as he takes on the Cubs at his home park of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia this evening. Kershaw is the obvious cash play, but I’m going GPP with this lineup again tonight. Besides, Nola has been excellent at home this season where he’s posted a 3.07 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 3.73 xFIP and a 10.78 K/9 across more than 90 home innings this season compared to his 4.63 ERA, 4.99 FIP and 9.11 K/9 across almost half of the innings compared to his work at home. Clearly, we have something to work with here as Nola has been very good at home more often than not this season despite a shaky start. His last start at home came against the White Sox when he hurled seven innings of one-run ball with 10 punchouts to boot. That marks the third time in the last six starts at home in which the 2018 NL Cy Young candidate has reached 10 strikeouts. The Cubs are a dangerous offense to be sure as they rank seventh in wOBA versus right-handed pitching, but that fact combined with his price could keep Nola lower owned than you may think. I’m willing to roll the dice in GPPs tonight.
C/1B – Jake Rogers (DET) – $3,000 vs. SEA
Once again I am going to be rolling with a pair of three-man stacks in this one tonight and rostering a couple of one-offs to complement the stacks. My three-man Tigers stack kicks off with Rogers as I am choosing him over both Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Dixon at similar price points in the C/1B spot. Simply put, Rogers is the hottest bat of the three and I want to keep on him while he’s swinging that powerful stick that he’s put on display in three separate stops this season, a journey that began at Double-A. He’s going to play almost everyday at this point given his elite defense behind the plate, but Rogers could turn into a nice source of power from behind the dish as he’s homered four times in just 11 games and 44 plate appearances at the MLB level this season. If you combine all three levels, Rogers has smacked 18 home runs in 87 games on the season. He hit left-handed pitching for a nice .844 OPS at Triple-A prior to his call up, and that’s what he will see tonight against southpaw Marco Gonzales. Rogers is now 2 for 6 with two home runs against left-handers at the big league level including last night’s shot off of southpaw Yusei Kikuchi. I think some more power can be generated in this matchup tonight.
2B – Niko Goodrum (DET) – $3,200 vs. SEA
Goodrum wasn’t a part of my Tigers stack last night due to price and the makeup of the lineup, however he’s going be in this one tonight as he will form a wrap-around stack with Rogers and a Tigers outfielder in this one tonight. I wanted him in last night’s stack as his bat is productive against left-handed pitching, although he does sport some unique splits. The extra-base power is increased against righties as Goodrum owns a .173 ISO against righties compared to a .159 mark against lefties. However, from there on out, the switch-hitting Goodrum’s splits favor facing left-handed pitching. Goodrum is hitting .364 with a .941 OPS, .393 wOBA and a 147 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. Now, the numbers are notably better on the road against lefties, but I’m not too concerned as he doubled in last night’s game and scored a pair of runs against the southpaw Kikuchi. There’s also the fact that Goodrum has been very good since the return from the All-Star break as he owns a .213 ISO, .853 OPS, .355 wOBA and 122 wRC+ since July 12th. Finally, we have some stolen base upside here as Goodrum has swiped 12 bases on the season, three of which have come against a lefty.
3B – Sean Rodriguez (PHI) – $2,200 vs. CHC
My stacks aren’t exactly on the cheap side, especially my main stack, so I needed to find a couple of value one-offs to make my lineup fit under the salary cap on this slate tonight. I believe I have found some value in the bat of Sean Rodriguez as he takes on left-hander Cole Hamels and the Chicago Cubs. Rodriguez has made his big league money by doing damage against left-handed pitching throughout his career. In his career against southpaws, Rodriguez owns a .168 ISO, .763 OPS, .336 wOBA and a 113 wRC+. Those numbers are notably better than his .146 ISO, .625 OPS, .275 wOBA and 71 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. The splits are wide again this season as he has smacked all three of his homers against left-handed pitching in just 43 at-bats against them. He’s hitting .279 with a .233 ISO, .879 OPS, .370 wOBA and a 129 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season in that small 43 at-bat sample size. He’s also produced a .350 ISO 1.041 OPS, .425 wOBA and 164 wRC+ at home against lefties this season in a 20 at-bats sample size as two of his homers this season have come in that span. Needless to say, we have something to work with here in terms of extracting value from Rodriguez’s bat tonight.
SS – Charlie Culberson (ATL) – $2,100 vs. NYM
The final one-off of the lineup tonight is the Braves’ Charlie Culberson who comes at a near-minimum price against left-hander Steven Matz and the New York Mets. It’s been a tale of two seasons for Matz given his home/away splits on the season. At home, he owns a eye-popping 2.14 ERA, but he’s been brutalized on the road for a 6.79 ERA while his 6.43 FIP and 5.23 xFIP along with a 2.59 HR/9 on the road don’t exactly paint a much prettier picture. This could be a very good thing for Culberson and the Braves as a Braves stack could very well be used tonight as well. That said, I like Culberson as a value one-off as well. He’s enjoying yet another productive season in part-time duty as evidenced by his .345 wOBA and 110 wRC+ on the season. However, Culberson is doing some serious damage against left-handed pitching as he owns a massive .405 average, .262 ISO, 1.085 OPS, .449 wOBA and a 178 wRC+ on the season versus southpaw pitching. The sample is small at just 42 at-bats, but the production is real. None of the hits went for extra-bases, but Culberson is 2 for 4 with a stolen base in his brief history against Matz. I think there is a ton of upside in these two one-off value plays tonight.
OF – Travis Demeritte (DET) – $2,900 vs. SEA
Completing our three-man Tigers stack is Demeritte who continues to impress since coming over from the Braves at the trade deadline and immediately getting his promotion to the big leagues for the first time in his career. His cross-category potential was on display in last night’s game as he recorded a pair of singles, scored two runs and used his wheels to steal his third base of the year in just his 12th MLB game. For what it’s worth, he also added four steals at Triple-A in the Braves’ organization before the trade. It was nice to see him have some success against a left-hander in last night’s game as he hadn’t done so a tiny sample prior to last night’s contest, at least in the big leagues. At Triple-A, Demeritte punished southpaws for a .954 OPS this season while nine of his 20 home runs at Triple-A came against a left-hander in about half as many at-bats as he had against righties. Demeritte has shown wonderful consistency since coming to Detroit as he’s recorded at least one hit in nine of his 12 games, including in each of his last seven. The 24-year-old is set to get a long look in the Tigers’ outfield for the remainder of the season and I’ll look for him to continue to make the most of the opportunity again tonight.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $4,800 vs. PIT
The Angels and Pirates continue their series from Anaheim tonight and the Angels get a real nice home matchup against right-hander Chris Archer who has largely struggled on the road this season. Archer enters this one sporting a 6.66 ERA on the road this season while he’s allowed a whopping 2.05 HR/9 on the road as well. His 4.94 FIP and 4.32 xFIP suggest there’s some positive regression to be had for Archer on the road this season, but to be quite honest I will just roster three Angels who hit right-handed pitching for plenty of home run power and see where it takes me. Trout is competing for a home run crown this season and his splits favor this matchup. The righty-swinging Trout has superior numbers versus righties than lefties in the form of a .389 ISO, 1.136 OPS, .452 wOBA and a 191 wRC+ versus righties on the season. His numbers versus righties at home are largely similar. We get some stolen base uspide with Trout as well as he has nine steals on the season, seven of which have come against righties. Archer is susceptible to the stolen base and I like the fact that Trout has three steals against him despite a .227 batting average in 22 career at-bats against him. Still, given Archer’s road work and home run woes this season, Trout is once again a high-ceiling play tonight.
OF – Shohei Ohtani (LAA) – $3,500 vs. PIT
Next man up in our three-man Angels stack is Ohtani who continues to hit right-handed pitching for plenty of power, especially at home. Add in his speed on the basepaths and we certainly have plenty of cross-category upside in this matchup tonight. Entering play tonight, Ohtani owns a .245 ISO, .902 OPS, .371 wOBA and 136 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching. Furthermore, he’s posted a .320 ISO, 1.076 OPS, .431 wOBA and 176 wRC+ on the season against lefties at home. Ohtani has used his speed to steal 10 bases on the season, nine of which have come against right-handed pitching. It’s been a pretty quiet second half for the two-way star, however he has caught fire over the last four games and enjoyed a big night in last night’s game as well. Over his last four games, he’s gone 8 for 20 (.400) with two doubles, a triple, four runs scored, six RBI and a stolen base to boot. Last night, he went 2 for 5 with a double, a triple, two runs, two RBI and a stolen base. Ohtani is one of those bata that you want to ride when hot and that’s just what I will do in a favorable home matchup where he does his best work.
UTIL – Justin Upton (LAA) – $3,100 vs. PIT
Upton has seen action in just 40 games this season thanks to an injury that cost him a big chunk of the season’s first half, but the guy is once again displaying some reverse-splits and mashing right-handed pitching here again in 2019. Entering this one tonight, Upton sports a .238 ISO, .871 OPS, .360 wOBA and 129 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. The numbers are better on the road against righties, but given the small sample I’m not concerned about that to be completely honest. This marks the second consecutive season he has posted some gaudy reverse-splits as he put together a .232 ISO, .875 OPS, .373 wOBA and 141 wRC+ against righties last season compared to a .125 ISO, .593 OPS, .265 wOBA and 67 wRC+ against lefties this season. He hasn’t ran much this season with just the one steal so far, but he’s recorded 22 steals over the last two seasons and with Archer allowing his fair share of steals, perhaps the stolen base upside gets a few ticks in the right direction in this one. I’m more intrigued by the power upside to be sure and this three-man Angels stack brings plenty of that against a pitcher allowing a ton of home runs this season.