We have a nine-game MLB main slate on tap tonight and plenty of opportunity to get into some money early in the week.
Let’s unleash some FanDuel MLB DFS Picks and see if we can get our week started on the right note!
P – Brendan McKay (TB) – $7,500 vs. SEA
There is some risk in rostering McKay in this one tonight against a Mariners team that hits for a ton of power, but the good news is there is plenty of strikeout upside here as well. Entering this one tonight, McKay sports a 5.08 ERA across his seven starts at the big league level, however he also owns a 3.96 FIP and 4.02 xFIP that suggests some notable positive regression moving forward. That said, it’s the 10.69 K/9 that he’s posted to this point that has caught my attention. Furthermore, the Mariners own a 25.5% strikeout rate on the season against left-handed pitching, so we certainly have something to work with in the strikeout department. Some additional items working in McKay’s favor are the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay where this one will take place tonight, a small 3.6 run projection for the Mariners and the fact that the Rays are listed as -185 to win this ball game tonight on the moneyline over at BetOnline, giving us notable win upside with this play. Just 23 years old, this kid has a bright future in front of him given his elite minor league numbers throughout the year, but for the here and now I see plenty of value upside at this price in this matchup.
C/1B – Christian Walker (ARI) – $3,400 vs. COL
The disappointing Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks get together for an NL West matchup tonight at Chase Field in Arizona, and I’m liking me some D-backs bats in this one against the right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez. After not seeing action in the big leagues since the 2016 season, Gonzales has been asked to eat innings on a disastrous Rockies pitching staff this season, and the results have been quite predictable given his 6.10 ERA in the minors prior to his promotion. In give big league starts and six overall appearances, Gonzalez owns a 6.57 ERA, 6.91 FIP and a 5.53 xFIP to go along with a massive 5.11 BB/9 rate that sits just under his 5.84 K/9 clip. He’s also allowed 2.19 homers per nine innings as well. Enter Walker who hits from the right side, but has hit right-handers better than he has lefties with a .233 ISO, .836 OPS, .348 wOBA and a 111 wRC+ versus righties this season. The numbers slip a bit at home but his .227 ISO at home versus righties this season is impressive nonetheless. He hasn’t racked up a ton of hits lately, but the power remains consistent with a pair of homers as part of his last four hits and he should be in line for plenty of RBI chances tonight given Gonzalez’s massive 1.78 WHIP and the fact Walker is once again projected to hit out of the cleanup spot tonight.
2B – Ketel Marte (ARI) – $4,100 vs. COL
Keep an eye on this one as Marte has missed each of the last two games with back tightness, but he’s been available off the bench and could very well get back into the starting lineup tonight in this super favorable matchup. Marte has perhaps been one of the best surprise stories in the big leagues this season as he has thrust himself into an MVP caliber player at the age of 25. Marte enters this one tonight with 25 home runs on the season and is closing in on hitting twice as many as his previous career high of 14 that he posted just last season. The switch-hitting Marte has seen his power numbers surge most against left-handed pitching, but he also enters this one sporting a .222 ISO, .919 OPS, .383 wOBA and 134 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching as well. It’s safe to say I will accept those numbers. Furthermore, the numbers are very similar at home as well. We also get some stolen base upside here as well as Marte has swiped eight bags on the season, six of which have come at the expense of a right-handed pitcher. Prior to his injury setback, Marte went 6 for 11 with two doubles and a homer over his last two games, so let’s hope he can jump right back into the thick of things in this one tonight.
3B – Eduardo Escobar (ARI) – $4,000 vs. COL
Next man up in the four-man D-backs stack is Escobar who is hitting for more power than ever before here in the 2019 season. He’s already set a new career-high with 28 home runs on the season, easily surpassing the 23 he hit last season in far fewer plate appearances and with plenty of games remaining on the schedule. Like Marte, Escobar is also a switch-hitter, and also like Marte, the power numbers are better versus left-handed pitching. However, he too is still sporting good numbers versus righties with a .236 ISO and .800 OPS against them on the season. Furthermore, he’s hitting righties to the tune of a .268 ISO, .881 OPS, .356 wOBA and 116 wRC+ on the season at home where this one will take place tonight. Escobar has been swinging a powerful bat of late as well as he has doubled in three straight games and added a homer in that span as well. He’s now homered three times over his last seven games and is riding a five-game hit streak into this one tonight. We also also throw in a touch of stolen base upside as he’s swiped five bases on the season. A mainstay in the three-hole, Escobar will have plenty of cross-category upside with him tonight and is arguably the top third base option on this slate.
SS – Wilfredo Tovar (LAA) – $2,000 vs. TEX
After I filled in my stacks in this one I had a shortstop spot open and just $2,100 to fill it. Of the limited names in that area, I like Tovar the most as he takes on left-hander Kolby Allard and the Texas Rangers. First, the venue is a hitter-friendly one at Globe Life Park in Texas. Second, the Angels are projected to score 5.7 runs as a result. Allard has posted a 4.50 ERA in his 10 innings of work at the big league level to this point, but was mediocre in the Braves’ minor league system this season where he posted a 4.17 ERA, but also a 4.64 FIP and 4.36 xFIP. Not terrible numbers, but not dominating figures, either. Nonetheless, I see value in Tovar here. He doesn’t hit for a ton of power, but Tovar is productive versus left-handed pitching as he’s hitting .273 with a healthy .351 OBP and 98 wRC+ on the season versus lefties. Furthermore, he has hit lefties for a big-time .346 average and .815 OPS at the Triple-A level this season. We don’t have to dig too deep to find the last time Tovar delivered value as he went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored in yesterday’s series finale against the White Sox. The ceiling isn’t monstrous to be sure, but with some more extra-base production or even reaching base and scoring a run, Tovar has some nice value upside at the minimum price tonight.
OF – David Peralta (ARI) – $3,100 vs. COL
Completing our four-man D-backs stack is Peralta who is projected to hit out of the valuable two-hole in this one tonight. After breaking out with 30 homers and a .223 ISO last season Peralta has taken a little bit of a step back with just 12 homers and a .183 ISO this time around while also dealing with some injuries as well. Despite the inability to carry last year’s full success into this season, Peralta is always at his best versus right-handed pitching and sports some very good numbers in situations akin to the one he finds himself in tonight. Peralta enters this one aporting a .213 ISO, .860 OPS, .357 wOBA and 117 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching. He’s also seen his numbers tick up to a .221 ISO, .868 OPS, .362 wOBA and a 120 wRC+ at Chase Field on the season. The hits haven’t been coming in waves of late, but Peralta did hit a solo home run yesterday, his second long ball over the last six games. Without a steal on the season, we can essentially erase any stolen base upside, meaning we’re here for the power and the power only against a struggling right-hander tonight.
OF – Aristides Aquino (CIN) – $4,500 vs. SD
Not too long ago I rostered Aquino in a Reds value stack at a price of $2,300. Now just a couple weeks later, his price has nearly doubled as he’s set the baseball world in fire with 11 home runs in his first 17 games of his MLB career. We knew the power was there as Aquino blasted 28 home runs in just 78 Triple-A games this year while producing a .337 ISO in the process. Through 17 big league games, he has those 11 homers and a .595 ISO to boot. Of course, this type of production cannot realistically continue for much longer, but I think he has the opportunity to stay hot against Padres left-handed Eric Lauer tonight. Lauer owns a 4.55 ERA on the season, but also a 6.20 mark on the road where he will be for tonight’s contest at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. So far in his very brief big league career, Aquino is 8 for 14 with three home runs and a double against left-handed pitching, good for a cool .714 ISO and 1.911 OPS and a 368 wRC+. Not too shabby. He also crushed lefties at the Triple-A level as well with a 1.012 OPS against them as well as 12 home runs in just 90 at-bats off of them. Needless to say, I think we have something to work with here.
OF – Phillip Ervin (CIN) – $2,500 vs. SD
Next man up in my three-man Reds stack is Ervin who has handled himself very well against left-handed pitching in his brief big league time. Ervin enters this one tonight with three long balls on the season and a .210 ISO across 136 plate appearances at the big league level. The good news for this matchup? Ervin is hitting .468 with a .404 ISO, 1.401 OPS, .563 wOBA and 251 wRC+ on the season versus lefties while all three of his home runs have come against southpaws in just 47 at-bats against them. Production versus left-handed pitching is nothing new for Ervin who owns a .343 average, .250 ISO, .993 OPS, .414 wOBA and 157 wRC+ versus lefties for for his MLB career which spans 140 at-bats against them. The bat has been fairly quiet of late outside of a double and a homer over the last week, and he’s without a multi-hit game since August 8th. However, a date with a left-handed pitcher who is struggling on the road in a hitter-friendly ball park should be just what Ervin needs to get his bat on track tonight.
UTIL – Eugenio Suarez (CIN) – $3,800 vs. SD
Completing our three-man Reds stack and our lineup is Suarez who loves himself some left-handed pitching, especially at home. Entering this one tonight, Suarez sits with 34 home runs on the season, the exact same numbers he finished last season with, although that total came in almost 100 extra plate appearances. His .274 ISO from this season sits above the .243 mark he posted in 2018 as a result. Entering this one tonight, Suarez owns a .281 ISO, .957 OPS, .392 wOBA and 140 wRC+ on the season versus left-handed pitching. However, his production versus lefties explodes at home as he owns a .404 ISO, 1.257 OPS, .502 wOBA and a 211 wRC+ in such situations. Those are some absolutely monstrous numbers. Suarez has been on fire at the plate as well and is playing plenty of long ball as he has hit five home runs over his last 11 games, including one in yesterday’s series finale with the Cardinals. He now owns a .374 ISO, 1.034 OPS, .412 wOBA and 153 wRC+ so far in the season’s second half. As a small side note, it’s nice to see that two of his three steals on the season have come against a left-handed pitcher, so at least he’s not afraid to run versus southpaws. I think we certainly have more than enough to work with here to expect Suarez to have himself a night against a left-hander at home.