The pitching side of last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks did not pan out, however our bats showed up to play.
Right-hander Jacob deGrom had just one problem on the night, and his name was Victor Caratini. Caratini hit a solo homer off of deGrom in the second inning, but his three-run shot off of deGrom in the seventh was devastating. deGrom finished the inning, but allowed four earned runs across seven innings of work with seven strikeouts to boot. As mentioned in yesterday’s piece, it was the first time he allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 17th, of course.
We didn’t get much from our Mets bats as they once again failed to support their ace, but their lone run on the night came from a solo home run from J.D. Davis in the first inning. The only other production we received was a walk from each of Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso.
Our three-man Marlins stack did some nice work. Both Starlin Castro and Harold Ramirez homered in this one and both singled as well. Their 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI were identical stat lines and gave us a ton of value. Garrett Cooper gave us just one walk, however.
Finally, we received some more value from our Rangers mini-stack as Willie Calhoun homered off of Felix Hernandez in the first inning while Nick Solak gave us excellent value with two singled, a run scored and a stolen base to boot. I will certainly take that production from that duo.
It was certainly a much-improved night and we will look to keep it going on tonight’s big 14-game slate.
P – Dinelson Lamet (SD) – $8,200 vs. SF
As far as GPP purposes go, I wanted to take on a pitcher that is both cost-efficient with significant strikeout upside, and I believe I have that in the Padres’ Dinelson Lamet who should go low owned tonight given the big slate and the fact the Padres are +120 underdogs tonight against Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. Run support could be an issue against Bumgarner, however the Padres are actually 11th in terms of wOBA versus left-handed pitchers this season, so perhaps an upset is in the cards tonight. Entering his start tonight, Lamet has posted a 4.30 ERA on the season, but his 3.80 FIP and 3.84 xFIP show he’s been very good this season after missing all of 2018 thanks to Tommy John surgery. Of course, Lamet brings with him a ton of strikeout upside as he sports a tantalizing 11.74 K/9 across his nine starts this season and a 3.91 BB/9 that represents a slight improvement in command from his 2017 season. Lamet has went at least five innings in seven of his nine starts this season and even threw seven scoreless with 12 strikeouts against the Mariners in early August. That’s the type of ceiling we get with Lamet as he takes on a Giants team that is one of the worst in baseball versus right-handed pitching.
C/1B – Matt Adams (WAS) – $2,800 vs. MIA
The Nationals once again represent a nice option in terms of offense tonight as they take on right-hander Elieser Hernandez and the Miami Marlins. Hernandez owns a 4.97 ERA on the season, but also a 6.02 FIP and 5.21 xFIP and a huge 2.42 HR/9 allowed on the season. Furthermore, Hernandez has been rocked on the road to the tune of a 6.38 ERA, 7.92 FIP, 5.87 xFIP and a massive 3.38 HR/9 clip. Finally, Hernandez has been simply brutalized by left-handed hitters on the road this season as he owns a 11.70 FIP, 7.13 xFIP and an eye-popping 5.59 HR/9 against lefties away from home, so I believe we have some serious potential with some Nationals left-handed bats as well as a staple in any Nationals stack. After all, Adams is hitting right-handed pitching for plenty of power again this season as he owns a big-time .271 ISO against them to go along with a .813 OPS and .335 wOBA. Furthemore, Adams has destroyed right-handed pitching at home for a huge .318 ISO to go along with an .856 OPS, .352 wOBA and 114 wRC+. There’s plenty of reason to believe Adams can deliver a ton of value tonight at this price against a pitcher that’s been touched up by lefties on the road this season.
2B – Nick Solak (TEX) – $3,000 vs. SEA
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. That’s certainly the case with Solak after he delivered a pair of hits, a run and a stolen base in last night’s game as his torrid start to his big league career continues. Solak is now hitting .375 with a 1.018 OPS across the first 10 games of his MLB career. Unsustainable? Sure. However, there’s reason to believe that Solak’s hot start can continue tonight as he takes on left-hander Marco Gonzalez this evening. The Rangers are projected to score a healthy 5.4 runs tonight against Gonzales and a poor Mariners bullpen, and Solak enters this one sporting a .417 average versus lefties by virtue of a 5 for 12 against them with a pair of doubles in the early going. Interestingly, his first MLB stolen base was off of a lefty last night. Solak hit lefties for an .805 OPS at Triple-A this season, but also a huge .933 OPS at Double-A in 2018. He posted a .305 ISO at Triple-A for the Rangers this season after a trade from the Rays and he’s hit 27 home runs combined between the two teams’ Triple-A affiliates this season with five steals as well. With a 166 wRC+ in the early going I don’t mind riding Solak at a premium position in this lineup tonight.
3B – Anthony Rendon (WAS) – $4,400 vs. MIA
I mentioned Elieser Hernandez’s brutal numbers versus lefties on the road this season, and while Rendon hits from the right side, it’s a very dangerous practise to leave him out of any Nationals stack and I’m not about to do that tonight. After all, Rendon is putting up MVP-type numbers at the plate this season against both left and right-handed pitchers. Against righties, Rendon has hit .326 with a .281 ISO, 1.005 OPS, .412 wOBA and a huge 153 wRC+. The power numbers are home are big as he owns an increased .312 ISO at Nationals Park this season against right-handed pitching to go along with a .993 OPS, .405 wOBA and 149 wRC+. The month of August has been kind to Rendon as he sports a .268 ISO, 1.063 OPS, .431 wOBA and a big-time 165 wRC+, the latter of which represents the second-highest mark of his season. Rendon’s game logs are littered with multi-hit efforts, including in his last game on Wednesday in which he went 2 for 4 with a double and a pair of runs scored. The icing on the cake with Rendon is the fact he has gone 4 for 7 with two home runs in his history against Hernandez. There’s absolutely no way you should be fading Rendon in any Nationals stack tonight.
SS – Elvis Andrus (TEX) – $3,200 vs. SEA
Completing my Rangers mini-stack is Andrus who should be able to team up with Solak for some production against a weak Mariners pitching staff tonight. Andrus hasn’t been able to replicate the surge in power that saw him hit 20 home runs in 2017, however the 10 he has hit so far this season marks the second-most in any season for the veteran shortstop while his 27 steals are the most he’s registered since swiping 27 in the 2014 campaign. The good news is that Andrus has been unafraid to run against lefties as he has stolen nine of those 27 bags against southpaws, and he’s only been caught once by a lefty, good for a 90% stolen base success rate off of southpaws. While his 80 wRC+ on the season leaves a lot to be desired, I’m encouraged by the fat that his at home versus lefties splits is by far his best split of them all. Andrus has hit .371 with a .194 ISO, .958 OPS, .397 wOBA and a big-time 143 wRC+. The next closest wRC+ to that figure is the 100 mark he owns on the road versus righties. In other words, Andrus has been at his very best this season when facing lefties at home, something he’ll do tonight against Gonzales, a pitcher who he has gone 5 for 16 (.312) with two doubles against in his career.
OF – Adam Eaton (WAS) – $3,600 vs. MIA
Keep an eye on the confirmed lineup for the Nationals tonight as Eaton is currently listed as day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s game after being hit in the knee by a pitch. However, Eaton actually ran the bases before he was removed from the game, and the Nationals had an off day yesterday, so there’s a good chance Eaton will be back in the lineup tonight, which would be great news for this stack considering Hernandez’s work versus lefties on the road this season. Eaton gives us some real nice power/speed potential as he’s hit 12 home runs on the season and swiped 13 bases as well. He owns a .148 ISO, .812 OPS, .350 wOBA and 113 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers this season, but those numbers improve to a .175 ISO, .867 OPS, .372 wOBA and 127 wRC+ at home versus right-handed pitching which represents his best split of them all. Furthermore, the month of August had by far been his best month of the season. Eaton has posted a big-time .293 ISO, 1.061 OPS, .439 wOBA and an eye-popping 171 wRC+ for the month to this point. His game logs for the month are riddled with runs scored and multi-hit efforts. That’s what I will look for tonight from the veteran, but I’d also be open to seeing him make good one the aforementioned power/speed upside as well.
OF – Juan Soto (WAS) – $4,000 vs. MIA
Completing the four-man Nationals stac is Soto who could very well end up as the most productive bat in this stack. There is a ton of power and speed to be had with Soto as he’s launched 29 home runs this season and stolen 12 bases as well. The remarkable 20-year-old is making it look easy, which we know is not easy to do at this age at this level. He’s hitting both left and right-handed pitchers for plenty of power, but he’s at his best versus righties and owns a .294 ISO, .993 OPS, .412 wOBA and 153 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching. His stat line of a .280 ISO, .985 OPS, .407 wOBA and 150 wRC+ at home versus righties is largely in line with his overall numbers against them. Of course, his stolen base potential is superior versus righties as well as he’s swiped nine of his 12 bases versus right-handed pitching this season. Like Eaton, Soto is having himself one heck of a month as he’s posted an unworldly .374 ISO, 1.078 OPS, .437 wOBA and 169 wRC+ for the month to this point. Soto went 2 for 4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI in his last game on Wednesday versus the Orioles. Like with Rendon, Soto is a mandatory part of any Nationals stack tonight.
OF – Hunter Renfroe (SD) – $2,600 vs. SF
I will be completing my lineup with a couple of one-off players, beginning with Renfroe as he takes on Madison Bumgarner tonight in San Francisco. Bumgarner has been good in the second half and also good at home this season, but Renfroe’s numbers against lefties cannot be ignored while he’s owned Bumgarner in their history against one another. Renfroe has teed off on lefties this season to the tune of a .388 ISO, .970 OPS, .382 wOBA and 138 wRC+ on the season. For what it’s worth, his strikeout rate also plummets from 33.7% versus righties to just 20.4% versus lefties. The extreme pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Francisco don’t look good for Renfroe, but the fact is that Renfroe owns a .410 ISO and 1.033 OPS versus lefties at Petco Park in San Diego, arguably the second-most pitcher-friendly venue in baseball. He alsop owns a huge .373 ISO, .929 OPS, .364 wOBA and 126 wRC+ against lefties on the road this season. On top of his numbers against lefties, his numbers against Bumgarner are the icing on the cake. Renfroe has smacked around his division rival to the tune of a .333 average (6 for 18) with three home runs and two doubles against him. That is good for a .611 ISO, 1.260 OPS and .495 wOBA against him. Renfroe should see low ownership on a big slate and his surface matchup against Bumgarner will scare many off, so a home run from the big slugger would simply do wonders for this lineup tonight.
UTIL – Renato Nunez (BAL) – $3,200 vs. KC
Another one-off that could go overlooked tonight is Nunez whose Baltimore Orioles take on left-hander Eric Skoglund and the Kansas City Royals tonight. Nunez could be having the quietest quality season of any player in the big leagues on a bad Orioles team as he’s launched 28 home runs this season and posted a .231 ISO in the process. He’s been able to hit for power against both left and right-handed pitching, however his best work is certainly against lefties. Nunez has posted a .259 ISO, .868 OPS, .357 wOBA and a 123 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. He’s posted a .264 ISO, .859 OPS, .350 wOBA and 118 wRC+ against lefties on the road this season. It’s a little bit of a bummer to see Nunez enduring the worst statistical month of his season in August, however he’s enjoyed multi-hit efforts in two of his last three games with a double, two runs, three RBI and his lone stolen base of the season in that time as well, so he’s picking up the production again. Furthermore, Skoglund was rocked for a 6.14 ERA, 5.97 FIP, 6.46 xFIP and a 1.71 HR/9 rate at Triple-A this season in 11 starts, so there a ton to like about Nunez against the left-hander tonight.