It was a real productive night with last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks.
Charlie Morton was once again excellent in throwing seven innings of two-run ball against the Toronto Blue Jays while he also struck out nine. That problem here was that Morton did not receive a single run of support and wound up taking the loss despite twirling another gem in his bid for the AL Cy Young Award.
Our four-man Brewers stack certainly held up its end of the bargain, mostly on the back of three of the four stack members. Catcher Yasmani Grandal was the lone exception as he gave us just a walk on the night, however the other three did damage. Christian Yelich bolstered his MVP case as he homered twice on the night as part of a four-hit night. Mike Moustakas also played long ball while he added a walk and an additional run scored as well. Finally, Eric Thames delivered some quality value on his $2,500 price as he singled twice, scored two runs and drove in a run as well. It was a wildly successful stack here.
Our Cubs mini-stack turned into a one-off as David Bote didn’t end up getting the start. Kyle Schwarber gave us two hits however, including a double.
Finally, our White Sox mini-stack was productive as well, especially Tim Anderson who doubled, singled twice and scored a pair of runs to boot. Eloy Jimenez singled and walked on the night.
It was a real nice night with our picks as I’ll look to make it two in a row on tonight’s big 14-game main slate!
P – Zack Wheeler (NYM) – $10,700 vs. MIA
There’s a few pitchers that caught my eye on this slate including Wheeler, Jose Berrios, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, but in terms of strikeout upside, win upside, price and matchup, I think Wheeler is the best combination here to work with as he takes on the Marlins tonight in New York. The Mets are red-hot right now after sweeping yesterday’s double-header, making them 11-1 over their last 12 games to thrust them back into the playoff picture. Wheeler contributed to that streak when he hurled seven shutout innings while allowing four hits, no walks and striking out seven in a win over the White Sox his last time out. Wheeler’s surface ERA of 4.45 is nothing to write home about, however he also sports a 3.50 FIP and 3.77 xFIP that suggest better times are ahead. In fact, Wheeler was the second-best pitcher in the second half of 2018 with a 1.68 ERA after the All-Star break last season, and it looks as if he could go on a second half run again this time around. His 10.05 K/9, 3.34 FIP and 3.96 xFIP at home this season should play well against a Marlins team that ranks dead-last with a .281 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season while their 25.3% strikeout rate against them is the fifth-highest mark in baseball. Add in the Mets as -260 favorites on the moneyline and we have something to work with tonight.
C/1B – Pete Alonso (NYM) – $3,800 vs. MIA
Along with their pitching, the Mets’ bats have been good as they scored 11 combined runs in the double-header yesterday and I think they have a ton of upside tonight against right-hander Hector Noesi who hasn’t made a big league start since the 2015 season with the White Sox. He has spent the entire 2019 season so far at Triple-A where he’s pitched to a nice 3.82 ERA, but also a 5.32 FIP, 4.71 xFIP and a big 1.94 HR/9 rate that suggests there is some big regression moving forward. He’s also the owner of a 5.30 ERA, 5.00 FIP and 4.61 xFIP across 107 career big league appearances, so there’s upside to spare here. Enter Alonso who has set the baseball world on fire in his rookie season with 35 long balls on the season to this point. He enters play tonight sporting superior power numbers versus lefties than righties, but let’s not argue with his massive .292 ISO, .912 OPS, .379 wOBA and 140 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. He also owns a .302 ISO, .896 OPS, .373 wOBA and 136 wRC+ on the season against righties at Citi Field in New York. He homered in the night cap of last night’s double-header and I’ll look for more power against a very targetable arm on this slate tonight.
2B – Jeff McNeil (NYM) – $3,400 vs. MIA
Possibly on his way to a batting title, McNeil has been one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball this season. It took the 27-year-old a while to get to the big leagues as he debuted just last season and went on to hit .329 with an .852 OPS across his 248 plate appearances. He has upped the ante this season as he’s hitting .337 with a .934 OPS and added some power with 14 homers and a .195 ISO across 415 plate appearances this season. McNeil has posted some big-time batting averages in the minor leagues and found his power stroke in 2018 as he posted a .299 ISO at Double-A before putting together a .232 ISO at the Triple-A level prior to his big league promotion. He’s hit lefties and righties well this season, but the power numbers are much better against righties such as Noesi as he owns a .225 ISO, .952 OPS, .398 wOBA and a 153 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. He led off the first game of yesterday’s double-header with a home run, on the first pitch, in fact. That marked three consecutive games with a homer for McNeil. The pop is real and the bat is certainly for real, so let’s look for McNeil to continue to swing a hot bat in tonight’s contest as well.
3B – Eugenio Suarez (CIN) – $3,600 vs. LAA
Like most big slates, there are some big run projection totals. On this particular slate, the Reds are one of those teams as FantasyLabs has them projected to score 5.5 runs in this one tonight as they take on left-hander Jose Suarez and the Los Angeles Angels. Suarez enters this one sporting a 5.66 ERA, 6.12 FIP, 5.32 xFIP and a massive 2.40 HR/9 on the season. Furthermore, he’s allowed a .976 OPS to right-handed hitters this season and pitched to a 6.83 FIP to righties on the road, so I am going to load up four right-handed Reds bats in this one, two of which could very well go under the radar. Enter Suarez who is once again swinging a powerful stick this season with 29 long balls on the campaign. He is hitting both lefties and righties for significant power, but Suarez’s best split comes at home against lefties where he owns a big-time .308 ISO, 1.110 OPS, .454 wOBA and a 182 wRC+ on the season. Suarez has also been white-hot since the All-Star break with a .361 ISO, 1.034 OPS, .414 wOBA and a 156 wRC+ since July 12th with nine homers in that time. He’s a must in any Reds stack tonight.
SS – Amed Rosario (SS) – $2,700 vs. MIA
Completing our three-man Mets stack is Rosario who is yet another member of this stack who homered in last night’s twin bill, his coming in the first game. Rosario is a solid source of pop and speed as he has hit 12 homers and swiped 14 bases on the season and has kept his average up all the way to .281 to this point which is notably higher than the .256 mark he put forth last season. Still just 23, it appears his bat is coming around as the shortstop of the future in Queens. Now, the power plays up against left-handed pitching as he has just .131 ISO and .712 OPS on the season against righties, but his home run yesterday afternoon came against a right-handed pitcher. The power increases to a solid .164 ISO at home against righties as well. Keep in mind that the stolen base upside is increased against righties with 12 of his 14 swipes have come off of a righty while Rosario has simply been red-hot overall since the All-Star break as he sports a .202 ISO, .962 OPS, .400 wOBA and a 154 wRC+ since July 12th. He’s also gone 10 for 26 (.385) with a homer, a double, an RBI, five runs scored and two steals over a six-game hitting streak enters this one tonight. I like the value upside out of the projected two-hole in this one.
OF – Nick Senzel (CIN) – $3,100 vs. LAA
We will be rostering a trio of Reds outfielders to conclude our four-man Reds stack beginning here with Senzel who projects to hit out of the valuable leadoff spot in this one. Senzel has handled himself quite well in his first big league campaign as he enters this one delivering plenty of power and speed with eight homers and nine steals on the season in just 75 games. The good news is that the power plays up against left-handed pitchers such as Suarez as he’s hitting .329 with a .253 ISO, .954 OPS, .392 wOBA and a 141 wRC+ on the season against southpaw pitching. The power is not quite as big at home against lefties to this point in a small sample despite the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, but he still owns a .217 ISO, .875 OPS, .363 wOBa and a 122 wRC+ at home against lefties this season. Even three of his nine steals, or one third of his steals on the season, have come at the expense of a left-handed pitcher. Finally, while the home run power has been a little down, Senzel’s bat has played up in the second half with an .833 OPS, .354 wOBA and 116 wRC+ in the second half compared to a .780 OPS, .329 wOBA and 100 wRC+ in the first half. Love this power/speed combo out of the leadoff spot tonight.
OF – Phillip Ervin (CIN) – $2,400 vs. LAA
The next two Reds outfielders could slip under the radar on a big slate but boy do I think they can deliver a ton of value in this favorable matchup against a left-handed pitcher tonight. Ervin has split time between the minors and big leagues this season, but man has he done some serious damage against left-handed pitching at the big league level, as he’s done in the past as well. In 2019, Ervin is hitting a whopping .486 with a .405 ISO, 1.450 OPS, .581 wOBA and an enormous 265 wRC+ on the season across 37 at-bats against left-handed pitching. In layman’s terms, he’s homered twice, tripled three times and doubled three times against lefties in his 37 at-bats against them on the season. Mashing lefties is nothing new for Ervin has he owns a career .338 average, .238 ISO, .977 OPS, .410 wOBA and 154 wRC+ in the big leagues against lefties in a 130 at-bat sample size. Now, he may get replaced for a pinch hitter when a righty comes out of the bullpen, but that’s not guaranteed and I still want him in here at this price to get a couple cracks at the starter Suarez. He’s added three steals on the season on top of his power, so we do some have more power/speed upside in this player tonight.
OF – Aristides Aquino (CIN) – $2,300 vs. LAA
Another player who could certainly fly under the radar on this big slate tonight is Aquino who is simply destroying Triple-A pitching this season, and lefties as well. Before getting his big league promotion, the 25-year-old Aquino hit a whopping 28 home runs and posted a massive .337 ISO at the Triple-A level across 78 games. I don’t care what level you are playing at, 28 homers in 78 games is indeed something to write home about. The power isn’t new as he homered 20 times in 114 Double-A games in 2018, 17 homers in 131 Double-A games in 2017 and 23 homers in 125 High-A games in 2016. He’s done well so far in a tiny big league sample as he’s homered once as part of his 13 plate appearances so far this season. Of course, the power came against a left-handed pitcher. He mashed Triple-A left-hander for a 1.012 OPS prior to his promotion, but he also hit righties for a .984 mark, so he could be matchup-proof if the Angels try and work a righty against him out of the bullpen. Regardless, the power upside is massive and the price is right in this one tonight.
UTIL – Franmil Reyes (CLE) – $2,800 vs. TEX
I couldn’t get to five Mets in this lineup as FanDuel doesn’t allow five-man stacks, or else this one would be J.D. Davis of the Mets to complete a four-man position player stack. That said, I simply had to pick a one-off player at $3,000 or under after filling in the above lineup, and my pick of the crop is the Indians’ Franmil Reyes as he takes on right-hander Ariel Jurado of the Texas Rangers. On Jurado, we need to look at his numbers as a starter as he’s been back-and-forth from the bullpen to the rotation this season. As a starter, Jurado has struggled to the tune of a 5.73 ERA, 4.83 FIP and a 5.03 xFIP and has allowed an .856 OPS and 1.40 HR/9 as a starter as well. Enter the righty-swinging Reyes who sports some reverse splits on the season as he has mashed righties for a big-time .295 ISO and .846 OPS on the season to go along with a .346 wOBA and 115 wRC+. He’s hit 24 of his 27 home runs this season against a right-handed pitcher, although none have come as a member of the Indians in his five games since coming over in a trade from the San Diego Padres at the deadline. Keep an eye on this one as the weather doesn’t look great in Cleveland tonight, and my second-best player in this price range is Boston’s Mitch Moreland, but for now I’ll take Reyes against the struggling Jurado tonight from Cleveland.