We have a huge 15-game MLB DFS slate on tap tonight, so let’s get right into the picks and see if we can start our week with a set of winning FanDuel MLB DFS Picks!
P – Chris Sale (BOS) – $10,200 vs. TB
There’s plenty to like about Sale as he takes on the Rays tonight in Tampa Bay. First, the confines of Tropicana Field in Tampa certainly favor the pitchers. Secondly, while he’s been inconsistent this season, Sale was dominant his last time out as he hurled six innings of shutout baseball with 12 strikeouts in a win over the Blue Jays – a team that has given him trouble all season long. Third, while his 4.05 ERA is certainly not Sale-like as evidenced by his career 2.98 mark, Sale does own a 3.22 FIP and 2.97 xFIP to go along with a massive 13.16 K/9 rate, so there’s certainly reason to believe that he can go on a tear here as we move through the second half of the season. Fourth, the matchup is a good one. The Rays enter this one ranked 23rd with a .307 wOBA against left-handed pitching on the season, but they also sport a big 26.1% K-rate against lefties, good for a share of the third-highest mark in baseball. As we know, Sale always has the upside for double-digit strikeouts every time he takes the mound and that is certainly the case in this matchup tonight. On a slate loaded with pitching, I believe Sale has the highest ceiling of them all.
C/1B – Freddie Freeman (ATL) – $4,000 vs. KC
The Braves should certainly be able to do some notable damage in this one tonight against left-hander Danny Duffy and the Kansas City Royals, and I am going to be rostering a four-man stack – all four of which crush left-handed pitching and crush left-handed pitching at SunTrust Park in Atlanta where this one goes down tonight. Freeman, despite swinging from the left side, has always been able to handle himself quite well against southpaw pitching and that’s once against the case this season as he owns a .232 ISO and .813 OPS against lefties. As mentioned, all of these guys mash left-handers even more at home and Freeman fits that bill as he has hit lefties for a massive .328 ISO and .970 OPS to go along with a .398 wOBA and 145 wRC+. The guy is also 5 for 10 with a double, two runs, two RBI and a stolen base over his last two games. There’s simply no hesitation on my part to roster a guy that crushes both left and right-handed pitching, especially at home.
2B – Ozzie Albies (ATL) – $3,300 vs. KC
Next man up in the Braves stack is Albies who loves himself some left-handed pitching as well. Albies, a switch-hitter, enters this one tonight sporting a .393 average, .247 ISO and 1.043 OPS against left-handed pitching compared to a .254 average, .168 ISO and .751 OPS against right-handed pitching. The splits are nothing new as the 22-year-old hit .335 with a .213 ISO and .905 OPS against lefties last season and just a .231 average, .182 ISO and .696 against right-handed arms in 2018. Albies also ratchets up the power at home against southpaws as he enters this one sporting a big-time .333 ISO, 1.227 OPS, .501 wOBA and 213 wRC+ against lefties in his home environment this season. Simply put, those are some massive numbers. With Albies, we also get a good chunk of stolen base upside as he has eight steals on the season with two coming against a left-handed pitcher. Again, not much reason here to fade the young second baseman against a left-handed starter at home.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $3,500 vs. HOU
The lone one-off in this lineup, Chapman is having himself one heck of a season against left-handed pitching as he takes on Wade Miley tonight in a pivotal AL West matchup with the Astros. Chapman has done more damage against left-handed pitching at home despite the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland catering to pitchers more than it does hitter. Still, Chapman will enter this one sporting a massive .352 ISO, .968 OPS, .392 wOBA and 150 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. His OPS slips all the way to just .699 on the road against lefties, but the power remains with a .208 ISO – certainly not as a high as at home but still a powerful number nonetheless. He’s also enjoyed some success in the power department against Miley as he’s gone just 2 for 9 against him, but both hits have come in extra-base form with a double and a homer in that span. I am simply looking for some one-off pop from the dynamic third baseman in this one tonight.
SS – Dansby Swanson (ATL) – $3,200 vs. KC
Third man up in this Braves stack is Swanson who has some real nice numbers against lefties on the season and some huge numbers against lefties at home, as per his teammates above and below. Swanson enters this one sporting a .208 ISO and .877 OPS on the season against lefties with a .365 wOBA and 124 wRC+ to boot. However, those numbers pale in comparison to his massive .359 ISO, 1.188 OPS, .477 wOBA and 197 wRC+ against left-handers at SunTrust Park on the season. With Swanson, we also get some decent stolen base upside as he’s swiped seven bases on the season, including a pair against left-handers, although he’s also been caught stealing four times this season. It’s been a rough go for Swanson since returning from the All-Star break, but he is consistently logging five plate appearances per game thanks to his spot in the two-hole for the Braves. That spot should prove valuable again tonight as he should log at least five plate appearances as he is the leadoff man for what I believe could be the highest-scoring stack of the slate.
OF – Austin Riley (ATL) – $3,000 vs. KC
Completing our four-man Braves stack is Riley who is simply blasting the cover off the baseball against left-handed pitching since getting the call to the big leagues. Entering play tonight, the 22-year-old Riley is hitting .333 with an absolutely mammoth .524 ISO and 1.274 OPS on the season to go along with a .490 wOBA and 206 wRC+. His numbers are actually quite similar on the road and at home against lefties this season, but the power gets a slight increase from a .524 overall ISO to to a .545 mark at home against lefties, although the wRC+ dips a nudge to 199. Still, there’s no getting around the fact that these are eye-popping numbers and some of the best we have seen all season long in any split. Like with Swanson, it’s been a struggle for Riley in the second half of the season to this point and he strikes out too much with a K-rate well north of 30%. Still, that power is real and the numbers against lefties are too good to resist when we are using a Braves stack. Let’s look for a bounce back effort from Riley tonight at what I believe is a very valuable price.
OF – Tyler O’Neil (STL) – $2,800 vs. PIT
Our Braves are going to see some ownership tonight, however I also wanted to look elsewhere for some lower-owned players especially given the cost restrictions we have after rostering some expensive players above. The Cardinals and Pirates renew their NL Central rivalry tonight and the Pirates will send right-hander Chris Archer to the mound, a pitcher with a 5.36 ERA and 2.18 HR/9 allowed on the season. Archer has been better at home with a 4.04 ERA, however he still owns a brutal 5.79 FIP, 4.85 xFIP and a 2.02 HR/9 at home as well. He’s continuing to give up the long ball and he’s walking hitters at a 4.59 BB/9 clip at home as well, so we have something to work with. O’Neil has the power required to give Archer issues tonight as he owns a .221 ISO and .826 OPS on the season against righties to go along with a 113 wRC+. O’Neil’s numbers slip on the road, however the sample sizes are small as he spent a good chunk of the middle portion of the season in the minors. He’s homered four times in his last 10 games and has gone 3 for 6 with a homer in his career against Archer, so let’s give him a shot to kick off a low-cost, low-owned three-man Cardinals stack tonight.
OF – Dexter Fowler (STL) – $2,500 vs. PIT
Next man up in the Cardinals stack is Fowler who gives us some pop and speed to work with tonight. The switch-hitting veteran has been fairly equal against both left and right-handed pitching on the season, but he owns a solid .149 ISO, .750 OPS, .324 wOBA and dead-even 100 wRC+ against righties on the season. Those numbers get a slight bump to a much more powerful .190 ISO, but also a .775 OPS, .330 wOBA and 104 wRC+, the latter two of which mostly match his overall production against righties this season. I also like the fact that Fowler has five steals on the season and all five have come at the expense of right-handed pitching. In fact, he hasn’t even attempted a steal against a left-hander this season. Archer can be susceptible to the stolen base with five steals allowed in 90.2 innings this season after allowing 10 in 148.1 innings a season ago. Fowler broke a slump by going 2 for 5 with a double and a steal in last night’s game in Pittsburgh, so let’s hope he can build off of that effort in this one tonight.
UTIL – Kolten Wong (STL) – $2,400 vs. PIT
I actually didn’t originally have Wong in this lineup as I had an O’Neil and Fowler mini-stack going and $2,600 to use in the utility spot. That said, we might as well just extend the stack one player further with Wong, who like Fowler, brings some pop and some speed to this lineup, the latter of which is much higher than the speed Fowler brings. Wong enters this one with some increased numbers against lefties compared to righties – which are reverse splits for the lefty-swinging second baseman – but for whatever reason Wong is much more production on the road with a .173 ISO and .851 OPS on the season and an .818 OPS, .347 wOBA and 116 wRC+ on the road against righties. Furthermore, Wong has stolen 14 bases on the season, 11 of which have come against a righty. He’s only been caught once, giving him an excellent 93.3% success rate on the campaign. Lastly, Wong has gone 1 for 3 with a home run in his career against Archer, so there’s some things to like here about a player who will be low owned and is dirt cheap in a nice matchup tonight.