It’s Friday and we have a big 14-game main MLB slate on tap. Let’s get right into tonight’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks and see if we can get our weekend started on the right note!
P – Zack Greinke (ARI) – $10,200 vs. MIA
The pitching isn’t overly strong on this slate tonight and there aren’t a ton of high-strikeout arms so I think we can simply default to the best matchup on the slate and I believe that is Zack Greinke taking on the Marlins in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. Greinke is once again having a big season and could possibly be making his last start as a member of the D-backs as he could be dealt before the July 31st trade deadline. Entering this one tonight, Greinke sports a 2.93 ERA, 3.19 FIP and 3.69 xFIP to go along with a decent 8.20 K/9 but outstanding 1.13 BB/9 as well. The strikeout upside gets a boost by the fact that the lowly Marlins not only rank dead last in baseball with a .281 wOBA against right-handed pitching, but their 25.5% strikeout rate versus righties is the fifth-highest mark in all of baseball. Hyun-Jin Ryu has been one of the very best pitchers in baseball, but I believe the top arm on the slate is Greinke given Ryu’s tough matchup at Washington – a team that hits lefties well. Go with Greinke at the cheaper cost against one fo the worst and most strikeout-prone offenses against right-handed pitching this season.
C/1B – Ji-Man Choi (TB) – $2,400 vs. TOR
After filling in my main four-man stack I didn’t have a ton of money to work with for the remaining positions, however I managed to fill out a couple of low-cost, high-upside mini-stacks beginning here with Choi against the Toronto Blue Jays. First, I like the fact this one will take place at the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre in Toronto where the Rays seem to have the Blue Jays’ number. Second, Choi will take on right-hander Jacob Waguespack, a 25-year-old rookie sporting a 5.68 ERA. While he does own a 4.12 FIP and 3.93 xFIP as well, Waguespack posted a 5.30 ERA at the Triple-A level prior to his promotion and a 5.03 ERA at Triple-A last season as well, so we certainly have a targetable pitcher on the hill here. Enter Choi whose made his big league money mashing right-handed pitching with a career .207 ISO and .810 OPS against them while he owns a .164 ISO and .805 OPS against them this season. I also love the fact that Choi is projected to hit in the valuable leadoff spot tonight, likely due to his impressive .368 OBP against right-handed pitching. He’s scuffling at the plate right now, but this is a nice matchup and venue to get things turned around out of that valuable leadoff spot.
2B – David Fletcher (LAA) – $2,900 vs. BAL
The Angels and Orioles get together tonight from Anaheim and I love an Angels four-man stack in this one. Sure, right-hander Asher Wojciechowski hurled 7.1 innings of one-hit ball with 10 strikeouts against the Red Sox his last time out, but he posted a 6.00 ERA across his other three starts on the season and is the owner of a 6.02 ERA across 101.2 big league innings for his career. Let’s also keep in mind that the Orioles have the worst bullpen in baseball and have surrendered the most home runs as a team, so we have to love a four-man Angels stack in this one, beginning here with the underrated Fletcher. He doesn’t swing for a ton of home run power with five long balls on the season, but he’s also stolen seven bases and sports reverse splits. The righty-swinging Fletcher is hitting .312 with a big .371 OBP and a 117 wRC+ against righties, which is why he’s going to hit out of that valuable leadoff spot as well. Furthermore, he’s hitting .333 with a .397 OBP and .853 OPS to go along with a 134 wRC+ against righties at home this season. Six of his seven steals have also come against a righty. He could provide some nice cross-category upside out of that leadoff spot in this one tonight.
3B – Donovan Solano (SF) – $2,600 vs. SD
Solano is a lot like Fletcher in the sense that he is very underrated, mostly due to the fact that he doesn’t hit for much home run power. That said, he’s been extremely productive for the Giants this season and has been wonderful against left-handed pitching which he will see tonight against the Padres’ Joey Lucchesi from San Diego. Furthermore, Solano is the third consecutive player in this lineup projected to hit out of the leadoff spot, a spot that gives you extra at-bat upside and is thus wildly valuable. Entering this one tonight, Solano has hit left-handed pitching for a huge .352 average, .397 OBP and .841 OPS to go along with a 127 wRC+. Furthermore, he has hit lefties for a huge .423 OBP and .923 OPS to go along with a 148 wRC+ on the road this season, although Petco Park in San Diego is very much another pitcher-friendly venue like Solano’s home park at Oracle Park in San Francisco. Still, Solano has plenty of cross-category upside and is a very similar player to Fletcher despite not sporting the same stolen base upside. He kicks off a two-man Giants mini-stack against Lucchesi tonight.
SS – Willy Adames (TB) – $2,000 vs. TOR
I mentioned earlier I didn’t have a ton of funds to work with after rostering an expensive four-man Angels stack along with the high-priced Greinke, but Adames and his minimum salary made everything possible and he’s get a ton of value going his way at that cost. The righty-swinging Adames sports reverse splits on the season and has hit right-handed pitching for a .156 ISO and .777 OPS to go along with a .332 wOBA and 110 wRC+, number that are towering over his .106 ISO, .451 OPS, .197 wOBA and 18 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Furthermore, Adames becomes a beast when taken out of the pitching-friendly confines of Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay as he owns a .219 ISO, .926 OPS, .390 wOBA and a huge 149 wRC+ on the road against righties this season. Adames has had some fun at the Rogers Centre in his brief MLB tenure to this point as he owns a big-time 1.028 OPS across 45 plate appearances at this venue. Give him a tiny bit of stolen base upside with four steals on the season and we have a nice wrap-around mini-stack with Choi as Adames is slated to hit in the nine-hole in this one tonight.
OF – Tyler Austin (SF) – $2,100 vs. SD
Here we have some more big-time value with Austin, a player that has mashed left-handed pitching in his big league tenure and one that comes at a near-minimum price to complete a Giants mini-stack against the left-handed Joey Lucchesi and the San Diego Padres. Austin is the owner of a career .290 ISO, .876 OPS and 130 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. For the 2019 season, the lefty-masher owns a .240 ISO and lesser .775 OPS, but still a 105 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Austin has actually managed to hit lefties for a big .238 ISO at home and .242 mark on the road, so he’s consistent despite hitting in the league’s most pitcher-friendly park at home, although Petco Park in San Diego is probably the second-worst hitter’s park in baseball. Austin may not see the full game as he rarely faces right-handed pitching, but I’m willing to roll the dice on his ability to hit Lucchesi for power, two spots behind Solano in the lineup to complete the mini-stack.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $5,000 vs. BAL
I’m thrilled to afford the high-priced bats of the Angels tonight as Mike Trout carries one heck of a price tag, of course. There’s not much of an explanation needed here for Trout, but it is worth mentioning that he does sport some reverse-splits on the season, as he’s done for most seasons throughout his big league career. He obviously crushes both lefties and righties, but Trout owns a massive .393 ISO and 1.161 OPS to go along with a .460 wOBA and 197 wRC+ against righties compared to a .299 ISO, .988 OPS, .308 wOBA and 162 wRC+ against lefties. Like I said, he hits both sides well, obviously, but Trout actually owns substantially higher figures against right-handed pitchers such as Wojciechowski. Trout does own his best wRC+ at home against right-handed pitchers with a mark of 202. Lastly, let’s not forget we get some stolen base upside with Trout as he’s swiped eight bases on the season, six of which have come against right-handed pitching.
OF – Shohei Ohtani (LAA) – $3,800 vs. BAL
Next man up in the Angels’ four-man stack is Ohtani who loves himself some right-handed pitching to be sure. Entering play tonight, Ohtani is the owner of a huge .253 ISO and .911 OPS to go along with a .376 wOBA and 140 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. Unlike his rookie season in 2018, Ohtani has proven to hit left-handers as well with a .162 ISO, .800 OPS, .341 wOBA and 117 wRC+ against same-handed pitching. That could come in handy later in the game if the Orioles try and go lefty-on-lefty against him out of the bullpen. Furthermore, let’s not that Ohtani has hit right-handers for superior power at home this season where he sports a .319 ISO and 1.104 OPS against them on the season, Finally, we also get a good chunk of stolen base upside with the 25-year-old as Ohtani has swiped eight bases as well on the season, but he’s done his in just 66 games. There’s a lot to like about the power/speed combo Ohtani brings to the table.
UTIL – Justin Upton (LAA) – $3,500 vs. BAL
Completing our lineup and four-man Angels stack is Upton who has some reverse splits on the season himself despite playing in just 26 games. Upton enters this one tonight sporting a .212 ISO and .925 OPS to go along with a .388 wOBA and 148 wRC+ on the season versus righties, but he’s been limited to just 66 at-bats against them due to injury. Still, we don’t have to go far back to see that Upton does some notable damage against right-handed pitching aside from this season as he posted a .232 ISO and .875 OPS against them last season compared to just a .125 ISO and .593 OPS against lefties in 2018. He’s stolen just one base this season, but Upton does remain a stolen base threat as he stole eight bags in 2018 and 14 as recently as the 2017 season. He’s gone hitless in his last two games, but Upton has otherwise been a real consistent DFS producer this season and brings some real quality power to the dish to complete this 1-4 projected Angels stack tonight.