Last night’s results were some of the more frustrating results I’ve endured this season with my FanDuel MLB DFS Picks.
Our pitcher Chris Paddack did a nice job, albeit going just five innings but also allowing just one earned run, striking out five and earning the win in the process.
Our Nationals mini-stack also delivered some solid value given the tiny prices as Brian Dozier walked twice while Howie Kendrick recorded a pair of singles. Unfortunately, Dozier was caught stealing as well.
Our Reds mini-stack delivered some fantastic value as Jose Iglesias hit a grand slam while Josh VanMeter singled, doubled and a scored a run.
As a result, the stage was set for our four-man Angels stack to do some damage on one of the very worst pitching staffs in baseball. Of course, they did not.
Our four-man Angels stack combined to record a double, a single, a walk and an RBI as the Angels managed to score just two runs off of Jordan Zimmermann and the horrid Tigers bullpen which pitched 3.2 scoreless innings.
It was a wildly disappointing result considering our pitcher and mini-stacks did their part, only to see the Angels struggle in a super-favorable matchup.
Nonetheless, let’s move onto tonight’s 14-game main slate and see if we can change the narrative.
P – Griffin Canning (LAA) – $6,700 vs. DET
There are some big-time arms on this slate including a pair of AL Cy Young candidates in Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton, but I am going to go all the way down to Griffin Canning in GPPs as he gets one of the top matchups on the slate against the lowly Tigers and he’s got more than enough strikeout upside to post a big number in this one. Entering play tonight, the Tigers rank dead last with a .280 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while their 26.6% strikeout rate against them ranks them dead last in that department as well. For his part, Canning enters this one sporting a healthy 9.70 K/9 on the season. Sure, Canning sports an ugly 1.72 HR/9 clip, a 5.15 ERA and a 4.82 FIP. He’s also been roughed up to the tune of a 12.34 ERA across 11.2 innings pitched in the month of July across four starts. To be completely honest, I don’t even care about those numbers as the Tigers have been so futile at the plate this season that it complete makes senses to try and nab some value due to the strikeout upside alone. The Angels are also heavy favorites to win this one on the moneyline, so why not take a stab at Canning tonight at the valuable $6,700 price tag.
C/1B – Luke Voit (NYY) – $3,600 vs. ARI
There are a couple of teams with some high projected run totals on this slate tonight and I am going to get a big chunk of both, beginning here with the Yankees and big first baseman Luke Voit. The power-hitting Voit enters this one with 19 long balls on the season and actually sports some reverse splits as well. Voit is hitting .319 with a .221 ISO and .908 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching to go along with a .385 wOBA and 141 wRC+. For whatever reason the numbers slip a little bit at home against righties, but I’m not overly concerned given the matchup. Voit and the Yanks take on right-hander Taylor Clarke who sports 6.10 ERA, 6.33 FIP, 5.64 xFIP and a massive 2.26 HR/9 allowed on the season across 11 starts and 12 big league appearances. He also posted a ghastly 7.22 ERA, 5.94 FIP and a 1.60 HR/9 across seven Triple-A starts this season, so there is plenty to work with in terms of a four-man Yankees stack which we will roll with tonight.
2B – Gleyber Torres (NYY) – $3,500 vs. ARI
Our Yankees stack continues here with the 22-year-old Torres who brings plenty of power to the table, a little bit of stolen base upside and like his teammate above, some reverse splits as well. Torres actually destroyed left-handed pitching in his rookie season and didn’t fare as well against righties, but the tables have turned here in 2019. Entering play tonight, Torres is hitting .304 with a .233 ISO, .908 OPS, .376 wOBA and a 135 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching – numbers that are quite similar to Voit’s. Those numbers are also a notable improvement on his .253 average, .154 OPS, .727 OPS, .312 wOBA and 92 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. All four of his steals have also come at the expense of a right-handed pitcher. Unlike Voit, Torres’ numbers hold up well at home with a ,201 ISO, .851 OPS, .354 wOBA and 120 wRC+ on the season against righties at Yankee Stadium. He’s a fairly consistent producer at the plate as he saw his six-game hit streak snapped on Sunday, however there’s a very good chance he gets another one started in a very favorable matchup against Clarke tonight.
3B – Zach Green (SF) – $2,100 vs. PHI
I have some high-priced bats in this lineup tonight, so I needed to find some value somewhere and I certainly think I have some with Green who has logged just 13 plate appearances in hig big league career to this point, all of which have come this season. That said, Green has done some massive damage at the Triple-A level this season and I want to give him a shot to do some damage for our lineup tonight. Green hit 23 home runs and posted a massive .396 ISO on the season at Triple-A after posting a .282 ISO with 17 home runs at the Double-A level in 2018, interestingly in the Phillies organization who he will face tonight. Green hit both lefties and righties for big-time power in the minors this season and posted a 1.030 OPS against left-handed pitching at the minors’ highest level. Green will take his hacks against left-hander Drew Smyly who threw a gem in his first start with the Phillies, but still sports a 7.69 ERA, 7.38 FIP and a massive 2.98 HR/9 allowed as he made nine starts and four relief appearances with the Texas Rangers earlier in the season. At this cost, I think Green brings us a ton of value upside given his outrageous power at Triple-A this season.
SS – Didi Gregorius (NYY) – $3,300 vs. ARI
Next man up in our four-man Yankees stack is Gregorius who is once again hitting right-handed pitching for plenty of power and as we all know, Yankee Stadium is a wonderful venue for left-handed power hitters given the short porch in right field. Entering this one, Gregorius owns a .189 ISO, .835 OPS, .347 wOBA and a 116 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. Interestingly, he hasn’t hit righties well at the homer-friendly Yankee Stadium, however he has logged just 57 at-bats in such scenarios given that he missed a big chunk of the first half due to offseason Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Gregorius has also been hitting for plenty of power as of late as he’s homered twice, tripled once, doubled four times, scored five runs and driven in a whopping 13 runs over his last six games. Taylor Clarke has allowed 2.35 HR/9 to left-handed hitters on the road this season, so sign me up for Gregorius all day in the favorable home matchup.
OF – Mike Tauchman (NYY) – $2,900 vs. ARI
Completing our four-man Yankees stack is Tauchman whose numbers tell me he carries a ton of value into this matchup tonight against the righty Clarke. Tauchman enters this one sporting a .226 ISO and .795 OPS on the season to go along with a .335 wOBA and 108 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. All six of his homer runs have come against righties this season. Furthermore, and best of all, all six of his home runs have come against righties, at home this season. As a result, Tauchman sports a massive .396 ISO, 1.010 OPS, .408 wOBA and a big-time 157 wRC+ on the season against righties at home. This is a perfect example of what the homer-friendly right field at Yankee Stadium can do for a left-handed bat with pop. We know Tauchman has that pop given his work in the big leagues this season, but Tauchman also posted a .232 ISO at Triple-A in 2019 and an even better .248 ISO at Triple-A in the Rockies’ system in 2018. He hit right-handed pitching for a 1.040 OPS at Triple-A in 2019 before getting his big league promotion. I think this could be one of the sneakier picks on this slate tonight.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $4,800 vs. DET
Yes, that’s right. For the fourth straight lineup, I will be rostering the Angels’ outfield as they once again get one of the very best matchups on the slate against the Detroit Tigers and this time, Drew VerHagen. The right-hander has struggled immensely at the big league level this season given his eye-poppin 14.40 ERA, 8.13 FIP, 7.69 xFIP, 12.60 BB/9 and 1.80 HR/9 rate. One of the worst things you can do in MLB DFS is shy away from a good matchup just because things didn’t work out the last time you used a certain player or stack, so I am going to go right back to Trout and the Angels, especially since the Tigers also rank 25th with a 5.01 bullpen ERA and 29th with a 5.15 bullpen FIP. Trout doesn’t need much of an introduction, but it’s worth noting, as I’ve done before, the he’s hitting righties better than lefties and owns a massive .386 ISO, 1.145 OPS, .455 wOBA and 193 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. He’s also got some stolen base upside with eight steals on the season, six of which have come against a righty. He also owns a .444 ISO and 1.087 OPS in the second half of the season to this point, so don’t shy away from the 2019 AL MVP in this matchup tonight.
OF – Shohei Ohtani (LAA) – $4,100 vs. DET
We’re actually getting this Angels stack at a discount tonight as these guys are cheaper than they were in last night’s matchup, so there’s a tiny bit of extra value baked in here. I believe these guys are worth every penny given their work against right-handed pitching this season. Entering this one tonight, Ohtani sports a big-time .262 ISO and .900 OPS to go along with a .369 wOBA and 135 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching. Those numbers get a notable boost at home as well as he’s hit them for a massive .329 ISO and 1.053 OPS to go along with a .421 wOBA and 170 wRC+ at home versus righties. Those numbers rival those of his teammate Trout above. Like with Trout, we get some solid stolen base upside with Ohtani as he’s swiped eight bases on the season, seven of which have come against a right-handed pitcher. His stolen base upside is actually higher than Trout’s as Ohtani as swiped those eight bags in far fewer games than Trout. Nonetheless, here’s another righty-masher that should be able to shake off last night’s performance and power up in this one tonight.
UTIL – Justin Upton (LAA) – $3,700 vs. DET
Upton gets another crack at one of his former teams in this one tonight and like his teammate Trout, Upton sports some reverse splits for the second straight season. Upton enters play sporting a .221 ISO, .863 OPS, .361 wOBA and 130 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. The reverse splits are nothing new as Upton smacked righties for a .232 ISO, .875 OPS, .373 wOBA and a 141 wRC+ in the 2018 campaign. The Angels have combined to log just nine at-bats against VerHagen, and Upton has just one to his credit. However, the at-bat ended quite well for Upton as he homered against VerHagen on the fourth pitch he saw from the right-hander. With Upton, we also get a hair of stolen base upside. He’s swiped just one bag in his injury-shortened season this year, but he also stole eight bases last season and 14 in the 2017 season between the Angels and the Tigers. There’s a lot to like about this Angels stack considering their power and stolen base upside against right-handed pitching, especially against a righty that allowed seven runs (six earned) with four walks and a homer allowed in just four innings of work in his last start at Seattle. Give me these Angels all day as I believe they are worth the price of admission in this matchup tonight.