Our pitcher enjoyed a real nice night inside of last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks, however our stacks just couldn’t get the job done which has been a common theme of late.
Right-hander Griffin Canning delivered some nice value as he hurled six innings of shutout baseball to go along with seven strikeouts over the lowly Tigers. Canning notched his fourth win of the season thanks to six runs of support on the night.
That’s about where the good times ended.
Our four-man Yankees stack turned into a three-man stack as Luke Voit left the game early with an abdominal issue. Still, we received precisely one walk from the other three members of the stack despite facing one of the more targetable pitchers on the slate in Taylor Clarke.
Our three-man Angels stack turned into a mini-stack as Justin Upton was scratched for this one. Somehow, Mike Trout recorded just one walk in five plate appearances, but our best bat of the night was easily Shohei Ohtani who singled three times, scored a run, recorded an RBI and stole a base as well. Nice cross-category production there.
Our one-off Zach Green didn’t do anything in his two at-bats before being lifted from the game.
It was another disappointing night and things need to get turned around in a hurry. Let’s aim for just that as we take a look at tonight’s eight-game main slate!
P – Jacob deGrom (NYM) – $12,000 vs. CWS
Last night I paid down for pitching, but that certainly won’t be the case tonight as I’ll take right-hander Jacob deGrom on a much lighter slate in terms of pitching. deGrom has been on some kind of role lately, pitching to an eye-popping 1.04 ERA across 26 innings for the month of July to go along with a huge 12.12 K/9 clip as well. He’s actually enjoyed more success on the road than he has at home as he enters this one sporting a 2.51 road ERA to go along with a 2.71 FIP, 3.05 xFIP and a 5.80 K/BB ratio on the road as well. The road matchup is certainly a favorable one against the White Sox who struck out 11 times at the hands of Noah Syndergaard in last night’s series opener. The White Sox rank 28th with a .296 wOBA on the season versus right-handed pitching while their 26.2% strikeout rate versus righties is the second-highest mark in baseball next to the lowly Detroit Tigers. Sometimes you have to pay up for the safety and ceiling in a matchup like this one or you could get left behind in the dust. I’ll do just that as deGrom is on one kind of roll in a wonderful road matchup tonight.
C/1B – Brandon Belt (SF) – $2,800 vs. PHI
Of course, we’re going to need to find some value with our bats in this one as deGrom’s price isn’t a small one. I believe I have identified a four-man stack with some real nice upside at their prices, and that’s the San Francisco Giants as they take on right-hander Vince Velasquez and the Philadelphia Phillies tonight. Entering tonight’s contest, Velasquez owns a 4.46 ERA, 5.48 FIP, 4.55 xFIP and best of all, a huge 2.30 HR/9 rate. He’s a wildly inconsistent pitcher who is always prone to the blowup, so I’ll roll the dice with some low-cost Giants bats in this one, beginning here with Belt who is projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight. Belt likes himself some right-handed pitching, and he’s destroyed right-handers on the road this season. The first baseman/outfielder sports a big-time .254 ISO, .931 OPS, .388 wOBA and 143 wRC+ on the season against right-handers on the road. We also get a hair of stolen base upside as Belt has swiped all three of his bases this season against a right-handed pitcher. He snapped out of a slump with a pinch-hit home run in last night’s game, so let’s look for him to build on that confidence out of the valuable leadoff spot tonight.
2B – Jurickson Profar (OAK) – $2,400 vs. MIL
The Oakland A’s play host to the Milwaukee Brewers tonight and will take on right-hander Jordan Lyles who makes his first start with the Brewers this season after coming over from the Pirates just a few days ago. Lyles hasn’t had a good year, however, as he’s pitched to a 5.36 ERA, 4.81 FIP and 4.38 xFIP to go along with a big 1.75 HR/9 allowed as well. Enter Profar who brings some quality power and speed upside into this one tonight. The power comes in the form of 14 home runs and the speed comes in the form of seven stolen bases on the season. The splits are interesting. The switch-hitting Profar is hitting .310 against left-handed pitching and just .178 against righties. That said, 13 of his 14 homers on the season as well as his lone triple have come against right-handed pitching, therefore his .193 ISO against righties greatly outweighs his .113 mark against lefties. He’s actually hitting righties for an increased .211 ISO at home this season, a real strong number. Five of his seven swipes have come against a righty as well. Finally, he owns a .316 ISO since the All-Star break and is 2 for 3 in his career against Lyles. There’s some value to be unlocked here as well.
3B – Pablo Sandoval (SF) – $2,700 vs. PHI
Next man up in the San Fran stack is Sandoval who has swung a much better stick this season and has clobbered 13 long balls on the season despite missing some time with injury. Also a switch-hitter, Sandoval interestingly owns the same .244 ISO against both left and right-handed pitching this season. Like his teammate Belt and most of the other Giants players, the numbers increase on the road as Sandoval has punished right-handed pitching for a big .263 ISO, .870 OPS, .356 wOBA and 122 wRC+ on the road this season once outside of the pitching-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Francisco. Sandoval has doubled and homered twice over his last five games as well as his bat is heating back up after slumping for most of the month of July. After getting a day off in last night’s game save for a pinch hit opportunity, Sandoval should be rested and raring to go for this one tonight in a favorable matchup against right-hander Vince Velasquez.
SS – Brandon Crawford (SF) – $2,400 vs. PHI
The third man up in this four-man Giants stack is Crawford who still sports some pop as he’s homered nine times this season as well as 14 times in each of the previous two years. He’s also logged 19 doubles on the season as well. Crawford is actually able to handle left-handed pitching as well as he does righties, which is nice for when the bullpen comes in and the matchup game takes place, however like Belt and Sandoval, Crawford’s bat perks up on the road. He owns a brutal .077 ISO and .571 OPS at home this season, but Crawford’s bat perks up to a .200 ISO and .789 OPS to go along with a 105 wRC+ on the road this season against right-handed pitching. In other words, his bat is about 5% above average against righties on the road this season. At this price, I don’t mind that at all. Crawford’s bat has been very good since returning from the All-Star break as he owns a .221 ISO, .844 OPS and 121 wRC+ since July 12th with four long balls in that time. He’s 2 for 7 with a double in his career against Velasquez, so let’s get him in this lineup given his recent production at the dish and his road production against right-handed pitching.
OF – Alex Dickerson (SF) – $3,200 vs. PHI
Completing our four-man Giants stack is Dickerson whose bat is very underrated against right-handed pitching once you dive into the numbers. For example, the outfielder has bashed right-handers to the tune of a .366 average, .333 ISO, 1.126 OPS, .458 wOBA and 189 wRC+ on the season. Is that good? The numbers are actually good both at come and on the road this season, but Dickerson did spend a portion of the season with the San Diego Padres as well. Still, he owns a giant .325 ISO, 1.180 OPS, .478 wOBA and 202 wRC+ on the road versus righties this season while all six of his homers have come against a righty. His bat has actually long been productive in the big leagues as he owns a big-time 127 wRC+ for his career to go along with a .228 ISO as well. He’s hit righties for a career .253 ISO, .907 OPS, .378 wOBA and 138 wRC. Given his production and expected low ownership, Dickerson could be one of the sneakier picks on this slate tonight.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $2,700 vs. MIL
Davis’ power is greatly down this season as he’s hit just 17 home runs after leading all of baseball with 48 long balls a season ago and hitting at least 42 in each of the last three seasons. Furthermore, unlike last season, the numbers against righties are below his numbers against lefties as he owns just a .154 ISO and .672 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching. That said, Davis launched a home run in last night’s game, his first home run since way back on June 18th. We’ve seen Davis go on some epic home run binges in the past as he did so several times last season, so I’m looking for last night’s long ball to get him going on one of those tears over the next week or so. It’s hard to envision Davis struggling this much for the remainder of the season given his past production. His .176 ISO this season is well under his .260 mark for his career, so if you believe in the law of averages, Davis is set to swing a hot stick moving forward. I’m of that opinion so let’s sneak him into this lineup tonight to complete an A’s mini-stack against Lyles and Davis’ former team, the Brewers.
OF – Austin Meadows (TB) – $3,500 vs. BOS
The Rays and Red Sox continue a crucial series tonight in Boston, and I think the Rays can get to right-hander Rick Porcello who has been extremely inconsistent and sports some ugly overall numbers. Porcello enters this one sporting a 5.55 ERA, 4.69 FIP and 5.34 xFIP on the season to go along with an elevated 1.47 HR/9 as well. He also owns a 7.54 ERA across 22.2 innings in the month of July as well while posted a 5.33 FIP and 7.00 xFIP at home against left-handed bats such as Meadows on the year. Meadows jumped out to MVP-caliber numbers this season and while he’s cooled down, he still brings plenty of cross-category upside into this one. Meadows has launched 15 homers on the season and stolen nine bases as well despite missing time with an injury. He’s hitting right-handed pitching for a .247 ISO, .945 OPS, .391 wOBA and 150 wRC+ on the season, but those numbers climb even higher to a whopping .310 ISO, 1.096 OPS, .449 wOBA and a massive 189 wRC+ on the road against righties. Eight of his nine steals have come against righties, so let’s get him into this lineup to kick off a mini-stack tonight.
UTIL – Nate Lowe (TB) – $2,800 vs. BOS
Completing our lineup and Rays mini-stack is Lowe who has actually hit both left and right-handed pitching well in his brief big league tenure to this point. The power has been increased against lefties, but I’m not going to argue with a .187 ISO, .855 OPS, .359 wOBA and 128 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, Lowe has hit right-handed pitching to the tune of a .213 ISO, .978 OPS, .406 wOBA and 160 wRC+ on the road once taken out of the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. Lowe hit right-handed pitching for a .958 OPS at the Triple-A level prior to his call up this season and also hit righties for a 1.095 OPS at the Double-A level last season as well. Lowe enters this one red-hot at the plate as well as he has gone 5 for 10 with two doubles over his last two games and has recorded three consecutive multi-hit games overall. The 24-year-old has been a pleasant surprise for the Rays this season and could deliver some nice value for DFS owner tonight against a weak starting pitcher and a Red Sox bullpen that has had its fair share of issues this season as well.