We got some nice results from both our pitcher and our bats in last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks.
It’s hard to argue with the results we received from right-hander Mike Clevinger despite not quite reaching the strikeout upside that he showed in two earlier starts against the Detroit Tigers this season. Clevinger hurled six innings of shutout baseball to go along with six strikeouts while earning his 12th win of the season in the process. Clevinger did allow seven hits which ended his night earlier than he could have otherwise gone, but he was the safest pitcher on the four-game slate and delivered solid results.
Our four-man Blue Jays stack turned into a three-man stack with Teoscar Hernandez sitting this one out. Hopefully you were able to replace Hernandez with a productive outfielder or utility player because the three Blue Jays we did roster produced. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered as part of a two-hit night as he scored a pair of runs and knocked in two as well. Both Rowdy Tellez and Randal Grichuk provided doubles while each scored a run as well. Tellez added a walk to his ledger for a productive three-man stack.
Our Indians three-man stack also got the job done in what ended up as their 17th consecutive win over the Tigers. Francisco Lindor doubled twice as part of a three-hit night while he scored a pair of runs as well. Yasiel Puig doubled as well, and he added a single, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base to boot – showing his cross-category potential in the process. Unfortunately, Yu Chang couldn’t get in on the action and posted a zero.
Lastly, Jonathan Schoop also posted a zero as a one-off despite the Twins scored eight runs against the Royals. Easily the most disappointing result of the lineup.
I’ll take the wonderful results from last night and roll into the weekend on tonight’s big 14-game main slate.
P – Jacob deGrom (NYM) – $11,000 vs. CIN
For the second straight night we are looking at more of a cash lineup in this one as I will be rostering a high-priced pitcher in deGrom as well as a couple offenses that are among the top run-projected offenses on this big slate tonight. It’s hard to fade deGrom on this slate regardless of format, however, as the guy has simply been lights out of late and is now very much in the conversation for his second consecutive NL Cy Young Award. The Mets’ ace enters this one sporting a 2.61 ERA, 2.79 FIP and 3.17 xFIP on the season to go along with a big-time 11.32 K/9 clip. However, the right-hander has simply been on another level of late. Since the All-Star break, deGrom has pitched to a 1.69 ERA, 2.29 FIp, 2.97 xFIP and a slightly increased 11.39 K/9 clip – figures that largely represent his season-long work a season ago. Over his last 13 starts, deGrom has allowed more than two earned runs on just two occasions while he’s allowed just one run over his last two starts spanning 14 innings to go along with 19 punchouts. His length has been of the utmost consistency as he’s gone precisely seven innings in 10 of his 11 starts. The Reds rank 21st with a .312 wOBA versus righties and their 24% K-rate against them in the ninth-highest mark in baseball. Not much of a decision to be made in regards to rostering deGrom.
C/1B – Freddie Freeman (ATL) – $3,900 vs. SF
The Giants and Braves open up a series tonight in Atlanta, and once again I am liking me some Braves exposure as they take on right-hander Tyler Beede in this one. Beede has largely struggled on the road this season, outside of the extreme pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park in San Francisco. Beede has been knocked around to the tune of a 5.79 ERA, 5.89 FIP and a 1.93 HR/9 on the road this season while his strikeout to walk ratio sits at just 1.71 compared to 3.69 at home. As a result, the Braves are projected to score 5.8 runs tonight, one of the top marks on the slate. I’ll kick off a four-man Braves stack here with Freeman who is clobbering right-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .289 ISO, 1.033 OPS, .422 wOBA and a 161 wRC+. The power gets even tastier at SunTrust Park in Atlanta – a favorable venue for left-handed power hitters. He owns a .307 ISO, 1.028 OPS, .419 wOBA and 158 wRC+ at home versus righties this season. His bat hasn’t been up to standards in the month of September to this point, but Freeman did produced a two-RBI single in yesterday’s win over the Phillies to perhaps kick-start a hot stretch. Nonetheless, there is all kinds of upside in this bat in this matchup tonight.
2B – Jonathan Schoop (MIN) – $2,700 vs. KC
Sure, I was disappointed in Schoop’s goose egg in a favorable matchup against a left-handed pitcher at home last night, however I won’t allow that to cloud my judgment in a wonderful bounce back matchup tonight against southpaw Erik Skoglund and the Kansas City Royals. First, Skoglund has been brutalized at both the MLB and Triple-A level this season. He posted a 6.14 ERA, 5.96 FIP and a 6.42 xFIP to go along with a 1.71 HR/9 at Triple-A across 11 starts prior to getting to the big league level where he’s been roughed up to the tune of an 8.36 ERA, 7.43 FIP, 8.48 xFIP and a 1.93 HR/9 clip across two starts and four appearances, spanning 14 innings. A sa result, the lefty-mashing Schoop should have some production ahead of him in this one tonight. Schoop has mashed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .290 ISO, .913 OPS, .374 wOBA and a 134 wRC+. The production actually increases at home to the tune of a .264 ISO, .943 OPS, .384 wOBA and a 141 wRC+ – his best split of them all. Schoop is not hitless in back-to-back games and isn’t enjoying a big September as a whole, but there’s little doubt that there’s a ton of power upside as part of a Twins team projected to score a slate-high 6.8 runs tonight.
3B – Josh Donaldson (ATL) – $3,200 vs. SF
Next man up in our three-man Braves stack is Donaldson who loves himself some right-handed pitching this season despite hitting from the right side of the slate. He’s also mashed righties for some eye-popping numbers at home as well. Entering play tonight, Donaldson has mashed righties for a .276 ISO, .918 OPS, .381 wOBA and a 134 wRC+ on the season. Furthermore, Donaldson’s production at home is just far and away better than his production on the road. On the road, Donaldson owns a .210 ISO, .771 OPS, .328 wOBA and 101 wRC+. However, at home, the numbers jump to a massive .336 ISO, 1.057 OPS, .433 wOBA and 166 wRC+. The numbers at home against lefties are just massive with a .383 ISO, 1.169 OPS, .471 wOBA and 193 wRC+ – by far his best split on the season. Aside from a weak May, Donaldson’s bat has been very consistent on a month-to-month base and that include September as he’s posted a .245 ISO, .869 OPS, .367 wOBA and a 125 wRC+ for the month to this point. Given the numbers above, I’m not sure how you could ever fade Donaldson as part of this Braves stack and he might just be the best option at third base on this entire slate.
SS – Nick Ahmed (ARI) – $2,500 vs. SD
It’s bats like Ahmed’s that give us the ability to afford a high-upside Braves stack and a pitcher such as deGrom, but you might want to be careful here. I mentioned earlier in the week that Ahmed cut his finger fielding a ground ball and he hasn’t played since doing so on Monday and being removed from the game. That said, he’s once again not only projected to play in this one, but also to hit out of the valuable two-hole against left-hander Eric Lauer and the San Diego Padres. Ahmed has some pop against both lefties and righties, but the bat is just much better against lefties. For the season, Ahmed owns a .323 average, .256 ISO, .961 OPS, .394 wOBA and 143 wRC+. Furthermore, the bat has been unbelievable at home against lefties as he’s posted a .328 ISO, 1.110 OPS, .447 wOBA and 178 wRC+ versus southpaws at Chase Field in Arizona this season. We also get a touch of stolen base upside with Ahmed as he’s stolen seven bases on the season and while only one of those steals has come against a lefty, he does have one steal in 14 at-bats against Lauer in his career to go along with a rock-solid .286 average. Given the power output at home versus lefties, there would appear to be a ton of value in this play tonight.
OF – Nick Markakis (ATL) – $2,700 vs. SF
We are going to complete this Braves stack with a pair of cost-efficient outfielders, beginning here with Markakis who may not hit for a ton of power but has a productive bat nonetheless versus right-handed pitching, especially at home. Entering play tonight, the veteran has posted a .312 average, .156 ISO, .852 OPS, .361 wOBA and 121 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, he’s posted a .176 ISO, .925 OPS, .391 wOBA and 140 wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home. As noted, SunTrust Park certainly caters to left-handed hitters and Markakis has taken advantage. The extra-base power has lacked in September, but there’s also nothing wrong with his .846 OPS, .355 wOBA and 117 wRC+ for the month in a small five-game sample after returning from a wrist fracture. In fact, Markakis has tallied a hit in all five games since returning, including a double. The veteran outfielder is one of the more underrated players of his era but has put together some quality seasons in the big leagues, and 2019 has been no exception as he enters a very valuable matchup at this price tonight.
OF – Matt Joyce (ATL) – $2,400 vs. SF
Completing our four-man Braves stack is Joyce who brings plenty of value to the table himself and is enjoying a quality season for the 2019 Braves. Joyce has made his big league money hitting right-handed pitching for notable power, and that’s been the case this year as well. For one, Joyce’s bat has been wildly produce with a 132 wRC+ for the season overall, a number that’s above his already-impressive 114 career mark. His massive 16% walk rate has him sitting with a .411 OBP and .379 wOBA, both of which already give him a ton of value upside. The numbers against righties are once again very good as he’s posted a .178 ISO, .891 OPS, .383 wOBA and 135 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching. Like his teammates in this stack, Joyce’s production at home against righties is superior to that of the road as he’s posted a .188 ISO, .961 OPS, .409 wOBA and 152 wRC+ against right-handers at home this season. Finally, Joyce has enjoyed his best month of the season to this point in September, a month in which he’s posted a .194 ISO, .994 OPS, .425 wOBA and 163 wRC+. His bat is about as consistent as you’ll see from a part-time player and I am loving the value we could unlock with his bat in this one tonight.
OF – Marwin Gonzalez (MIN) – $2,800 vs. KC
Continuing on with our three-man Twins stack is Gonzalez who hits from both sides of the plate, but has enjoyed more success against left-handers this season, something he will initially face against the struggling southpaw Skoglund. Entering tonight’s contest, Gonzalez sports a .308 average, .171 ISO, .809 OPS, .340 wOBA and a 111 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching – all of which are superior to his marks against righties. The power production increases notably to a .221 ISO at home against lefties while the remainder of his metrics are largely similar to his overall marks against southpaws. After missing some time with an abdomen issue, Gonzalez has made it back and started three September contests to this point. The bat seemingly hasn’t missed a beat as he’s gone 4 for 14 (.286) with three runs scored and two RBI since his return. Gonzalez will likely have trouble reaching his career-high output from the 2017 season with the Astros, but his bat remains a productive one, especially against left-handed pitchers here in 2019.
UTIL – Miguel Sano (MIN) – $3,600 vs. KC
Sano is thumping the baseball this season and of late as well, and that’s not to mention his eye-popping numbers against left-handed pitching this season. For the season, Sano has clobbered 31 homers despite appearing in just 98 games and recording only 411 plate appearances. his .320 ISO is a massive number and his 132 wRC+ is a wildly productive figure as well. The good news with Sano is that he is actually crushing both left and right-handed pitchers this season with an ISO north of .300 against both sides. That said, the production is indeed increased versus southpaws who he has tagged to the tune of a .350 ISO, .968 OPS, .394 wOBA and 148 wRC+ on the season. The numbers dip a little bit at home as Target Field in Minnesota isn’t the best hitters park in baseball, however it certainly caters more towards right-handed power hitters to be sure as there is a huge wall in right field, making it difficult for lefties to hit home runs there. Still, his .296 ISO and 113 wRC+ at home isn’t anything to complain about, either. Sano is mashing for the month of September with a .347 ISO, .992 OPS, .406 wOBA and 156 wRC+ for the month to this point and he’s homered four times over his last six games with a double in that span as well. Sign me up all day long for the home run upside in this matchup.