Last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks were some of the best picks we have produced in a while.
Things got started off on the right note with our pitcher, Jack Flaherty, as he hurled yet another gem in his sensational second half of the season. Flaherty hurled eight innings of shutout baseball while striking out eight Giants along the way. A Marcell Ozuna solo home run would be all the run support he would need to earn another victory, this one by a 1-0 count. What a roll this guy is on.
Our four-man Braves stack did some notable damage on the night, although we unfortunately didn’t get any home runs from the group. We received a triple, two runs scored and a walk from leadoff man Ronald Acuna Jr. Both Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson gave us doubles as part of two hits apiece while each walked and scored a run as well. Donaldson’s line improved over his teammate Freeman has he drove in three runs as well for a big night. Finally, Matt Joyce gave us solid value with a walk and a run scored at a $2,400 price.
Our A’s mini-stack did some notable damage as well. Seth Brown delivered us value as he tripled twice on the night to keep his red-hot stretch alive. He also scored two runs, drove in two runs and added a walk. Khris Davis didn’t fare as well, but he did record a pair of RBI on the evening.
Our first one-off Adalberto Mondesi delivered again in his second game back from a lengthy injury. He actually didn’t record a hit, but he walked, stole a base and scored a run as well. Nice production there.
Finally, it was nice to see Gavin Lux moved up into the leadoff spot for last night’s game against the struggling Chi Chi Gonzalez, however the rookie notched just a single. Seems like a missed opportunity out of the leadoff spot against a struggling pitcher at the minimum $2,000 price.
However, we’ll certainly take last night’s results and move forward to tonight’s eight-game main slate!
P – Zac Gallen (ARI) – $8,500 vs. SD
The top pitcher on the slate is Cleveland’s Shane Bieber as he takes on the Chicago White Sox at home, however for some differentiation I am going to slide down the list a few names and snatch right-hander Zac Gallen as he takes on the San Diego Padres at home as well. First, the San Diego offense is not the same without Fernando Tatis Jr. atop the lineup, and that will be the case tonight as he’s likely out for the season with a back issue. As a result, Gallen faces an even weaker Padres offense than the one that ranks 24th with a .304 wOBA on the season versus right-handed pitching. However, the true upside comes in strikeout forms as not only do the Padres rank 29th with a 26.3% strikeout rate versus righties on the season, but Gallen owns a real nice 10.86 K/9 clip on the season across 12 big league starts between the Marlins and Diamondbacks. Overall, the rookie right-hander has pitched to a stout 2.79 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 4.22 xFIP on the season and has kept the ball in the yard to the tune of a quality 0.73 HR/9 clip. He hasn’t pitched super deep into games to this point as he’s pitched more than five innings just three times in 12 starts, but he does have a pair of seven-inning games this season and I believe he can do that as he mows through a weak Padres offense in this one tonight.
C/1B – Matt Beaty (LAD) – $2,900 vs. COL
I won’t be overthinking anything with my bats in this lineup tonight as I will simply be rolling out a pair of four-man stacks in this one. The Dodgers will indeed fill one of those spots as they take on right-hander Anthony Senzatela and the rival Colorado Rockies at home tonight. Senzatela has endured a tough season he enters this one sporting a 6.95 ERA, 5.45 FIP and 5.29 xFIP to go along with a tiny 5.06 K/9 and a big 4.33 BB/9 on the season. You can’t blame Coors Field for this one either as he’s still posted a 6.71 ERA, 5.65 FIP and 5.47 xFIP to go along with an equivalent 4.76 K/9 and BB/9 on the road this season. He’s managed to keep home runs down a little but to the tune of a 1.24 HR/9 mark on the road this season, but this Dodgers team is loaded with power and should be able to play some long ball tonight, beginning here with Beaty. All of the damage the rookie has done at the big league level this season has come against right-handed pitching as he owns a .320 average, .236 ISO, .929 OPS, .383 wOBA and 140 wRC+ on the season versus righties. He’s been more productive at home versus righties with a .983 OPS, .406 wOBA and 155 wRC+ in such scenarios. He’s also swiped four bases on the season, one of which came over his last two games as he’s 3 for 8 with a homer, two runs, three RBI and that steal in that time.
2B – Gavin Lux (LAD) – $2,500 vs. COL
We are already seeing a notable price increase in Lux as it seemed silly to get him at a $2,000 price tag last night considering the video game-type numbers he posted in the minors prior to posting a big night in his big league debut. Lux was ridiculous at Triple-A prior to his big league promotion as he posted a .392/.478/.719 slash line to go along with a .490 wOBA and 188 wRC+ across 49 games at the minors’ highest level. He’s hit in each of his two big league games to this point, and as noted, went 2 for 5 with a double in his MLB debut on Monday before singling in his second game last night. The 21-year-old Lux feasted off both left and right-handed pitching at Triple-A this season as he posted a 1.235 OPS against righties while hitting .395 against them, but more than held his own against lefties with a .381 average and 1.054 OPS against them as well. The splits were more noticeable at his Double-A stop this season as he posted a .927 OPS against righties but just a .738 mark against lefties. Of course, this bodes well for tonight’s matchup against the right-hander Senzatela as Lux brings power and speed to the lineup with 26 home runs and 10 steals in the minors prior to his big league promotion.
3B – Matt Chapman (OAK) – $3,800 vs. LAA
My second four-man stack of the night comes from Oakland where the A’s continue their playoff push tonight against left-hander Patrick Sandoval and the rival Angels. The A’s enter this one ranked seventh in the big leagues versus left-handed pitching as per wOBA and Sandoval hasn’t enjoyed much big league success in his five appearances so far (four starts) with a 5.24 ERA in that time. He also posted a 6.41 ERA across 15 Triple-A starts prior to his promotion and actually began the season at Double-A, so I believe we can target Sandoval with an Oakland team that is projected to score a healthy 5.3 runs tonight. Chapman is hitting for plenty of power against both left and right-handed pitching this season, but the numbers are superior against lefties as he owns a massive .323 ISO, .920 OPS, .376 wOBA and 139 wRC+ against southpaw pitching on the season. That said, while O.Co Coliseum in Oakland is a pitcher-friendly venue, Chapman has absolutely pummeled lefties at home this season to the tune of an eye-popping .500 ISO, 1.217 OPS, .476 wOBA and 206 wRC+. His bat has been 106% more productive than league average – with park factors included – against lefties at home this season. Sign me up.
SS – Marcus Semien (OAK) – $4,100 vs. LAA
As per usual, Semien will lead off any Oakland stack as he is the leadoff bat against both left and right-handed pitching given the solid work he’s done against both handedness this season. The splits are actually quite even as he owns a .205 ISO, .838 OPS, .350 wOBA and 121 wRC+ versus lefties on the season and a .219 ISO, .845 OPS, .356 wOBA and 125 wRC+ on the season versus righties. However, Semien’s best split comes at home against lefties, which bodes extremely well for this matchup tonight against the southpaw Sandoval. Semien owns a nice .203 ISO at home against lefties, but also a 1.009 OPS, .425 wOBA and huge 172 wRC+ against southpaws at home as well. He’s been red-hot this summer and is coming off a month of August where he posted a massive .318 ISO, .958 OPS, .392 wOBA and 149 wRC+ for the month. With Semien, we get a nice combination of power and speed as he’s homered 25 times on the season to go along with his seven stolen bases. His stolen base percentage is actually at a brutal as he’s just 7 for 15 (46.7%), however the upside is still there nonetheless. You have to love his type of cross-category production out of that leadoff spot in this matchup tonight.
OF – Mark Canha (OAK) – $3,400 vs. LAA
Next man up in the A’s stack is Canha who has been slowed down after a white-hot week that included AL Player of the Week honors, however he’s still enjoying a career-year at the age of 30 and is one of Oakland’s better bats against left-handed pitching. Canha’s 23 home runs on the season are already a career-high after hitting 17 last season, but the good news here is that like Chapman and Semien before him, Canha has done yeoman’s work against both lefties and righties this season. The splits are actually reverse as he’s posted superior numbers versus right-handed pitching, however Canha has still hit lefties for a .232 ISO, .802 OPS, .342 wOBA and 116 wRC+ on the season. Furthermore, the power spikes all the way to a huge .333 ISO at home where he’s also posted an .874 OPS, .359 wOBA and 127 wRC+ against southpaw pitching. He’s yet to record an extra-base hit in September to this point in the early going, however he is coming off a month of August where he posted a .255 ISO, 1.036 OPS, .431 wOBA and 176 wRC+. I love the fact that these three A’s players are smashing both lefties and righties as the Angels’ 20th-ranked bullpen will play a factor tonight.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $2,900 vs. LAA
Completing our four-man stack is Davis who makes his second consecutive appearance in this lineup tonight. Davis didn’t have a terribly productive night with a pair of RBIs without notching a hit in last night’s effort, however despite a down season from the 42-plus homers he’s hit in each of the last three seasons, he’s still having a productive campaign against left-handed pitching. Entering play tonight, Davis owns a .231 ISO, .850 OPS, .355 wOBA and 124 wRC+ on the season versus lefties. The overall productive drops at home with a roughly league-average 99 wRC+ versus lefties at home, however his power spikes to a .273 ISO against southpaws at O.Co Coliseum. Prior to last night’s hitless effort, Davis had gone 6 for 11 (.545) with a homer, a double, three runs scored and two RBI over his previous three games – an indication that his bat was indeed heating up after a very tough stretch through most of August. The reason for his power outage this season is tough to pinpoint, but he’s still productive versus left-handed pitching and he’ll also anchor this stack tonight, so some extra-base power from Davis would likely mean a lot for this lineup.
OF – A.J. Pollock (LAD) – $3,800 vs. COL
Back to our Dodgers four-man stack as Pollock lines up against Senzatela in this one tonight, a pitcher that he’s enjoyed plenty of success against in their history against one another. Like is usually the case with Pollock, he’s spent notable time on the IL this season as he’s appeared in just 69 games for the Dodgers this season and logged only 275 plate appearances to this point. He has brought his usual power/speed combination into play with 10 homers and four steals in that time, and while his bat has been notably more productive versus left-handed pitching, the power has played up versus righties such as Senzatela. Pollock’s .198 ISO versus righties trumps his .150 mark against lefties while his .222 ISO at home versus righties is much higher than the .088 mark he owns against lefties at Dodger Stadium. Pollock was a beast on the month of August with a .217 ISO, .921 OPS, .384 wOBA and 140 wRC+ for the month, and two of his three hits so far in September have gone for doubles while he has stolen a base in that time as well. The best news here is that he has gone 4 for 9 (.444) with two doubles and a homer in his career against Senzatela, and I’ll look for that success to continue tonight.
UTIL – Will Smith (LAD) – $3,100 vs. COL
If his production means anything to you in the early going, we are getting Smith at a huge bargain at this price. His bat has simply been out of this world since coming up to the big leagues, and the good news is that his splits are reverse as he’s just pummeled right-handed pitching to this point in his young big league career. Smith has appeared in just 38 games with the Dodgers this season, and he’s already smashed 13 home runs and owns a massive .402 ISO to boot. This after hitting 20 homers in 63 Triple-A games, good for a .335 ISO. However, he’s destroyed right-handers to the tune of a .319 average, massive 500 ISO, 1.212 OPS, .472 wOBA and 198 wRC+ on the season in the big leagues. He’s found a way to increase those numbers at home to a .525 ISO, 1.228 OPS, .477 wOBA and 201 wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching at Dodger Stadium this season. the work he has done this season has been incredible and with both Joc Pederson and Justin Turner listed as questionable tonight, I would see one of Smith, Pollock or Lux moving up in the lineup tonight, but currently this stack projects as a 5-8 stack in the Dodgers’ projected lineup this evening.