We have 12 games today for MLB DFS, with one starting at noon, and two starting during the hour before normal lock time. If you want to play the all day slates, be my guest. They also have a little small 2-game slate with the two games starting between 6-7 EST tonight. Again, if you want to play them you can, but I am going to concentrate the article on the nine games for the late slate as that is the main one and where most of the money is for tonight.
We do have a lot of higher end pitching on this slate. That’s going to make it tough to pay up for the best bats at every position. We do have some solid value plays, but obviously keep an eye open for lineup changes that may create more of them. I do think we are going to need at least a couple of value bats to build some good lineups tonight.
Chalk is tough to figure out for me today. I think people will be drawn to the Boston/Baltimore game due to how bad the pitching is there. I think the Astros projecting for 5+ runs will also be a popular spot. The problem with rostering all of these guys is price. Stacking or even just playing ¾ guys from any of those teams is expensive with the main options prices in the $5K range on DK and over $4K on FD. It doesn’t leave you a lot of money to spend elsewhere, especially if you want to build around one of the higher end pitchers.
Rather than just list guys out by position, I’m going to try something a little different with the format today. Basically, I’m going to write up the top hitters on a game-by-game basis, the way I go through my research. I’ll put them in a positional ranking at the end if you guys want to see it that way, but I feel this gives a better overview of who I like and why. Let me know how you guys like the format and if you prefer it going forward.
Twins @ Jays
Martin Perez (Twins) – Normally I like the idea of stacking bats against Perez, especially guys from the right side that hit lefties well. Problem is the Blue Jays don’t have a lot of guys that profile well against lefties.
Justin Smoak (1B) – .333 wOBA, .163 ISO, 109 wRC+ is the best bat they have based on the numbers and none of those are numbers I would get excited about.
Marcus Stroman (Jays) – Extreme ground ball pitcher is not the kind of guy I normally want bats against here. I like some of these lefties, but not looking for power given the pitching matchup, so I’m avoiding them today.
Red Sox @ Orioles
John Means (Orioles) – Small sample in the MLB, but so far has been very HR prone, especially to RHB. The Red Sox get a park bump, a crappy starter, and face one of the weaker bullpens in the league. They are going to be chalky, but deserve to be.
JD Martinez (OF) – JD absolutely owns lefties. Since 2016, he has a .440 wOBA and .322 ISO score, which are both monster numbers
Mookie Betts (OF) – Well above average .391 wOBA and .255 ISO since 2016 vs. LHP. definitely a guy you want a piece of
Steve Pearce (1B) – .371 wOBA, .245 ISO is near elite level numbers v. LHP
Xander Bogaerts (SS) – Lacks the power of the others, but a solid .267 wOBA v. LHP for a tough to fill position at SS
Josh Smith (Red Sox) – Journeyman pitcher is getting old. LHB have crushed him and he does face a bunch of them here. The Orioles aren’t cheap, but they do profile well.
Jonathan Villar (2B) – Hits RHP well and should be on top of an order projected to score some runs here today.
Dwight Smith (OF) – Very underrated and underused guy profiles well against RHP.
Stevie Wilkerson (OF) – Seems to have locked down everyday ABs in that outfield and does have some pop.
Chris Davis (1B) – Probably more of a GPP play, but faces a guy who struggles against lefty power and that gives him HR upside at a very cheap price.
Diamondbacks @ Rays
Merrill Kelly (Diamondbacks) – GB Guy, not big K person, low HR allowed. Not the guy to stack against/ Is weak to LHBs.
Brandon Lowe (2B)
Tommy Pham (OF)
Ji-Man Choi (1B) – All three of these guys profile well against RHP and are reasonably priced (Except for Pham who is a tad pricey)
Blake Snell – 2 straight bad starts, both against the Royals. Not a guy I really want to pick on though. If you think he is broken, then maybe a low-owned stack in a GPP, but I’m not targeting Rays bats here.
Christian Walker (1B) – Small sample size, but you have to respect the .361 wOBA and huge .329 ISO against LHP so far.
Nationals @ Brewers
Max Scherzer (Nationals) – Beast on the mound. Lights out to righties and huge K numbers. If he has a weakness, he is home run prone to left-handed bats. I by no means am looking to stack against him, but you can definitely look at power lefties as one off plays. I just would not be looking to do it in cash or to use more than one or two looking to catch a low owned HR.
Christian Yelich, Eric Thames, Mike Moustakas, and Travis Shaw are all lefties with power in a HR hitter’s park here. One of them is likely to tag Scherzer as this is how Scherzer gives up runs when he gives up runs. Still not looking to be heavily invested against one of the best pitchers on the slate though, so probably only as a low-owned GPP one off option.
Jhoulys Chacin (Brewers) – Has not pitched well this year. Walks are up over 1 more than career average at 4.72. HR per 9 up almost 1 higher than career average too, which is horrendously bad at 1.83. ERA and xFIP both up about 1.5 runs this year too. LHBs are the way to attack, although Chacin does catch the Nats with Soto, Turner, Rendon, Zimmerman, and Matt Adams all on the DL, so it’s a watered down lineup.
Adam Eaton (OF) – Eaton profiles the best with the best numbers of the healthy players against a weak RHP.
Wilmer Difo (SS) – With the corner infielders all banged up and no Turner, Difo should continue to see starts even after Kieboom was promoted. He played third and hit second in the lineup and does profile as a decent play. With the low price he is interesting if he gets up in the lineup again.
Howie Kendrick (2B) – Should get a solid spot in the order as so many injuries have taken many of the big bats out. He’s solid in RvR spots and pretty cheap.
Marlins @ Cubs
Sandy Alcantara (Marlins) – Lacks K upside and doesn’t go deep into games. Walks are a major problem for him, but he is a solid GB pitcher that does keep the ball in the park.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – Rizzo is the one guy who projects very well here, although Alcantara is not the best guy in the world to pick on. The other options here are secondary pieces that make more sense if you are stacking or looking to save some money, depending on where they bat up in the lineup today.
Daniel Descalso (2B) – Tends to hit near the top of the order against RHP. He was pulled from the game Saturday and sat Sunday, but early indications are he is going to be fine to play today.
Kyle Schwarber (OF) – Never really blossomed into the guy many thought he could be, but the numbers v. RHP are still pretty damn good.
Ben Zobrist (OF/2B) – Zobrist has not seen a ton of playing time lately and he does lack elite upside, but he is cheap and, if in the lineup, is someone worth including on your lineups.
Cole Hamels (Cubs) – Pitching solidly, but more importantly he faces a weak lineup here that he absolutely dominated 2-3 games back. Went 7 IP, 3 hits, no walks or runs, and 8 Ks.
Isaac Galloway (OF) – Really cheap and does have the best numbers currently against LHP. Not really a spot to pick on, but he’s a cheap option if you do.
Starlin Castro (2B) – Another guy who lacks major upside, but has always been solid against RHP and is cheap.
Jorge Alfaro (C) – Cheap catching option. Not the best numbers, but solid enough for a catcher and does hit lefties.
Phillies @ Cardinals
Vincent Velasquez (Phillies) – Very tough on RHBs with good K upside, but much much weaker to LHBs. Does have a problem with allowing HRs, more to lefties, but both sides of the plate hit them off of him.
Matt Carpenter (3B) – LOVE me some Carp today. 136 wRC+ with a .376 wOBA and a .210+ ISO v. RHP since 2016. Hits on top of the order for max ABs as well.
Velasquez is very tough in RvR situations, but the Cardinals hit well in those spots too. I’m not in love with the stack, but you can definitely play a second bat with Carpenter here, as long as they have power. The guys with the best ISO scores are Paul Goldschmidt (1B) and Paul Dejong (SS), nit you also have Dexter Fowler, Jose Martinez, and Marcell Ozuna all around a 114-122 wRC+ score.
Miles Mikolas (Cardinals) – Extreme GB pitcher profile with 1 HR about every 9 innings for his career. This year he has allowed 8 in 40 innings already, almost twice his career averages. His Velocity is normal levels, but the slider is not as effective as it has been. This is a tough spot as Philly has 7 or 8 guys with 100 wRC+ scores v. RHB including 5 with 110 or better.
Rhys Hoskins (1B) -150 wRC+
Bryce Harper (OF) – 137 wRC+
JT Realmuto (C) – 121 wRC+
Jean Segura (SS) – 119 wRC+
Andrew McCutchen (OF) -110 wRC+
Astros @ Royals
Gerrit Cole – Dude is a beast and pitching well right now. I’m not touching the bats against him in KC.
Jakob Junis (Royals) – LHB are really the ones who have done damage to him. He is also prone to problems with anyone that has power.
Michael Brantley (OF) – The main LHB on Houston to be concerned with.
Alex Bregman (3B) and Carlos Correa (SS) are the two guys with .200+ ISO scores in RvR situations, so outside of the lefty Brantley, they are the next best options. The Astros do project for 5+ runs, so there is a lot of upside here.
Braves @ Dodgers
Kevin Gausman (Braves) – Gausman is not a bad pitcher, but this Dodgers offense scares me. I know he’s a guy with reverse splits, meaning righties have hit him better than lefties even in the same handed matchup, but my problem is the Dodgers have so many guys who have hit righties at or above average. You have 5 with 135+ wRC+ scores and a few others in the 110+ range too.
Justin Turner (3B) – Turner is starting to show signs of life and he crushes in same handed spots, which Gausman struggles with.
Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Max Muncy all own around 135 wRC+ scores against righties. Cody Bellinger is banged up, but he has a solid 150 wRC+ score. I’m not looking to single anyone outside of Turner, but as a stack this is a potent offense.
Walker Buehler (Dodgers) – He’s not pitching badly to the point I want to stack against him, but the Ks are down and that keeps me off of using him here. His 5.22 ERA is 2 points higher than career average and his 4.42 xFIP is nearly a run lower than his ERA, but still nearly a run higher than Career averages. GB Rate is down, Hard contact and Line Drive rates are up, and his first pitch strikes are way down. Velocity seems to be a tad lower, but not a major concern. I think he’s a good pitcher I’m not looking to take bats against, but he’s not on top of his game.
Mets @ Padres
Jacob DeGrom (Mets) – Had a few rough outings against good competition, but is still an elite level starter. I’m not looking to pick on him. Hosmer has solid numbers against righties and MAchado is heating up with 3 homers last series against the Dodgers, but this is not a spot you should be looking for bats in.
Chris Paddack (Padres) – Young rookie has looked really good so far. He’s been really tough on righties, with lefties as the weaker split.
Mets stack is sneaky due to all the lefties. Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil have 140+ wRC+ scores v. RHP and Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto are not far behind at 135+. Throw in a Pete Alonso for some power and you have a sneaky stack for GPPs. Again, Paddack has looked god though, so this is a low probability play for upside.
Top Stacks: Orioles, Red Sox, Astros
Sneaky Stacks: Mets, Dodgers, Cardinals
C: JT Realmuto, Jorge Alfaro
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Rhys Hoskins, Justin Smoak, Steve Pearce, Chris Davis
2B: Jonathan Villar, Brandon Lowe, Daniel Descalso
3B: Matt Carpenter, Alex Bregman, Justin Turner
SS: Jean Segura, Xander Bogaerts, Wilmer Difo
OF: JD Martinez, Mookie Betts, Adam Eaton, Dwight Smith, Michael BRantley, Kyle Schwarber, Steve Wilkerson