It’s a lucky 13-game slate, our final Friday slate of the season before the All-Star break. Plenty of warm weather around the nation with a couple of trouble spots rain-wise that we’ll want to keep an eye on (MLW-PIT, KCR-WAS, BOS-DET, MIA-ATL, TEX-MIN). That’s not ideal with many of the stacks we may want to use coming from this batch of games.
Keep an eye on who the Tigers will start (still between Carpenter (L), Soto (L) and Zimmermann (R )) and honestly any of those situations are good for us, though for the sake of using JDM and Xander per my plan, I hope it’s one of the lefties on the mound.
The Twins are without Eddie Rosario but still pack a mean punch and at the moment, have the highest implied team run total on the slate at nearly six runs. They face a respectable SP (at least this season) in Adrian Sampson who has done well limiting walks (5.3%) and mediocre in homers allowed (1.52 HR/9). The Twins aren’t my top stack today though as there are several other directions I’m interested in, particularly the A’s right-handed mashers against Yusei Kikuchi and some sneaky Orioles’ bats against Aaron Sanchez who simply shouldn’t still be a starter in the big-leagues (6.31 ERA, 1.77 WHIP).
The other squad I want some exposure to are the Astros, particularly the lefty bats. Bulk-innings guy Felix Pena has been stout against RHH’s (.246 wOBA despite a 42% HH) but has stunk against lefties (3.79 wOBA, 2.30 HR/9, 6.08 FIP). That’s why guys like Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick are on my radar today.
Chalky Stacks: Red Sox, Athletics, Twins, Braves
Sneaky Stacks: Orioles, Astros LHH’s, Royals, Mets
Favorite Stacks: Red Sox, Athletics, Orioles, Astros
Chalk Home Run: J.D. Martinez
Sneaky Home Run:Yordan Alvarez
Core 4: Lowe (1B/TBR) + Martinez (OF/BOS) + Bogaerts (SS/BOS) + Y. Alvarez (OF/HOU)
Christian Vazquez (RH/BOS), Yasmani Grandal (SW/MLW), Chance Sisco (LH/BAL), Jason Castro (LH/MIN), John Hicks (RH/DET)
A very fine season for Vazquez so far, boasting a .372 wOBA and .239 ISO against left-handed pitching. Grandal has that solid 15.4% walk rate and 18 homers already with a legit shot at 35 on the season. He usually hits RHP’s better but has a higher ISO against lefties (.277 to .251) this year with mediocre lefty Steven Brault on tap. Sisco Kid was a DFS player of mine. He’s been situated as the clean-up man against right-handed pitching and deserves consideration today, especially as part of an O’s stack. Castro with the umph against a righty and I guess we can consider Hicks at the bottom of the catcher options on DK to potentially luck into 10-plus points.
TOP PLAY: Nate Lowe (LH/TBR)
With Ji-Man Choi hitting the injured list, Lowe gets a well-deserved call after annihilating Triple-A pitching for most of the season. He’s simply way too underpriced and because of it he will be chalky in cash. He is minimum salary on FanDuel ($2000) and a shockingly low $2800 on DK. You could fade in tourneys if you feel Tanaka throws a gem, but it’s much too cheap of a price point to not play him in cash.
CASH: Freddie Freeman (LH/ATL), Paul Goldschmidt (RH/STL), Josh Bell (SW/PIT), Michael Chavis (RH/BOS)
Freeman’s bat has been humming for quite a while now. He’s up to 23 homers with a .309 average and has five double-digit DKP games in his last eight. Goldy has fallen to the point where it’s difficult not to consider using him regardless of matchup. Goldy is $3600 on DK facing the lefty Pomeranz and has a four-game hit streak going. Bell and Chavis are two power bats to consider. Bell is damn expensive but Chavis is priced right in the midrange. Just be careful with weather concerns in both games.
GPP: Matt Adams (LH/WAS), Chris Davis (LH/BAL), Matt Olson (LH/OAK)
The only thing Adams is really good for is home runs against weak righties. That could well be the case today facing Brad Keller who typically doesn’t serve up homers (0.69 HR/9) but has allowed two a piece in two of his last three starts including 13 total earned runs in those starts. Davis we sparingly use these days but he’s near the bottom in price and has four homers and 11 walks in 36 PA against Sanchez in his career. Olson has been mashing lefties for the first time in his career (.368 ISO, 58% HH) so let’s consider taking advantage today.
CASH: Ketel Marte (SW/ARI), Keston Hiura (RH/MLW), Jeff McNeil on DK (LH/NYM), Chavis on DK
No true play at 2B that sticks out today, nor insane value. Marte is fully priced since he’s been smashing and I do like him at home today against Senzatela who he’s 6-for-12 against in his career. Hiura is a nice mid-priced option – he’s got six dingers in his first 90 plate appearances and already has the look of a veteran major leaguer. McNeil has baseball’s best batting average over the last calendar year and a matchup with Velasquez is good for him (and usually most lefty bats).
GPP: Cavan Biggio (LH/TOR), Eric Sogard (LH/TOR), Jurickson Profar (SW/OAK)
I’m looking at the two Jays eligible at the position against Bundy the Home Run Maker. Bundy has been giving up a higher rate of homers to righties this season but has still allowed seven in 39 innings against lefties. Note that Bundy has done a great job at limiting hard contact to LHH’s this season (25.2%). Profar is in play if he’s in the lineup against the lefty as that’s usually the only time we can really consider him for DFS – especially at the affordable price points (2.5k FD, 3.5k DK).
TOP PLAY: Matt Chapman (RH/OAK)
Chapman is having a season for the ages, just three homers shy of last year’s total mark (24) in in 240 less plate appearances. Chapman has traditionally hit LHP better but has just a .215 average to show for it this season. His ISO against lefties is 100 points higher than against righties (.354 to .253) so you know that average versus lefties has some positive regression in it. Kikuchi is someone we’ve been able to pick on all season with good right-handed hitters.
CASH: Justin Turner (RH/LAD), Eduardo Escobar (SW/ARI), Jeimer Candelario (SW/DET)
GPP: Manny Machado (RH/SDP), Anthony Rendon (RH/WAS), DJ LeMahieu (RH/NYY)
It’s been about a week since Turner has homered and he’s due. Has been one of baseball’s top hitters against lefties over the last few seasons (third best wOBA – .431 – behind Arenado and Stanton). Escobar is the pricey play against a bad pitcher (Senzatela) and Candelario is the punt (homers in two of his last three). Among the GPP group, Machado is my favorite despite who the opposing SP is (Kershaw) since no hitter has been better against lefties this season (.529 wOBA, .480 ISO).
TOP PLAY: Xander Bogaerts (RH/BOS)
Should the weather cooperate, Bogaerts is my favorite play at the position today. Whether it’s Soto or Carpenter on the mound for the Tigers, doesn’t matter. The X-Man boasts a .343 ISO and 55% hard-hit rate against left-handed pitchers.
CASH: Marcus Semien (RH/OAK), Jorge Polanco (SW/MIN), Trea Turner (RH/WAS)
Semien continues to crush left-handed pitching, currently hitting .304 with a .362 ISO against them. He’s scorching right now and smashed two homers (36 DKP yesterday). He’s the guy priced perfectly in the middle and must be included in any A’s stacks you employ today. Polanco and Turner are two consistent hitters for your cash lineups with Polanco a much better deal on DK (he’s 4.5k while Turner is 5.3k).
GPP: Jonathan Villar (SW/BAL), Adalberto Mondesi (SW/KCR), Alex Bregman (RH/HOU)
Villar has had his struggles this season but is currently on a seven-game hit streak and faces arguably the worst SP on the slate (Sanchez). Mondesi against the rookie Voth has some credence as a play today as those Royals might be a little sneaky. Bregman has faced Felix Pena five times ever and crushed a homer against him in one of those. Pena struggled in June allowing six homers in his last four appearances.
EXPENSIVE: J.D. Martinez (RH/BOS), Juan Soto (LH/WAS), Nelson Cruz (RH/MIN), Yordan Alvarez (RH/HOU), Cody Bellinger (LH/LAD), Christian Yelich (LH/MLW), Mookie Betts (RH/BOS)
JDM is my favorite play and I’m expecting him to go beserk against the Tigers today. Soto is cruising up to around a .300 average and has four homers in his last 10. A nice yet pricey play against Keller at home today. Yordan is the guy I feel may go under-owned who will deliver and I’ll be running with him on my primary lineup. Just a small sample but a 60% hard-hit rate against righties and Pena has been rather pedestrian over the last month. Bellinger and Yelich are the only two guys with 30 HR now which is just amazing considering we haven’t hit the All-Star break yet. They face lefty starters but that’s not something that fazes them. Belli has a .351 ISO against lefties and Yelich a .340.
MIDRANGE: Michael Conforto (LH/NYM), Mark Canha (RH/OAK), Michael Brantley (LH/HOU), Franmil Reyes (RH/SDP), Adam Jones (RH/ARI), Trey Mancini (RH/BAL)
A few great bats to choose from in the midrange starting with Mets’ Conforto who has great power from against a righty SP who has traditionally been poor against lefty bats. Canha I’ll include in my Oakland stacks without question and Brantley I’d pair in a mini-stack with Air Yordan. The Franimal seems to have Kershaw’s number with 2 HR among five hits in nine at-bats against him.
CHEAP: Khris Davis (RH/OAK), Kike Hernandez (RH/LAD), Jose Martinez (RH/STL), JT Riddle (LH/MIA), Josh Reddick (LH/HOU)
Davis is still in the cheap range. Not back to hitting homers yet, but it’s coming, no doubt. That hand is getting better and better every day. I’d consider him again today. Kike should get the leadoff gig against the Padres’ lefty while Jo-Mart has been hitting second in the lineup most of the week with Ozuna on IL. Riddle is another cheap option against a RHP (Teheran) who struggles against lefties and in a good home run park. Reddick is that third part of the Astros’ trio I’d want to use and I’m hoping he hits fifth or sixth today.