Solid little nine game slate of MLB DFS action here on Monday. One team inarguably stands out far above the rest in terms of projected points tonight. Not only are the Astros one of the best offenses in all of baseball, but they take on one of the statistically worst pitchers on the season in Edwin Jackson. The near 7 team total even seems a little light to me and I’m absolutely expecting this offense to just smash at home today.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have other non-chalky good spots to look at, but even after trying to talk myself into why I wanted to fade the Astros, the only real excuse for not playing them is ownership, and that only matters for GPPs. In cash games, you should have exposure to the Astros in some form, and the good news is that stacked lineup has pieces from top to bottom that you can include.
We don’t have a total on the Rockies/Diamondbacks game yet, but I would expect that to be high. Some of the other totals nearest to the Astros are ones I consider suspect. Let me explain.
The Twins project for 5.80 against Ivan Nova. Nova has looked much better lately, including a decent outing against the Twins, but I get the high total as I am not a fan of his anyway. The Rangers and Angels both project for 5.75 runs today, right behind the Twins.
I get it with the Angels, although I prefer to grab one offs rather than stack. Trout is a beast, and Upton, Fletcher, and Goodwin are solid, but really this is not an elite lineup top to bottom. It’s a solid one with a truly elite bat in Trout and a bunch of average to above average players. You are really doing it to pick on Kolby Allard, and the kid hasn’t sucked so far in his young MLB career.
On the other hand, I’m not a huge Dillon Peters fan, but the Rangers current roster owns the second highest K% against LHP and the seventh lowest wRC+ score. I try not to take bad offenses in bad splits matchups just because the pitcher isn’t elite. So I’m not a huge fan of chasing that, either.
Without knowing the numbers on Colorado/Arizona – the Rockies pitching situation is still fluid between maybe Chi Chi Gonzalez or Kyle Freeland, both of whom suck) – it’s the Orioles with the next highest projection. The Orioles and Rangers having two of the top five projections is just silly to me. Stack them if you want, but I’m not investing my hard earned dollars on either offense expecting the nuts when Houston faces Edwin Jackson on the same slate.
I do think we have a few good sneaky stacks that people will overlook, though. The Reds interest me. They have a bunch of elite bats against lefties and face a guy in Lauer I’m not overly impressed with. The park shift is a huge negative for Lauer, and the righty-heavy Reds lineup is mashing lately.
I also think either side of the Brewers/Cards game could go off. Dakota Hudson is good, but his weakness is with lefties, and the Brew Crew are loaded with guys from that side of the plate. On the flip side, Zach Davies got lit up for a few starts before hitting the DL and this is his return. He’s not elite to start with, and at less than 100%, he could be downright garbage.
Top Stacks: Astros (Clearly and far and away #1)
Other Stacks I like: Reds, Brewers, Diamondbacks
- Yasmani Grandal – Dakota Hudson is a decent young pitcher, but the numbers against lefties are dreadful. They own a .380 wOBA with 11 homers in 67 innings against him. Those are very bad numbers to have against a lefty heavy lineup like this. Grandal’s 119 wRC+ score on the back of a .340 wOBA and strong .240 ISO are some of the best numbers for a catcher on this slate.
- Travis D’Arnaud – Maybe I just have a hard time quitting him even though he has really cooled down, but the matchup and his prime lineup real estate keep pulling me back in. Marco Gonzalez is not a guy who gets lit up often, but he does struggle more with righties and D’Arnaud hits lefties. When you factor in the slim pickings at the position with price and a middle of the order lineup spot, D’Arnaud has more upside than anyone outside of Grandal today.
- John Hicks – Not a great play, but a solid cheap bat that has an above average wRC+ score against lefties. Detroit’s offense is garbage, but Hicks hits lefties, and Wade Miley, who has been lights out with an xFIP over a run higher than he is ERA, is long overdue for a visit from the regression monster.
- Christian Walker – This is one of the weaker days in memory for first base options, but I do like Walker at the top. It’s still unknown who will start for the Rockies, Kyle Freeland or Chi Chi Gonzalez, but it doesn’t really matter all that much because both guys suck. Freeland is horrendous against righties and would be the better matchup, but I expect the D-backs to hit either way. Walker has elite power and a good hitting environment at home in Arizona.
- Matt Adams – I do like Trevor Williams a bit and I haven’t been picking on him much but his numbers across the board are worse this year than usual. Adams is started to be a decent bat again for this offense and has the lineup real estate to prove it. He’s not super expensive, but he does own a solid 112 wRC+ with a .344 wOBA and a borderline elite .248 ISO against lefties since 2016.
- Cheslor Cuthbert – John Means is simply not the all-star lights out guy he started the season as. The 3.76 ERA is creeping up towards his 5+ xFIP and he has a 48% flyball rate in Camden Yards. That is not going to end well. Cuthbert is no stud, but he does hit lefties and has power, two things that make me believe he has upside here. I know the Royals offense is not elite, so I’m not looking to stack, but the Orioles pitching is that bad and no exposure here seems silly. At the price, Cuthbert goes nearly unowned and has upside.
- Jose Altuve – The Astros are in such an elite matchup today you can play any and all of them, and most will be highly rated on my list. I don’t need to rave about how good a hitter Altuve is as that’s something we all should know by now. With him healthy and in this good of a spot, he’s the clear top projected player at second base and it’s not even close.
- Niko Goodrum – If you pay up, Altuve is the guy, but we do have some interesting cheaper options. Goodrum is one of them. I’m not sold on Wade Miley all of a sudden being this good. Goodrum is one of the few guys with good numbers against lefties on the Tigers. His 125 wRC+ is very good. The .357 wOBA is solid, but the lack of power is seen with the paltry ISO score. More cash game than GPP for me, but at the price you don’t need HRs to pay it off.
- Austin Nola – Kid is better than anticipated so far in a small sample, but it still proves he’s legit against LHP. McKay is no slouch and the matchup is not simple, but McKay has struggled with righties and Nola is cheap and has been hitting third in the order lately. Again, small sample, but 176 wRC+ with a .428 wOBA and a .328 ISO is elite level stuff, even if it is likely to regress at some point.
- Alex Bregman – Off the charts numbers to the good side and facing Edwin Jackson who has off the charts numbers to the downside. Bregman is elite. Unlike Altuve, we have other options at third who can approximate what he can do, but he’s still the #1 option here for me.
- Eugenio Suarez – Love this spot for Suarez today. Guy crushes lefties and he’s at home in that bandbox ballpark, too. His 145 wRC+ since 2016 against LHP is borderline elite and it’s higher at home. I don’t think Lauer sucks, but he’s not a great pitcher, either. He wasn’t last year and his numbers are about the same, so he can be hit and hit hard by righties.
- Hunter Dozier – Another guy we can use to pick on John Means’ regression and one of the worst bullpens in the league. Like Cuthbert, the numbers are decent against lefties, although he’s lacked power from that side. With that said, it’s a lot easier to go yard in Camden than Kauffman Stadium and the guy he is facing is giving up a 48% flyball rate to righties.
- Carlos Correa – If you are tired of seeing Astros and the reasoning behind it, so be it. Edwin Jackson sucks and Correa doesn’t. This offense projects for the most runs, and this is another somewhat weak position, so he profiles as the top choice here today.
- Elvis Andrus – Honestly, I don’t see how Texas gets to this projected run total, but I do know Elvis Andrus is their best bat against lefties. I also love the discount on his price. He owns a 107 wRC+, a .343 wOBA and a paltry .160 ISO, yet he’s still hitting third for this underwhelming offense. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of using bats from the Rangers, but the team’s total has me interested in trying to find a few cheap plays I can stomach, and Andrus leads the list.
- David Fletcher – Fletcher is SS eligible on both FD and DK. He’s a fine play tonight as he always is against lefties. Allard is a solid young pitcher, but the amount of runs expected by Vegas makes me think anyone on top of that Angels order is worth a look, especially given his pricing.
- Mike Trout – Young lefty against the most elite bat in the game. Trout is a monster. 164 wRC+, .410 wOBA, and .244 ISO since 2016 against southpaws. Big team total, too. Trout just has so many ways to score fantasy points for us.
- Christian Yelich – I love him in this spot. Hudson is a groundball guy, but the splits really favor lefties. Yelich is one of the more elite bats in the game and the numbers back it up. 155 wRC+ v. RHP and that’s with a .405 wOBA and .251 ISO scores. All three are elite level numbers and that makes Yellich very dangerous against any subpar pitching.
- Whit Merrifield – Picking on John Means again here and using the best bat on the team to do so. Whit owns a 130 wRC+ score, which comes from a .367 wOBA and a .200 ISO. This is a ballpark and matchup where even he could go yard, although it’s more likely a few hits, runs, SBs and/or RBI gets it done for us.
- George Springer – I’m just going to say, “Edwin Jackson” and “highest total,” here as I’m tired of explaining why.
- Yordan Alvarez – Same goes for Yordan, except he gets more credit, because he is a lefty with pop. Play a bunch of Astros in any format tonight and you won’t be mad about it.
- Juan Soto – Trevor Williams is off his game. His numbers are down, but even when he’s pitching well, he’s still pretty average. Soto is elite against RHP with a 150+ wRC+ score. A .406 wOBA is super elite and even his .260 ISO leaves others envious.
- Bryan Reynolds – The kid may not have big power, but he’s flashed enough and his home ballpark does him no favors. Tonight he draws a guy with a huge split differential in Joe Ross. Ross owns righties but sucks against LHBs. Reynolds has over a .400 wOBA, over a .200 ISO, and a 150+ wRC+ score in the majors. Those are elite numbers.
- Tommy Pham – Normally I wouldn’t pick on Gonzalez, but Pham has been on top of the order and he is elite v. LHP. The numbers are a 141 wRC+ score with a .381 wOBA. He lacks big HR pop, but he’s still a good play.
- Domingo Santana – His strength is hitting lefties and Brendan McKay’s weakness early on is getting righties out. Santana is a boom-or-bust GPP play with plenty of thunder in that bat. The numbers were better in Milwaukee, but that’s also an elite hitter’s park. Still, a .353 wOBA, .214 ISO and 119 wRC+ are better than average.
- Aristides Aquino – The kid is in the zone right now with 11 dingers in like 60 plate appearances since being called up. Unsustainable, for sure, but tons of upside. I’m betting against Lauer handling a pretty solid group of right-handed bats and on Aquino continuing to drive in runs, whether by the longball or not.
- Phil Ervin – It’s a bit of a surprise to see that Ervin has been the Reds’ best bat against lefties, and while he’ll no doubt regress, he’s still reasonably cheap and facing a lefty. That 157 wRC+ score is no joke.
- Eddie Rosario – With Cruz on the IL and Kepler DTD, Rosario is the only Twins OF I am looking at today. Ivan Nova has given up more homers to lefties and struggles against them in general so Rosario is the best way to attack him.