MLB DFS 8/14/18 Ben’s Building Blocks
Justin Verlander (-215): This is extremely tough for me, because I don’t typically like to spend $12,000+ for a pitcher on DraftKings but Verlander grades out firmly as my top overall play. I’m not opposed to James Paxton for cheaper in all formats either, and I may end up dropping down to him if I need the savings, but for now I am focused on Verlander. I’m sure the majority of people that look at game-logs will see Verly’s last performance + price and avoid him, but I don’t think that is the correct process to take (ever). The Rockies are not a good offense, especially against righties and the only reason you would think they are is because half of their games are in Coors Field. He’s better at home, and over the last month he owns an insane 41% strikeout rate. Nothing appears wrong and it was most likely just a fluky bad start. Mr. Kate Upton looks like he’s going to be the cash game anchor tonight, especially on FanDuel.
Nick Pivetta (+114): Pivetta is the definition of a risk/reward play tonight and he might be my favorite overall play of the day when factoring in price and expected ownership. He isn’t a cash game play against the Red Sox who have been the best team against righties this season, but I have more than enough confidence in him to succeed at a suppressed price tag. He has been absolutely locked in over the last 30 days with a 37% strikeout rate (just behind Verlander) along with just 3% walks and 12.5% swinging-strikes. He’s very good against righties, which is help neutralize Mookie Betts/J.D. Martinez as much as possible, and he gets a boost with this game taking place in Philadelphia as he has been better at home but the Red Sox will also lose their DH. There’s been some pretty solid line movement towards Pivetta already today and I’m going to be rolling him on my main tournament team.
Brett Kennedy (-110): I don’t think this will be a very popular pick in terms of ownership, but I’m willing to take another shot on Kennedy after his rough first start in the big leagues. Kennedy surrendered six runs on 11 hits to the Brewers in his big league debut but that was backed by a .471 and he still managed to generate 14.9% swinging-strikes. The Angels offense is just not intimidating without Mike Trout, and they come in 16th in wRC+ over the last two weeks. Like Reid-Foley yesterday, we aren’t expecting huge scores from pitchers that are priced this low we simply need them to meet value while enabling us to pay up at seemingly every other position. The more righties in the Angels lineup the better, but I’ll probably be willing to take a shot on Kennedy regardless in all formats given his price/ownership.
Top Tier: Francisco Lindor/Jose Ramirez- I had these two in this exact same spot yesterday, and it wouldn’t be doing them justice to ignore them in cash games tonight. Sal Romano has been egregious against batters from the left-side of the plate this season and will have his work cut out for him against this Indians team. I’m not sure if you will be able to fit in both, but I would want Indians exposure in cash games once again.
Mid Tier: Avisail Garcia- Garcia always jumps off the page when facing a left-handed pitcher, especially one as unimposing as Blaine Hardy (add in the Tigers bullpen after!). Hardy allows above-average hard-hits and fly-balls to right-handed batters and Garcia has been his usual self this season posting a massive .406 wOBA and a .302 ISO against southpaws. The White Sox are not a good team, so the prices are always right and this game has sneaky potential with a 9 O/U in Vegas.
Low Tier: Danny Jansen (DraftKings)- The Blue Jays just recently called up their number four overall prospect (according to Baseball America) and if he cracks the lineup tonight he provides extremely cheap exposure to my favorite stack of the night, which you will soon read. Jansen owns a .211 ISO and a 159 wRC+ at Triple A over the last two seasons and has tremendous on-base skills.
Tournament Stack of the Day
1. Toronto Blue Jays- Heath Fillmyer is one of, if not the worst overall pitcher on the slate and what he has done so far in his major league career is simply unsustainable. He has somehow never allowed greater than three runs in a single start, despite pitching to a 5.25 SIERA with just 13.6% strikeouts and 11% walks! His ability to generate ground balls has been aiding his Houdini act, but he wasn’t a great ground ball pitcher in the minors so I have a hard time believing in the skills. The Jays aren’t a great team, but they have a few powerfu righties that could certainly get to Fraudmyer. Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk stick out as my two favorites overall and you can use Justin Smoak and Curtis Granderson to complete the stack.
2. Baltimore Orioles- The Orioles are just not a good team making them the opposite of a priority most days, but I like their matchup with Jason Vargas tonight and they are cheap enough that they can help you fit in some higher priced bats in addition to them. Vargas has been victimized by right-handed pitching this season, which makes this a -EV matchup for him given the amount of righties he will see, regardless of their baseball ability (LOL). Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini, Jonathan Villar and Tim Beckham stick out as my favorite four and you can fill-in with Adam Jones in tournaments even though he hits righties better.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)