MLB DFS 8/21/18 Ben’s Building Blocks
Top Tier: Blake Snell (-270)/Masahiro Tanaka (-235)- There are a pair of players at the top of my pitcher board tonight and they are Snell and Tanaka respectively.
If you read my content you know I love Blake Snell, and he is in the midst of his best season as a pro. This is season he’s posted a 28.5% strikeout rate with over 13% swinging-strikes, and since he returned from the DL his K% has risen to 31%. The recent DL stint is what is keeping him from must-play territory tonight against the Kansas City Royals. He got up to 75 pitches in his last start, but I have a hard time imagining that he gets over 90 tonight and that does affect him when factoring in his price. The matchup with the Royals is great and they strike out much more against lefties, but I think I will reserve Snell for GPPs barring we get pitch count confirmation before lock.
As for Tanaka, he is in equally as good of a spot on the road in Miami. He gets a solid park boost exiting Yankee Stadium, and knowing his biggest concern is allowing homeruns it eases my mind when looking at this Marlins roster. He gets to face the pitcher, and there are seemingly no power threats on this team outside of maybe JT Realmuto. They are a pretty disciplined team however and they don’t strike out much, but the matchup is just too good especially when you get a discount by using him instead of Snell/Corbin on DraftKings. Right now, Tanaka is my favorite overall option on the slate when factoring in price.
Mid Tier: Michael Kopech (-104)- The big question on this slate is what to do with Mr. Michael Kopech, who is making his major league debut for the Chicago White Sox. Kopech is arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball. A 22 year old flamethrower, Kopech’s achilles heel has been control like a lot of young pitchers. is walk rate is 11.1% at Triple A this season, but he couples that with a 31% strikeout rate and he has walked just four batters in his last seven starts, none in his last three. The form he has been in has earned him his call-up, and I’m definitely excited to watch him pitch tonight. I’m not sure if it’s the smartest thing to call him cash game playable, but he is going to be in play at his price the issue is he should see pretty solid ownership. I like him a lot, but if the hype train gets out of control I will end up fading him as an ownership play.
Low Tier: Pablo Lopez (+200)- I’ve been on Pablo Lopez pretty much every start since he was called up, and I’m going to consider him an option even tonight against the New York Yankees. Lopez doesn’t possess huge strikeout ability with a 19.6% strikeout rate this season, but he could be due for some positive regression in that department as he has generated 10.9% swinging-strikes. The thing that I love about Lopez is his ground ball ability, he owns a 52.1% GB% this season and only 33% hard-hits allowed making it extremely hard for it for him to get shelled. At his price you don’t need a ton of strikeouts either, simply strong run prevention which is what Lopez can excel at. The matchup with the Yankees isn’t ideal, but they will be missing Didi Gregorious after he was placed on the DL today and they already are missing Aaron Judge (+ no DH). The line has moved towards Miami despite 80% of the bets coming in on New York and I am confident in Lopez’s ability at his cheap price tag.
Top Tier: Khris Davis- Khrush has been on fire as of late, propelling the Athletics into a first place tie with the Houston Astros and homering three times in his last two games. He hit a moon shot against Bartolo Colon last night and gets to face the unimposing Ariel Jurado tonight. Jurado is allowing the highest hard-contact on the slate at 44.1% but he couples that with 52.7% ground balls. You will need to target guys that can get the ball up in the air against him and Davis + his A’s teammates fit that mold.
Mid Tier: Justin Smoak- Dylan Bundy has allowed the most homeruns on this slate and it’s not even close, thrusting the the Blue Jays back into consideration in all formats on Tuesday night. Many don’t realize this, but Smoak has been absolutely horrid against left-handed pitching this season despite smashing right-handers. Smoak’s .245 ISO, 49.7% fly-ball rate and 38.2% hard-hit rate profile perfectly for Bundy’s power issues. Kendrys Morales had a big game for the Jays last night, and I’m looking for Smoak to pick up where he left off this evening.
Low Tier: Jake Bauers (OF on DK)- Bauers has cooled off recently resulting in a solid price drop, but I am more than comfortable targeting him against Glenn Sparkman. As unrealistic as it may seem, Glenn Sparkman is indeed a real-life pitcher but that doesn’t mean he has real-life pitching skills. He was not good in the minors and has shown pretty much no strikeout ability in his time with the Royals with some control issues. Bauers owns a .212 ISO with 42.6% hard-hits against righties this season and could be decently popular along with his teammates given their cheap price tags.
Tournament Stack of the Day
Chicago Cubs- Anyone that knows me knows that I hate stacking the Cubs in DFS, but I simply cannot ignore them against Jordan Zimmermann on a Coors Field slate where they are probably going to go overlooked. Over the last 30 days, Zimermann has allowed more home runs than anyone on the slate, even more than Dylan Bundy, and should have a tough time against the Cubbies tonight in positive hitting weather. I would be focusing on the power hitters: Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez and Kyle Schwarber all own a .200 ISO or better against righties with Ian Happ not far behind. I will include Kris Bryant as well because the Cubs should be able to feast on this terrible bullpen after knocking out Zimmermann.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)