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MLB DFS 8/31/18 – Bales’ Stacks and Hidden Gems

Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack

Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers have found plenty of offensive success this season, ranking ninth in the MLB in runs scored, 22nd in team batting average, and 16th in OPS through 134 games. They have been a significantly better offense at home, where they are hitting .260 with a .440 slugging percentage and a .784 OPS. The Rangers are averaging 5.4 runs and 3.3 extra-base hits per game in Texas, as well. They are -126 favorites in a game set at 11 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.9 runs.

The Rangers get a great matchup against Stephen Gonsalves tonight. Through only two starts, he owns an 0-2 record with an 11.37 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. He has also allowed a 1.4 HR/9 with a 7.4 K/9 through only 6.1 innings. His sample sizes are not big enough to trust, but he’s allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .407 average with a .556 slugging percentage and a .465 wOBA. He also has yet to record an out against a left-handed batters. Gonsalves is a significantly better pitcher than he has displayed through two starts, but he may simply not be ready for the MLB at this point.

 

Important Odds: Vegas Stack

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have featured one of the best offenses in the MLB this season. Through 134 games, they rank second in the league in runs scored and OPS, while also ranking 11th in team batting average. They’re at their best when playing in New York, recording a .267 average with a .478 slugging percentage and an .825 OPS through 69 home starts. The Yankees are also averaging 5.5 runs and 3.4 extra-base hits per game in New York. They are -350 favorites in a game set at 8 runs, and they feature an implied run total of 5.4 runs tonight.

New York gets a matchup against Jordan Zimmermann, who owns a 6-6 record with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP through 19 starts. He has also allowed a 1.6 HR/9, while recording a 7.9 K/9 through 100.2 innings. Zimmermann has been a reverse splits pitcher this season, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .284 average with a .503 slugging percentage and a .337 wOBA. He’s also allowing lefties to hit for a .258/.467/.328 line this season. Zimmermann has struggled quite a bit on the road this season, as well, and New York features one of the best offenses in the MLB. They make an elite stacking option tonight.

 

Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels have featured an average offense this season, ranking 13th in the MLB in runs scored, 16th in team batting average, and 14th in OPS. They have been a better offense on the road, where they own a .252 average with a .417 slugging percentage and a .735 OPS. Los Angeles is averaging 4.6 runs and 3.1 extra-base hits per game away from home, as well. They are sizeable underdogs in this game, featuring only a 3.6 implied run total, although the game is set at 8.5 runs.

Framber Valdez will be taking the mound for the Houston Astros tonight. He has looked outstanding through two starts, recording a 2-0 record with a 0.96 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. He is due for serious regression, though, as Valdez owns a 4.62 xFIP and a 4.09 SIERA this season. He has also struggled at times in the minor leagues, posting a 21-19 record with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP through 77 games (43 starts). The Angels will feature low ownership because of their Vegas line, but they feature an offense that can help start Valdez’s regression tonight.

 

Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor

Travis Shaw

Shaw has been playing well recently, as he’s hitting .250 with a .583 slugging percentage and a .917 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 37% hard-hit and 56% fly ball rates with a 93 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Shaw also dominates right-handed pitching, recording 0.091 wOBA and 0.156 ISO differentials against righties.

Mike Trout

Trout has only been back for six games, but he has flashed power in those games. He also owns 46% hard-hit and fly ball rates with a 95 mph exit velocity since rejoining the team. Trout has also looked elite against left-handed pitching this season, posting a .615 slugging percentage and a .292 ISO against lefties.

Paul Goldschmidt

Goldschmidt continues to destroy left-handed pitching, posting a .590 slugging percentage and a .278 ISO against lefties this season. He has also posted 51% hard-hit and 37% fly ball rates with a 97 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Furthermore, Goldschmidt has been a more consistent and a more powerful hitter on the road in 2018.

Billy McKinney

Through 13 games this season, McKinney owns a .351 average with a .703 slugging percentage and a 1.147 OPS. He also owns an elite .742 slugging percentage and a .387 ISO against right-handed pitching. Over his last 10 games, McKinney has recorded 54% hard-hit and 42% fly ball rates with a 94 mph exit velocity, as well.

Randal Grichuk

Grichuk has quietly been a reverse splits pitcher this season, recording 0.037 wOBA and 0.143 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. He has also caught fire over his last 10 games, posting a .455 average with an .879 slugging percentage and a 1.392 OPS over that span. Overall, he owns eight extra-base hits (three home runs) in those games.

 

Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher

Andrew Suarez

Suarez has struggled at times this season, but he has thrown well in San Francisco. Through 11 home starts, he owns a 3-4 record with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He has also held his opponents to a 1.2 HR/9, while posting a 7.6 K/9 through 66.1 home innings. Suarez is averaging 14.9 DK points per game over his last five home starts, as well. He’s a -124 favorite in a game set at only 7 runs tonight.

Suarez gets a good matchup against the New York Mets, who rank sixth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat, while also ranking last in team wOBA. Suarez has looked elite against left-handed batters, holding them to a .214 average with a .295 slugging percentage and a .233 wOBA. He’s also holding his opponents to a .236/.396/.291 in San Francisco. He’s a relatively safe option in a great situation tonight. Suarez can be considered in all leagues on this slate.

 

Hidden Gems: Value Hitters

Neil Walker

Walker has been playing well recently, posting a .273 average with a .485 slugging percentage and an .860 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 31% hard-hit and 47% fly ball rates with a 92 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Walker has also been a great option against right-handed pitching, as he features 0.11 wOBA and 0.093 ISO differentials against righties.

I have already outlined Jordan Zimmermann above, so I won’t do that again. Walker is expected to hit fifth in one of the best offenses on the slate. He should see plenty of opportunities for runs and RBIs tonight, and he has been playing well enough to be considered in all leagues tonight.

Hunter Dozier

Dozier has caught fire over his last 10 games, recording a .270 average with a .541 slugging percentage and a .848 OPS over that span. He owns five extra-base hits (two home runs) and six RBIs in those games, as well. He also features a 50% hard-hit rate with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Furthermore, Dozier has been a more powerful option against right-handed pitching, posting a 0.1 ISO differential against righties.

He gets a matchup against Andrew Casher, who has allowed left-handed batters to hit for a .268 average with a .495 slugging percentage and a .353 wOBA this season. Cashner has also struggled with a .302/.534/.384 line on the road this season. Dozier is hitting fifth in the Royals lineup, and he has quietly been playing well enough to be used in all leagues.

 

By: Justin Bales (Twitter)

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