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MLB DFS 7/17/19 – Battle of the Bales

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Justin’s Pick: Jesse Chavez

Jesse Chavez has seen plenty of ups and downs throughout the 2019 season, posting a 3-4 record with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP through 38 games (8 starts). He also owns a 4.43 xFIP and a 4.24 SIERA. Chavez comes with decent strikeout potential, as he owns 21.7% strikeout and 6.2% swinging strike rates. The main reason for the Chavez recommendation is his price tag. He’s set at only $4.1K on DraftKings. Simply put, it’s difficult for a pitcher at his price tag to cause your fantasy lineup to lose. He comes with tremendous upside, though, scoring 19.9 and 29.3 fantasy points in two of his last four games. While I hate the matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Texas, Chavez makes an elite option in all leagues for his low price tag. It’s slates like these where it would have been nice to have a Coors game, but there are plenty of high-priced players to fill out your lineups regardless. 

Jason’s Reaction: Chavez makes for a decent tournament option, but recommending him in cash seems insane. 

Jason’s Pick: Mike Clevinger

Both Mike Clevinger and Chris Paddack are worth consideration in tournaments and cash games. Paddack has a slightly higher strikeout prediction (9.1 to 8.5), both pitchers have the same opponent implied run total (3.4), and the Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres are both projected to win their respective games. Clevinger, however, has -270 betting favorite odds compared to Paddack’s -150. More importantly, in the last 15 days, Clevinger has an average exit velocity on batted balls of 86 MPH compared to Paddack’s 95 MPH. His ground ball rate is higher (50% to 42%), and his hard hit rate is ridiculously lower (20% to 71%). Clevinger very recently returned from injury, and his price tag is still respectable.

Justin’s Reaction: Clevinger is probably my favorite high priced option. He’s due for positive regression, and his strikeout rate is out of this world. 



Justin’s Pick: Jose Ramirez 

Jose Ramirez has been playing well recently, posting a .293 average with a .585 slugging percentage and a .904 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he owns six extra-base hits (three home runs), nine RBIs, and one stolen base. Ramirez has recorded 45% hard hit and 33% fly ball rates with a 91 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. He gets a plus matchup against Spencer Turnbull, who has struggled against left-handed batters this season. Ramirez has been slightly more powerful against right-handed pitching, posting a 0.037 ISO differential against righties. He’s expected to hit fifth in a Cleveland Indians’ lineup that will likely find plenty of success on this slate. Ramirez can be considered in all leagues tonight. 

Jason’s Reaction: The Cleveland Indians are a good team to target tonight, and Ramirez is a big part of their offense. Nice recommendation. 

Jason’s Pick: Jake Bauers

Speaking of Cleveland Indians that can be rostered on DraftKings tonight, both Jake Bauers and Jason Kipnis should return to the lineup against the right-handed Spencer Turnbull. Bauers is eligible in the outfield, but also at first base, and his price tag is too low right now. He is expected to hit sixth in the Indians’ batting order, and over the last 15 days, his advanced metrics have been great. He has an average batted ball distance of 248 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 94 MPH, a fly ball rate over 40%, and a hard hit rate of 30%. That has translated nicely in the real-world, as he posted a .378 batting average, 1 home run, and 8 RBIs in his last 10 games. Bauers is starting to find his groove, and the Indians are expected to score close to six runs. He can be rostered in all leagues. 

Justin’s Reaction: I’ll take all of the Cleveland lefties, please. 



Justin’s Pick: Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts continues to play at an elite level, as he’s hitting .410 with a .615 slugging percentage and a 1.105 OPS over his last 10 games. He boasts seven extra-base hits, four RBIs, and two stolen bases in those contests, as well. Betts has also posted 52% hard hit and 41% line drive rates with a 95 MPH exit velocity over that span. He gets an elite matchup against Aaron Sanchez, and he owns 0.048 wOBA and 0.102 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. He’s leading off for arguably the best offense on this slate, and he makes an elite option in all leagues. He isn’t quite as cheap as a few games ago, but Betts is easily to fit into lineups if he’s paired with Jesse Chavez at pitcher. 

Jason’s Reaction: This is simple: lock and load. 

Jason’s Pick: Joc Pederson 

Joc Pederson has struggled over his last 10 games, posting a batting average under .250 with only 1 home run and 5 RBIs, but in his last 2 games, he has a combined 34 fantasy points. Tonight, he gets another great matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the hitter-friendly Philadelphia stadium. Pederson hit a home run last night prior to getting pinch hit for with the bases loaded. He is expected to leadoff, and he enters tonight’s game with 0.171 ISO and 0.116 wOBA differentials. In the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 232 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 93 MPH, a fly ball rate over 50%, and a hard hit rate the same. He is also eligible at the first base position, the same as Jake Bauers. The upside is unmatched at $4.6K. 

Justin’s Reaction: Pederson is always a high upside option. I’m not sure I’d use him in cash games, but I’m not completely opposed to it at the moment.


Be sure to follow Justin (@BalesSJustin) and Jason (@BalesTJason) on Twitter!

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