After an odd five-game slate last night, we get back into the groove with 10 games being played Sunday afternoon. The Brewers quickly jumped out as a stack in a very good spot against Anthony DeSclafani amongst others. Let’s jump into my MLB DFS breakdown and all the information for this slate. As always, feel free to reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Toronto Blue Jays (4.2) @ Boston Red Sox (5.4)
Marcus Stroman (RHP) vs. Rick Porcello (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Red Sox -165
Pitcher Breakdown: Stroman has been impressive this season and already has a good start against the Red Sox under his belt. Through six innings, he allowed just one run on five hits while striking out four. He did walk six batters but from his season average, that was a bit out of the norm. For his price point, I don’t mind him in this spot considering he has a .268 wOBA and a 3.68 xFIP on the road. Just don’t expect a huge game and Stroman could deliver.
Porcello has been a tough one to figure out. He performs in matchups that he shouldn’t and fails in spots where he should do well. His numbers at home are a bit deceiving as he has a nice .277 wOBA but also a 5.33 xFIP. He’s a fringe play for today where I’d take him if he makes a stack I like fit, but I’m not going out of my way to take him.
Hitter Breakdown: When I go down the list of hitters in this game, no one exactly stands out as a MUST play for me but we do have a few options. Vladamir Guerrero Jr and Rowdy Tellez are two bats from the Blue Jays that I like. Both guys sport some good power with the potential to crack one off of Porcello. As for the Red Sox, Rafael Devers is my favorite play here. Stroman has yet to give up a home run on the road but lefties have accounted for seven of his nine at home. J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts are always an option.
Miami Marlins (4.1) @ Philadelphia Phillies (5)
Jordan Yamamoto (RHP) vs. Enyel De Los Santos (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Phillies -149
Pitcher Breakdown: Unfortunately for Yamamoto, he won’t be facing the Cardinals today, whom he’s made his first two starts against. In those, he’s tossed 14 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out 13. His salary is still very fair and I don’t mind using him at all against the Phillies, who at home against righties have a .317 wOBA, a .192 wOBA and a 23.3 K%.
De Los Santos was ok in a brief stint up with the majors last season. He’s very cheap and I expect people will be flocking toward him because of the matchup against the Marlins. For what it’s worth, the Marlins total has moved down to 3.9, another indication that De Los Santos could be popular. His strikeout numbers have gone way up this season and boasted an 11.1 K/9 through eight starts in Triple-A.
Hitter Breakdown: The numbers against De Los Santos in the majors are very brief, so you can’t take much stock into them. The only bat I’d consider if Garrett Cooper who has three doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBI in his last five games. As for the Phillies, again, we don’t have a lot of Yamamoto to really consider to target against. If he pitches as he has against the Cardinals, it’s another lights out performance. I’m not going crazy with the Phillies bats and would likely stick with the heart of the order guys like Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Jay Bruce.
Detroit Tigers (3.8) @ Cleveland Indians (5.3)
Daniel Norris (LHP) vs. Zach Plesac (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Indians -193
Pitcher Breakdown: As evidenced by the Indians team total, this is not a good spot for Norris. You may not realize it but the Indians boast a good amount of power against lefties, which is keeping me away from Norris. Even worse, on the road, he has a .350 wOBA with a 4.75 xFIP. As for Plesac, he’s been really solid in his five starts and looks to be a very nice value play. The Tigers rank amongst the worst in the league against righties, posting an overall .292 wOBA with a .159 ISO and a 26 K%. Plesac is one of my favorite values at pitcher.
Hitter Breakdown: The only blemish for Plesac has been home runs. He’s averaging 1.7 HR/9 since coming up, splitting them evenly to both sides of the plate. If you wanted to take a shot with a couple of guys in a tournament, Brandon Dixon or Christian Stewart makes some sense. On the Indians, we have a lot of guys to like here. Jordan Luplow is my favorite play here as he’s crushing lefties with a .467 wOBA and a .431 ISO. After him, I’m more than happy to stack with Roberto Perez, Tyler Naquin, Francisco Lindor, and Carlos Santana.
San Diego Padres (4.9) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (4.2)
Joey Lucchesi (LHP) vs. Steven Brault (LHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Padres -135
Pitcher Breakdown: We have a lot to like about the Padres and not much to like about the Pirates. First and foremost, the Pirates have been awful against lefties, putting Lucchesi in a really good spot at PNC Park. His road numbers aren’t great, but PNC Park provides a nice cushion. Even still, his xFIP sits at 4.29 on the road. I have no problem using him against a Pirates team with a .304 wOBA and a .152 ISO against lefties. I would use Brault if all proceeds of my entry fee were being donated to charity.
Hitter Breakdown: You don’t use the Padres bats against righties but you DO use them against lefties. Two guys you want to lock in are Manny Machado and Hunter Renfroe. Both players have an ISO of .500 (!) against lefties. After them, consider stacking them with Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes and Fernando Tatis Jr. The only two players on the Pirates I would consider would be Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds. They’ve both hit lefties well and are essentially the only offense you’d have to worry about against Lucchesi.
Atlanta Braves (4.6) @ Washington Nationals (4.6)
Mike Soroka (RHP) vs. Austin Voth (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Nationals -104
Pitcher Breakdown: Soroka has been almost untouchable on the road through six starts. In those games, he boasts a .203 wOBA with a 3.27 xFIP and only one home run allowed. He’s completely dominated righties as well with a .174 wOBA and a 3.22 xFIP. The Nationals can be a dangerous lineup but they’re much more likely to do damage against lefties than righties. I like Soroka in this spot.
Voth is making his 2019 MLB debut after making four appearances last season. He’s nothing more than a tournament punt play against tough Braves lineup. He does have some good strikeout upside, hovering around a strikeout per inning over his last two years in the minors. The Braves have been a tough team to strikeout, however, with a 21.1 K% against righties.
Hitter Breakdown: Tough game for bats in my opinion. Soroka I’m certainly not looking to target against as we don’t really have a weak spot to capitalize on. Juan Soto is likely the only route I’d consider and even he is a bit too pricey for what’s a bad matchup for him. The Braves I’m not overly comfortable for paying a premium for against a kid that’s performed well in the minors and who we don’t have a lot of numbers to compare against. If you wanted to throw a Braves stack into a tournament, I wouldn’t hate the idea when you consider how bad the Nats bullpen is. I’d imagine you’d get good ownership on them and if Voth is out early, could put you in a really good position.
Houston Astros (5) @ New York Yankees (4.6)
Justin Verlander (RHP) vs. J.A. Happ (L HP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Yankees -119
Pitcher Breakdown: The total for the Yankees says a lot about their offense in a game that will be started by Verlander. To be fair, he’s been a bit shaky as of late, allowing 10 runs over his last three starts. The biggest eye-opener is the six home runs he’s allowed in his last two starts against the Brewers and Reds. While it’s hard to simply write off Verlander, this is certainly not a spot I’m looking to pay up. I also don’t think a Yankees stack is crazy either.
Happ is not someone I’m looking to take either. He’s been awful at Yankee Stadium and enters this game with a .346 wOBA and a 4.59 xFIP through 40 1/3 innings. Despite some injuries to some of their better bats against lefties, the Astros still have a .354 wOBA and a .207 ISO against them.
Hitter Breakdown: A number of options on the Astros to take in this matchup as they boast a ton of power in this matchup. Believe it or not, Jose Altuve currently leads the team in ISO at .389 against lefties. Alex Bregman and Jake Marisnick are right up there with him at .329 and .327 respectively. While Michael Brantley hasn’t for much power against lefties, I would include him in stacks to get those much more favorable matchups later in the game at likely low ownership.
Tough to decide who you want to attack Verlander with because quite frankly, we don’t do this often. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are the obvious power choices and likely where I’ll take my attention. Verlander has allowed 20 home runs on the year and has split them evenly to both sides of the plate. For what it’s worth, righties have tagged him with a 4.05 xFIP, his highest split both at home and on the road.
Cincinnati Reds (3.9) @ Milwaukee Brewers (5.2)
Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) vs. Brandon Woodruff (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Brewers -180
Pitcher Breakdown: Quite the lopsided game with the Brewers are heavy favorites. DeSclafani isn’t an option for me today because of his struggles against lefties and facing this Brewers lineup. His .406 wOBA and 5.69 xFIP to lefties is enough reason to fade him today and use those bats against him. With Woodruff, he brings elite strikeout upside and faces a team with the eighth highest K% against righties. The only concern here is that he’s been scuffling a bit as of late but I think his drop in salary helps alleviate that.
Hitter Breakdown: The Reds aren’t an overly enticing option but Woodruff has struggled against lefties at home. With that in mind, Derek Dietrich, Jesse Winker and Joey Votto are all in consideration. After that, I think it’s easy to leave the rest of the lineup on the board.
As for the Brewers, if they bat left-handed, they’re in the mix. Christian Yelich, Yasmani Grandal, Mike Moustakas, Eric Thames and Travis Shaw should all draw interest. Stacking them would also be an optimal strategy but I know you’re already smart enough to know that.
Minnesota Twins (5.7) @ Kansas City Royals (4.4)
Michael Pineda (RHP) vs. Homer Bailey (RHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: Twins -164
Pitcher Breakdown: With the number of good options on this slate, I can’t imagine taking either pitcher in this game. Both pitchers, to their credit, have posted some good starts as of late so if you want to run one of these guys in a tournament, I completely understand. With that said, it’s certainly not necessary and both of these guys have the ability to implode at any given notice. For me, it’s not worth the risk on a 10-game slate.
Hitter Breakdown: Bailey has been a tough guy to figure out this season. He’s either been really bad or really good. I’d have no problem stacking the Twins in this matchup and would stick with the top of their order with guys like Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Nelson Cruz and mix it up a bit with Jason Castro.
The Royals aren’t anything special offensively right now but Pineda has shown some struggles on the road against righties. Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler would be my top options for the Royals in this spot. I must admit, I’m not looking for much after that.
New York Mets (4.3) @ Chicago Cubs (4.3)
Jacob deGrom (RHP) vs. Cole Hamels (LHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Cubs -117
Pitcher Breakdown: At first I was a bit confused as to why the game total was set at 8.5. Feels a bit high for a game featuring two good pitchers. It likely has to do with winds blowing out at Wrigley Field this afternoon at 11 mph toward left field. I’ve come to learn that you usually don’t want to mess around with conditions like that. Is it a complete fade? Absolutely not, but I think it does scale back my exposure to the pitchers in this game. On a normal basis, I would be loving this spot for deGrom. I do, however, really like this spot for a Mets offense that has hit lefties very well.
Hitter Breakdown: The Mets could end up being a sneaky stack today if the winds end up playing in their favor. On the year against lefties, they have a .351 wOBA with a .204 ISO. With that in mind, I’m going to use a stack against Hamels with the likes of Peter Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith and might even mix it up with some Michael Conforto in hopes they can knock out Hamels early.
The Cubs I’m going to stay away from. Getting hitters against deGrom, who looks to be back on track doesn’t feel like a spot I want to consider. The winds are certainly something to consider but I’ll take my chances with the Mets instead.
Chicago White Sox (5.6) @ Texas Rangers (6)
Ivan Nova (RHP) vs. Adrian Sampson (RHP)
Over/Under: 11.5 Moneyline: Rangers -119
Pitcher Breakdown: No.
Hitter Breakdown: The highest total of the slate certainly deserves some attention when it comes to the bats. To Sampson’s credit, he’s been much better at home but it’s hard to trust that now that the Texas heat is ramping up. Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez are my three favorite options from the White Sox to use and I think they make for a good three-man stack.
Stacking against Nova will be a popular play this afternoon as he pitches in Coors Field South. He’s been slightly better on the road but that doesn’t say much considering his poor numbers overall. Willie Calhoun, Shin-Soo Choo and Danny Santana would be my top three bats to lock in this game and you can truly pick and choose almost anyone to complete a stack. I always love the power potential for Rougned Odor so he would be my fourth.
Best Overall Pitcher: Jacob deGrom, Mike Soroka
Best Value Pitcher: Joey Lucchesi, Zach Plesac
Best Overall Hitters: Christian Yelich, Peter Alonso, Jordan Luplow, Manny Machado, Hunter Renfroe, Rafael Devers, Danny Santana
Best Value Hitters: Derek Dietrich, Roberto Perez, Jason Castro, Franmil Reyes, Tyler Naquin
Home Run Call of the Day: Peter Alonso
Stacks: Brewers, Indians, Padres, Mets, Rangers
Bet of the Day: Mets +108