MLB DFS Breakdown – Cubs in prime spot against Ivan Nova – The Quant Edge

MLB DFS Breakdown – Cubs in prime spot against Ivan Nova – The Quant Edge

We’re just about at the All-Star Break and conclude with an 11-game slate starting at 1:07 p.m. ET. We have a number of things to consider on this slate including the Cubs in a fantastic spot against Ivan Nova at home (**Spoiler Alert** He’s downright awful here). Let’s dive into all the information for this slate and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Baltimore Orioles (4.8) @ Toronto Blue Jays (6.4)

Asher Wojciechowski (RHP) vs. Trent Thornton (RHP)

Over/Under: 11   Moneyline: Blue Jays -175

Pitcher Breakdown:  I wouldn’t recommend using either starting pitcher when the game total is 11 runs. We’ve seen some flashes of good pitching from Thornton earlier this season but a .396 wOBA and a 4.52 xFIP at home have me staying away.

Hitter Breakdown: Thornton has been hit the hardest by left-handed bats, posting an overall .361 wOBA, a 4.42 xFIP and nine of his 14 home runs allowed. That would bring my attention to guys like Jonathan Villar and Stevie Wilkerson. Villar is the one guy in the group hitting well recently but they’re all in a plus matchup.

This isn’t exactly the Woj bomb people know and love but he’s someone to consider targeting against. He’s always struggled with the home run ball and allowed 19 through 15 starts this season in the minors. Looking at their power numbers at home, Lourdes Gurriel Jr and Rowdy Tellez post the best ISO at Rogers Centre.

New York Yankees (3.6) @ Tampa Bay Rays (4)

James Paxton (LHP) vs. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Over/Under: 8.5   Moneyline: Rays -115

Pitcher Breakdown:  Paxton has been a hard guy to trust, especially on the road. He enters this game with a .380 wOBA, a 4.45 xFIP and six of his 10 home runs allowed. This is a good hitting club against lefties so I think staying away from Paxton would be ideal.

This will be the second time Morton faces the Yankees, as he allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits through four innings. His start was saved somewhat with six strikeouts but hardly enough to be worth his salary. He’s one of the more expensive options and that will likely drive down his ownership. With that said, he’s posting a solid .255 wOBA and a 3.05 xFIP at Tropicana Field. The downside is that the Yankees are a tough team to strikeout with a K% of 21 against righties, which ranks 22nd in the league.

Hitter Breakdown: Avisail Garcia would be my favorite hitter on the Rays to target. He usually moves to the cleanup spot when facing a lefty and he’s a solid cheap option in this matchup. Yandy Diaz would be another bat to consider with his .393 wOBA and .238 ISO against lefties.

I think DJ LeMahieu is a really interesting play against Morton. He’s one of the toughest bats to strikeout with just a 14.1 K% against righties. Overall, he sports a .378 wOBA with a .186 ISO in these matchups. I doubt his ownership will be high like the rest of his Yankees’ teammates. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are always options with their power as well.

Cleveland Indians (4.7) @ Cincinnati Reds (4.4)

Trevor Bauer (RHP) vs. Tyler Mahle (RHP)

Over/Under: 9   Moneyline: Indians -120

Pitcher Breakdown:   This has been a wild season for Bauer. He’s either going to go out and give you a massive score or be done by the fourth or fifth inning. The Reds have been a tough offense at home and sport a .333 wOBA with a .201 ISO. They do provide some good strikeout upside with a 24 K% against righties, the 10th highest in the league. I think Bauer is a good tournament option today.

As for Mahle, I can never get this guy right. He’s been much better at home than he has on the road and at Great American Ball Park sports a .272 wOBA with a 4.24 xFIP and five of his 17 home runs. The biggest knock against Mahle has been his numbers against lefties. While his .278 wOBA against them at home looks good, his xFIP currently sits at 5.58. Like Bauer, I think he’s a GPP option.

Hitter Breakdown:  If you’re going to target any of the Indians bats, I would once again go with the lefties. Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor would be the top options to consider in this game. Kipnis numbers overall aren’t all that impressive but he’s been hitting much better as of late. As for Santana and Lindor, they top the team in ISO against righties.

Lefties have low-key been giving Bauer some issues on the road. This is a matchup where he’s allowed a 5.10 xFIP on the year. With that in mind, Joey Votto and Jesse Winker are the only lefties in the lineup for the Reds today. While Votto isn’t hitting for much power, Winker does sport a .248 ISO against righties.

Boston Red Sox (6.8) @ Detroit Tigers (3.9)

David Price (LHP) vs. Gregory Soto (LHP)

Over/Under: 10   Moneyline: Red Sox -259

Pitcher Breakdown:  Price has to be considered one of if not the top option today at pitcher. He draws a very soft matchup against the Tigers who have just a .308 wOBA, a .148 ISO and a 23.5 K% against lefties on the year. The Red Sox are also MASSIVE favorites today, putting Price in a great position to grab the win. After a couple of tough starts in the middle of June, Price has bounced back nicely against the White Sox and Blue Jays.

Soto is an opener and can’t even do that right. Hell no.

Hitter Breakdown: The Tigers are running out a bullpen day as they wave the white flag before the All-Star break. I wouldn’t worry about looking at splits for the Red Sox against lefties as Soto threw 20 pitches on Friday. He’ll likely be one inning and done. The safer play is looking at their splits against righties. Quite honestly, it’s the usual suspects to consider with Rafael Devers, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi. 

I think Nick Castellanos is the only Tigers bat to consider. He’s sporting some good splits against lefties with a .413 wOBA and a .245 ISO in those matchups. Aside from that, they can easily be left on the board.

Philadelphia Phillies (4.2) @ New York Mets (3.9)

Aaron Nola (RHP) vs. Zack Wheeler (RHP)

Over/Under: 8.5   Moneyline: Phillies -104

Pitcher Breakdown:  From a pitching perspective, both sides have done well against each other. Nola has 11 innings against the Mets allowing five runs on eight hits and 16 strikeouts. Wheeler has dominated the Phillies with four runs on 12 hits and 23 strikeouts through 20 innings. I think either pitcher in this spot would be a spot to target although I would prefer Wheeler of the two. Nola has seen some struggles on the road and his issues against lefties is a concern. Aside from that, both pitchers would be a roster worthy.

Hitter Breakdown: The only guys I’ll be looking toward are those Mets lefties again. They came through for us last night and I’m thinking they have a chance again today. I won’t be as heavy on them as I was last night but I’ll once again be looking at Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano.

The Phillies I’m not overly interested in against Wheeler. My only recommendation would be if you think he’ll get hit, it could be worth making a stack in tournaments for when they get into this putrid bullpen.

Miami Marlins (4) @ Atlanta Braves (5.6)

Trevor Richards (RHP) vs. Dallas Keuchel (LHP)

Over/Under: 9.5   Moneyline: Braves -195

Pitcher Breakdown: I must admit, I’m not up-to-date on the Marlins latest happenings but a run total of four seems a bit healthy for them? Usually, I see them in the low 3-3.5 range. There’s also been no movement on their total which is interesting to me. It’s not enough for me to get off Keuchel, who is still fairly cheap across the board. The sample size is still quite small but righties have given him some trouble with a .400 wOBA and a 5.27 xFIP. I think he’ll be fine in this matchup but just a couple of things to consider.

Richards has been much better on the road than at home, which is quite odd considering he’s at Marlins Park for half his starts. He sports a .309 wOBA with a 4.19 xFIP through 31 1/3 innings away from Marlins Park. I’m not huge on using him today but you could do a lot worse at his price point.

Hitter Breakdown: This is not a game I’m going crazy for bats. I totally get that the Braves have a high total so some exposure is warranted. I would shift my attention to the lefties like Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, and Ozzie Albies. All three of these guys are crushing the ball right now and would give a unique three-man stack.

For the Marlins, not a ton to love but if Garrett Cooper is back in the lineup I think he would be a worthy play. He sports a .194 ISO against lefties on the road. Cesar Puello would also be a name that will carry almost zero ownership but has hit lefties well between the Angels and Marlins.

Milwaukee Brewers (4.4) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (4.7)

Chase Anderson (RHP) vs. Joe Musgrove (RHP)

Over/Under: 9.5   Moneyline: Brewers -104

Pitcher Breakdown:  I think Anderson is a good pitcher to pick on today. His numbers on the road have been brutal and he’ll enter this start with a .356 wOBA and a 6.00 xFIP with four of his 10 home runs allowed. I have zero interest in him today.

Musgrove had a really solid month of June but now faces a team that hit him hard once already. The Brewers tagged him for five runs on 11 hits through six innings not too long ago. Musgrove has also struggled with the long ball here at PNC Park, giving up seven of the eight total on the year. I think his good pitching as of late will bring people to him, which for me, is a good time to fade him.

Hitter Breakdown:  Lefties have given him the most trouble, which is a perfect scenario for the Brewers today. Mike Moustakas is one of my favorite plays today and brings a .332 wOBA and a .250 ISO against righties on the road with him. After him, Christian Yelich, Yasmani Grandal and Eric Thames will all be appealing options. Stacking these guys feel like a play I want in on.

The Pirates are also a very good option today against Anderson. As I mentioned, he’s struggled on the road and has been hit hard by both sides of the plate. Personally, I’m fine with a 1-5 stack here (or four if you’re on FD). If you want to mix it up a bit, Corey Dickerson or Kevin Newman near the bottom of the order would be a way to get some lower ownership in your stack.

Kansas City Royals (3.5) @ Washington Nationals (5.6)

Jakob Junis (RHP) vs. Patrick Corbin (LHP)

Over/Under: 10  Moneyline: Nationals -239

Pitcher Breakdown:  Our trust Line Movement Tool shows that this game has dropped a run since opening. For the Royals, that brings their total down to 3.4 runs, making Corbin a very attractive option. On the season, the Royals have a 22.5 K% against lefties, which ranks 13th in the league. Pair that with a .296 wOBA and a .144 ISO and they don’t feel like much of a threat. Oh, did I mention this is in a National League Park? Pour one out for the DH.

Junis? Nah.

Hitter Breakdown:  Lefties have wrecked Junis on the road, which matches up really nicely for Juan Soto. At home against righties, Soto has a .410 wOBA with a .216 ISO and five of his 15 home runs on the season. I think Adam Eaton also makes for a sneaky value play despite batting second. Overall, I have zero issues with a Nationals stack here as well. Righties have had their fair share of knocks against Junis as well.

Royals? Maybe Whit Merrifield if I’m feeling froggy. Other than that, nah.

Chicago Cubs (6.1) @ Chicago White Sox (4.5)

Kyle Hendricks (RHP) vs. Ivan Nova (RHP)

Over/Under: 10.5  Moneyline: Cubs -149

Pitcher Breakdown:  The Cubs are generating a lot of love since the lines opened, jumping all the way up to a -189 ML. Personally, I’m not crazy about Hendricks despite pitching so well this season. It might be more of a personal vendetta type situation here but I have a hard time paying up for a pitcher that strikes out less than a batter an inning (7.7 K/9). What gives me pause is that the White Sox have the second highest K% in the league at 26% against righties. Sigh. I’m going to pay up today, aren’t I…..

Nova lol.

Hitter Breakdown:  Nova at home is downright awful. What we have in this game is our top stack with the Cubs against a pitcher with a .411 wOBA, a 5.46 xFIP and 10 of his 19 home runs allowed. Lefties have tagged him the most so I’d give preference to Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward. After that, feel free to mix and match! Truly, I don’t think I’d say no to anyone in the starting lineup for the Cubs. Nova is the WOAT.

I don’t have a ton of love for the White Sox but Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu would be two bats I’d consider.

Texas Rangers (4.4) @ Minnesota Twins (6.2)

Jose Leclerc (RHP) vs. Kyle Gibson (RHP)

Over/Under: 10  Moneyline: Twins -195

Pitcher Breakdown:  Both pitchers are OPENING (yes, Gibson is as well) this game. So no.

Hitter Breakdown:  Battle of the bullpens today. Twins boast a massive team total against a Rangers bullpen that ranks amongst the worst in the league. It looks as if they’ll be deploying a lefty after LeClerc, so that is an enticing matchup for the Twins. With that in mind, Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano are really good plays to consider.

The Rangers are also looking as if they’ll face a lefty once Gibson is out of this game. They haven’t been a good hitting club against lefties so I won’t be looking here.

Los Angeles Angels (4.7) @ Houston Astros (6)

Jose Suarez (RHP) vs. Jose Urquidy (LHP)

Over/Under: 10.5  Moneyline: Astros -165

Pitcher Breakdown:  Can’t envision either starter going more than four innings in this game, making them unappealing form a fantasy perspective. Let’s be honest, were you REALLY considering these guys to begin with on an 11-game slate? C’mon now!

Hitter Breakdown:  Clearly a huge run total for the Astros so you can’t ignore them here. Yordan Alvarez would be how I’m starting any Astros stack because all he does is put up fantasy points. After him, I’m looking toward Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and Jose Altuve. 

Best Overall Pitcher: David Price, Patrick Corbin

Best Value Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel

Best Overall Hitters:  Anthony Rizzo, Juan Soto, Mitch Garver, Yordan Alverez Francisco Lindor, Mike Moustakas,  DJ LeMahieu, Rafael Devers, Michael Conforto, Yuli Gurriel,

Best Value Hitters: Jason Kipnis, Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, Garrett Cooper, Kyle Schwarber, Adam Eaton

Home Run Call of the Day: Anthony Rizzo

Stacks: Cubs, Pirates, Twins, Brewers, Astros

Bet of the Day: Indians -120