Make sure you keep a close eye on our MLB weather and line movement tools. If you have any questions, you can always hit me up @chrismeaney. In today’s MLB DFS breakdown, we go looking for value with Joey Votto, Khris Davis, Matt Olson and Hanser Alberto.
Atlanta Braves (5.1) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (4.5)
Kevin Gausman (RHP) @ Joe Musgrove (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: PIT +110
Pitcher Breakdown: Kevin Gausman only last an inning in his previous start as he coughed up eight runs on eight hits against the Nationals. Surley, things will go much better for Gausman in this outing as he had allowed three or fewer runs in his previous three starts. With that said, can you really trust him? There’s some value with him and the Braves will provide enough offense for a win, but he’s a second pitcher target only on DK.
You can make a case for Guasman, but it’s hard to back Joe Musgrove who has a lower strikeout rate and he comes into this start having allowed at least five runs in four of his past six outings. Musgrove has given up 21 hits and 11 runs in his past two starts (11 innings).
Batter Breakdown: Finally, Austin Riley is into the $4K range on FanDuel. He’s been a value play since his promotion and he’s only hitting .324 with nine homers and 25 RBI in 18 games. Eventually, he’ll be a fade but there’s no reason to do that now. Left-handed hitters are slashing .315/.351/.551 with a .377 wOBA vs Musgrove. Lefties have a 26 LD% against him compared to 17% from right-handed bats. Freddie Freeman will likely be a problem for Musgrove and so could Nick Markakis. Josh Donaldson sticks inside the value section and he went yard yesterday. Dansby Swanson has a great FD price too.
*With all of that said, keep a close eye on the weather. You may need to stay clear in cash. I’ll almost always have exposure in tournaments because the risk will keep the ownership low.
New York Yankees (5) @ Toronto Blue Jays (3.6)
James Paxton (LHP) @ Trent Thornton (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: TOR +175
Pitcher Breakdown: James Paxton is one of the stronger plays and you don’t have to worry about the weather in Toronto. He tossed four scoreless innings in his return last week as he struck out seven without allowing a hit. He should be able to go much deeper in this start. Paxton has pitched four scoreless outings in his past five trips to the hill. The Blue Jays have the sixth-highest strikeout rate and they rank 27th in wOBA and wRC+ vs LHP.
Trent Thornton‘s 30 percent line drive rate is tied atop the league with Tanner Roak. Eight of the 10 home runs he’s allowed this season have come at home and he enters with a 6.23 ERA at the Rogers Centre, compared to a 3.21 mark south of the border. Thornton also checks in with a 38 percent hard-hit rate and 38 percent fly ball percentage. He’s walked 12 batters in his past four outings.
Batter Breakdown: Gleyber Torres is a steak on FD, but don’t ignore the big boys: Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit and Clint Frzier. Maybe even lefty Brett Gardner as a punt play.
Tampa Bay Rays (5.3) @ Detroit Tigers (3.8)
Charlie Morton (RHP) @ Spencer Turnbull (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: DET +174
Pitcher Breakdown: Charlie Morton has been down right filthy this season as he enters with an 11.09 K/9 and 2.54 ERA. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in 10 if his 12 starts (3R @ NYY & 5R vs BOS). There’s only one problem, and that’s his price tag. He’s pretty expensive and the Tigers got to Blake Snell yesterday. I don’t think you should completely ignore Morton in tournaments, though, as DET enters with the second-highest strikeout rate. Due to the price and results from yesterday, most will gravitate to James Paxton and Chris Sale. This could be an opportunity to get Morton as a low owned pitcher. I personally like Paxton and Sale more, but it’s strategy to take in a GPP lineup or two. How many times have we seen the obvious stud pitcher get lit up this season? The answer is often.
Batter Breakdown: There are not a ton of flaws in Spencer Turnbull‘s game, besides his walk rate. Lefty bats have had more success against him than righty bats, but Austin Meadows is just too expensive to roster on DK. There’s some value in the middle of the lineup on FD with Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz and Avisail Garcia. It’s not a stack I like all that much, though.
Minnesota Twins (5.1) @ Cleveland Indians (4.5)
Martin Perez (LHP) @ Tyler Clippard (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: CLE -132
Pitcher Breakdown: Martin Perez has been hit around lately, but it’s the walks that’s most troubling. He enters with a 4.15 BB/9 and he’s issued 10 free passes in his last three starts. He’s a bit more appealing now that his Twins are favored to win.
Carlos Carrasco has been scratched so the Indians will roll out Tyler Clippard to start tonight’s game. Minnesota has jumped from 4.1 to 5 on the run total.
Batter Breakdown: There’s no discount on MIN bats when you look at the DK prices, but it’s easier to do on FD. A MIN stack will be much more popular now that Carrasco is not pitching. Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron, Marwin Gonzalez and Miguel Sano are all easy on the wallet.
Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez have been values for weeks now. Ramirez will stick, despite his struggles. Lindor has seen his price jump on DK, but he’s still very much affordable on FD. The Indians’ SS has three three-hit games in the past week and he went deep twice last night. He’s hitting .339 with a .391 wOBA vs RHP.
San Francisco Giants (3.9) @ New York Mets (4.7)
Tyler Beede (RHP) @ Jason Vargas (LHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: NYM -142
Pitcher Breakdown: Tyler Beede has strikeout potential, but his command has been awful. He’s allowed 19 hits, 11 runs and 11 walks in 12.2 innings.
Jason Vargas has allowed three or fewer runs in six straight starts, and just one run in five of those outings. He still has a ton of red flags, though, which includes an 83 percent contact rate, 44 percent hard-hit rate and 41 percent fly ball rate. He’s also walked at least three batters in five of his past seven starts and he only has 29 punch-outs in 36.1 innings.
Batter Breakdown: Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto are strong FanDuel plays as lefty bats have a .436 wOBA against Beede. There’s also some value with Wilson Ramos and Todd Frazier.
Miami Marlins (3.5) @ Milwaukee Brewers (5.6)
Sandy Alcantara (RHP) @ Jimmy Nelson (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: MIL -250
Pitcher Breakdown: Sandy Alcantara doesn’t have a high contact rate, hard-hit rate or high fly ball rate, but he has very little control. The Marlins’ pitcher has a 41:31 K:BB ratio over 64 innings. It’s all that really needs to be said. He doesn’t strikeout anybody out because he walks them all.
Overall, I like Jimmy Nelson, but this will be his first start in the majors since 2017. He’s was brilliant that season as he churned out a 3.49 ERA with a 10.21 K/9 over 175.1 innings. He also rocked a 50 percent ground ball rate which is what you want to see from a MIL pitcher. With all that said, it’s very likely he’ll be on a pitch count tonight and the control hasn’t been there over his 24 Triple-A innings this season.
Batter Breakdown: How about those Marlins? Every one of their hitters picked up an RBI in the fifth inning yesterday which is wild to think about. Garrett Cooper, Harold Ramirez and Jorge Alfaro are all top 50 players over the last two weeks. Cooper is ranked fourth thanks to five homers and a .380 average. Ramirez is hitting .407 and Alfaro checks in with a .395 average over that span. The Marlins are not going to score 16 every night, but they have 34 runs in their last three games and at least nine runs in four of their past seven games. Miami only scored 105 runs in their first 41 games of the season, but they’ve piled up 100 in their last 17 contests. You don’t have to stack, but you can at least take advantage of the cheap prices.
Christian Yelich is $6.0K on DK and you can thank Alcantara for that. Travis Shaw picked up two hits yesterday and he’s still just as cheap on both sites. You can easily get a MIL stack in on FD, with Mike Moustakas, Yasmani Grandal and Eric Thames. All those walks could lead into a crooked number in any inning.
Colorado Rockies (3.7) @ Chicago Cubs (3.9)
German Marquez (RHP) @ Yu Darvish (RHP)
Over/Under: 7 Moneyline: CHC -120
Pitcher Breakdown: German Marquez has a 2.08 ERA on the road compared to a 4.93 ERA at home. That was also the case last season: 2.95 ERA on the road and 4.74 ERA at home. Hitters managed a .203 average against him away from Coors Field last season and this season they are hitting .167 against him. He’s an interesting tournament arm.
Yu Darvish has somewhat turned the corner as he’s allowed three or fewer runs in five of his past seven starts, but he’s still walking an absurd amount of batters (41 in 61 innings). He also has a 6.32 ERA at home compared to a 3.64 mark on the road. I can’t get behind him.
Batter Breakdown: If you’re playing on FD, Daniel Murphy and David Dahl are two lefty bats you can easily afford as Darvish has allowed a .272 average and .370 wOBA to lefties. Lefties also have a 35 percent hard-hit rate against him and Murphy has been much better lately.
I won’t have much CHC exposure, but Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez continue to check in as values on both sites. They worked out for us yesterday as both hit bombs and Carlos Gonzalez started his revenge week with a couple hits and he’s still very cheap.
Baltimore Orioles (3.9) @ Texas Rangers (5.2)
John Means (LHP) @ Mike Minor (LHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: TEX -168
Pitcher Breakdown: John Means has allowed fewer than three runs in six of his nine starts and he comes in with a 2.80 ERA. His 44 percent fly ball rate is starting to lead to home runs, though, as he’s given up five in his past six outings. Mike Minor enters with a 2.74 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 75.2 innings. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in seven straight starts and 10 of his 12.
Batter Breakdown: I wouldn’t expect 21 runs in this game as both teams are throwing out their best pitcher, but there should still be some scoring. I tend to shy away from all the lefty bats in TEX when they face a southpaw. Elvis Andrus, Hanser Alberto and Renato Nunez are on my radar. Alberto has returned profit more times than not this season and he picked up four more hits yesterday to push his league-high average against lefties to .412. Nunez has seven homers and a .292 average vs LHP.
Boston Red Sox (5.3) @ Kansas City Royals (3.3)
Chris Sale (LHP) @ Jake Junis (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: KC +213
Pitcher Breakdown: Chris Sale has been pretty inconsistent, but he’s still racking up strikeouts. Sale has 98 punch-outs in 68.1 innings and he’s struck out at least 10 in six of his past eight starts. The Royals have a top 10 strikeout rate vs LHP and the bottom of their lineup is bad.
Sale vs Jake Junis is a huge mismatch, so a win is also very likely for the Red Sox’s pitcher. Junis has a 42 percent hard-hit rate and he ranks 18th in hits allowed with 72 over his 67.1 innings. Junis surrendered 32 homers in 30 starts last season and he’s given up 12 in 12 starts this year.
Batter Breakdown: Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are strong cash plays, but the value lies with Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis on FD. Surprisingly, J.D. is much cheaper on DK than a few of his teammates.
Cincinnati Reds (4.4) @ St. Louis Cardinals (5.3)
Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) @ Dakota Hudson (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: STL -147
Pitcher Breakdown: Anthony DeSclafani carries a 41 percent hard-hit rate and 44 percent fly ball rate into St. Louis. It’s a better environment than Cincinnati, but he’s still allowed 14 homers this season. He comes into this start having allowed nine homers over a five-game streak. He’s also surrendered 55 hits and 30 runs in 54.1 innings.
Dakota Hudson has allowed three or fewer runs in 10 of his 11 starts this season, but he doesn’t have a high ceiling. Hudson only has 42 strikeouts in 59.1 innings, and he comes into this start having walked 27 batters. He has a 61 percent ground ball rate, but he’s coughed up nine homers and enters with a 39 percent hard-hit rate.
Batter Breakdown: Left-handed bats are slashing .350/.436/.617 with a .435 wOBA against Hudson. Eight of the nine homers he’s given up have come to LHB. A Reds stack is very doable on both sites. Look at some of the lefty bats like Joey Votto, Derek Dietrich and Jesse Winker. Votto has six multi-hit games in his past eight contests and he’s reached base safely in 20 straight games, with hits in nine of 10. Yasiel Puig is a great GPP play as well.
Left-handed hitters are slashing .321/.392/.670 with a .431 wOBA against DeSclafani. Nine of the 14 homers he’s allowed have come to LHB. Matt Carpenter hit a home run yesterday and is in a good spot to make it two in a row. The Cardinals 5.2 team implied total is one of the highest, so we could see a few home runs: Paul DeJong has been quiet, but his price has dropped and Paul Goldschmidt should have no issues making contact against AD.
Oakland Athletics (4.3) @ Los Angeles Angels (4.8)
Daniel Mengden (RHP) @ Cam Bedrosian (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: LAA -104
Pitcher Breakdown: Daniel Mengden has walked 14 batters in 20.2 innings this season and he has an 82 percent contact rate. His FB% is sitting at 42 and his hard-hit rate is at 47 percent.
Felix Pena will take over this game for the Angels and he’s been solid in this role, but he has some red flags to his game, which includes a 40 percent hard-hit rate and 37 FB%. Pena allowed 12 homers in 92.2 innings last season and he’s given up eight in 50 innings this year.
Batter Breakdown: Matt Olson and Khris Davis are way too cheap to pass up as both are on HR watch tonight. You can get both in on FD for $6.6K, which seems odd to me.
I’d take a look at some lefty bats in this matchup: Shohei Ohtani and Kole Calhoun stand out. Mike Trout is very much in play against high contact arm Mengden.
Houston Astros (5.1) @ Seattle Mariners (4)
Brad Peacock (RHP) @ Mike Leake (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: SEA +145
Pitcher Breakdown: I can only assume Brad Peacock has been doing the peacock dance before and after every start because he’s only allowed three runs in his last six outings. He checks in with a solid 61:18 K:BB ratio and 3.17 ERA over 59.2 innings. Right-handed hitters have a .171 average against him, so you’ll likely see a heavy lefty lineup in Seattle. Even still, Peacock is a great option, especially on the late slate.
Mike Leake is a big reason why the Mariners lead the league in hits allowed as he enters with an 84 percent contact rate (fourth-highest). Leake has coughed up the fifth-most hits (82) and the second-most home runs (18).
Batter Breakdown: Derek Fisher has hit in the leadoff spot in his last six games and he has six hits, six runs and four RBI over that span. Don’t be afraid to open up the wallet for Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley, while looking at cheaper hitters with home run potential like Robinson Chirinos and Yulieski Gurriel.
In Case You Missed It:
Best Overall Pitcher: Chris Sale
Best Value Pitchers: Chris Sale (DK), Martin Perez (DK) & Kevin Gausman
Pitchers I’m feeling: Chris Sale, James Paxton, Charlie Morton, German Marquez & Brad Peacock
Contrarian GPP options: German Marquez
Pitchers to fade: Mike Minor & Jimmy Nelson
Best Overall Hitters: Freddie Freeman, Gary Sanchez, Austin Meadows, Jorge Polanco, Francisco Lindor, Christian Yelich, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Mike Trout, Alex Bregman & Michael Brantley
Best value Hitters (DK): Ji-Man Choi, Jose Ramirez, Robinson Cano, Garrett Cooper, Harold Ramirez, Travis Shaw, Kyle Schwarber, Hanser Alberto, Joey Votto, Yasiel Puig, Matt Olson, Khris Davis, Shohei Ohtani & Yulieski Gurriel
Best value Hitters (FD): Dansby Swanson, Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, Gregory Polanco, Gleyber Torres, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Ji-Man Choi, Nelson Cruz, Miguel Sano, Marwin Gonzalez, Max Kepler, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Jeff McNeil, Todd Frazier, Garrett Cooper, Harold Ramirez, Eric Thames, Travis Shaw, Daniel Murphy, David Dahl, Javier Beaz, Hanser Alberto, Renato Nunez, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis, Joey Votto, Derek Dietrich, Yasiel Puig, Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Matt Olson, Khris Davis, Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout & Derek Fisher
Home Run Call of the Day: J.D. Martinez
Others HR calls to consider: Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Eddie Rosario, Peter Alonso, Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Renato Nunez, Elvis Andrus, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Derek Dietrich, Matt Carpenter, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Mike Trout & Alex Bregman
Stack ranks: BOS, MIN, ATL, MIL, STL & NYY
Underrated stack: CIN, OAK & LAA
Bet of the Day: BOS (-1.5) -145
Others to consider: ATL -136, NYY (-1.5) -135, MIN +108, HOU -167, OAK/LAA 09, STL/CIN 0 8.5
Chris Meaney is a DFS contributor for The Quant Edge, covering fantasy sports. Chris covered NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB as the producer, writer and host at FNTSY Sports Network. He was lead host of the daily live shows, “Fantasy Sports Today” and “Home Ice Advantage.” Chris has written for The Athletic, the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, Fantasy Footballers, NBA Fantasy, Play Picks, Fantrax and more. @chrismeaney.