Last night was interesting. There were a handful of big name bats that came through, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, plenty of big name arms weren’t nearly as effective as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. This, my friends, is just one example of the insane variance that comes with daily fantasy baseball. However, there’s no point in sulking and tilting because tonight just offers another massive slate and opportunity to succeed. So get back on that horse, folks.
I advise you do it slowly, however. Horses are rather large.
Details of tonight’s DFS DraftKings Tournament (MLB)
-$100,000 prize pool.
– First place wins $10,000
– Only $3 to enter (FREE with first deposit)
– Top 7,850 finishing positions are paid.
– Starts today at 7:05 PM EST
– Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 10 players: 8 position players and 2 pitchers
– Roster Format: 2 pitchers, 1 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS and 3 OF
–Johnny Cueto was supposed to start on Sunday, but the Reds were being very precautionary. And it makes sense, seeing as he’s arguably their most important player. They wouldn’t roll him out there if they weren’t confident in his health, so having said that, he’s my top option tonight against a Phillies offense that has been putrid against right-handed pitching. Batting .228 against such pitchers this year puts them dead last in the majors, and their 23 home runs rank last as well. I’d be shocked if he got roughed up by a Philadelphia lineup that also ranks last in terms of hard hit rate against RHP. The Phillies may only strike out at an average rate this year, but they still swing at 33 percent of pitches outside of the zone, the 6th-highest rate in baseball. I’m not worried about pitching in Citizens Bank Park, seeing as Cueto pitches at home in Great American Ballpark, a very small venue. Finally, going up against Sean O’Sullivan gives him a tremendous chance at a victory.
-Of course, Max Scherzer is always in play, and while Toronto has some big bats, the majority of them are right-handed. Also, on the road this year, the Blue Jays are fanning about 23 percent of the time, and Scherzer is sporting a 10.67 K/9 on the year. However, he’s not a necessity to me, especially at a whopping $12,000. At least not on a night where starting pitching is so darn deep.
-I’ve never been a big fan of Thor, but when it’s Noah Syndergaard that we’re talking about, I’m all aboard. I’m loving this kid’s progression. He walked four batters during his first start, but has only allowed one free pass since that date. Opponents are batting just .226 against Syndergaard thus far, and the Padres offense is struggling a bit as of late, especially against righties, where they rank inside the bottom-10. Petco has typically been known to limit home runs, and so far this season, San Diego is hitting a ground ball 48.7 percent of the time against RHP this year, good for the fourth-highest rate in the majors. They also rank 28th in wOBA against righties, so it’s safe to say that Syndergaard is in a pretty good spot tonight.
–Joey Votto against a righty is nearly a lock. Joey Votto against a righty named Sean O’Sullivan IS a lock. For his career against RHP, Votto is sporting a .316 average and a .427 OBP, some insane numbers. I love rostering Votto because of his safety. He ranks 7th in terms of percent of pitches swung at outside of the strike zone, and his 28 walks are the 5th-most in the National League. On DraftKings, you are rewarded with two points for every walk, and Votto has five multi-walk games this year. And just look at what left-handed bats are doing against O’Sullivan this year: .364 AVG, 7 HR, .417 OBP, .530 wOBA. Sign me up, folks.
-I’m definitely interested in going back to the Freddie Freeman well tonight. He had a great outing last night, breaking out of his slump with a 3-for-5 effort, belting a two-run homer and singling in another run. Now he gets a struggling arm in Josh Collmenter, who has surrendered eight home runs over his last five starts alone. Freeman also gets the platoon advantage, which bodes well for his prospects, seeing as he is a career .301 hitter against RHP. Getting the ballpark shift in Arizona can only help, too.
-Man, Ian Kennedy just doesn’t look right. He’s allowed a whopping 12 home runs over his first eight starts, including seven over his last four outings. His 27.9 percent HR/FB rate is insanely high, and he just can’t seem to keep the ball on the ground. Enter potent power hitter, Lucas Duda, who is expecting to play after sitting out on Monday while ailing from a stiff knee. Duda has nine home runs on the year, five of which have come off right-handers.
-Are you kidding me, Jason Kipnis? The Indians’ second basemen finished the month of May with a .429 average, 30 runs, 15 doubles, four home runs, 17 RBI, three steals and hit safely in 25-of-29 games. His season batting average went from .218 to .340 after this red hot month. Hot streaks are definitely a thing in baseball, and I’ll continue riding Kipnis’ hot bat into this meeting with Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals. Against left-handed bats this year, Guthrie is surrendering a .359 average, eight home runs and a .469 wOBA. And we all know how strong Kipnis is against right-handed pitching.
-I wanted to play Dustin Pedroia last night, but that game was postponed. So… I’ll do it again tonight. Ever since moving to the top of the Boston lineup, Pedroia has been strong, recording at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games, posting four multi-hit games during that same span. Mike Pelfrey isn’t exactly a great pitcher, and he also has reverse splits, surrendering a .293 average and .342 OBP against right-handed hitters this year.
–Todd Frazier cares not for you lefty/righty splits. He is absolutely mashing anyone this year, batting .284 off of righties and .298 off lefties. However, 11 of his 16 home runs have come off of right-handed pitching, and he is just crushing the ball, sporting the 13th-highest HR/FB ratio in baseball (23.5%). And his 46.6 percent fly ball rate is 9th in the majors. Meanwhile, O’Sullivan is sporting the highest HR/FB ratio of his entire career (22%), and Frazier is probably my lock for a home run this evening. Only Bryce Harper and his majestic dongs has a higher isolated power than Frazier’s .337.
-This might be the start of something good for Troy Tulowitzki, who has now recorded seven hits over his last three games, including five runs, two homers and three RBI. I know Zack Greinke is a good pitcher, but in Colorado, pitchers become a little less good (?). If Tulo is starting to get hot, I want some exposure, because when he’s right, he’s one of the best in the game.
-He’s expensive, but Bryce Harper could very well be worth that price tag today. Like I said earlier, no one in baseball has a higher isolated power than Harper, who finished the month of May with a .360 average, .495 OBP, .884 SLG, 13 HR and 28 RBI. Harper also has a 36 percent HR/FB rate, and opposing pitcher Marco Estrada is certainly prone to letting the ball go out of the yard. Estrada is sporting a career 1.46 HR/9, and he’s an extreme fly ball pitcher, surrendering one about 46 percent of the time for his career. His fastball velocity is also down to almost 88 mph, so look for Bryce to get a hold of one.
-I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Michael Brantley is one of my favorite players to roster in fantasy. Last year, five players–just five– posted 20 home runs and 20 steals. Brantley was one of them, and so far this year, he’s launched four home runs and swiped seven bags, while also batting .302 with a .379 OBP. Again, I love using left-handed bats from Cleveland today against Guthrie, who has allowed nine homers in nine starts. For his career, Brantley is batting .297 with 72 steals, 41 home runs and a .343 wOBA against RHP.
Cubs right-handed bats vs Brad Hand
Indians left-handed bats vs Jeremy Guthrie
Reds vs Sean O’Sullivan