DraftKings MLB Lineup Advice: Friday (7/14)
The All-star break is finally over, and daily baseball gamers can rejoice with games beginning tonight. Hopefully the break won’t cool us down after a big showing from the last lineup I provided. Tonight’s lineup will go back to the GPP well. The pitching options aren’t overflowing with aces, but there are a few very good pitchers taking the bump tonight. With a number of ho-hum starters getting the ball, the hitting options are vast. My favorite part of tonight’s slate is the lack of super chalky selections. Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and Chris Sale are not pitching tonight, and the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Yankees are on the road. We’re awarded a great deal of freedom for our selections, and I’m less concerned with ownership rates than I typically am when constructing a GPP roster.
Jacob deGrom (NYM) : $11,800 vs. Rockies
The bulk of my GPP entries tonight will feature one of the two five-figure starting pitchers, and due to a more favorable matchup, deGrom is the one I’m leaning on a bit more heavily. The Rockies rank tied for 26th in wRC+ (80) on the road, per FanGraphs, and also sport a 23.7% K% away from Coors Field. They also rank dead last in wRC+ (77) against right-handed pitchers while striking out at a 22.6% clip against them. Even if you believe wRC+ dings the Rockies a bit too much for playing their home games at Coors Field, they rank just tied for 17th in wOBA (.320) against righties. As for deGrom’s worthiness of usage based on the numbers, he’s been rock solid this year with a 3.65 ERA (3.97 FIP, 3.34 xFIP, and 3.60 SIERA as well as a 2.85 DRA, per Baseball Prospectus), 1.22 WHIP, 8.3% BB%, 28.4% K%, and 14.2% SwStr%. He was locked in just prior to the All-star break with a 1.62 ERA (3.92 FIP, 3.38 xFIP, and 3.58 SIERA), 0.79 WHIP, 5.6% BB%, 25.0% K%, and 12.6% SwStr% in his last five starts (39.0 innings) over the last 30 days. deGrom’s ceiling is exceptionally high, and there are plenty of value bats to surround him with to make budgeting for him quite easy. The Mets and deGrom are -145 favorites in a game with an over/under total of just eight runs, according to Pinnacle.
Jason Hammel (KCR) : $5,300 vs. Rangers
Hammel’s first-half totals are bad, but he has pitched respectably of late. Over the last 30 days, he owns a 4.20 ERA (4.35 FIP, 4.87 xFIP, and 4.57 SIERA), 1.53 WHIP, 6.4% BB%, 18.6% K%, and 12.3% SwStr%. The WHIP is inflated, and the ERA is humdrum, but both are hurt by one clunker against the Twins on July 1. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts while pitching at least five innings in each of those seven turns and pitching six or more in five of them. Furthermore, his SwStr% over the last 30 days is substantially better than one would expect a pitcher with a sub-20% K% during that time frame to have. He draws a favorable matchup with the Rangers visiting Kansas City. Texas ranks tied for 24th in wRC+ (83) on the road and has the highest road strikeout rate (27.4%). They’re a middle-of-the-pack offense against righties ranking tied for 13th in wRC+ (98) against them, and they’re 24.0% K% against righties is the fifth highest. Between the matchup and Hammel’s SwStr%, there’s more punch-out upside here than meets the eye when just looking at his K%. Hammel and the Royals are -122 favorites tonight.
- Carlos Carrasco (CLE): $12,100 @ Athletics
- Jake Faria (TB): $8,200 @ Angels
- Jon Gray (COL): $7,900 @ Mets
- Charlie Morton (HOU): $6,900 vs. Twins
Buster Posey (SFG) : $3,800 @ Padres
Posey is a steal at under $4,000. Among qualified hitters since 2015, he ranks 11th in OBP (.400) and 12th in wRC+ (149) against southpaws, and his .196 ISO against lefties is pretty nifty, too. Lefty Clayton Richard hasn’t provided right-handed batters much resistance this year surrendering a .366 OBP, .525 SLG, and .377 wOBA to them.
- Russell Martin (TOR): $3,700 @ Tigers
- Mike Zunino (SEA): $3,200 @ White Sox
- Wilson Ramos (TB): $3,100 @ Angels
Eric Thames (MIL) : $4,600 vs. Phillies
At first blush, Nick Pivetta might look like a starting pitcher to avoid using lefties against. The rookie righty has held left-handed hitters to a .322 OBP, .320 SLG, and .289 wOBA, but he’s walked them at a 12.7% clip and is the beneficiary of an unsustainable 3.2% HR/FB%. Thames has proven to be quite the free-agent bargain signing for the Brewers, and among qualified hitters since 2015, his 2017 qualified work ranks seventh in OBP (.399), third in ISO (.322), and tied for eighth in wRC+ (149) against righties. The Brewers are -160 favorites at their hitter-friendly ballpark with an over/under total of 9.5 runs.
- Freddie Freeman (ATL): $4,900 vs. Diamondbacks
- Ryan Zimmerman (WAS): $4,300 @ Reds
- Justin Smoak (TOR): $3,900 @ Tigers
- Yonder Alonso (OAK): $3,900 vs. Indians
- Matt Carpenter (STL): $3,800 @ Pirates
Robinson Cano (SEA): $4,200 @ White Sox
Cano’s having a fantastic season with a .350 OBP, .237 ISO, and 131 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. Since 2015, the sweet-swinging lefty has been one of the best in the business against righties ranking tied for 15th in wRC+ (138) while also adding a .357 OBP, and .225 ISO. Guaranteed Rate Field will offer him a left-handed batter park factor of 122 for homers, according to the 3-year rolling average used at StatCorner, and James Shields makes for a dreamy matchup with a .402 OBP, .647 SLG, and .430 wOBA ceded to lefties this year.
Manny Machado (BAL): $4,300 vs. Cubs
Machado has struggled this year with just a 90 wRC+ to date, but he has smacked 18 homers with a .215 ISO. He’s also been an above-average hitter against lefties in 2017 with a 108 wRC+. Since 2015, he owns a .353 OBP, .195 ISO, and 121 wRC+ against lefties. He also appeared to be waking up from his funk during a six-game hitting streak entering the break in which he recorded 11 hits in 28 plate appearances including a pair of doubles and a pair of homers. Mike Montgomery has been mediocre against right-handed batters this year allowing a .365 OBP and .322 wOBA. The game in Baltimore is one of two with a double-digit over/under total of 10 runs, and the game is basically a pick ’em.
- Jose Ramirez (CLE): $4,700 @ Athletics
- Travis Shaw (MIL): $4,600 vs. Phillies
- Anthony Rendon (WAS): $4,600 @ Reds
- Miguel Sano (MIN): $4,400 @ Astros
- Josh Donaldson (TOR): $3,900 @ Tigers
Orlando Arcia (MIL) : $2,900 vs. Phillies
If you’re not paying for one of the aces and are instead pairing up some of the solid middle-tier arms like Jake Faria, Jon Gray, and Charlie Morton, feel free to pony up to the elite shortstops like Carlos Correa and Corey Seager. On teams anchored by deGrom or Carrasco, however, shortstop stands out as my favorite punt position. Both Arcia and Tzu-Wei Lin cost under $3,000, and Arcia has been only a bit below average against righties this year with a .326 OBP, .146 ISO, and 93 wRC+. He’s really cruising of late, though, with a .368 OBP, .180 ISO, and 123 wRC+ over the last 30 days. I noted Pivetta has tied up lefties in Thames’ write-up above, but the rookie pitcher has been incredibly giving to righties allowing a .366 OBP, .639 SLG, and .415 wOBA to them.
- Tzu-Wei Lin (BOS): $2,200 vs. Yankees
Bryce Harper (WAS) : $5,600 @ Reds
One of the benefits of spending down at SP2 is being able to afford Harper. He’s back in MVP form, and this year, he has a .452 OBP, .317 ISO, and 177 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. His power will get a lift at Great American Ball Park tonight since it has a left-handed batter park factor of 110 for homers. Also, oddsmakers project the Nats to hang a crooked number on the board tonight with a game over/under total of 10 runs and the Nationals serving as -126 favorites.
J.D. Martinez (DET): $3,900 vs. Blue Jays
A few of the batters on this squad are under priced, but Martinez’s salary might be the most egregious. Since 2015, he owns a .351 OBP, .242 ISO, and 135 wRC+ against righties, and since joining the Tigers in 2014, he’s clowned righties at Comerica Park with a .366 OBP, .239 ISO, and 146 wRC+ against them there. Opposing pitcher Aaron Sanchez broke out last year, but he’s made just a half-dozen starts this year and was hammered in his most recent turn yielding eight runs (five earned) in just 1.2 innings.
Corey Dickerson (TBR) : $3,500 @ Angels
Maybe Martinez’s salary isn’t the most egregious after all. Dickerson has adjusted to life away from Coors Field in his second season with the Rays, and this year, he has a .356 OBP, .251 ISO, and 142 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. How in the world is he priced under $4,000? Oh, he also draws a cupcake to feast on tonight. Nolasco has coughed up a .338 OBP, .477 SLG, .345 wOBA, and 10 homers to the 223 lefties he’s faced.
- Mike Trout (LAA): $4,500 vs. Rays
- Nelson Cruz (SEA): $4,500 @ White Sox
- Cody Bellinger (LAD): $4,300 @ Marlins
- Trey Mancini (BAL): $3,800 vs. Cubs
- Kyle Schwarber (CHC): $3,700 @ Orioles
- Jose Bautista (TOR): $3,500 @ Tigers
- Christian Yelich (MIA): $3,400 vs. Dodgers