Scouting The MLB - August 3

Scouting The MLB - August 3

Sunday's MLB slate will be upon us soon, scan the top DFS plays and stacking options here.

Weather Report

  • Thunderstorms look likely to delay the White Sox and Twins in Chicago, making SP very risky in that game

Stackable Menu

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers hosting RHP Edwin Jackson
  2. New York Yankees visiting RHP Clay Buchholz
  3. St. Louis Cardinals hosting RHP Matt Garza
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates visiting RHP Trevor Cahill
  5. Chicago Cubs visiting RHP Josh Beckett

Longshot stack:Miami Marlins (lefties) hosting RHP Mike Leake


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Pitchers

Two Studs:

Cole Hamels (PHI) @ WAS: $10,600 – Facing RHP Stephen Strasburg

Paying up for Yu Darvish probably makes more sense in GPP formats, but Hamels has been the picture of consistency over the past couple months and shouldn’t have much trouble posting a Quality Start with numerous Ks today. The LHP has been unbelievable during trade deadline season, as he’s averaging 34.1 DK points with a sterling 27:1 K:BB ratio over his last 3 starts. Hamels has been Quality in 11 of 12 starts since June 1, and hasn’t missed a beat away from home as he’s sporting a 1.70 ERA in 10 road starts this season. Jayson Werth tagged him for a 2-run HR on July 12 as he took a no-decision on July 12, but there’s a 31% decrease in HR Factor going from Citizens Bank Park to Nationals Park, and Hamels should be able to hold the Nats in check on the road.

Marcus Stroman (TOR) @ HOU: $8300 – Facing RHP Scott Feldman

The Blue Jays young RHP is solidifying his studly status as he’s surrounded one poor outing in Anaheim with 6 extremely impressive starts. He’s 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA and 8.45 K/9 ratio during those outings, and completely baffled the Red Sox hitters in consecutive starts. Stroman will face an Astros squad that will try to change gears after facing R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball last night. They’ll have a hard time gaining any sort of timing against a right-hander that throws 4 pitches for strikes and averages 93.7 MPH on his fastball. Houston leads the MLB with a 23.5% K-rate, only boosting Stroman’s upside at this mid-tier price tag.



Value Play:

Bartolo Colon (NYM) vs. SF: $7500 – Facing LHP Madison Bumgarner

There are a number of appealing SP options that are priced between 8 and 9K today, but if you need to save a few hundred, Colon deserves a look as a salary relief play. The Mets ancient RHP is cruising right along as he’s averaging 20.1 DK points over his last 4 starts, and is always worth considering at home, where he’s sporting a 2.62 ERA and 8.29 K/BB ratio this season. San Francisco’s hitters have combined to post the worst wOBA (.277) in the National League over the past 30 days, and neither of these offenses were able to get anything going last night. Bumgarner has been boom-or-bust lately, so Colon could actually come away with a Win as an added bonus.

Longshot Pitcher:

Francisco Liriano (PIT) @ ARI: $8400 – Facing RHP Trevor Cahill

Because he can leave a start with forearm tightness, or implode at anytime, Liriano is always a wildcard. However, he’s pitching very well lately and will face a D’Backs lineup that is growing increasingly depleted with Paul Goldschmidt headed to the DL. Walks are usually a problem for the Pirates southpaw, who has struck out 27 but also issued 11 free passes in 4 starts since returning to the rotation. The Diamondbacks happen to have the lowest walk rate (6.3%) in the National League, and that number includes Goldschmidt’s 13.4% walk rate. Liriano’s been solid with a 2.95 ERA and .186 BAA in 8 road starts this season, and has the added advantage of facing most of Arizona’s hitters for the first time, making him a worthwhile candidate in GPP formats.



Batters

Catcher:

Dioner Navarro (TOR) @ HOU: $3800 – Facing RHP Scott Feldman

He isn’t exactly oozing with upside in this matchup, but Navarro’s a solid option for 50/50 and H2H formats considering he’s batting .380 over his last 10 games. Unlike several other MLB catchers, Navarro is almost guaranteed to be in Toronto’s lineup after getting Saturday off, and the Blue Jays should be able to produce against the cheapest SP on the board. Feldman has not been missing many bats lately, as he comes into this start sporting a 1.07 K/BB ratio while allowing opposing batters to post a .379 wOBA over 4 July starts. With a 1.42 WHIP and just a 68% strand rate this season, Feldman is putting men on and allowing them to score. The switch-hitting Navarro should be able to make solid contact of this below-average RHP.

Potential Value:

Brayan Pena ($2900) has hit safely in 8 straight appearances and is worth a look as he’ll likely bat 5th and play 1B against weak RHP Jacob Turner.

Longshot:

Dodgers starter Josh Beckett clearly isn’t right, so most Cubs hitters are in play and their catcher, Wellington Castillo, is a high-upside option at $3700.



First Base:

David Ortiz (BOS) vs. NYY: $5300 – Facing RHP David Phelps

While most grinders are targeting Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, playing Boston’s primary slugger against David Phelps could pay off. After promising to get “hotter than Jamaica in August,” Ortiz has collected 11 H, and 5 HR over his last 12 games. He’s not providing much in the way of average, but his relatively high 12.2% BB rate gives him a decent floor, especially in a matchup with Phelps, who is walking 3.22 batters per 9 innings this season. Ortiz has 5 plate appearances against the Yankees RHP, walking twice and singling twice, so he’s clearly comfortable facing Phelps. Regardless of their records, this rivalry game should bring out the best in both teams, and we all know Big Papi is the best hitter the Red Sox have to offer.

Potential Value:

Victor Martinez ($4400) is extremely steady as a RHB, and will face LHP Jorge De La Rosa, who he’s 4 for 12 against in his career.

Longshot:

Matt Adams ($3800) has some fantastic splits (6 for 8, 1 HR) against Brewers starter Matt Garza, who struggles on the road. The Cardinals offense woke up last night and could stay hot this Sunday.



Second Base:

Arismendy Alcantara (CHC) @ LAD: $4100 – Facing RHP Josh Beckett

Beckett was always a nagging injury from deteriorating into the SP that was routinely rocked as a member of the Red Sox over the past few years, and that’s the case as he’s dealing with a hip flexor issue. The veteran posted a 6.50 ERA and 1.78 WHIP while failing to make it out of the 5th inning in 4 July starts. He’s also struggled against the platoon even when he was pitching well, as LHB are sporting a .351 wOBA against Beckett this season. Alcantara’s job is to get on base as the Cubs are giving him plenty of leash atop their lineup, and he broke out of a mini-slump with a 3-hit performance last night. He’s reportedly going to move into the 2-hole today, which doesn’t effect his value too drastically, and could even result in some extra RBI opportunities.

Potential Value:

Jordany Valdespin’s ($3400) price is going down despite the fact that he’s collected 2 hits in each of the Marlins last 2 games. Deploy him as a salary relief play against mediocre RHP Mike Leake.

Longshot:

Jedd Gyorko ($3300) is also under valued as his price dropped $100 after he produced 8 more DK points last night. Braves starter Aaron Harang allows plenty of base runners and probably can’t shut down the Padres on the road this afternoon.



Third Base:

Evan Longoria (TB) vs. LAA: $4400 – Facing RHP Jered Weaver

Longoria doesn’t exactly bring to mind steady production as he’s batting .257 and averaging a disappointing 7.3 DK PPG this season, but he’s been solid lately and walks into a plus matchup at home. He’s reached base 4 times in 8 at bats this series, posting 30 DK points, and raising his home OBP to .362 in the process. He’s a respectable 5 for 15 in his career against Weaver, who is coming off a horrible performance in Baltimore and tends to struggle on the road this season. If Tampa is the hottest team in the Majors right now, it’s only a matter of time before their best player heats up with some consistency.

Potential Value:

Yangervis Solarte (SD) will be in all my lineups for $3400 for salary relief as Aaron Harang is allowing LHB to sport a .344 wOBA this season.



Shortstop:

Hanley Ramirez (LAD) vs. CHC: $4500 – Facing RHP Edwin Jackson

HanRam is a very streak hitter, and it’s worth playing him for a relative discount during one of those streaks. He should be brimming with confidence after logging 3 H, including a walkoff 3-run HR, during last night’s win, and will continue to shoulder more of an offensive load with Yasiel Puig (hamstring) likely inactive. The Dodgers lineup is a stacking option against Jackson, who has allowed 24 ER over his last 24 IP (5 starts), and served up 5 HR during that span. Ramirez is a modest 3 for 14 (.214) off the Cubs RHP, but he has 2 HRs and 2 SB against Jackson, so he’s got tons of upside in this matchup.

Potential Value:

Danny Santana ($3600) remains a safe play and actually hits for higher average against LHP. The Twins leadoff man is a quality option in 50/50 and H2H formats against Jose Quintana.

Longshot:

Jhonny Peralta ($3500) could end up exceeding the production of the top SS on the board if the Cardinals get to Matt Garza. He’s 13 for 30 (.433) off the RHP as they’ve faced each other plenty of times in the A.L.



Outfielders:

Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) @ BOS: $4800 – Facing RHP Clay Buchholz

It’s not necessary to pay up for your outfielders today, but Ellsbury represents an intriguing option in the upper-tier price range. The former Red Sox standout is batting just .261 (6 for 23) in his returns to Fenway Park this season, but has posted 5 XBH and driven in 6 runs in the process. He’s clearly motivated to face his former team in big spots, and should have plenty of opportunities to bat with men on base as Buchholz takes the mound. An all-out stack against the Sox struggling RHP may be a mistake, but he is worth targeting considering he’s sporting a 7.07 ERA and allowing opposing batters to slug .522% at home this season. Ellsbury’s been watching him pitch for years, giving him an advantage as the Yanks look to take the rubber match of this rivalry series tonight.

Josh Harrison (PIT) @ ARI: $4300 – Facing RHP Trevor Cahill

Harrison has as much upside as anyone in the Majors right now, as he’s averaging 18.9 DK points over his last 7 games. He’s hitting .451 with 4 doubles, a triple, and a whopping 5 HR during that span. The utility player now has a stranglehold on the Pirates leadoff gig, which should be a great place to hit against weak RHP Trevor Cahill tonight. The D’Backs starter is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA and .302 BAA in 3 starts since coming off the DL. He’s been lit up at home all season (7.40 ERA over 30 IP) and faces a Bucs offense that is rolling right now with Harrison setting the table.

Carlos Gomez (MIL) @ STL: $4300 – Facing RHP John Lackey

This is a player you have to consider at this price, as CarGo will always find ways to produce. Despite posting a low average (.230) over his last 10 games, he’s logged 3 XBH and 4 SB to average 9.4 DK PPG during that span. After going 2 for 5 with 2 SB last night, he appears to be breaking out of his slump, and will look to give Lackey a rude welcome to the N.L. Central. Gomez is 2 for 3 with a SB in his career against Lackey, who doesn’t have a great move to first and will not have Yadi Molina behind the plate, giving the Brewers leadoff man the added upside of an easy path to steal 2nd.



Potential Values:

Reds RHP Mike Leake is allowing LHB to post a .377 wOBA this season, so Marlins leadoff man Christian Yelich ($3800) is a solid value play.

Kendrys Morales ($3500) could be part of a longshot Mariners stack against RHP Chris Tillman. The Orioles starter has stayed out of big trouble in his last few starts, but is always capable of unraveling.

Jon Jay ($3300) is averaging a modest 6.75 DK points over his last 4 games, but he has outstanding splits against Matt Garza (8 for 13, 2 doubles, 2 BB, 1 HR) and could be part of a Cardinals stack this afternoon.


I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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