MLB DFS Payoff Pitch Week 17
Welcome back to the Payoff Pitch for week 17! As always, I’m looking at the week in review, to help target the week ahead. With the trade deadline occurring this past week, there are plenty of story lines to discuss. Oddly enough though, there were plenty of injuries that happened in the past week that are worthy of discussing.
**All prices come from Monday’s MLB action.
**All stats come from end of Saturday’s action.
The Red Sox lost Mookie Betts to injury causing a significant change in the Boston order. We’re now seeing their center fielder hit ninth (Jackie Bradley Jr.) and Brock Holt hit leadoff. We’re also seeing Xander Bogaerts move from hitting third in the order to second. Holt definitely sees an increase in stock as he moves into an everyday option from the leadoff position. We also see Bogaerts move up one spot, which doesn’t change a whole lot, but does give him more at bats over a longer period of time compared to when he was hitting third.
Like the Betts injury, the Matt Holliday injury has mixed up a lot of things in the Cardinals order. Stephen Piscotty has taken his place in left field, and Kolten Wong has taken his place in the lineup. Piscotty has hit eighth and second in the four games since the injury, so obviously you want to target him in games where he’s hitting second (against LHP in 2 of the 3 starts). Wong moves from leadoff to third, which is a great spot considering Carpenter and Grichuk/Piscotty are two solid hitters in front of him. Piscotty has limited numbers in his career, but he has posted a .399 wOBA against LHP, while posting a .375 wOBA against RHP. Power isn’t his game (.094 ISO in 2015), so expect those numbers to go down along with his .375 batting average.
Justin Turner‘s injury hasn’t had the same impact as the first two mentioned in this article, but we can still gain some value as a result of it. Turner’s injury has paved the way for Alex Guerrero to gain meaningful at bats. There was a time this season where he was crushing everything thrown at him, but he has cooled off as a whole. His .320 career wOBA against RHP is where I would target him, not only because it’s better than his wOBA against LHP (.261), but because his ISO against RHP is quite impressive (.250). In this upcoming series at the Phillies to start the week, Turner is a solid GPP play, considering the weak starting pitching they’ll be throwing at him and the great hitter’s park he’ll be in.
One major surprise this past week was Troy Tulowitzki being traded to the Blue Jays at the trade deadline. He doesn’t look like your typical leadoff hitter, but that’s where he’s been since the trade. He has taken over Jose Reyes‘ spot in the order and has made the Blue Jays an elite team to target when facing left-handed pitching. Their team wOBA against LHP is .364 this season – which is already elite – and the addition of Tulowitzki makes them even better. His career wOBA against LHP is .410 and against LHP on the road (taking away the Coors factor) he still sports a .373. These are elite numbers to go along with a team that has been great against LHP in 2015. The Blue Jays don’t face a lefty this week, but keep an eye on this lineup throughout the remainder of the season.
Since the Yoenis Cespedes ($4,600 DK, $3,700 FD) trade, the Mets have used him strictly in the three-hole, while moving Ruben Tejada to the bottom of the order. Tejada has been a pure punt play due to cheap cost and great lineup position (second), but not any longer. Cespedes has bumped Daniel Murphy to the second position. Cespedes finds himself in another spacious park, but doesn’t have the kind of protection around him as he used to. The Mets offense is nothing like the Tigers, so expect less runs scored in his games, therefore hurting his potential. Cespedes has struggled against left-handed pitching this season (.248 wOBA), so make sure you target him against right-handers.
When Carlos Gomez was traded to the Astros, we all saw a talented hitter added to an already powerful lineup. He’s hitting second in this Astros lineup now, so Preston Tucker ($3,600 DK, $3,100 FD) has moved to fourth in the lineup. Both spots are appealing for fantasy owners, and with the power in this lineup, Tucker will see even more RBI opportunities in the four-hole. Tucker has limited at bats in his career, but has been a beast when he’s had his opportunities. He has a .396 wOBA against right-handers this season (also his career), so that’s obviously when I want to target him. He will face right-handers all week, with only Sonny Gray as an arm where I may choose to fade him.
Melky Cabrera ($4,200 DK, $4,500 FD) is red-hot right now, helping my season-long fantasy team to a few recent wins. He’s hitting .483 in his last seven games, with one home run, and eight RBI. Cabrera is a switch-hitter, so he typically has the platoon advantage, and his numbers show it. He hasn’t been a star at the plate against either left or right handed pitchers, but his .331 wOBA against RHP and .323 wOBA against LHP in his career are solid and consistent numbers.
Two Dodgers pitchers are on another level right now, and not surprisingly, they’re Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Kershaw has a 0.00 ERA in his last three starts, with an unreal start against the Angels this past week (8 innings, 2 hits, 0 earned runs). His strikeout to walk ratio in those three starts is 32:1, an astonishing number when you think about it. Greinke has been pretty bad compared to Kershaw, but we can’t all be Clayton Kershaw. Greinke is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his last three starts with a 22:5 K/BB ratio. These two will be taking to the bump at hitter’s parks in their next starts (Philadelphia and Pittsburg), but with their skill sets, I wouldn’t be afraid of them at all.
Martin Perez ($5,500 DK, $4,900 FD) is a great pitcher to target against in fantasy not only because he’s a southpaw, but because he’s been absolutely terrible in his last three starts. Considering he gave up eight earned runs and seven hits in one inning in his last start, I’m kind of amazed by his 10.50 ERA in his last three starts. He isn’t striking out anyone in those starts (5 strikeouts in 12 innings), and he’s walking more than he should (six in 12 innings). Perez will be facing the Mariners in his next start (in Seattle), so he isn’t the fantasy target he has been, but can be a target for a few options in that Mariner’s lineup.
With the trade of Yoenis Cespedes, we see an opening for Anthony Gose to become an every day hitter. Unfortunately for him (and the Tigers), he’s hitting .059 in his last seven games. He has zero home runs, zero RBI, and zero stolen bases during that stretch. Gose has a .303 wOBA against RHP in his career, which isn’t that great, but it’s much better than the .215 wOBA against LHP. He’s going to be hitting leadoff against right-handers in a great lineup (even without Cespedes), so that’s where I’m targeting him when he’s cheap – if at all.