MLB DFS Week 11 Payoff Pitch
Welcome back to The Payoff Pitch! In this article I break down what has happened in the last week when it comes to injuries, lineups and streaky hitters. This is a great way to refresh your memory or catch up on a few days lost. As always, let’s start it off with the injuries that’ll impact DFS this week.
**All stats are from end of Saturday’s MLB action.
**All stats are from Monday MLB slates.
Both Gregor Blanco and Hunter Pence have been out for a week or longer and while Blanco should be back in the middle of this week, Pence will be out till the end of the month. Pence has been out since June third, but let’s still take a look at what’s happening with this Giants’ lineup. Aoki ($3,700 DK, $3,200 FD), Panik ($3,600 DK, $3,400), Posey ($4,100 DK, $3,900 FD), and Belt ($4,000 DK, $3,600 FD) have pretty much consistently been the constants in this lineup at the top and are the best targets from this team. You routinely will see them as great values due to the fact they play their home games at a bad hitters park. When they go on the road, they typically become much better values. This week they play at home twice, but then head to Seattle and Los Angeles. Seattle is not the best place to target Giants hitters, but Los Angeles isn’t that much different. LA is definitely an improvement, but not exactly the top hitters park either.
Matt Holliday injured himself this past week and will be out 4-5 more weeks at this point. The Cardinals haven’t done anything too crazy in terms of the lineup, moving everyone up one spot in the lineup. Jhonny Peralta ($4,200 DK, $3,800 FD) now hits third, Mark Reynolds ($3,000 DK, $2,700 FD hits cleanup, and Yadier Molina ($3,400 DK, $2,700 FD) hits fifth in the St. Louis lineup. With Reynolds low price and high potential due to power, I consider him a great GPP option against southpaws. The only issue with that is that he only faces two this week and one is Cole Hamels. Maybe Hamels starting makes him an even better GPP option, but we’ll see. Reynolds walks more, strikes out less, and has a better wOBA against left-handed pitchers in his career.
Molina is the only other option I see really improving on due to the injury. Moving from sixth to fifth in the lineup is a very nice bump for a catcher that has a low price tag. Like Reynolds, Molina has better walk and strikeout rates against lefties and also has a better wOBA in his career. He also has a better ISO (.137). With his low price tag and nice lineup position, I can see using him multiple times this week though.
The Twins have finally promoted Byron Buxton ($3,600 FD, $2,400 FD) to the big leagues, but don’t get caught up in all of the hype just yet. While he is certainly deserving of the hype, he hit ninth in the order Sunday and plays five out of the seven games this week at home in a pitcher friendly park. While I likely won’t be on him all week, I could see some appeal in using him against guys like Jon Lester, Jaime Garcia, or Tyler Lyons because of their skill sets. Garcia and Lyons are softer throwing left-handers who might push Buxton up the lineup while Lester is a guy who present stolen base opportunities for Buxton.
Since the Zack Cozart injury, the Reds have really mixed some things up in the lineup. Eugenio Suarez ($3,400 DK, $2,200) presents himself as a decent shortstop option due to low cost and position scarcity. In his four starts since the injury, he has hit second, sixth, and seventh (twice). Skip Schumaker ($2,200 DK, $2,200 FD) has hit leadoff twice the Cozart injury and is a very reasonable option with his minimum price on both sites and multi-position flexibility on DraftKings. Both should be good options this week with five of seven games at home in a friendly park for hitters. Suarez heads back to Detroit, where he was traded from this past offseason (revenge series!) while Schumaker faces four right-handed pitchers, all who are very hittable. Amazingly, Monday’s starter, Anibal Sanchez, has already given up 13 home runs on the season. Suarez has a better ISO (.128) and wOBA (.314) in his limited career at bats against southpaws rather than righties.
Carlos Correa ($4,300 DK, $3,000 FD) was also called up this past week and he has now seen two straight starts hitting in the two-hole. This is a really good spot in the order with George Springer hitting in front of him, and some serious power hitting behind him in Evan Gattis and Chris Carter/Preston Tucker. Correa does not have a hit against a right-hander so far and already has two home runs against southpaws. He has a monster wOBA and ISO against those southpaws and will face three this week. Before Sunday, he was 0-6 with five strikeouts against right-handers and will face four this week, but he has potential due to the lack of pitcher talent he’ll face in Colorado in their two-game set there.
Freddie Freeman ($5,200 DK, $3,900 FD) has certainly seen his price on DraftKings go up during his recent hot streak, making it tough to use him. But, he is a very hot hitter you can’t ignore against right-handers. In his career, his stats across the board are better against them rather than left-handers. And in this past week, Freeman has been crushing the baseball, hitting .321 with two home runs in the last seven. He’ll start the week with some enticing matchups facing Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, and Joe Kelly, but then faces the three young stud pitchers on the Mets. While Freeman’s price is high on DraftKings, I’m definitely targeting him early on in the week rather than against those Mets arms.
Giancarlo Stanton ($5,200 DK, $5,400 FD) might have the best numbers of anyone over the last seven crushing five bombs and doing it for a high average too (.462). With his massive power to all fields, he’ll be worth the price when the Marlins play at the Yankees and Reds. Stanton has numbers that aren’t safe for work against left-handers, but he’ll only face one this week. I would target Stanton especially in that start against C.C. Sabathia, but see the potential in using him in those five starts on the road as well.
Mitch Moreland ($4,700 DK, $3,000 FD) is hitting .414 with three home runs in the last seven, but I don’t think I want to target him much at all this week. His career wOBA is 60 points higher against right-handers, but will only face two this week and one of them is Zack Greinke. With a .282 wOBA against left-handers, and the fact that they are tough southpaws at that makes me want to fade Moreland big time. The matchups against Kershaw and Sale are unthinkable, and the starts against Rodon and Quintana will be paying up for a hot hitter in bad matchups.
In his last 24 at bats (including Sunday), Gordon Beckham ($2,400 DK, $2,200 FD) has just one hit. He’s struggling big time for the White Sox, yet sees plenty of action. Even with him at minimum price or close to it, it’s hard to consider him even a punt play at this point. In his career, he has pretty similar stats against right and left-handers, but that doesn’t make them good. His wOBA is in the low .300s against them. Mix this with the fact he hits in the bottom third of the lineup, I’m not sure there’s a way to justify using him until he starts seeing the ball a little better.
Both Jimmy Rollins ($3,900 DK, $2,400 FD) and Alex Rios ($3,300 DK, $2,300 FD) are struggling in the last seven with batting averages of .091 (Rollins) and .115 (Rios). They also are used to hitting at the top of the order, but now find themselves hitting in the bottom third of the order. Both are also facing six right-handers this week, but that’s only a good thing for one of them. Rios has ISO and wOBAs almost 20 points lower against right-handers than left-handers in his career while Rollins is the opposite. Rollins has posted a wOBA 11 points higher and an ISO 17 points against right-handers in his career. Because of this and Rollins being a shortstop, I’m more likely to roll him out this week than Rios although I don’t consider two guys I’m really buying as buy low guys.