MLB DFS Week 14 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.
For the first time in Miguel Cabrera‘s career, he is on the DL and unfortunately for us all, he’ll be unavailable for about six weeks. There is no replacing his bat, but on Sunday the Tigers did put Alex Avila ($2,900 DK, $2,500 FD) at first base in an attempt to do so. The Tigers did some very interesting things with the lineup Sunday, leading off with Kinsler, then following with Cespedes, V. Martinez, J.D. Martinez and then Avila in the five-hole. If this lasts then Avila could have great value as a catcher-eligible player with a great lineup spot.
Carlos Beltran hit the DL last week, retroactive to the first of the month, and one player specifically has seen his value go up: Garrett Jones. He’s found himself in the top six of the order in every game since, and the top five twice. Jones is pretty nonexistent in his career against southpaws (.253 wOBA), but he’s been much better against RHP (.347). Fortunately for of us, he’ll face five RHP’s in the next six days. My favorite matchup for him is against Justin Masterson who has struggled against right-handed hitters his entire career. You’ll want to take a hard look at Jones when they face off with the Yankees later this week.
James Loney ($3,600 DK, $2,400 FD) has returned from injury and is 3 for 8 in his first two games back. In his career, he’s been great against RHP, as he has recorded a .340 wOBA during that stretch. The only issue with Loney is his lack of power. Even with plus numbers against RHP, his ISO is pretty weak (.139). With first base being such a power driven position, it’s hard to go with Loney in GPP games. I can see Loney as a cash game option throughout the weak when the matchup is a right-hander non-ace.
So, the Rays lineup has seen some changes recently with Loney entering the lineup, but there’s another guy I want to take a look at: Grady Sizemore ($2,900 DK, $2,400 FD). He has hit in the top four in the lineup in six of the last seven games (before Sunday). Sizemore has nine hits in those seven games with a home run and a stolen base. Over the course of his career, his stats show a legit wOBA against RHP (.373), but he’s not that good against them. Therefore, I’d recommend exercising caution in rostering Grady at a high cost. In the last two seasons, his wOBA against RHP was .288 (2015) and .319 (2014). If he’s not a minimum salary option or close to it this week, I’m passing on him, I don’t care where he hits in the lineup.
This week we saw Jose Abreu become a two-hole hitter in all five of their games, which is very surprising to me. Given his size and stature, he’s an odd-looking guy to hit in that spot. So, how does this impact the offense? Well, Melky Cabrera ($3,800 DK, $2,600 FD) found himself in a prime position (third in the order) and a guy like Avisail Garcia ($4,200 DK, $2,600 FD) slid into the cleanup spot twice last week. The White Sox start the week with a four-game series against the Blue Jays, a great matchup for any team, as they’ve given up 33 runs in their last four games.
There are plenty of hot pitchers in the game right now, but none may be hotter than Tijaun Walker ($7,000 DK, $8,100 FD). He is 3-0 in his last three starts with just a 0.67 WHIP. His control has been ridiculous with a 24/0 K/BB ratio in those 19.1 innings. This week he’ll be facing the Tigers and the Angels at home in games where the Mariners should be favorites. Facing Kyle Ryan and Andrew Heaney is a good thing for the team, but it’ll be a tough matchup for Walker against those batters. The good news is that Miguel Cabrera will be out for this start. The Angels possess a tough lineup as well with Mike Trout having a superb year, so I would consider both of these matchups as GPP plays.
One hitter that is having his way with everyone, and should scare anyone rolling out Tijuan Walker on Tuesday, is J.D. Martinez ($4,300 DK, $4,400 FD). He’s been tearing the cover off the ball, hitting his 23rd home run on Sunday with an average of over .400 in his last seven games. He gets a bump in the order to fourth with the Cabrera injury, and has guys like Cespedes and V. Martinez hitting in front of him. J.D. has been a better hitter against southpaws than right-handers in his career, but will only face one this week (Happ on Wednesday). I wouldn’t shy away from him if the price is right, though. In 2015, his .388 wOBA is very impressive and he’ll see a bunch of average or struggling RHP this week (Iwakuma, Pelfrey, Hughes).
I don’t think anyone could have guessed that Cameron Maybin ($4,300 DK, $3,300 FD) would play this well in 2015, but he is. He is hitting .295 with 7 home runs and 15 stolen bases on the season, and has a .345 average in his last seven games. He was a triple shy of the cycle on Saturday, which would have been nice to see from the once highly coveted Tigers prospect. With his career struggles, I’m only going to focus on his 2015 numbers for his upcoming matchups. This can be risky, but if you’re buying into him right now then this is what matters. He has a .389 wOBA and a .220 against southpaws this season. He’ll face one this week in Jorge De La Rosa in Colorado, which should be more than a tasty matchup for us DFS players.
When you get roughed up by the Braves, you know you’re struggling, and that’s just what Kevin Correa did this past week. On Saturday, he gave up nine earned runs in 3.1 innings, only striking out one batter he faced. This blew up his season long ERA to 6.56 with a 1.93 WHIP. So what does this mean? Well, it’s certainly great news for the Dodgers, his next matchup. They’re the best team in baseball against RHP. Their wOBA and ISO this season against RHP are .339 and .189. Both of these rank number one in the MLB. Needless to say, don’t forget about the Dodgers come Thursday.
If you’re a Mets outfielder, there’s a 66% chance you’re struggling. Michael Cuddyer ($4,000 DK, $2,200 FD) and Juan Lagares ($3,400 DK, $2,200 FD) are hitting miserably, with .105 and .136 averages “respectively” in their last seven games. Together they’ve combined for zero home runs, one RBI, and one stolen base during that stretch. The Mets face the Giants on the road, and the Diamondbacks at home this upcoming week, giving us no real advantage in either matchup. The Diamondbacks possess worse pitching (Anderson, Corbin, and De La Rosa), but at a tough hitter’s park like Citi Field, so I’m not jumping to get these guys in my lineup this week.