MLB DFS Week 16 Payoff Pitch
After a week off from the Payoff Pitch, I’m back and ready to give you a look back at this past week to help preview the week ahead. I’m going to be taking a look at hot and cold hitters, to go along with some lineup changes that will impact our fantasy baseball lineups. First though, I want to take a look at a few injuries that’ll provide us with value at a few positions.
**All prices come from Monday’s MLB action.
**All stats come from end of Saturday’s action.
With the injury to Dustin Pedroia, a few players on the Red Sox have a more guaranteed spot in the lineup, but none more than Brock Holt ($3,200 DK, $2,500 FD). He has hit second in each of the last three games, which is a nice change from him hitting second, seventh, and sitting out twice in the previous four games. While he’s a lefty hitter, Holt has had more success against southpaws than right-handers. His .327 wOBA against lefties is 17 points higher than against righties in his career. In four of the Red Sox next seven games, he’ll be facing lefties, so it’ll be an opportunity to hopefully buy low and reap benefits of reverse splits, which will likely come at low ownership levels.
The loss of Steve Pearce to the Orioles hasn’t really been that negative due to his disappointing numbers he has put up this season. What it has done is allow different bats to get into the lineup more consistently. Pearce was mainly playing first base and outfield for the Orioles when he was healthy. Now, we’re seeing David Lough ($2,000 DK, $2,300 FD) lead off two games in a row (including Sunday) in left field while both Chris Davis and Nolan Reimold ($2,000 DK, $2,300 FD) getting some at bats while playing the outfield. Reimold has near identical wOBAs in his career against righties (.331) as he does southpaws (.328). Lough on the other hand, has been much better against right-handers in his career with a .307 wOBA against them.
Sunday marks the eighth straight start in the two-hole for Tyler Saladino ($2,500 DK, $3,000 FD). He is 10 for 35 during that stretch with two home runs. In very limited numbers, Saladino has had his greatest success against southpaws with a .412 wOBA and .625 ISO. I must repeat that this is in a very limited sample size (eight of 49 total at bats in his career), so please don’t jump the gun here on this play. It is worth nothing that he had 25 stolen bases in 52 AAA games before getting called up. He is a player that should be considered only if cheap and with a great matchup for the guys hitting behind him.
When Kyle Schwarber ($3,600 DK, $3,300 FD) is in the lineup, he’s hitting in a very opportune spot in the lineup (second). He’s a guy with plenty of protection behind him, as Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been hitting in the third and fourth spots in the lineup. Schwarber has a .391 batting average with a .474 wOBA on the season doing almost all of his damage against right-handers. Look for him to do more damage at the end of this week hitting in Milwaukee with pitchers like Jimmy Nelson and Matt Garza throwing in that series.
Even on a new squad Scott Kazmir has been a stud on the mound lately. In his last three starts, he has a 0.71 WHIP and a 0.49 ERA. His 12/3 K/BB ratio is solid although the K totals are pretty weak considering he has thrown 18.1 innings during that stretch. Despite the K totals, he has been dominant in those other categories. It’s hard not to consider paying up for him these days, and his matchup against the Angels this weak is pretty average. They are just 14th in the MLB in wOBA against LHP and only strike out 18.6% of the time against them (25th).
Ian Desmond has been terrible in the field this season, but boy is he red-hot as a hitter right now. In his last seven games, he’s hitting .455 with four home runs and a stolen base. This is a huge turn around from his season totals (.222/11/6). Desmond’s career numbers are better against lefties, but unfortunately for him, he won’t face any this week. With his matchups against the Mets and Jose Fernandez, I am hard pressed to find any matchups worth using him in despite the recent hot streak.
Joey Votto ($4,600 DK, $3,700 FD) is hitting out of this world in his last seven games. During that time, his batting average is .536, he has two home runs, and he even has a stolen base. Votto is such a pure hitter that he hits southpaws .386 and right-handers .416. Those are impressive numbers against either handedness of pitcher. He has some interesting matchups this week against Jaime Garcia, Jeff Locke, A.J. Burnett and Charlie Morton. Burnett has been great in 2015, but has given up 22 hits in his last two starts.
Shane Greene ($5,700 DK, $6,300 FD) has made two starts since returning from AAA and they haven’t been pretty. In those two starts, he hasn’t made it to the sixth inning and has given up 12 earned runs. Greene has allowed 18 base runners including three home runners during that stretch. When he faces off against the Orioles in Baltimore, you should strongly consider stacking against him. In his career, lefty batters hold a .382 wOBA against them.
James McCann has become the Tigers number one starter behind the plate, but with an injury to Miguel Cabrera, Alex Avila ($2,600 DK, $2,200 FD) has found other ways to get in the lineup. He has found himself at first base multiple times recently, but unfortunately for the Tigers he hasn’t produced. Avila is hitting just .174 in his last seven games with just one RBI. Avila is much better against RHP in his career than against lefties, but will see some a few tough righties this upcoming week. The matchups to target him as a minimum priced catcher hitting in the middle of the lineup are against Nathan Karns, Miguel Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman.