MLB DFS WEEK 9 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.
**All stats are from end of Sunday’s MLB action.
**All prices are from Monday’s MLB slates.
Victor Martinez has had a tough 2015 season trying to recover from offseason surgery and now he’s back on the DL. He hasn’t looked like himself at all, so this isn’t a surprise to anyone. With Martinez on the DL, Tyler Collins has come in and been the guy against RHP. Against southpaws, it has been a little different. We have seen guys like Anthony Gose and Nick Castellanos stay in the lineup even though the matchup isn’t there (Gose) or their defense is struggling (Castellanos). Those last two are not plays based on where they’ll hit in the order plus a weak matchup, but Tyler Collins could garner attention if his price is close to minimum. We have also seen Yoenis Cespedes jump from sixth in the order to fourth partially due to how he has been hitting and this injury. He gets a nice bump in value because of that.
Khris Davis has also suffered a knee injury and was put on the DL Sunday, so one guy should really see an improvement to his stock. Gerardo Parra ($3,100 DK, $2,400 FD) hit second in Sunday’s marathon game and actually has been there in two of the last three games. I suspect he’ll stay there as long as the pitcher is right-handed, but should bump down against left-handers. Parra was pretty average against RHP in 2014 (.307 wOBA), but it’s his spot in the order and price that makes him appealing. As long as he’s hitting in front of guys like Braun and Gomez then he’ll be an attractive $3k option on DraftKings.
In Sunday’s game, we saw the red-hot Rangers lose one of their star hitters, Adrian Beltre. Beltre has been their consistent four-hitter and with Josh Hamilton back from his rough offseason, he could fall right into that spot. Hamilton has been hitting behind Beltre since his return and unless the Rangers do something like moving Shin-Soo Choo to replace Beltre then I don’t know what else they could do. Hamilton is hitting .273 with two home runs so far this season. In his career, he’s a .386 wOBA hitter against right-handers and should be more of that guy then the one that had a wOBA of .305 against them in 2014.
Speaking of the Rangers, one hitter that has come on very strong for them is Delino DeShields Jr. It wasn’t that long ago that he was a bench player seeing spot starts, and now he’s hitting in the leadoff position for them. He’s hitting .274 on the season with 12 stolen bases in 36 games. As a right-handed hitter, it’s not surprising that he’s been better against LHP than RHP. His wOBA (.381) this season is 70 points better with an ISO 110 points better (.162). He’s in a great spot in the lineup and if he has an average or lower price then he’s definitely a guy who should be considered.
Ever since the Juan Uribe trade, Alex Guerrero ($3,700 DK, $2,900 FD) has seen much more time than usual. He has started four of the last five games and has hit in the sixth or seventh spot in the order. Guerrero has an outstanding wOBA against right-handers this season in his limited at bats (.445) and a ridiculous ISO (.409), so it’s hard to ignore that success. He is about to face four average to below average pitchers at Coors Field, so it doesn’t get much better than that in terms of matchups. He is a great option based off his price and matchup even if he does hit seventh in the order all four of those games.
One guy I haven’t talked too much about this season is Todd Frazier. He’s been killing the baseball in May and especially in his last seven. He’s hitting .462 with four home runs and seven runs batted in. I don’t need to head to FanGraphs to see he has an outstanding wOBA in those games because it’s obvious that it is. The Reds hit in two hitter-friendly parks this week at Philadelphia and at home. Frazier is hitting third in the order and gets the perk of having Joey Votto hitting in front of him. With his typically high OBP, Frazier always seems to have guys on base when he’s hitting.
Paul Goldschmidt ($5,300 DK, $5,200 FD) is another corner infielder who is having great success in the last week. He’s hitting .500 with four home runs during that stretch and there’s no reason for him not to keep it going. In his career he has crushed the ball against both RHP (.383 wOBA) and LHP (.430), so there’s never really a bad matchup for him. This week he’ll be at home for all seven games, facing a few great matchups in Alex Wood, Mike Foltynewicz, and Jonathon Niese. I like his price more on DraftKings where you can go a little lower at second starting pitcher to free up some cap space, but if you’re playing cash games this week you can’t go wrong with him.
The Athletics may have found themselves their next scrappy outfielder for the next five seasons in Billy Burns. He’s been great for them this season hitting .327 with two home runs and nine stolen bases on the season. And even more recently, he’s hitting .379 with a home run and two stolen bases. Given his size and previous professional baseball numbers, it’s amazing he has two home runs right now. Don’t expect that to last, but his ability to put the ball in play and use his speed is what’s really helping him right now. His speed is a total game changer. Burns has nice wOBA splits this season posting a .346 wOBA against LHP and .363 against RHP. He’ll face three very hittable guys in Alfredo Simon, Anibal Sanchez and Shane Greene to start the week in Detroit.
With the Dodgers in Colorado this week, you have to consider their big thumper, Adrian Gonzalez ($5,000 DK, $3,800 FD) even if he is struggling. He’s hitting .192 in the last seven with just one home run, but that could easily change with this four-game series. Like I said with Guerrero, there are four average pitchers throwing in the series with only one listed as a southpaw at this point. His FanDuel price is much more enticing than his price on DraftKings, so he’ll be more of an option there for me this week. You can save $1,400 on FanDuel by going Gonzalez over Goldschmidt and even though one is red-hot while the other is ice-cold, it’s a move I’ll likely make in GPP formats.
If you’re still considering J.J. Hardy ($3,200 DK, $2,200 FD) these days, I strongly encourage you to let him get hot on his own. He’s struggled all season long with a .190 average and just two home runs, and it’s been more of the same in the last seven (.192/0). His price isn’t that cheap on DraftKings, but at least is minimum salaried on FanDuel. While, it’s hard to say no to a punt like Hardy, I’ll be passing on him this week and with good reason. He has just three extra base hits and two walks in 84 at bats. While his matchups against the Astros and Indians aren’t that bad this week, he clearly isn’t seeing the baseball and I’ll let him do his thing first before using him again at this point.