Scouting The MLB - July 20

Check out Sunday's top DFS plays before setting your lineups.

Stackable Menu

  1. Toronto Blue Jays hosting RHP Nick Tepesch
  2. Los Angeles Angels hosting RHP Chris Young
  3. Atlanta Braves hosting RHP Kyle Kendrick
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers visiting RHP Carlos Martinez
  5. Washington Nationals hosting RHP Yovani Gallardo

Longshot stack:Chicago Cubs visiting RHP Josh Collmenter

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Two Studs:

Jon Lester (BOS) vs. KC: $10,400 – Facing RHP Yordano Ventura

There’s a slightly more talented lefty on Sunday’s board, but for nearly 3K cheaper, Lester may end up being just as productive as Clayton Kershaw. The Red Sox Ace deserves a ton of credit for his career numbers at Fenway Park (tough park for LHPs), but lately he’s been lights out. In his last 5 home starts, Lester allowed just 3 ER over 36 IP while posting an unbelievable 42:3 K:BB ratio. The Sox are piling up WAP (Wins After Pierzynski) and will look to continue taking advantage of a Royals team that tends to struggle against lefties this season. Kansas City has scored the fewest runs in the A.L. (81) against LHP, and the 2nd worst team isn’t even close. Lester should continue to show Red Sox management why he deserves a contract extension.

Jake Arrieta (CHC) @ ARI: $9500 – Facing RHP Josh Collmenter

The stud in 50/50 and H2H formats should be wearing a Cubs uniform today, as Arrieta looks to continue his breakout season in the second half. He may not have tremendous upside, since he’s not flirting with a perfect game in every outing anymore, but the Cubs Ace is looking to post his 8th consecutive Quality Start as he pitches at Chase Field today. He hasn’t allowed more than 5 hits in any of those outings, yet control has become a bit of an issue as Arrieta walked 3 in each of last two outings. Well, he’ll face a Diamondbacks team that has drawn the 2nd fewest walks in the MLB, and he’s been just as proficient on the road this season. While Arrieta’s adversary (Collmenter) could get hit hard, it would be shocking if the Cubs top SP failed to deliver decent DK point totals.

Value Play:

Zack Wheeler (NYM) @ SD: $7700 – Facing RHP Odrisamer Despaigne

After turning in the first CGSO of his career, Wheeler flopped in his next start against the Amazing A’s. However, the usually inconsistent second-year RHP has shown plenty of consistency as he’s allowed just 1 ER in each of his last 3 outings. It goes without saying that the Padres offense, which is worst in the Majors with a 3.11 runs per game average at home this season, is worth targeting. Wheeler has been solid on the road with a 3.68 ERA and .238 BAA and should be able to meet value in this matchup.

Longshot Pitcher:

Tim Lincecum (SF) @ MIA: $9000 – Facing LHP Brad Hand

Lincecum seems to be riding the momentum of his no-hitter last month, as he’s been on fire with a 0.42 ERA, 7.59 K/9, while allowing opposing batters to post just a .217 wOBA in 3 July starts. He’s averaging 27.5 DK PPG during that span, and there’s a chance he exceeds that average in a risky matchup this afternoon. Led by Mr. Stanton, the Marlins have a dangerous heart of the order that has helped their squad score the 3rd most runs (235) of any home team this season. Where there’s risk, there’s often upside, as the Fish have also struck out the 2nd most times of any home team. Lincecum should be able to hold Miami’s RHB in check, as he’s sporting a 10.22 K/9 and a 2.96 xFIP against righties this season. Four consecutive lights out performances don’t necessarily mean that Big Time Timmy Jim is back, but he’s worth considering as a longshot SP as he tries to make it 5 excellent starts in a row.



Buster Posey (SF) @ MIA: $4300 – Facing LHP Brad Hand

The Marlins will send Brad Hand to the mound for today’s home game, but if Posey and the rest of the Giants RHB execute, it could be his last start for some time. The lefty reliever is allowing opposing batter to hit .346 in 5 starts this season, and has a 6.27 ERA in 18.2 IP at home. He walks nearly as many righties as he strikes out (1.25 ratio) and is allowing RHB to sport a .385 wOBA in 2014. While Posey has been a massive disappointment this season, he’s actually been great on the road with a stellar .406 OBP (just a .277 OBP at home). He’s still hitting .300 against LHP, with a .366 wOBA, and needs to continue producing in plus matchups like this one.

Potential Value:

Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) remains a solid punt play if you want to save at catcher. For $2600 he’s been a very consistent producer and may be batting high in the Mets order this afternoon.


Wellington Castillo (CHC) hit a HR and was robbed of another XBH in last night’s game. He’s a bargain with upside at $3200.

First Base:

Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) @ STL: $4300 – Facing RHP Carlos Martinez

Along with the rest of the Dodgers hitters, Gonzo has been relatively quiet over the past few weeks, but I have a feeling they make some noise today. They’re batting in the stadium with the 2nd highest Run Factor in the Majors, and while the opposition will face the untouchable Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers will take on a struggling young RHP. Martinez was hit HARD in consecutive starts before the ASB, and may have hit something of a sophomore wall. Making the 8th start of his career, Martinez could falter under the Sunday Night lights, and will likely have trouble containing a dangerous lefty like Gonzo. LHB are sporting a .400 wOBA with 17 BB and 12 XBH in just 26 IP by Martinez. He has a 6.00 FIP, and is allowing 1.23 HR/9 against lefties at home, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see Gonzalez take him out.

Potential Value:

Kendrys Morales (MIN) is riding a 9-game hitting streak and has great splits (3 for 5, 1 HR) against RHP Chris Archer. He’s worth consideration at $3800.


Juan Francisco (TOR) is a boom or bust option for $3600. He’s posted plenty of bagels this season, but has tremendous power from the left-side of the plate and faces Nick Tepesch- who struggles against LHB.

Second Base:

Dee Gordon (LAD) @ STL: $4400 – Facing RHP Carlos Martinez

It’s hard to expect a team to get blown at during a nationally broadcast Sunday Night Baseball game, but the Dodgers (-180) are heavy favorites with Kershaw on the mound tonight. Their LHB should also be able to produce against a young RHP, and Gordon will be ready and willing to steal with Tony Cruz (instead of Molina) behind the plate. He’s flashed some off his ridiculous speed with 2 SB in his last 3 games, and is now 44 for 53 on SB attempts this season. Gordon is sporting a .345 wOBA against RHP on the road, and all he’ll have to do is get on base for a chance to meet value this evening.

Potential Value:

Arismendy Alcantara (CHC) had an off day, but he’s been fantastic since getting called up. For $3800, he’s worth consideration in all formats against mediocre RHP Josh Collmenter.


Josh Rutledge ($3300) could start at SS for the Rockies with Tulo injured. He’s got tons of upside and a stellar .473 wOBA against lefties that would put him in play against LHP Jeff Locke.

Third Base:

Chris Johnson (ATL) vs. PHI: $4100 – Facing RHP Kyle Kendrick

Johnson finally resembles the player that finished 2nd in the N.L. batting title race last season, as he’s 8 for 16 with 3 HR, and 8 RBI over his last 4 games. Despite those power numbers, he doesn’t really have the upside of most elite 3B, but what he does have is nearly guaranteed production against Kyle Kendrick. The Phillies RHP brings a 6.87 July ERA into today’s matchup, and has had his share of struggles against the Braves in the past. True to form, Johnson is 7 for 20 (.350) with 3 XBH in his career against Kendrick. Batting 6th today, CJ could exceed value if he manages to slap base hits with men on base, and should be able to meet value regardless- making him an ideal candidate for 50/50 and H2H lineups.

Potential Value:

Josh Harrison (PIT) is batting 2nd against LHP Tyler Matzek and is worth a look at $3500.


Nolan Arenado ($3700) hits LHP well and has some upside in today’s matchup. The Rockies will need his offense if Tulo is out of the lineup.


Jose Reyes (TOR) vs. TEX: $4700 – Facing RHP Nick Tepesch

Everything is working in Reyes’ favor today. He’s at home, where he averages 9.8 DK PPG this season. He’ll bat from the left-side of the plate, where he’s a superior hitter, with weak RHP Nick Tepesch on the mound for the Rangers. And if he reaches base, Reyes will have a good chance to steal with Geovany Soto making his second start behind the plate in nearly a year. He hasn’t been the safest option over the past month or so, but Reyes is hitting .304 at home and seems like a great bet for production atop the Blue Jays lineup in this particular matchup.

Potential Value:

Ian Desmond (WAS) is worth a look against inconsistent RHP Yovani Gallardo. He’s more of a GPP play at $4100, but could be part of a decent Nationals stack.


Danny Santana (MIN) is struggling since returning from the DL, but he’s got plenty of upside at $3300. RHP Chris Archer doesn’t usually hold offenses down entirely.


Jose Bautista (TOR) vs. TEX: $5000 – Facing RHP Nick Tepesch

There aren’t many threats in the Blue Jays depleted lineup, but Joey Bats is going to be a huge problem for Tepesch. The Rangers starter is allowing 2.18 HR/9 against RHB this season. He’s allowing opposing batters to sport a .363 wOBA on the road this season, and has a poor 1.77 K/BB ratio away from home. Bautista will gladly draw walks (he’s 4th in the MLB with a 16.1 BB%), but he could certainly take Tepesch out if the young RHP makes a mistake.

Kole Calhoun (LAA) vs. SEA: $4500 – Facing RHP Chris Young

This seems like a good spot to consider Calhoun once again. The platooning leadoff man has been struggling by his lofty standards lately, but will face a RHP that is allowing lefties to sport a .315 wOBA today. Young seems to be coasting by on luck and ingenuity, as his 5.37 xFIP is the worst in the Majors, but he has an absurd 97.7% strand rate against LHB on the road. I don’t think Young’s disappearing act works as he faces one of the league’s hottest offenses on the road today- so stack Angels if you can afford it.

Brandon Moss (OAK) vs. BAL: $4400 – Facing RHP Kevin Gausman

Gausman has been solid in basically every MLB appearance, but I’d still roster Moss against almost any RHP when he’s this hot. The A’s slugger has homered in 3 of his last 4 games, and remains an absolute terror for righties to face. His .275 ISO against righties is the 5th best mark in the Majors, and he’ll pose a tough challenge for the young Gausman today.

Potential Values:

Curtis Granderson (NYM) is a longhshot value play at $3900 because he’s been prone to lengthy slumps this season, and Despaigne has been solid for the Padres. But I wouldn’t count him out if he’s leading off for the Mets.

Brandon Barnes ($3000) is leading off for the Rockies against Jeff Locke. He’ll only need to reach base once or twice to meet value at that price.

I love Dan Robertson ($2200) as an extreme value outfielder. The Rangers leadoff man against LHP has multiple hits in each of his last two starts and will exceed value by producing any DK points.

I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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