Scouting The MLB - July 5

Our Daily Fantasy Sports expert breaks down the early slate of MLB games

Stackable Menu

  1. Washington Nationals hosting RHP Carlos Villanueva
  2. New York Yankees visiting RHP Yohan Pino
  3. Colorado Rockies hosting RHP Dan Haren
  4. Cincinnati Reds hosting RHP Matt Garza
  5. Minnesota Twins hosting RHP David Phelps

Longshot stack: St. Louis Cardinals hosting LHP Andrew Heaney

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Two Studs:

Felix Hernandez (SEA) @ CWS: $12,600 – Facing LHP Jose Quintana

The King sits atop the MLB in nearly every advanced statistic, and while he's 7th with a K/9 ratio of 9.61, he should pile up strikeouts in this particular matchup. The White Sox have struck out the 2nd most times (744) in the A.L. this year, and have been struggling to score, as they put up the 5th fewest runs (97) in the MLB last month. No American League pitcher had a hotter month of June than Hernandez, who posted a 10.96 K/9 ratio, held batters to a .168 average, and posted a microscopic 1.37 FIP- indicating that hitters hardly ever made solid contact off him. His batted ball data is slightly worse on the road (still fantastic), but his 10.51 K/9 away from Seattle has been enough to offset those issues. It's a pretty simple equation this afternoon, if you can afford King Felix, use him.

Gio Gonzalez (WAS) vs. CHC: $10,800

Gonzo has found his stride after coming off the DL and will face the lowly Cubs offense for the second straight start. He allowed 2 hits, 2 BB, and 0 runs through 7 IP at Wrigley Field last week, and faces the same offense in Nationals' Stadium, which has a Home Run Factor that is 28% lower. He's 2-0 with an ERA under 2 in his last 4 starts against the Cubs, a team that remains in the bottom 10 in terms of runs scored despite their offensive explosion in Fenway Park on Tuesday. Starting opposite Gonzalez will be RHP Carlos Villanueva, who will replace the traded Jeff Samardzija, so he should be able to get plenty of run support in front of a home crowd today.

Two Duds (Value Plays):

Anibal Sanchez (DET) vs. TB: $8900 – Facing RHP Chris Archer

Thanks to Jeff Samardzija getting traded at the eleventh hour on 4th of July, we're seriously lacking safe value plays this Saturday afternoon. Sure there are pitchers with upside for a discounted price, but the likes of Edinson Volquez and Shelby Miller aren't suitable for 50/50 or H2H games, and it's probably best to role with a proven pitcher like Sanchez. With disappointing K totals over his last few starts, his price tag has dropped significantly, but he's still one of the most consistent pitchers in the A.L. and is capable of navigating any lineup. The Rays have the 4th lowest scoring offense and 5th worst batting average (.234) on the road this season, and the back end of their lineup will be full of talented, but inexperienced young hitters. In 9 starts since coming of the DL in May, Sanchez is 5-0, and has given his team to win every one by throwing around 100 pitches and limiting the opposition to an average of 1.7 ER. I'll bet on him at home over Chris Archer facing the murderers row that is the Tigers lineup this afternoon.

Jose Quintana (CWS) vs. SEA: $7,400 – Facing RHP Felix Hernandez

He's no Chris Sale, but Quintana has an opportunity to keep his current hot streak going against the same left-handed lineup that his teammate just dominated. The Mariners have some strange splits against LHP, they're actually the highest scoring offense (126 runs), but they've also struck out the most times (253) against lefties by far. Quintana isn't a typical strikeout pitcher, but he does have a 10.0 K/9 ratio and is holding hitters to a .286 wOBA at home this season. He also has an FIP of just 2.00 at home, the 4th best mark in the Majors. The lefty has been successful on the road recently, with a 2-0 record, 3 ER allowed, and a 21:6 K ratio over his last three starts. He's still extremely cheap, and a pretty solid bet to exceed value by posting another Quality Start.



Brian McCann (NYY) @ MIN: $3600 – Facing RHP Yohan Pino

Twins starter Yohan Pino recovered from the disaster that was his 2nd MLB start, but still allowed 4 ER in 5.2 IP in a home start against the Royals. He'll face a desperate Yankees team that has been scoring runs in bunches during this road trip, and is full of dangerous left-handed hitters. That could be a problem for the young RHP, as he's allowed lefties to post a .398 wOBA in his first three Major League starts. Pino's xFIP, a rough estimate of how many XBH and HR a pitcher should've allowed, is a lofty 5.29 against LHB, which makes the Yankees a decent stack option today. McCann's average is still very low at .224, but he's 8 for his last 29 (.275) with a double and 2 HR, and is capable of taking the young RHP deep.

Potential Value:

Kurt Suzuki (MIN) is a safer play for $200 less as he well face Yankees RHP David Phelps, who is far from a consistent performer.

First Base:

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) @ ATL: $5100 – Facing RHP Aaron Harang

Goldy is getting hot as the weather warms and is 8 for 15 in 4 July games. The highly touted first baseman has been a disappointed based on pre-season expectations, but he'll look to improve on his very respectable .409 wOBA on the road this afternoon. I have very little respect for Braves starter Aaron Harang, who has a decent 3.78 ERA despite allowing opposing batters to hit .292 at home this season. He's had very little success against Goldschmidt, who is 5 for 11 with 2 HR, 6 BB, and 3 SB in 17 plate appearances against Harang. As we've seen with Tim Lincecum, the D'Backs young star just owns some pitchers, and there's little reason to expect him to struggle against Harang in this outing.

Potential Value:

Chris Parmelee (MIN) had produced DK points in 8 straight games before laying a goose egg yesterday. At $2800, he's a great value play against RHP David Phelps.

Second Base:

Matt Carpenter (STL) vs. MIA: $4200 – Facing LHP Andrew Heaney

The Cardinals may have the 3rd lowest scoring offense in the Majors this year, but with Carpenter finally heating up, they have a chance to catch the also struggling Brewers in the N.L. Central. Their leadoff man is 10 for his last 19, and comes into today's matchup riding a 9-game hitting streak. Carp has neutral platoon splits as he's batting .299 with a .379 OBP against lefties this season, so a LHP like Heaney shouldn't necessarily present too many problems for him. The Marlins young hurler has allowed 9 ER in his last two starts and his confidence could be waning as he faces an experienced Cardinals team in St. Louis today.

Potential Value:

Neil Walker ($3700) continues to reach base and will face a mediocre RHP in David Buchanan at home today. As long as he's the Pirates cleanup hitter, he has tons of upside with those hot-hitting outfielders in front of him.

Third Base:

Nolan Arenado (COL) vs. LAD: $4000 – Facing RHP Dan Haren

The Rockies a huge break as they face the weakest link, aka Dan Haren this afternoon. After getting shut down by the otherworldly Clayton Kershaw last night, Haren's straight-line fastball will look like a grapefruit to these hitters, and should provide an opportunity for Arenado to find his rhythm after a lengthy DL stint. The young 3B had an MLB-high 28-game hitting streak earlier this season, and was a huge part of the Rockies' success through the first two months. Now he's back in the lineup, and Colorado fans hope he'll be hitting in front of a healthy Tulowitzki today. Like most offenses, the Rockies are far more dangerous at Coors Field, and should have success against a fly ball pitcher like Haren. The Dodgers starter has a 4.53 ERA, and has allowed 16 HR in just 57.2 IP in his career at Coors. I'd target him where possible today.

Potential Value:

Right now Yankees 3B Zelous Wheeler is available for $0 on DraftKings. I don't know if that mistake will be corrected, but even if he's the minimum $2000, he's got tons of power and could be productive if he's in the lineup today.


Billy Hamilton (CIN) vs. MIL: $4300 – Facing RHP Matt Garza

I'm considering two SS-eligible players in this game, as Scooter Gennett is a very safe play that is facing an inconsistent RHP in Homer Bailey. However, for a few hundred more, you could use the high-upside Billy Hamilton against Matt Garza- who has been consistently mediocre this season. The veteran RHP has really struggled on the road, where he's sporting a 5.49 ERA and allowing LHP to post a .345 wOBA. Hamilton is far more effective as a LHB, and if he finds his way on base, he can showcase that speed. Garza has a 3.50 BB/9 when facing LHB this season, and even though he homered last night, that's the much more likely way for Hamilton to reach, and do some damage today.

Potential Value:

Jhonny Peralta ($3600) could be part of a solid Cardinals stack. They might be able to touch Andrew Heaney up for his 3rd straight start.


Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) @ MIN: $4600 – Facing RHP Yohan Pino

Ellsbury is a safe option with upside today as he will lead off against young Yohan Pino. Brett Gardner will get the day off, giving Ells the rare opportunity to showcase his speed atop the Yankees lineup, and he should make the most of his chances if he can reach base. He's one of the most elite base runners in the MLB and I'd feel very comfortable using him in all formats this afternoon.

Bryce Harper (WAS) vs. CHC: $4300 – Facing RHP Carlos Villanueva

Harper's lack of production at home may be a bit of a mirage, as he's batting .224 in 67 at bats in Nationals Stadium this season. Today, he'll face weak RHP Carlos Villanueva, who has a 7.90 ERA on the road this season and is allowing LHB to sport a .409 wOBA this season. He's only made 4 starts this year, during which he's allowed 35 H, 17 runs, and 6 SB. If Harper gets the nod at 2-spot again today, he'll be in a position to score runs, steal bases, and he's always a threat to hit for power, making him a great option.

Ben Revere (PHI) @ PIT: $3800 – Facing RHP Edinson Volquez

The Phillies really needed a spark from their leadoff hitter, and Revere has provided it as he's gone 18 for 37 (.486) during his current 9-game hitting streak. He also has 5 SB during that span, and is 25 for 28 on SB attempts this season. He'll face Edinson Volquez, who has allowed LHB to post a .366 wOBA at home this season, and allowed base runners to go 48 for 52 on SB attempts over the last two seasons. Volquez usually pitches well or implodes, but even if he posts a Quality Start, he could allow some production from Revere atop the Phillies' lineup.

Potential Values:

J.D. Martinez (DET) will likely move into the cleanup spot with Victor Martinez injured again. He's a relative value at $4100 because of his immense power and the fact that he's crushed hard-throwing righties like Chris Archer all season.

Sam Fuld (MIN) has been a consistent producer for the Twins in the absence of Danny Santana. He should be able to reach base a couple times against David Phelps, who has struggled against LHB.

David Peralta (ARI) continues to roll and gets another weak RHP in Aaron Harang today, who he's 2 for 3 off of with a HR.

I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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