Scouting The MLB - July 6

Top DFS plays for Sunday's early slate of MLB games

Stackable Menu

  1. Cinicinnati Reds hosting RHP Yovani Gallardo
  2. New York Yankees visiting RHP Ricky Nolasco
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers hosting LHP Yohan Flande

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Two Studs:

Jake Arrieta (CHC) @ WAS: $9,200 – Facing RHP Jordan Zimmerman

Why pay for the cow when you get the milk for free? Or in this case, why pay up for an elite pitcher when the best pitcher in the Majors over his last 4 starts is available for a relative discount. The Nationals offense is clicking right now, and should pose more of a threat than the struggling Red Sox to Arrieta, but he moves from a cramped A.L. ballpark to a stadium with the 3rd lowest HR factor in the MLB, and of course the Nats will not have a DH in their lineup. Not that the long ball has been an issue for Arrieta- his 0.28 HR/9 would be 2nd best, and his 10.30 K/9 would be 3rd best in the MLB if he qualified (he will soon). He's flirted with perfect games in consecutive starts, and has been pitching at an otherworldly level as he's allowed 3 ER, and posted a 46:3 K:BB ratio over his last 5 appearances (34.2 IP).

Jesse Hahn (SD) vs. SF: $8,800 Facing RHP Tim Lincecum

Perhaps the Padres' historically poor offense (batted .171 in the month of June) is a motivating factor, because their pitching staff has done an incredible job of limiting damage in recent weeks. No starter has been more consistent than Hahn, who has allowed just 13 H, 2 ER, and struck out 33 batters while winning 4 consecutive starts. His production on DK has been extremely steady (Between 26.5 and 29.5 points in each start), and he should be able to keep rolling as he faces the Giants at home today. San Francisco is the lowest scoring team in the Majors over the last week, as they've put up just 15 runs, and have been struggling for a while now as the Dodgers are taking control of the division. They won't find it easy to get to Hahn, whose 2.67 SIERA (Skill Interactive ERA) indicates that he's every bit as good as his 1.95 ERA and 11.71 K/9 do- he's quickly become the ace of this Padres staff.

Two Duds (Value Plays):

Corey Kluber (CLE) vs. KC: $8700 – Facing LHP Danny Duffy

The Royals have touched up some excellent pitchers, including Kluber back on June 10, but today's lineup is far from intimidating. Certain players get the day off on Sundays, and for Ned Yost that means he's trotting out a troop of 4-9 hitters that are either ancient (Raul Ibanez), highly inexperienced (Danny Valencia/Mike Moustakas) or lack any sort of power. This watered down lineup only boosts Kluber's stock, and the Indians RHP has been stellar over his last two starts, allowing 1 ER and striking out 14 over 13.2 innings. He's a great candidate for GPP formats today.

Kevin Gausman (BAL) @ BOS: $6,200 – Facing RHP Jake Peavy

Any SP that faces the Red Sox is an option in GPPs, and Gausman has the tools to shut down this offense. The Orioles young hurler struggled in his 2014 debut, but rebounded with Quality Starts against the dangerous A's, Blue Jays, and an increasingly tough Tampa squad at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox are currently in the bottom 10 in nearly offensive category except for the (negative) category of LOB%. Today's 6-9 hitters are all struggling mightily, and if you can keep Holt off base and pitch around Ortiz, you have a great chance to navigate their lineup multiple times. Gausman isn't the safest play, but he could be the latest mediocre pitcher to look fantastic against a Boston team that is pressing.



Yadier Molina (STL) vs. MIA: $4100 – Facing RHP Henderson Alvarez

After going 7 for 11 in his last 3 games, it may be safe to say that Yady is back. One of the best hitting catchers in the game has been ignorable in DFS this season, but he's quietly raised his stock, and comes into today's matchup riding a 6-game hitting streak. Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez is far worse on the road this season, where he's sporting a 1.61 WHIP and allowing opposing batters to hit .328- indicating that he's lucky to have a 3.43 ERA in those 8 starts. You'll have to confirm that Molina is starting on a Sunday, but he's a great option if he's in the heart of the lineup.

Potential Value:

Steven Vogt (OAK) will probably be in the A's lineup somewhere. At $2800 he's a great value play that is eligible at catcher.

First Base:

Jose Abreu (CWS) vs. SEA: $5100 – Facing RHP Taijuan Walker

What do you know, as soon as Abreu's father notified him that he had the longest hitting streak in the Majors at 18 games, he went 0-4 on Saturday to snap it. The fact that he was facing King Felix certainly had something to do with it, but the Major League leader in homers should be able to bounce back against inexperienced right-hander Taijuan Walker. The Mariners prospect was decent in his 2014 debut, but allowed 2 HR to the aggressive Astros. That doesn't bode well for his chances against Abreu, who leads the league with a .355 ISO against RHP (absurdly high, and nearly 40 points better than Encarnacion's second place mark). The fact that he didn't reach base yesterday only means he's due, because nothing has slowed Abreu down in his rookie campaign.

Potential Value:

Ike Davis (PIT) disappointed yesterday with 0 DK points, but he's $3000 and is facing a RHP in A.J. Burnett that has struggled against lefties all year.

Second Base:

Logan Forsythe (TB) @ DET: $3900 – Facing RHP Rick Porcello

Porcello had two fantastic starts in Texas and against Oakland, but will he be able to slow down Tampa's resurgent offense? The Rays have put up 43 runs over the last 7 days (3rd best in the A.L) and slugged 14 HR, the 2nd most in the Majors during that span. Much of that success has to do with relatively unknown players like Forsythe, who is 16 for his last 28 with 3 HR and suddenly looks like an all-star. Porcello has reverse-platoon splits this year, and has allowed 3 HR in 7 starts at home. He's not exactly exploitable, but his track record suggests that his consecutive CGSO (didn't record a single K in one) are more of a fluke than a trend.

Potential Value:

If Kike Hernandez is in the Astros lineup he's a worthwhile punt play at the minimum $2000, even if he's facing a flamethrower like Garrett Richards.

Third Base:

Adrian Beltre (TEX) vs. NYM: $4800 – Facing RHP Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler is one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball, as he followed up his first career CGSO in Miami with putrid performances against the A's and Braves. Now he'll face a Rangers offense that has one of the hottest hitters in the MLB cleaning up, and Beltre is more than capable of extending his 9-game hitting streak today. He's homered in consecutive games, and produced 7+ DK points in 10 of his last 13 games. It doesn't get much safer than that at the 3B position today.

Potential Value:

Josh Harrison ($3500) is batting 2nd for the Pirates today and could be part of a decent mini-stack against Burnett.


Hanley Ramirez (LAD) @ COL: $5100 – Facing LHP Yohan Flande

The most injury-prone star in the Majors may not be able to make it through an entire game today, but if he's in the lineup against rookie LHP Yohan Flande, he's worth the risk. HanRam has produced 16 DK points in B2B games and flashed some speed with a SB on Friday. When he's right, he has a full set of tools that makes him dangerous for any opponent, but he's slugging .550 against lefties over the past 3 seasons and clearly sees southpaws well. Ramirez also has an OPS of 1.025 at Coors Field during that span, and has homered 4 times in his last 53 at bats in Denver.

Potential Values:

If Tulo is out again I'd consider Josh Rutledge (COL) a decent value play at $3400. He could be leading off against aging RHP Josh Beckett.


Nelson Cruz (BAL) @ BOS: $5000 – Facing RHP Jake Peavy

You may end frustrated choosing between Cruz, Adam Jones, and the red-hot Steve Pearce, but it's all but certain that one of those slugging RHB will tee-off on Peavy today. Fenway Park is a tough place to pitch, especially when you're facing the hottest offense in baseball, and the O's could make it a short afternoon for Peavy. If you want to ride the hot hand, Cruz is coming off a 5 for 5 performance, and swiped a SB for the second time in 3 games. I wouldn't expect that type of bonus today, but an XBH is more than likely against a pitcher that he's 4 for 13 off with a double and a HR in his career.

Brett Gardner (NYY) @ MIN: $4600 – Facing RHP Ricky Nolasco

Gardner's absence was clearly felt by the Yankees yesterday, as they ended up producing just one run against Yohan Pino and fell in extra innings. I'd expect him to be back atop the lineup today as the Yanks face Ricky Nolasco, who has allowed LHB to post a .400 wOBA this season. Gardner has been remarkably consistent as a leadoff man and has produced double-digit DK points in 5 of his last 8 appearances. I'd feel very comfortable using him in 50/50 and H2H formats.

Gregory Polanco (PIT) @ PHI: $4000 – Facing RHP A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett is allowing LHB to post a .375 wOBA in road starts this season, and will have a tough time getting Polanco out atop the Pirates order. The super prospect recovered from the first mini-slump of his career and is producing DK points consistently once again. He's been caught stealing twice in the last 3 games, but he should have the green light on the base paths today and that only boosts his value in this matchup.

Potential Values:

Kole Calhoun (LAA) is another leadoff man that is worth using in most formats. He's red hot, costs $4100, and could be able to start a parade of hits against inconsistent RHP Colin McHugh

Ryan Ludwick (CIN) has great splits against RHP Yovani Gallardo in a huge sample size: 12 for 32, 3 HR, 11 RBI. He costs just $3400 and is batting 5th.

Endy Chavez is leading off for the Mariners against weak RHP Hector Noesi. He could exceed value on is $3200 price tag.

I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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