Scouting The MLB - August 15

There's a huge slate of MLB games this Friday and we break it all down here

Stackable Menu

  1. Kansas City Royals visiting RHP Ricky Nolasco
  2. Los Angeles Angels visiting RHP Nick Martinez
  3. Washington Nationals hosting RHP Charlie Morton
  4. Toronto Blue Jays visiting RHP Hector Noesi
  5. Cincinnati Reds visiting LHP Franklin Morales

Longshot stack:Houston Astros visiting RHP Clay Buchholz

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Two Studs:

Corey Kluber (CLE) vs. BAL: $10,600 – Facing LHP Wei-Yin Chen

Considering Kluber has been the best SP in Fantasy Baseball over the past 30 days, he seems to be a better option than Phillies Ace Cole Hamels this evening. Hamels has been trending downwards a bit in his last 2 starts, and while he dominated the Giants back on July 24, the return of Angel Pagan to a lineup that tends to hit LHP well makes them a more dangerous opponent. Kluber, or Klubot as he’s become known recently, has posted some truly gaudy numbers (0.67 ERA, 10.12 K/9) over his last 5 starts, and is averaging 35.78 DK PPG during that stretch. The Orioles don’t have many dangerous LHB, and Kluber is holding RHB to a measly .236 wOBA this season. He’s not allowing any strong contact the way he’s pitching right now (1.48 FIP in 2 August starts) and remains under priced despite being the 2nd most expensive SP on the board.

Garrett Richards (LAA) @ TEX: $10,400 – Facing RHP Nick Martinez

Richards only produced 19.3 DK points during his last outing, but clearly built on his dominant CGSO of the Dodgers as he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning. A couple of errors disrupted his rhythm, as he ended up giving up 3 R (1 ER), and didn’t factor into the decision against the Red Sox. Tonight. Richards will take on the last-place Rangers, a team that he’s dominated to the tune of a 2.00 ERA and 11.37 K/9 ratio in 3 starts this season. The young flamethrower hasn’t lost any effectiveness on the road, where he’s sporting a 0.91 WHIP and .161 BAA in 13 starts. Richards and Kluber have been pitching on the same night most of the season, and pairing them together (while not often this expensive) has rarely resulted in disappointment.

Value Play:

Madison Bumgarner (SF) vs. PHI: $8600 – Facing LHP Cole Hamels

Bumgarner has rough home splits, and is facing off with an Ace as he takes the mound in AT&T Park tonight. That being said, I think the Giants LHP steps up to the challenge and pitches very well, even if he doesn’t factor into the decision. The Phillies weak offense didn’t get anything going against Bumgarner as they were shut out over 8 IP 3 weeks ago, and Philadelphia’s batters are now hitting a collective .241 with a 24.1% K-rate against the southpaw. The 5.60 ERA and 1.56 WHIP he’s posted in 11 home starts may be a bit unlucky due to a .378 BABIP during those starts. AT&T Park has the reputation of a pitcher-friendly park, and this is a prime matchup for Bumgarner to break that trend.

Longshot Pitcher:

Marcus Stroman (TOR) @ CWS: $7700 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi

With young SP, you’re not looking for incredible consistency, just the ability to adjust after a shelling. Stroman bounced back admirably from a rough outing in Houston to allow 2 ER over 9 IP in a home tilt with the Tigers, and should be considered as he faces a strikeout-prone squad this evening. The White Sox have the 2nd highest K-rate (22%) in the A.L., and Stroman piled up 6 Ks in 6.2 IP before getting pulled a little early during a June 28 start against Chicago. While his overall road splits aren’t fantastic, the young RHP has put together 2 very impressive outings in Boston and Oakland over the last couple months, which can be tougher places to pitch than U.S. Cellular Field. The fact that he’s facing a weak RHP in Hector Noesi that we’re advocating stacking against is just icing on the cake if you want to consider Stroman a strong GPP candidate.



Jason Castro (HOU) @ BOS: $3800 – Facing RHP Clay Buchholz

When in doubt, target Buchholz. It’s been an effective mantra for DFS grinders all season, and certainly gains more traction considering Buch has allowed 7 ER in each of his last 2 home starts. He’s now sporting a 7.66 ERA and .332 BAA at Fenway Park this season, where he’ll face an aggressive young Astros lineup. Castro was solid, but a bit disappointing with 5 DK points last night, and it seems like only a matter of time before he goes yard against another weak RHP. Buchholz is allowing LHB to sport a .409 wOBA at home this season, and Castro is 2 for 5 in his career against the lanky RHP. Houston was absolutely steamrolled by Buchholz right before the ASB, but it’s highly unlikely that lightning strikes twice in that regard.

Potential Value:

Consider Dioner Navarro ($3200) if you’re willing to stack Blue Jays against White Sox starter Hector Noesi.


Buster Posey ($3900) has been pretty awful for most of the season, but may be breaking out of his recent slump as he 2-4 with a triple last night. The Giants backstop has fantastic splits against Cole Hamels (8-14, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBI) and tends to fare well against LHP.

First Base:

Freddie Freeman (ATL) vs. OAK: $4700 – Facing RHP Jason Hammel

Friendly Freddie isn’t the slugging 1B that comes to mind when you’re searching for unlimited upside at the position, but he’s certainly capable of producing double-digit DK points as he’s done in each of his last 2 games. He’s a streaky hitter that comes into tonight’s contest batting .437 over his last 10 games, and faces a RHP that he happens to be 4 for 5 against in his career. While he’s put together a couple decent outings recently, Hammel is really struggling for his new team as he’s sporting a 5.90 ERA and .308 BAA in 6 starts for the A’s. Freeman has the platoon advantage in this home matchup, and remains a stellar option for 50/50 and H2H lineups.

Potential Value:

Diamonbacks RHP Trevor Cahill has been very hittable since coming off the DL a couple weeks ago, and Casey “Hits” McGehee ($3500) stays getting hits for the Marlins.


The boom-or-bust Astros offense will face off with a highly-combustible RHP in Clay Buchholz, and if they start to hang crooked numbers Chris Carter ($5200) may justify his lofty price tag.

Second Base:

Dee Gordon (LAD) vs. MIL: $3900 – Facing RHP Jimmy Nelson

Gordon’s blazing speed always gives him plenty of upside, and the fact that he’s 5-9 with 3 SB in his last 2 games makes him a great buy-low candidate. He’ll face a rookie RHP that has had issues with the platoon, as indicated by Nelson’s 4.78 FIP and 2.83 K/BB ratio against LHB. The Dodgers leadoff man has to be feeling very confident on the base paths right now, and should be able to get a good jump off a rookie SP if he gets on. The speedster is that much more dangerous against RHP

Potential Value:

Ciff Pennington ($2700) has reached base a whopping 8 times (5 for 12 with 3 BB) in his last 3 starts for the D’Backs, and is an excellent value against LHP Brad Hand.


Javier Baez (CHC) tends to swing for the fences, and if young RHP Zack Wheeler struggles tonight, Baez could exceed value on his $4400 price tag.

Third Base:

David Wright (NYM) vs. CHC: $3700 – Facing LHP Travis Wood

Wright extended his hitting streak to 12 games in a tough matchup against Strasburg last night, and has a great chance to exceed value at the same price against a weak LHP. Travis Wood has really been knocked around on the road this season, as he’s sporting a 6.11 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, and 4.73 FIP away from Wrigley Field. He’s allowing RHB to sport a .364 wOBA, and Wright absolutely crushes lefties with a .425 wOBA this year, and a .426 wOBA in his career against southpaws. He may be a modest 4 for 15 (.267) against this LHP, but the combination of his recent hot streak (.325 over his last 10 games), and his very reasonable price tag makes him a good bet tonight.

Potential Value:

David Freese ($3500) is an excellent mid-tier value that could explode if the Angels offense gets to rookie Nick Martinez.


Brock Holt ($3500) and the rest of the Red Sox are a bit of a longshot to produce against LHP Dallas Keuchel, who has looked like an Ace at times, and been very hittable in other starts.


Ian Desmond (WAS) @ PIT: $4200 – Facing RHP Charlie Morton

Desmond is producing DK points in a variety of ways right now. Earlier this week, he homered in B2B games, and last night he reached base 3 times and logged a SB to finish as one of the highest scoring SS with 15 DK points. He has good reverse-platoon splits, and is 3 for 9 with a double and SB off Pirates RHP Charlie Morton. The Buccos right-hander has allowed 21 ER and 50 base runners (38 H, 12 BB) over his last 6 starts, so there should be plenty of production to go around as the Nationals open this home series.

Potential Value:

Also consider Jose Reyes ($4600) as a nearly essential part of a Blue Jays stack against Hector Noesi.


Chris Taylor ($2700) has cooled off a bit, but the Mariners stud prospect is still hitting .303 over his last 10 games and is worth consideration as a punt play if he draws the start tonight.


Melky Cabrera (TOR) @ CWS: $4300 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi

Yet another Blue Jays hitter that has a great chance to produce against Noesi, Melky comes into tonight’s matchup a bit under priced considering he’s averaging 7.5 DK points while batting .305 over his last 10 games. He’s 2 for 3 against Noesi, who struggles against both LHB and RHB, but is allowing lefties to go yard more often (1.41 HR/9). Cabrera is second in the Majors in multi-hit games, and is capable of logging multi-HR games in the right matchup, which gives him a ton of upside as part of a potential Blue Jays stack.

Mark Trumbo (ARI) @ MIA: $4100 – Facing LHP Brad Hand

Think of Trumbo as a kind of Goldschmidt-lite for the D’Backs, and you won’t hesitate to deploy him at this price. The hulking outfielder is batting .368 and averaging 9.4 DK points despite only hitting one HR over his last 10 games. He’s sporting a .455 OBP and driving in runs as the Diamonbacks most capable middle-of-the-order guy, making him the highest upside play in that lineup against a vulnerable LHP. Hand has shown flashes of talent as a converted reliever, but was recently lit up for 7 ER by the lowly Reds in his last start. Trumbo hits LHP hard (.294 ISO and a .394 wOBA this season) and could be in line for another big night as he exceeds value yet again.

Kole Calhoun (LAA) @ TEX: $3800 – Facing RHP Nick Martinez

The Angels are sending their Ace to the mound in Texas tonight, yet this game has a 9 run O/U, which indicates that the opposing SP is expected to allow plenty of runs. Martinez has a rough 7.86 ERA and 2.09 WHIP at home this season, and is really struggling against the platoon in his rookie season as he’s allowing LHB to sport a .392 wOBA. He has a 6.02 FIP and a terrible 0.77 K/BB ratio when facing lefties, so the Angels left-handed leadoff man should be all over him this evening. With 10 hits in his last 5 games, Calhoun seems to be heating up once again and deserves consideration as a relative value play.

Potential Values:

Chris Coghlan ($3800) is a solid 50/50 and H2H play as the Cubs steady leadoff man. As long as Zack Wheeler isn’t pitching over his head tonight, he’ll allow the LHB to reach base.

Bryce Harper ($3600) continues to demonstrate that he’s under priced as he launched a 2-run HR last night. We’ll see if the Nats young star can keep it going as he returns home to face RHP Charlie Morton.

Consider Kendrys Morales ($3300) as the Mariners potential cleanup hitter. He’s gone yard in consecutive games and has a decent matchup against RHP Rick Porcello tonight.

I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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