Scouting The MLB - August 27

Today's Scouting The MLB breaks down a full slate of MLB action and provides a couple of longshot stacking options

Weather Report

  • Scattered storms could play a factor in New York (Mets) and Kansas City

Stackable Menu

  1. San Francisco Giants hosting LHP Franklin Morales
  2. Toronto Blue Jays hosting RHP Joe Kelly
  3. Cleveland Indians (values) visiting RHP Hector Noesi
  4. Cincinnati Reds hosting RHP Jacob Turner
  5. Minnesota Twins visiting RHP Liam Hendriks

Longshot stack:Detroit Tigers hosting RHP Shane Greene


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Pitchers

Two Studs:

David Price (DET) vs. NYY: $12,700 – Facing RHP Shane Greene

Clayton Kershaw’s price continues to rise despite the fact that he’s facing the only team (Arizona) to tag him for over 3 ER this season, so we move down to a reasonably priced SP in Price. The Tigers newly acquired Ace has been better than advertised, with a 2.35 ERA and .156 BAA through 4 starts. He has mediocre splits against the Yankees in 2014, but excelled in his last two starts against them (12 H, 2 HR, 3 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, and 62.3 DK points produced over 15.2 IP). Both of those outings came in cramped Yankee Stadium, so he should have a better shot at keeping the ball in the yard in Comerica Park tonight. With a rookie on the mound facing the hot-hitting Tigers offense, Price is in great position to come away with a Win.

Corey Kluber (CLE) @ CWS: $11,700 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi

There hasn’t been a better SP than Kluber in the 2nd half, as he’s sporting the 2nd highest K/9 ratio (10.37), as well as the best ERA (1.15) and FIP (1.72) by far. He’s achieving near perfection by eliciting a 51.2% groundball rate and keeping runners off base (0.79 WHIP), something he struggled with due to a stingy umpire in his last start against these White Sox. If not for a couple early walks, he might’ve had another pristine line against a Chicago squad that has struck out the 2nd most times in the American League. The Klubot is a pretty safe bet to produce 20+ DK points, with enough upside to double that total.



Value Play:

Drew Smyly (TB) @ BAL: $8200 – Facing RHP Kevin Gausman

When the Rays let David Price go and basically just got Smyly back in return, it raised a lot of eyebrows, but the LHP is showing why his price was so high at the trade deadline. He’s actually been stingier than Price with a 1.55 ERA and .163 BAA in 4 starts for the Rays, and even has a decent 7.14 K/9 ratio during that span. His two dominant outings (16.2 shutout IP at Texas and Toronto) came on the road, and he hasn’t much trouble with this O’s lineup. Despite facing a number of dangerous RHB, Smyly struck out 7 while allowing 1 ER over 6 IP in a start at Camden Yards earlier this season. He could post solid DK point totals at a discounted rate once again.

Longshot Pitcher:

Marcus Stroman (TOR) vs. BOS: $6600 – Facing RHP Joe Kelly

After an incredible July, Stroman has lost his control, and paid the price with an 8.66 ERA this month. Yet, the rookie should get coached up in time for a rematch with a Red Sox team that he held to 7 H, 1 ER, while striking out 15 (for an average of 30.6 DK points) in consecutive starts a few weeks ago. He managed to shut the Sox down at Fenway Park, but has generally been a risky play on the road, whereas his home splits (3.19 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and allowing .273 wOBA) are numbers you can get behind. At this price, he'll leave you flexible enough to roster some heavy hitters, or double up with Price/Kershaw as your SP1, but he still possesses the potential to post 30+ DK points, making him an ideal GPP play.



Batters

Catcher:

Buster Posey (SF) vs. COL: $4400 – Facing LHP Franklin Morales

Catcher was pretty much a wasteland last night, except in San Fran, where Posey continued his torrid run with 2 homers. If he teed off on a solid LHP in Jorge De La Rosa, Posey should be productive against Morales. The Giants backstop is batting .304 against LHP this season, and has a career .413 wOBA against southpaws. Morales is a converted reliever that rarely manages to post a Quality Start, and will face a red-hot Giants team on the road. Keep riding Posey, who is hitting .315 this month, slugging .700 with 4 HR over his last 10 games, and finally rounding into form late in the season.

Potential Value:

Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) logged multiple hits for the 2nd straight game last night. At $3000, he’s a good bet to at least meet value against struggling RHP Julio Teheran.

Longshot:

The Cubs newly acquired RHP Jacob Turner was absolutely pummeled by the Reds earlier this season, and struggles against RHB. So Devon Mesoraco ($3800) is a longshot to hang dong in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark tonight.



First Base:

Victor Martinez (DET) vs. NYY: $5000 – Facing RHP Shane Greene

The Tigers are a bit of a longshot stack against solid rookie Shane Greene, but Martinez is a good bet to post double-digit DK points if that offense starts rolling at home. I’m not just comfortable deploying him because he’s 2nd in the Majors with a .327 average (and hitting .368 over his last 10 games), but because he’s also 1st in the Majors with a 1.43 BB/K ratio. Greene’s vulnerable because of his high BB-rate against LHP, and he’s currently sporting a poor 1.80 K/BB ratio against lefties. That makes Martinez a good bet to get on base a couple of times, and if the Tigers cleanup man bats with RISP, he could end up with lofty DK-point totals.

Potential Value:

Adam Lind ($3400) tattooed a couple of balls during the Blue Jays’s extra innings loss last night, and Red Sox RHP Joe Kelly struggles against the platoon.

Longshot:

Lucas Duda ($4300) is homering basically every other night once again, and he deserves GPP consideration as the Mets host Teheran.



Second Base:

Jose Altuve (HOU) vs. OAK: $4500 – Facing LHP Drew Pomeranz

If you were willing to use Altuve against RHP Jason Hammel last night, he should be considered against a lefty for $100 less. Altuve leads the Majors with a .333 average this season, and his.425 average against LHP is by far the best mark in baseball. Pomeranz was having a good year, but he’s allowed RHB to post a .355 wOBA against him throughout his career, and there are no guarantees he can rekindle the magic he had going during May. Altuve has produced DK points in 80 of 101 games since May 1. He’ll rarely leave DFS owners empty-handed, and deserves consideration at this reasonable price.

Potential Value:

Jose Ramirez ($2500) is killing it as the Indians 2-hitter. He’s batting .454 (10-22) over his last 5 games and is a serious bargain at this price.

Longshot:

Brandon Phillips ($3600) and the rest of the Reds offense were invisible last night, but they have a great chance to bounce back against weak RHP Jacob Turner.



Third Base:

Todd Frazier (CIN) vs. CHC: $4400 – Facing RHP Jacob Turner

The Reds have to be embarrassed after Travis Wood and the Cubs bullpen twirled a 3-hit shutout against them last night. Who knows if that will translate into an offensive explosion tonight, but the fact that they’re facing an awful RHP in Jacob Turner won’t hurt. The former Marlins SP has given up 1.33 HR/9 and is allowing RHB to post a .357 wOBA throughout his career. Frazier has good reverse-platoon splits, and is 3-5 with a double and a BB against Turner. The Reds 3B seems to be getting over the “HR-Derby slump” as he’s produced DK points in 17 of his last 18 appearances and homered twice this week. He’s a solid option for a mid-tier price in this matchup.

Potential Value:

Matt Shoemaker made the Marlins look silly last night, but Casey McGehee ($3100) and the rest of that lineup should bounce back in a decent matchup with LHP Hector Santiago.

Longshot:

Zach Walters (CLE) is a risky play, but for $2700, the Indians likely DH doesn’t need much to hit value.



Shortstop:

Danny Santana (MIN) @ KC: $4900 – Facing RHP Liam Hendriks

It’s a shame my boy’s price tag has risen to the top, but Santana still deserves consideration in this matchup. Hendriks has pitched well at the AAA level, but has gotten rocked in all 3 MLB appearances this season. He’s now allowing LHB to post a .361 wOBA (and an even worse .400 wOBA to RHB) over the course of his Major League career, and could struggle with a Twins lineup that’s scoring 5.6 runs per game over the past month. As Minnesota’s leadoff man, Santana’s been a huge part of that success, and is batting .345 during his current 10-game hitting streak. If you’re going to pay up at SS, it doesn’t get much safer than the switch-hitting rookie.

Potential Value:

Padres RHP Odrisamer Despaigne will likely continue to struggle tonight, and Brewers LHB Scooter Gennett is worth a look for just $3300.

Longshot:

Hanley Ramirez ($4300) has been back for a couple of games and is facing LHP Wade Miley, so it may be time to consider the SS, who has a career .308 average vs. LHP and a .408 wOBA against lefties this season.



Outfielders:

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) @ LAA: $5500 – Facing LHP Hector Santiago

With a 16.8% BB-rate and .660 slugging percentage, Stanton sits atop the MLB with a .478 wOBA against LHP. He predictably struggled against Shoemaker’s filthy splitter last night, but should be able to bounce back against the soft-throwing Santiago. Stanton has probably been the best player in baseball with a .464 wOBA and 1.7 WAR over the past month, and deserves consideration every night, but this matchup is particularly enticing.

Melky Cabrera (TOR) vs. BOS: $4700 – Facing RHP Joe Kelly

After slapping two singles last night, Cabrera has 51 multi-hit games on the season. He continues to take advantage of the fast surface at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, as he’s batting .315 at home, and should be productive against Kelly considering the Red Sox SP is allowing LHB to post a .354 wOBA this year. Kelly managed to pitch around the Mariners (1 H, 3 BB, 88 pitches over 5 innings) in his last start, but the top of the Jays order is much more dangerous and will likely make him pay if he walks batters early.

J.D. Martinez (DET) vs. NYY: $4100 – Facing RHP Shane Greene

Hey, J.D’s back! If you let him go in seasonal leagues (like me), now’s a good time to go running back to the waiver wire and pick up the young RHB, as he’s gone 8-13 with 3 doubles over his last 3 starts. Torii Hunter’s moved into the No. 2 spot, which leaves Martinez batting 5th behind Victor Martinez, a great place to hit in the Tigers surging offense. Martinez excels against RHB, with a .321 average this year, and could be part of tonight’s longshot stack against the rookie.



Potential Values:

Torii Hunter ($3800) is batting .343 during his current 8-game hitting streak, including 7 H (46 DK points) over his last 3 games. He’s also getting added opportunities as the Tigers 2-hitter.

Bryce Harper ($3800) could provide salary relief for GPP lineups. Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick is a good bet to give up a HR to a LHB, and the Nats young phenom could be the one to hang dong.

Jordan Schafer ($3100) doesn’t have tons of upside since he’s been batting 9th for the Twins, but he’s 8-17 with 2 SB and 6 runs scored over his last 5 starts.


I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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