Scouting The MLB - July 29

Pitching looks like it will rule supreme this Tuesday. We broke down the top 4 SP and position players for DFS lineups.

Weather Report

  • Thunderstorms will likely delay the game in Detroit, and could play a factor in the Cubs home matchup with the Rockies

Stackable Menu

  1. Oakland A's visiting RHP Scott Feldman
  2. Cincinnati Reds (value plays) hosting RHP Trevor Cahill
  3. Colorado Rockies hosting RHP Edwin Jackson

Longshot stack:New York Yankees visiting RHP Nick Martinez


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Pitchers

Two Studs:

Cole Hamels (PHI) @ NYM: $10,700 – Facing RHP Dillon Gee

Hamels isn’t expensive enough to really consider fading him tonight. He’s been incredibly safe over the past two months, as he’s allowed 3 ER or fewer, and struck out 7.4 batters per start since June 1. Despite their tendency to step up against opposing Aces, the Mets offense is still relatively weak. Mets batters scored the 4th fewest runs (92) and struck out the 10th most times (224) against LHP this season. Their best hitter right now, Lucas Duda, is 1 for 13 in his career against Hamels, who is very tough on LHB. Pitching at Citi Field should only give Hamels more leeway, as the Mets ballpark is very pitcher-friendly.

Jeff Samardzija (OAK) @ HOU: $8600 – Facing RHP Scott Feldman

While his teammate (Chavez) failed to navigate the Astros lineup for the second straight time last night, Samardzija is far more talented, and capable of dominating a young Houston team in consecutive starts. The RHP is sporting a 2.70 ERA and 10.0 K/BB ratio through 30 IP with his new team, and clearly has no issues with facing A.L. lineups. The Shark seems to be pitching to contact as he's walked just 2 batters during that span, and with his stuff, that can be a recipe for success. The Astros got nothing going against the former football player last Thursday, as he produced 29 DK points over 8 very strong innings. Houston leads the A.L. in strikeouts, but Samardzija's greatest appeal is his workhorse mentality as he's posted 15 Quality Starts and is averaging 6.5 IP in 21 outings this year.



Value Play:

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) @ MIA: $9500 – Facing RHP Henderson Alvarez

This is an unusual value play, considering Strasburg is the 3rd most expensive SP on the board, but he could be an against-the-grain choice that pays off. Sure he’s sputtered this year, allowing 4 or more ER in 4 of his last 7 starts, and he’s been awful on the road (5.09 ERA), but we’re still talking about one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball. That ability does wonders for Strasburg’s value, as he managed to produce 21 DK points two starts ago despite allowing 7 H and 4 ER through 7 innings. He’s 2nd in the N.L. with a 10.68 K/9, and is facing a team that has struck out more than any other MLB club this season, so his upside exceeds his upper-tier price tag.

Longshot Pitcher:

Marcus Stroman (TOR) @ BOS: $8100 – Facing RHP Rubby De La Rosa

Aside from one start against the Angels right before the ASB, Stroman has been untouchable over the past month, as he's averaging 27.56 DK points in his other 5 starts. If you watch him pitch, you'll come away even more impressed, and 2 of the 3 ER he's allowed during that span (35.2 IP) came when a relief pitcher immediately gave up a HR after inheriting Stroman's runners. Since that miscue, manager John Gibbons seems to have placed more trust in his rookie SP, as Stroman has been able to throw 7 shutout innings in each of his last 2 starts. One of those gems came against the Red Sox, who are sputtering once again and remain the 2nd lowest squad in the A.L. with 266 runs scored against RHP this season. Stroman earned his first road Win at Oakland a couple of weeks ago, and is capable of coming into Fenway Park and shutting down this struggling offense.



Batters

Catcher:

Derek Norris (OAK) @ HOU: $3900 – Facing RHP Scott Feldman

Norris should be in the lineup considering his success against tonight’s starter (4 for 5 with a HR and a BB). He’s averaging 7.3 DK points over his last 6 starts, and is usually batting 5th or 6th in the Athletics very dangerous offense. Feldman has been lit up at home (5.37 ERA) and hasn’t fared well anywhere this month as he’s allowing opposing batters to post a .402 wOBA while dropping 3 of 4 July decisions. The Astros RHP has coughed up 16 ER while sporting an awful 9:11 K:BB ratio over his last 3 starts, so stacking against him is a pretty good idea.

Potential Value:

Brayan Pena ($2900) is in a great position to succeed against RHP Trevor Cahill. The Reds fill-in first baseman is hitting .325 over his last 10 games and has the platoon advantage.

Longshot:

Francisco Cervelli ($3400) is one of several Yankees LHB that could produce against Nick Martinez. The Rangers young RHP has a horrific 7.40 ERA at home this year.



First Base:

Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) vs. ATL: $4300 – Facing RHP Aaron Harang

Gonzalez laid an egg in a plus matchup against Jake Peavy on Sunday, but he’s been very productive recently with a .338 average, 5 BB, and 8 RBI over his last 10 games. He’ll face Aaron Harang, who tends to allow plenty of base runners before dancing out of trouble (75.2% strand rate), and he’s struggled against the platoon. LHB are sporting a .347 wOBA against Harang, and the Braves RHP has a 1.66 WHIP when facing lefties. Gonzo is a relatively safe play at this price, and has some upside considering he’s 7 for 17 (.412) with 3 HR in his career against Harang.

Potential Value:

It’s a small sample size, but Ben Paulsen (COL) is crushing RHP with a .570 wOBA in 19 plate appearances. For $3500, he could be part of a Rockies stack against Edwin Jackson.

Longshot:

Ryan Howard (PHI) has some bizarrely good splits against RHP Dillon Gee. He’s 9 for 18 with 6 HR and 14 RBI against tonight’s starter, so he’s worth GPP consideration at $4300.



Second Base:

Chase Utley (PHI) @ NYM: $4500 – Facing RHP Dillon Gee

Utley is getting back on track after a rough June, and is averaging 8.8 DK points over his last 7 games. He was given yesterday off, but should be fresh in time for a matchup against Gee. The Mets RHP has struggled against LHB for the past few years, and has been lit up for 10 ER and 3 HR in his last two starts. Along with teammate Ryan Howard, Utley has a great chance to tag Gee for extra bases tonight.

Potential Value:

Facing Jorge De La Rosa limits his upside, but Emilio Bonifacio (CHC) has hit LHP well all season and deserves consideration at $3800.

Longshot:

A four-hit game from Ryan Goins ($2400) was one of the most unexpected results from last night, but the Blue Jays 2B was flashing his upside in the Minors and could exceed value again tonight.



Third Base:

Carlos Santana (CLE) @ SEA: $5200 – Facing RHP Hisashi Iwakuma

When you’re the hottest hitter on the planet, you deserve consideration in even in the toughest matchups. Iwakuma is one of those SP that rarely makes mistakes (0.98 HR/9), but he does give up more XBH to lefties, and certainly hasn’t been unhittable of late. The Mariners right-hander has coughed up 13 H and 6 ER in his last 2 starts, and is facing a team that has the 3rd highest wOBA (.332) against RHP in the Majors. We’ll see if the crafty hurler can keep Santana from logging his 7th HR in as many games.

Potential Value:

The way he’s hitting right now, Josh Harrison (PIT) is certainly worth a look at $3900.

Longshot:

Chase Headley ($4400) has hit safely in 10 straight games and all 6 of his appearances as a Yankee. He has the platoon advantage against weak RHP Nick Martinez tonight.



Shortstop:

Jed Lowrie (OAK) @ HOU: $4300 – Facing RHP Scott Feldman

With Coco Crisp receiving treatment for a neck injury, and Craig Gentry already on the DL, Lowrie hit leadoff for the A’s last night, and came through with 2 H and a BB as he produced 15 DK points. I’d expect the A’s to put Lowrie and John Jaso atop their order against Feldman tonight, and the switch-hitting SS should have success against a pitcher that he’s 6 for 12 against in his career. Lowrie has a 10.5% BB rate and .311 wOBA against RHP, so there’s a good chance he gets on base a couple times this evening.

Potential Value:

Since getting the day off to work on some mechanical issues with his swing, Danny Santana ($3400) has reached base against every SP he’s faced aside from Chris Sale. He should be leading off for the Twins tonight.

Longshot:

Ramon Santiago (CIN) is batting 2nd and costs just $2500. He's one of several cheap options in the Reds lineup.



Outfielders:

Carlos Gonzalez (COL) @ CHC: $5000 – Facing RHP Edwin Jackson

CarGo is a bit of a risky play since he’s hitting just .182 over his last 10 games, but this is a great matchup for him to turn it around. Gonzalez is an incredible 7 for 9 with 3 XBH, 2 SB, and a BB when facing Edwin Jackson. The Cubs RHP is allowing lefties to sport a .395 wOBA against him, and comes into tonight’s start having allowed 17 ER and 5 HR over his last 3 starts. The Rockies offense doesn’t usually explode on the road, but tonight might be an exception.

Melky Cabrera (TOR) @ BOS: $4900 – Facing RHP Rubby De La Rosa

Cabrera was a late addition to my lineups last night, and it paid off in a big way as he produced a season-high 38 DK points. That outburst was no fluke considering Melky is T-2nd in the A.L. with 40 multi-hit games this season, and came into last night’s matchup having produced double-digit DK points in 5 of his last 9 appearances. De La Rosa has already shown difficulties keeping the ball in the yard (14% HR/FB ratio), and LHB are sporting a .364 wOBA against the rookie. The Blue Jays tagged him early and often in his last start and the top of their order should be productive once again.

Hunter Pence (SF) vs. PIT: $4700 – Facing LHP Francisco Liriano

Liriano is one of several SP that come into tonight’s games on a role, but I don’t think he shuts down a Giants offense that has produced the 2nd most runs (123) in the N.L. against LHP. Pence, who is 3 for 4 with a double and 2 BB against Liriano, is one of several Giants that hits LHP well (.365 wOBA). He has an aggressive approach that should allow him to take advantage of a pitcher with a high line drive rate.



Potential Values:

Ben Revere ($3600) logged two more hits last night and is batting .315 over his last 10 games. He’s worth consideration as the Phillies leadoff hitter.

If Travis Snider ($3500) is batting 2nd for the Pirates he’s worth a look against RHP Tim Hudson.

Donald Lutz ($2800) deserves a look as he’ll bat 6th for the Reds against weak RHP Trevor Cahill tonight.


I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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