Scouting The MLB - August 1

Start off August with a win by utilizing the lineup advice and top DFS plays in today's daily breakdown.

Stackable Menu

  1. Detroit Tigers visiting LHP Franklin Morales
  2. Chicago White Sox hosting LHP Logan Darnell
  3. Oakland Athletics hosting RHP Jeremy Guthrie
  4. Washington Nationals hosting RHP Roberto Hernandez
  5. Atlanta Braves (righties) hosting LHP Eric Stults

Longshot stack:(The New) Boston Red Sox hosting LHP Chris Capuano

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Two Studs:

Chris Sale (CWS) vs. MIN: $12,600 – Facing RHP Logan Darnell

Sometimes a pitcher faces the same team in consecutive starts and the results are dramatically different, but Sale dominated the Twins lineup so thoroughly last Saturday that it would be extremely surprising if he failed to shut them down at home tonight. His official line (8 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 12 K) is impressive, yet not nearly as impressive as watching the filth he threw past the Twins mediocre hitters. Sale has been outstanding all month with a 0.85 ERA, .193 BAA, and an incredible 12.67 K/BB ratio in his last 4 starts. His 11.26 K/9 ratio at home leads all American League pitchers this season, and he’s had no issues when facing Minnesota this season. In short, he’s absolutely worth paying up for this evening.

Doug Fister (WAS) vs. PHI: $7800 – Facing RHP Roberto Hernandez

Aside from Sale, the other top-tier SP options lack upside in their respective matchups, and it’s probably best to pair the LHP with a moderately priced stud like Fister. The Nats RHP has produced double-digit DK points in 11 of his 14 starts this season, and is averaging 22 DK points in 5 home starts. Nationals Park is a great place to pitch, with the 4th lowest HR Factor in the N.L., but Fister’s true talent is his ability to induce weak ground balls. He’s recorded 40 ground ball outs while earning a Win in each of his last 4 starts (26.2 IP). He’s facing the league’s 26th ranked offense, and starting opposite a RHP in Roberto Hernandez that is sporting a 5.64 ERA in 8 road starts this season. With a great chance to earn a Win and post a Quality Start, Fister is the ideal 2nd SP for 50/50 and H2H lineups.

Value Play:

Danny Salazar (CLE) vs. TEX: $7000 – Facing RHP Jerome Williams

Salazar is not exactly a safe value play, but his ability to rack up strikeouts gives him the potential to mask some mistakes. That’s essentially what he’s done since returning to the Majors, as he’s allowed 13 H and 4 ER, but struck out 13 over 2 starts to produce an average of 21.75 DK points. The young right-hander has had trouble with the long ball (1.37 HR/9), but his 10.25 K/9 ratio is impressive enough to consider him at 7K. The Indians are hosting the worst team in baseball (Rangers have just 43 wins), and Texas is sending a SP that was poor enough to get DFA’d by the Astros to the mound, so Salazar has a great chance to pitch with the lead this evening.

Longshot Pitcher:

Matt Shoemaker (LAA) @ TB: $6800 – Facing RHP Jeremy Hellickson

The difficult matchup makes Shoemaker a bit of a longshot, but the Angels young RHP is legit. He’s sandwiched 2 rough outings against the Blue Jays and Royals with several outstanding performances, as he’s produced 26.2 DK PPG in his other 5 starts since consistently joining the rotation on June 17. His 9.08 K/9 ratio is the product of a fantastic split-fingered fastball and solid curveball, giving the ability to mix it up and strikeout both LHB and RHB.



Evan Gattis (ATL) @ SD: $4000 – Facing LHP Eric Stults

Gattis was out of the lineup when the Braves tagged Stults for 6 ER in 6 innings last Sunday, but should be batting in the middle of the order this evening. His incredible numbers against LHP (.505 wOBA, .383 ISO, 231 wRC+) would be best amongst MLB catchers if he qualified, so he’s definitely an option with upside against the Padres mediocre left-hander. Stults is a groundball pitcher that isn’t eliciting enough groundballs (42.1%) to be successful, and batters are lifting his pitches as he’s giving up 1.63 HR per 9 innings. Petco Park is not an easy stadium to hit HRs in, but Gattis is one of the strongest players in the Majors that is capable of hitting it out to all fields.

Potential Value:

Steven Vogt ($3800) received a vote of confidence by default as he’ll likely play everyday with Cespedes out of town. The A’s utility LHB has a huge platoon advantage against RHP Jeremy Guthrie- who has been shelled by lefties all year.


RHP Danny Salazar has looked better in his last 2 starts, but he’s still HR-prone and could serve up some mistakes to the Rangers J.P. Arencibia ($3500), a dangerous power-hitting C/1B.

First Base:

Jose Abreu (CWS) vs. MIN: $5400 – Facing LHP Logan Darnell

Abreu is on a tear as he’s riding his 2nd 18+ game hitting streak of the season. He reached base in all 5 at bats last night, and will face a converted reliever in Logan Darnell this evening. The left-hander allowed 9 HR in 67.2 IP against RHB at the AAA level, and struggled mightily in his first MLB start of the season against these very White Sox. Abreu went 0-2 against Darnell, but there’s no reason to assume the LHP gets the best of him in consecutive outings. He’s increased his wOBA against left-handers, and led all A.L. hitters with a .461 wOBA throughout July. Abreu has a solid floor and very high ceiling in a game where his team is heavily favored.

Potential Value:

Lucas Duda ($4400) can’t be ignored as he’s averaging 12.3 DK points over his last 10 games. The Mets 1B has the platoon advantage against Ryan Vogelsong and should continue his torrid run.


Adam LaRoche ($4400) continues to bat cleanup for the Nationals and is past due for a big game. Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez tends to struggle against LHB, and could serve up a shot to LaRoche.

Second Base:

Jose Altuve (HOU) vs. TOR: $4900 – Facing LHP J.A. Happ

It’s been awhile since Altuve came highly recommended, but he’s clearly the top option at 2B in this matchup. Happ will look to navigate an Astros squad that is 4th in the A.L. against LHP (hitting .267 collectively) and that is primarily due to the fact that Altuve has the best average in the Majors (.426) against southpaws. He’s been quiet on the base paths lately as he’s just 1 for 4 on SB attempts in his last 10 games, but is hitting .363 during that span. He’s a near lock to reach base, and has tremendous upside due to his tendency to log multiple hits in an outing.

Potential Value:

Yangervis Solarte (SD) is a more reliable option than teammate Jedd Gyorko, but both are in play for $3400. Solarte has great splits against LHP Mike Minor in a small sample size.


Kolten Wong ($3900) is a dangerous 2-hitter for the Cardinals that could finally take advantage of RHP Wily Peralta’s struggles against left-handed batters.

Third Base:

Matt Carpenter (STL) vs. MIL: $4500 – Facing RHP Wily Peralta

Carpenter may not have the upside of some of the power-hitting 3B on tonight’s slate, but he does have a chance to produce solid DK point totals by reaching base multiple times. He’s 5 for 12 (.417) with a double, HR, and 3 BB in his career against Peralta, who is allowing LHB to post a .369 wOBA this season. Carp is finally setting the table like he was last year, as he’s sporting a .435 OBP with 8 runs scored over his past 10 appearances. He’s not the most appealing GPP play, but should be a solid option for 50/50 and H2H formats this evening.

Potential Value:

David Freese (LAA) looked locked in as he tied a career-high with 4 hits last night. He’s now scored 32 DK points over his last 4 games and could be a solid value play at $3800.


Miguel Cabrera ($5700) is unbelievably expensive, and has a tough time hitting value, but the Tigers lineup should destroy weak LHP Franklin Morales tonight and Cabrera could do a lot of damage.


Alexei Ramirez (CWS) vs. MIN: $4400 – Facing LHP Logan Darnell

After a considerably long slump, Ramirez is back on track with multiple hits in 5 of his last 9 games. He’s averaging 11 DK PPG during that span, and returns home, where he’s batting .315 this season, to open the series against an inexperienced LHP. Ramirez was one of several White Sox that tagged Darnell in his first Major League start, as the SS went 2 for 3 with a HR off the southpaw. He should be part of a productive White Sox stack again tonight.

Potential Value:

Chris Taylor ($2400) is still solid punt play, and will be very enticing if he’s batting 2nd for the Mariners again.


Jose Ramirez ($2500) also hit out of the 2-hole last night, and exceeded value with 5 DK points. He’s more of a longshot to continue hitting as he’s just 9 for 48 (.188) all year.


Brandon Moss (OAK) vs. KC: $4900 – Facing RHP Jeremy Guthrie

Sometimes numbers lie, but the numbers are overwhelming in favor of Moss in this particular matchup. The power-hitting 1B will face the RHP that has given up the most HR (16) to LHB this season. Guthrie has been absolutely over the last month as he’s sporting a 10.07 ERA while allowing opposing batters to post a .448 wOBA in 4 July starts. In 6 at bats against Guthrie, Moss has struck out 4 times, and homered twice. He’s a great GPP option and should be one of several A’s hitters to produce at home.

Corey Dickerson (COL) vs. DET: $4500 – Facing RHP Justin Verlander

Verlander has pulled out of the nosedive that has been his 2014 season, but is still sporting the 2nd worst ERA (4.79) amongst A.L. starters. He’ll open the Tigers series at Coors Field tonight, and while there’s a bit of a stigma that the first game at Coors is usually low scoring, I doubt that’s the case tonight. Verlander has allowed 5+ hits and 2+ ER in all but 1 start this year, and his 2.02 K/BB ratio is his worst mark since 2008. Most Rockies thrive at Coors, but Dickerson has been exceptional with a .356 average and 21 XBH in 41 home games this season. He’s a GPP play that tends to get his DK points in bunches, making him worth a look at $4500.

Torii Hunter and J.D. Martinez (DET) @ COL: $4400 – Facing LHP Franklin Morales

Both of these outfielders were very productive during yesterday’s loss, and will have an opportunity to ride that momentum into a plus matchup this evening. Morales is awful against RHB, and Hunter has particularly good platoon splits over the past few years. He’s a bit of a safer play than Martinez, especially if the veteran continues to bat 5th behind the Tigers big bats, but J.D. Martinez has shown the ability to get hot in a hurry and shouldn’t be ignored in GPP formats. Consider stacking 2 or 3 members of Detroit’s outfield as they hit in Coors Field tonight. .

Potential Values:

Include Rajai Davis ($4300) in the conversation of Tigers outfielders with the platoon advantage against Morales. He’s likely Detroit’s leadoff hitter by default with Austin Jackson shipped out of town, and will look to cement his new role with a productive start.

Doug Fister has been solid, but Ben Revere has been just as steady as the Phillies leadoff man. He’s batting .388 over the past 30 days and is a great 50/50 and H2H play at $3600.

Delmon Young ($3300) was disappointing as the Orioles failed to get anything going against Angels pitching last night, but he’s a .302 lifetime hitter against LHP and will be worth a look as a longshot if he’s batting 5th against LHP Roenis Elias.

I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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