Scouting The MLB - August 7

We're back with a full breakdown of Thursday night's MLB slate

Weather Report

  • Strong storms expected in St.Louis tonight could lead to a postponement

Stackable Menu

  1. Seattle Mariners hosting RHP Scott Carroll
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates visiting LHP Brian Flynn
  3. Oakland Athletics hosting RHP Yohan Pino
  4. Chicago White Sox (righties) visiting LHP Roenis Elias
  5. Los Angeles Dodgers visiting LHP C.J. Wilson

Longshot stack:Miami Marlins visiting RHP Edinson Volquez


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Pitchers

Two Studs:

Jon Lester (OAK) vs. MIN: $11,000 – Facing RHP Yohan Pino

Lester > Wainwright in 50/50 and H2H formats, and it’s not even close. The left-handed Ace didn’t wow in his debut for the A’s, but that came against a feisty Royals squad that rarely strikes out. Well tonight Lester is pitching at home against a Twins lineup that is 3rd in the Majors with a 22.9% K-rate on the road this season. He faced Minnesota once as a member of the Red Sox this year, and managed to produce 25.2 DK points over 6.1 IP despite an arduous first frame. It’s also highly unlikely that rookie Yohan Pino, who is getting crushed by LHB and sporting a 6.28 ERA on the road this season, can come into Oakland and shut down the dangerous A’s, so Lester should have ample run support as he looks to pick up another Win with his new team.

Colin McHugh (HOU) @ PHI: $8400 – Facing RHP Roberto Hernandez

McHugh should be a solid 2nd SP with enough upside to warrant consideration in GPP formats. His recent numbers would look much better if he’d received enough run support to earn a Win, yet that hasn’t happened since June 3. In his last 2 starts, McHugh has a 14:2 K:BB ratio and 3.57 ERA. He’s sporting a 10.45 K/9 ratio and 1.96 ERA in 7 road starts this season, and will face a Phillies lineup that is 29th in the MLB with a collective .666 OPS. If you’re not superstitious about that number, use the Astros talented young RHP in a plus matchup this evening.



Value Play:

Miguel Gonzalez (BAL) @ TOR: $6000 – Facing LHP J.A. Happ

Gonzalez will be overlooked because he’s been hit hard by the Mariners in consecutive starts, but there’s a chance that’s just a tough matchup for the Mexican native. He was more than just Quality in his previous 3 starts, allowing 2 ER or fewer while tossing 7+ innings against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Angels. The O’s RHP has a 3.48 ERA, 1.069 WHIP, and 8.0 K/9 ratio in 6 appearances at Toronto's Rogers Centre, and has great splits against Blue Jays batters. Aside from the injured Adam Lind, who is 8-16 in his career against the RHP, the rest of Toronto’s lineup is batting just .165 with a 20% K-rate against Gonzalez. He’s not a GPP play, but could be a 2nd SP that provides salary relief in other formats.

Longshot Pitcher:

Jeremy Guthrie (KC) @ ARI: $5800 – Facing LHP Vidal Nuno

Guthrie shocked the DFS community by holding the dangerous Athletics lineup in check over 6 scoreless innings during his last start, and could easily ride that momentum into a plus matchup with the D’Backs. Arizona’s mediocre offense is extremely diminished due to the departure of Gerardo Parra as well as a season-ending injury to Paul Goldschmidt, and we saw Guthries’ teammate Yordano Ventura take full advantage of that depleted lineup last night. Ventura struck out 8 on his way to a Win, and Guthrie’s 7.08 K/9 ratio on the road is much better than his mark at home. He’s one of several cheap SP that could either flop or flourish tonight.



Batters

Catcher:

Yan Gomes (CLE) @ CIN: $3900 – Facing RHP Homer Bailey

This price tag is absolutely disrespectful considering Gomes is averaging 10.5 DK PPG while batting .435 over his last 10 games. He’s hit safely in 18 consecutive starts, and while Reds SP Homer Bailey is solid against RHB, he’s given up 2 singles to Gomes in as many at bats. Batting towards the bottom of the Indians dangerous lineup, Gomes has 10 RBI over his last 8 starts. He’s established a very nice floor as you have to go back to July 9 to find a start where he didn’t produce DK points, so he should be locked into most cash game lineups tonight.

Potential Value:

Miguel Montero ($3700) has the platoon advantage against wildcard RHP Jeremy Guthrie, and should be able to reach base at least once as the D’Backs likely cleanup hitter.

Longshot:

John Jaso ($3800) is only a longshot because he’s going through a mini-slump right now, but he’s been solid for the A’s all year and can take advantage of Yohan Pino’s struggles against LHB.



First Base:

Jose Abreu (CWS) @ SEA: $5100 – Facing LHP Roenis Elias

This is a rare slate where there aren’t many enticing upper-tier options at 1B, so if you’re going to pay up at the position, you may as well go with the only stud in a plus matchup. Abreu’s platoon splits aren’t eye-popping only because he also has amazing reverse-platoon splits, but a .414 wOBA and .302 ISO against LHP is nothing to sneeze at. Elias is a young southpaw that has been inconsistent throughout 2014, and struggled in his one start against the White Sox as he allowed 5 ER in 7 IP on July 4. Abreu tagged the LHP with a 2-run HR in that contest, and comes into tonight’s matchup batting a scorching .458 over his last 10 games. He’s cooled off over the past few games, but could certainly heat up in a hurry.

Potential Value:

Matt Adams ($3700) continues to hit for average over power as he’s batting .316 this season. He should be a safe play as the Cardinals likely cleanup hitter against RHP Brandon Workman.

Longshot:

Brandon Moss ($4100) is another Atheltics LHB that is really struggling, but could break out of his slump against Pino, who is allowing LHB to sport a .479 wOBA on the road this season.



Second Base:

Robinson Cano (SEA) vs. CWS: $4800 – Facing RHP Scott Carroll

And we reach one of the best stacking options of the night in the Mariners left-handed lineup. Seattle has a surplus of LHB, and lefties are crushing Carroll to the tune of a .370 wOBA (6th highest mark among qualified SP) this season. Cano is the most expensive of those left-handed bats, but he’s been very productive as he’s batting .365 with a .493 OBP over his last 10 games. Carroll has a woeful 1.14 K/BB ratio against LHB, so it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Cano will put the ball in play or walk in most of his at-bats against the soft RHP. With double-digit DK points in 4 of his last 6 contests, the $300 Million Man is starting to flash some upside and could be stacked along with several Mariners value plays.

Potential Value:

Cano’s teammate Kyle Seager ($3900) should be batting 5th for the Mariners and could also take advantage of Carroll’s struggles against LHB.

Longshot:

Jordany Valdespin’s ($3200) got the day off yesterday, but if he’s back in the 2-spot for the Marlins he’s worth GPP consideration against inconsistent RHP Edinson Volquez.



Third Base:

Josh Harrison (PIT) vs. MIA: $4600 – Facing LHP Brian Flynn

With Jarred Cosart scratched due to an oblique injury, the Pirates become an excellent stacking option as they host the unproven Brian Flynn this evening. Flynn averaged just 4.5 IP in 4 starts for the Marlins last season, posting a horrendous 8.50 ERA in the process. He’s sporting a 4.00 ERA at the AAA level this season, and allowing RHB to bat .318 through 21 starts. In short, he should have no chance to get Harrison out, as the Pirates red-hot leadoff man is batting .462 against Major League pitchers over his last 10 games. With 12 XBH and 3 SB during that span, he’s averaging a whopping 17.5 DK PPG, as he leads all players in FPs during that span.

Potential Value:

Angels LHP C.J. Wilson was absolutely lit up in his return from the DL last weekend, so both Justin Turner and Juan Uribe are in play at $3300. The Dodgers infielders have the platoon advantage and are relatively safe plays depending on their placement in the lineup.



Shortstop:

Alexei Ramirez (CWS) @ SEA: $4600 – Facing LHP Roenis Elias

If he continues to bat 2nd in front of the uber-dangerous Jose Abreu, Ramirez is worth consideration in all formats. He’s currently batting .421 (16-38) during a 9-game hitting streak, and has the platoon advantage against Elias, who is allowing RHB to post a .332 wOBA at home this season. Ramirez is batting .280 against LHP over the past 3 seasons and is a dual threat as he’s 4 for his last 5 SB attempts. Mariners catcher Mike Zunino is catching just 29.7% of potential base stealers this season, so Ramirez could get the green light if he reaches first out of the 2-hole.

Potential Value:

Kris Negron (CIN) is 5 for 9 with 3 XBH in his last 2 games. He’s produced 51 DK points over his last 3 starts and deserves consideration as a punt play at $2400.

Longshot:

Jhonny Peralta ($3400) let owners down with a goose egg last night, but he’s worth a look as the Cardinals likely 5-hitter against inexperienced RHP Brandon Workman.



Outfielders:

Adam Jones (BAL) @ TOR: $4400 – Facing LHP J.A. Happ

Jones and teammate Nelson Cruz are falling into value range right now, but it’s only a matter of time before the blow up for huge DK point totals. That breakout performance could come tonight as they’ll have the platoon advantage against Happ. Jones is 6 for 13 (.462) and Cruz is 4 for 5 against the southpaw, who seems to alternate between solid outings and absolutely stinkers. Despite his recent struggles, AJ10 is still 3rd amongst A.L. hitters with a .469 wOBA against LHP, and could be worth gambling on tonight.

Coco Crisp (OAK) vs. MIN: $4400 – Facing RHP Yohan Pino

The A’s should be a productive stack against Pino tonight, and Crisp or Sam Fuld ($3700) are worth a look in most formats depending on who is leading off against the rookie. As mentioned above, Pino has been lit up by LHB to the tune of a .358 wOBA, and he’s been much worse on the road where lefties are sporting a .479 wOBA against him this season. Whichever LHB is leading off today has a great chance to reach base and score multiple runs.

Christian Yelich (MIA) vs. PIT: $3700 – Facing RHP Edinson Volquez

Yelich is a value play, but comes highly recommended, as he’ll face an inconsistent RHP tonight. Volquez has a 5.77 ERA and 5.19 BB/9 ratio over his last 3 starts, and is allowing LHB to post a .330 wOBA this season. Yelich may be slumping (batting .178 over his past 10 games) but he’s found a way to produce DK points in 8 consecutive contests and homered yesterday, as he’s now averaging 10.25 DK PPG over his last 4 appearances. He should be able to take advantage of solid platoon splits in this matchup.



Potential Values:

Dayan Viciedo ($3400) crushes LHP and is 3 for 3 with a HR off Mariners starter Roenis Elias. He’s worth a look as he’ll likely bat 5th or 6th for the visiting White Sox tonight.

Dustin Ackley ($3500), Kendrys Morales ($3400), and Logan Morrison ($3400) are all fantastic value plays that could be stacked together as the Mariners host weak RHP Scott Carroll.

Moises Sierra ($2200) was money when he started against LHP Logan Darnell last week. With Adam Eaton injured, the White Sox will likely deploy their platooning outfielder tonight.


I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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