MLB DFS Plays
By: John Heffelfinger
Today is going to be a tough day to select pitchers because there are a ton of good pitchers going. These are the guys I like the most out of the group.
Max Scherzer – Scherzer is going to be very expensive today, but out of the few elite guys going today, I think he will be the safest bet to put up points for cash games. He has 37 strikeouts over his last 4 starts, and has pitched 7 innings in his last 5 starts. He has also faced the Phillies lineup twice already this year, having 14 IP, 17 K’s and only 2 ER. I don’t want to go too far into advanced stats, but even the standard stats show that the Phillies offense has been quite bad this year. They have a league worst 24 Home Runs, a league worst 136 runs, and the 22nd best batting average at .241. They don’t strike out a ton (23rd most), but Scherzer has already shown that he can strike them out this year. Then take into account that Vegas has them with the best odds to win today at -300 which is insanely high. They also have the over under at 7 runs, so they don’t expect the Phillies to do much either. With the lack of offense, Scherzer’s consistent dominance, and O’Sullivan pitching for the Phillies, I see a great day for him ahead.
Gerrit Cole – At a little bit more of an affordable price point, I really like Cole today. He has 53 K’s in in 48 IP and has a 2.40 ERA with 5 wins. He also has at least 6 strikeouts in 7 of his last 8 starts so he has been consistent all year long. He is going against Met’s lineup that isn’t terrible, but doesn’t scare me all too much. They have struck out the 14th most in the MLB (307 times), have the 20th most runs in the MLB (158), and have the 26th ranked batting average at .236. Vegas has them at -160 to win today, and with Syndergaard going for the Mets today I could definitely see that. This will only be his 3rd career start so getting the win is very possible and will be very important especially with all of the good guys that are going today. He has at least 6 strikeouts in 7 of his last 8 starts so he has been consistent all year long. I still like Cole mainly for cash games especially on a giant slate today with his price point still being pretty high.
Alfredo Simon – I’m going to start out by saying that I solely like Simon in GPP’s. He is at a much cheaper price point than most today, and still has the capability of putting up a lot of points. While David Price obviously has better stuff, he once again showed that the Astros are prone to striking out a ton. The Astros do not get a lot of hits (2nd worst BA at .230), the 2nd most K’s (385 which is 40 more than 3rd most), and a relatively low OBP. They have the ability to hit HR’s there is no doubt about that. Simon however has been pretty good this year. He may only have 33 K’s in 50 IP, but he has a 3.04 ERA and has 4 wins. I obviously think that his strikeout rate will increase today going against the Astros, and his ability to pitch deep into games (at least 6 IP 5 times this year). Vegas has this game as a pick’em, but I think the Tigers can pull it out, and Simon has a chance to put up a lot of points.
Ubaldo Jimenez – Ubaldo is an interesting case, and until I looked into it, I didn’t realize he was doing so well this year. He has 38 K’s in 40 IP with a 2.43 ERA and 3 wins. What I found really surprising is that he only has 12 walks in those 40 IP which is way down from his past few years. In three out of his past four starts he has been really good, pitching 7 innings in all 3 starts and averaging a strikeout per inning as well. This has been a kryptonite of Ubaldo in the past as he throws a lot of pitches and can’t go deep into the games. Then we take into account the Marlins offense which once again leaves a lot to be desired. They have struck out the 7th most (331 times) and have only scored 162 runs (19th most). Other than Gordon and Stanton, their lineup doesn’t really have too much. Stanton is a great player, but still strikes out a lot. I don’t know Ubaldo can maintain his stats that he has put up so far this year, but for GPP’s he has that potential that people are looking for.
Yesterday was not a good day for the hitters I picked, but today is a new day and I think these guys have the potential to do well!
Miguel Montero – As I am pretty sure I have said in the past, catcher is a difficult position to pick. Today I really like Montero at catcher and think he will be pretty affordable. The first reason as to why I like him is his splits against righties. Granted he has been good against lefties as well, but a .277 AVG/.402 OBP/.434 SLG against righties with a .836 OBP. I like the ability of guys like Rizzo, Bryant, Fowler, and even Starlin Castro to get on base in front of him. Going a little more in depth on that .402 OBP, he has a little power (4 HR), has 17 walks in 83 AB against righties, and 23 hits. The other big reason I really like Montero is because I don’t trust Josh Collmenter. He has given up 58 hits in 47 IP and while he doesn’t walk a lot of guys (6 BBs) he still has a 5.36 ERA. He is one of the softer throwing pitchers in the majors so if isn’t hitting his spots, he is very prone to giving up a lot of hits, which Montero has shown so far this year. I again like last night wouldn’t mind stacking at least a couple Cubs players.
Freddie Freeman – 1B is always a stacked position with a lot big boppers, but at a little bit cheaper of an option I like Freeman today. He has hit righties well with a .310 AVG/.375 OBP/.500 SLG. If he is batting 3rd in the order which I expect him to, his stats have actually been far better there. He has a .340 AVG and .394 OBP there vs. a .246 AVG and .306 OBP batting in the cleanup spot. He does have 4 HR from the cleanup spot, so it looks like his mentality changes when in that spot. He may only have 1 HR from the 3 hole, but as you can tell, he is producing points far more consistently batting 3rd. Wily Peralta I believe is a good matchup, and he is prone to giving up a lot of hits (62 hits in 50 IP) and has a 4.34 ERA. He has been a bit better of late, but I still don’t trust him all that much. Again there are a lot of good 1B, but if you’re going with a big time pitcher he could be a good way to save some money.
Evan Longoria – Longoria has been a pretty big disappointment this year so far, but with his price still being pretty low, I think he has some good upside today. To start, albeit with a small sample size, Longoria has raked against lefties this year. He has a .407 AVG/.543 OBP/.556 SLG. Now we take this with the fact that Kazmir has really been struggling as a bit as of late. He does have good stats overall this year, but he is struggling with his command a bit (19 walks in 49 IP) and has given up 39 hits as well. One of the big hopes is that Souza can get on in front of Longoria so that he will have some RBI opportunities. Souza has a .395 OBP against lefties so there’s a good chance that this could happen. Longoria is bound to start regaining some of the power ability here, and I think a great chance is against a left handed pitcher.
Denard Span – Span is a jack of all trades kind of guy, and is usually a safe pick. He is going against Sean Sullivan who is going to be one of the cheapest pitchers on the slate tonight (22 IP 20 hits 6 BB’s 3.68 ERA). Those aren’t horrible numbers, but that is a relatively small sample size and there is a reason he is still very cheap. Span also does well against righties having a .388 AVG/.427 OBP/.613 SLG split. That SLG % is insane for Span, and while I don’t expect him to keep it up all year, he is obviously in the zone so far this year. If he is able to get on base these days, there is a good chance that Bryce harper will drive him in. Harper is obviously a good play, but Span will come much cheaper, and still has good upside. I always like leadoff hitters as well because they will get that extra at bat a lot of times as well.
Good luck to everyone and have a great Memorial day weekend!
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