MLB DFS Plays 5.25.15
By: John Heffelfinger
I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend and has a great Memorial Day. It’s been a few days, but excited to get back at it and hopefully win some money!
Jake Odorizzi – Odorizzi is probably my top cash game pitcher today due to the fact that he is one of the safest plays out there, and is favored somewhat heavily to get the win. To start he is playing against the Mariners who are 27th in the MLB with 161 runs scored, 25th in BA with a .238, and only 17th in SO with 328. Looking into the strikeouts a bit more however, they are more prone to the K’s against righties than lefties. Against lefties, they have only struck out 68/350 at bats which is about 19.4% of the time. Against righties, they have struck out 260/1097 times which is roughly 23.7% of the time. While Odorizzi doesn’t strike out a ton of guys for his high price tag (46 K’s in 59 IP), but he is rocking a 2.43 ERA, and has struck out at least 5 guys in 5 of his starts (at least 7 in 3 of those). Then we take into account the all important win. Vegas has them at -145 to win today which is actually one of the higher odds to win today. Elias isn’t a bad pitcher (2.76 ERA), but he also isn’t a huge strikeout guy, and the Rays hit lefties much better than righties (2% higher BA, 2% higher OBP, 8% higher SLG, 7% higher OPS). For all of these reasons, Odorizzi is my safest play of the day for cash games.
Carlos Martinez – Martinez is a much riskier pick, but he has much higher upside and could be considered for tourneys as well as cash games. Martinez can look unhittable at times, and then when he loses control; he can implode rather quickly. He has 48 K’s in 46 IP which is a good number at a high, but affordable price point. The downfall is that he has given up 44 hits and 22 walks in those innings pitched which is not good. Even with those numbers, he really has only had two bad starts despite the 4.08 ERA. He has struck out at least 7 guys 4 times, and has struck out 5 guys 2 other times. With all pitchers though, due to the fact that he can be wild, his pitch count will be very important. He has only gone 7 innings one time, but his strikeout potential evens out that say of a Kuechel today who will pitch more innings, but strike less guys out. The Diamondbacks to have a good offense with the 4th most runs scored and .265 AVG. They do strikeout an average amount (329 times which is 16th in the MLB), so the opportunities will be there. Vegas has the Cards at -163 today though which is the main reason why I like Martinez today. If he can get the win points to go with his other totals, he should be a good play today.
Ricky Nolasco – This is a play that I would only consider for GPP’s, but going off his past couple starts, he could be a solid play. Nolasco struggled last year and has so far this year, but he is going to be super cheap and has some momentum going. He does have 34 hits allowed and 10 walked in 24 IP which is not good enough. In the last two starts though; he has 15 K’s in 11 IP and has dropped his ERA from 9.00 to 6.00. His breaking pitches look as if they have improved, and is hopefully regaining form of old. The extremely risky part about this is that the Red Sox don’t strikeout a ton (only 290 times), and hit righties far better than lefties (higher BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS). The Twins are 14-6 at home this year, and while they don’t hit righties as good as lefties, Joe Kelly doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence in me (47 IP 43 hits 19 walks 4.78 ERA). I consider this more of a punt than anything, but this should allow you to get some of the big time hitters, and if Nolasco can pitch like his last 2 starts he will be worth it.
Tsuyoshi Wada – I like Wada today for GPP’s only, but if he can do what he did in last start he could be the guy. He had 9 strikeouts in 4.2 innings in his season debut. Now while we don’t have a big sample size, going back to last season, he looks to strikeout roughly 1 per inning which for his low price tag is great. The risky part about him is that he doesn’t pitch very many innings. He only pitched 4.2 in his first start, and last year he hovered around the 5 IP mark (sometimes going 6 other times 4). The Nationals don’t really hit lefties any better than righties, but their slugging % and OPS% numbers are slightly lower. Then there is Tanner Roark pitching for the Nationals who is normally a reliever. The most he has thrown this year is 3 IP and 49 pitches so fatigue could easily start to come in those middle innings. The Cubs are also 13-8 at home so if Wada can get to that 5 inning plateau, I think he will hit and hopefully get above value.
Evan Longoria – I picked him in my last article and I will pick him again. Getting straight to the point, he rakes lefties. He now has 12 hits in 29 AB’s against lefties rocking a .414 AVG/.553 OBP/.655 SLG/ 1.208 OPS. I understand the small sample size, but those numbers are incredible. Last year he had a .273/.376/.448 against lefties in a “down year”. He is going against Mr. Elias of the Mariners today and again while he isn’t a bad pitcher by any means, he doesn’t strike guys out and pitching to contact against the lefty masher Longoria plays right into his hands. Also, Longoria hits much better at home (.261 AVG/.341 OBP/.422 SLG) vs. on the road (.246 AVG/.300 OBP/.386 SLG). Just like last time, I also like Souza getting on more (10% higher OBP vs. lefties) as well as people being able to knock Longo in (Rays hit lefties better than righties). I don’t expect another 3 run HR, but I think he is in for another great day at the plate, and should be at a solid price point.
Joey Votto – I know he has been in a slump, and the stats may not support this pick, but with his drop in price and his matchup today, I think today may be the day he breaks out. Even though Votto may hit lefties for a better average, his power comes almost completely against righties. He has 7 HR in 109 AB against righties and 0 HR in 47 AB against lefties. He is hitting to the tune of a .275 AVG/.378 OBP/.523 SLG/ and a .901 OPS. Now while he hits better on the road across the board, he still has 4 HR at home vs. 3 on the road. The main reason I like him though is because he is going against Eddie Butler. In 37 innings he has given up 45 hits and issued 25 walks which is almost a 2.0 WHIP. This shows that guys should be able to get on in front of Votto giving him some RBI opportunities, as well as the people hitting behind him being able to knock him in if he gets on base. It’s a bit risky especially at 1B, but I’m going to toss him in there and see how he does.
Carlos Gonzalez – He has struggled this year so far, and he isn’t as cheap as he should be with his struggles. Today though I like the matchup for him and he should have opportunities to put up points. First and most importantly he is going up against Jason Marquis. In his last three starts he has pitched 12.1 innings giving up 15 ER and 21 hits. On the season he has given up 54 hits and 12 walks in 41 IP with a 6.91 ERA. These stats make Gonzalez a desirable guy to own today especially since he is batting third (checked this time, apologies about Montero). Like I said he is struggling this year, but he is hitting righties better than lefties .221 AVG/.311 OBP/.385 SLG vs. .162 AVG/.205 OBP/ .162 SLG. Also his numbers on the road are across the board higher than his stats at home surprisingly. While he may not be as cheap as I’d like, he has a good matchup today and is hitting 3rd giving him that extra at bat which could end up being very helpful.
Daniel Murphy – A platoon hitter who hits almost solely against righties, Murphy is in line for a good day today. He is going against one of the cheaper pitchers in Severino Gonzalez who to his credit has been very good his last two starts. He has still given up 20 hits and 3 walks over 12 IP with a 7.11 ERA. An almost 2 WHIP will allow guys in front of him to get on base once again, allow Murphy to get on base, and allow the guys behind him to get him in. He is batting 3rd in the lineup which like CarGo helps in possibly getting that extra at bat. Against righties, Murphy has a .283 AVG/.336 OBP/.433 SLG which isn’t too bad at all. He may not have a ton of power (only 3 HR), he gets on base roughly 1 time per game and that should be amplified today. The only worry I have with him being a platoon hitter is the pinch hit possibility, but if he can stay in there, I fully expect him to score some points today.
Good luck today and as always, check the weather and the lineups for the green light on any of the players you pick!
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