MLB DFS Overview for 8/16: Nolan Arenado has been red-hot

Good morning all! In all honesty, I’m still figuring out what I want to focus on in 2020. I’m open to any suggestions that any of you might have. It’s been a crazy year, and my focus has been a bit scattered.

Anyway, there are moments when I get to spend a little more time than usual on daily fantasy, and today I sat and engaged in a bit of a first pass through each game. I’ll be reading up on news, watching line movements, and trying to figure out ownership throughout the morning…but maybe a tidbit or two in here can help someone make a decision somewhere. It’s a “no frills” sort of approach, game by game we go.

NYM at PHI

Weather looks to be an issue. Read the Roth report. I scouted out Porcello’s splits. Lefties in general seem to hit more fly balls and get more hard contact. Hello, Bryce Harper. But you can play both sides of the plate against Porcello–that’s the take I landed on.

WAS at BAL

Max Scherzer had a gutsy six-inning effort in his return from a tweaked hammy, and he flung 105 pitches in that one. I don’t think there should be hesitation with using “Mad Max” today. Looks like another weather game, though. Read that Roth report.

The lefty John Means returns today. Last year was pretty solid, but he allowed 20 of 23 homers to right-handed bats…a 1.55 HR/9 compared to only 0.69 HR/9 to left-handed hitters. Not saying he’s enough reason to bench Juan Soto. I was just curious if the splits were typical, and they seem to be. His K-rate (23.5%) was higher against lefties last year, the walk rate was low (only 4.7%). Against righty bats those numbers drop to 17.6% and 6.3%, respectively. Trea Turner is cheap, and Asdrubal Cabrera has been doing his damage from the right side of the plate. The switch-hitter batted cleanup against a righty last night, and in that split he’s slashing only .163/.265/.326 with a 22.4% strikeout rate. He’s making tons of soft contact, too, at 25.0%. HOWEVER, against southpaws we’re talking .474/.450/1.105 with three homers and a minuscule 5.0% strikeout rate. Put differently, he has one strikeout in 20 plate appearances against lefties thus far…and zero walks! I dig it. Get that bat on the ball. Not sure how popular he’ll be, but overall he’s kinda boring so maybe he’s a bit sneaky.

ATL at MIA

Right away I’m depressed given the lack of Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. But that makes Elieser Hernandez all the more appealing…the 4.50 implied run total for Atlanta is a little surprising to me. This is a line I’ll be watching throughout the day, and making sure I check the lineups for any surprises. Hernandez is only $6,800 on FanDuel today.

I’m not quite sure what the Braves are doing by trotting out LHP Robbie Erlin. He’s got a career 52.8% ground ball rate against lefty bats, so that’s something. And he doesn’t allow tons of homers…0.83 HR/9 to lefties, 1.14 HR/9 to righties. That said, I don’t think this ends well. Given the homer suppression and the unfriendly park environs, it seems like it makes sense to go with a full stack against him. The Marlins have a clear-cut top four in my opinion (Villar, Berti, Aguilar, Anderson). Maybe that’s a cheap way to get up to wherever we wanna go today.

CLE at DET

I know Plutko was pulled in favor of Ollie Perez when a few lefties were coming up in his last turn, and he was only at 78 pitches. So I’m immediately curious. In 2019, he allowed homers to both sides, 1.68 HR/9 to LHH and 1.94 HR/9 to RHH. He actually struck righties out, though–22.5% K-rate and only a 4.8% walk rate. Lefty bats were a thorn, though. A ghastly 11.3% strikeout rate and a 6.5% walk rate…yikes. Leadoff man Niko Goodrum hit 11 of his 12 homers off of righty pitching last year, though he only slashed .215/.296/.393. His better split is definitely southpaws. So that’s a bummer, I was hoping he’d be sneaky. This games look boring, off the cuff. But that is a pretty solid 9.5 run total. I like the 2-3-5 for Cleveland (Ramirez, Lindor, FRANIMAL).

STL at CHC

It looks like the Cardinals are cleared to resume play…I check MLB.com and this game isn’t postponed (yet). We’ll see. It’s a good matchup for Keuchel, but he’s not a DFS target given the lack of a ceiling. We get a MINIMUM Dylan Carlson on FanDuel, so that’s pretty sweet. Right now he’s projected to bat sixth in the order. We shall see.

Dakota Hudson generated grounders at a 63.9% clip to righty bats last year, but that mark dropped to 49.6% against lefties. Lefties had a hefty 25.2% line drive rate and more hard contact (44.5% to 36.7%). Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal will hit from the left side, as well as Nomar Mazara. Of the three, Moncada has fared the best so far, batting .277 with three homers in the split. Grandal has over a 30.0% strikeout rate to both handedness of pitcher thus far, and zero homers. It’s been slow going for the switch-hitting catcher.

KC at MIN

Randy Dobnak has been a beast, and he’s a hefty favorite at home against Singer and the Royals. A $7,500 tag on FanDuel isn’t the worst. However, the 14.5% strikeout rate isn’t exactly what we hope for, though the 66.7% ground ball rate is nice. I’d probably like him a lot better on two-pitcher sites as a solid SP2.

Singer has a 7:10 K:BB ratio against lefty bats, and he’s allowing homers to both sides. Against righty bats he has 12 Ks against only one walk. More fly balls and hard contact to lefty hitters, and only a 10.0% soft contact rate. Against righties, a 47.8% ground ball rate to go with a hefty 33.3% strikeout rate. Maybe you can skip over Miguel Sano’s whiff tendencies today, but don’t forget about Eddie Rosario if you roll with any Twins. Polanco’s stronger split has been against righties this year, too, in case you were wondering. He’s pretty darn cheap at $2,700. Same was true last year, when 16 of his 22 homers came against righties. He hit .306/.378/.513 with a .372 wOBA and .207 ISO against RHP…so yeah, he’s got to at least be in cash game consideration (if you play in those).

SEA at HOU

I mentioned Yuli Gurriel on the dot com yesterday, and he hit another dong last night. He’s red-hot right now and only 3K on FanDuel. Jose Altuve looks to have been demoted for now, and good riddance (he’s been doing nothing). I like 1-3-4-5 for Houston, at least if you’re looking at what RotoGrinders has projected (Springer, Bregman, Yordan, and Yuli).

Not really interested in any Mariners, so I suppose I’ll be interested in McCullers today. Seattle has a 3.58 implied run total. That might be generous. Over the last seven days, though, the Mariners have a solid 11.3% walk rate and only a 19.4% strikeout rate. Only five teams have struck out less over the last week, but the .142 team ISO ranks 26th of 30 MLB teams. Hard to get excited about Seattle.

MLW at CHC

Looks like it’s a 5 MPH wind blowing in, so no Wrigley worries there. Can I just say that the formerly powerful-looking Brewers lineup looks disgusting? Yikes. Better find your guys inside the top three, or give a returning-to-health Ryan Braun a shot. I did have one lineup build late last night where I punted first base and landed on a $2,400 Braun against the lefty Jon Lester.

If you’re wondering about Lindblom’s splits like I am, he’s allowing a .321/.406/.786 slash to lefty bats, along with all four of his homers allowed thus far. Against righties he’s fared much better, at .227/.292/.227. We are only talking 12.2 innings, though. So I imagine the 5.14 HR/9 to lefties won’t hold up (duh). But seems like we can maybe give more of a nod to the lefty bats in Rizzo and Schwarber here. As for the switch-hitting Ian Happ, all three of his homers are against RHP so far, and he’s struck out only nine times (against eight walks). It’s been his better split this year, and the same was true last year (10 of his 11 homers vs. RHP). So don’t leave him out if you’re rolling with Cubbies.

TAM at TOR

Looks like storms in this one, maybe? Stay tuned. Yonny Chirinos makes his return today, so I imagine we see the Rays bullpen early. The Blue Jays’ .356 ISO ranks first in the majors over the last week, for what it’s worth. Over that stretch, the hottest Jays are Bo Bichette (4 HR, 2 SB), Teoscar Hernandez (3 HR), Cavan Biggio (2 HR, 2 SB), and Rowdy Tellez (2 HR, .385 BA). Teoscar does have a hefty 31.6% K-rate over the last week, but that’s common knowledge about the slugger. Anyway, that’s a 8-1-2-4 stack according to RotoGrinders, but let’s see where Tellez lands in the lineup today.

As for the Rays, they rank fourth in team ISO over the last week, at .260. Brandon Lowe (4 HR, .417 BA) is THAT DUDE, and Austin Meadows (1 HR, 1 SB) appears to be getting his sea legs back underneath him. Yandy Diaz remains an enigma to me. He leads the team with 28 PA over the last week, and has zero homers to show for it. He does have a 17.9% walk rate and minuscule 14.3% strikeout rate, as well as a .391 BA over this stretch. Maybe in a “cash” setting? He’s slated to bat third after Meadows and Lowe, which is a nice spot to be in, and he’s only $2,600. But I’m kinda waiting to see a dinger or a hot game before I jump on board.

TEX at COL

It’s Coors! How much do we need to say? I can’t understand Garrett Hampson’s 3K tag on FanDuel, as he should again bat leadoff. At least make me have to think about it at 3.5K or something. The Rockies are 17th in team wOBA over the last week, pretty middling stuff. Nolan Arenado (3 HR, .527 wOBA, .579 ISO) isn’t middling, though. LOL at Arenado has ZERO strikeouts over the last seven days, against one walk. He has more doubles (2) than strikeouts. Trevor Story (1 HR, 1 SB) is second with a .493 wOBA, and Charlie Blackmon is still up there with a .436 wOBA despite his .167 ISO. In the LvL split, Blackmon has ZERO strikeouts and a .643/.667/.857 slash this year. It’s a small sample, but dang. He has a .647 wOBA and .214 ISO against lefties. Are we really worried about Kolby Allard?

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