Tonight is an interesting slate for all the wrong reasons. The two stud starting pitchers have tough matchups. The teams we tend to stream starters against don’t have guys we would typically trust even in streaming situations. Combine that, with it being a large 12 game slate and we are at the peak of MLB DFS variance. We do have a fair amount of stacking choices though. The Mets and Brewers lead that pack for me. The Mets have quietly been hitting over the last two weeks and get Matt Harvey in Baltimore. The Brewers get a matchup against a mediocre rookie and a Reds bullpen that currently ranks last in MLB. I like the Reds tonight as well but Brett Anderson still generates lots of ground balls and Milwaukee’s bullpen is very good. A formula I tend to stand away from when looking at stacks.
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Gerrit Cole, SP: $11,500 – Cole has been entrenched in the tacky substance discussion since he got traded to the Astros. That conversation has been brought back the front burner with MLB allegedly wanting to crack down on it. His last couple of starts have not been elite and spin rates plummeted in the last go-around where he gave up 5 ER to the Rays. Some don’t believe in coincidence and there’s enough smoke between the numbers and his strange comments the last few days. However, this slate is a dumpster fire from a SP perspective. I am going to trust the pedigree as a result but I don’t fault you if you look elsewhere.
Adam Wainwright, SP: $7,700 – Cleveland’s offense is atrocious. They are bottom 6 in just about every offensive stat and they are going into one of the best pitchers parks in baseball. Waino maybe 876 years old, but he still gets it done at home. He holds a 2.63 ERA in home games with a .270 wOBA against (48 IP). He won’t rack up double-digit Ks like Cole could, but a quality start, win, and k per inning pitched is definitely in the cards.
Brad Keller, SP: $7,100 – He might have an ERA of 5.50, but he hasn’t given up more than 3 ERs in his last 8 starts. That includes 3 games against the Twins, 2 against the White Sox, and one against the Rays. He changed in pitch mix as he increased his slider and change-up usage while cutting back on his four-seam usage. The Angels are not a scary line-up without Trout, as they have a meager 97 wRC+ against RHP since he got hurt.
Catcher / First Base
Dominic Smith C/1B: $3,200 – Matt Harvey hasn’t gotten through 5 innings in his last 6 starts. Compounding Baltimore’s problem is that they rank 20th in bullpen ERA. This one could get ugly as the Mets are quietly turning their offense around. They are tied for the 2nd best wRC+ over the last two weeks.
Omar Narvaez, C/1B: $2,200 – I’m not confident this game gets played but if it does, I like the Brewers in this one. Vladimir Gutierrez has looked terrible. He has had decent results but he doesn’t pass the eye test. His xFIP agrees with me there as it’s over double what his ERA is (2.70 vs 5.88). Narvaez has been very good so far this year, .317/.400/.516. Combine all this with Great American Smallpark and we should get some good offense out of Narvaez and the ‘crew.
Mike Brosseau, 2B: $2,700 – He’s strictly a platoon bat but he gets a juicy matchup against Patrick Corbin. Corbin has been bad, a 6.28 ERA, 5.55 FIP, and a HR/9 that’s approaching 2. We all know how the Rays like to platoon their guys and should nestle into a decent lineup spot against an over-the-hill pitcher.
Jose Altuve, 2B: $4,100 – Altuve struggled in 2020, personally I chalk that up to him coming off an injury and wonky short season. He currently has a .416 wOBA against all fastballs from RHP in 2021. Outside of 2020, his worst wOBA against those pitches since 2016 was 2018. In which he had a .381 mark. Nathan Eovaldi doesn’t lean on his fastballs as must as he used to, but it is still approaching 60% of the time.
Jonathan Villar, 3B: $3,000 – He’s been leading off and the offense has been coming alive over the last couple weeks. He won’t have to deal with a pitcher batting in front of him either in the AL park.
Yandy Diaz, 3B: $2,900 – He currently has a 5-game hitting streak and gets a soft matchup in this one. Moreover, he’s been hitting clean up, and this a juicy price in a game that should see the Rays score plenty.
Francisco Lindor, SS: $3,300- Lindor snapped his 8-game hitting streak on Sunday. Over that span, he put up double-digit point totals 5 times including 2 homers. He’ll look to get back on track in what has been the 2nd best park for home runs over the last 3 seasons.
Willi Castro, SS: $2,500 – He had a brutal start to the season but over the last two weeks he’s racked up a .967 OPS. He goes up against Chris Flexen who has been very hit or miss this season. Flexen has given up 4 ERs or more in 4 starts but 1 or fewer in 5 starts. The good thing here is that Castro’s price doesn’t hurt you if he fails and can make your night if he hits. Bet on the upside here.
Yordan Alvarez, OF: $3,000 – He looks like to have ended his slump as he has hits in 3 of his last 4 games including a homer. That slump was aided by a sore wrist and when healthy he’s one of the game’s best.
Aaron Judge, OF: $4,000 – Randy Dobnak doesn’t miss many bats and lives on creating weak contact. One problem though, he hasn’t been creating any. In 32 IP this season his hard-hit rate is 57.7%, en route to a 6.19 ERA. Dobnak is better than he’s shown, but even at his best, he’s still an average pitcher.
Ryan Mountcastle, OF: $2,900 – He’s hit safely in 7 straight games including 3 homers. Taijun Walker has been good but a 0.33 HR/9 isn’t sustainable and he walks into a homer-friendly park on a warm night.
Christian Yelich, OF: $3,800- The former MVP hasn’t been the same since his season-ending injury late in 2019. He’s had a couple IL stints due to a lingering back injury this season. The power appears to be coming back some as he already has 2 homers in June. He finds himself in a plus ballpark tonight against a rookie who’s gotten very lucky to this point.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
There is light rain forecasted for the Braves at Phillies as well as the Dodgers at Pirates games. It is unclear if those games will be affected so pay attention as it gets closer to lock. The chance of rain dropped in the Brewers at Reds game dropped from the mid-60s Tuesday to mid-30s as of Wednesday morning so this one is worth monitoring as well.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin) at Pirates (Tyler Anderson) O/U 9 runs scored, take the under. Anderson, outside of a blow-up against the Braves, in which his manager and his bullpen did him no favors; has a 3.68 ERA. Even with that disaster 9 ER start, he still holds a respectable 4.17 FIP on the season. The Dodgers since the start of 2019, are 19th in wRC+ against LHP. This season they are 18th, with a middling 97 wRC+. Gonsolin makes his return off the IL and threw 60 pitches in his last rehab start. It is unclear how long he will go in this one, but the Dodgers have a good bullpen to pick the slack. Nine is just too high of a number in this one.