We have a short Monday slate for MLB DFS action tonight with only 7 games on tap. It is really time to start picking your slates correctly and only playing when you have a good grasp and done your research for each slate. Most of the money has dried up for MLB and only the strong DFS players have survived. Games have gotten tougher but hopefully we get an influx of money from people depositing into sites early for NFL. We will take a quick look at the game lines and then get into my favorite pitchers and stacks for Monday, August 10th.
Rockies @ Mets(-165) 7
Phillies @ Diamondbacks(-165) 8.5
Nationals @ Dodgers(-130) 7
Reds @ Padres(-140) 7
Tigers @ Royals(-195) 7
Angels @ White Sox(-145) 7
Orioles(-115) @ Mariners 7.5
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds (FD $10,400, DK $10,300) – Cueto gets to make his first start in KC after being acquired prior to the trade deadline and it comes against a Tiger team that he faced just 5 days ago in Detroit. He managed to fire 7 solid innings in that start and he allowed just 5 hits and 2 runs, but managed a meager 2 strikeouts. Tigers players are 8 for 51 in their careers against Cueto which equats to a .157 average. He faced Detroit earlier this season with Cincinnati and if you take out a 3 run bomb hit by Miggy (who is obviously injured), Cueto went 5.1 innings and allowed just 2 other hits and 0 runs with 4 strikeouts. I think the Royal’s fan base will come out strong for this start and the atmosphere should be pretty electric and Cueto tends to play to that in a positive manner. I expect monster things from the guy who is a -195 favorite.
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox (FD $11,100, DK $12,000) – Sale has been absolutely terrible in his last two starts as he has gone just 10.1 innings, allowing 18 hits and 14 runs but has still managed to strike out 16 in that span. He takes on an Angels team that is just 6 for 62 in their careers against him with 20 K’s (.097 avg and .348 OPS). Sale and the White Sox are a -145 home favorite and this game is one of the five with an over/under at 7 runs as of this writing. Sale is a bulldog and I think he is taking his last two starts personally and will come out focused and ready to dominate in this one.
Jonathan Gray, Colorado Rockies (FD $4600, DK $5600) – The highly touted rookie is making his second major league start against the Mets tonight and the game has an over/under of 7 runs with the Mets being a -165 favorite. Gray went just 4 innings in his major league debut as he allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits while managing to strike out 4 batters. That debut wasn’t all that impressive, however it did come at Coors Field which is a scary place for a pitcher to be making his debut. The Mets offense has been a bit more potent since the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes, but I still think they are going to have to rely on their pitching and this game should be a pretty solid pitcher’s duel. With that in mind, I love Gray’s price across the industry as a sneaky play, especially on two-plus pitcher sites.
Jon Niese, New York Mets (FD $7800, DK $6800) – As I said above, Niese and the Mets are a -165 home favorite in a game with a very weak 7 run over/under. Niese has been extremely solid in July/August as he has thrown 38.1 innings over 6 starts and allowed 31 hits , 11 runs and 3 home runs while striking out 23. He has actually allowed 1 run or less in 5 of his last 7 starts. The Rockies as a team have been pretty weak against left handed pitching and that has gotten weaker with the trade of Tulo as Jose Reyes is just not that dangerous from the right side of the plate.
Matt Shoemaker, Los Angeles Angels (FD $7900, DK $8400) – Shoemaker has a tough task ahead of him as he gets to take on Chris Sale and the White Sox. The White Sox lineup isn’t necessarily the tough part of it as I expect Sale to come out motivated. With that being said, Sale has struggled greatly recently and Shoemaker has been pitching lights out over July and August. Over the last month plus Shoemaker has thrown 31.1 innings and has allowed 27 hits and just 5 runs over that span while striking out 33. In his last start, he went 6 innings and struck out 10 while allowing no runs.
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals (FD $9400, DK $9100) – Gio is always a GPP option for me as he can get into trouble when he tries to pitch around guys and nibble. The Dodgers roster has 27 hits in 130 at bats against him in their careers which equates to a .208 average and if you take Callaspo’s 9 for 26 out of the equation, they have hit just .173 against him. The Nationals are an under dog on the road in this one as the Dodgers are sitting as a -130 favorite and this game has opened with an over/under of 7 runs. Gio was exceptional in July as he threw 28.2 innings and struck out 26 over 5 starts and had an ERA of just 1.88.
Washington Nationals: Anthony Rendon (FD $2900, DK $3200), Bryce Harper (FD $4700, DK $5300), Ryan Zimmerman (FD $2700, DK $3400), Ian Desmond (FD $3300, DK $3300) – I love the Nationals right now and really love them against left handed pitching as they tend to get very right hand heavy with their lineups. Werth, Ramos, Escobar and even Taylor make interesting inclusions to a stack. I chose Desmond over Werth as part of my 4 man stack because he has been swinging it better overall of late, even with Werth homering on Sunday.
Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado (FD $4200, DK $5000), Adam Jones (FD $3000, DK $4100), Chris Davis (FD $4600, DK $4600), Matt Wieters (FD $2600, DK $3100) – The Orioles take on a lefty that has struggled to get right handed hitters out and that they have gone 10 for 30 against with 3 HR’s and an OPS of 1.097. Nuno has been really solid against left handed hitters but in his first start of 2015 last week he went just 3.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, 2 of which were HR’s. I would pay attention to the lineup as Wieters was in the lineup at catcher on Sunday and should Joseph be behind the plate, he makes a great inclusion as he does his damage against left handed pitching. Hardy, Parra, Pearce and Paredes are always in play as inclusions as well.
Kansas City Royals: Alcides Escobar (FD $2300, DK $3800), Lorenzo Cain (FD $3700, DK $5100), Eric Hosmer (FD $3500, DK $4700), Salvador Perez (FD $2600, DK $3500) – Kansas City gets to face Boyd for the second time in a week and should be able to show better this time around as they got to him for just 1 run on 7 hits in the last game. Boyd had been horrendous in his two previous starts in the majors this year as in those 2 games he combined to throw 6.2 innings, allow 15 hits and 11 runs, to go with 5 home runs. Left handed hitters have actually hit him harder as they are hitting .480 against him with 3 HR’s and an OPS of 1.342. Right handed hitters have hit .278 with an OPS of .797 and 2 HR’s. I think you can safely stack anybody in the top 7 or 8 of this lineup as you will have to make a decision at first with Hosmer and Morales having the same position unless you play on a site with a utility spot (FF, FA).
Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz (FD $5000, DK $5500), Franklin Gutierrez (FD $2700, DK $2800), Mark Trumbo (FD $2400, DK $3600) – This game could be a sneaky one as far as fantasy goes as I think both offenses can get to the pitchers. The Mariners get to face a fly ball pitcher in Wei-Yin Chen and he tends to give up home runs in nearly every start, which is always a bonus. He has made one start against the Mariners this year and they got to him for 4 runs (1 HR) in 7 innings and he is coming off of allowing 9 home runs in 6 July starts. With that said, I want the dangerous right handed bats in the middle of this lineup, but I would not be afraid to do a full 6 man stack on DK and include guys like Cano, Seager, Montero, Jackson or even Zunino.
I didn’t even get a chance to mention the Phillies-D’Backs game as it has the highest over/under as of now as it sits at 8.5 runs which is a full run above any of the other games. I think the D’Backs make a great stack against Aaron Harang, however I skipped over them as they are most likely going to be extremely popular. I think the Phillies left handed bats are in a great spot as well as De La Rosa really struggles against them and has been dominant against right handed hitters. The Reds offense may be a bit sneaky as Ian Kennedy has been giving up a lot of long balls so far in 2015 and has actually given them up at a higher rate when pitching at home. He has allowed 14 in 51.1 innings pitched at home. If you want to try and differentiate yourself at the pitching position, then I would suggest looking at a few of the lefties that are on the mound and take guys like Chen, Anderson and even Nuno. I am sure one of the pitchers that is pitching against one of the top few stacks is going to surprise and it may separate you from some other lineups. Tonight is going to be a night won by hitters as Cueto should be extremely popular. My last bit of advice is to make sure you pay attention to the lineups that teams run out there as they tend to move guys around based on facing a left or right handed pitcher. Find those guys in favorable spots, such as a guy getting bumped up to the 2 spot because he is facing a left handed pitcher, when he normally hits 7th or 8th against a right handed pitcher.