The MLB slate offers us 5 early games to go along with the 10 late game slates. We will look at plays for both. Lets take a quick look at the game lines and then get into our MLB DFS strategy where we will highlight the best pitchers and stacks to use.
Marlins @ Brewers(-142) 8
Braves @ Padres(-162) 6.5
D’Backs @ Pirates(-145) 8
Giants @ Cardinals(-165) 7
Nationals(-144) @ Rockies 10
Twins @ Yankees(-165) 8.5
Mariners @ Rangers(-127) 9.5
Indians(-135) @ Red Sox 8.5
Rays @ Astros(-190) 7.5
White Sox @ Angels(-140) 7.5
Dodgers(-137) @ Athletics 8
Mets @ Orioles(-111) 7.5
Blue Jays(-200) @ Phillies 8.5
Royals @ Reds(-105) 8.5
Tigers @ Cubs(-210)
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians (FD $12,000, DK $11,200) – Kluber and the Indians are a -135 road favorite as they take on the Red Sox and this game has a somewhat high over/under in my eyes as it sits at 8.5 runs. Kluber is coming off of a 1 hit complete game against the Twins, unfortunately that 1 hit was a solo home run so it ruined his shot at the shutout. Kluber has been hit better on the road, however his strike out numbers are even better when he pitches on the road and as long as he gets a few runs of support, he should be able to pick up the win.
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros (FD $10,900, DK $11,400) – Keuchel has a tough match-up as he faces a Rays team that hits left handed pitching very well. He has made one start against them so far in 2015 and managed to go 7 innings and allow 3 runs on 7 hits while striking out 4 while suffering the loss. He and the Astros are a -190 favorite in this game as Keuchel has pitched amazingly at home this season as evidenced by his .182 average against and 1.26 ERA at home. I think his DK price tag will keep him a bit under owned and I think makes an excellent choice in any GPP.
Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres (FD $9200, DK $11,100) – I really like Ross’ price on FD as he is priced at a discount to other top options of the day and I think he is in a sneaky spot against a Braves team that has been starting to strike out more and more as they give time to their younger players. Ross and the Padres are a -162 home favorite and this game has an over/under of just 6.5 runs. Ross fired 6 innings against the Braves earlier in the season and gave up 2 earned runs while striking out 5. Ross has given up just 1 home run in 59.1 home innings so far this season.
Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays (FD $8400, DK $7300) – Buehrle and the Blue Jays are a -200 road favorite taking on the Phillies in what should be a blowout as the Blue Jays bats get to swing away at a young left handed starter. Buehrle’s peripheral stats do not scream huge value, however he just knows how to pitch and he continues to get outs without having to throw hard. He is extremely efficient and always eats up innings even if he doesn’t have his best stuff. Sometimes we have to remember that innings pitched = points.
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels (FD $7400, DK $6100) – Weaver and the Angels are a -140 favorite against the White Sox and the over/under is sitting at 7.5 runs. Weaver has not faced the White Sox yet this season, but its good news for him as he gets to take them on at home. His home ERA is nearly 2 runs lower than his road ERA as it sits at 3.45 and his strike out numbers jump up considerably when at home as he has 35 in 44.1 home innings pitched compared to 24 in 63.1 innings on the road. Weaver has a .195 average against him so far in August and I think that continues against the White Sox.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets (FD $10,400, DK $10,200) – Syndergaard finds himself in the GPP plays category as he takes on a tough team in the Baltimore Orioles, but he also has really struggled on the road which is my main worry. The Orioles are a small -111 favorite in this game and the over/under is sitting at 7.5 runs. Syndergaard has slightly better K numbers when pitching on the road however his ERA jumps to 5.01 when pitching on the road as compared to 1.82 when at home. I expect him to give up a couple of runs, however his strike out upside is just too nice to ignore.
Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs (FD $11,000, DK $9900) – Lester is making his second start of the season against the Tigers and I expect it to go a little better than the first as he went just 4.1 innings and gave up 5 runs on 9 hits while striking out 5. Lester has given up just 12 earned runs over his last 8 starts and has managed to strike out 63 batters in 56.1 innings over those 8 starts. The Cubs are a -210 favorite in this game which has me wanting to be all over Lester and I think he could be placed in the studs category, however with Miggy back the Tigers lineup can really stroke it against left handed pitching. The over/under has not been posted yet as they are most likely waiting to see how the wind is going to affect the game.
Washington Nationals: Anthony Rendon (FD $3400, DK $4100), Bryce Harper (FD $5700, DK $6000), Ryan Zimmerman (FD $3900, DK $4300), Jayson Werth (FD $3700, DK $3300) – I basically love the entire Nats lineup as they face a lefty in Coors. I think Harper is the one that gets left out of this stack most often even though he is the most dangerous. I certainly would like to find a way to include Desmond and/or Taylor in this stack. You certainly have some options for your FD stack if you are trying to fit a higher priced pitcher in.
Toronto Blue Jays: Troy Tulowitzki (FD $4000, DK $4600), Josh Donaldson (FD $5500, DK $5900), Jose Bautista (FD $5200, DK $5500), Edwin Encarnacion (FD $4700, DK $4400) – The Blue Jays are extremely potent, especially when they get to face a weak left handed pitcher. The lineup can be and should be stacked a few different ways as I think whoever is in the starting lineup makes for an excellent addition to the stack. With no DH, having to play in the NL , you will have to pay attention to whether Encarnacion is in the lineup. Colabello, Navarro and Pillar all make excellent inclusions.
Arizona Diamondbacks: A.J. Pollock (FD $4300, DK $5200), Paul Goldschmidt (FD $4400, DK $5400), Wellington Castillo (FD $3400, DK $3400), Yasmany Tomas (FD $2600, DK $3500) – The D’Backs get to face yet another lefty and this one is a lot weaker than the one they are facing as I type this up. Happ has pitched solidly since being acquired by the Pirates, however I consider that to be over-achieving and I expect him to regress pretty quickly and this D’Backs lineup is the one that can certainly batter him around very quickly. I think anybody in the top 6 or 7 of this lineup make solid additions. I know I listed all right handed hitters, however left handed hitters are certainly in play as Happ struggles against them as well.
Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz (FD $4800, DK $4600), Robinson Cano (FD $3900, DK $3900), Franklin Gutierrez (FD $3200, DK $3500), Mark Trumbo (FD $2200, DK $3700) – The Mariners get to face a left handed pitcher who is making his return from an extended DL stint and I think he gets lit up pretty quickly by the middle of this order as they can do a lot of damage to left handed pitchers in a hurry. I would not be against Jackson, Montero or even Zunino in this match-up. This game has the second highest over/under at this point as it sits at 9.5 runs which is only behind the Coors game by 0.5 runs.
There are a lot of GPP worthy pitchers going today and it’s going to be interesting to see who people pair up around the industry as there are a lot of games with over/unders between 7.5 and 8.5. I think hitters from the Astros, Yankees, Pirates, Rangers and Dodgers are in positive spots and can be very sneaky when it comes to stacking. I am willing to bet nearly all of you guys are getting excited for the NFL season to get under way and I do not blame you as the MLB season has been such a grind. If you are into playing cash games (H2H, 50/50) I would suggest making your contests now so that you might get scooped up by somebody who doesn’t pay all that much attention as there is a shot they will enter a lineup and then not tweak it before the contest starts. I think you can use that strategy on a nightly basis in baseball as well, especially when you have a day of split slates.