MLB DFS: Tough Tuesday Picks for July 16, 2019

Joey Ricotta | July 16th, 2019

When I first looked at the pitchers lined up for tonight’s full boat of games, I may or may not have vomited in my mouth a little bit. With this many games, you wouldn’t expect it to be such a struggle to find good pitching, from a fantasy perspective at least. The pitching we would normally pay for at certain ranges is priced ridiculously high because of the lack of pitching overall. Nothing against Lance Lynn, because he’s been terrific so far this season, but when he’s the highest-priced pitcher on Draftkings, you know it’s going to be an uphill battle and similar to pulling teeth to put together some solid lineups. The best advice I can give, don’t watch any of these guys actually pitch. Not because they are terrible pitchers, but because you will drive yourself crazy. Watch the games you have hitters from unless there is some correlation between the two and then I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sorry but suffer away. Now, let’s get into the toothaches and picks for tonight’s games. Excuse me. Locks and Stacks.

Disclaimer: Coors Field is absolutely in play, whether it be cash games or tournaments. Stacking them up or using solo plays like Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, etc. are certainly viable. Please read the “Other Targets” sections of the article and check to make sure all of the players mentioned will be in the starting lineup.

Locks (Can We Call Them That?)

Brandon Woodruff ($8,700 on DK and $9,600 on FD)

Not the easiest match-up in the world for Woodruff, but he’s somewhat reasonable as far as salary and has strikeout upside. The Atlanta Braves have six guys in their projected lineup with a hard hit% at 43% or better, four guys with walk rates above 10%, and seven guys with xwOBAs above .340. But Woodruff had success against them earlier in the season on May 19th, going eight strong innings, allowing five hits, two runs, and punching out six. Although the Braves don’t strike out a ton (22.2%), Woodruff has the best strikeout rate out of any pitcher on the slate tonight at 28.8%. That rate is also 15th best in the league, out of pitchers with at least 70 innings tossed.

Jack Flaherty ($7,400 on DK and $7,700 on FD)

As of writing this, the Vegas implied run total for the Pittsburgh Pirates is 3.77, which is the lowest out of any team tonight. Flaherty has a 35.8% hard-hit rate, which isn’t terrible and the Pirates only have two batters in their lineup with a hard-hit rate at 40% or higher. The Pirates don’t strikeout much, only 18.2% vs right-handed throwers. But Flaherty Ks 26.4% of batters, which is above the league average. Flaherty’s 4.64 ERA is not attractive, but something jumped out to me in this match-up, Flaherty’s HR/FB rate of 20%. The Pirates hit only 31.5% fly balls vs righties, which is the second-lowest rate in MLB. Flaherty’s 20% HR/FB rate is the eighth-highest among pitchers with at least 90 innings pitched. I don’t expect that rate to be that high all season and pitching at home I think he can limit the damage from a power perspective against these Pirates.

Other Targets: Walker Buehler, Lance Lynn, Andrew Cashner, and Dylan Cease.

Bats

Jose Altuve ($4,000 on DK and $4,100 on FD)

Altuve, even at $4,000 is still too cheap. In his last four games, Altuve is 8-20 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs. Altuve is also 8-22 (.364) with 1 HR and 4 extra base-hits against Andrew Heaney.

Kyle Schwarber ($3,900 on DK and $3,700 on FD)

The grown-up version of Bam Bam is starting to heat it up again out of the lead-off spot for the Cubs. Schwarber has hit Schwarbombs in back-to-back games and has no fewer than 14 Draftkings points in each of his last three games. 17 of his 20 home runs have come against right-handed pitching and he has a good track record against Anthony DeSclafani. (5-14 .357 avg. with 1 HR). Disco Tony struggles mightily vs lefties, allowing a .309 average and .396 wOBA against.

Nelson Cruz ($4,600 on DK and $3,800 on FD)

Cruz has crushed left-handed pitching his entire career, with a .929 OPS and .391 wOBA. Nelson’s 69.4% hard contact rate against lefties this season, ranks first among all hitters with at least 50 plate appearances. Steven Matz allows 2.1 home runs per 9 innings to righties, which puts him in the top 20 (or bottom 20) out of pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings, for worst HR/9 rate vs right-handed batters. Matz is tied for seventh-worst for most homers allowed to righties in total with 15. All of this sets up a good match-up for Cruz.

Other Targets: Coors Field Players, Robinson Cano, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Khris Davis, Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, Max Muncy, and George Springer.

Stacks

SFG @ COL

Once again, it’s Coors Field and we saw the explosion by the Giants offense in Game One of the doubleheader yesterday. Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story crushed left-handed pitching at home and Peter Lambert has given up at least three runs and one homer in each of his last four starts. Both sides are absolutely in play to stack.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Vince Velasquez

The Dodgers are one of the best offenses in baseball and just put up 16 runs a night ago. Now, they get to load up a ton of lefties against Velasquez, a pitcher who struggles against lefties with a career .347 wOBA against.

Minnesota Twins vs Steven Matz

Matz brings a 5.40 FIP on the road to face a tough Twins offense. Matz’s 2.0 HR/9 rate is the third-highest rate among pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched. The Twins also have the second-best wOBA (.362) and wRC+ (126) against lefties this season.

Other Stacks: Cubs, Reds, Red Sox, Astros, and Mets.

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