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MLB DFS August 9: Arms, Bats, and Stacks

MLB DFS August 9: Didi Gregorius

Welcome back to another glorious Sunday morning with an interesting looking slate of baseball games ahead. On the surface, it looks to be very pitching friendly, with some top arms scheduled to start. Not to be forgotten, although he won’t be from an ownership side of things, Jacob deGrom has to be mentioned as an outstanding option. He usually is, but he draws the lowly projected Miami Marlins at home. With that out of the way, I think it’s important to give you the salary saving or mid-range options. Let’s dive in and see what else we have for today.

Arms

Andrew Heaney ($7,800 DK, $7,500 FD)

Heaney is always an interesting specimen. The lefty shows flashes, but never hits his full ceiling, or at least the ceiling I think he has. He’s in a decent spot today against a team that hits near the bottom in MLB against lefties and strikes out 26.6 percent versus them as a team.

Spencer Turnbull ($8,000 DK, $8,100 FD)

Turnbull was someone I targeted a lot last season because he always found himself in a nice mid-range or value price range. His strikeout upside is too positive to ignore. The Pirates aren’t the best team to rack up strikeouts on, but they aren’t world-beaters at the dish either. Turnbull could turn in a solid outing and pick up a victory today, and at that price, I’ll take it.

Pablo Lopez ($7,000 DK, $7,100 FD)

I’m seeing quite a few people talking up the Mets as a stack in this game. I understand it, but I think going the other route could be nice leverage. Lopez looked fantastic his last time out, tossing five scoreless innings with zero BBs, and seven Ks. His fastball and changeup were generating swings and misses, with a near 50% whiff rate combined. I think Pablo could surprise some people today and continue his early success. He only threw 61 pitches, but I think he needed that start to build his arm back up. We’ll have to see what kind of leash he has, but I’m willing to bet he throws more pitches today.

Other Options
: Jacob deGrom (lock), Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn

Bats

SS Didi Gregorius ($4,000 DK, N/A FD)

Other than Huascar Ynoa making his first major league start today, Didi has some other things working for him. Didi doesn’t swing and miss very often (8.9 Whiff %, 3.8 K %, 17.4 Chase %). I could see nerves playing a role in Ynoa’s performance. Sir Didi should be able to work himself into some good hitter’s counts, and at the very least, he should be able to draw a walk or two. The idea is, he’ll see a 2-0 or 3-1 count fastball and take it out of the yard, over the short porch in right field. Also, for his career, he’s been better against right-handed pitchers than lefties, hitting .268 with over 82% of his home runs coming against them. Hitting cleanup today for the Phillies, I love Gregorius.

OF – JaCoby Jones ($3,100 DK, $3,000 FD)

Jones is one of those guys that constantly gets overlooked because of where he bats in the Tigers order. He’s one of the higher-priced Tigers on Fanduel, however, it’s still a very doable price tag, and he offers great value and upside on DraftKings. He’s been mashing the ball so far, batting .342 with four bombs and a 1.16 OPS. I like him in cash games and it’s a solid play to use him in wrap around Tigers stacks to differentiate yourself from the field.

OF – Alex Verdugo ($3,300 DK, $2,600 FD)

Verdugo has the prospect pedigree and a solid price tag to boot. He’ll be squaring off against Matt Shoemaker and hitting leadoff today. He has hits in four straight games and three homers in his last three games. Look for Verdugo to stay hot and be the main catalyst for this Red Sox offense today.

Other Targets: Bryce Harper, Jay Bruce, C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Travis Shaw

Stacks

Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies

This will be the first game of a doubleheader, meaning it will be only seven innings. Once you and the rest of the DFS world factors that in, ownership could be driven down because of the expected decrease of at-bats. Because of that, these stacks aren’t without risk. However, when we choose hitters and teams to stack, we normally select based on the opposing starting pitcher. Who’s to say there won’t be a ton of runs put up on the board early on? Huascar Ynoa got lit up last season at Triple-A, and Vince Velasquez is very boom or bust (mostly bust). Monitor the expected ownership, but this could be the game stack of the day in tournaments.

Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox

The Blue Jays have been a stacking target of mine for a while now, as their prices remain relatively affordable and easy to group together on a nightly basis. It hasn’t always paid off, but I’ll continue attacking with them. Nathan Eovaldi has actually pitched okay, surprisingly. But that doesn’t mean he will always pitch well moving forward. The Red Sox are super intriguing, facing off against right-hander Matt Shoemaker. So far on the young campaign, Shoemaker’s strikeout percentage (13%) is down and his walk percentage (10.9%) is up. He also has a 6.20 xERA, along with a 5.36 xERA a year ago. They won’t be sneaky, but stack up the Red Sox. You can make a case for stacking any of the 1-9 hitters.

Detroit Tigers @ Pittsburgh Pirates

They are cheap and they are hitting the crap out of the ball right now. Steven Brault doesn’t yield a lot of hard contact or give up many homers, but he walks a lot of batters. The Tigers are the number one team versus left-handed pitching so far this season, with a .429 wOBA and 182 wRC+. With guys like Jacob deGrom on this slate, affordability is going to be key.

BvP Plays

Brett Gardner vs Charlie Morton

Gardner is 8-for-20 with three homers and a .573 wOBA versus Morton.

Elvis Andrus vs Andrew Heaney

Andrus is 7-for-23 with two bombs and a .398 wOBA against Heaney.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be afraid to be different. We know Jacob deGrom is a lock and you definitely should get some exposure to him. With that said, there are a lot of solid pitching options, and using some cheaper arms could be a good route to taking down a tournament. Also, do not be afraid to use hitters at the bottom of the order in your stacks! Good luck and let’s win some money!

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