I’ll be digging into the MLB slate on Thursdays and will be bringing you some top plays to consider on FanDuel. We have the NFL season kicking off tonight, so much of the focus will be there, but we still have a quality MLB slate tonight headlined by two elite pitchers in Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber.
Corey Kluber, $11,600 or Clayton Kershaw, $12,000 – We have two elite arms in Kluber and Kershaw tonight in plus matchups, as Kluber faces the White Sox and Kershaw draws the Rockies away from Coors. The Rockies check in with by far the lowest projected team total on the MLB odds board with a paltry 2.1 runs, and the White Sox aren’t much better at 3.06 runs. Both are also elite strikeout arms, and looking at the RotoGrinders’ projections they are head and shoulders above the field in projected points. With some value bats on the board, I am looking to pay up at pitching tonight and won’t get cute. Kershaw was terrific in his first start off the DL but did only throw 70 pitches. I would expect him to approach 85 to 90 tonight, which leaves him firmly in play, but for GPPs, that scenario has me leaning more towards the upside of Kluber, who should have a slightly longer leash.
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,000 - With the high prices on Kershaw and Kluber tonight, I’ll be looking for savings with bats tonight and the Cardinals’ RHB jump out as value options with most of them priced under $3,000. Clayton Richard does limit fly balls, but he’s allowing a .376 wOBA, 36.8% hard-hit rate and 1.5 HR/9 to RHB this season. Molina should draw a quality lineup spot and has posted a solid .381 wOBA against LHP this season.
J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins, $2,600 – If I can’t fit in Molina then I also like Realmuto quite a bit at just $2,600. He doesn’t offer much power upside, but he hits in a solid lineup spot and has hit LHP for a .370 wOBA this season. Sean Newcomb is a solid young pitcher, but he’s still finding his way at the MLB level with a .342 wOBA and 1.4 HR/9 to RHB.
Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds, $4,400 – First base is one position where I’m looking to spend, as I don’t love the value options and I’m looking to attack Matt Harvey with a potent bat like Votto. Matt Harvey still carries the big name recognition, but injuries have gotten the best of him in recent years. He was clobbered in his return against Houston and allowed a .365 wOBA to LHB last season as well as a .382 wOBA so far this season.
Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds, $3,600 – Brian Dozier is in a quality spot, but since I’m looking to spend up at pitching, I don’t have the $4,000+ to spend at second base. As mentioned with Votto above, I’m looking to attack Matt Harvey tonight, so Scooter is another LHB to throw at him, and he’s hit RHP for a .397 wOBA this season.
If I’m not playing Scooter then I’m looking to punt the position and am eyeing the St. Louis/San Diego game. Yangervis Solarte is cheap at $2,400 and Lance Lynn struggles with LHP, while Breyvic Valera ($2,000) hit seventh against a LHP a few days ago and fits with my plan of attacking Clayton Richard with cheap Cardinals’ RHB.
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals, $3,100 – He’s listed as DTD, so double check he’s in the lineup, but it sounds like he’ll fine to serve as the DH for tonight’s game. At $3,100, his price has come way down, and he offers plenty of upside at this price point with 36 home runs on the season. Kyle Gibson has always struggled with LHB, allowing a .370 wOBA this season and .343 wOBA for his career, so it’s a nice spot for the Royals’ LHB.
It’s a fairly weak third base position, so I’m primarily locked into Moustakas, but my next pivots would be Asdrubal Cabrera against a young pitcher in Tyler Mahle, or continuing my Reds’ stack with Eugenio Suarez.
Jose Reyes, New York Mets, $3,100 – With all of the Mets’ trades and injuries, Reyes has moved up the leadoff spot and surprisingly been rock solid recently. While the Mets season is over, he’s still playing for the chance to stick around the league beyond this year and is looking to show he still has wheels; he’s been active on the base paths. He’ll draw a matchup with a young RHP in Tyler Mahle and checks in as the projected top raw points option on FanDuel at shortstop, according to the current RotoGrinders’ projections.
Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds, $3,100 – I’ll continue attacking Harvey with Cozart at a very reasonable $3,100 price point. I prefer to attack with Harvey with LHB, but shortstop overall is tough today, and Cozart is having a terrific season.
Also Consider – Paul DeJong
St. Louis Cardinals’ outfield – As mentioned above, the Cardinals’ RHB are all dirt cheap, so they are a quality avenue to squeezing in Kershaw or Kluber. Harrison Bader is $2,400, Randal Grichuk is $2,900, Jose Martinez is $2,600 and Stephen Piscotty is $2,300. On Tuesday night against a LHP in Travis Wood, Bader hit leadoff, Grichuk second, Martinez cleanup and Piscotty sixth, so there is quite a bit of value against Richard, who has really struggled with RHB this season. Piscotty has posted a career .378 wOBA against LHP, while Martinez has crushed LHP for a .559 wOBA this season, so I’m looking to load up with two or three of the Cardinals’ outfielders in this spot.
Outside of the Cardinals’ outfield, the Reds’ outfield is also cheap with Adam Duvall ($3,000), Phillip Ervin ($2,000) and Scott Schebler ($3,000), so most of my focus will be on the Cardinals and Reds’ bats tonight. In terms of high dollar outfielders, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna are the clear cut top options against Sean Newcomb, as both smash LHP.