Scouting The MLB - July 8

Scouting The MLB - July 8

Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Altuve, Gregory Polanco headline today's top DFS plays

Weather Report

  • Isolated storms are possible in Washington, Cincinnati, New York, and Colorado tonight. Keep an eye for updates in the forecast

Stackable Menu

  1. Milwaukee Brewers hosting RHP Kyle Kendrick
  2. Washington Nationals hosting RHP Bud Norris
  3. Tampa Rays hosting LHP Jason Vargas
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates visiting RHP Carlos Martinez
  5. San Diego Padres visiting LHP Franklin Morales

Longshot stack:Seattle Mariners hosting RHP Phil Hughes


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Pitchers

Two Studs:

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) @ CLE: $11,300 – Facing RHP Trevor Bauer

The Majors may be starting to figure Tanaka out, as he failed to post a Quality Start for the first time this season when the Twins tagged him for 4 runs over the weekend. Of course, the Indians have not gotten a look at him yet, and that probably means they’ll struggle against a splitter that drops right off the table. Tanaka’s splitter and slider have ratings over 10 points higher than the MLB average (according to Brooks Baseball data), and that helps keep hitters off balance against his modest 91.2 MPH fastball. The Indians lineup is stacked with switch-hitters and lefties, but Tanaka has held LHB to just a .257 wOBA this season. He’s struck out 27.3% of the batters he’s faced, and should rebound from a mediocre outing in Minnesota.

Julio Teheran (ATL) @ NYM: $9,900 Facing RHP Jacob deGrom

Teheran’s road splits have caused his salary to drop $100, but he’s facing the same Mets lineup that he held to 1 ER over 7 IP last week. He’ll be pitching at Citi Field tonight, which has a Run Factor that is 10% lower than Turner Field, and he’ll be facing a Mets team that has the 5th lowest batting average (.237) in the Majors. He hasn’t had any trouble with this lineup as he’s 2-0 with an ERA of 2.64 in 5 appearances against the Mets, and it would be surprising if they get to him tonight.



Two Duds (Value Plays):

Justin Verlander (DET) vs. LAD: $7100 – Facing LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu

Verlander’s price tag continues to decline, and rightfully so considering his current 6.87 K/9 is way below his ratio in any season since 2007. A matchup with the Dodgers is certainly not ideal, but Don Mattingly is trotting out a roster full of banged up, overpaid stars that failed to get to Franklin Morales (of all people) over the weekend. Verlander has dominated Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe, who are a combined 4 for 29 in their careers against the former ace, and the one player with solid splits and experience against him (Carl Crawford) remains on the DL. Depending on who the Dodgers have available today, Verlander could have serious upside, but regardless, he’s demonstrated enough ability to post 15+ DK points in 3 straight stats against A.L. offenses, and should be able to hold the Dodgers in check.

Chris Young (SEA) vs. MIN: $6500 – Facing RHP Phil Hughes

Young is in a good spot to continue his run of solid play at Safeco Field, where he’s averaging 18.2 DK PPG with a 2.19 ERA this season. The 6'10" right-hander has a reputation as a "cerebral pitcher," which may be a euphemism for a fly ball pitcher that has been somewhat lucky with a .203 BABIP this year. Over 57% of batted balls off Young have been fly balls, yet he has an above average 8.2% HR/FB ratio, and a relative low line drive rate. He struggled while facing a hotter Twins lineup in Minnesota on May 16, but returns home tonight, where he is holding opposing batters to a .176 average, and sporting a 3.88 FIP to go along with a 0.73 HR/9 ratio this season. Young will start opposite a struggling Phil Hughes, whose aggressive style could allow the Mariners' power-hitting lefties to tee off, and a bit of run support would do the Texas native wonders as he continues to force hitters to fly out on his terms.



Batters

Catcher:

Wilson Ramos (WAS) vs. BAL: $3900 – Facing RHP Bud Norris

The Nationals failed to get to Chris Tillman last night, but Ramos went 2 for 4 out of the 8th spot, and he may deserve to get moved up in the lineup. Regardless, the Nats have a great opportunity to bounce back as they faced another straight-line thrower in Bud Norris, who is trying to return from a groin injury. He was pitching well prior to his DL stint, but has a 4.86 ERA and 1.55 HR/9 ratio on the road this season. Ramos has hit safely in all 9 appearances since coming off the DL, and is 8 for 19 (.421) this month. He’s swinging a hot bat and we don’t know what to expect from Norris.

Potential Value:

Dionner Navarro (TOR) has struggled recently, but is a better contact hitter against LHP and could bounce back against Tyler Skaggs tonight. He’ll cost just $3300 and should be in the heart of the Blue Jays lineup due to injuries.



First Base:

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) vs. MIA: $5700 – Facing LHP Brad Hand

He’ll cost plenty of dough, but Goldschmidt is incredibly hot right now and walks into a fantastic home matchup against Brad Hand. Goldy has destroyed left-handers this year, as he’s currently sporting a .465 wOBA against LHP. He has an OPS of 1.506, and is averaging 14.2 DK points per game through 7 games this month. Hand is allowing RHB to post a .416 wOBA this season, and there’s nothing to indicate that he’ll be able to get Goldy out tonight.

Potential Value:

Matt Adams (STL) is 6 for his last 11 and has good chance to produce against RHP Vance Worley tonight. He has tons of upside for a 1B that costs $3900.



Second Base:

Jose Altuve (HOU) @ TEX: $4900 – Facing RHP Phil Irwin

Altuve came through with 2 hits and a stolen base last night, and that seems to be the norm for him these days. He goes from one inexperienced RHP to another, as Phil Irwin is slated to start for the Rangers tonight. One thing has been consistent for Irwin at the AAA and MLB level, he’s walked way too many batters. He has a career BB/9 of 7.71 at several different levels, and seems to balk as the competition increases. If he puts Altuve on with a free pass, the Astros leadoff man will likely make him pay. He’s averaging over 9 DK points per game on the road and producing on an extremely consistent basis, so why stay away from Altuve in this matchup?

Potential Value:

Kike Hernandez (HOU) produced 10 DK points at the minimum price last night. He’s started every game this month and remains just $2000.



Third Base:

Manny Machado (BAL) @ WAS: $4100 – Facing RHP Doug Fister

The only thing that stopped Manny Machado from recapturing some of the mojo he had going last year was a 5-game suspension, but he’s 9 for 17 since being reinstated his weekend and is certainly a bit underpriced if he’s going to continue raking at this level. He collected 5 hits in a game that Stephen Strasburg started, so although Fister has been very solid at home this season, I’d gamble on Machado reaching against him a couple of times. Overall, the Orioles have had the best offense in baseball over the past couple weeks, which is why Fister is not necessarily recommended tonight. Wherever he’s hitting in the order, he’s worth a look as long as he’s hot.

Potential Value:

Casey McGehee (MIA) is rolling right now and has a .485 OBP over last month. He costs $3600 despite averaging 10.4 DK points per game over his last 9 appearances.



Shortstop:

Scooter Gennett (MIL) vs. PHI: $3800 – Facing RHP Kyle Kendrick

Considering how bad Kyle Kendrick has been against lefties, you'd think that this particular LHB, who happens to be 2 for 2 off the Phillies starter, will be leading off. Lefties have a wOBA over 100 points higher (.389) and a slugging percentage nearly 200 points higher (.514) than righties against Kendrick. He's pitched better lately, but still has a 4.53 ERA on the road and got lit up by the Brew Crew for 6 runs (4 ER) in five innings the last time he faced Milwaukee. Along with Lyle Overbay, Gennett is essentially the only LHB available to the Brewers, and that makes him a solid option tonight. He's produced DK points in 9 straight games, and in 24 straight starts, so he's as safe as ever in this matchup.

Potential Value:

Mookie Betts (BOS) may get another chance to start as LHP John Danks is on the mound tonight. At $3200, he could be a decent value play.



Outfielders:

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) @ ARI: $5600 – Facing LHP Vidal Nuno

Stanton went 0-4 with a Golden Sombrero (4 Ks) last night, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from him this evening. The Marlins slugger is hitting .380 with a .492 wOBA against LHP this season, and will face the left-handed Vidal Nuno tonight. Stanton has been even more deadly on the road, where he’s sporting a .518 wOBA a 1.238 OPS against LHP. Chase Field has the 4th highest Home Run Factor of any National League stadium, and won’t hold Stanton if he makes solid contact.

Ben Zobrist (TB) vs. KC: $4300 – Facing LHP Jason Vargas

The Zobrist we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the past few seasons has returned in recent weeks, as he’s batting .388 over his last 13 appearances and is a big part of the Rays resurgence on offense. As a switch-hitter, Zobrist is batting 100 points higher (.342) against lefties this season, and has great splits against Vargas, who he’s 11 for 26 against (.423) in his career. Zobrist has posted multiple hits in 5 of his last 6 games and is a solid option tonight.

Gregory Polanco (PIT) @ STL: $4000 – Facing RHP Carlos Martinez

He didn't start against Adam Wainwright last night, but Polanco will almost certainly be back atop the Pirates order tonight as they face young RHP Carlos Martinez. The Cardinals' converted reliever is pitching well, although he seems to be limited to 5 innings of work, and has only made 4 short starts this season. However, Martinez has been vulnerable to lefties, as LHB are sporting a .363 wOBA against him this season. He's posted a 5.07 FIP, and a 5.87 BB/9 ratio against lefties this season, so Polanco should be able to get on base, and has the potential to produce big time DK points once he does.



Potential Values:

Ben Revere (PHI) is reaching base very consistently and faces Wily Peralta, who has really struggled against LHP all season.

If Chris Denorfia ($3600) is leading off for the Padres, he’s worth a look at $3600. Franklin Morales is starting for the Rockies and, well, he sucks. Cameron Maybin ($3200) and Carlos Quentin ($4000) are also value options in the Pads lineup.


I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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