We’re halfway through the week and somehow also into the month of August now. The trade deadline has passed and we’ll start to see the playoff races become clearer. And below we’ve singled out some hitters and pitchers for those DFS lineups!
Matchups to Target
There aren’t many hotter hitters in baseball than Steady Freddie. Coming off a July in which he went 33-for-92 (.359) with 7 doubles, a triple, 7 HR, 20 RBI, and 24 runs scored, Freeman promptly started August with a 4-for-5 day at the plate including a double, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Freeman has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, during which time he has gone 25-for-53 (.471). He’ll face Oakland’s Hogan Harris, at least to start the game, but Harris brings a 6.07 ERA and 1.35 WHIP into the contest. Oakland also has the worst bullpen in all of baseball in pretty much every statistical category, so nothing to worry about after the Dodgers get past Harris. The Dodgers have the highest implied run total on the board too at 6.2, while the game itself features one of the highest over/under run totals on the slate at 9.5.
Now this isn’t a name you’ll see here often, but Mountcastle has been hot of late, collecting at least one hit in 11 of the last 12 games in which he’s seen two at-bats or more. He’s got a little 4-game hit streak going during which he’s gone 7-for-14 (.500) with 4 doubles and a HR. He faces Yusei Kikuchi on Wednesday who’s given up 22 HR on the season through 21 starts (although none of his last 3 starts, so…. HE’S DUE). Mountcastle has also had success against the southpaw, going 5-for-10 with 3 walks in 13 plate appearances. Those 5 hits? One double and FOUR home runs!
There’s a Cincinnati rookie tearing it up this season, slashing .305/.527/.903 on the year. Nope, it’s not Elly de la Cruz. Guess who? I guess the name and picture above were a bit of a spoiler, so you won’t be surprised when I tell you that it’s Matt McLain. McLain has been hitting all season long, and the beginning of August was no different. Tuesday he went 3-for-5 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored. The Reds will face lefty Drew Smyly on Wednesday in Chicago. Another pop quiz for you: who leads the Reds in BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, ISO, and wOBA against left-handed pitching (min 50 ABs)? You guessed it, Mr. McLain. Also worth noting of course is that McLain is 3-for-3 with a double off of Smyly in his short career. Cincinnati @ Chicago has the highest O/U of the main slate games tonight at 10.5.
That picture is a live look-in of a forlorn Francisco Lindor after learning his team, those that are left in the clubhouse anyway, have given up on the remainder of the season. Just kidding, of course, but you know what they say — the Mets are gonna Met. There isn’t much to love about this offense, but for what it’s worth Lindor is 7-for-15 over his last 4 games including a double, 2 HR, and 3 walks, so it appears he’s got some fight left. He faces LHP Cole Ragans Wednesday night in Kansas City and Lindor is among the leaders on the Mets against lefties in many of the categories we look at when selecting a DFS player — SLG, ISO, and OPS. Sure Pete Alonso has similar numbers, but he’s ice cold. The Mets are favored in this game and have one of the higher implied run totals on the slate at 5.4, and the O/U for the game is 9.
Over the last 7 days Gomes has the highest batting average on a Cubs team that is rolling. Gomes is 10-for-21 (.476) during that stretch with 4 doubles, a HR, 6 RBI, and 2 R. Gomes faces the Reds’ Brandon Williamson on Wednesday night. The left-handed Williamson hasn’t allowed a HR to a left-handed hitter all season, so that’s why we’re looking at a righty in Gomes. Gomes is near the top in most of those categories we’ve been referring to in this article for Cubs hitters against left-handed pitchers. Gomes has also seen Williamson once before, going 1-for-2 off of him.
Newman had been out for most of July, collecting just 11 at-bats during the month which is why the Reds promoted Christian Encarnacion-Strand. CES is a top prospect and obviously provides more pop than Newman, but if Newman can make the lineup Wednesday he brings a .316 BA (6-for-19, 1 2B, 1 3B, and just ONE strikeout) into the game against opponent Drew Smyly. Newman would certainly be a cheaper option and has positional versatility (SS/2B/3B on FanDuel).
DFS Value Pitchers
Garrett was a play for me his last time out against the Tigers and that worked out well (6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). The Phillies have a more potent lineup than the Tigers, but do have somewhat of a lefty-heavy lineup with Schwarber, Harper, Stott, and Marsh. It didn’t matter much the last time around against the Phils with Garrett going just 5 IP while allowing 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, and just 3 K. For the money I’ll probably take a chance here though and hope he can give at worst the same results as he did the last time out against the Phils while getting closer to his 10.3 K per 9 strikeout rate that he has on the season (so hoping he can get at least 5+ K). This game also has a low O/U at 7.5.
Crawford has been decent this season with a 3.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. What entices me though is the K per inning rate he sports and taking that into a matchup with the Seattle Mariners who strike out the second-most in the league. This game has a pretty standard O/U of 8 runs.
Red Sox +1.5 : I like Crawford to keep it close, and with Gilbert on the mound for the Mariners it should be a low-scoring affair.
Marlins +1.5 : same reasoning as the Red Sox but with different opponent and pitcher.
Ryan Mountcastle 2 Total Bases: for reasons mentioned above!