DFS MLB Game by Game Breakdown – Tuesday, August 14

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 16: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros reacts to throwing out Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on a grounder to end the eighth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on May 16, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 16: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros reacts to throwing out Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on a grounder to end the eighth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on May 16, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
FanDuel MLB: KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 08: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox hits the ball against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 8, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) DFS MLB /

Welcome into the Tuesday edition of the DFS MLB Game by Game Breakdown! As is the usual routine, a monster slate is on hand so let’s get moving!

Last night was a good night for the main DFS MLB lineup as it went over 177 points on the backs of Mike Foltynewicz, Freddie Freeman and Jose Ramirez. The GPP style lineup didn’t do a whole lot but that’s why it’s a tournament play. With 14 games on the slate, let’s jump right in.

DFS MLB – Red Sox at Phillies

Red Sox Probable Starter – Rick Porcello, RHP 

4.17 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 22.8 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .228 average, .304 wOBA, 26.6 K rate, 41.8 fly ball rate and 42.0 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .250 average, .299 wOBA, 19.8 K rate, 30.6 fly ball rate and 27.4 hard hit rate

How I target Porcello sometimes depends on what venue he’s in because he’s a good bit better away from Fenway. I typically go after lefties against him but he’s only allowing a .203 average, .263 wOBA and two homers to lefties on the road. Philly strikes out a ton against righty pitching as well, over 25 percent of the time. Porcello throws five pitches to lefties but nothing over 28 percent of the time, so that’s not the best bet. If you want to try to hit on a lefty with power to pay off, I think you want to look at Carlos Santana or Nick Williams. Santana has three homers and a .398 xwOBA versus Porcello in 43 at-bats and Williams has the highest ISO among lefties on the team at .224. Righties are hitting a .329 wOBA on the road so Rhys Hoskins could be a solid deep tournament play with a .269 ISO. I lean towards Porcello overall in this matchup.

Phillies Hitters to Target

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Nick Williams, Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins

Phillies Probable Starter – Nick Pivetta, RHP 

4.51 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 29.1 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .305 average, .262 wOBA, 26.6 K rate, 39.5 fly ball rate and 36.0 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .216 average, .280 wOBA, 31.3 K rate, 33.5 fly ball rate and 31.2 hard hit rate

Pivetta has been a little uneven this year. He’s flashed some major upside and he’s also gotten knocked around. Boston may knock him around a good bit tonight because the top of the lineup os going to be difficult for Pivetta to deal with. We’re going to start with the lefties and focus on Mitch Moreland and Andrew Benintendi. Pivetta is throwing the four seamer and curveball 80 percent of the time and both those hitters have an xwOBA of at least .402 and an ISO of at least .294 versus those pitches. This jives with their season long numbers of ISO’s over .200 and wOBA’s of at least .350. I’m not going to tell you to not play Mookie Betts or J.D. Martinez either since they’re some of the best fantasy hitters and baseball. Pivetta is going to have to have all the strikeout stuff working tonight.

Red Sox Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Mitch Moreland, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez

Secondary Options – Steve Pearce, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt

Home Run Pick – 

ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 5: Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates with teammate Jonathan Villar #34 after Trumbo’s two run home run during the third inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 5, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Mets at Orioles

Mets Probable Starter – Jason Vargas, LHP 

8.75 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and 18.9 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .308 average, .402 wOBA, 14.8 K rate, 41.9 fly ball rate and 32.6 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .336 average, .423 wOBA, 20.5 K rate, 41.2 fly ball rate and 38.1 hard hit rate

Buckle up kids because we’re stacking up some Orioles tonight. After weeks of me just wanting to type “they stink” and move on, Baltimore draws one of the best matchups in baseball when they face Vargas tonight. Danny Valencia would have been my first go-to of the night but he was designated for assignment last Friday. Jonathan Villar slides into the most wanted hitter at $2,700 in large part because he has a .313 ISO with Baltimore in a tiny sample and a .240 mark with the Brewers before he got traded. Joey Rickard led off on Sunday versus Chris Sale and is dirt cheap again. Any righty in the lineup is in play, including Tim Beckham, Adam Jones and Trey Mancini. Mark Trumbo would be a great option as well if he plays since he’s been battling a knee issue on and off all year. The stats aren’t going to look great for the Orioles from a season long perspective so this is kind of a free for all. Vargas is legitimately that bad. I’m excited for the incoming seven inning, one run start from Vargas tonight.

Orioles Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Jonathan Villar, Leadoff hitter, Mark Trumbo(if active)

Secondary Options – Righties at the top of the lineup

Orioles Probable Starter – Andrew Cashner, RHP 

4.83 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 16.6 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .270 average, .354 wOBA, 19.4 K rate, 37.2 fly ball rate and 33.8 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .284 average, .351 wOBA, 13.5 K rate, 31.2 fly ball rate and 29.3 hard hit rate

I never seem to get it right when it comes to Cashner. He’s virtually never in play but if I play hitters against him, he puts out a solid effort. If I avoid targeting him, he gets mashed for 10 runs against the Rangers. It’s hard to pick too many Mets that you feel confident in but there are two hitters that you can turn to and feel good about. Cashner uses the four seam/sinker combo the most and even though the splits are about equal, we have a righty and a lefty hitter. The righty is Wilmer Flores, who doesn’t get enough credit for being a solid hitter versus righty pitching. He leads the team in ISO against the pitches that Cashner uses at .329 and has a .212 ISO on the season overall. The righty for the Orioles has given up almost double the home runs to lefties so I’m heading towards Brandon Nimmo. He rates better than fellow lefty Michael Conforto in the xwOBA and ISO against the pitch data and Nimmo also has a team leading ISO of .243 among regular players.

Mets Hitters to Target

Elite Options – Brandon Nimmo, Wilmer Flores

Secondary Options – Michael Conforto, Austin Jackson

Home Run Pick – Jonathan Villar

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 09: J.A. Happ #34 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Texas Rangers during their game at Yankee Stadium on August 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Rays at Yankees

Rays Probable Starter – Bullpen Day 

It’s really hard to justify paying the “Yankees in New York” premium pricing when I’m going into the matchups blind. The cheapest everyday player that actually has some power is Miguel Andujar at $3,400. No, I don’t count Greg Bird as an everyday player with power. Both Didi Gregorius and Giancarlo Stanton have been the hottest over the past 30 days with a wOBA over .380, an ISO over .230 and an average over .300. Even with that, those are two hitters that can be hurt by which handedness pitcher they face so it’s really a roll of the dice here. Id rather stack the Yankees then try to play the one-off game.

Yankees Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Stack including Gregorius and Stanton

Yankees Probable Starter – J.A. Happ, LHP 

4.07 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 27.0 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .182 average, .239 wOBA, 26.9 K rate, 27.9 fly ball rate and 30.0 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .232 average, .308 wOBA, 27.1 K rate, 43.8 fly ball rate and 30.8 hard hit rate

I actually kind of love Happ tonight as a GPP option. The Rays are carrying a top five strikeout rate against lefty pitching at 23.7 percent. The last lefty they faced, they put out a lineup with four lefty hitters in it. If they do that again, Happ jumps even further up the board in my player pool. The only righty bat with some pop is C.J. Cron and he is a legitimate fear of hitting a home run with his .219 ISO against lefty fastballs. Past him, they have a lot of contact hitters but are missing a hitter like Wilson Ramos, who was traded at the deadline. I want to see the lineup before I make a final call on it, but an $8,800 Happ looks like he could really do well tonight. He has held the current Rays lineup to a .245 xwOBA through 91 plate appearances.

Rays Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options -C.J. Cron, Matt Duffy

Home Run Pick – Gleyber Torres

CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 11: Matt Davidson #24 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Tampa Bay Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Rays 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – White Sox at Tigers

White Sox Probable Starter – Lucas Giolito, RHP 

6.23 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 14.9 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .264 average, .373 wOBA, 11.6 K rate, 44.1 fly ball rate and 33.5 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .228 average, .331 wOBA, 18.2 K rate, 37.6 fly ball rate and 29.5 hard hit rate

Giolito has just been all over the board lately. He’s either getting steamrolled or he’s throwing quality starts so there’s really only two ways this game ends. The Tigers have beat him up twice this season but he’s got a shot at being solid tonight. Detroit is so putrid against right handed pitching that it’s a touch harder to feel comfortable with suggesting hitters. The young White Sox righty has an ERA almost a full four runs better on the road and the only hitters I would really want are Jeimer Candelario, Niko Goodrum and Nicholas Castellanos. The first two will hit lefty and have an ISO over .170 against righties while Castellanos has two homers in nine at-bats with a .455 xwOBA. I would be inclined to take my shots with Giolito on two pitcher sites as a GPP option.

Tigers Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Nicholas Castellanos

Secondary Options – Jeimer Candelario, Niko Goodrum

Tigers Probable Starter – Blaine Hardy, LHP 

3.63 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 17.8 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .233 average, .308 wOBA, 11.4 K rate, 38.1 fly ball rate and 34.4 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .248 average, .299 wOBA, 20.0 K rate, 41.4 fly ball rate and 35.8 hard hit rate

Hardy hasn’t been the worst pitcher so far this season and he’s only given up nine home runs total in around 75 innings pitched. I usually would go towards Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu against a lefty but I think I’d rather go for Avisail Garcia and Matt Davidson. Not only do they both have ISO’s over .265 this year versus lefties, but they both rate well against the pitch mix of the four seam and slider combo they’ll see over 60 percent of the time. The ISO is spiked over .300 and the xwOBA is up over .400 for both players. It’s only five at-bats but Davidson has two home runs with a giant .981 xwOBA so weigh that how you see fit.

White Sox Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Matt Davidson, Avisail Garcia

Secondary Options – Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu

Home Run Pick – Matt Davidson

CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 27: Starting pitcher Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Progressive Field on April 27, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Indians at Reds

Indians Probable Starter – Corey Kluber, RHP 

2.74 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 24.7 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .201 average, .256 wOBA, 26.8 K rate, 33.2 fly ball rate and 36.1 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .226 average, .263 wOBA, 22.8 K rate, 35.3 fly ball rate and 35.4 hard hit rate

There’s about zero chance that I would pay what amounts to the full price for Kluber. I can’t understand why he’s $11,000 on FanDuel for any other reason than what his last name is because it can’t be the performance. His strikeout rate is down about 2.5 percent from his career rate and he’s approaching a 10 percent decrease from last season. In his last 10 starts, he has to over 50 points and three at 9 points or fewer, including a negative against the Cardinals. Only half of his starts have hit the quality start bonus in that time frame. I’m staying away from this side of the game all the way around. If you want to weigh it heavily, Joey Votto is 5-7 with two doubles and a .679 xwOBA versus Kluber in their careers.

Reds Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Joey Votto

Reds Probable Starter – Sal Romano, RHP

4.94 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 16.3 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .291 average, .376 wOBA, 14.3 K rate, 36.0 fly ball rate and 42.2 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .226 average, .295 wOBA, 18.1 K rate, 31.5 fly ball rate and 30.4 hard hit rate

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise since Romano is so poor against lefties, but he’s given up two homers in 21 at-bats and they have come off the bats of Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. They’re both in a prime spot again tonight, as is the rest of the lefties from Cleveland. Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis and Yonder Alonso are all over a .350 xwOBA against the main pitch mix for Romano but Lindor seems to be the best option of the bunch. He’s a hair cheaper and he has a .492 ISO versus the mix and he’s still a very good hitter against righty pitching(he’s better against lefties generally). If you find the right cheap pitcher, the Lindor/Ramirez stack should pay off again. It does more often than not.

Indians Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley

Secondary Options – Yonder Alonso, Jason Kipnis

Home Run Pick – Francisco Lindor

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 01: Ozzie Albies #1 and Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves celebrate after scoring on an RBI double by Freddie Freeman #5 in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 1, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Marlins at Braves

Marlins Probable Starter – Trevor Richards, RHP 

3.98 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 23.1 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .180 average, .256 wOBA, 25.6 K rate, 43.8 fly ball rate and 34.9 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .301 average, .372 wOBA, 20.9 K rate, 34.8 fly ball rate and 48.2 hard hit rate

We’re going to find out just how real the splits are for Richards tonight since a good chunk of the Atlanta lineup will hit lefty. The FIP and xFIP to lefties for Richards are 3.25 and 4.41, respectively. Ronald Acuna is $4,000 and it’s hard to care right now because he’s hitting a homer virtually everyday anymore. His ISO against righty pitching is up to .254 and that was before he cranked two bombs during the double header for the Braves yesterday. He’s scored at least 18 points in seven straight games and now he gets the reverse splits Richards on the mound. I still think an Atlanta stack has merit since Richards is still pretty unproven but they would be a GPP option only for me while Acuna is more of a cash play.

Braves Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Ronald Acuna

Secondary Options – Stack including Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Nick Markakis

Braves Probable Starter – Anibal Sanchez, RHP 

2.83 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 24.4 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .199 average, .274 wOBA, 25.4 K rate, 33.6 fly ball rate and 30.6 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .206 average, .279 wOBA, 23.3 K rate, 42.9 fly ball rate and 25.8 hard hit rate

I don’t think Sanchez would be the wisest tournament play since he doesn’t always have the upside you want but he’s likely a perfectly fine cash game option. There’s just not much here to sink into for the Marlins hitters. J.T. Realmuto is the only hitter left with an ISO over .200 and a wOBA over .350 versus righty pitching. Sanchez has also only given up five bombs to each side of the plate so there’s not really a lot of upside to chase there either. This seems like one we should be able to not get too far into on this big of a slate.

Marlins Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – J.T. Realmuto

Home Run Pick – Ronald Acuna

FanDuel MLB: SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 10: Patrick Corbin #46 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on April 10, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Diamondbacks at Rangers

Diamondbacks Probable Starter – Patrick Corbin, LHP 

3.15 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 31.0 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .241 average, .318 wOBA, 30.4 K rate, 21.9 fly ball rate and 43.2 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .205 average, .244 wOBA, 31.1 K rate, 28.1 fly ball rate and 41.5 hard hit rate

This is a spot that might be a little tough to figure out. There’s factors that would point you into any direction you want. Let’s say you want to pitch Corbin, seeing as how players might be scared off that Zach Grienke got lit up last night. Texas has a top six strikeout rate in baseball against lefties so Corbin could have one of the ceiling games we all chase. Even though the average and wOBA are higher for lefty hitters, the HR/9 is still just 0.93. That’s not a number that I would want to attack very often.

The flip side of this is Texas is in the top 10 of ISO, OPS and wOBA versus lefty pitching so if the Rangers get ahold of the ball, it could go a long way. Joey Gallo is the ultimate tournament play because he has a .354 ISO overall and a .306 ISO versus the main pitch mix. He also comes with a 40 percent strikeout rate so that could go in any direction. Rougned Odor has a .345 wOBA versus lefties and the righties could still bite Corbin. Three of them have ISO’s over .180 in Jurickson Profar, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Robinson Chirinos so Corbin is just an expensive GPP option as well.

Rangers Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None for cash

Secondary Options – Stack including Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor

Rangers Probable Starter – Yovani Gallardo, RHP 

6.11 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and 13.7 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .232 average, .324 wOBA, 14.9 K rate, 34.6 fly ball rate and 32.9 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .306 average, .376 wOBA, 12.6 K rate, 32.3 fly ball rate and 35.5 hard hit rate

Arizona is in another great spot tonight and after they let people down last night, they could be a very interesting stack option. Gallardo has been reverse splits so we’re back on the righty hitters and I want the ones that hit the four seam and sinker well. The first one that pops is A.J. Pollock with his .212 ISO overall and he looks good versus the pitch mix. The xwOBA is .449 and the ISO is up at .297 so it could be a prime spot to go yard. Paul Goldschmidt has all those metrics working for him as well and he has some BvP juju going with a .441 xwOBA and .533 average in 15 at-bats. The grizzled veteran Gallardo has pitched better recently in three out of his last four starts, only giving up a total of two earned runs in 17.2 innings against Cleveland, Houston and Seattle. He did get whacked for five earned against Baltimore in the other start. There’s at least a chance that he could troll some folks tonight.

Diamondbacks Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt

Secondary Options –Jon Jay, David Peralta

Home Run Pick – Jon Jay

PHOENIX, AZ – MARCH 31: German Marquez #48 of the Colorado Rockies delivers a pitch in the third inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on March 31, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Rockies at Astros

Rockies Probable Starter – German Marquez, RHP 

4.69 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 24.9 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .298 average, .359 wOBA, 18.3 K rate, 33.5 fly ball rate and 34.1 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .213 average, .293 wOBA, 32.4 K rate, 25.3 fly ball rate and 36.0 hard hit rate

If you’re looking for a tournament play that is a lot cheaper than Corbin, you’ve come to the right place. Marquez is in good form, especially in the strikeout department. He’s racked up 27 in 20.2 innings over his last three starts, two of which came at Coors Field. Houston is difficult to strikeout as a team but they are also righty heavy, which plays into what Marquez does well. The lefty with the highest ISO among the Astros regulars is Tony Kemp…at .158. Kyle Tucker is still finding his way and Josh Reddick hasn’t hit for power against righty pitching at all with a .110 ISO. Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and the rest of the righties are good hitters. However, Marquez is dominant versus the handedness on the road. He’s only allowing a .171 average, .242 wOBA, a 0.56 HR/9 and is striking out 33.6 percent of hitters. Combine that with a price tag under $8,000 and this could be a way to rocket up the standings.

Astros Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Tony Kemp, Josh Reddick

Astros Probable Starter – Justin Verlander, RHP 

2.50 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 33.3 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .188 average, .276 wOBA, 36.8 K rate, 54.0 fly ball rate and 27.9 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .207 average, .255 wOBA, 30.4 K rate, 51.8 fly ball rate and 29.9 hard hit rate

The Rockies on the road is a totally different offense than at home and Verlander is in a smash spot. We know he’s fresh since he got himself ejected from his last start in the second inning as he was getting scorched by the Mariners. He’s underpriced for his talent and matchup, which includes  the eighth highest strikeout rate in the league versus righty pitching on the road. They also rank no higher than 21st in average, OBP, OPS, ISO, slugging, wOBA and wRC+. Fire up Verlander with total confidence.

Rockies Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary options – None

Home Run Pick – Verlander is going to get the publicity but this could be a pitching duel

FanDuel MLB: CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 10: Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates slides safely into third base with three-RBI triple during the sixth inning on June 10, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates won 7-1. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Pirates at Twins

Pirates Probable Starter – Jameson Taillon, RHP 

3.63 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 21.3 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .265 average, .322 wOBA, 17.4 K rate, 30.2 fly ball rate and 31.4 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .233 average, .272 wOBA, 25.5 K rate, 30.2 fly ball rate and 30.1 hard hit rate

The strikeout upside likely isn’t there for Taillon but this matchup might not be as bad for Taillon as the splits make it look. I was prepared to use some Minnesota lefties against him but he’s not giving up a lot of power to lefties and they don’t rate especially well from the pitch data perspective. The highest is Jake Cave at .220 and then the next highest is Max Kepler at .174. Eddie Rosario is the best lefty hitter overall with a .232 ISO and a .378 wOBA but he’s only carrying a .154 ISO against the four seam/sinker combo that Taillon uses a lot. The righty for Pittsburgh has been a lot more effective with the usage of the slider, which came during the season. He’s a solid cash play and the Twins lefties would be GPP only.

Twins Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Jake Cave

Twins Probable Starter – Jake Odorizzi, RHP 

4.50 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 22.8 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .252 average, .349 wOBA, 20.2 K rate, 48.8 fly ball rate and 34.9 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .257 average, .333 wOBA, 24.9 K rate, 47.5 fly ball rate and 35.1 hard hit rate

Seeing how many fly balls Odorizzi gives up makes him a prime target and I’m prioritizing the lefties from Pittsburgh. Gregory Polanco not only leads the team in ISO at .266 and he loves hitting the ball in the air at 52.4 percent of the time. Among hitters with 100 at-bats against righty pitching, that is good for the fourth highest rate in baseball. When Odorizzi pitches at home, he carries a 2.55 HR/9 to lefty hitters so just about every factor lines up for the young Bucco outfielder. You can also use Corey Dickerson and a cheap Adam Frazier as well since Odorizzi is worse at home. I would leave the righties alone tonight because Odorizzi just doesn’t allow homers to righties in his own park.

Pirates Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Gregory Polanco, Corey Dickerson

Secondary Options – Colin Moran, Josh Bell, Adam Frazier

Home Run Pick – Gregory Polanco

TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 8: Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays circles the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on August 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Blue Jays at Royals

Blue Jays Probable Starter – Ryan Borucki, LHP 

2.81 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 15.5 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .265 average, .271 wOBA, 16.0 K rate, 22.0 fly ball rate and 24.4 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .271 average, .317 wOBA, 15.3 K rate, 38.1 fly ball rate and 30.0 hard hit rate

The young lefty has finally given up his first home run of the season but I’m not sure if he’s going to give up any more tonight. The Royals are bottom 10 in baseball in all of our team metrics that we look at against lefty pitching and they carry a top 10 strikeout rate. If I felt that Borucki was a better pitcher, he would be a prime target. As things stand, he’s a fine GPP option because he’s still under $7,000 on FanDuel. The only two hitters we really worry about is Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield. Perez is a power threat but Borucki has kept the ball in the yard. Merrifield is a solid all-around player and $3,200 is a fair price for his .190 ISO and .398 wOBA. I just don’t know if he’s a priority tonight.

Royals Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez

Royals Probable Starter – Heath Fillmyer, RHP 

3.13 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 13.6 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .192 average, .253 wOBA, 13.8 K rate, 26.2 fly ball rate and 23.0 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .270 average, .327 wOBA, 13.4 K rate, 31.5 fly ball rate and 46.3 hard hit rate

If we believe these splits to be true, Randall Grichuk could be a dynamite option. He leads the Blue Jays in ISO overall this season and he rates well against the pitch data on top of that. Fillmyer throws mostly a four seam and a slider, which Grichuk smashes to the tune of a .425 xwOBA and a .347 ISO. Teoscar Hernandez would make a lot of sense as a two man stack as well since he’s just a little behind Grichuk across the board. Fillmyer has only pitched 37.1 innings so far in the majors so the splits shouldn’t be taken as some type of gospel truth. Justin Smoak will bat lefty but also is wrecking the pitch mix with a .414 wOBA and .326 ISO so there’s a wide range of outcomes. Grichuk would be my favorite hitter from the game and then a Blue Jays stack could pay off. They wouldn’t be one of my priorities though.

Blue Jays Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Randall Grichuk

Secondary Options – Teoscar Hernandez, Justin Smoak, Aledmys Diaz

Home Run Pick – Randall Grichuk

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 29: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 29, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Nationals at Cardinals

Nationals Probable Starter – Gio Gonzalez, LHP 

3.89 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 20.4 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .222 average, .263 wOBA, 28.9 K rate, 27.9 fly ball rate and 27.9 had hit rate

Vs RHH – .267 average, .340 wOBA, 18.4 K rate, 30.0 fly ball rate and 30.8 hard hit rate

We were on the Cardinal righties yesterday and the temptation is to head right back there tonight. I think we need to tread a little bit more cautiously in this game because Gonzalez is a more talented pitcher than Tommy Milone. The HR/9 rate on the road to righties is only 0.70 for Gonzalez this year which would lead me to believe he can limit the upside of the Cardinals lineup. He throws four pitches but nothing over 31 percent so we’ll fall back onto which St. Louis hitters are good against lefty pitching. The leader is Jedd Gyroko with his .271 ISO and .424 wOBA but he did hit a bomb last night. He’s capable of going back to back nights but he’s also not the type of hitter that does it very often. You can use Marcell Ozuna who does have a homer off of Gonzalez but that doesn’t seem to be the best play. The lefty for the Nationals has mostly controlled the Cardinal hitters through 107 plate appearances with just a .315 xwOBA.

Cardinals Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Jedd Gyorko, Harrison Bader

Secondary Options – Marcell Ozuna, Jose Martinez

Cardinals Probable Starter – John Gant, RHP 

3.89 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 20.0 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .217 average, .307 wOBA, 16.9 K rate, 40.0 fly ball rate and 58.0 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .192 average, .242 wOBA, 23.4 K rate, 29.7 fly ball rate and 29.4 hard hit rate

Gant has given up six homers to lefties and none to righties so far this year, so I’m looking at the combo of Juan Soto and Bryce Harper in this spot. Soto continues to just rake against major league pitching and he looks great from every facet tonight. He’s got the ISO and xwOBA versus the pitch data and he’s the leader in wOBA on the Nationals roster right now. It’s also nice that he walks as much as he strikes out so there’s a little bit of a safer floor. It helps that he’s $3,700 tonight as well. Harper has been hitting a lot better since the Home Run Derby, unaffected by the curse of participating in it. He was as low as a .214 batting average right around the break and is up to .236, which is a huge jump at this time of the year. I wouldn’t terrified of the splits if you wanted to add in righties Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon either.

Nationals Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Juan Soto, Bryce Harper

Secondary Options – Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon

Home Run Pick – Bryce Harper

SEATTLE, WA – MAY 25: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins during their game at Safeco Field on May 25, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Mariners at A’s

Mariners Probable Starter – James Paxton, LHP 

3.63 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 31.4 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .326 average, .381 wOBA, 34.0 K rate, 25.0 fly ball rate and 28.3 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .198 average, .258 wOBA, 30.8 K rate, 43.8 fly ball rate and 34.0 hard hit rate

Paxton put up a clunker in his last start but I have a hard time playing any A’s against him and it’s tough to ignore his price is under five digits, which is unusual for him. Oakland can go with nine righties in their lineup if that’s what they want and Paxton has shut them down. In his one start against Oakland this season, Paxton put up his highest fantasy total of the year with 16 strikeouts in seven innings pitched. When the A’s are at home, they have the fifth highest strikeout rate in baseball versus lefties. I’m siding with “Big Maple” tonight and he’s in the running for my pitcher of choice.

A’s Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Mark Canha, Khris Davis, Marcus Semien

A’s Probable Starter – Mike Fiers, RHP 

3.40 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 18.2 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .258 average, .337 wOBA, 18.2 K rate, 45.5 fly ball rate and 39.9 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .251 average, .300 wOBA, 18.2 K rate, 43.3 fly ball rate and 36.0 hard hit rate

This side of the game is fairly easy for me because I’m not using anyone here. Fiers may not be the best fantasy pitcher ever but he’s really not bad in real life. The last time he gave up more than three earned runs was the tail end of June. The only mild recommendation I would have for a Seattle hitter is Kyle Seager. Fiers does allow a 1.94 HR/9 to lefties this year and Seager does have a .203 ISO versus righty pitching. Past that, I would leave this spot alone as I think it’s a drag for fantasy.

Mariners Hitters to Target

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz

Home Run Pick – Kyle Seager, reluctantly

ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 08: Jaime Barria #51 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium on August 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Angels at Padres

Angels Probable Starter – Jaime Barria, RHP 

3.59 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 17.6 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .197 average, .235 wOBA, 19.8 K rate, 38.2 fly ball rate and 36.5 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .294 average, .398 wOBA, 15.5 K rate, 43.8 fly ball rate and 40.5 hard hit rate

I might look stupid but I think Barria might actually be a solid play tonight, especially if you play two starting pitchers. San Diego just isn’t very good against righty pitching and there’s not a lot of righty hitters in their lineup that I worry about. They also strikeout over 26 percent of the time. The only two hitters that I think I would use would be Hunter Renfroe or Franmil Reyes as they both have ISO’s over .215. They can take advantage of the egregious 2.45 HR/9 that Barria is giving up. You an also use basically any righty in the lineup for that reason but nobody else is going to make you feel all that great. I just wish the Padres were better against righty pitching.

Padres Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes

Padres Probable Starter – Brett Kennedy, RHP 

*4.0 IP* 13.50 ERA, 2.75 WHIP and 13.0 strikeout rate

The lefty duo of Kole Calhoun and Shohei Ohtani have to look pretty appealing tonight. They are smashing right now and Ohtani has the better numbers overall but Calhoun hasn’t stopped hitting since he changed his swing a little while back. They are a little more expensive than normal but it’s hard to argue they’re a pretty good play tonight. Justin Upton has been hot lately and when he gets going, he’s like the boulder at the start of Indiana Jones – he just keeps rolling, smashing anything in his path. He’s been in the double digits in six of his last seven games, including another home run last night. We don’t have enough of a track record on Kennedy to get to in-depth with him so just stick with the best Angels hitters you want.

Angels Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, Kole Calhoun

Secondary Options – Value near the top of the lineup

Home Run Pick – Kole Calhoun

FanDuel MLB: PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 05: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a sacrifice fly in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 5, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Giants at Dodgers

Giants Probable Starter – Andrew Suarez, LHP 

4.64 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 20.8 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .209 average, .224 wOBA, 22.1 K rate, 17.1 fly ball rate and 29.4 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .303 average, .369 wOBA, 20.4 K rate, 31.2 fly ball rate and 44.3 hard hit rate

Hello Dodgers stack, it’s been a while but I’m ready to go back to the stack tonight. Suarez has been getting smashed on the road by righty hitters and the lineup might not get tougher than what the Dodgers can roll out. They can play seven righties that would include Manny Machado, Brian Dozier, Matt Kemp and Justin Turner. All of those hitters have an ISO over .200 and they should all be towards the top of the lineup tonight. Kemp and Machado would be my two favorites since Kemp is approaching .300 for his ISO and Machado is one of the better hitters in the game. I don’t think there’s a wrong pick if we get all seven righties in the lineup. This could be a spot where Suarez gets buzz sawed.

Dodgers Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – Manny Machado, Matt Kemp, Brian Dozier, Justin Turner

Secondary Options – Yasmani Grandal, Chris Taylor, Kike Hernandez

Dodgers Probable Starter – Alex Wood, LHP 

3.58 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 20.9 strikeout rate

Vs LHH – .254 average, .253 wOBA, 23.4 K rate, 20.9 fly ball rate and 29.0 hard hit rate

Vs RHH – .233 average, .295 wOBA, 20.1 K rate, 32.6 fly ball rate and 41.7 hard hit rate

You could maybe make an argument to play Chase d’Arnaud since he’s minimum priced, but I can’t see myself playing Giants tonight. Over 154 plate appearances, San Francisco has a collective .299 xwOBA and three homers against him. There’s just too many good options to get too involved here. Brandon Crawford is mildly interesting since he has two bombs and a .391 xwOBA in their careers. Nobody will play him, that’s for sure.

Giants Hitters to Target 

Elite Options – None

Secondary Options – Chase d’Arnaud, Brandon Crawford, Andrew McCutchen

Home Run Pick – Matt Kemp

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 17: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros and the American League during the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

DFS MLB – Sample FanDuel Lineup

P – Justin Verlander 

More from FanSided

C/1B – Matt Davidson 

2B – Jonathan Villar 

3B – Jedd Gyorko

SS – Aledmys Diaz

OF – Matt Kemp, Gregory Polanco, Adam Frazier 

Utility – Mitch Moreland 

I’m doing my best to lock in Verlander as things stand because he’s going to be ready to roll after his last start. I like the two man stack of the Bucco outfielders, especially if Frazier draws a decent spot in the batting order. Polanco is more of the lock while Frazier just works for the price point. Villar is far too cheap for his matchup and I’ll also go back to the Gyorko well one more night. We finish with Kemp and Moreland, punting shortstop with Diaz along the way.

The Core – Jonathan Villar, Gregory Polanco, Matt Kemp

Pitching Options to Consider 

High End – Justin Verlander, James Paxton, Patrick Corbin(GPP)

Mid-Range – J.A. Happ, Jameson Taillon, German Marquez

Punt – Jaime Barria

Stacks to Consider – Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays

Next. MLB DFS Picks and Pivots. dark

As always, may fortune be on your side and make sure to follow me on Twitter @bucn4life as MLB allows late swap. If there’s a late scratch and/or lineup cards aren’t put in for the late games, this article will always be updated on Twitter ASAP.