Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 4rd.
Today we have a full 15 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 7:05 p.m. Be sure to check the weather forecasts before game times as always as there may be issues in the Diamondbacks/Nationals game.
Make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches!
The Phillies and their anemic lineup have justifiably been whipping boys for me all season. A strategy that I used to pretty good success early in the year was to just stream whichever pitcher was going against the Phillies to get the bats that I wanted into my lineups.
Don’t look now, but the Phillies have started to mash recently. In fact, since the All-Star break, the Phillies are second in the National League in OPS, trailing only the thin air aided Colorado Rockies. Today, the Phillies face left-handed starter Alex Wood, against whom many of them have had success. And the Phils have been pretty good against lefties all year, ranking 5th in the NL in OPS against southpaws. All this to say, I have a couple of Phillies in my line-up today and if you are playing a GPP tournament, I actually recommend a (GASP!) Phillies stack.
Here are your picks of the day:
1. Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox ($12,000)
There are many aces pitching today including Max Scherzer, Chris Archer, Masahiro Tanaka and Jake Arrieta. But my favorite ace of the day is still Chris Sale. Strikeouts are still the easiest way to get points in DraftKings and Sale leads the league in K/9 at 11.571 after leading the league in the same category last year. The Condor also has had nice success against the current Rays’ line-up, holding them to a collective .183/.246/.349 line. Sale will get you an easy 25 points – use him with confidence.
2. Matt Shoemaker, SP, Los Angeles Angels ($7,500)
Shoemaker’s price today does not reflect his current form. Over the last 28 days, Shoemaker has a 1.37 ERA, 1.068 WHIP and 9.2 K/9. That includes not allowing a run in his last two starts while striking out well more than a batter per inning. Last year’s runner-up in the Rookie of the Year race went 9-2 with a 1.87 ERA after the All-Star break in 2014. This year, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his 2 post All-Star game starts. If history is your guide, Shoemaker’s recent good form should keep up against the Indians today.
3. Lucas Duda, 1B, New York Mets ($4,300)
The Big Lebowski (all nicknames courtesy of Baseball Reference) faces off against Brad Hand, against whom he has had pretty good success over his career with a .357/.400/.714 line over 15 plate appearances. But, of course, I’m really using Duda because that man is on fire. Before last night’s 0-4 with 4 Ks, Duda had smashed to the tune of .474/.524/1.632 over his last 7 games including hitting 7 homers in that span. Duda is honing his craft against a pitcher who he likes to face and that could mean big trouble for the Marlins.
4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,900)
This is a very affordable price for the Blue Jays’ new star shortstop who appears to like the cooking north of the border. In his limited time with the Jays, Tulo has hit .350/.480/.600. Phil Hughes has always had the propensity to give up a long ball, and Toronto’s friendly confines will likely not help his cause. $3,900 is a good price for the very good chance that Tulowitzki can pop one out of the park.
5. Darrin Ruf, OF, Philadelphia Phillies ($2,000)
You will not find any better value for a guy who absolutely destroys left-handed pitching. On the year, Ruf has hit .370/.444/.593 against lefties with a .444 wOBA and 189 wRC+. I would take Ruf against any left-hander at this bottom of the barrel price. But, if that were not enough, Ruf also has tremendous career numbers against Dodgers’ starter Alex Wood against whom he has hit .417/.500/.667 in 14 career plate appearances. This might be a popular pick, but don’t be left behind. Grab Ruf for your roster.
6. Andre Ethier, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,100)
In the off-season, Andre Etheir was an unwanted man. He was coming off a 4 homer season with a sub 700 OPS. This season, Ethier has his mojo back, especially against right-handed pitching. Against righties, Etheir has hit .288/.377/.504 this season. He will be happy to see hittable righty Jerome Williams of the Phillies and I expect a nice night from Andre at this low price.
7. Carlos Ruiz, C, Philadelphia Phillies ($2,400)
Ruiz has not hit right-handed pitching this year, but man oh man has he bashed lefties. On the season, he is hitting a ridiculous .387/.444/.645 with a .457 wOBA and 198 wRC+ against southpaws. Today, he faces off against Alex Wood who he has owned in a limited sample size over his career with a .667/.700/.889 line. You can’t ask for better value for $2,400.
Now that’s refreshing!
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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