Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 7th.
Today we have a full 15 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 4:05 p.m. As always, be sure to check the weather forecasts before game times as there may be issues in the forecast, and make sure to check your lineup before game time for potential late scratches.
Today is one of those crazy pitching days as aces Clayton Kershaw, Jose Fernandez, Jacob deGrom, Gerritt Cole, Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray and Cole Hamels are all pitching. Secondary options like Aaron Nola, Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn, James Shields and Andrew Heaney are also available.
On a day like this, I usually make a few lineups, but I’ll give you some names from the first lineup that I have prepared for the day. I am splurging on pitching, but surprisingly leaving Kershaw and Fernandez off of my roster. Let’s see how it goes.
1. Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets ($12,100)
DeGrom has been dynamite all season, sitting 2nd in the National League in ERA at 2.09 and holding opponents to a ridiculous .194/.239/.275 line. The team on the other side of the diamond, the Tampa Bay Rays have been just the opposite as they have struggled all year against right-handed pitching, sitting last in the American League with an OPS of .674. The Rays have also been brutal at home, ranking 27th in the majors in OPS at .671. DeGrom has been dominating everyone this year. There is no reason to think that he won’t do similar damage against the anemic hitting Rays.
2. Dallas Keuchel, SP, Houston Astros ($11,900)
You know it is a crazy day for pitchers when Dallas Keuchel is my SP2. Keuchel ranks 3rd in the American League in ERA and has been nearly as dominant as deGrom. A team that he has really enjoyed facing has been the Oakland A’s who he has pitched against twice and has yet to allow an earned run in 16 innings. Keuchel’s good form against the A’s includes a complete game 2 hit shutout in Oakland, where he will be pitching today. Look for Keuchel’s good form to continue.
3. Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers ($3,100)
Given the crazy amount that I spent on pitching, I thought that I would be shopping the bargain basement for hitters. Luckily for me, one of the hottest hitting middle infielders in the majors landed in the discount section. Odor has hit .329/.350/.632 in the 2nd half of the season and has been dynamite away from Arlington against righties all year with a .401 wOBA and wRC+ of 154. Today he faces off against Hisashi Iwakuma, who has allowed a .500 slugging percentage against left-handed bats this year. I am loving Odor at this price.
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers ($3,700)
Odor’s infield mate, Adrian Beltre is also under-priced today. Beltre has really come on as of late, hitting .400/.455/.750 in the month of August. Moreover, he has always enjoyed facing Iwakuma in his career with a .367/.406/.700 line against the Mariners righty in 33 plate appearances. Beltre is cheap and should produce today.
5. Marlon Byrd, OF, Cincinnati Reds ($4,000)
Marlon Byrd is actually the most expensive guy in my lineup today as he cracked the $4,000 barrier. While Robbie Ray is a pretty tough lefty who has had decent success against right-handed hitting, I am always confident to play the veteran Byrd against lefties. The Reds’ outfielder has hit a solid .290/.364/.536 against left-handed pitching this year. He has also gotten hot in the 2nd half with a solid .536 slugging percentage. This is a pretty reasonable price for Byrd against a southpaw.
6. Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles ($3,900)
Adam Jones is usually one of the league’s best hitters against left-handed pitching. His numbers are down from previous years, but Jones is still rocking lefties to the tune of a .313/.356/.538 line. Today he faces dynamic young lefty Andrew Heaney, but much like Byrd, at this price, against a left-handed pitcher (not named Kershaw) I love Adam Jones.
7. Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals ($3,100)
Desmond has finally started to turn his season around a little bit with a .454 slugging percentage in the 2nd half. He homered yesterday for the 12th time on the season and now he faces one of his favorite pitchers in Colorado’s Jorge de la Rosa. Desmond has hit .444/.545/.556 in his career against de la Rosa. Desmond is cheap today and is worth a play.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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