Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for August 10th.
Today we have only 7 games on the MLB schedule kicking off at 7:10 p.m. As always, be sure to check the weather forecasts before game times as there may be issues in the forecast, although right now the weather looks like it will cooperate. And make sure to check your lineup before game time for potential late scratches.
There are a lot of lefties on the hill tonight, which means that I will be employing my favorite strategy of targeting big platoon splits. Today’s line-up will be a stars and scrubs affair with the top priced pitcher, two of the top priced hitters as well as several discount bin purchases. It was a tough Sunday for me, but I am feeling a nice rebound with my Monday picks. Who’s with me?
1. Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox ($12,000)
Looking at surface numbers you might think that Sale has hit a wall in the 2nd half. He has an abysmal 7.61 ERA and hitters are hitting .350/.396/.524 against him since the all-star break. A quick look beneath the surface, however, reveals that Sale has been much the same guy but has run into some bad luck. His K/9 are still 11.03 since the break, down only slightly from his otherworldly first half and his xFIP sits at 3.04. Much of Sale’s 2nd half struggles stem from a .457 (!!) BABIP as well as a 62.5% strand rate.
Today, Sale faces off against the Angels who have been the 5th worst hitting team over the second half with a team OPS of .664. They are also the AL’s 3rd worst team against lefties on the season with a .684 OPS, and the Angels current line-up is also hitting an awful .093/.140/.223 against Sale in their careers. This may be just what the doctor ordered for Sale, whose luck is bound to improve.
2. Brett Anderson, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers ($7,100)
Much like the Angels, the Nationals have slumped in the 2nd half against everyone and have also been brutal against lefties all year. The Nats are the majors’ 4th worst hitting team in the 2nd half with a team OPS of .659 and they are the 20th ranked team in the majors on the season against lefties at .694. Brett Anderson has a 2.30 2nd half ERA and, despite not being a great strikeout guy, should be able to handle the Nationals today. Also, bear in mind that the Nationals did not get a day off despite traveling from Washington to the west coast. Their bats will likely drag today.
3. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, San Diego Padres ($2,700)
Gyorko’s season stats look quite pathetic, but in reality, he has been pretty good against left-handed pitching. On the year he has hit .288/.408/.458 against southpaws with a wRC+ of 148. Today he gets to face off against a relatively green lefty in David Holmberg. I think Gyorko has a big game in him tonight.
4. Jimmy Rollins, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,000)
Rollins is another guy whose numbers against left-handed pitching are far better than his season numbers. On his stronger platoon side, Rollins is hitting .304/.351/.449 on the season. His bat has also gotten relatively hot since the break with a .352 wOBA and a wRC+ of 128. The Nats’ Gio Gonzalez is reasonably effective against right-handed hitting but I still like this match-up for J-Roll.
5. Nelson Cruz, OF, Seattle Mariners ($5,500)
In case you all don’t read my every column, it bears repeating that Nelson Cruz is a destroyer of worlds against lefties. On the season he has hit .390/.465/.750 against southpaws with a wOBA of .503 and wRC+ of 234. Cruz has also been on fire in the second half with a .383/.448/.798 line. Wei-Yin Chen is a nice pitcher and may be able to neutralize others in the Mariners line-up but I have confidence that Nelly will mash.
6. David Peralta, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,100)
I watch way too many Diamondbacks games, especially considering they are not my favorite team, and they are not in contention. But I own Paul Goldschmidt in 2 of my 3 dynasty leagues and that keeps me watching. Every time I watch the Diamondbacks, I come away more and more impressed with David Peralta, who has turned into a really nice hitter. In the 2nd half, he has mashed to the tune of .338/.377/.585. And he has smoked right-handed pitching all year with a .290/.356/.520 line. Aaron Harang is on the hill for the Phillies and I feel like Peralta is going to eat him for breakfast. Could be a big score for the DBacks outfielder.
7. Scott van Slyke, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,600)
On a day where I am taking many right-handed bats who hit lefties well, I have to save my favorite platoon split player for my 7-UP play of the day. Van Slyke is always dynamite against lefties and this year is no different as he holds a .304/.468./.500 line. Van Slyke should be hitting in the middle of the Dodgers line-up and I am hoping for a double-digit score.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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