Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top DFS Plays for May 21
As usual, this is a Saturday split slate and I’m not really sure what to do with it. Most of the hitters I like play early while the pitchers go late. Maybe I’ll enter some all day contests. Or maybe I will go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather in the afternoon and focus on the night slate. Either way, let’s see what value we can find with today’s games.
Here are your quick hit thoughts for today.
Batter versus Pitcher Warriors:
- Matt Kemp vs. Alex Wood – 5/9 with a homer and a double
- Mark Reynolds vs. Jon Niese – 10/18 with 2 homers a double and a walk
- Rickie Weeks vs. Mike Leake – 6/15 with 3 doubles and 2 homers
- Yunel Escobar vs. Kevin Gausman – 6/10 with a double
Stacks to Target:
- Rockies vs. Jon Niese – The Rockies are dangerous against lefties with an .809 OPS on the season, and as a team have hit a collective .420/.456/.755 against Niese. Niese is really struggling this year as he has not been able to induce his trademark soft contact. His soft contact rate sits at 13.9% on the season, way down from his career mark of 18.5%. I should also add that the Rockies are usually low owned when they are away from Coors, and my biggest win of the season came when I stacked them on the road against a weak lefty.
- Blue Jays vs. Pat Dean – Dean is the definition of a journeyman lefty, and he makes his first career start against the lefty mashing Jays (he has had 2 Major League relief appearances). Dean has not exceeded 5.20 K/9 in the minor leagues since 2011, and his pitch to contact approach likely won’t play well against the Jays. The Jays only rank 13th in MLB in OPS versus lefties, but they look poised to break out after their bats got going yesterday – and don’t forget, their season mark against left-handed pitching in 2015 led MLB by a comfortable margin. I think they put up a crooked number today.
Weather Factors to Target or Avoid:
- Braves at Phillies – possibility of rain
- Yankees at A’s – 13 MPH wind blowing out
- Rockies at Pirates – possibility of rain
- Cubs at Giants – 13 MPH wind blowing out
- Orioles at Angels – 12 MPH wind blowing out
Pitchers of the Day:
- Jacob de Grom vs. Brewers – de Grom is pretty pricey on both DraftKings and FanDuel which may lead to low ownership. Thus far this season, his ERA looks pretty, but his K/9 are way down to 5.75 which is consistent with his velocity drop on his fastball from 95.0 to 92.5 MPH. He is also getting hit with way more hard contact which sits at 34.5% up from 26.3%. So why am I recommending him? The Brewers are a strikeout prone team, and I think that de Grom gets his K mojo back today and could put up a big number. But as I write this, I think I have convinced myself that I should have exposure to both sides of this game and I’ll be stacking the Brewers offense in a lineup as well – could be a contrarian gold mine.
- Joe Ross vs. Marlins – The Marlins have quietly been one of the best offenses in MLB, but their numbers suffer at home where their OPS has dropped from .776 to .721. Joe Ross’ hard contact has been way down this year and he has been lights out on the road with a 1.21 ERA and .229 wOBA against. He is pretty cheap and likely won’t have much ownership.
Platoon Split Hitters:
- Odubel Herrera vs. Williams Perez – Perez really struggles with left-handed hitters with a .373 wOBA allowed over his career. Herrera has been lighting up righties this year with a .413 wOBA and 158 wRC+.
- Nelson Cruz vs. John Lamb – Nelson Cruz has been Mr. Reliable against left-handed pitching throughout his career, but I think people have been forgetting about him this year. Don’t make that mistake, as he has still abused lefties in 2016 with a .426 wOBA and 181 wRC+. John Lamb is a nice young pitcher, but right-handed bats have a .414 wOBA on the season against him. Cruz is a nice play.
Any more questions? Hit me up on Twitter @AssemblyNeil
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