5/19 MLB DFS Picks: Jason Kipnis and Indians are Free Money
5/19 MLB DFS Picks: Kipnis and the Indians are Free Money
DailyRoto.com’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his 5/19 MLB DFS Picks.
Where to focus?
With only a few productive offensive run scoring environments tonight the focus entirely shifts to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. After a slugfest ended in 12 innings last night, the Reds and Indians are back at it again tonight, once again featuring a pair of below average right-handers. For the Indians, flyball pitcher Josh Tomlin will be dealing with a notable negative park shift. Tomlin has struggled with the home run as it is, allowing 1.78 HR/9 in the last two seasons. Joey Votto ($7,800) is still way too cheap and is an excellent place to start your cash games, while Billy Hamilton ($6,900) and Jay Bruce ($7,800) don’t lag far behind.
On the other side, the Indians will get the luxury of facing righty Tim Adleman. Adleman actually hasn’t looked terrible in his first few starts for the Reds, but I’m still trying to take advantage of his command (3.94 BB/9) and struggles with lefties (.439 wOBA against this season). While the park shift and the lack of other options puts most all of the Indians in play, the matchup with Adleman further strengthens the thought process behind Jason Kipnis ($9,600), Francisco Lindor ($8,100), Carlos Santana ($7,800), Jose Ramirez ($6,600) and company. Unrelated to his daily fantasy stock, but Francisco Lindor is the true definition of a baller. Go watch the dude’s defensive highlights on YouTube. This should be a game that platoon player Lonnie Chisenhall ($6,000) also draws a start thanks to his great skills versus right-handed pitching.
If you’re trying to find value elsewhere, things take a bit of step down the hill. The Pirates have a matchup with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz that comes with an implied run total smack dab in the middle of four and five runs. The bad news is, the Pirates don’t bolster a lot of pop from the left side of the plate (career .412 wOBA against for lefties) and the park isn’t particularly in favor of hitters. Nevertheless, Gregory Polanco ($10,200) continues to rake. If hitting third, Polanco is a great option but the price tag is a bit too much for me to pay for a guy that can’t seem to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Doubles are fine, but when paying top dollar, you need at least some home run upside. I’d rather look in the direction of John Jaso ($6,900) or Matt Joyce ($6,600). Jaso should be at the top of the order against Folty and he’s made good use of right-handed pitching in his career, posting a .352 wOBA. Joyce doesn’t always find his way into the lineup, but if he does tonight, he’ll be a valuable punt option in the outfield.
The Toronto Blue Jays have migrated away from home, but their matchup with Ervin Santana shouldn’t be overlooked. Ervin has danced around the home run ball this season despite his flyball ways, but tonight’s matchup is not a good one for him. The Blue Jays are receiving a bit of a negative park shift, but Target Field is better for right-handed power – so it could be worse. Jose Bautista ($9,000), Josh Donaldson ($9,200) and Edwin Encarnacion ($8,800) all share accessible price tags and can be reached easily. The Blue Jays have an implied run total over four runs and are guaranteed a full nine at-bats tonight.
On the bump…
Part of the reason that offensive options are limited tonight is due to the multitude of starting pitching options. From great, to good, to not that bad, this slate has it all for pitchers.
Chris Sale ($26,800)
Stephen Strasburg ($25,200)
Jeff Samardzija ($22,800)
Matt Harvey ($18,900)
Michael Wacha ($14,400)
Chris Sale tops this group thanks to his insane strikeout ability and the matchup with a heavily strikeout prone lineup. The Astros are at the top in the league in terms of offensive K% at 25.5% and Sale projects for a K/9 of over ten. While the strikeouts haven’t been coming quite as frequently this season and the swinging strike rate is down, I’m not overly concerned in this matchup. The Astros will provide a formidable top three, but each and every bat in this lineup possesses massive strikeout upside for the lanky left-hander. Furthermore, the Astros implied run total is at just three runs and the White Sox are a cool (-194) favorite tonight.
Strasburg against the Mets doesn’t sound like the most enticing idea, but I’m entirely shying from him tonight. The Mets have a top-ten offensive K% and Strasburg has enjoyed much success with sending batters back to the dugout this season. He’s pitched to a 2.86 xFIP and is inducing over 20% soft contact so far this season. He has his SwStr% (swinging strike % - typically translates to a high strikeout rate) at the second best mark of his career (best since rookie season) and he’s been dialed in despite a BABIP of over .300 again. The Nats are slight road favorites in this one as Strasburg on the bump has their implied run total just over three runs. If forced to decide between one of the two top options, I’d lean Sale, but Strasburg is an elite tournament option.
Jeff Samardzija is back? Maybe? The Shark has seen a positive regression in terms of strikeouts, enjoying his move back to the National League. Secondly, he’s getting the ball back on the ground a lot more often so far this year, enjoying numbers closer to those he had with the Cubs a few years back. The SwStr% is up, the hard contact is being lowered and he draws a tasty matchup with the San Diego Padres. Trusting him can be a tough pill to swallow, but the numbers point to using him.
Harvey draws the other side of the Stephen Strasburg matchup tonight. His SwStr% is still above average, but the velocity is down a tick and now command has been a bit of an issue for Harvey this year. He’s been a bit better than his ERA indicates, but the 3.77 xFIP isn’t quite what we expect from the Dark Knight. The matchup with the Nationals isn’t as deadly as it might seem based on their win-loss record, but it’s enough of a concern to drop Harvey to the fourth ranked pitcher in my eyes. Even with the help of Bryce Harper, the Nats are around the bottom third of the league in terms of wOBA and ISO against right-handed pitchers. They are slight favorites, but their implied team run total is just over three. The price tag adds a bit of a bump in value to Harvey, but again, he’s just not as safe as the others in the group.
Last but not least, Michael Wacha brings an absurd price tag to a matchup with the Colorado Rockies away from Coors Field. This is a huge negative park shift for the Rockies and Vegas has noted it with an implied team run total at 3.4 runs. All of Wacha’s peripherals are right in line with the numbers that have made him a solid big league arm the last three seasons, pitching to a 3.94 xFIP and getting over seven strikeouts per nine innings. His SwStr% is at an all time low, but for this price tag you can afford a little less of a strikeout projection in favor of his run prevention skills.
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