This is a huge week with plenty of nice matchups. At this point of the season we have a very good idea of what we are getting. If a guy has been torturing right- or left-handed pitching all season, chances are it is going to continue. If a guy is scuffling on the road, or hitting lights out at home, it is likely going to continue. Baseball is a game of averages, and sometimes things do even out. However, more often than not, hot numbers at home are evened out by poor numbers on the road. Or big-time averages against righties are brought down by struggles against lefties.
When we check out splits and stats in August while looking at pitchers and hitters, especially the veterans, remember immortal Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green who once said, “They were who we thought they were.”
Remember this week, one user will win $100,000 from our friends at FantasyAces.com with a live event at Angels Stadium Aug. 14-15 with $250,000 in prizes.
For more recommendations from me throughout the week, plus tips from other top industry analysts like Drew Dinkmeyer, check out DailyRoto.com for comprehensive free and premium DFS content.
FantasyAces.com salaries included below where applicable. (*** salaries subject to change ***)
PROBABLE PITCHERS TO START
MONDAY (seven games)
Ian Kennedy, SP, San Diego ($6,500 vs. CIN): If you look at Kennedy’s splits, there are very disappointing. However, it has been a tale of two seasons for Kennedy, who had a 10.80 ERA in April, 6.40 ERA in May, but a 2.31 ERA in June and 3.38 ERA in July. He has been strong since Memorial Day, and he has lasted six or more innings in each of his past four starts, and he has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 of his past 12 starts. He’ll have a very favorable matchup against Reds LHP David Holmberg.
Jon Niese, SP, N.Y. Mets ($6,000 vs. COL): Niese is a recommended play. Really. He has shaved nearly a run off of his ERA (4.43 to 3.51) since June 5, and that’s tough to do. He has 10 quality starts over his past 11 outings, and with the exception of poor outings May 19 against the Cardinals, and July 24 against the Dodgers, he would have a 3-2 ERA with a 2.49 ERA in his other eight starts at Citi Field. Look at his bigger body of work.
TUESDAY (15 games)
Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco (vs. HOU): MadBum has been so-so on the road, but at home he is still well worth the high DFS salary. He is 5-2 with a 2.43 ERA over 74 innings in 11 home starts with the opposition hitting just .227 against him at AT&T Park. He had 81 strikeouts over 74 innings at home, too. The Astros strike out plenty, so win or lose it will be a good night for MadBum’s DFS owners.
Zack Greinke, SP, L.A. Dodgers (vs. WAS): Greinke was tuned up for six runs in six innings last time out – and he still won. It was a poor outing in Philadelphia of all places, but the offense still picked him up to give him his 11th win. He has won six straight decisions over nine starts dating back to June 13, and he hasn’t lost at home since May 16. In other words, don’t expect a poor showing in back-to-back starts.
WEDNESDAY (15 games – 10 after 7pm ET)
John Danks, SP, Chicago White Sox (vs. LAA): On the surface, this looks like a dangerous play. But Danks has been surprisingly effective lately with a lesser price tag than some of his contemporaries. Danks has allowed just one earned run over his past 18 1/3 innings at home, and he has only one loss in his past seven starts overall since June 22.
James Shields, SP, San Diego (vs. CIN): ‘Big Game James’ has three straight quality starts heading into Wednesday’s day-game start. He is 4-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 11 home outings with 81 strikeouts in just 68 2/3 innings, and he has 62 strikeouts over 53 day-game innings in nine starts. Roll with Shields in a limited slate of early-game action.
THURSDAY (nine games – five after 7:05pm ET)
Mat Latos, SP, L.A. Dodgers (vs. CIN): It isn’t so much Latos that is to love, but the situation is great. He will be facing Sampson of the Reds in a very favorable matchup. In Latos’ only home start since joining the Dodgers, he allowed just one earned run, four hits and a walk over six innings in a no-decision. Lock it up. He picks up his first win in Dodger Blue Thursday evening.
Noah Syndergaard, SP, N.Y. Mets (vs. COL): Syndergaard is 0-5 with a 5.01 ERA and .284 opponent batting average on the road in eight starts, and a sparkling 6-1 record with a 1.57 ERA and .196 opponent batting average in eight home outings. Good thing this one is at home. For an added bonus, the Mets are facing SP Eddie Butler, who has been atrocious and very hittable. It’s a great spot for Syndergaard, who also has a 2-0 record with a 0.98 ERA in three day-game starts.
FRIDAY (15 games – 14 after 7:05 pm ET)
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Baltimore (vs. OAK): Jimenez has been a much better pitcher at home, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.87 ERA and a solid .215 opponent batting average in nine starts at Camden Yards. He has 52 strikeouts over 59 2/3 innings in Baltimore this season. On the road is a much different story, as he is two games below .500 with a 4.61 ERA and a .275 average against. U is a strong home start for DFS players, especially against a flagging A’s offense, which is just playing out the string.
Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta (vs. ARI): Been riding Teheran all season when he is home, so why stop now? He is 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 11 starts at Turner Field this season, striking out 63 over 71 1/3 innings while holding the opposition to a .206 average. It’s a different story on the road where he has a 6.75 ERA and .326 opponent average. Teheran has pulled it together as a whole in July and August after some uneven results all around in May and June, and he is 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in two starts in August, both quality starts.
SATURDAY (15 games – 13 after 7:05pm ET)
John Lackey, SP, St. Louis (vs. MIA): Lackey has been scintillating at home, posting a 7-3 record with a 1.89 ERA in 12 home starts with 70 strikeouts over 85 2/3 innings. He has limited exposure against the Marlins in his career, but facing an offense without its biggest stud hitter will mean success. Plus, we picked on Hand above, and he is set to oppose Lackey. That makes for an ultra-favorable matchup – perhaps the best of the week for DFS players.
Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit (at HOU): Yes, the Astros have been a good team this season. And yes, Verlander has been brutal by his standards, winning just one of his five decisions while limping along with a 4.57 ERA through 10 starts. But he looks a lot better lately, lasting at least six innings in four straight outings while posting quality starts in three of those assignments. And the Astros strike out a ton, so win or lose this could be a very fruitful day for DFS players at a cut-rate price.
SUNDAY (15 games)
Taylor Jungmann, SP, Milwaukee (vs. PHI): Jungmann has been slightly more hittable at home, although the base runners haven’t come around to score. In 29 2/3 innings he has a 2.12 ERA over five starts at Miller Park, and most importantly he hasn’t allowed a home run in Cream City this season. Facing down the Phillies, a team with the worst run differential in the majors, should be big-time results for Jungmann and his DFS owners.
HITTERS TO START
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, N.Y. Mets ($5,150 vs. COL): Cespedes will face Rockies RHP Jon Gray, and that bodes well for his DFS value. Cespedes is hitting .320 with 30 doubles, a triple, 15 homers and an .887 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. With a limited slate he is a must-start.
Lucas Duda, 1B, N.Y. Mets ($5,300 vs. COL): If you’re looking for a ‘stack’ team on a limited slate of games Monday, the Mets might be your team. Duda is hitting .296 at home with 18 doubles and 18 homers with 41 RBI while posting an impressive 1.064 OPS at home this season. He is hitting 74 points less against RHP vs. LHP, but most of his power is generated against righties.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona ($5,750 vs. PHI): At the 1B/3B position, Goldschmidt is the best of the lot Monday, especially since he has such as favorable matchup against Phillies RHP Aaron Harang. Goldschmidt has two doubles, two homers, five RBI and a 1.505 OPS in 15 career at-bats against Harang, but Goldschmidt is a must-start DFS option for much more than that. This season, which is far more telling, Goldschmidt has 21 doubles, 15 RBI and a .976 OPS in 302 at-bats vs. RHP, and he has 70 walks to just 73 strikeouts, an impressive ratio. He also has a 1.034 OPS thanks to 13 doubles, a triple and eight homers in 182 at-bats at home, and his .341 home average is the best among all batters on Monday.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Detroit ($5,300 at KC): Kinsler will be facing Royals RHP Yordano Ventura, who is only in the majors right now out of necessity. The consistent Kinsler is hitting .302 against righties and lefties this season, and his OPS is within 10 points from either side. He is just a picture of consistency, and he has had some success in his brief dealings with Ventura, too.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, N.Y. Yankees (at CLE): ‘Big Tex’ has crushed right-handed pitching, posting 17 doubles, 24 homers, 59 RBI and a 1.005 OPS against RHP. In addition, Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco has been terrible at home, posting a 4-6 record with a 5.37 ERA and .304 opponent batting average in 11 home starts as opposed to a 7-2 record, 2.49 ERA and .180 opponent average in 11 outings on the road. It’s a perfect storm for Teixeira, who should ignite New York’s offense.
Billy Butler, UTIL, Oakland (at TOR): Let’s face it, Butler hasn’t had the best season and this is a leap of faith. And most of Butler’s numbers against Toronto LHP Mark Buehrle came during halcyon times. However, perhaps facing a familiar face will spur Butler on. It’s hard to ignore a career .314 average (22-for-70) with four doubles, three homers and 17 RBI against a single pitcher. And, Butler will come with a low price tag, or very low risk with a rather high ceiling.
Coco Crisp, OF, Oakland (at TOR): On a day when not a lot of things stand out, you’ll be happy to know another veteran A’s player has good numbers against Buehrle – and a long history. Too many times people place important on a history of 20 or fewer at-bats, and that’s foolish. But Crisp has 59 at-bats against Buehrle, so the history is well established. He is a .288 hitter with two doubles, three homers and seven RBI. It might not be a giant stat line, but Crisp is a mid-level DFS option with double-digit points potential.
Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay (vs. ATL): Longo and the Rays are facing Braves RHP Matt Wisler, who has essentially served up batting practice on the road in his brief career. Longoria has been hot lately, and he should benefit nicely against a youngster. He is hitting a respectable .307 at home with 20 extra-base hits (12 2B, eight HR) while posting an .871 OPS. He has 30 extra-base hits against righties, too. Look for a big stat line with a rather mid-level investment.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, N.Y. Mets ($5,150 vs. COL): Remember those strong numbers against RHPs for Cespedes from earlier in the week against a poor Colorado Rockies starter? Yeah? Remember them again.
Justin Turner, 2B-3B, L.A. Dodgers (vs. CIN): Turner (leg) is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday when he is eligible. Give him a game to get his sea legs before trusting him again. Remember, he is hitting a robust .331 (39-for-118) at home with 12 doubles, six homers and 24 RBI with a .979 OPS. He’ll be facing Reds RHP Keyvius Sampson, and Turner is abusing righties to the tune of a .361 average with 18 doubles, a triple, 11 homers, 38 RBI and a 1.050 OPS.
Neil Walker, 2B-OF, Pittsburgh (at STL): Walker has lit the world afire against Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn, as the switch hitter is 13-for-37 (.351) with three doubles, a triple, three homers, 10 RBI and a 1.162 OPS against Lynn. That’s a long enough history to trust Walker, regardless of what he has done lately.
Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland (at MIN): Dr. Smooth enters the new week red hot, and a lot of that can be attributed to Minnesota pitching. In a three-game set in Cleveland he had three straight multi-hit games, including a pair of three-hit performances while finishing with a double in every outing and a total of four RBI. In six games from Aug. 3-9, he had five multi-hit games. Ride Brantley until he cools significantly.
Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay (at TEX): Longo has posted tremendous numbers against left-handed pitching, going 29-for -88 (.330) with four doubles, four homers, 14 RBI and a .930 OPS against southpaws this season. He’ll be a strong DFS play against Rangers LHP Martin Perez Friday night.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati (at LAD): Frazier heads into the new week with a league-leading 11 home runs against left-handed pitching. No one else in the majors has double digits in the category, and he is hitting a respectable .262 with eight doubles and a .937 OPS. Frazier should be a strong cash-game play against Dodgers LHP Brett Anderson at Chavez Ravine.
Prince Fielder, 1B, Texas (vs. TB): Fielder will face Rays RHP Erasmo Ramirez, and he has absolutely abused right-handed pitching this season. Fielder is hitting .359 with 14 doubles, nine homers, 42 RBI and a .944 OPS against righties, and he is also hitting .323 at home. All signs point to a productive homestand for Fielder, as he faces a righty Friday and Saturday, too.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, N.Y. Yankees (at TOR): As mentioned earlier, Teixeira has some big numbers against RHP, and while Hutchison has 10 wins overall this season, he also carries a 5.42 ERA into the new week. He is very hittable, and Tex should knock him around hard.
Detroit at Kansas City (ESPN, 8:10 p.m.)
Detroit at Kansas City – OR – Pittsburgh at St. Louis (MLB Network, 8:10 p.m.)
Baltimore at Seattle – OR – Houston at San Francisco (MLB Network, 3:40 p.m.)
Pittsburgh at St. Louis (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.)
N.Y. Yankees at Cleveland – OR – Pittsburgh at St. Louis (MLB Network, 7:10 p.m.)
Cincinnati at L.A. Dodgers – OR – Washington at San Francisco (MLB Network, 10:10 p.m.)
N.Y. Yankees at Toronto (MLB Network, 7:07 p.m.)
N.Y. Yankees at Toronto – OR – Seattle at Boston (MLB Network. 1:07 p.m.)
L.A. Angels at Kansas City (FOX Sports 1, 7:10 p.m.)
Washington at San Francisco (FOX Sports 1, 10:05 p.m.)
Pittsburgh at N.Y. Mets (TBS, 1:10 p.m.)
L.A. Angels at Kansas City (ESPN, 8:08 p.m.)