Of course it was the seven-inning Houston – Los Angeles game that blew up for a 19-run total. The baseball gods have a sick sense of humor. The rest of the slate was a little all over the place as well. The Reds connected for six and Eugenio Suarez had a monster three-homer day, but the Yankees and Twins didn’t make a lot of noise. Several solid pitching performances were key to unlocking the top of GPPs, with Gerrit Cole coming through on his big price tag, Seth Lugo putting up a very nice start for the low salary at just 5.9% ownership on DraftKings and Kenta Maeda having a solid game at the upper-middle tier.
Tomorrow’s slate has a few very juicy looking spots for offense with some of our favorite pitchers to target for home runs going. The early-afternoon start includes a few fun games and has several large implied totals on some of our favorite go-to offenses. I’m not including the White Sox or Twins here again, but they both look like excellent options in addition to the teams below.
MLB DFS Quick Hits: Top HR Options, Stacks and Pitchers
Home Run Ratings
Home runs are our holy grail when making MLB DFS picks. Finding the right combination of sluggers who will knock one, or better two, out of the park to drive in the teammates you stack with them is critical to winning GPPs. Identifying the likely home run hitters is trickier than just looking at the big names. Using a model of my own design, based on a blend of several predictive statistics for the batter-pitcher matchup, I’m going to give one of the top choices from each team.
Scale: 5-10 Average; 10-20 Good; 20-25 Very Good; 25+ Great
Arizona Diamondbacks: n/a
Atlanta Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. – 10.71
Baltimore Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle – 5.54
Boston Red Sox: J.D. Martinez – 12.14
Chicago Cubs: n/a
Chicago White Sox: Eloy Jimenez – 18.26
Cincinnati Reds: Jesse Winker – 13.87
Cleveland Indians: Franmil Reyes – 11.60
Colorado Rockies: n/a
Detroit Tigers: Jonathan Schoop – 4.99
Houston Astros: n/a
Kansas City Royals: Jorge Soler – 3.06
Los Angeles Angels: n/a
Los Angeles Dodgers: n/a
Miami Marlins: Starling Marte – 8.03
Milwaukee Brewers: Christian Yelich – 6.35
Minnesota Twins: Josh Donaldson – 15.44
New York Mets: Dominic Smith – 7.58
New York Yankees: Gleyber Torres – 17.22
Oakland Athletics: n/a
Philadelphia Phillies: Bryce Harper – 4.54
Pittsburgh Pirates: Colin Moran – 7.12
San Diego Padres: n/a
San Francisco Giants: n/a
Seattle Mariners: n/a
St. Louis Cardinals: n/a
Tampa Bay Rays: Austin Meadows – 9.72
Texas Rangers: n/a
Toronto Blue Jays: Randal Grichuk – 13.25
Washington Nationals: Kurt Suzuki – 8.58
MLB DFS Stacks & Ownership Plays
(Quick note: if it says 1-5 it means hitters 1-2-3-4-5, otherwise I’ll specify spots)
We’re picking a few standout MLB DFS spots and teams to look at for potential plays here. Make sure to check out the ownership projections for critical updates and monitor the top stacks tool throughout the day for changes.
New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles – Yankees – 1-5 – LeMahieu – Voit – Hicks – Frazier – Torres
The Yankees are in Camden Yards taking on the tiny birds and their punching bag of a pitcher with whose name I still have difficulty spelling despite targeting him in one of my columns nearly every time out. Asher Wojciechowski has a 2.07 HR/9 to lefty bats for his short career, 1.77 to right-handed hitters. He’s extremely prone to giving up the home run ball and the Yankees are a team built entirely around the concept of hitting home runs. Despite the absence of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, it looks like Wojciechowski is in some trouble against this lineup. Over his 192.1 career innings, the starter is carrying a 22.1% strikeout rate, a 7.6% walk rate and a 5.23 xFIP.
The Yankees are fifth in baseball with 46 home runs against right-handed pitchers. The team is hitting a collective .248/.342/.443 with a .195 ISO in the split so far in 2020. Since the start of 2018, the active roster has hit the fourth-most home runs in baseball against right-handed pitching, with 373. Their .203 ISO ranks third behind the .206 posted by the Twins and the gigantic .236 owned by the Dodgers.
The Yankees got young star shortstop Gleyber Torres back in the lineup this weekend. The third-year player was off to a rough start in 2020, with a .231/.341/.295 slash and just one home run over his 91 plate appearances. Hopefully the time off serves as a reset for a player who old-school scouts would have referred to as “pressing” during the first few weeks of the season. Torres is a proven commodity. He hit 24 home runs in 484 plate appearances as a rookie in 2018 and followed it up with 38 in 604 opportunities last season, and he has a career ISO of .223. The kid is one of the best options at a loaded position. You’re not leaving anything on the table in terms of talent when you choose him over some of the more expensive stars at the position. Torres costs just $2,800 on FanDuel and $4,500 on DraftKings.
D.J. LeMahieu didn’t want the day off on Saturday and MLB DFS players can count on him being at the top of this lineup on Sunday afternoon. The second baseman is raking, riding a .380/.414/.546 slash with four home runs and a WRC+ 63% above average on the season. LeMahieu is one of the best pure hitters in the sport. His $3,900 on FanDuel is a bargain, while the $5,500 on DraftKings is well worth paying up to and will hopefully keep people away from him. LeMahieu adds third base eligibility on DraftKings as well, broadening his appeal.
The Yankees will be without Gio Urshela, but that means Miguel Andujar will finally get a full shot back in this lineup for a spell. Andujar lost his job when he got hurt at the start of 2019, and Urshela moved in and began to hit out of nowhere. The Yankees tried Andujar in the outfield — he has outfield eligibility on DraftKings — but it was a mess and they have an extremely crowded outfield when healthy already. The 25-year-old Andujar hit 27 home runs in 606 plate appearances as a rookie in 2018 with a .230 ISO and just a 16% strikeout rate. This is a bat to get into your lineups, particularly if the public is overlooking him. The $2,800 price tag is probably going to make him popular on DraftKings. He’s laughably priced at the minimum at the ongoing joke that used to be FanDuel. Andujar should be hitting around seventh in the lineup, and he should make a great play for savings and as an option for production at the end of a stack.
The Yankees are getting a ton of power from Luke Voit, we looked at his overall numbers since joining the team the other night, so I won’t post them again here. I will tell you that Voit has 25 home runs against same-handed pitching since the start of 2019 and looks like a solid option to hit one tomorrow in his first plate appearance against this pitcher. The first baseman hits second in the lineup while Judge is on the IL and he benefits tremendously from LeMahieu’s ability to constantly be on base in front of him.
Aaron Hicks has been struggling after missing most of 2019 with injuries. The outfielder was at just .206/.352/.382 with three home runs coming into action on Saturday. His on-base percentage and ability to work a count have kept his WRC+ above water by 5% but he’s at just a .176 ISO on the season and has not found much from either side of the plate in terms of contact and he does better from the other side of the plate against lefty pitching. Still, at just $2,800 on FanDuel and $3,600 on DraftKings he’s got some appeal in the middle of this lineup.
Gary Sanchez is well below the Mendoza line at just .135/.245/.365. The catcher is barely justifying his spot in this lineup with the performance, and yet there’s a lot to like in this bat. His ownership projection on Saturday’s slate was into the 30% range, which is a lot to ask, but if he’s less popular tomorrow I think we can get to him. Since the start of 2019, Sanchez leads the Yankees with 33 home runs and a .283 ISO against right-handed pitching.
Brett Gardner is yet another bat in this lineup below the Mendoza line, these guys really don’t hit for average. The aging outfielder is getting on base at a .320 clip and slugging .341, his WRC+ is below average by 13%, and he’s not much more than a mix and match option to get different at the bottom of the lineup. The same can be said of Thairo Estrada who is not much more than filler hitting ninth here, though Tyler Wade is more interesting if we see him instead.
Related MLB DFS Content
- Learn MLB DFS: DraftKings + FanDuel Primer
- MLB DFS Quick Hits: HRs, Stacks & Ownership Plays
- Top Stack Tool (PREMIUM)
- Awesemo’s Top Pitcher Tool (PREMIUM)
- The MLB Strategy Show Live Before Lock
Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox – Blue Jays – 1-2-4-5-6 – Biggio – Grichuk – Hernandez – Guerrero – Villar
Red Sox starter Andrew Triggs has made two appearances in 2020 and has given up two home runs and six runs overall in just 3.1 innings. Triggs has made 27 starts in his career and has a 4.11 xFIP with a 21% strikeout rate, while relying on getting nearly 50% ground balls. Like all pitchers who focus on a sinker, Triggs is prone to leaving the ball in the fat part of the zone and meeting the upward plane of a home run swing, which plays into a strength of the Blue Jays. The young squad has the slate’s highest implied team total early on and I’m very interested in seeing what they look like in the Top Stacks tool tomorrow.
Cavan Biggio leads off for the Blue Jays and hits from the left side of the plate. Biggio has 19 home runs against right-handed pitching in just 396 plate appearances in the split since the start of 2019. The second baseman/outfielder on DraftKings costs the most on this team at a hefty $5,200 but is worth the investment atop this lineup. He’s a no-brainer at just $3,800 on FanDuel. For the season, Biggio has a WRC+ 24% above average, six home runs and four stolen bases, he’s a terrific option for MLB DFS.
Randal Grichuk is drawing the team’s top home run mark in my model, and he costs just $4,300 on DraftKings. The outfielder has hit nine home runs in his 147 plate appearances to this point in the season, a year after hitting 31 in 628 opportunities. His 27 homers against right-handed pitching since the start of 2019 leads the team. Grichuk is only $3,400 on FanDuel, lock his .255 ISO into your outfield in Blue Jays stacks on both sites.
Rowdy Tellez brings a big bat to the good side of his splits here. The lefty has hit 22 home runs in just 369 plate appearances against right-handed pitching since the start of 2019. He has also struck out 24.4% of the time in the split over that same span, while putting up a .214/.295/.452 slash, making him somewhat of an all-or-nothing home run play.
The core of this lineup is deep, with Teoscar Hernandez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jonathan Villar and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hitting probably in that order. You can mix and match the quartet as much as possible. I like getting to this lineup from one through seven at least and will have some shares of all nine hitters tomorrow. Out of this group, I get the best individual point projection and the best home run projection on Guerrero, but it’s very close. The first baseman does a good job limiting his strikeouts at just 18.2% in the split since the start of last year and he’s carrying a WRC+ 18% above average against right-handed pitching.
Hernandez has struck out 32.9% of the time against right-handed pitching since the start of last year but he remains a solid option given the .250 ISO and WRC+ 8% above average in the split over that span. Hernandez is second on the team to Grichuk with 26 home runs against right-handed pitchers since the start of 2019. Villar has a .274/.350/.438 slash in our split since 2019 began, he’s hit 16 home runs and stolen 37 bases with right-handed pitchers on the hill. Gurriel winds down the group sitting fourth on the team in home runs in this split with 17 over his last 326 plate appearances.
Travis Shaw and Danny Jansen are at the bottom of the projected lineup. Jansen could be a somewhat interesting low-owned catcher play on DraftKings at just $3,600. I wouldn’t expect many people to look his way with the .154/.295/.295 slash, hopefully forgetting the 13 home runs in 384 plate appearances last season. Shaw has hit 11 home runs in last 299 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers. The lefty thumper has just a .183/.314/.335 slash in the split, his ISO is just .151, and his WRC+ is 25% below average. I’ll most likely limit the amount of Shaw that I have in my life tomorrow.
HR Call: Gleyber Torres (Yankees)
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