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MLB

MLB DFS Picks: Stack Slants for DraftKings + FanDuel | 9/4/20

Terry McBride

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MLB DFS Picks: Stack Slants looks for undervalued angles into tonight's (9/4/20) DraftKings & FanDuel slates with Awesemo's Top Stacks Tool.

I feel like I owe you guys one after the Padres got blanked yesterday. Yeah, we’ve had our hits too, but I take this to heart and I hate getting one that wildly wrong, even in a sport like baseball. What I can promise is that when we miss, we miss together. Those Padres and my lack of Andrew Heaney sunk most of the lineups I entered last night. That is why it’s excellent that we can forget and that the key word in the MLB DFS and MLB DFS picks acronyms is “daily.” It’s pretty amazing how quickly one good day can erase a string of lousy ones.

The slate today looks positively filled with opportunity. I poached one of the teams that probably should have landed here last night in Quick Hits with the Athletics. They rank near the middle of the stacks board and are going under-owned. Hit that link for the full writeup on Oakland. Since we got a Slanty one in that column, we might throw a somewhat chalkier one in for pick two here. I’ll find out when you do in part two.

MLB DFS Stack Slants | DraftKings + FanDuel | Sept. 4

MLB DFS Picks: San Francisco Giants – 2-3-4-6-8 – Dickerson – Longoria – Belt – Solano – Bart

Are the Giants good? Are the Giants bad? Is their home park playing like Coors field this year? These would all be interesting questions to see play out over the course of a full MLB season. At worst, we can say that the San Francisco squad is frisky. They’ve put up some absolutely gargantuan games, including the 23-run outburst with Alex Dickerson‘s three-homer game the other day in actual Coors. The team looks solid again today, I’m getting good projections and decent home run marks for them, and Awesemo has them ranked in the top 10 stacks on both sites with ownership trending about half what they warrant on DraftKings and drawing just close to level on FanDuel.

The matchup against Taylor Clarke should be a good one for this team. Clarke is a 27-year-old right-handed starter with 107 innings in the Show. He’s struck out just 20.0% of hitters while walking 9% over that span, though he’s at 26.3% and 12.6% respectively so far in 2020 over his 24 innings. Clarke has pitched partially out of the bullpen and made two starts, most recently striking out seven of these same Giants over five innings on Aug. 30. He brings a decent arsenal to the mound, including a fairly high-spin fastball and a slider that generated a good amount of whiff in 2019, but he hasn’t been able to reliably put things together for extended stretches so far. For his minor league career, he’s always hovered in the high teens in strikeout rate and the four-to-five-plus range in xFIP.

Unsurprisingly, Dickerson is projected to be the highest-owned hitter on the team, but he’s still under 10% on DraftKings where he costs just $3,900 hitting second in the projected lineup. The left-handed outfielder is sitting at .268/.339/.546 on the season, with seven home runs, 21 RBIs, a .278 ISO and a WRC+ 34% above average. Many of those numbers were a fair bit lower before his big outburst the other night, so temper expectations. Dickerson is still a 30-year-old player with fewer than 500 plate appearances in the Show in his career. Since the start of the 2018 season Dickerson has been up 299 times, he’s hit 13 home runs — including the three the other night — and has a .273/.334/.509 slash with a .236 ISO. He’s got ability to drive the ball, but don’t mistake him with a star player.

Speaking of not being a star player, let’s just pop up top with Mike Yastrzemski. Yastrzemski is carrying the team’s second-highest mark in my home run model today at 6.81, and he projects nicely. What I don’t like about the hitter at all is the bananas $5,700 price tag on DraftKings. He’s at $3,900 on FanDuel, which is pushing it but doable. The outfielder is having a great season, but $5,700 would be a more appropriate price for his Hall-of-Fame grandfather. The player has been nothing short of excellent in 2020 and has posted a .279/.356/.541 slash in 579 plate appearances since the start of 2019. Still this is guy who didn’t crack the majors until he was 29, and paying for recent performance isn’t an ideal approach. I’m happy to take or leave Yastrzemski’s big sticker in Giants stacks.

The veteran trio of Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt and Wilmer Flores hitting in the middle of the lineup for the Giants is having a nice little flashback of a year. Longoria is at .308/.344/.487 with four home runs and a WRC+ 23% above average. Belt has made just 100 plate appearances but has five home runs, a .287 ISO and a WRC+ 80% above average. Flores is doing it against both hands again this year, carrying a .291/.331/.520 slash with a .228 ISO and eight home runs, three of them against right-handed pitching. The trio costs an average of just $3,900 on DraftKings and makes for a dynamite starting core with no one trending over 6% ownership.

Further down the lineup, we have basically untouched bargain-basement options galore. The options aren’t broken bats like we see on some bad teams, furthering the notion that maybe the Giants are actually sort of good. Donovan Solano is hitting .331/.369/.479 for 2020 and has a WRC+ 32% above average despite not driving the ball much. Since the start of 2018, Solano has 197 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. He’s carrying a .335/.360/.486 slash and a WRC+ 26% above average. Veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford can still do damage with his lefty bat from time to time. Crawford has four home runs and a .167 ISO in 2020, with a WRC+ 17% above average.

Joey Bart hasn’t done much to earn faith or recognition from the MLB DFS community just yet, with a .225/.326/.300 slash and no home runs over his first 46 plate appearances, but there’s plenty of quality in the prospect’s bat. The catcher is the heir apparent to Buster Posey and is a ready-now bat. Bart has 60-rated power in traditional scouting and plays well behind the dish. In 338 plate appearances in high A and AA in 2019, Bart hit 16 home runs and even stole five bases. The catcher is totally untouched on DraftKings and makes an interesting sneaky play at the position.


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MLB DFS Picks: Seattle Mariners – 9-1-3-4-6 – Torrens – Crawford – Lewis – Seager – White

How many opportunities are we going to get to talk about these Mariners in any serious sense? The matchup for the Mariners is a good one here, with Rangers starter Kyle Cody not exactly representing a Cthulhu, Kraken or even dolphin-level threat. The big 26-year-old righty has the Mariners ranked around the middle of the stacks board, and the public isn’t on them at all. Cody has made two appearances this season, working 2.1 innings his last time out. He’s likely going to act as a long-opener here. If the Rangers get four from him, I think they’ll be very happy. The pitcher brings it at around 95 mph on a four-seam-sinker mix and throws a somewhat effective slider in the mid-80s, but overall the arsenal seems limited given his 40-grade command in traditional scouting. Still, the 60-grade fastball, slider and curveball potential is interesting in a go-forward sense. If he harnesses command, he could easily have a decent outing against a bad team like this. That said, I like the bats here as you’ve been aware since the headline.

The Mariners throw a weird mix of “meh” at opposing hitters most games. Most of the focus here is going to be on the top end of this lineup. J.P. Crawford is a good lefty to lead off this game against a young pitcher. He’s carrying a .250/.342/.341 slash with just a .091 ISO and a WRC+ 4% below average on the season, but he’s managed a .179 ISO and a WRC+ 6% above average in the split over his last 499 plate appearances.

Crawford is followed in the lineup by Sam Haggerty, who has third base and outfield eligibility on DraftKings while costing just $4,100. Haggerty has made 50 plate appearances in 2020 and owns one home run and a .149 ISO. Known more as a speed and defense specialist, Haggerty has never hit more than four home runs in a professional season at any level. We’re looking to him exclusively for his ability to get on base and his speed here. Haggerty has multiple minor league seasons of more than 15 steals, with an apex of 49 in the one season in which he received 500 plate appearances.

The slugging Kyles, Kyle Lewis and Kyle Seager, exist on this roster to prove to airport security that this actually is a professional baseball team. By far the two best hitters on the club, they are cornerstones in anything we want to do with Mariners bats here. The young emerging star Lewis is up to $5,100 on DraftKings, where he’s drawing less than 1% ownership while hitting third. The WRC+ 64% above average is very real. Lewis was set back massively in his minor league career by a blown-out knee and a subsequent major injury. If that hadn’t happened,he would have been a highly hyped prospect in the Luis Robert mold. Take advantage of the lack of respect; he’ll earn it from the MLB DFS community quickly enough. Lewis has the third-most home runs on this team against right-handed pitching since the start of 2018 despite only seeing 156 plate appearances between this year and a brief 2019 cup of coffee.

Seager is under 2% in the most recent update, filling in the hot corner for just $4,600. On the season, the veteran has a .271/.344/.465 slash with a .194 ISO and a WRC+ 19% above average. Seager is second on that list of home runs in the split since the start of 2018, with 31 over a 824 plate appearance sample. The .281/.286/.413 slash leaves plenty to be desired, but when he makes good contact the ball still travels.

I’m not going to lie to you guys; things get dicey fast with this team after Seager. Jose Marmolejos costs just $2,100 and is projected to be the five hitter in this lineup. The first baseman/outfielder is in play at that price on DraftKings and is actually drawing the second-highest ownership mark on this team. The highest goes to outfielder Jake Fraley, a lefty bat who costs the bare minimum and deserves to. Fraley has just 26 plate appearances this season and is hitting just .174/269/.304. In 2019 he saw 41 and hit .150/.171/.200., though he did manage 19 home runs in 427 plate appearances between AA and AAA in 2019. His 40-grade traditional scouting mark on the power makes me think that’s a blip, but guys do make changes to their swing plane to create home runs. Either way, this is simply not a great hitter.

Evan White adds some thump in the lineup but struggles to make any contact. White is at just .163/.228/.356 over his first 114 plate appearances in 2020. He costs just $3,300 at first base on DraftKings and $2,700 on FanDuel. His .192 ISO and five home runs are the biggest selling points here. In 2019 he hit 18 home runs in 400 plate appearances in AA.

If Shed Long could be relied upon to get on base at a reasonable rate, he would make a quality wraparound option given his speed. He’s somewhat in play in that regard, but the .238 on-base this season is not encouraging. Luis Torrens is a 24-year-old lefty catching prospect who came over from the Padres. The backstop managed 15 home runs in 397 AA plate appearances in 2019. Torrens has a reputation for having an excellent eye and being difficult to strike out. If he sees some emerging power, he could turn into a win for the Mariners and could be an extremely sneaky catching option at just $3,500 hitting ninth for this team. This isn’t something I would do in every Mariners lineup, but I think it’s a workable play with his ability to extend at bats and get on base.


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Terry used to do other things, now he writes words on the internet. He hopes his more than 20 years’ experience in season-long and daily fantasy sports and his custom models for MLB, NBA, and NFL don't steer you too wrong when he writes columns and makes picks on Awesemo.com. A lifetime of experience keeping odd hours make Terry ideal to cover KBO baseball overnight until the world returns to normal. Most of those late night hours have been spent on the couch watching sports, T.V., and movies; just try to shut him up about any of the above. You can find his pop-culture ramblings and more on Sideaction.

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