Tournament Plays are written to help find high-risk, high-reward players and team stacks that can help you catapult up the leader board each day. Plays will range from sleepers who might be able to steal a few bases at a low price point to against-the-grain stars who might not be the popular play of the day on DraftKings.
Shelby Miller vs. San Diego Padres ($8,400) – Miller’s discouraging last start will likely keep his ownership rate down a bit, but the home matchup against a Padres team that was shutout yesterday is a nice one. Miller has been terrific with his new team this season and sports a sparkling 1.67 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in four starts at Turner Field. The Padres own just a .295 team wOBA against right-handed pitching and their 21.8 K% is the 5th highest in the league. Active Padres own just a .150 batting average off of Miller (9 for 60) and have struck out at a 33% clip (20 K’s)
Lance McCullers vs Chicago White Sox ($7,400) – Opposing Chris Sale is far from ideal, but this White Sox offense happens to own the league’s second worst team wOBA (.287 wOBA)and their .110 team ISO is dead last in MLB. McCullers, a former first round pick, is still a bit unproven, but he was dominant in his last start; allowing just one run during his complete game victory against Baltimore and racking up 11 strikeouts. He’ll undoubtedly go through some growing pains in the near future, but his elite strikeout potential makes him an ideal GPP play.
Josh Donaldson vs Brad Hand, Miami Marlins ($5,300) – Donaldson’s destruction of left-handed pitching just shouldn’t be ignored. The Blue Jay’s third baseman posted a ridiculous .429 wOBA and .353 ISO against southpaws in 2014 and has continued to crush them this season, where he owns a .429 average and 1.257 OPS. If that’s not enough, then it’s also worth mentioning that Donaldson owns a .362 average and 1.091 OPS In 116 at bats at the Rogers Center thus far in 2015.
Freddie Freeman vs Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres ($4,800) – Ian Kennedy has been disappointing this season, and his ever persisting struggles against left-handed batters is likely the root of his pain. Left-handers own a .426 wOBA off of Kennedy in 2015 and Freeman is one of the toughest outs among left-handed batters in MLB these days. Freeman had his nine game hitting streak snapped yesterday, but still owns a .401 wOBA against right-handed pitching and has crushed Ian Kennedy in their previous meeting s (6 for 10 with two doubles and a homerun).
Brian Dozier vs Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals ($4,600) – Dozier brings a six game hitting streak into tonight’s clash with Jason Vargas and now owns a .310 average with 9 HR’s and 30 runs scored over his last 32 games. He has a long track record of success against left-handed batters and things have certainly been no different thus far in 2015 as he owns a .401 wOBA.
Gregory Polanco vs Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,400) – Much like Kennedy, Jimmy Nelson has also really struggled with left-handed batters this season as they own a .383 wOBA off of the young right-hander. Polanco saw his ten game hitting streak come to an end yesterday, but is hitting .381 thus far in June and has had far more success against right handed pitching this season. He’s also a major threat on the base paths as 15 of his 16 stolen bases this season have come against right-handed pitchers.
Ryan Howard vs. Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds ($3,600) – Howard’s reemergence this season has been a nice story line and it’s not often that you find a guy with this kind of power and in a favorable matchup at this low of a price-tag. He’s picked up a pair of hits in each of the last two games and now owns a solid .850 OPS against right-handed pitching through 52 games. Left-handers own a .342 wOBA off of Mike Leake and is 6 for 15 with a pair of homeruns off of him during his career.
Stack Em Up
Stacks below are based on most likely lineups. Be sure to check the MLB Lineups feed from any DraftKings draft screen throughout the afternoon to make sure players are in the lineup.
Toronto Blue Jays vs Brad Hand, Miami Marlins – With a mediocre left-hander on the mound for the Marlins (Brad Hand), the Blue Jays are one of my favorite stacking options tonight. Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion all crush left-handed pitching and are elite plays at their respective positions. Sprinkle in Russell Martin, Dioner Navarro and Jose Reyes and you’ll have quite the formidable stack (at an average cost of $4,800).
St. Louis Cardinals vs David Hale, Colorado Rockies – The Cardinals head to Denver and get the Coors Field boost to start this week. While we did see the usual “Coors Field” price increase on several of their hitters, guys like Mark Reynolds ($3,300), Randal Grichuk ($3,900) and Yadier Molina ($3,900) can still be found at very reasonable asking prices. The Cardinals averaged 7.33 runs per game in their visits to Coors Field last season and opposing hitters own a .300 average off of David Hale this season.
Miami Marlins vs Marco Estrada, Toronto Blue Jays – Homeruns win GPP’s, so I’m quite high on the Marlins as a boom or bust play tonight. Among pitchers who tossed at least 100 innings last season, no pitcher in baseball served up homeruns at a higher rate than Estrada (1.79 HR/9). The Blue Jays right-hander has been decent this season, but his .260 BABIP and 4.45 xFIP are both screaming for a regression. Giancarlo Stanton aside, nearly everyone in this Marlins lineup can be had for cheap and they own a solid .310 team wOBA on the road this season.
Good Luck today!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)