MLB DFS Lineup (7/25/2020)

This will be a brief writeup for Saturday's games given the quick turnaround from Friday night's slate. Also, it's midnight here in the West Coast and my two little ones have not let my wife and I sleep all that much this week!

Friday was a good one for us. Bieber was awesome and so were the Red Sox. The Cardinals also came through. I hope you heeded our advice. If not, then do so for Saturday because we will be going back to the well.

If you are playing the 13 game slate for FanDuel, don't overthink pitching. Go with quality which means you will either roster Mike Clevinger of Luis Castillo. Both are great choices. Clevinger is a K master and even though Bieber is better, the Royals were awful so Clevinger should be able to repeat some of Bieber's success last night. Castillo is also a K master in his own right. He throws two types of fastballs both in the high 90s and follows that up with a filthy changeup in the low 90s. The Tigers offense led MLB last year in strikeouts and the roster has shown no improvement this year. The Tigers were owned on Friday by Sonny Gray so Castillo should have no problem throwing a gem in his first start of the 2020 season.

As for offense, I love the Cardinals. Focus on the top of the lineup. If you visit you can find pitcher-hitter history. Trevor Williams has struggled against the Cardinals hitters and the sample size is rather significant with 562 pitches thrown and 146 at-bats. Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, and Dexter Fowler all have had success against Williams who has had issues against left-handed hitting. Paul Goldschmidt is in play as well as Paul DeJong. The Cardinals bats are cheap which will enable you to roster either Clevinger or Castillo and add some high priced bats.

I also love the Red Sox again but maybe not a full stack. JD Martinez and Christian Vazquez are your two guys. If you like money, you will play them. Martinez is 9 for 16 with 5 doubles and 1 HR against Alex Cobb. Vazquez is even better: 10 for 14 with a double, HR, and no strikeouts.

While you could add two more Red Sox bats and have some salary to spare, why not do some one-offs with All Star quality hitters? At SS, you can grab Francisco Lindor. He was quiet on Friday going 0 for 4 but all you need to do is focus on his career numbers against KC. He is literally a Royals killer. In 82 games played against KC, Lindor has 25 HRs 71 RBIs, 111 hits, 23 doubles, 69 runs scores, .333 BA, .390 OBP, and .646 SLG. His OPS is of course over 1.000 and his ISO is an impressive .313. Oh, Lindor also has 15 stolen bases and has been caught just 3 times. If Lindor can play the Royals every day for a 162 game season, he would easily win the AL MVP award. He is approaching the age of 27 which is usually when a player hits his peak. With a big long-term contract coming his way, expect Lindor to put up monster numbers this season.

In contrast, the last hitter we will add to our FanDuel lineup will be someone who just turned 40 but seems ageless. That would be power hitter Nelson Cruz. He did well last night and has a great record against Dallas Keuchel. In 45 at bats, Cruz has launched 5 HRs, 9 RBIs, a .311 BA, and just 9 Ks while walking 7 times. At $3600, he is tremendous value. Where else can you find an All Star quality OF for that price who happens to have a 1.063 OPS against the opposing pitcher (and a decent sample size)?

OK, this write up is taking a bit longer than I planned! I will be avoiding the main slate for DraftKings since the 5:10 PM ET games have been left out. That means you can't use Clevinger or Castillo. However, there is a 4 game afternoon/evening slate that will be featured on DraftKings. Since DraftKings requires you to roster two pitchers, then don't overthink it. Grab Clevinger and Castillo! Surprisingly Castillo is one of the cheaper options on that slate.

So who do you use for offense? You can do a Reds/Indians stack but I am really feeling the Padres. They have a lot of talent and this might be the year when they realize their potential. They did well last night and you can get this stack for cheap and probably low ownership. Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado, Wil Myers, and Tommy Pham are the guys I want. Except for Pham, the other three have each homered twice against Robbie Ray while Pham is 5 for 10 lifetime against Ray with a 1.215 OPS.

You can then use Lindor at SS and pair him with Cesar Hernandez at 2B. Another one-off I like is Gary Sanchez. He might have low ownership given that Stephen Strasburg is an amazing pitcher but Sanchez is an amazing hitter. Why not take a chance with the best hitting catcher in the game, especially if you have to start a catcher in DraftKings? That leaves us with $3700 for the final OF spot. You can go with Nick Senzel or John VanMeter, both who play for the Reds. Ivan Nova is a mediocre pitcher at best and has an awful record against most of the Reds hitters. Even though he has never faced Senzel or VanMeter, either one may wind up seeing some good pitches and Great American park is more of a hitter's park, especially during the humid summer days.

Here are the sample lineups for both DraftKings (afternoon/evening slate) and FanDuel (main slate).

P: Clevinger
P: Castillo
C: Sanchez
1B: Hosmer
2B: Hernandez
3B: Machado
SS: Lindor
OF: Myers
OF: Pham
OF: Senzel/VanMeter

P: Castillo
C/1B: Goldschmidt
2B: Wong
3B: Carpenter
SS: Lindor
OF: Martinez
OF: Cruz
OF: Edman
UTIL: Vazquez

I am feeling good here and both of these lineups can yield a huge payday. Good luck and we will check in again for the Sunday games. If I get a chance, I will make a video showcasing some data visuals. For now, time to sleep and I hope the kids don't wake me up before 7 AM!

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