Welcome to the Friday edition of the Aces and Bases, where I’ll be going through the top MLB DFS Aces and Stacks on DraftKings and Fanduel.
Tonight we have a massive 14-game slate of MLB DFS to navigate through. With large slates, comes lots of options and we have that tonight.
Let’s dig in and see if we can find some stacks to use today!
MLB DFS Aces – Main
Justin Verlander vs. Oakland Athletics
The ageless wonder Justin Verlander takes the mound tonight vs. the Oakland Athletics. He’s arguably the best pitcher on the mound, while also in one of the best spots out of any pitcher. We saw last night what a really good right-handed pitcher can do to this offense as McCullers struck out 11 in 6 innings. He has nowhere near the K ability that Verlander has either.
Verlander is making his first start today in a little more than two weeks so there’s always the possibility that he’s on some type of limitation. That said, he has the ability to wrack up strikeouts quickly and his stay on the IL was not an arm injury. He has as much upside as anyone tonight, but he’s also pricy at $11k on DK.
Robbie Ray vs. Los Angeles Angels
After starting out his Mariners career a little on the rocky side, the last couple of months has been kind to last year’s AL Cy Young. Ray gets a strong matchup tonight vs. an Angels team that has little to play for at this point. A team that has the two best hitters in the game will have a 7th straight season under .500. If Ray can navigate around Trout and Ohtani tonight, he should be able to have one of his ceiling-type games.
He’s faced the Angels 3 times already this season and has 30 K’s across them. Really love the upside of a pitcher that has been dominant over the last month. He owns a 1.82 ERA over the last month and just a 28% hard-hit rate. He should be one of the higher-scoring pitchers by the end of the night.
Michael Wacha vs. Kansas City Royals
Did you know that Michael Wacha is only 31? Yeah, it seems like he’s been around since the 70’s but I guess he hasn’t. He gets a great matchup tonight vs. a lineup that is just going through the motions. Dylan Bundy was able to essentially silence this lineup for 4 innings last night. That’s really all you need to know about the matchup.
Wacha is coming into this one pitching well. He’s pitched to just a 3.34 ERA over the last month and has a respectable 24% K rate. Nothing special, but on a night without any true strikeout pitchers outside of Verlander and Ray, it will have to do. His numbers will only amplify against a lineup that has a 28% K rate over the last week and has scored a meager 11 runs. Great matchup, and he’ll make a solid SP2 tonight.
MLB DFS Stacks – Main
Boston Red Sox vs. Jonathan Heasley
Jonathan Heasley has slowly become of my favorite pitchers to use when building out my MLB DFS stacks. He’s a pitcher that gives up an extremely high amount of contact and he’s also an extreme flyball pitcher. A great combo if we’re searching for homers. Over the last month, he’s given up 4 homers in just 20 innings of work and has a nearly 84% contact rate. His flyball rate is over 52%. Giving up that many flyballs never ends well and most of Heasley’s starts do not end well.
With Heasley, we don’t need to be overly concerned with splits. He’s been pretty bad to both sides as they each have a slugging % over .470 and wOBAs over .350. That said, he’s even worse against lefties as they have a .533 slugging % and a wOBA of .384. 11 of the 17 homers he’s given up have been to lefties.
Core: My Red Sox stack will start with their 2 stars, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. These are not only the 2 big names in the lineup but the 2 guys that also do the most damage. Devers is my favorite of the two if you can only afford one of them tonight. On the year, he’s crushed righties with a .266 ISO and a .385 wOBA. In this type of matchup, he should smash and I’ll want to be sure to take advantage of it.
While Devers is my lean, Bogaerts isn’t too far behind. He’s been the hotter of the 2 and has been crushing righties over the last month. He has a .254 ISO and a .439 wOBA against them over the last month. He has hits in 5 straight and should extend that streak tonight in a plus matchup.
Secondary Pieces/Value: After my core, I’ll just look to plug in pieces here as all Red Sox will be in play. Guys like Tommy Pham, Alex Verdugo, and Trevor Story will be my favorite secondary plays as they all possess the most upside in this lineup. Of that group, Story is my top target as he’s been doing well vs. righties over the last month with a .205 ISO and a .377 wOBA.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Jordan Lyles
The old Jordan Lyles came out to play against the Red Sox when he gave up 8 ER in just 3 innings of work. A repeat performance vs. a Blue Jays team that is clicking right now is not out of the question. The Blue Jays’ 33 runs over the last week trail only 4 teams. They are hot right now and get the great matchup vs. Lyles.
Lyles has been giving up a ton of contact over the last month at nearly 88%. That’s an insanely high number and if that continues tonight vs. the Blue Jays, it will be a short outing. You can’t put that many balls in play against a lineup that has stars like the Blue Jays and expect to have any level of success.
Core: The Blue Jays’ offense is running right through Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero right now. Bichette may be the hottest hitting the game at this point. What he’s done so far in September has been just insane. Just halfway through the month, he’s up to 7 homers and 22 RBI. The matchup against Lyles tonight is one that he should be able to exploit as righties have been no match for him of late. He has a .432 wOBA vs. them over the last month.
Next up is Guerrero. There have been times this season that he’s been an easy fade for him because he was just pounding the ball into the ground. While he still has been having some groundball tendencies, his launch angle is actually positive right now. Over the last week, he’s had 10 hits in 31 AB and has scored 5 times. He’s hit in 9 straight and should get that streak up to double digits tonight.
Secondary/Value: After my core, I’m going to look to get guys like Alejandro Kirk, Matt Chapman, Raimel Tapia, and Cavan Biggio into my Blue Jays stack. Lyles has been worse against lefties this season, making plays like Tapia and Biggio more appealing tonight. They are both extremely cheap ways to get a part of this stack as they are both under $3k tonight.
San Diego Padres vs. Madison Bumgarner
The Padres have been extremely disappointing, with just 4 wins in their last 10. A matchup against Madison Bumgarner should be what gets them going and makes them a favorite for my MLB DFS stacks. Bumgarner continues to just give up a ton of hard contact. Over his last 20 innings, MadBum has given up a nearly 43% hard-hit rate and has given up 4 homers and 11 barrels in those innings. Just awful metrics for him.
With MadBum, we want to prioritize righties. He’s allowed a .504 slugging % vs. them and a .366 wOBA. 18 of the 21 homers he’s given up this season have been to righties.
Core: My core with the Padres will be Manny Machado and Brandon Drury. After a nearly two-week stint on the IL, Drury returned last night and picked up right where he left off. He had two hits in 3 AB, one of which was an extra-base hit. He’s been really good vs. lefties over the last month with a .390 wOBA and a .235 ISO. He should excel in this matchup.
I also like Machado here. His bat’s been a bit cold, but he’s still been solid vs. lefties. In his last 34 AB against them, he has a .339 wOBA and a .281 ISO. He has had some success vs. MadBum in the past and tonight should be no different. Another core piece here will be Will Myers. Myers has crushed lefties over the last month, with a .400 ISO and a .457 wOBA. He’s also an inexpensive piece here at just $3.2k on DK tonight.
Secondary Pieces: Other bats I like here will be Jurickson Profar, Ha-seong Kim, and Josh Bell. Profar and Kim are very reasonably priced today considering the environment and matchup. Profar is under $4k and Kim is leading off at $4.1k. Neither is a priority but can be filled in where needed.
MLB DFS Summary
Other MLB DFS stacks I really like tonight will be the Diamondbacks vs. Blake Snell, Mets vs. Mitch Keller, and Marlins vs. Josiah Gray. I also really like the Yankees tonight vs. Adrian Houser.
Make sure to check out our Home Run Model.
Good luck and hope to see you in the green.
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New to the DFS writing world but have been playing DFS since BVP was cool. Started play season long fantasy when sporting news was used to calculate weekly scores. Originally from Brooklyn, NY but now a Baltmore resident.