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Daily DraftKings Picks: Thursday, Aug 7

Well that was embarrassing. When this post used to be a DraftStreet post, occasionally I would slip up and post a sub-30 point day. They were rare but they were tough to swallow. As I’m sure you know, DraftKings scoring can be much, much higher that DraftStreet’s, yet somehow yesterday’s official lineup managed to fall under 30 as well.

Jake Arrieta got lit up in Colorado (it was a risk but one I felt comfortable taking), Dan Haren was dominant for the first time in months, Mat Latos showed me up after all of the awful things I said about him (I still don’t believe in him), and Giancarlo Stanton didn’t help a lick. Doug Fister was my saving grace.

August 6

Wednesday’s Official Lineup (left) and my other lineup (right)

But today we march on with a slightly reduced Thursday slate that’s even further split with both day and night games. It’s still a fairly easy day for batter selection, though, as the day’s few pitching options are fairly low-end or unreliable. Everyone is going to select Jon Lester. The questions is whether you want to be a part of the masses or be a little different!

In terms of weather, Daily Baseball Data reports a 90% chance of rain in the BOS@STL game, which could clear later in the evening. I’m avoiding that game entirely.

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Thursday’s Official DraftKings Lineup

Note: Lineup subject to change due to weather and released MLB lineups. Check back before contest lineups lock for our final lineup.

  • C: Russell Martin (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,000
  • C: John Jaso (OAK) vs. Y. Pino (MIN) — $3,800
  • 1B: Hidden
  • 2B: Neil Walker (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,200
  • 2B: Kyle Seager (SEA) vs. S. Carroll (CHW) — $3,800
  • 3B: Josh Harrison (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,600
  • SS: Khris Negron (CIN) vs. T. House (CLE) — $2,400
  • SS: Jordy Mercer (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $3,800
  • OF: Gregory Polanco (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,200
  • OF: Melky Cabrera (TOR) vs. M. Gonzalez (BAL) — $4,300
  • OF: Matt Kemp (LAD) @ C. Wilson (LAA) — $4,700
  • OF: Hidden
  • SP: Roberto Hernandez (PHI) vs. C. McHugh (HOU) — $6,200
  • SP: T.J. House (CLE) @ H. Bailey (CIN) — $5,900
  • SP: Hidden

Roberto Hernandez is a ground ball pitcher, so immediately I sort of always consider picking him. What usually prevents me from picking him is that he’s Roberto Hernandez and I don’t trust him to get out of jams he inevitably gets into because, again, he’s Roberto Hernandez. But over his last seven outings, Hernandez has gone 6 IP with 2 ER or less five times and 7 IP with 2 ER or less four times. He’s gotten his walks under control (mostly) over his last two starts, and in this game he’ll take on a Houston squad that’s known to boom or bust. This is by no means a sure thing, but I’ll gamble here on a cheap extreme ground ball pitcher who’s currently on a roll facing an offense that sometimes just packs it in.

Update: Hernandez was traded to the Dodgers around 3:00 pm EST. Having to select an entirely new pitcher messed up all of my day’s budgeting so there are sweeping changes to the lineup. In the rotation I actually went with a cheaper pitcher, T.J. House. House is a left-handed ground ball pitcher facing a Reds offense than ranks last in the majors in wOBA over the last two weeks and that’s hit just 6 HR over that span. Given the cost I’m really just hoping for 15 points here, which I think is completely doable. 

The Pirates will face Brian Flynn at home. Flynn is decent. He’s not a terrible, awful pitcher, but his upside is limited. Most Pirates batters have great price tags today, and because Andrew McCutchen is out the guys I’ve selected will get premium lineup real estate for an average of $4.25K. In the end, which outcome do you think is more likely: Flynn shuts down Pittsburgh or the Pirates come through and deliver 5+ runs? I’m banking on scenario two, and I’m able to lock down the core of their lineup for some pretty attractive prices. Plus, Harrison is still on fire, and Polanco has righted his strikeout wrongs over the last few weeks.

Update: With Neil Walker sitting out today (back spasms still bother him), and with more of a budget (going from Hernandez to House), I moved around my Pirates stack. Mercer gets the call batting second against the LHP Flynn, which means Negron’s super-cheap price tag is gone. I replaced Walker with Seager, who’s sitting under $4K and facing the usually hittable Scott Carroll. I prefer Cabrera against Gonzalez over Polanco against Flynn but didn’t pick it before because Cabrera was a touch higher in price, but this time around I made the swap. I also elected to go with Jaso at catcher over Martin because Jaso will face Yohan Pino and he seems to have his price depressed after a three straight 0-fers, but he didn’t strike out in any of those games so there’s some bad BABIP luck going on in that extremely small sample. Note that I could have had either Martin and Polanco or Jaso and Cabrera, and I decided to go with Jaso and Cabrera. That’s partly because I like their matchups a lot and partly because no Walker and Polanco batting 7th ruined the idea of a stack too much for my liking.

Negron is cheap — like really cheap — and draws T.J. House, who’s only sort of good. Negron doesn’t always play, but I imagine he’ll be in there against the left-handed House, and on the season he’s slashing .282/.317/.564 so the production has absolutely been there.

Also facing a lefty is Kemp, who’ll hit against the suddenly awful C.J. Wilson. Hopefully this isn’t a repeat of last night when Haren went from awful to awesome against one of baseball’s better offenses, but I feel great about a hot Kemp against a left-handed pitcher. For his career, Kemp is batting .332 against lefties and just .277 against righties. I haven’t officially confirmed it, but that’s one of the biggest splits you’ll find for a player with as many career PA as Kemp.

Safe Matchups for H2H and Double-Up Play

If you only need to finish in the top 50%, safer plays are the way to go.

High-Risk, High-Upside Matchups for Multi-Player Play

You don’t win the big bucks without hitting on a few lottery ticket picks!

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About the author: Bryan is the co-founder of Baseball Professor and works as a consultant specializing in operational metrics and efficiency analysis. When he’s not working, blogging, or tending to basic human needs, he enjoys pondering the vastness of the universe, rewatching episodes of Breaking Bad, and avoiding snakes. (@BaseballProf)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mabeh Al-Zuq Yadeek

    Dat Hurricane x2…pls, stay safe Dr. Brofessor.

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Haha thanks! I got off the island for a couple weeks so I’m back safe on the mainland.

  • loyalanlee3

    Same thing with my OF yesterday… 3 goose eggs.

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      It happens…we rebound today!

      • loyalanlee3

        For sure! Rolling with M. Cabrera, J. Harrison, and Adam Jones today.

        • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

          I like ‘em all. Jones may or may not be my hidden OF!

          • loyalanlee3

            *Like* Looks like Pirates are resting Walker.

  • 1Oracle

    Did Hernandez get traded? Who is gonna pitch for the Phils?

    • Jecarl2

      DK has Sean O Sullivan listed now.

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Yup. Changes forthcoming!

  • Jecarl2

    Is anyone having any problems picking R. Hernandez tonight? He is not listed in my game set anywhere. Im in a 50/50 w/280 entries ($3) which starts at 6:05 and he is not listed, not even listed when you uncheck the scheduled starters

    • Jecarl2

      Ahh crap-traded to LAD

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Haha yeah, just traded an hour ago. Gonna have to make some changes!

  • Brendan

    Looks like Sean O’Sullivan is starting in place of Roberto Hernandez, who was just traded to the Dodgers.

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Thanks for the heads up, looks like I need to edit my lineup!

  • Mabeh Al-Zuq Yadeek

    “Roberto Hernandez is a ground ball pitcher, so immediately I sort of always consider picking him. What usually prevents me from picking him is that he’s Roberto Hernandez…”

    Fukin LOL.

  • Mabeh Al-Zuq Yadeek

    Also want to share my night from last night. It was very strange, with a grand total of 0 points.

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Yeah my lineup was similar…anyone who stacked Indians in any way or picked Arrieta was screwed.

      • jtw

        Figured I would join in on the fun. How is zero possible from every hitter? Please ignore the 17 entries. This post is my way of closure from last evening.

        COMPLETE
        # OF ENTRIES:17
        PIR:0
        REM. SALARY:$0PosPlayerFPTS PJake Arrieta P-9.15lockPYordano Ventura P24.1lockCBryan Holaday0lock1BAlbert Pujols0lock2BHowie Kendrick0lock3BL. Chisenhall0lockSSJose Reyes0lockOFMichael Brantley0lockOFG. Stanton0lockOFMike Trout0lockTOTAL FANTASY POINTS: 14.95
        LAST EDIT: AUG 6 2014 4:25PM EST

        • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

          Hahah it’s a cathartic release to broadcast this, isn’t it?

  • Mabeh Al-Zuq Yadeek

    Adam Jones has been chitting the bed lately. Very disappointed in his recent performances when I pick him.

    • http://www.baseballprof.com/ Bryan Curley

      Yeah he’s been frustrating. Seen his price fall to 4.4K on DK so sooner or later he’ll be worth it, but it’s tough picking him.

  • Mabeh Al-Zuq Yadeek

    Unbelievable! There goes McHugh’s win. Wow.