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The purpose of this column is to highlight some players with upside and well-suited for tournaments. While the majority of the hitter picks will likely have power upside, that's not necessarily the case for all the listed options. Other contextual factors such as batting order, ballpark, opposing pitcher, price, speed, etc also come into play, and you'll see these items sprinkled into the write-ups below. Along with that, we'll be gauging the ownership levels, giving you some plausible pivots from the popular choices in a given game slate. We also include an area to find the top stacks of the night for upside but also some lower owned that give you an edge.
Marco Gonzales - Seattle Mariners
DK: $8,700 - FD: $7,700
The Mariners are -153 road favorites, and they have an edge up on the Detroit Tigers. He also gets to square off against Edwin Jackson who should give the Mariners a lot of offense, which run support would go to Gonzales. He has some strikeout upside, and offers up some value in this spot as well. The Tigers rank 25th against left-handers as a team, striking out at a 25.2% clip. They have an 88 wRC+ as well. Gonzales isn't a big strikeout guy on paper, but that projected lineup has a 24.3% strikeout rate. I like the upside for Gonzales give the price tag.
Clayton Kershaw - Los Angeles Dodgers
DK: $11,800 - FD: $12,000
There aren't a lot of other pitching options on this slate, although Aaron Nola and Cole Hamels are interesting. Clayton Kershaw is still a strong option even if the strikeout upside is down from his prime. He gets a Marlins offense that ranks bottom three against lefties. Kershaw has a 25.4% strikeout rate this season, and a 3.58 xFIP. He has held both sides of the plate to under a .300 wOBA. Kershaw is Kershaw, and the quality start and win is there. They are monster favorites, and the implied total for Miami is under three runs.
J.D. Davis - New York Mets - OF
DK: $4,900 - FD: $3,200
J.D. Davis has been cruising against left-handed pitching this season. He has a .224 ISO and .394 wOBA off southpaws, and is also hitting third in the lineup. Dallas Keuchel hasn't been great this year, allowing a .364 wOBA and .200 ISO. Keuchel doesn't have strikeout potential either, and the only thing going is the groundball rate. Davis has a .355 ISO off sinkers.
Daniel Vogelbach - Seattle Mariners - 1B
DK: $4,300 - FD: $3,900
We will talk a little more about the Mariners, but this is a good spot for them. Edwin Jackson has allowed a .395 wOBA and .269 ISO to lefties, which puts Daniel Vogelbach in play. He has big power at a .282 ISO and .394 wOBA off right-handed pitching. The Mariners have over a 5.5 implied total, and Comerica Park is somewhat of an underrated ballpark in terms of left-handed power.
Josh Donaldson - Atlanta Braves - 3B
DK: $4,700 - FD: $3,500
Josh Donaldson has a .225 ISO off southpaws, and has always been a guy to target against lefties. Steven Matz has over a 6.00 ERA on the road, and 16 HR on the road compared to the 4 allowed at home is a concern. Donaldson's career numbers against southpaws are strong. He has a .403 wOBA and .290 ISO off lefties in his career. This game is a solid stack.
Seattle Mariners - Edwin Jackson has a 9.35 ERA on the season, and a 6.17 xFIP. He doesn't have a strikeout rate higher than 15% and he is allowing 1.96 HR/9. Jackson allowed just one earned over six innings against the Royals, but overall he has starts allowing 7, 5, 7 earned runs. It is a good spot and the top six lineup spots are the stack to go with.
Braves/Mets - I like the right-handed bats from this game as a stack, as both left-handed arms have their struggles. Matz as mentioned has over a 6.00 ERA on the road and the home runs struggles. Keuchel has had his blowup spots, allowing a .364 wOBA and .200 ISO.