Rhys Hoskins (FDraft: $4,800 DK: $2,500 FDuel: $2,100): Our first Must-Have of the night is making just his second big league start but comes at a very large discount, especially when we consider how he obliterated minor league pitching the last two seasons. Due to his 1B eligibility on DraftKings, we are recommending Hoskins as a FantasyDraft and FanDuel Must-Have this evening.
First, we will take a look at Mets’ right-hander Seth Lugo. Lugo appears to be a reverse-splits pitcher this season as he sports a 5.39 FIP, 2.12 HR/9 clip and has allowed righties to hit him for a .345 wOBA and .833 OPS on the season. The good news is that Lugo has been worse on the road to righties as he sports a 5.80 FIP, 2.50 HR/9 clip and has allowed righties to hit him for a .358 wOBA and .868 OPS on the season away from home. He has also given up eight runs and 16 hits over his last 11 innings on the road spanning two starts.
While this pick has something to do with the exploitable reverse-splits nature of Lugo so far this season, it has more to do with how badly Hoskins has tormented minor league pitching over the last two seasons. In 2016, Hoskins clobbered Double-A pitching to the tune of a .943 OPS and .414 wOBA to go along with 39 homers. This season, Hoskins has increased his output while moving up to the Triple-A level with a .966 OPS, .419 wOBA and 29 homers across 401 at-bats. The good news? Hoskins has been a reverse-splits hitter at Triple-A this season with a .992 OPS and 23 homers across 291 at-bats against righties compared to an .895 OPS with six homers across 110 at-bats against lefties. In other words, we have a good ol’ fashioned double-reverse-splits situation on our hands here with Hoskins vs. Lugo. Hoskins made his MLB debut last night and went 0 for 3, however he registered 100% hard contact on the night. Lastly, it’s fantastic to see Hoskins confirmed as the cleanup hitter for the Phillies tonight against Lugo.
At these prices we simply cannot afford to fade Hoskins with the exception being DraftKings where we believe 1B is a loaded position with value elsewhere as well. Therefore, we will be locking Hoskins into our FantasyDraft and FanDuel lineups across all formats this evening!
Kike Hernandez (FDraft: $6,400 DK: $3,300 FDuel: $2,200): Our second Must-Have is in a great position on all sites, however with a thin shortstop position tonight we are recommending Hernandez as a shortstop Must-Have on DraftKings. Again, he is a fantastic play across all sites and we do recommend using him across the board, however he is a must at the shortstop eligible position on DraftKings.
Kike rewarded us with his Must-Have designation last night thanks to a three run-double in the first inning, however we can reasonably expect even more output from the lefty-masher tonight against southpaw Clayton Richard of the Padres. Richard enters play tonight with a .396 wOBA and a .949 OPS allowed to right-handed hitters on the road to go along with a 1.90 HR/9 clip and a 5.84 FIP. Richard is also a ground-ball pitcher with a 55.2% ground-ball clip against righties while using his four-seam fastball most often against them at 34.20%.
Enter Hernandez who simply clobbers left-handed pitching. It’s no surprise Dave Roberts rolls him out strictly against lefties as he owns a massive .360 ISO, .981 OPS and a .399 wOBA against southpaws this season. We mentioned that Richard is a ground-ball pitcher, and that plays directly into the hands of Hernandez. He owns his best OPS by a long shot against the ground-ball pitching split with a career .511 SLG% and .867 OPS against ground-ball pitching compared to just a .336 SLG% and .646 OPS against fly-ball pitching. It’s also nice to see that Hernandez is clobbering four-seam fastballs from southpaws to the tune of a massive .590 ISO and .490 wOBA on the season.
Add it all up and we will be locking Hernandez into the shortstop position on DraftKings while strongly considering him across the two other sites tonight.
Chris Taylor (FDraft: $9,200 DK: $4,800 FDuel: $3,800): Our third and final Must-Have of the evening comes from Los Angeles where Chris Taylor and the Dodgers take on the aforementioned Clayton Richard and the Padres. Unlike the first two Must-Haves, we are recommending Taylor across all sites and formats tonight.
While we documented Richard in the Hernandez section, Taylor should feast on Richard for a lot of the same reasons. On the season, Taylor is crushing left-handed pitching to the tune of a .220 ISO, .922 OPS and a .390 wOBA. Another thing that we like about Taylor tonight that we don’t normally mention in this pieces is how consistent of a fantasy performer he has been this season. Taylor has put up double-digit FanDuel points in six of his last eight games and has eclipsed the 21-point plateau in four of his last seven games. That’s what hitting in the leadoff spot for one of the league’s top offenses will do. In fact, that is a big reason why we like Taylor on top of his gaudy totals against lefties is the fact that he is likely to hit in the leadoff spot again tonight against a lefty. It’s also very nice to see that Taylor has also mashed the four-seam fastball from lefties to the tune of a .316 ISO and .564 wOBA on the season. He also sports a .278 ISO and a .430 wOBA against Richard’s second most utilized pitch, the two-seam fastball that he throws about 30% of the time to righties.
Add it all up and we are happy to lock the Dodgers’ powerful leadoff man into our lineups across all sites and formats as our final Must-Have of the slate.