Tonight’s main slate features the Minnesota Twins heading to the recently renamed Guaranteed Rate Field. Phil Hughes is the Twins pitcher drawing the start in the south side of Chicago tonight. In the past few years, Hughes has proven himself to be a reverse splits pitcher, meaning he is worse to right-handed batters than left-handed batters. So far this year he has a 4.87 FIP to RHB with a 9.8 K% and a 1.42 HR/9. His batted ball rates are terrible against RHB, with 8.6%/50.0%/41.4% soft/med/hard hit rates. One significant factor with Phil Hughes is that he is an extreme fly ball pitcher, especially to RHB. He doesn’t strike out many batters either, labeling him a finesse pitcher. When looking for White Sox batters tonight, we wanted to find right-handed batters that can hit right-handed pitching, and batters that exceed against finesse fly ball pitching. We have found two matchups that often get overlooked in the DFS industry, but could have big time value in today’s game.
Jose Abreu 1B $3800
The Cuban slugger is now in his in his fourth MLB season, and he remains one of the more underrated first basemen in the MLB. Looking at Abreu’s career numbers, his wRC+ is only one point higher to lefties at 138, meaning he is split neutral. So far this year, he is crushing lefties at a 174 wRC+ and righties at a respectable 114, but Abreu should start regressing back to his career numbers soon. In addition, Abreu has a ISO of .202, telling us he has no problem taking the fly ball pitcher Hughes out of the park. To further support this is Abreu’s career numbers against fly ball pitchers, posting a very impressive .914 OPS. Abreu also prefers finesse pitchers to power hitters, with a career OPS of .910. These key factors make us very excited about using Abreu tonight.
Avisail Garcia OF $3300
Moving over to the outfield we find the twenty five year old Avisail Garcia. Garcia is posting career best numbers this year. Garcia is a tough player to analyze, as every year his handedness splits have changed drastically. Last year, Garcia narrowly favored right-handed hitting, but only recorded an 87 wRC+ against them. In 2017, Garcia has a 124 wRC+ and an above average .185 ISO, which jumps up to .250 at home. Even with these excellent numbers, Garcia has favored left-handed pitching this year with an amazing wRC+ of 228. A common mistake in DFS would be to write off Garcia now just because he favors lefties. Although he has hit southpaws better this year, Garcia has still done very well against RHP. WIth this in mind, we should be able to get Garcia on even lower ownership than Abreu tonight. Moving on to profile splits, Garcia has mashed finesse pitching to the tune of a 1.063 OPS in 2017. He has hit flyball pitching successfully as well, with an OPS of .983. Garcia is hitting right behind Abreu tonight, and should have a few chances to bring him home tonight.
Phil Hughes throws a lot of pitches, so analyzing his pitch values doesn’t go a long way in these matchups. When going through them, Hughes throws a lot of fastballs, including four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs, and cutters. Both Abreu and Garcia have shown success to these pitches in their career and season numbers. With both players being able to hit RHP and LHP successfully, it is likely that our mini stack can do well against the Minnesota bullpen as well as their starter. We feel confident that our mini stack can help our readers take down a large tournament tonight! Make sure to tweet @mlbmayhem or @wess719 about your winnings tonight. Good luck everyone!!!