Home Run Derby: Friday, July 19th
Calling home runs, besides great fun, often makes the difference between a wildly profitable night in DFS and missing the cash line. Throughout the 2019 MLB season, I will endeavor to find a few home runs in three salary tiers on DraftKings. Join me throughout the year and call your home runs for monthly and seasonal RotoGrinders prizes. Without further ado, let’s play Home Run Derby!
Throughout this season, I will produce the Home Run Derby for main slates on DraftKings 2-3 days per week — selecting a home run from three different pricing tiers. If you want to call your home runs, please use these tiers for your selections to be eligible for any Derby prizes. Here are the tiers.
Luxury Box – $4,500 and above
Club Seats – $3,500 – $4400
Bleachers – Below $3,500
Hitters must be selected from the DraftKings Main Slate.
Schedule this Week: Monday, Tuesday, Friday
Happy Friday, Grinders! Tonight brings a 14-game slate with the summer wind continuing to blow baseballs out of stadiums. We see a plethora of power options this evening with plenty of gas cans to pick on and several great parks to attack. Tuesday night brought a bunch of home runs on a full slate. Friday night might exceed that total with the Red Sox in Baltimore, Kyle Freeland opposing the Yankees, and the Angels opposing Mike Leake. Here are my three picks for home runs this evening followed by a leaderboard update from Tuesday.
The statistics for each player are for the 2019 season.
J.D. Martinez — OF – $4,700
Martinez in 2019 – .228 ISO, 37.5 FB%, 43.4 Hard%, 91.7 MPH aEV
Means vs RHH – .171 ISO, 87.0 MPH aEV, 45.1 FB%, 30.8 Hard%
Boy, it will be very hot in Baltimore tonight. Cousin of Andy, John Means has actually been pretty solid relative to his team’s reputation. That said, with extreme heat and a slight breeze blowing out, I am more interested in attacking Mr. Means with some right-handed power. J.D. Martinez fits the bill with phenomenal power skills throughout his career against left-handed pitching.
Martinez’s ISO jumps to .397 with a fly ball leap up to 42.1% against southpaws this season. Camden Yards is more than appropriate for a home run hunt and the Red Sox provides a few options for our game this evening. Hopefully, Martinez does not get left out of the home run party in Baltimore this evening.
Daniel Vogelbach — 1B – $4,000
Vogelbach in 2019 – .256 ISO, 49.3 FB%, 42.8 Hard%, 89.6 MPH aEV
Barria vs LHH – .132 ISO, 91.2 MPH aEV, 35.5 FB%, 35.5 Hard%
Daniel Vogelbach is one of the lone power hitters remaining in Seattle after the Mariners jettisoned sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce. Vogelbach tilts extremely to the fly ball side — the primary reason I like targeting him in the latter portion of the slate. Blending in plenty of hard contact, Vogelbach is always an option across right-handed pitching.
Jaime Barria is a guy. He happens to be a guy that is supposed to pitch for the Angels tonight in some form. Whether or not the Halos use an opener is not certain, but Barria is slated to be the “relief/bulk” guy for tonight’s game. Barria does not boast a massive sample for this season but struggled with opposing power hitters last year as a starter. We could be in for a Vogel-jack tonight.
Joey Votto – 1B – $3,400
Votto in 2019 – .139 ISO, 41.7 FB%, 36.4 Hard%, 87.3 MPH aEV
Wainwright vs RHH – .223 ISO, 89.3 MPH aEV, 22.9 FB%, 44.1 Hard%
Wow, I had to rub my eyes a couple of times after typing all of these statistics out for Joey Votto and Adam Wainwright. It feels like just yesterday I was targeting both of these chaps in season-long fantasy leagues. Famously (in my league), Joey Votto brought the Vottoman Empire a championship in a weekly categories league with a home run in the waning hours of the last day of the regular season many years ago. I am not sure that Joey Votto exists anymore.
Votto is an extremely frustrating player to watch despite my undying love for him. Despite his quirks and his propensity to troll opposing fans, Votto’s two-strike approach makes me want to rip my hair out. Then again, can we really fault him for not wanting to strike out? His IFFB% will always be a beautiful number — especially at 2% this season. The man is a treasure.
That said, he and old pal Wainwright aren’t the same anymore. Yet, for this price on a hot day in Cincinnati… nostalgia wins. All hail the Vottoman Empire, tonight!
Leaderboard (sortable by column)
What a strange night. The MLB provided plenty of pop — 46 home runs is plenty for a big slate. Yet, most of the 20 entrants for Tuesday night swung and missed. The field was pretty Coors Field happy and because that game was very quiet… so was the leaderboard. Bcorbett led the way with two bombs off the bats of a couple of Nationals while yours truly was able to land another Cody Bellinger home run. Hopefully, we see another big home run total and make up for our woes on Tuesday night.
Will Boston explode against the Orioles? Can the Yankees tee off against Kyle Freeland? What team will lead the MLB in home runs tonight? I will try to answer these questions next week when we are back with another contest and leaderboard update. Until next week, have a great weekend and good luck tonight, everyone.
I am happy to announce that at the end of each month I will be rewarding the highest home run total with a RotoGrinders T-shirt. Having a rough month? Don’t let up. The RotoGrinders member with the most home runs throughout the season — until the end of August — will be awarded a 3-month Combo Premium subscription to start the NFL season!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the article, stick around for the rest of the MLB season. Want to compete against me? Drop your expensive, mid-tier, and cheap home run calls in the comments (DraftKings pricing). Otherwise, give me a follow on Twitter where I typically post slate-relevant statistics and embarrassing comments about professional wrestling.
Statistics for this article are obtained from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, RotoGrinders Daily Research Console, and Baseball Savant.