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Lock Him or Leave Him: 8/1 MLB Fantasy Plays

Welcome to the first edition of Lock Him or Leave Him. In Lock Him or Leave Him, advice on fantasy baseball line-ups will be given. This advice can also be used for daily fantasy baseball if that is your cup of tea. Lock Him or Leave Him will come out every Saturday and Sunday morning previewing the players to lock into your line-ups or leave out of them.

For August 1st, 26 MLB teams will be in action. The day is highlighted by divisional games such as:

  • Astros @ Angels
  • Red Sox @ Yankees
  • Cardinals @ Brewers (Possibility of cancellation)
  • Indians @ Twins

All games but one are in a main evening slate. The Tigers are at home against Cincinnati for the first game of the day at 1:10 ET.

So without further ado, Lock Him or Leave Him for August 1st.

Pitching Options

Lock Him: Trevor Bauer vs. Tigers


In Bauer’s first start of the season, he faced off against the new-look Tigers at home. Of his 19 outs recorded in that start, 13 of which were by the strikeout. The Reds’ starter also has great career numbers against Detroit, limiting Tiger bats to only a .209 batting average against him. Pair that with his swing-and-miss stuff, and you get the first lock. So if Bauer is in your fantasy line-ups, do not be afraid of the Tigers’ hot bats, lock him in.

Leave Him: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Red Sox


Tanaka is coming off a very gruesome injury and getting ready to face off against a team he has had minimal success against. Boston’s big bats in J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benitendi, and Rafael Devers all see the ball well coming out of the long-time Yankee’s hand, each hitting above .300 against him. But the success does not stop at the big names in Boston, the whole team is hitting above .300 with a slugging percentage of .670 against Tanaka. If you have him rostered, you have to consider leaving Tanaka on the pine.

On the flip-side, any one of the Red Sox hitters should be locked into your fantasy baseball line-ups. For those of you that have DFS is your Saturday plans, a Boston stack is in play.

Lock Him: Tyler Chatwood vs. Pirates


Ride the hot hand in another weak match-up! Chatwood looks to build on his success today as he lines up against the Pirates. Pittsburgh currently sits dead last in team average, dead last in on-base percentage, and 29th in slugging percentage. If those numbers are not enough for you to lock Chatwood in, Pittsburgh’s career batting average against him is a measly .217. The numbers prove to be more than enough evidence to lock Chatwood in to your fantasy line-ups.

Leave Him: Carlos Carrasco vs. Twins


Pretty straightforward pick here. Carrasco may have saw some success in his first outing of the season, but today he is starting against one of the best offenses in the MLB. Not only are the Twins one of the best hitting teams in the league, five Twins players have a career average over .300 against the long-time Indian. Stay away from ‘Cookie’ Carrasco today.

Lock of the Week: Tyler Glasnow vs. Orioles


Much like the Carrasco pick, this pick is pretty straightforward. Glasnow had some Cy Young buzz coming into this shortened season, and today he gets to pitch against an Orioles team that has been hit or miss all season. Baltimore has shown flashes of offense against the Yankees and Red Sox, but in the games they scored 3 runs or less, they faced off against two high-velocity guys in Nathan Eovaldi and Gerrit Cole. Both instances, the O’s struck out 5+ times as well. Bring in the flamethrowing Glasnow, he should have no problem against Baltimore.

Hitting Options

Lock Him: J.D. Martinez vs. Yankees


I have already mentioned his success against Tanaka, but in a rivalry game in prime-time, expect big production out of Martinez. He may have come out of the gates cold, but expect the Red Sox big bat to heat up tonight.

Do not be afraid to stack the Red Sox into a DFS line-up either. Martinez is not alone in his success against Tanaka, so the Red Sox could be a sneaky stack play today.

Lock Him: Cody Bellinger vs. Diamondbacks


In his small sample size against D-Back starter Luke Weaver, Bellinger is 3-5 with two home runs. Much like Martinez, Bellinger is struggling out of the gate, but the Dodger line-up is coming around, so expect Bellinger to break out tonight.

What will probably be a popular stack will be Dodgers’ left-handed bats. L.A. has been a top ten offense this year, and tonight they will show why, so jump on that stack.

Lock Him: Justin Upton vs. Astros


Another slow start that I expect to break out today is Justin Upton. This is a tricky pick as he is facing off a savvy veteran in Zack Greinke, but his career numbers show that he could make some noise in tonight’s match-up. In 34 at-bats against him, Upton has hit .353 with three home runs, so do not be surprised for J-Up to break out of his slow start tonight.

Leave Him: Maikel Franco vs. White Sox


In 24 career at-bats against today’s White Sox starter, Gio Gonzalez, Franco has one career hit. He may be surprising some MLB fans with his production out of the gate, but leave him out of your line-ups today.

Lock of the Week: Nelson Cruz vs. Indians

As mentioned earlier, the Twins big bats have had success against Carrasco. The bat that has had the most success is Nelson Cruz. The veteran DH has been one of the best hitters in baseball since the start of the season, and today he gets to line-up against a pitcher he has had success against. In 27 at-bats against the Cleveland veteran, Cruz is hitting .370 along with four home runs. It is safe to assume Cruz will give some production tonight in Minnesota.

Other Fantasy Notes for 8/1

  • In a small sample size against today’s Red Sox starter, Zack Godley, the Yankees have struggled to muster any sort of production (.100 BA against him).
  • Continue to ride the Braves hot bats, as their line-up hits .353 against today’s Mets starter, Michael Wacha.
  • The Mariners could make for a cheap stacking option in DFS play today, as their hitters have had success against today’s A’s starter, Mike Fiers.
  • In a small sample size against Pirates starting pitcher, Mitch Keller, the Cubs have had mild success. Take a look at their left-handed bats today.

That rounds out today’s Lock Him or Leave Him. I cannot promise you these picks will all pan out, but ride with them and you shall see some success in fantasy baseball!


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