Happy Sunday everyone! Last week marked my best set of the season, going 3-0 and adding 4.7 units to my season-long total. That leaves my ledger at 12-11 along with +2.30u on the campaign! Let’s try to keep the good times rolling today.
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Total Runs Twins O/U 4.5
In one season, the Twins offense has gone from historic to just very OK. In 2019, they were 1st in HRs (setting the all-time mark at 307), 2nd in SLG%, and 3rd in wRC+. So far this season, they are 7th in HRs, 14th in SLG%, and 18th in wRC+. Meh. That being said, I think the step back has created an opportunity for value.
The Twins are up against wunderkind Triston McKenzie today. McKenzie has taken the league by storm, striking out 26 opponents in the first 21 IP of his career and holding a 2.56 ERA. Despite his success, his FB velocity has begun to dwindle in his last handful of starts. Prospect Twitter GOAT and owner/founder of Prospects365 Ray Butler noticed this trend a few days ago.
Triston McKenzie average fastball velocity and fastball SwStr%, by start
08/22: 94.5 mph, 23.9%
08/28: 93.3 mph, 10.7%
09/02: 92.7 mph, 11.4%
09/08: 92.4 mph, 8.5%#OurTribe
— Prospects 365 ⚾️ (@Prospects365) September 9, 2020
I like the Twins offense to give McKenzie a hard time today and so does FTN’s Lineup Optimizer, predicting to Twins to (albeit, barely) surpass this run total.
Pick: OVER 4.5 Runs (+120 DK)
Tigers-White Sox ML First 3 Innings
The Tigers have certainly taken a step back since their early-season surge, winning just 3 of their last 12 games while witnessing their bullpen accrue an ungodly 8.48 ERA over that stretch. Luckily, bullpens likely will not matter for the first 3 innings of their game against the White Sox this season as they trot out Spencer Turnbull. Turnbull has been a bright spot for the rebuilding Tigers this season and has proven his worth as a reliable major league arm with some legitimate upside.
The other side of this matchup is youngster Jonathan Stiever, who will be making his MLB debut for the White Sox. Stiever has never pitched above A+ ball and while he was impressive there last season (23.3 K-BB%, 2.15 ERA in 71 IP), it is difficult to see his first foray into the major leagues being more than mildly successful.
Pick: Tigers (+128 DK)
Tyler Mahle O/U 5.5 Ks
As is becoming something of a tradition, I like for my last pick of the day (mostly because it takes the sportsbooks longer to release these odds) to be pitcher punchout totals. Today, Mahle is my man. Expected to be the Reds’ 6th starter and possible swing-man, Mahle has seized his opportunity as a member of the rotation and ran with it. The fantasy community has been clamoring for him to get his shot and he has delivered.
In Mahle’s last start on Tuesday, he sliced up the Cubs for 10 Ks while allowing just 1 BB and 4 H in 7 innings. More impressively, he generated 22 whiffs and 15 of them came via his 4-Seam fastball (stat courtesy of @_MattWilkes). I love Mahle to strike out at least 6 Cards today and keep the train rolling.
Pick: OVER 5.5 Ks (+116)
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)