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OwnersBox – Main slate (9 games) – starts 7:06 PM EDT
FD/DK – Main slate (9 games) – starts 7:07 PM EDT
Nothing major, but some spotty rain storms could potentially cause issues across the Midwest. Likely no postponed games to worry about, but keep an eye on COL@CLE, TEX@CIN, LAD@PIT, and SEA@PHI.
It’s a light day for aces on the mound today, which means even the above average arms are going to come at an inflated price. The top options are Nestor Cortes, Joe Ryan, and Justin Steele.
Cortes gets the Twins for the second time in his past three starts. He was excellent against them the last time out, allowing just 2 runs and striking out 7 over 7 innings. Ryan takes the ball on the other side. He has won all four of his starts this year and earned a quality start in three, though the Yankees offense gives cause to some trepidation.
Steele is in a great spot at home against the Padres, who have strong bats on paper but not so much in practice yet this season. Steele has given up just 4 earned runs combined over his four starts and 25 innings pitched this season while limiting hard contact at one of the best rates in the league. That will only be amplified by the wind blowing in hard from centerfield at Wrigley.
Eric Lauer and Charlie Morton also are interesting options, if for no other reason than their matchups. Lauer gets Detroit coming off back-to-back strong starts, albeit a little weak on strikeouts. The Tigers have a league-worst .211 batting average and are third worst in the league with a 26% strikeout rate.
Morton takes on Miami and comes with a bit more risk. The fish are middle of the pack in batting average this season (.243) and bottom 10 in strikeout rate (24.8%), but those numbers have trended down over the past week.
I tend to shy away from José Berríos given his tendency to fall apart in the most random moments, but he’s an interesting play here. He all but shut down the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in his past two starts, which is not something many pitchers can boast this season.
The White Sox are hitting a league-worst .115 over the past three games and just .235 overall. Berrios’ 6.23 ERA and 5.05 xERA are scary to put your dollars behind, but most of the that is thanks to his disastrous first start of the year against the Royals where he allowed 8 runs in 5 2/3 innings.
If you’re really feeling adventurous and want to save a few bucks, Griffin Canning, Mason Miller, Ryne Nelson, and Spencer Turnbull are the plays. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Like clockwork, we get to pick on Josiah Gray on Tuesdays. The youngster is capable of a strong start, but he still remains one of the most homer-happy starters in the league after ignominiously leading the majors in that category last year.
Pete Alonso has a 1.738 OPS in his career against Gray and is second in the league with 10 home runs this year. Jeff McNeil has come alive of late, going 8-for-15 over his past four games. He’s slashing .333/.410/.463 against righties this season. Brandon Nimmo also is swinging a hot bat and enjoys facing off against Gray (1.500 career OPS). Brett Baty and Francisco Álvarez are cheap options who profile well.
Blake Snell continues to struggle on the mound for the Padres. His .407 wOBA is in the bottom 10% of the league with his hard-hit rate, barrel rate, and walk rate not too far behind. Not even the wind coming in from centerfield will help him if he continues to give up a 91.2 average exit velocity. Nico Hoerner is looking strong with home runs in two of his past three games and a .409/.480/.455 slash against lefties this season.
There are a few other Cubbies that feast on lefties too (not so fast, Cody Bellinger) like Dansby Swanson, Seiya Suzuki, and Patrick Wisdom. Wisdom has slowed down some from last week’s torrid stretch, but a 1.071 OPS against lefties and 94.2 average EV (top 5%) this season are hard to ignore.
San Francisco is running reliever John Brebbia to the mound as a starter against the Cardinals tonight with Jakob Junis to follow. Both righty pitchers go heavy on sliders, though only Brebbia’s has actually been effective this season with a .135 xBA and 36.6% whiff rate.
Both Paul Goldschmidt and Lars Nootbaar have hit well against slider-heavy pitchers this season. While most of the Cards’ lineup prefers a lefty on the bump, Tyler O’Neill is one of their better hitters against righties with a .281/.328/.412 line. Not overly impressive, but he also doesn’t cost much.
The game could turn into a slugfest as the Cards counter with starter Jake Woodford, who has been absolutely dreadful this season. His statcast page is ice cold with bottom-10 percentile ranks in exit velocity, hard-hit rate, xBA, xSLG, xERA/xwOBA, strikeout rate, chase rate, and fastball spin. His 8.04 xERA is a full two runs lower than his actual 6.05 ERA.
J.D. Davis has a 1.141 OPS and all five of his home runs this season have come against righties. He clobbered a three-run homer last night. Mitch Haniger was activated off the IL yesterday and had two home runs in four rehab games in the minors. Thairo Estrada and Michael Conforto are also good plays.
Miami elevated Bryan Hoeing from the minors for a spot start against Atlanta, which just seems cruel. Hoeing has a 2.08 ERA and 20:2 K:BB ratio at Triple-A this season, but he was overmatched in the majors last year with a 12.08 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in 12 2/3 innings. The Braves put up 12 hits, 11 runs, and five home runs against the Marlins yesterday and will look to ride that wave this evening.
Sam Hilliard had two of those homers and is slashing .341/.413/.585 against righties this season. If you can afford them, the other usual suspects should pay off tonight. Ronald Acuña Jr. and Matt Olson are the best against righties, but Austin Riley and Sean Murphy should be fairly match-up proof here.
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