FanDuel – Main slate (13 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
DraftKings – Main slate (13 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
No rain to worry about in the forecast. Strong winds blowing out for games in the night slate, including Washington at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh at San Francisco, and Atlanta at Oakland.
I typically avoid the day’s premier arm because I hate being immediately priced out of the hitter market and we can usually find good ace value further down the list. I might make an exception today for Shane McClanahan, who stands heads and shoulders above the pack. McClanahan has only hurt us once this season in 11 starts, so we know exactly what we’re getting here, which is more than I can say for the rest of the slate.
Of course, McClanahan is not the only ace taking the mound tonight. Joe Ryan has allowed two runs or fewer in his past six starts while maintaining an excellent 41:6 K:BB ratio. He had a seven-game quality start streak snapped after going just five innings in his last start, but he still did enough to secure the W. Ryan is a solid option, but he’s not much cheaper than McClanahan and takes on the Houston Astros on the road. Houston is 14-4 since May 10.
Zac Gallen also is among the ace tier, but he has come back down to earth in May after recording a 1.09 ERA and 0.61 WHIP in April. I’m concerned by the dip in his strikeout rate and lackluster whiff rates his last few times out. I’m not concerned with Gallen long term and getting the Rockies away from Coors is always a strong matchup, but it feels like a big risk to take for the price.
And that’s especially true with some good mid-range starters to consider today. Bryce Elder has been excellent for the Braves all season and faces the uber-struggling Oakland Athletics. If I’m not buying McClanahan, then Elder is probably the direction to turn. You’ll almost certainly sacrifice strikeouts going that route. Is that worth it for the price difference? It might be!
Kodai Senga is on the rise. He had a clunker at Cincinnati a few weeks ago, but followed that up with a 12 strikeout performance in six innings against the first-place Rays. Philadelphia is a strikeout-prone team and if Senga has his forkball working, he could cash in.
Finally, Brayan Bello has allowed two runs or fewer in his past five starts. He has just two quality starts in that stretch as he works on a tighter pitch count than most. He went exactly five innings in three of those five starts and that’s a concern at this point.
That being said, he went seven innings last week against the Angels and tonight’s matchup with Cincinnati provides some relief to what has been a pretty rough schedule in May. He’s not without his warts, but Bello has above average walk and strikeout rates and a 3.70 xFIP that could suggest some positive regression is headed his way eventually.
The Julio Rodríguez train is full steam ahead after struggling to get out of the station earlier this season. He has multiple hits in each of his last six games and home runs in three of the past four. Lefties have been an Achilles’ heel for JRod, but Nestor Cortes is struggling right now, so my money is on the youngin’. Ty France isn’t quite as hot as Rodriguez (few are), but he has strong lefty splits, as do Teoscar Hernández and Jose Caballero.
JP Sears takes the ball for Oakland. Honestly, he’s been solid lately with a 3.25 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in May, but a hot Atlanta Braves club is likely to throw cold water on that run. Austin Riley is on a 12-game hitting streak, Matt Olson has three home runs in his past two games, and Ronald Acuña Jr. is Ronald Acuña Jr.
Jake Irvin is on the bump for Washington against the Dodgers. The rookie has a 5.32 ERA and a worse 6.51 xERA. J.D. Martinez is slashing .313/.333/.678 against righties this season. He has home runs in back-to-back games and six in the past 10 days as he rides a 13-game hitting streak. Freddie Freeman is on an 18-game hitting streak.
Kyle Hendricks was far from impressive in his season debut last week and he really hasn’t been all that impressive for a while now. Taking on the Rays certainly won’t help get him on track. You know what to do by now with Yandy Díaz, but if you need a pep talk, I’ve got it for you: Diaz is slashing .338/.441/.588 against righties.
Brandon Lowe has little to show for it lately, but he’s back to crushing the ball with a 98 mph average EV over the past week. That might not pay dividends tonight, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Also, Wander Franco. In case you didn’t notice, he’s pretty good.
It’s a small sample size, but Ranger Suárez has a 9.82 ERA in three starts since coming off the IL. That’s great news for Pete Alonso, who leads the majors with 20 home runs. Alonso has a .985 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season and generally favors southpaws in his splits. Rarely do I highlight players to avoid, but Francisco Álvarez is tempting with five home runs over his past eight games. Don’t do it. Alvarez is hitting just .179/.233/.286 against lefties this season.
Twins infielder Royce Lewis made his season debut Monday. It’s hard to believe he’s still technically a prospect, but a constant flow of injuries have slowed his ability to stick in the big leagues. When he does play, he looks the part. That was true last night as he debuted with two hits, a home run, and four RBI. Get him while he’s still dirt cheap because that won’t last for long.
Jack Suwinski is about as streaky as they come and is somebody to buy when he’s running hot. He homered twice on Monday and had another two-homer night last Friday. The Giants are putting together a bullpen game to take on the Pirates tonight, so matchups are mostly out the window, but it’s still a situation to potentially take advantage of. Bryan Reynolds and, to a lesser extent, Ji Hwan Bae both are coming off a strong series against Seattle.
Speaking of hot streaks, the temperature on Mitch Haniger is through the roof. The Giants’ outfielder is 10-for-18 over his past four games with two home runs, eight RBI, and six runs.
Outside of Haniger, I’m not fully comfortable stacking any San Francisco bats against Johan Oviedo, who has shown good flashes this year (including this immaculate inning last time out). But Oviedo’s occasional shaky command has led to collapse at times. Michael Conforto and J.D. Davis also are playing well enough to warrant consideration.