FanDuel/DraftKings – Main slate (14 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
A pitchers’ duel might be brewing in Seattle tonight between two surprisingly effective starters and two fairly woeful offenses.
Bailey Ober takes the bump for Minnesota with five straight quality starts under his belt. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs since May 22. Ober looks completely locked in right now and Minnesota will need him at his best tonight.
Seattle’s Bryan Woo also has impressed since getting the call in early June. Woo has allowed two runs or fewer in six straight starts and has slowly been working deeper into games.
I like the way that Lucas Giolito has been pitching lately. He has done well hitting his spots up high with fastballs and low with his slider. He still hangs the changeup a bit too often, but it hasn’t led to any complete meltdowns.
He has five quality starts in his last seven with good strikeout numbers for the most part. The price is a little much for my tastes, but the opportunity is there for a good start vs. the Mets.
It’s a strange day overall with no clear pitching ace to lean on. In addition to the guys above, I also like Joe Musgrove (1.84 ERA since June 1), Mitch Keller (one earned run or fewer in four of his last six), and Tarik Skubal (back-to-back scoreless starts since coming off the IL).
Skubal has a great matchup vs. Kansas City but he might not go deep as the Tigers continue to ease him back into the rotation.
Exercise caution with Nathan Eovaldi. He looks like a gem when you see his overall numbers: 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP. But things have been more rocky lately with a 3.77 ERA in five June starts.
Tampa Bay is a tough matchup and I don’t think Eovaldi is an automatic add like he was earlier in the season. It’s a lot of money for a question mark.
I also would take the cautious approach with Jordan Montgomery. The Cardinals southpaw has greatly improved his stock over the past month and a half, but he left his last start with a hamstring injury before the All-Star break.
St. Louis has done everything short of sending him to the IL and he will get a shot tonight against Miami. The Marlins are not a great offense, but they actually fare better against lefties than righties.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, consider Logan Allen who is making his return to the majors after being sent down at the end of June. Allen made two appearances in Triple-A with very mixed results – one scoreless, one a disaster. Allen’s minor league assignment was hardly warranted to begin with just based on his numbers in the majors.
In 12 starts, Allen had a 3.47 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 63 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings. Not great, not bad. He certainly will be motivated to prove his worth tonight against the Pirates, who have dropped to a bottom-five offense.
Alek Manoah returned from his minor league exile and posted impressive numbers in a start just before the All-Star break. Don’t read too much into it. He did not look very sharp and the Tigers bailed him out with poor at-bats. I wouldn’t expect the same courtesy from San Diego.
Ha-Seong Kim continues to be undervalued. Over the past month in a leadoff role, he has hit .314 with 19 runs, six homers, 14 RBI, and six stolen bases. Manny Machado already has eight home runs in July.
Zach Davies is the living embodiment of a half-hearted shrug. He can be okay at his best and horrible at his worst. Atlanta tends to bring out the worst in pitchers. Sure, there’s Ronald Acuña Jr. You don’t need a recommendation to start Acuna, I hope.
Matt Olson’s OPS jumps by over 300 points against righties and he is on a seven-game hitting streak. Michael Harris II also is a good play for a lefty vs. righty matchup. Ozzie Albies is 4-for-10 with three runs and three RBI since coming out of the All-Star break.
Jameson Taillon is coming off a shutout vs. the Yankees. Patrick Corbin shut down the Rangers in his last start. There is no rhyme or reason to these things sometimes, but these are two pitchers who will let you down more than they’ll surprise you.
For the Cubs, Cody Bellinger has started the second half with a bang. He has multiple hits in three of his past four games and three home runs. Nico Hoerner is slashing .298/.327/.436 vs. lefties. Patrick Wisdom has just two hits since the break but both have gone over the fence.
For the Nationals, CJ Abrams is on a tear. He’s on a seven-game hitting streak with multiple hits in five. He’s 7-for-17 with eight runs, three stolen bases, and a homer since the break. Keibert Ruiz has home runs in back-to-back games and was just a triple short of the cycle last night.
I’m a big Taj Bradley fan, but even I can admit that while the talent is there, the results have been lacking. He has an 11.68 ERA over his last three starts and it won’t get easier tonight vs. the Rangers. Corey Seager, Adolis García, Marcus Semien, and Nathaniel Lowe should all be on your radar.
Keep an eye on the status of Rafael Devers. He’s day-to-day with a calf injury, but if he’s ready to go tonight then he’s worth starting vs. Oakland’s Luis Medina who has a 6.34 ERA on the season. Devers has hit three home runs in three games since the break.
Triston Casas also is gearing up for a big second half. He hit a home run in three straight games coming out of the break and is on a six-game hitting streak. Masataka Yoshida and Justin Turner also are swinging hot bats.
The Dodgers are going to give Michael Grove another chance to start after using him behind an opener last time out. Grove likely will have a pretty short leash and has struggled to keep the pitch count in check anyway. Adley Rutschman, Anthony Santander, and Gunnar Henderson are the Orioles to stream.
Finally, Houston is playing in thin air at Coors Field tonight. You know what to do. Kyle Tucker is 7-for-12 with six RBI and a home run since the break. Chas McCormick has three home runs, five RBI, and six runs in the past two games. Alex Bregman also homered in his last game.