FanDuel/DraftKings – Main slate (13 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
Zack Wheeler has not been as dominant this season as we’re used to seeing, but he’s still an elite arm. His six straight quality starts are his longest such streak of the season.
In that stretch, he has a 43:3 K:BB ratio but has been repeatedly bitten by the long ball to keep his ERA above 3.00. Arguably, the Blue Jays will be the best team he has faced in weeks, but I would consider him match-up proof at this point.
There’s a lot to like about Toronto’s side of things, too. Yusei Kikuchi has not allowed more than one earned run for five straight starts with a 29:8 K:BB ratio in 29 innings. He has a 1.24 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in that time. The Phillies have struggled against southpaw pitchers at times this year.
I’ve enjoyed the Nick Pivetta comeback tour in Boston and that should continue tonight against the Nationals. Pivetta’s 11.10 K/9 is the highest of his career and he is slowly gaining the trust of Boston’s coaching staff as he continues to pitch lights out since the All-Star break with a 2.54 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.
Minnesota will pitch Bailey Ober against the Detroit Tigers for the second straight start. It’s a matchup that will attract a lot of DFS attention. Ober was just okay against Detroit last week, giving up four earned runs on 11 hits and a walk over 5 innings. He did have nine strikeouts though. You’d prefer to see better results, but don’t be afraid to get your money in again here.
Kyle Hendricks takes the ball for the Cubs in a Crosstown Classic vs. the White Sox. He logged a quality start vs. the ChiSox just a couple of weeks ago. He started that game by retiring 18 of the first 19 batters he faced before things unraveled slightly. The strikeout upside is low, but Hendrick has pitched well lately except for a bad turn vs. Atlanta – and who could blame him for that?
Bobby Miller had just two wins and two quality starts in July but probably deserved more. He has allowed more than three runs just once in his last seven starts. He gave up four walks in his last turn, but that’s as many as he allowed in the previous six starts combined, so I wouldn’t be too concerned. Despite that shaky control, Miller still shut out Arizona and Milwaukee doesn’t have the same firepower.
There is a temptation to play Jordan Montgomery in his third start with Texas. In general, I love the situation Montgomery has found himself in since the trade deadline, but I’m avoiding him tonight. The Angels have been tough against lefties this year, especially on the road with a sixth-best .335 wOBA.
I’m also avoiding Michael Wacha who has been strong this year for the Padres, but he is coming off the IL to make tonight’s start vs. the first-place Orioles. He likely will be on a limited pitch count against a strong opponent.
Luis Severino continues to look entirely broken. The Yankees’ approach to the problem seems to be throwing him into the fire and hoping for the best. With Atlanta on tap, it feels slightly like leading a sheep to slaughter.
Matt Olson won’t come cheap, but there aren’t many hitters who are hotter right now except for maybe his own teammates. Ronald Acuña Jr., Austin Riley, and Sean Murphy are great plays. On a budget? Consider Eddie Rosario. He was 3-for-5 with a home run, double, 4 RBI, and 3 runs in the opening game of the series yesterday.
The game could turn ugly quickly as the Yankees face Atlanta’s Bryce Elder, who has given up 10 earned runs over his past two starts. Anthony Volpe is picking up the pace with a 1.187 OPS in the last week, Giancarlo Stanton has four home runs this month already, and Aaron Judge is Aaron Judge.
Alex Faedo has turned in a few strong starts for Detroit this year, but he struggled with Minnesota last week. He made it just 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and two walks. He has a 5.80 ERA on the season.
Carlos Correa has been perking up at the plate with hits in eight straight games with three homers and nine RBI in that stretch. Far more modest for Jorge Polanco, but he is 5-for-13 with a home run in his past three games.
Give Detroit’s Kerry Carpenter a look, too. Carpenter is on a 10-game hitting streak with three home runs in his past three games.
Oakland has not announced a starter for tonight’s game, but the Cardinals have played well regardless of opponent over the past few days. Paul Goldschmidt was in a mini-slump but snapped a 15-game homerless streak last night.
Jordan Lyles (6.13 ERA) has two wins in his past four games despite giving up 17 runs and 28 hits in those starts. He mostly needs to be wary of a surging Julio Rodríguez. The reigning Rookie of the Year is hitting .356 with eight extra-base hits and 13 RBI over his past nine games.
Emerson Hancock was solid in his major league debut last week for Seattle. Normally, Kansas City would be a great matchup, but the Royals’ offense has been coming alive. Bobby Witt Jr. is hitting .400 with eight extra-base hits and five stolen bases this month, Salvador Perez has two homers and eight RBI in the past three games, and MJ Melendez has hits (four HR) in seven of his last eight games.
The Rays are playing well too and look good as a stack tonight. Yandy Díaz is slashing .358/.404/.566 with seven extra-base hits in August and is 8-for-18 with four doubles and four RBI in his past four games. Randy Arozarena is on an eight-game hitting streak and Josh Lowe has hits in six straight.
I’m also plugging in Justin Turner as a moderately priced option wherever I can. Since July 1, Turner is slashing .333/.378/.602 and has home runs in back-to-back games.