Today’s five-game slate begins at 7:07 ET with the Blue Jays wrapping up their series against the Rangers. Note that tonight’s Yankees/Red Sox game is the second leg of a doubleheader because of last night’s PPD. It’s not offered on FanDuel but it is part of the player pool on DraftKings.
Today’s SPs and 2023 Stats
A quick note on PLV: If you’re curious about its intricacies, check out Nick’s primer. A quick summary: PLV is a quantifier that uses several variables to assess the quality of each individual pitch; the higher the value, the better the pitch. PLA is the ERA equivalent to PLV (the lower, the better).
Kevin Gausman ($11,000 DK, $10,300 FD) looks like the top option for tonight. It’s not an ideal matchup against the Rangers who are eighth in team wOBA during the second half of the season. However, Gausman’s 31.5% K rate is second among qualifiers and gives him a floor that is hard to ignore. Plus, he’s coming in hot off of probably his best start of the season: eight innings, 10 Ks, and only three baserunners against the Royals.
Even on a short slate, Nathan Eovaldi seems like an easy fade: for one I’m not entirely convinced he’s fully healthy yet. I get the sense he’s back out of necessity for the Rangers as they try and navigate out of a tailspin. And more importantly, he only threw 47 pitches in his last outing.
Kyle Bradish’s ($9,400 DK, $10.600 FD) pitch quality metrics, especially for his slider (1.68 pitch-type PLA) support his breakout this year. The only knock against him today is that he gets the Rays who are not the easiest opponent (11th in team wOBA during the second half). Still, the discount relative to Gausman is fairly decent if you’re looking to spend more salary on bats.
Bradish’s counterpart Aaron Civale ($9,000 DK, $8,700 FD) is a little bit of an enigma for me. He has a terrific 2.96 ERA and 1.12 WHIP but his low K rate of 21.4% makes him someone who I’d rather cross off on most nights. He had a gem of a start against Boston two turns ago but it felt like an outlier that you don’t want to chase. Sure enough, he was more pedestrian in his most recent outing against the Mariners. He has potential which his start against Boston can attest to but as far as the matchup goes, Baltimore isn’t a slam dunk (13th in team wOBA in the 2nd half). Then again, neither was Boston (10th in team wOBA) and he excelled so who knows.
There aren’t enough superlatives for Logan Webb ($8,800 DK, $9,500 FD): he leads baseball in IP, has an excellent 19.4% K-BB, and his pitch quality metrics are exceptional (5.20 PLV, fifth-best among pitchers with at least 2,000 pitches). And yet he somehow has a losing record (10-12). Anyway, he gets to pitch at the dreaded Coors Field, so you know the risk. Still, the discount makes him a little bit tempting for a pitcher of his calibre. The Giants are tonight’s biggest favorite (-260 on FD).
Kenta Maeda hasn’t been great this season with a 4.65 ERA and 1.25 WHIP but he has posted a decent K rate of 25.8%. The matchup against the White Sox (worst wOBA in baseball during the second half) should make him a really popular SP2 on DK ($7,800).
Clarke Schmidt ($7,100 DK) is the other value SP2 worth mentioning. His pitch quality metrics (5.18 PLV) are very good. But it’s not a great spot at Fenway Park. Still, he might have some added appeal if Boston sends out a watered-down lineup in the second game of today’s doubleheader.
I double-checked and no, José Ureña’s -3.6% K-BB wasn’t a mistake. He’s allowed a .360 wOBA against left-handed hitters for his career, so don’t hesitate to go after Max Kepler or Alex Kirilloff or really anyone in the Twins lineup. The Twins are huge favorites tonight (-200 on FD) for a reason.
The Giants are the other obvious stack of the night. They’ll face Chase Anderson and his 6.49 ERA and 1.53 WHIP at Coors Field. However, if you’re looking for a reason to fade the Giants, they have been the second-worst offense in baseball during the second half with a .294 wOBA, just one point above the White Sox.
Clarke Schmidt’s pitch quality metrics are exceptional but he has allowed a .374 wOBA against left-handed hitters, so there might be some added potential tonight for Rafael Devers and/or Triston Casas.
A different way to approach tonight’s small slate might be to consider Blue Jays hitters. Their matchup against Eovaldi isn’t great on the surface but as mentioned earlier, I’m not sure if he’s locked in yet and he’ll also be limited in terms of pitch count. Meanwhile, the Rangers bullpen has been suspect so there’s a possible scenario where the Jays can shake up this slate.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)