Saturday brings yet another split slate with five games starting at 1:10 EST and six games beginning at 7:05 EST. We’ll focus on the late slate of games.
Top SP: Julio Urías, LAD ($9,500 DK, $10,000 FD) vs WAS
Chris Paddack (18.8% K-BB% in 59 IP last season) is a very tempting target considering the matchup against Texas. Last season they were a mess offensively with a team wOBA of .283 (29th) and a 25.5% K rate. And after last night’s masterpiece from Joe Musgrove, there almost has to be some added interest tonight in doubling down with the Sheriff’s return to his native state. Still, Paddack is a mystery right now. In his season debut, he was inefficient requiring 89 pitches to get through four innings. We’ve seen him look dominant back in 2019 and the matchup is there tonight, making him worth the gamble in tournaments.
However, where they are similarly priced (DraftKings), Julio Urías (12.1% K-BB in 55 IP last season), who was much more convincing in his debut needing just 79 pitches to breeze through seven innings while recording a 37% CSW, seems like the safer option of the two if choosing between them. As of this writing, the Padres are the biggest favorites on the board while the Dodger’s game doesn’t have a line set yet.
Value SP: Jeff Hoffman, CIN ($6,900 DK, $7,700 FD) at ARI
If you listen closely enough you can hear Jeff Hoffman playing Ode to Joy as he, after five long years, finally gets to leave the pitcher’s purgatory known as Coors Field behind in the dust. Hoffman was once upon a time a highly regarded pitching prospect who was selected by the Blue Jays ninth overall in the 2014 Amateur draft.
He was then shipped to the Rockies in the deal involving Troy Tulowitzki and the rest, as they say, is history. Fast forward five years and he looked fairly decent in his debut with the Reds going five innings while recording a 31% CSW against the Cardinals.
The big fastball and swing-and-miss slider that fueled his days as a prospect wasn’t there in his debut, as he was sitting just under 93 with his heater, still he’s on the board tonight considering the real lack of options in the lower tier. Hoffman would only be a play to consider on DraftKings. The play on FanDuel if you’re spending down on pitcher almost has to be Paddack who is only $6,900.
Honorable Mention: Bruce Zimmermann, BAL ($7,400 DK, $8,000 FD) vs BOS.
OF Trent Grisham, SD ($4,000 DK, $2,500 FD) at TEX
Trent Grisham made his return from the IL last night. The lefty-hitting outfielder was one of 2020’s bright spots as he recorded a .349 wOBA, .367 xwOBA, and .352 OBP while emerging as the Padre’s leadoff threat against RHP.
Pitching for Texas will be Jordan Lyles who was all sorts of not that great as you might have surmised from his 7.02 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. Along with that came a 13.5% K rate which put him in the bottom 4% of the league. For his career, the righty Lyles has surrendered a .357 wOBA to opposing LHB. With the Padres implied total sitting at over five runs, Grisham stands out especially on FanDuel where he seems to be mispriced.
1B Trey Mancini, BAL ($4,700 DK, $3,200 FD) vs BOS
One of the best highlights this past opening week was seeing Trey Mancini return to the field after his fight with colon cancer. Prior to missing last season, the Oriole’s first basemen enjoyed a fantastic breakthrough campaign in 2019 with a career-best 35 home runs and .373 wOBA (.361 xwOBA).
There should be a lot of interest in Boston bats this evening as they travel to hitter-friendly Camden Yards, but it might not be a bad idea to have just as much if not more interest in attacking Garrett Richards who was erratic, to say the least in his debut against these same Orioles needing 60 pitches to get through two innings.
The (ridiculously) early returns on Cedric Mullins and his decision to bat exclusively left-handed have been promising, he’s an interesting play and one that brings speed from the leadoff spot.
If you’re playing on FanDuel, be sure to take advantage of what looks like a flat-out mispriced Bo Bichette (.356 xwOBA last season). The Jays will be facing the lefty José Quintana who ceded a .336 wOBA to RHB in his last full season back in 2019.
Honorable Mentions: Bo Bichette, SS ($4,700 DK, $3,000 FD) vs LAA; Manny Machado 3B ($5,300 DK, $3,400 FD) at TEX; Eugenio Suárez, SS ($4,400 DK, $3,100 FD) at ARI; Cedric Mullins, OF ($3,900 DK, $3,300 FD) vs BOS.
Value Batter: OF Tommy Pham, SD ($3,700 DK, $2,900 FD) at TEX
He might not have the favorable lefty/righty matchup on paper like his teammate, Grisham, regardless Tommy Pham looks to be mispriced on both major sites as a hitter who tallied a .353 wOBA and .368 OBP from 2018-19 (1224 PA).
Anthony Santander (.358 xwOBA last season) is at a similar price point on DraftKings if you’re looking to target Richards, who looked off in his debut.
Honorable Mentions: Justin Upton, OF ($3,700 DK, $2,800 FD) at TOR, Anthony Santander, OF ($3,800 DK, $3,400 FD) vs BOS; Nick Senzel OF ($3,100 DK, $2,900 FD) at ARI; Alejandro Kirk, C ($2,700 DK, $2,00 FD) vs LAA; Bobby Dalbec, 1B ($3,200 DK, $2,300 FD) at BAL.
Top Stack: BAL vs BOS (RHP Garrett Richards)
We’ve mentioned the Padres a couple of times as they get a favorable draw against Lyles at Texas. The Reds power bats are also worth targeting as the Diamondbacks will be sending out RHP Riley Smith to make his first career start. In 18.1 IP last season he recorded just a 4.8% swinging K rate.
This Angels lineup looks just so much better with a healthy Shohei Ohtani, doesn’t it? And the Jared Walsh we saw at the end of last year (.349 xwOBA last season) doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. The Angels are on the board but probably more so for tournaments considering how Steven Matz (18.3% K-BB% last season in 30.2 IP) looked very sharp in his debut against the Rangers going 6.1 IP while recording a 34% CSW.
The Red Sox should be a popular target in tournaments tonight as attacking a suspect O’s pitching staff should be a popular strategy. At least early on as we all try and recalibrate expectations after last year’s mayhem.
There could, however, be some value in fading Boston in tournaments. Bruce Zimmermann, one of the players that Baltimore acquired when trading away Kevin Gausman to Atlanta back in 2018, looked very impressive in his season debut against these same Red Sox as he showed excellent command of his fastball and changeup while recording a 34% CSW through 73 pitches. Still, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts both have excellent career splits against LHP making them perfectly viable stand-alone plays.
As mentioned earlier, Richards is the one pitcher that could be worth attacking considering how he looked in his debut. And also that fact that he wasn’t very good either in his brief stint last year with the Padres recording just a 13.6% K-BB% and 4.58 xERA.
His fastball velocity was down a tick too in his debut averaging 93.8 as opposed to 95.1 last season. Richards’ inefficiency also increases the chance that the Orioles get into a suspect Red Sox bullpen. Along with Mancini, Santander, and Mullins mentioned earlier, Ryan Mountcastle (.328 xwOBA last season) is another standout here.
Honorable Mentions: BOS at BAL (Zimmermann); LAA at TOR (Matz); SD at TEX (Lyles).
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)