Monday greets us with a seven-game ‘main slate’ beginning at 6:40 PM EST with the Tampa Bay Rays hosting the Oakland A’s. The challenge as we continue going through the first turn through starting rotations will be navigating lower pitch counts as a result of the short spring.
Top Tier Pitching
|Alex Wood||vs SD||$9,200/ $9,200||-144||138.2||19.3%||32.3%||12.5%||1.18||3.83|
|Alek Manoah||at NYY||$10,200/ $9,900||-105||111.2||19%||28.2%||12.6%||1.05||3.22|
|Ranger Suárez||vs NYM||$8,900/ $9,600||-152||106||17.7%||28.1%||11.3%||1.00||1.36|
Alek Manoah is easily the most talented pitcher on the slate. But, this isn’t the most ideal spot for him as he faces the Yankees whose offense led baseball last year with a 10.2% BB rate and a .317 team wOBA (12th). He tossed 66 pitches in his final spring training appearance (4.2 IP, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 ER) so somewhere around 80 pitches seems like a reasonable expectation.
Alex Wood got through three and a third innings in his final spring start while allowing four earned runs on nine hits against the Oakland A’s. Tonight he’ll host the San Diego Padres who have the second-lowest implied team total on the board ahead of only the A’s.
Speaking of pitch counts, while there is no denying how incredible Ranger Suárez was last year for the Phillies, he threw just 43 pitches in his final spring training appearance, so we might have to temper our expectations tonight in his first start of the year.
Jameson Taillon seems like an easy fade against the Blue Jays and especially considering that he only threw 48 pitches his last time out. Huascar Ynoa showed promising strikeout ability last year, but injuries caught him in the second half. In his last spring start facing the Red Sox, he threw four and two-thirds, allowed two earned runs, and struck out three while being saddled with the loss.
Michael Lorenzen is a strong home favorite against the Marlins and got his pitch count up to 80 in his last spring training appearance. He’s shown swing-and-miss stuff in the past most notably a changeup and slider that each returned whiffs over 40% in 2020.
Luis Patiño would have been an interesting option considering that he’s the biggest favorite on the board, has strikeout ability, and is facing a dilapidated Oakland lineup, but he got off to a slow start in spring with a sore shoulder so he should be facing a limited pitch count as the Rays stretch him out.
I’m very curious to see how Nick Martínez looks in his return from Japan. We haven’t seen him stateside since the 2017 season and he has thus far accumulated an uninspiring 4.77 ERA and 1.45 WHIP across 415.1 IP for his career. When I first saw that the Padres had signed Martinez this past offseason, the first thing that popped into my mind was ‘hey, isn’t that the guy that pitched when Lonnie Chisenhall hit three home runs in a game back in 2014?’ The weird things we remember in DFS. Anyway, the Padres must have seen something in Martinez so maybe there is something worth keeping an eye on. On DraftKings, he’s just $5,900 so if you’re multi entering tournaments, he might not be a bad idea as an SP2 punt considering the limited pitch counts we’re dealing with across the board.
Bats and Stacks
- ATL (4.9 implied run total) vs WSN TBD: Aníbal Sánchez was the Nationals’ scheduled starter, but he’s now considered doubtful with a stiff neck. Sánchez didn’t pitch at all last year and the last we saw of him was a 6.62 ERA across 11 starts in 2020. Yeah, not great. It’s more or less all you need to know about the state of the Nationals’ rotation right now. Regardless of whoever draws the start, I think we should have plenty of interest in backing Atlanta’s offense. If it’s an RHP, the lefty Alex Dickerson is a potential value bat to consider as he owns a .340 career wOBA against RHP.
- MIN (4.8 implied run total) vs SEA Chris Flexen (RHP) 11.5 K-BB%, 3.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP: It’s fairly easy to see that Flexen probably overachieved last year. He owned just an 8.6% SwStr rate, although, to his credit, he was excellent at limiting free passes with a walk rate of just 5.4%. As if you needed another reason to just play Byron Buxton, Flexen showed some pretty sharp reverse splits last year with a .370 wOBA allowed to RHB. Flexen’s low strikeout ability puts Miguel Sanó on the radar, especially on FanDuel where he is just $2,200.
- TB (4.9 implied run total) vs. OAK Paul Blackburn (RHP) 9.1 K-BB%, 5.87 ERA, 1.62 WHIP: The Rays are set up for another potential offensive explosion as they face Blackburn who did not impress across nine starts last year. This looks like a good chance to take advantage of Josh Lowe’s cheap salary. One of the Rays’ top prospects, Lowe produced a .395 wOBA across 111 games with Triple-A Durham last year.
- PHI (5.0 implied run total) vs NYM Taijuan Walker (RHP) 13.9 K-BB%, 4.47 ERA, 1.18 WHIP: Walker fell off a cliff in the second half and posted a 7.13 ERA while allowing a .362 wOBA. This Phillies’ lineup is stacked to the brim now with the offseason additions of Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber. The Phillies have the second-highest total on the board, trailing only the Angels.
- LAA (5.3 implied run total) vs MIA Elieser Hernandez (RHP) 17.3 K-BB%, 4.18 ERA, 1.32 WHIP: Hernandez has allowed a .376 wOBA against LHB for his career putting Shohei Ohtani and Jared Walsh on the immediate radar.
*Note: All stats referenced are from last season.
|Joc Pederson||OF||vs SD (Martinez)||$3,200||$2,300|
|Brandon Belt||1B||vs SD (Martinez)||$5,500||$2,600|
|Brandon Marsh||OF||vs MIA (Hernandez)||$3,200||$2,300|
|Josh Lowe||OF||vs OAK (Blackburn)||$2,800||$2,600|
|Alex Dickerson||OF||vs WSN (TBD)||$2,500||$2,200|
|Bryson Stott||3B/SS||vs NYM (Walker)||$2,100||$2,300|
|Julio Rodríguez||OF||at MIN (Bundy)||$2,000||$2,400|