We’re just about three weeks in and this feels like our first nearly full slate. Note the DraftKings slate begins at 6:30 PM EST featuring 13 games, while the FanDuel main slate begins at 7:05 PM EST and features just eight games. The Minnesota/Oakland game included on DraftKings is part of a doubleheader so we’ll omit it here.
Top SP: Corbin Burnes, MIL ($10,800 DK, $10,500 FD) at SD
Looking at tonight’s probable pitchers, Corbin Burnes and his 31.1% K-BB% (2020-21) jumps to the top of the board. That’s also backed by a 32.2% CSW and 15.5% swinging K rate also tops on the board. This year he’s taking things up a notch with his cutter throwing it at a 50% clip and it’s so far returned an excellent 36.2% whiff rate. Not to be outdone, his curveball, slider, and changeup have all returned whiff rates of over 60%. That’s silly, and should come down, still as far as tonight goes it’s hard to deny Burnes’ strikeout upside even against a tough Padres lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Zack Wheeler, LAD ($9,800 DK, $9,400 FD) vs SF.
If you’re playing on DraftKings, Luis Castillo (20.6% K-BB%, 29.4% CSW 2020-21) looks like a strong value to take advantage of. Relative to tonight’s probable pitchers, Castillo’s K-BB% (2020-21) of 20.6% is fifth, and yet he’s the 20th ranked SP by salary. Thus far, the Diamondbacks are middle of the pack with a .308 team wOBA (15th), though they might drop some as they continue to be without two of their strongest hitters in Christian Walker and Ketel Marte. The Reds are decent home favorites this evening (-130) while the visiting Diamondbacks implied total is a modest three and a half runs.
Chris Paddack (16.4% K-BB%, 28% CSW 2020-21) has been anything but efficient in his first three starts as he has yet to pitch into the sixth inning. However, his $6,900 salary on FanDuel is tempting and the matchup against the Brewers who have the seventh highest team K rate at 26.9% certainly adds to the appeal. They’ll also be without Christian Yelich tonight again. The Padres are the slightest of home favorites this evening in what figures to be a pitcher’s duel with the visiting Corbin Burnes (31.1% K-BB%, 32.2% CSW 2020-21).
How could we forget Shohei Ohtani? He’s making just his second start of the year and will be on a pitch count of around 75 or so. There’s added risk for certain, but a reasonable price and a great draw against the Rangers and their second-worst team K rate of 28.4% this year definitely puts him on the board as a potential second SP on DraftKings.
Honorable Mention: Shohei Ohtani, LAA ($7,500 DK) vs TEX.
OF Juan Soto, WAS ($5,900 DK, $4,200 FD) vs STL
Juan Soto needs no introduction as one of the game’s consummate hitters. Adam Wainwright (14.9% K-BB%, 31% CSW 2020-21) used every bit of his veteran guile to weave through five innings against these same Nationals in his last start. Now on the road, where Wainwright owns a career 4.01 ERA as opposed to a 2.87 ERA at home, Soto and the Nationals could be ready from the jump having seen him so recently. Going back to 2019, Wainwright has allowed a .346 wOBA to opposing LHB compared to just a .295 wOBA to RHB.
1B/OF Jared Walsh, LAA ($4,300 DK, $3,600 FD) vs TEX
This is a tricky slate to figure for offense considering the very cold temperatures in Coors and Wrigley Field, among other venues. It might not be a bad idea to pivot to a place where we’ll get temperatures around 60º. In which case we have the Angels who are the only team, currently, with an implied total of over five runs. Jordan Lyles (7% K-BB%, 25% CSW 2020-21) has turned in a couple of decent starts early on and there’s a potential mechanism behind it in his increased slider usage. Still, the splits are in Jared Walsh’s favor here as Lyles has surrendered a .367 wOBA and .224 ISO to lefties going back to 2019.
The Marlins, who are only available on the DraftKings main slate, are one of the only teams this evening that gets the benefit of some decent baseball weather with temperatures expected to be around 80º. They’ll also get the advantage of facing Matt Harvey (10.9% K-BB%, 24,3% CSW 2020-21), formerly known as the Dark Knight, the new Oriole has surrendered a .400 wOBA to lefty batters going back to 2019. This should be in Corey Dickerson’s favor as the Marlins’ leadoff man owns a career .359 wOBA and 123 wRC+ versus RHP.
On FanDuel, Alec Bohm is priced favorably at just $2,400. Logan Webb isn’t a standout matchup for bats on paper, really this is just too low of a price for a talented young hitter like Bohm who broke out last season with a .381 wOBA and 139 wRC+ while hitting .338.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Conforto, OF ($3,500 DK, $2,800 FD) at CHC, Brandon Nimmo, OF ($3,500 DK) at CHC; Jorge Soler, OF ($3,300 DK, $2,700 FD) vs TB; Raimel Tapia, OF ($3,400 DK) vs HOU; Justin Upton, OF ($3,500 DK) vs TEX.
Top Stack: HOU at COL (RHP Jon Gray)
The sub-40° temperatures at Coors throw a wrench into things, but even still you have to like the Astros chances against Jon Gray (7.9% K-BB%, 27.1%, CSW 2020-21). Last season, Gray’s 12.6% K rate was in the bottom 1% of the league, while his .296 xBA allowed was also in the bottom 4%, not an ideal combination especially at Coors Field. Looking at his splits, it makes sense to prioritize the lefty bats here in Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker as Gray has surrendered a .337 wOBA to lefties (2019-21) as opposed to a more modest .300 mark against righties. The Astros should also be getting back both Alex Bregman and Yordan Álvarez, although the latter may be only available to pinch-hit. The Rockies’ side of this game is certainly in play too, as Luis Garcia is making just his third career start in lieu of Lance McCullers Jr (illness).
Honorable Mentions: LAA vs TEX (Lyles); WAS vs STL (Wainwright); COL vs HOU (Garcia); NYY/ATL* GPP only
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)