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Sunday’s main slate features eight games on both major sites. DraftKings has opted to include the first game of the Phillies/Braves double-header at 1:05 PM EST, while FanDuel has not. If you’re playing over on DraftKings note that this game will only be a seven-inning affair. I’ll be completely transparent, given the unpredictable nature of these double-headers in terms of lineups, player availability, etc. I won’t mention any plays directly from this game other than to say that both tentatively scheduled starting pitchers are susceptible. For the Braves it’ll be the 22-year-old Huascar Ynoa, making his first major-league start. In Triple-A last year Ynoa posted a 5.33 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, and 13.6% K-BB% across 72 and 2/3 innings. Not too great, but for all intents and purposes, this should be a bullpen type game for the Braves. On the other side, the Phillies will counter with the righty Vince Velasquez (25.6% CSW, 16.9% K-BB% in 2019). Note that Velasquez has made just one appearance this season, and that was an unimpressive one at that against the Marlins back on the 26th of July, so it’s fair to wonder how effective he’ll be here. He’s long struggled against lefty bats in particular.
Over on FanDuel, they’ve opted to start their main slate at 12:35 PM EST in order to include the Orioles/Nationals matchup, and avoid the double-header game mentioned above. Stephen Strasburg (31.2% CSW, 23.2% K-BB% in 2019) will be making his debut, and is tentatively scheduled for around 70 pitches or so. Given the uncertainty, it’s probably best to take a wait and see approach with Strasburg. Meanwhile, the Orioles will throw out Asher Wojciechowski (26% CSW, 14.4% K-BB% in 2019). For his career, Wojciechowski has coughed up a .387 wOBA to lefty batters. As if you needed another reason to consider Juan Soto.
With the scheduling stuff out of the way, this is actually a pretty fun slate from a pitching point of view. There are quite a few pitching options to consider. And as you’d guess all the quality pitching makes finding bats a little tricky. Based on their weaker matchups expect to see plenty of Twins and Red Sox bats today.
Top SP: Jacob deGrom, ($11,600 DK, $11,100 FD) vs MIA
I hope you’re sitting down, but Jacob deGrom (29.5% CSW, 26.3% K-BB% in 2019) is still pretty good at throwing baseballs. This season his fastball has somehow found another gear and through his first three starts, he’s sporting a 19.7% swinging K rate. Now he gets a makeshift Marlins team at home as he searches for his second win of the season.
If you’re looking to save some salary, Sonny Gray (30.2% CSW, 19.3% K-BB% in 2019) has picked up right where he left off last year, and gets to face a Brewers team that has been not too great offensively to start the year. They currently have the third-worst team K rate at 28.7%.
Honorable Mentions: Sonny Gray, CIN ($9,400 DK, $10,800 FD) at MIL; Lance Lynn, TEX ($9,700 DK, $9,400 FD) vs LAA.
Value SP: Andrew Heaney, LAA ($7,800 DK, $7,500 FD) at TEX
Although his last start against the Mariners was a bit underwhelming, managing just three strikeouts and four walks, Andrew Heaney (30.2% CSW, 21.5% K-BB% in 2019) did manage to bump his pitch count up considerably from 64 to 87. Today, the Angels find themselves as road favorites against the Rangers, an offense that struggled mightily against southpaws last season with a 25.5% team K rate, third from the bottom.
Honorable Mention: Spencer Turnbull, DET ($8,000 DK, $8,100 FD) at PIT; Brandon Woodruff, MIL ($8,100 DK, $9,100 FD) vs CIN.
OF Eddie Rosario, MIN ($4,400 DK, $3,000 FD) at KC
It’s an extremely small sample size, but one of the things to keep an eye on could be Brady Singer’s splits against lefties. While Singer has shown a very impressive 37.9% K rate against righties, that number drops to just 21.9% against lefties. Lefties have also managed a .425 xwOBA against his fastball and a .434 xwOBA against his slider, suggesting some suspect command. He’s held himself well through his first three starts, but this will be an extremely tough task for the rookie as he’ll face the Twins. Likely cleanup man Eddie Rosario holds the platoon advantage here for the Twins, who along with Red Sox and Nationals, are the only team to have an implied total over five runs.
Honorable Mentions: Peter Alonso, 1B ($4,500 DK, $3,600 FD) vs MIA; Juan Soto, OF ($3,800 FD) vs BAL; Max Kepler, OF ($4,500 DK, $3,700 FD) at KC.
2B/OF Cavan Biggio, TOR ($4,900 DK, $3,400 FD) at BOS.
Nathan Eovaldi looks to be one of the more vulnerable pitchers of the slate. While the results early on have been fairly decent, he hasn’t missed many bats with just a 9.1% swinging K rate and he’s also allowed a .373 xwOBA to opposing hitters. Last season lefties crushed him to the tune of .397 wOBA making Cavan Biggio an option to consider as the Jays leadoff man.
Honorable Mentions: Nelson Cruz, OF ($5,300 DK, $4,100 FD) at KC; J.D. Martinez, OF ($5,400 DK, $3,700 FD) vs TOR; Rafael Devers, 3B ($5,100 DK, $3,300 FD) vs. TOR.
Value Batter: OF Alex Verdugo, BOS ($3,300 DK, $2,300 FD) vs TOR
Evidently the projections over at FTN aren’t too keen on the Cobbler as the Red Sox currently have the highest implied total of the afternoon at over five and a half runs. Though to be fair, Matt Shoemaker hasn’t been all that bad in his career having held both righties and lefties to a .311 and .306 wOBA respectively. Regardless, Boston’s new leadoff man Alex Verdugo once again finds himself as a premier value play to consider against the visiting Shoemaker who is coming off a rough start against the Braves his last time out.
If you’re looking for more unconventional value plays for tournaments, keep an eye on the Rays lineup as they’ll face a James Paxton that has looked completely broken to start the season. The righty bats Yandy Diaz, Hunter Renfroe, and Jose Martinez among others could all be interesting cheap bats to consider if you’re trying to be creative in GPPs.
Honorable Mentions: C.J. Cron, 1B ($3,100 DK, $3,100 FD) at PIT; Brandon Nimmo, OF ($3,100 DK, $2,900 FD) vs MIA; Jacoby Jones, OF ($3,100 DK, $3,000 FD) at PIT; Michael Conforto, OF ($3,700 DK, $3,000 FD) vs MIA; Dominic Smith, 1B/OF ($3,400 DK, $2,500 FD) vs MIA; J.D. Davis, OF ($3,600 DK, $2,700 FD) vs MIA; Yandy Diaz, 1B/3B ($3,400 DK, $2,500 FD).
Lineup Stack: Twins at KC (RHP Brady Singer)
With so many excellent starting pitchers in today’s slate, very few teams stick out as clear stacking candidates. Currently, only the Nationals (FanDuel only), Red Sox, and Twins have an implied total over five runs. Of course, anytime you talk about the Twins it starts with Nelson Cruz, but as mentioned earlier, Singer could be significantly more vulnerable against lefty hitters making Rosario in addition to leadoff man Max Kepler, clear choices. While Jorge Polanco (.372 wOBA vs RHP last year) is a high-floor option hitting second.
Honorable Mentions: WAS vs BAL (Wojciechowski); BOS vs TOR (Shoemaker); TOR at BOS (Eovaldi).
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)