Happy Saturday! We’ve got a fun eleven-game slate to play with starting at 4:05 EST. FanDuel, somewhat strangely, decided to also include the three late games starting at 7:15 EST in their main slate. Note that today we’re going to focus primarily on the afternoon games here.
Top Tier Pitching
Corbin Burnes ($10,500 DK, $12,000 FD) leads the slate by a wide margin with a 39% K-BB% through his ten starts on the year. The Brewers are also the biggest favorites on the board (-269). They’ll host the Pirates who have shown next to no power all season hitting 42 home runs on the season last by a wide margin, the Rockies being second worst with 54. Though, the return of Ke’Bryan Hayes does at least give them a much needed power threat. The Pirates do have one thing in common with the Dodgers at least, a team K rate of just 22.9% on the year tied for sixth-lowest. Regardless, Burnes looks to have the highest floor considering his ridiculous strikeout ability (18.5% swinging K rate, 36.3% CSW 2021) making him today’s anchor for cash formats. He is coming off of an incredible 13 strikeout performance (48.1% CSW) against the Diamondbacks that saw him toss a season-high 106 pitches. I think there’s some value in his price on DraftKings.
Dylan Cease (18.9% K-BB%, 29.9% CSW 2021) has made the leap that some were anticipating as we’ve seen his K rate jump from just 17.3% last season to 29.4% this year backed by a 15.1% swinging K rate. And better yet, he gets the Tigers again today. He’s already crushed them twice this year scoring 36.2 and 41 DraftKings points against them in his previous starts. With the White Sox installed as massive road favorites (-175) I don’t really see a reason to avoid Cease outside of just trying to zag in tournaments. And that might not be a bad idea for tournaments as he should be fairly popular and is, in spite of his improvements this year, still a very volatile pitcher. I still think for cash games Burnes should be the preferred option over Cease on DraftKings as the gap in salary isn’t all that much at $10,500 DK and $9,600 respectively. On FanDuel you’re getting more of an appreciable discount where Burnes is a massive $12,000 tag, still I think our next option might be an even better play on FanDuel.
Joe Musgrove ($9,300 DK, $8,300 FD) is well behind Burnes with a 29.2% K-BB%, but even still he’s dazzled with a 2.33 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. The Padres are decent road favorites against the Mets (-124) this afternoon. We saw Musgrove’s upside in his last outing against these same Mets, recording ten strikeouts (34% CSW) over five innings. One thing to note, Musgrove has gone past five innings just once in his past seven starts so he might not be the best bet for length and a shot at the decision, regardless the underlying skills here are very strong as he’s struck out both lefties and righties at a rate of over 30% this year. He seems like an excellent value on FanDuel.
Marcus Stroman (14.6% K-BB%, 27.9% CSW 2021) should go largely ignored today as a home dog against the Padres. However, he is coming off of a strong performance against them his last time out. The Padres have been largely disappointing from a power standpoint thus far with just a .138 team ISO, third from the bottom. At $9,000 on DraftKings and $9,200 on FanDuel, Stroman is worth considering in tournaments if he fits. He’s been very effective this year holding righties to just a .264 wOBA and lefties to a .250 wOBA.
We’ve seen Rich Hill (17.6% K-BB%, 33% CSW 2021) have some incredible performances this year but given that he’s now coming off of two consecutive performances of under 60 pitches its difficult to justify his price tag ($9,400 DK, $7,700 FD), unless, of course, you’ve established a telepathic connection with Kevin Cash. The Rays are massive home favorites (-209) against the Orioles.
And if you’re on FanDuel, Trevor Bauer (23.6% K-BB%, 29.8% CSW) and the Dodgers are the biggest favorite on the board by far (-277) as they host the Rangers again tonight.
Value Tier Pitching
Jameson Taillon ($6,900 DK, $6,200 FD) looks like an exceptional value today as an SP2 on DraftKings. Taillon, despite his struggles with the long ball at times, has still shown strong strikeout skills and his 18.7% K-BB% on the year is fifth on this afternoon’s list of probables, just behind Cease and yet his salary ranks 16th on DraftKings. Taillon has shown some pretty strong splits this season holding righties to a fantastic .273 wOBA. While lefties have hit him to the tune of a .388 mark. If he can manage to get by Bryce Harper, Taillon would appear to have a pretty strong platoon advantage with the rest of Joe Girardi’s right-handed leaning lineup.
Max Fried (14.4% CSW, 28.3% CSW 2021) is certainly on the board today as an SP 2 considering the Marlins have K’d at a 28.2% clip against lefties this year (fourth highest).
Triston McKenzie ($8,000 DK, $6,400 FD) is making his return to the rotation following a brief demotion to the minors. That’s something that could go overlooked considering how much “Sticks” has struggled this year. As we saw last night with Aaron Civale, this is a Mariner’s offense that is struggling some. For the year, their .283 team wOBA is dead last. It’s a get right spot for McKenzie who is a fantastic boom/bust SP 2 for DraftKings tournaments. Don’t forget he struck out ten batters, including eight in a row, in his final start prior to his demotion. The Indians are slight home favorites today (-115).
On the other side of that game, Yusei Kikuchi ($7,800 DK, $8,800 FD) is definitely worth considering as an SP 2 on DraftKings. He’s been strong overall with an 18.4% K-BB% and 31.3% CSW. The Indians, meanwhile, have been mostly punchless as a team against southpaws with just a .295 team wOBA in that split (24th).
Wade Miley ($7,600 DK, $8,100 FD) gets the road Rockies and was very effective in his last start recording eight K’s over five innings against the Cardinals. We’ve seen him crack the 100 pitch count mark twice this year too. The Reds are solid home favorites (-138) this afternoon.
Cash Game Bats
The White Sox jump to the top of the board with their implied team total of just over five runs. José Ureña is easily one of the weaker pitchers on the slate and an ugly Tigers pen is lurking too so I wouldn’t hesitate to target any and all White Sox hitters. Considering Ureña’s 10.2% K rate against lefties over the past three seasons, Yasmani Grandal ($4,600 DK, $3,000 FD) and Yoán Moncada ($5,300 DK, $3,100 FD) deserve long looks in all formats. With Jake Lamb ($3,300 DK, $2,200 FD) as a strong potential value play. The righty Andrew Vaughn ($3,600 DK, $2,200 FD) is another value to consider here as well.
It’s hard to get excited about this Brewers lineup. However, they are worth a look today by virtue of their matchup against Chad Kuhl (3.4% K-BB%, 28.4% CSW 2021). Christian Yelich ($6,100 DK, $3,800 FD) is a prime spend up option for all formats considering Kuhl has allowed a .332 wOBA and .221 ISO against lefties over the past three seasons. The Brewers have an implied team total of just under five runs. Omar Narvaez ($4,000 DK, $2,200 FD) is a potential play to consider at catcher if he’s in there. Luis Urías ($3,900 DK, $2,700 FD) is another reasonable value play leading off as he has shown strong OBP skills.
The Red Sox have an implied team total of just under five runs in their matchup against Steven Matz (17.3% K-BB%, 29.8% CSW 2021). Over the past three seasons, Matz has ceded a .344 wOBA and .220 ISO to RHB thrusting J.D. Martinez ($5,200 DK, $3,800 FD) and Xander Bogaerts ($5,600 DK, $3,600 FD) to the forefront in all formats. While Hunter Renfroe ($4,000 DK, $2,200 FD) is a boom/bust play best reserved for tournaments.
Jackson Kowar’s debut did not go well. If you’re looking for a spend up option for all formats, look no further than Matt Olson ($5,400 DK, $3,400 FD). He looks like an exceptional value on FanDuel. The Athletics’ team total sits at a robust five runs.
Chase Field’s roof should be closed today which puts a little damper on the offense. Even still, I’d have interest in both Anthony Rendon ($4,600 DK, $3,300 FD) and Justin Upton ($3,800 DK, $3,300 FD) considering that D-Backs’ starter Caleb Smith has surrendered a .236 ISO to opposing righties over the past three seasons.
I’ve been burnt a few times this year picking on Nick Pivetta (15.9% K-BB%, 27.3% CSW 2021). To his credit he’s been much improved from his gas can days in Philadelphia. This year he’s held both righties and lefties to a .300 wOBA on the nose. Still, the Blue Jays are a fun tournament stack anytime they might be overlooked. That feels like it should be the case today. At the very least you almost have to have interest in Vladimir Guerrero Jr./strong> ($5,100 DK, $4,200 FD) in tournaments as a one-off.
As of this writing, the Marlins have yet to announce a starter for tonight’s contest. The Braves and in particular Ronald Acuña Jr./strong> ($6,200 DK, $4,300 FD) could be overlooked on such a big slate. In which case I’d be pretty excited here for tournaments.
Over the past three seasons, Jorge López has allowed a .376 wOBA and .238 ISO to opposing LHB while striking them out just 20.6% of the time. Don’t forget about Brandon Lowe ($4,400 DK, $2,600 FD) and Austin Meadows ($6,000 DK, $3,800 FD) if you’re multi-entering tournaments.
Even when he’s pitching at Coors Field I’m a little hesitant in targeting Germán Márquez (13.5% K-BB%, 29% CSW 2021). Still, the Reds, as we saw last night, are a powerful offense capable of doing a lot of damage if he’s off. Marquez’s K rate dips off noticeably against LHB so I’d have the most interest in Jesse Winker ($5,800 DK, $4,400 FD) as an elite one-off. Joey Votto ($4,300 DK, $2,900 FD) is priced reasonably too and is worth considering in tournaments if you’re looking to stack this spot.
The Rockies are largely ignored when they are away from Coors. And by the numbers, that’s the correct play given their offensive woes on the road. Wade Miley (14.1% K-BB%, 25.5% CSW 2021) has been fairly decent this year so I’m not incredibly excited. Still, the GABP is a great spot to hunt for power so Trevor Story ($5,100 DK, $3,300 FD), C.J. Cron ($4,600 DK, $2,400 FD), and Brendan Rodgers ($3,000 DK, $2,200 FD) are contrarian plays for those multi-entering.
The Yankees get a sort of boom/bust type of matchup against the Phillies’ right-hander Vince Velasquez (13.8% K-BB%, 26.8% CSW 2021). They’ll almost certainly be without Giancarlo Stanton in the N.L. park. Outside of Aaron Judge ($5,600 DK, $4,100 FD) the rest of this lineup is probably best reserved for tournament stacks. Going back to 2019, Velasquez has allowed a .351 wOBA and .203 ISO to LHB and marks of .339 and .233 to RHB respectively. Rougned Odor ($3,300 DK, $2,000 FD) is a possible tournament punt play at 2B. On the other side of this game, Bryce Harper ($4,700 DK, $3,700 FD) is an excellent tournament one-off if you’re looking to take advantage of Taillon’s splits.
I don’t really want to pick on Yusei Kikuchi (18.4% K-BB%, 31.3% CSW 2021) as he’s held both lefties and righties to under a .300 wOBA this year. Still, the Indians do have an implied total of five runs, which seems a little high. Anyways, Harold Ramírez ($3,100 DK, $2,600 FD) is an interesting value play in tournaments considering his .391 xwOBA and minuscule 11.6% K rate.
As mentioned earlier, I really like Triston McKenzie as a tournament play. Still, we can’t ignore his immense struggles earlier this year. In which case I’d be most interested in Kyle Seager ($3,800 DK, $2,900 FD) considering McKenzie has allowed a .353 wOBA to lefties this season. Or better yet, Jake Bauers revenge game anyone? I’m kidding. Sort of.
For FanDuel tournaments I would look to the Dodgers for potential leverage in tournaments as they should go under represented considering their late start. Justin Turner ($3,500 FD), A.J. Pollock ($2,200 FD), and Will Smith ($2,600 FD) look like strong values. And don’t forget Mookie Betts ($4,200 FD) as the likely leadoff man. They’ll hold the platoon advantage against the suspect lefty Kolby Allard. The Dodgers have a team total hovering just under five runs.
And speaking of FanDuel tournaments, you have another elite offense available at your stacking leisure in the Astros whose matchup against José Berríos (19% K-BB%, 29.1% CSW 2021) hardly sticks out suggesting they probably won’t be too popular.
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