Top Tier Pitching
Lance Lynn might be worth fading as he gets the worst matchup of the night against the Houston Astros who lead baseball with a .342 team wOBA. They also strike out at just an 18.6% rate, lowest in the league. They will, however, be down one of their big hitters in Alex Bregman.
I’m leaning towards Framber Valdez in the top tier as we’re getting him at a little bit of a discount off of Lynn and he’s the favorite in this game (-122). He recorded just two strikeouts in his last outing but the good thing is that he’s been remarkably efficient going seven innings in each of his last three starts. And we’ve seen upside too as he’s peaked 30 DK points twice against a tough Boston lineup no less, recording eight and ten strikeouts in those two starts.
If the game plays, Adam Wainwright (not listed above) seems like an easy fade at his salary ($9,300 DK, $8,400 FD) on the road against a tough Braves lineup.
Walker Buehler should be just fine tonight in terms of run prevention as he takes on the Diamondbacks who have been underwhelming with a .298 team wOBA (23rd). But, I think he’s overpriced based on his relatively modest K rate this year of 23.8%. Valdez is just barely behind him at 23.5% and is coming at a much friendlier price on both sites. Of the three top options going tonight, Buehler is the one who also looks to be overperforming the most considering his 2.38 ERA and 3.82 xERA. Buehler has appeal as a massive road favorite (-202) but his expensive salary limits his point per dollar upside.
Austin Gomber has been on a roll lately and is certainly a playable, albeit an extremely risky, SP 2 on DraftKings. The Brewers’ strikeout rate against LHP this year stands at 28.4%, the third-highest. Although, it feels like that was inflated at least a little by Keston Hiura’s struggles who was recently sent back down.
Even if his game plays, it’s awfully difficult to endorse Drew Smyly as he’s rocking a 5.71 xERA and 1.41 WHIP to go along with a K rate under 20%.
Give him credit, Vladimir Gutierrez has pitched well through his first four starts. But tonight I don’t think there is upside worth chasing against a tough Padres lineup considering his K rate of just 20% on the year.
Logan Gilbert might be finding his footing after a shaky first couple of starts. He’s got strikeout upside worth gambling on in tournaments. And the Rays could oblige, as they are just behind the Tigers with the second-worst K rate in baseball at 27.1%. We saw Gilbert’s pitch count creep over 100 a couple of starts ago too. I like him as a pivot off of Sandoval in tournaments.
Josh Fleming hasn’t shown much strikeout ability this year and comes with pitch count uncertainty. There’s a little bit of appeal though as an SP 2 on DraftKings since he’s a decent road favorite against a weak Mariners lineup (27.6% team K rate vs LHP, fifth-worst) and costs just $6,800.
Cash Game Bats
Prior to his one inning appearance this past Tuesday, we hadn’t seen Wily Peralta at the major-league level since late in the 2019 season where he closed out a few games for the Royals. After bursting out for eleven runs last night, the Angels offense is poised to erupt again tonight as they are installed with an implied total of 5.7 runs, tops on the slate. Peralta has allowed a .361 wOBA to lefties for his career, making Jared Walsh ($5,400 DK, $3,800 FD) and, of course, Shohei Ohtani ($5,500 DK, $4,400 FD) the priority targets. Anthony Rendon ($4,500 DK, $3,700 FD) is another bat worth targeting if he’s able to return tonight.
Any and all Rockies are worth targeting tonight as they’ll see the righty Adrian Houser who has shown just a 19.9% K rate. Considering that he’s allowed a .358 wOBA to lefties for his career, I’d be looking in particular at Raimel Tapia ($3,500 DK, $3,600 DK), Ryan McMahon ($5,400 DK, $4,500 FD), and Charlie Blackmon ($4,500 DK, $3,900 FD).
Tapia looks like an especially strong value from the leadoff spot. Rockies’ prospect Brendan Rodgers ($3,400 DK, $3,300 FD) is an upside value play likely hitting towards the bottom of the order. C.J. Cron ($4,300 DK, $3,700 FD) has come alive lately and is at an affordable salary relative to his power upside, though he’s probably best reserved for tournaments.
The Dodgers have an implied team total of over five runs and get one of the best matchups of the night in Matt Peacock. The righty has just a 15.6% K rate on the year and has allowed a .350 wOBA (.343 xwOBA) to opposing hitters.
In particular, he’s had a very tough time against lefties allowing a .394 wOBA and .311 ISO to them this year. If only Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager or Max Muncy were here. Regardless, Gavin Lux ($3,700 DK, $2,900 FD) looks like a strong value as he projects to hit second and will have the L/R advantage. Mookie Betts ($5,700 DK, $4,200 FD) and Justin Turner ($5,100 DK, $3,900 FD) are excellent spends in the top of the order. While A.J. Pollock ($3,100 DK, $2,600 FD) and the lefty Matt Beaty ($3,600 DK, $2,200 FD) are both value options lower in the order.
Drew Smyly’s K rate has collapsed to just 19.8% this year and he’s allowed a .355 xwOBA to righties. As mentioned, the Braves game could be wiped out by rain, but if it plays there could be some appeal with the likes of Tyler O’Neill ($4,000 DK, $3,000 FD), Paul Goldschmidt ($4,100 DK, $3,400 FD), and Nolan Arenado ($5,200, $3,500 FD).
As Jai Correa details here, Austin Gomber has pitched better of late and single-handedly torpedoed Padres stacks his last time out as he blanked them across eight innings. Another interesting thing there is that Gomber has actually allowed a higher xwOBA to lefties for his career as opposed to righties. It’s reflected in his K rate too, against righties the past two seasons it’s at 26.6%, while against lefties it drops to 19.9%. After two quiet games at Coors field, Christian Yelich’s ($5,900 DK, $4,300 FD) roster percentage will probably take a dip tonight against the lefty. As for the rest of the Brewers’ offense, they’ve been weak as a whole and given that Gomber has pitched well lately I’m looking at them as just a boom/bust type of stack.
Vladimir Gutierrez has shown strong command through his first four starts so I’m going to put the Padres, who have an implied total just shy of five runs, in the tournament bin. Although, Trent Grisham ($4,100 DK, $3,500 FD) is at an affordable price point for all formats considering he’ll have the platoon advantage here.
The Padres’ nominal starter will be Miguel Diaz, but this will essentially be a bullpen game as he’ll be capped at three innings or so. It’s an interesting spot for the Reds in tournaments, they’re third in team wOBA at .327 and will be most likely ignored. If you’re multi-entering, targeting hitters like Nick Castellanos ($4,400 DK, $3,900 FD) and or Jesse Winker ($5,600 DK, $4,200 FD) could really separate you from the pack in tournaments.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)