Tonight’s main slate on DraftKings features just six games, though that could be whittled down to five with a potential rainout lurking in Chicago where the White Sox will be hosting the Orioles.
Top SP: Chris Bassitt OAK ($8,300 DK, $9,100 FD) vs. LAA
The Hound, Chris Bassitt, leads tonight’s slate of pitchers with a 19.8% K-BB% through ten starts. He’s been remarkably efficient, going seven or more innings in three of his last four starts. In his most recent outing, against these same Angels, he went seven and two-thirds innings while recording eight strikeouts backed by a 30.5% CSW. Still missing Mike Trout, the visiting Angels’ implied run total sits at under three runs with the A’s installed as strong home favorites (-144) for tonight’s contest.
The Reds/Nationals game features two interesting options as well. Sonny Gray has been just about the same pitcher he was last season with a 17.9% K-BB% and 32.7% CSW through his first seven starts. He hasn’t been quite as sharp as Bassitt in terms of efficiency and as a road dog tonight it doesn’t set up as well for him on paper, so if choosing between the two, taking the discount with Bassitt seems like the way to go on DraftKings.
Stephen Strasburg is the enigma tonight. In his first start back from a shoulder ailment, he managed five and a third innings but his fastball velocity was down noticeably and so too was his usual impeccable control. More importantly, he finished with just 72 pitches. Given his lengthy injury history, his workload seems uncertain at best. He is, at least, a home favorite (-127), and considering the paucity of choices tonight he has to be an option but one that seems best reserved for tournaments. Note, the Reds/Nationals game isn’t offered on FanDuel.
Dylan Cease (16.6% K-BB%, 29.3% CSW 2021) is the biggest favorite on the board (-227) at home against the Orioles and would be a viable option in all formats if the weather cooperates. But as mentioned earlier, that game looks to be at risk of being washed out. Skills-wise, Cease has taken a leap this year, seeing his K rate climb from 17.3% to 29.9% this season backed by an impressive 14.5% swinging K rate, but efficiency still remains a deterrent to his ascension as his 12.4% walk rate can attest to.
Value SP: Alex Wood, SF ($6,900 DK, $9,800 FD) at LAD
Alex Wood’s current 18.8% K-BB% would be a career-best. He’s starting to look like the guy who made an All-Star appearance back with the Dodgers in 2017. In his last start, also against his former club, he threw six innings and recorded seven strikeouts backed by a 32.3% CSW. His resurgence seems to be further validated by an uptick in velocity, as he averaged just over 92 with his fastball in his last start to go along with a slider that’s carrying a 43.1% whiff rate so far. The Dodgers have yet to announce a starter for tonight’s game so the line isn’t out yet. He looks like a strong value on DraftKings, not so much on FanDuel though.
What do we do with Shohei Ohtani? After striking out ten Astros, Ohtani didn’t get through five innings in a much less imposing draw with the Indians. And more importantly, his velocity was way down. There’s been no indication of any sort of injury. Ohtani’s risk is seemingly elevated now considering his last start, but you know the upside is fantastic. He’s the ultimate boom/bust play at pitcher tonight.
Honorable Mention: Shohei Ohtani, LAA ($7,700 DK, $10,300 FD) at OAK.
OF Ketel Marte, ARI ($4,800 DK, $3,200 FD) vs. STL
With strikeout rates climbing across the league, Carlos Martínez has instead seen his continue to dip for the third straight season, down to 12.1%. Along with the lack of strikeouts comes an elevated .364 xwOBA and 5.46 xERA so far this year. For his career, Martínez has allowed a .326 wOBA and 1.49 WHIP to LHB as opposed to marks of .272 and 1.09 WHIP to RHB respectively so the lefties here make the most sense on paper. Before a hamstring injury cost him a few weeks, the switch-hitting Ketel Marte was showing signs of returning to the 2019 version of himself with a .368 xwOBA and .340/ .373/ .574 slash through 51 PA.
3B Nolan Arenado, STL ($5,700 DK, $3,200 FD) at ARI
This looks like the game to target for offense tonight. Two specious pitchers down in hitter-friendly Chase Field where game-time temperatures will be hovering around the mid-90s. The roof has been open the last few games adding to the offensive upside. After being traded away from Coors Field and subsequently dismissed by many in season-long leagues, yours truly included, Nolan Arenado has been the key cog for the Cardinals lineup slashing .288/.338/.539 so far this year. Assuming the White Sox get washed out, the Cardinals lead the way tonight with an implied team total of just under five runs.
Value Batter: OF Adolis García, TEX ($3,600 DK, $3,800 FD) at SEA
The Rangers are another potential source of value. Chris Flexen (8.4% K-BB%, 20.4% CSW 2021) has not been great so far. And Adolis García leads baseball with 16 home runs so far. Given his impressive production to date backed by a superlative .381 xwOBA and 19.6% barrel rate, it’s hard not to be drawn to the sub $4,000 salary on DraftKings. He seems more appropriately priced on FanDuel, but Willie Calhoun also makes sense as a potential value. His power upside and low K rate from the leadoff spot make him a viable option for all formats. Nate Lowe and Joey Gallo are also priced affordably and carry power upside too. Again, Flexen isn’t missing any bats so I’d have no reservations in mixing and matching with Rangers bats as needed.
The Mariners are an offense worth looking at tonight as well. They’ll be getting four innings or so of the lefty Kolby Allard (19.8% K-BB%, 25.4% CSW 2021) followed by a Texas pen so not an imposing matchup by any means. Either Kyle Lewis (.339 xwOBA this year) or Ty France (.329 xwOBA this year) look like great one-offs for tournaments.
Honorable Mentions: Dylan Carlson, OF ($3,100 DK, $2,200 FD) at ARI; Willie Calhoun, OF ($3,000 DK, $2,800 FD) at SEA; Joey Gallo, OF ($3,900 DK, $3,000 FD) at SEA; Josh Rojas, 2B/SS ($3,800 DK, $2,500 FD) vs. STL; Kyle Lewis, OF ($3,700 DK, $2,900 FD) vs. TEX; Ty France, 2B/3B ($2,900 DK, $2,000 FD) vs. TEX; Nate Lowe, 1B ($3,500 DK, $2,600 FD) at SEA.
Top Stack: ARI vs STL (Martínez)
I’m going back to the game in the desert. Martínez just hasn’t done much this year to instill confidence in his performance so I’m siding with the Diamondbacks tonight. Marte (.336 career wOBA) is the best overall hitter here. Pegged as a potential breakout following his trade away from the Astros, Josh Rojas might finally be delivering with a .369 wOBA so far this year. And his minor league numbers indicate that his recent success shouldn’t be too surprising. Eduardo Escobar (.320 career wOBA) has also been productive from a power standpoint at least with 12 home runs so far. David Peralta (.349 career wOBA) has been terrific against RHP for his career with a .305 average and .369 wOBA. I’d mostly want to stick with the lefties here, but it’s hard to ignore Carson Kelly (.320 career wOBA) as he’s put up a .439 wOBA backed by an equally impressive .442 xwOBA. He looks like one of the better options at what is always a thin catcher position. Former first-rounder Pavin Smith (.313 wOBA/.352 xwOBA this year) is another lefty to consider towards the bottom of the lineup for tournaments.
Honorable Mentions: STL at ARI (Peacock); CWS vs BAL (Zimmermann); TEX at SEA (Flexen).
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