The weekend is over, folks! Back to our daily grinds. This slate is a 10-game affair that looks like it will be light on high-end pitching. That means the focus needs to be on established hitting to pair with value bats and stacks. The major concern is the weather—a couple of games look like they will be in jeopardy: MIL at PHI and LAD at CHC. The first game locks at 7:05 EST, so stay tuned for weather updates throughout the day. Good luck!
Top SP: Tyler Glasnow, TB ($10,300 DK, 10,800 FD) @ LAA
The king of Ks today will likely be Tyler Glasnow. Cillian Murphy’s doppelganger sports a massive 13.38 K/9, one of the best stats to indicate a pitcher with a high level of K-upside. His matchup is a little tough, given the Angels only strike out 21% of the time. Still, double-digit Ks are on the horizon if Glasnow can stay in the game long enough.
The next reason to love Glasnow is the walks are under control. In years past, we ran from Glasnow because his BB% would be over 10%. But fear not, Glasnow has kept the BB rate to a mild 7.7%. Put the lack of walks, with the batters not making loud contact against him (7.9% barrel rate and 1.91 xERA), and you’re looking at a must-start ace in nearly all formats-especially cash games and double-ups.
Honorable Mentions: Walker Buehler, ($9,600 DK, $10,200 FD) @ CHC.
Value SP: Kenta Maeda, MIN($7,800 DK, $6,900 FD) vs TEX
Woe is me, Kenta Maeda! The disastrous start to the season has caused his salary to plummet on both sportsbook sites. The big problem standing in the way is Maeda’s lack of strikeouts. His K/9 is down to a meager 7.71, as opposed to the career 9.82 K/9. So I can understand why some people wouldn’t trust him, but we will take the leap of faith and grab him as the value SP, and here is why.
The surface stats are hideous (6.56 ERA through 23 IP), but he hides a 4.26 xFIP and 4.32 SIERA. The main reason for the outlandish ERA is the HR problem. His HR/FB is 26.9%, well above his career average of 14.2%. The four-seam fastball and slider have been punished when left over the plate. Luckily, today’s matchup is very enticing for Maeda. He faces off against the Rangers, who strike out at nearly a 30% clip against RHP.
3B José Ramírez, CLE ($5,300 DK, $3,100 FD) @ KC
Let’s pick on the new kid! Daniel Lynch is making his MLB debut, and J-Ram is going to take advantage. We have only laid eyes on Lynch at high-A ball back in 2019. Sure, he is doing some work at the alternate sites and is an exciting young prospect. But there is a massive bump in talent at the MLB level.
Ramírez’s Statcast metrics fully back up the success we see in 2021. He touts the 96th percentile in xwOBA, 81st percentile in hard-hit rate, and 79th percentile in barrel%. To sum it up, the eight HRs and .969 OPS are no mirage. Another reason to love J-Ram today: the strikeout rate is better than ever. More contact, plus a 12.9% barrel rate, is kismet for today’s established batter call.
1B/3B Vladamir Guerrero Jr., TOR ($5,400 DK, $4,400 FD) at OAK
2021 is the breakout party for Vlad. Through his first 86 at-bats, Vlad has not only collected 29 hits but seven HRs. He is a massive upside play because, at any given AB, there is HR potential. A .496 xwOBAcon sends chills down your spine, and when paired with a K-rate under 18%-scary for any starting pitcher to face. The matchup against Montas might keep some people away from him, but if you dig a little, you’ll find that Vlad’s slashing .338/.449/.635 with a 1.085 OPS against RHP. He looks locked and loaded for another big night.
Value Batter: Alex Kirolloff, MIN ($2,900 DK, $2,400 FD) vs TEX
Not many of us had a weekend as great as Kirolloff. In 14 plate appearances, AK mashed four balls into the stands and put up ten RBI. The kid can absolutely rake! Keep in mind this is small samples, but he has eight barrels in only 27 batted ball events. On top of that, his .735 xwOBAcon and 63% hard-hit rate suggest that good things will happen anytime he is making contact.
The potential really makes Kirolloff the value play of the day. His salary has not been adjusted due to a limited amount of plate appearances. These types of players are perfect one-off targets to drop in your lineups!
Top Stack: Seattle Mariners vs BAL (RHP Dean Kremer)
The weather will likely eliminate a few teams that would be terrific stacks, so we are pivoting to the Mariners. There are a couple of reasons we are looking at Seattle. First, they draw an enticing matchup against Dean Kremer. Baltimore’s SP has a 2.4 HR/9, and commanding his pitches in the strike zone has always been a struggle. Sometimes you have to look for the weaker options at SP and take from there. In this case, Mitch Haniger, José Marmolejos, Kyle Lewis, and Taylor Trammell are priced very reasonably. Also, if we are in any GPP, we need to keep things a little different. Following the crowd is never going to make for a big payday. Let the masses chase the matchup in Coors Field or get stuck taking zeros in a rainout.
Honorable Mentions: CLE at KC (Lynch), MIN vs TEX (Dunning).
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)