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Top SP: Aaron Nola, PHI ($10,400 DK, $10,200 FD) vs WAS
Skills-wise Aaron Nola is by far the top pitcher of the slate. So far this season he’s shown an outstanding 34.8% K rate easily the best mark of his career and of tonight’s probable starters. His last time out against this same Nationals team he went seven innings while collecting eight strikeouts (32% CSW).
Tonight’s second-highest K rate belongs to Zach Plesac (31.2%) although that was only a three-start sample. Coming off a long-layoff he’s a wildcard for tonight and is probably best reserved for tournaments.
Honorable Mentions: Julio Urías, LAD ($9,700 DK, $7,300 FD) vs ARI; Zach Plesac, CLE ($8,300 DK, $9,700 FD) at KC.
Value SP: Framber Valdez, HOU ($8,100 DK, $9,900 FD) vs TEX
Framber Valdez is fresh off of a seven-inning start against the Angels which saw him collect a whopping 11 strikeouts (38% CSW). I have to be honest, I’m not convinced Valdez is as good as he’s been so far, as he’s leaning heavily on a curveball and not much else, but a lack of standout options and a fair price puts him squarely on the radar tonight. A match-up against the Rangers and their .290 team wOBA against southpaws (tied for seventh worst) definitely adds to the appeal. Note that Valdez is a decent value on DraftKings. On FanDuel at his price point, I’d be much, much more inclined to find a way to get the extra $300 for Aaron Nola.
Another match-up based play is Josh Lindblom. His ERA of 6.31 may be unsightly, but a 31.6% K rate and an xERA of 3.71 are both very intriguing. He’s cheap and we always like to target the Tigers and their league-worst 28.6% K rate against RHP.
Honorable Mention: Josh Lindblom, MIL ($6,600 DK, $6,800 FD) vs DET.
1B Brandon Belt, SF ($4,200 DK, $3,800 FD) at COL
Not surprisingly, the Giants are at the top of the board tonight with an implied total of over six runs. They’ll face the righty Jon Gray who has so far this year posted the lowest K-BB% of his career at 6.4%. That’s nearly a 10% drop in K rate when compared to last year. An xERA of 5.45 this season doesn’t inspire much confidence either. Brandon Belt will have the platoon advantage and has been very productive lately with a 266 wRC+ over the last two weeks. Overall, he’s been excellent with a .410 wOBA (.413 xwOBA) in 83 at-bats. Belt will be a really popular Coors Field play, so if you’re looking for another option at first base, Freddie Freeman grades out really well with the Braves set to go against the struggling righty Ryan Weber at Fenway.
Honorable Mentions: Freddie Freeman, 1B ($5,300 DK, $4,000 FD) at BOS; Marcell Ozuna, OF ($4,200 DK, $3,300 FD) at BOS; Brandon Nimmo, OF ($4,500 DK, $2,900 FD) at BAL; Trevor Story, SS ($5,700 DK, $4,400 FD) vs SF; Charlie Blackmon, OF ($5,900 DK, $4,200 FD) vs SF; Anthony Rizzo, 1B ($5,100 DK, $3,900 FD) at PIT.
OF Kyle Tucker, HOU ($4,500 DK, $3,600 FD) vs TEX
A look at FTN’s Hot Hitter Report shows that Kyle Tucker has been crushing it lately with a 294+ wRC+ over the last two weeks. For the year the Astro’s top prospect has hit for a strong .368 wOBA (.354 xwOBA). The key tonight is a date with Jordan Lyles (Luis García will serve as the opener) whose K% and BB% are nearly even. That’s never a good thing and combine that with a .412 xwOBA allowed and we should be aggressive when targeting Astros hitters. For his career, Lyles has allowed a very generous .352 wOBA to LHB.
Honorable Mentions: Ronald Acuña Jr, OF ($4,800 DK, $4,100 FD) at BOS; Christian Yelich, OF ($5,100 DK, $4,100 FD) vs DET, Kyle Schwarber, OF ($4,300 DK, $3,200 FD) at PIT; Ian Happ, OF ($4,100 DK, $3,100 FD) at PIT; Michael Conforto, OF ($4,300, $3,100 FD) at BAL; Dominic Smith, OF ($4,600 DK, $3,600 FD) at BAL.
Value Batter: 3B Austin Riley, ATL ($3,400 DK, $2,500 FD) at BOS
A K rate north of 30% makes Austin Riley more of a risky bat on most nights, but thankfully tonight he gets the benefit of an excellent match-up against Ryan Weber who has somehow managed a -11.1% K-BB rate. That’s not a typo, and the fact that he’s starting tells you all you need to about the Red Sox 2020 season. Behind him lurks a pen that just lost some of its more reliable pitchers at the deadline. Riley is an excellent upside value play tonight at Fenway Park.
Honorable Mentions: Alex Dickerson, OF ($3,600 DK, $3,200 FD) at COL;Michael Brantley, OF ($3,200 DK, $2,900 FD) vs TEX; Jeff McNeil, 3B/OF ($3,400 DK, $2,500 FD) at BAL; Jason Heyward, OF ($2,300 DK, $2,800 FD) at PIT; Nick Solak, OF ($3,000 DK, $2,700 FD) at HOU; Nomar Mazara, OF ($2,400 DK, $2,100 FD) at MIN; Brandon Nimmo, OF ($2,900 FD) at BAL.
Lineup Stack: Braves at Boston Red Sox (RHP Ryan Weber)
The search for bats starts at Coors Field; we mentioned earlier Gray has really struggled missing bats this season, putting the Giants squarely on the radar. On the other side, Kevin Gausman, while he has upped his K rate considerably to over 30%, he has also allowed a 10.5% barrel rate on the season, so he’s no stranger to loud contact.
Asher Wojciechowski has allowed a .365 wOBA to lefties the past two seasons. He’ll face quite a few of them tonight with the Mets in Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Robinson Canó, and Jeff McNeil.
But let’s pick on Boston. As mentioned earlier the Red Sox will be turning to the righty Weber who has allowed a hideous .396 xwOBA. Considering that he threw just 46 pitches in his last appearance on the 26th, we should see plenty of the Boston pen here. Ronald Acuña Jr has been dealing with what appears to be a minor hamstring issue. If he returns, he’s one of the top plays of the night. Freddie Freeman (.423 xwOBA this season), Marcell Ozuna (.387 xwOBA this season), Dansby Swanson (.353 xwOBA this season), and the aforementioned Riley all have excellent power upside here as part of a road stack at Fenway.
Honorable Mentions: COL vs SF (Gausman); SF at COL (Gray); NYM at BAL (Wojciechowski); CHC at PIT(Kuhl).
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