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Top SP: Blake Snell, TB ($9,500 DK, $9,200 FD) at NYM
I have to admit it’s strange seeing Framber Valdez priced higher than Blake Snell. Although, based on the results this year the case is very close. For Snell a 3.05 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 21.7% K-BB%. And for Valdez 4.24, 1.19, and 19.1% respectively. Valdez does have the stronger matchup tonight, facing a Mariners team that’s really struggled against lefties this season with a 27% team K rate and league-worst .274 team wOBA. Both are strong plays, but let’s go with the more proven commodity in Snell who undoubtedly has the more dynamic repertoire, as Valdez is mostly a sinker/curveball pitcher. It’s reflected in their ability to get swinging strikes a 14.8% clip for Snell as opposed to 9.7% for Valdez. Some might shy away from Snell’s pitch count of just 73 in his last outing, but that may have had more to do with the Rays nursing a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on in a double-header; it’s worth noting that his pitch count in his previous start was 103. The Rays are modest road favorites tonight (-132).
Honorable Mentions: Framber Valdez, HOU ($9,700 DK, $10,000 FD) at SEA.
Value SP: Drew Smyly, SF ($7,600 DK, $7,600 FD) vs COL
Drew Smyly didn’t make it out of the fourth in his last start, but he continued to show off some impressive swing and miss ability racking up eight strikeouts (40% CSW). He gets the Rockies today and we’ve been targeting them all year on the road, as they’ve managed an ugly 26.5% K rate and .286 team wOBA (both fourth worst in baseball). Considering he threw just 76 pitches in his last outing, efficiency will be key, but there is certainly strikeout upside to be had here as a second SP. Also worth noting that the Rockies recently lost a key bat in Nolan Arenado.
If you’re multi-entering tournaments, Keegan Akin is someone worth considering as a value option. This will certainly regress some but he’s been impressive with a 36.4% K rate (15.5% swinging K rate) so far through four starts. The walk rate, though is definitely higher than you’d like at 12.1% and it adds to the risk here on the road at Fenway. But we’ve seen the upside too case in point being nine strikeouts (35% CSW) against the Braves his last time out. This will be Boston’s first time seeing him. He’s a risky boom/bust play for GPPs at a cheap salary.
1B Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5,600 DK, $4,000 FD) vs MIA
Along with the Padres and Dodgers, the Braves are right there with an implied team total of five and a half runs. José Ureña (1.5% K-BB% this season) will have the unenviable task of taking on a Braves offense that ranks first in wOBA against RHP at .367. We’ve seen Ureña struggle more so against LHB, as he’s allowed a .342 mark to them for his career, making Freddie Freeman, who owns a career .396 wOBA against RHP, a top play tonight.
Honorable Mentions: Fernando Tatís Jr, SS ($5,700 DK, $4,100 FD) vs LAA; Alex Bregman, 3B ($4,800 DK, $3,500 FD) at SEA; Ronald Acuña Jr, OF ($6,000 DK, $4,500 FD) vs MIA; George Springer, OF ($4,700 DK, $3,800 FD) at SEA; Corey Seager, SS ($5,300 DK, $3,800 FD) vs OAK.
OF Kyle Tucker, HOU ($4,200 DK, $3,400 FD) at SEA
Only three appearances for Ljay Newsome, so we don’t have much to look at. But in that sample, he has really struggled against lefty hitters, allowing a .487 wOBA while striking them out at a microscopic 12.5% clip. Astros bats are definitely on the board tonight on the road in Seattle as they have an implied total well over five runs. Kyle Tucker has been very productive this year against RHP tallying a .370 wOBA. His teammate Michael Brantley (.401 wOBA vs RHP this season) looks a little too cheap as well at $3,700 on DraftKings.
Honorable Mentions: Trent Grisham, OF ($4,800 DK, $3,200 FD) vs LAA; Michael Brantley, OF ($3,700 DK, $3,000 FD) at SEA, Max Muncy, 1B/3B ($5,300 DK, $3,800 FD) vs OAK; Willson Contreras C ($4,200 DK, $2,800 FD) at PIT; Josh Donaldson 3B ($4,100 DK, $3,000 FD) vs DET.
Value Batter: OF DJ Stewart, BAL ($2,600 DK, $2,900 FD) at BOS
We’ve been picking on Red Sox pitching all year and there is no reason to stop now. They’ll be dusting off Nick Pivetta for tonight’s contest. He hasn’t pitched much this year, but if we look to last season, well it’s not pretty. In 93.2 innings last season the righty tallied a 5.38 ERA (5.51 xERA), 1.52 WHIP, and .354 xwOBA. In addition, he allowed twenty home runs with just about a league-average K rate of 21.1%. DJ Stewart has shown off some impressive power so far this year in an admittedly brief sample size (69 PA) with a 25% barrel rate and .341 xwOBA. He’ll have the platoon advantage, should be hitting third, and his salary is very appealing over on DraftKings.
The projections over on FTN, are liking the Diamondbacks tonight. It makes sense if you consider Jordan Lyles and his 1.9% K-BB% and .363 xwOBA allowed. There’s some potential value to be had here too with the likes of Josh Rojas, Daulton Varsho, Eduardo Escobar, Christian Walker, and David Peralta. They are all well under $4,000 on DraftKings.
Also, for the Royals, Jorge Soler is back from the IL. His price has not yet adjusted at just $2,500 on DraftKings, he’ll be facing the lefty Austin Gomber. That’s way too cheap for someone who cranked out 48 home runs last year.
Honorable Mentions: Jorge Soler, OF ($2,500 DK, $3,000 FD) vs STL; Nick Solak, 2B/OF ($3,200 DK, $2,600 FD) at ARI; Daulton Varsho, C/OF ($3,100 DK, $2,100 FD) vs TEX; David Peralta, OF ($3,600 DK, $2,800 FD) vs TEX; Josh Rojas, 2B/SS ($3,400 DK, $2,200 FD) vs TEX; Daulton Varsho, C ($2,900 DK, $2,100 FD) vs TEX; Christian Walker, 1B ($3,300 DK, $3,000 FD) vs TEX, Cedric Mullins, OF ($2,600 DK, $2,300 FD) at BOS.
Lineup Stack: Braves vs (RHP José Ureña)
We know Ureña isn’t very good. So far this year in three starts (15 IP), he’s managed just a 1.5% K-BB% along with a K rate at just 14.5%. And going back to last season a 5.21 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, along with a 16.8% K rate across a more meaningful 84.2 IP. Lefty bats in particular have given him problems, as he’s allowed a .342 wOBA to them in his career versus a .303 mark against righty bats. The Braves, meanwhile, have been one of baseball’s top offenses against RHP as their team wOBA of .367 ranks first ahead of the Mets at .356. Freddie Freeman (.462 xwOBA) as mentioned earlier is the top play here. Ronald Acuña Jr (.431 xwOBA), Marcell Ozuna (.424 xwOBA), and Travis d’Arnaud (.424 xwOBA) are firmly in play as top half of the order options. Ozzie Albies has shown to be a noticeably stronger hitter from the right side for his career, so that makes him more of a tournament option. Meanwhile, both Adam Duvall (.351 xwOBA) and Austin Riley (.352 xwOBA) provide the power upside you’re looking for lower in the order in tournaments.
Outside of the Braves, Orioles, and Astros, the Dodgers are worth mentioning too. We’ve seen Frankie Montas regress hard this year as his K-BB% has dropped from 20.3% to 12.4%. The thing that really sticks out is a .441 wOBA allowed against LHB. Undoubtedly precipitated by his splitter which has betrayed him this year. The Dodgers have some top quality lefty bats to pick from in Corey Seager, Max Muncy, and Cody Bellinger.
Honorable Mentions: HOU at SEA (Newsome); BAL at BOS (Pivetta); SD vs LAA (Canning); LAD vs OAK (Montas).
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