Thursday greets us with another certified silly slate, featuring just five games on DraftKings, beginning at 6:40 PM EST with the Reds game. Note that FanDuel isn’t including that game in their set. And to make matters more exciting, the Phillies game looks like a significant weather risk. This feels like one of those wacky slates where taking a bat against your pitcher could end up working out. It’s a rough slate but, hey, it can’t be any worse than Davis Mills vs Sam Darnold, right?
|Lance McCullers||at LAA||$10,100/ $10,200||-161||150.1||16.4%||31.7%||11.8%||1.25||3.11||3.41|
|Aaron Nola||vs PIT||$8,500/ $9,100||-228||168.2||25.1%||31.1%||12.8%||1.11||4.48||3.40|
|Luis Castillo||vs WSN||$8,900 (DK)||-200||176.1||14.9%||27.6%||13.1%||1.35||4.08||3.59|
|Steven Matz||at MIN||$9,200/$8,000||-138||140.2||15.4%||27.7%||9.3%||0.98||3.84||3.59|
|Glenn Otto||at BAL||$6,700/ $6,300||103||16.1||16.9%||28.3%||9.5%||1.65||9.37||5.29|
|Alex Cobb||vs HOU||$8,100/ $7,800||148||82.2||17.7%||30.3%||11.8%||1.23||3.59||3.67|
Aaron Nola is my favorite play of the bunch as he leads the slate with a 30.3% K rate and he’ll face the Pirates, who are tied with the Marlins for the second-worst team wOBA in baseball, at .293. But, as mentioned at the onset that game isn’t looking too great right now weather-wise.
The price for Luis Castillo is especially fair considering he’s coming off a scintillating performance against the Dodgers: 6.1 IP, no earned runs, and ten strikeouts (34.2% CSW). He’ll face another challenge tonight as the Nationals have a .327 team wOBA, tied with the White Sox for fifth. And they don’t strike out much either, at 21.2% (tied-third lowest).
Lance McCullers always brings strikeout upside but efficiency continues to be the proverbial stick in the mud as his walk rate stands at 11.1% on the year. He’s a strong road favorite against the Angels.
As you may have noticed, the value tier is nonexistent tonight. As we’ll get to in the bats section, Camden Yards should feature some runs but if I’m forced to roll the dice on one of them as a punt SP2, it would be Glenn Otto, as he’s at least shown some strikeout ability with a 24.5% K rate for Triple-A Round Rock this year (20 IP). Tonight’s paucity of options renders Alex Cobb as another potential SP2 even though he gets a much tougher draw against the Astros, who have the second-best team wOBA in baseball. He’s at least shown some strong ability this year, holding opposing batters to a .293 xwOBA across 16 starts.
Bats and Stacks
- TOR (5.2) at MIN Michael Pineda (RHP) 14.9 K-BB%, .333 xwOBA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.85 xERA: The veteran Pineda has been neutral splits-wise going back to 2019, allowing a wOBA of .304 to LHB and .302 to RHB. The best thing he does at this stage is limit walks (4.9% this year). The Jays, as always, have one of the top lineups on the board. On the other side of this game, Byron Buxton (.377 xwOBA this year), Josh Donaldson (.382 xwOBA), and Miguel Sanó (.318 xwOBA) are interesting pivots against the lefty Matz.
- PHI (5.2) vs PIT Connor Overton (RHP) Overton will basically serve as the opener tonight for Pittsburgh in what should be a bullpen game so it’s not a bad spot at all for the Phillies and Bryce Harper (.430 xwOBA).
- CIN (5.3) vs WSN Patrick Corbin (LHP) 10.6 K-BB%, .364 xwOBA, 1.48 WHIP, 5.91 xERA: Considering Corbin’s splits, the righties make the most sense here. But I’ll never argue against Joey Votto (.405 xwOBA) at this point. Lead-off man Jonathan India (.351 xwOBA) has been one of the year’s standout rookies. And, of course, Nick Castellanos (.367 xwOBA) is an excellent spend-up option.
- BAL (4.8) vs TEX Glenn Otto (RHP) 16.9%, .345 xwOBA, 1.65 WHIP, 5.25 xERA: Otto was effective in his first start but has struggled since. He has shown some really sharp splits in favor of LHB, making Cedric Mullins (.348 xwOBA) an outstanding option. Trey Mancini (.344 xwOBA) doesn’t have the platoon advantage but still looks like a strong value on DraftKings at just $3,200. There should be runs on both sides of this game, but if I’m choosing one side I’d go with the Orioles, as I think their lineup has more power upside overall.
- TEX (4.5) at BAL Zac Lowther (LHP) 8.2 K-BB%, .415 xwOBA, 1.83 WHIP, 8.20 xERA: A conundrum for the ages. The worst offense in baseball faces the worst pitching staff in baseball. Lowther has only thrown 19.2 innings this year but the results have been, well, not so good. He hasn’t really shown much of a split, so I wouldn’t ignore Nathaniel Lowe (.321 xwOBA this year) as a play for tournaments. Adolis García (.299 xwOBA) has been awful for a while now but, hey, he does have 30 home runs this year so there is power potential at least. Nick Solak (.293 xwOBA) is a potential punt at 2B.
- HOU (4.8) at LAA Alex Cobb (RHP) 17.7 K-BB%, .293 xwOBA, 1.23 WHIP, 3.67 xERA: The Thing had some moments earlier this year. Cobb is making just his second start since about a month long stint on the IL with a wrist issue. Even though Cobb has pitched well this year I think you can pick and choose with Astros bats tonight. And besides Cobb only threw 66 pitches his last time out, so it won’t be too long until we see the Angels pen. Kyle Tucker (.398 xwOBA) sticks out considering his salary of $4,400 on DraftKings. Going back to 2019, Cobb has allowed a .305 wOBA to LHB and .327 to RHB.
|Trey Mancini||1B||vs TEX (Otto)||$3,200||$3,000|
|Austin Hays||OF||vs TEX (Otto)||$3,200||$2,900|
|Pat Valaika||2B/SS||vs TEX (Otto)||$2,000||$2,000|
|Andrew McCutchen||OF||vs PIT (Overton)||$3,8000||$3,100|
|Corey Dickerson||OF||at MIN (Pineda)||$2,500||$2,300|
|Nick Solak||2B||at BAL (Lowther)||$3,000||$2,800|
|Isaiah Kiner-Falefa||SS||at BAL (Lowther)||$3,400||$3,000|
|Leody Taveras||OF||at BAL (Lowther)||$3,700||$2,400|
|Brad Miller||1B||vs PIT (Overton)||$3,800||$2,300|