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Top Play SP: Max Scherzer, WAS ($10,700) vs. PIT
Coming off a relatively disappointing start against the Mets where he cost $11,900, Max Scherzer comes at a bit of discount this afternoon at $10,700. The early returns this year show that the elite bat missing is still there and his 35.9% K rate easily paces the slate. The high K floor and ceiling combined with the discount makes Scherzer an easy call in all formats. In the early going, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been a well below-average offense posting a team wOBA of just .304 and wRC+ of 87.
Honorable Mention: Jose Berrios, MIN ($9,900) vs DET.
Value SP: David Price, BOS ($9,200) vs. CLE
As of this writing, the Red Sox and David Price are the biggest favorites of this afternoon’s 8 game slate at -260 odds. His first two turns haven’t been superlative but he was able to finish 6 innings each time. His ERA sits at an even 6.00 but there is nothing to suggest that this year’s Price is any different than what we saw in 2018. The case for Price is further buoyed by a draw against the Baltimore Orioles and their anemic offense that so far has generated a paltry .285 wOBA and 76 wRC+.
If you need to save a little more, Jakob Junis ($7,300) is worth a mention He’s certainly less safe than Price, but comes at a much lower cost. Trotting out pitchers against the Cleveland Indians has seemingly become a thing in the early going as the Indians have managed to post a team worst 28.9% K rate thus far.
Honorable Mention: Jakob Junis, KC ($7,300) vs CLE.
OF: Mookie Betts, BOS ($5,300) vs. BAL
The Boston Red Sox will square off against unproven rookie John Means. Means was drafted 331st overall in 2014 MLB draft so he doesn’t have much in the way of prospect pedigree and he showed very little bat-missing ability in the minors last year. And, well, what can you say about Mookie Betts? He’s one of the most prolific hitters in all of baseball and he’s also hit lefties exceedingly well the past couple years to the tune of a .450 wOBA along with an incredibly low 11.1% K rate. You can certainly look to his fellow hard-hitting teammate in J.D. Martinez ($5,200) here too.
OF: Eddie Rosario, MIN ($4,200) vs. DET
Jordan Zimmermann has gotten off to a nice start to the season posting a 2.50 ERA along with a 0.78 WHIP. But I’m not buying any sort of big-time resurgence as his K rate still sits at a pedestrian 20.9%. Considering the past two seasons Zimmermann has shown next to no ability to control batted balls against left-handed hitters allowing a wOBA of .365 along with an ugly .226 ISO. The chilly weather is predicted in Minnesota isn’t ideal, but Eddie Rosario and the Twins—who have a nice implied team total just under five runs—are still a good bet to do some damage here.
Value: 2B DJ LeMahieu, NYY ($3,900) vs. CWS
There is a lot of good pitching this afternoon, so value bats in decent matchups are extremely difficult to come by. With a New York Yankees lineup dealing with a ton of injuries, though, we could see DJ LeMahieu occupying a higher spot in the Yankees order than usual against lefty in Carlos Rodon.
Top Stack: BOS vs. BAL (LHP John Means)
To his credit, Means pitched reasonably well in AAA last year posting a 3.89 xFIP across 111.1 Innings, but he had a well below average K rate at just 18.5%. The Red Sox also currently boast the highest implied team total of the slate at over 6 runs. It’s awfully hard to imagine Mr. Means and the O’s pen holding down the Red Sox offense this afternoon.
The Yankees against Carlos Rodon are also worth a mention but considering how much firepower they are missing right now I would have significantly more interest in their aforementioned rivals in Boston.
Honorable Mention: WAS at MIA (Jose Urena).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sammybaugh) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.