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Top Play SP: J.A. Happ, NYY ($9,300) @ LAA
Truth be told, none of the pitching options are amazing. Chris Sale faces the Tigers and would be my top play, but there are legit weather concerns there. As of now, it’s forecast to rain all day, so keep an eye on that weather. If this game plays, Sale will be in my lineup. Real talk, J.A. Happ has not been good so far this year — with a 7.23 ERA — but thankfully has a 4.58 SIERA. Happ faces the Angels, who struggle against left-handed pitching. In fact, they’re ranked in the bottom third of the league in wOBA and ISO against lefties, and I’ll call it as I see it: If Happ can get past Mike Trout, he should have himself a really nice day.
Honorable mention: Brad Peacock, HOU ($8,200) vs. MIN.
Value SP: Yonny Chirinos, TBR ($7,400) vs. KCR
The Tampa Bay Rays have messed with me so much this year with not naming their long relievers who go after the opener, but thankfully, for now, they have Yonny Chirinos named as their starter today. No guessing games, I hope. Chirinos has been fantastic in the early season, increasing his strikeout rate to 27.1% (20.3% in 2018), while maintaining a 3.47 SIERA. He’s changed up his pitch mix a little, throwing his splitter about 10% more often, while fading his slider some. Chirinos faces the Royals, and while they aren’t the best strikeout matchup (only 21.6% strikeout rate), they certainly aren’t a stay-away matchup.
Honorable mention: Brad Keller, KCR ($8,000) @ TBR.
Top Play: OF Charlie Blackmon, COL ($5,400) vs. WAS
Charlie Blackmon is one of the most expensive bats of the night, but with a matchup against Jeremy Hellickson at Coors Field, what can go wrong? Blackmon will lead off for the Rockies and had a .251 ISO and .413 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers in Coors in 2018. Hellickson, on the other hand, doesn’t strike out many batters (16.7% strikeout rate), which doesn’t bode well for pitching in Colorado.
Honorable mention: OF Joey Gallo, TEX ($5,000) @ OAK.
Top Play: 1B Rhys Hoskins, PHI ($4,800) @ NYM
Rhys Hoskins and the Phillies face Steven Matz for the second time in the past week, and if you recall the first meeting, you’ll know the Phillies’ bats are definitely in play. Matz’s line from that game: 0.0 IP, 4 H, 8 R, 6 ER. He was not helped out by the Mets’ defense, but he’ll have the same players behind him in this game as well. Matz is primarily a sinker-ball pitcher to right-handed batters, throwing the pitch 60% of the time, and Andrew McCutchen, Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Maikel Franco, and Cesar Hernandez — the projected righties in today’s lineup — have all crushed the sinker.
Honorable mention: 3B Yoan Moncada, CHW ($4,900) @ BAL.
Value: 3B/OF Jeff McNeil, NYM ($3,700) vs. PHI
For what it’s worth, the entire Mets projected lineup is super cheap. They face Jake Arrieta, who’s been decent so far this year — 2.25 ERA — but has an ugly 5.30 SIERA and is allowing a 40% hard-hit rate to left-handed batters. I’ll admit it: I crush on Jeff McNeil so hard. I love the hit tool (above average contact, Z-contact), and he’s increased his hard-hit rate to 35% in the early part of the year. I’m not a big BvP guy, but McNeil is 5-10 versus Arrieta. The regression monster should be coming for Arrieta, and at these prices, I’m in on the Mets today. I’m including Robinson Cano below as an “honorable mention” because he’s so cheap, but just keep an eye on the starting lineup as he’s currently carrying the “questionable” tag.
Honorable mention: 2B Robinson Cano, NYM ($3,300) vs. PHI, 1B Ryan Zimmerman, WAS ($4,300) @ COL.
Top Stack: Cardinals vs. Brewers (RHP Adrian Houser)
I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about Adrian Houser. The 26-year old will be making his first ever major league start and has been good (1 ER, 18 strikeouts in 16.1 IP) in three minor league starts this year. So yes, there’s a chance I end up using him as a pay-down SP2 option in a GPP lineup. However, Houser had a 5.03 ERA in 78.2 IP split between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018. The Cardinals lineup crushes right-handed pitching, ranking in the top five in wOBA and ISO in 2019. My favorite Cardinals are Matt Carpenter, who’s a lock play at $4,200, Paul Goldschmidt, Marcell Ozuna, and Paul DeJong. You can add Yadier Molina for a relatively cheap catcher, and watch the balls fly out of the ballpark.
Honorable mention: White Sox @ Orioles (RHP David Hess).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) 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.