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Top Play SP: Jose Berrios, MIN ($10,000) vs. BAL
Jose Berrios gets a lovely matchup against the Orioles, who have the second lowest implied run total on the slate at 3.3 runs. Berrios has been decent to start the season and has managed to slightly improve some of his underlying numbers (SwStr% and O-Swing%). The Orioles come in as a bottom third team against right-handed pitching per wOBA and the weather today is not ideal for bats. It will be a cold day for baseball, with a first-pitch temperature of just 45 degrees, so bump down the bats slightly. Overall, Berrios gives me the safety I look for when building my cash lineup.
Value SP: Derek Holland, SFG ($7,200) vs. NYY
I love this type of value play in DFS. Boring veteran, who’s made legit changes, but most people haven’t adjusted to said changes, and that makes Derek Holland my boy. The changes he’s made have shown up in the form of an increased strikeout rate. In 2017, as a 30-year-old and in his ninth year in the majors, Holland had a 16.6% K% and 5.57 SIERA. In 2018, he made a mound location change about halfway through the year, which resulted in him having a fantastic second half, and a 23.3% strikeout rate to go along with his also improved 4.20 SIERA. This year, the success has continued with his SIERA sitting at 3.98 and his strikeout rate up to an astonishing 30.6%, almost double his rate just two seasons ago. Holland also gets the Yankee’s taxi squad at home, in spacious Oracle Park. I love Holland as my SP2 on DraftKings and SP1 in my heart.
Top Play: OF Nelson Cruz, MIN ($4,700) vs. BAL
At the age of 38, Nelson Cruz is still such a powerhouse. He offers multi-homer upside (see last night) while maintaining legit plate discipline. Most DFS players only look to Cruz when he has the platoon advantage because, of course, he crushes left-handed pitching. Fun news for us though, is he’s also above average against righties, having a .237 ISO and .361 wOBA since the beginning of 2018. Cruz gets another cake matchup on Saturday, facing Dan Straily. Straily has been nothing short of awful to begin the year, striking out a mere 8.6% of batters, while giving up a .390 ISO and .477 wOBA against right-handed batters. You’ll find out soon enough that I like the entire Twins lineup today, but if I had to choose just one, Cruz is my guy.
Top Play: 3B Anthony Rendon, WAS ($5,500) vs. SDP
Anthony Rendon is legit expensive on this slate today, but he and the rest of the righty Nationals are one of my favorite stacks on the day. Rendon has absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching this year, piling up a .615 ISO and .596 wOBA. Honestly, I didn’t even know those numbers could go that high, and on this day Rendon has a fabulous matchup against Eric Lauer and gets him outside of Petco Park. In 2018, Lauer allowed a 40.8% hard-hit rate to right-handed batters and has not disappointed (or has if you’re a Padres fan) this year allowing a 46.6% hard-hit rate, which has led to a .358 wOBA and .202 ISO. There are six right-handed bats projected to be in the Nationals lineup on Saturday, and not all of them are expensive, but we’ll cover some value next.
Honorable mention: 3B Matt Carpenter, STL ($4,100) vs. CIN.
Value: 1B Ryan Zimmerman, WAS ($4,000) vs. SDP
Continuing on from Anthony Rendon’s writeup, allow me to introduce you to Ryan Zimmerman, who will also be looking to take advantage of Eric Lauer. The Nationals are my second favorite stack and I love that you can get guys from all over the lineup in Kurt Suzuki at catcher and Carter Kieboom at shortstop, all for relatively cheap prices. I’ll be looking to prioritize Nationals’ right-handed bats and Twins bats in my cash lineup today.
Honorable mention: C Kurt Suzuki, WAS ($3,800) vs. SDP, 2B Robinson Cano, NYM ($4,000) vs. MIL, 3B/OF Jeff McNeil, NYM ($4,100) vs. MIL, 1B Joey Votto, CIN ($3,800) @ STL, SS Carter Kieboom, WAS ($3,700) vs. SDP.
Top Stack: Twins vs. Orioles (RHP Dan Straily)
I have to apologize to Orioles fans out there, but this will be the second day in a row that I’m picking on them by stacking the Twins. Yesterday they scored six runs against Alex Cobb, and today they face Dan Straily. Straily has struggled to open the season, sporting a 6.60 SIERA and just an 8.6% strikeout rate. My favorite play is Nelson Cruz ($4,700), see above for fantastic analysis. In addition, you can grab Max Kepler ($4,200), Jorge Polanco ($5,000), Eddie Rosario ($5,600), C.J. Cron ($4,000) and everyone’s favorite catcher Willians Astudillo ($4,200), if he’s in the lineup. As of this writing, the Twins have the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.8 runs.
Honorable mention: Nationals vs. Padres (LHP Eric Lauer).
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.