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Top Play SP: Mike Soroka, ATL ($8,900) @ MIA
I expect Mike Soroka to be really chalky on Saturday, but I’ll happily eat this chalk. Soroka’s been a stud in his three starts this year, striking out 29.6% of the batters he’s faced while having a 3.33 SIERA. He has yet to allow a home run this year while keeping his hard-hit rate against to a sub-30% level, and this is an important factor today because of his opponent. Soroka faces the lowly Marlins, and what do we say to home run regression when facing the Marlins? Not today. The Marlins have been terrible this year against right-handed pitching, producing just a .276 wOBA (3rd worst in the league), .108 ISO (dead last), to go along with the second-worst strikeout rate, 27.1%. In addition, (as if you need it) this game will be played in Marlins Stadium, and as there are some showers in the forecast, I expect the roof to be closed. I expect Soroka to roll right through this lineup today.
Value SP: Chris Bassitt, OAK ($8,000) @ PIT
In two starts so far this year, Chris Bassitt has been awesome, going 12 innings allowing only one run, while striking out 16. The only major change I can see so far is he’s faded some of his sinker usage and is throwing his four-seamer up in the zone more often. We’ll see if this success continues throughout the season, but we only need this success to last for today. And today, Bassitt gets a matchup against the Pirates, in PNC Park. While the Pirates are a below average strikeout matchup, they are below average in both wOBA and ISO against right-handed pitching. Overall, this is a tough slate to find a cheaper SP2 that will allow me to pay up for big bats, so even with the low strikeout upside, I like Bassitt as a safe play. If you’re looking for another option, Yonny Chirinos ($6,800) is supposed to be the long-man for the Rays today against the Orioles, but truth be told, I’ve been wrong before about their projected long-man.
Honorable mention: Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS ($9,200) @ CHW.
Top Play: OF Tommy Pham, TBR ($4,800) @ BAL
As you’ll find out shortly, I love the Rays today. They get a matchup against the generous homer machine, Dylan Bundy. Bundy allowed a league-leading/worst 41 taters in 2018 and has already allowed nine bombs through the month of April. Bundy has allowed a .403 ISO and .436 wOBA to right-handed batters this year, which leads me to Tommy Pham, who has a .387 wOBA and a 54.9% hard-hit rate against right-handed pitchers.
Honorable mention: OF J.D. Martinez, BOS ($4,500) @ CHW.
Top Play: 1B Pete Alonso, NYM ($4,900) @ MIL
Sure it’s a small sample size, but Pete Alonso has absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching in his short major league career. Through 31 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, Alonso has a 60% hard-hit rate, which has led to an eye-popping .654 ISO and .604 wOBA. Today, he has a matchup against Gio Gonzalez in Miller Park. Gonzalez only has one start under his belt this year, and despite decent results, his 1.80 ERA was not supported by his 5.25 SIERA. He had similar results in 2018, where he had a 4.21 ERA with a 4.73 SIERA. Overall, Alonso has some major upside on this slate.
Value: 1B/OF Brandon Belt, SFG ($4,200) @ CIN
I’ve always had a soft spot for Brandon Belt. He has so much upside if he ever got out of Oracle Park, but for now, this is pretty much the best we can ask for. Despite having the league’s worst home ballpark, Belt’s managed a.215 ISO and .370 wOBA against right-handed pitching since the beginning of 2018. Belt gets a huge park upgrade and gets an awesome matchup with Tanner Roark. Roark’s struggled in 2019, allowing a .302 ISO and .525 wOBA to left-handed batters, along with a 42.1% hard-hit rate.
Top Stack: Rays @ Orioles (RHP Dylan Bundy)
As noted, in Tommy Pham‘s writeup, Dylan Bundy allows taters all day long, and even when he’s out of the game, the relievers aren’t any better. The Orioles bullpen has a 4.39 SIERA and 21.1% strikeout rate, both bottom five in the league. If Mike Zunino ($3,700) is starting at catcher, I’m comfortable with the full stack. Pham and 2B Brandon Lowe ($4,800) are my favorites, but I have no issues going to Ji-Man Choi ($4,400), Yandy Diaz ($4,800), Avisail Garcia ($4,200), or Nate Lowe ($3,900). Pick and choose your favorites today and good luck!
Honorable mention: Indians vs. Mariners (RHP Mike Leake).
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.