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Top Play SP: Chris Sale, BOS ($11,600) at BAL
Chris Sale is the most expensive pitcher on today’s slate, so this isn’t going to be a hot-take, but Sale is good at baseball. Sale has the highest strikeout rate on today’s slate at 35.4% and has been phenomenal since April 23rd. His opponent, the Orioles, have not been the worst offense in baseball like everyone expected them to be, but they’re still below average in ISO and wOBA against left-handed pitching and have the sixth worst strikeout rate against lefties. I’m locking Sale into my cash lineups as my SP1.
Honorable mention: Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($10,700) vs. ARI; Mike Minor, TEX ($9,700) at CIN; Shane Bieber, CLE ($9,600) at DET.
Value SP: Jimmy Nelson, MIL ($8,000) at SFG
I feel like every time I put out an article, I’m picking on the Giants, but I guess that’s to be expected when the offense has the third-worst wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Jimmy Nelson gets a trip out of Miller Park and into the pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park. Nelson has not looked great in his return to the majors, but was solid in 24 minor league innings, striking out 28.4% of the batters he faced. I’m hoping a matchup with the Giants can help Nelson get back on track.
Honorable mention: Franber Valdez, HOU ($7,700) vs. TOR; German Marquez, COL ($8,100).
Top Play: OF Mookie Betts, BOS ($5,100) vs. BAL
Dylan Bundy is out here trying to break personal records. In 2018, he allowed a league-leading 41 taters. So far this year, he’s allowed 15 homers in his first 13 games started. Prorated out, that comes out to allowing just 36 homers this year (Awwww, good job buddy), which also would’ve led the league last year. In 2019, Bundy has allowed a .261 ISO and .347 wOBA to right-handed batters, so if I’m able to pay up in one of my outfield spots, I’m locking in Mookie Betts. For the year, Betts has walked more than he’s struck out against righties while having a .226 ISO and .399 wOBA. In case you need just one more reason, it’s hitting weather out in Baltimore today, as it’s forecasted to be 85 degrees with winds blowing out to dead center at 15 miles per hour.
Honorable mention: OF Bryce Harper, PHI ($4,400) vs. ARI; OF Juan Soto, WAS ($5,100) at CHW.
Top Play: SS Trevor Story, COL ($5,500) vs. SDP
Think the Rockies and Padres have any more runs left in them after their 28 run outburst on Friday? Well, seeing as the Padres are rolling out Eric Lauer (LOLer), I’d say there’s at least some hope for fireworks on the Rockies side. Lauer’s allowed a 42.8% hard-hit rate to right-handed batters this year, which has been relatively muted by PetCo Park, but I have a feeling in Coors Field, giving up that much hard contact is not going to end well. Trevor Story is the lefty-masher that I’m paying up for if I can afford it. Not only does he fill a premium position, but his 54.5% hard-hit rate against southpaws gives you all the upside you could ask for.
Honorable mention: 1B Luke Voit, NYY ($4,800) at CHW; 1B Rhys Hoskins, PHI ($4,400) at ATL; 3B Alex Bregman, HOU ($5,400) vs. TOR.
Value: 2B/OF Chad Pinder, OAK ($3,400) vs. SEA
If I’m going to have any shot at rostering Chris Sale and one of my big bats, I’m going to need some value and that’s where Chad Pinder enters. As noted by his 49.0% hard-hit rate, Pinder crushes left-handed pitching. Today, he faces Wade LeBlanc, who has allowed a .227 ISO and .352 wOBA against right-handed batters this year. Anytime I can get a batter with a .200 ISO against a pitcher allowing a .200 ISO at $3,400, I’m going to take the savings and lock that player into my lineup. It should be noted, after this writeup was completed, the Mariners announced that Gerson Bautista would serve as an opener to LeBlanc.
Honorable mention: 1B/3B Yuli Gurriel, HOU ($4,100) vs. TOR; 1B/OF Mark Canha, OAK ($4,200) vs. SEA; SS Jean Segura, PHI ($4,100) at ATL.
Top Stack: Athletics vs. Mariners (LHP Wade LeBlanc)
It’s always a treat when going through my research to find that a pitcher stinks against both sides of the plate. As noted above in my Chad Pinder writeup, Wade LeBlanc is not amazing against right-handed bats. However, he also allows a 43.3% hard-hit rate to lefties as well, which has lead to a .233 ISO and .342 wOBA. This, combined with the Athletics’ prices, makes them one of my stacks today. In addition to Pinder and Mark Canha ($4,200), who have multi-positional eligibility, I really like Marcus Semien ($4,400), Matt Chapman ($4,200), Khris Davis ($4,000), Matt Olson ($4,800), and Jurickson Profar ($3,600). These prices and positional eligibility makes the Athletics really easy to fit in. Good luck today!
Honorable mention: Red Sox at Orioles (RHP Dylan Bundy); Rockies 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.