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Top Play SP: Max Scherzer, Was ($11,600) at CIN
Max Scherzer’s 31.8% K rate leads today’s nine-game slate. Just behind him are two of 2019’s breakouts in Lucas Giolito at 29.4% and Matthew Boyd at 29.9%. However, both of them are priced way up to the point where I’d rather just pay the little extra to roll with Scherzer and his long track record of bonafide ace status. From a run prevention standpoint, it’s not a great spot for Scherzer considering that he’s a rather modest road favorite (-126) in an excellent hitter’s park in Cincinnati. The Reds do have an implied team total just over four runs, which isn’t ideal but Scherzer’s high floor in strikeout ability mitigates the risk. Now here’s to hoping he can pitch around Derek Dietrich. I can’t believe I just said that. What a season it’s been.
Value SP: Julio Teheran, ATL ($8,700) vs DET
This one is all about the matchup. I’m not enamored with Julio Teheran’s skills, underscored by a 10.6% K-BB rate. The problem we have on this slate though is that the options fall off quickly past the top tier. Luckily he and the Braves (-163) are good-sized home favorites against a really beatable Tigers offense that has struck out at the 2nd highest clip so far this year (26.5%).
OF: Christian Yelich, MIL ($5,600) at PIT
Christian Yelich. Yeah, last year I don’t think it was a fluke. His 1.118 OPS is second in the league to Cody Bellinger. A look at his statcast page reveals that his xSLG is actually higher at .651 than last year’s .572. Now, that may come down a tick but point being Yelich is crazy good. You already knew that. Here’s a crazy thing to note; the BAT has Yelich down for another 26 home runs this year. Scary. Anyways, he’ll hold the platoon advantage against the Pirate’s Jordan Lyles. He was a veritable gas can back during his tenure with the Rockies years ago but to his credit, he’s been respectable this year (16.8% K-BB%). Regardless I think it’s very fair to expect Lyles’ current 3.09 ERA to rise. Most projections have him at around a 4.50 ERA or so, while the BAT has him at just under 5.00. So we could be seeing some regression and that could come today against Yelich and the Brewers.
1B: Brandon Belt, SF ($4,100) at BAL
Brandon Belt has long been considered a very good hitter who’s had the misfortune of calling arguably the worst hitter’s park his home in San Francisco. However, he and the Giants will get the hitter’s carnival at Camden Yards one last time this afternoon. The Orioles will be starting off today’s festivities with Gabriel Ynoa who has shown a good groundball rate but not much in the way of bat-missing ability (9.5% swinging K rate) in his short major league stint. One thing to note here is that Ynoa threw 85 pitches last time out and before that his high was 62. So point being we should probably be expecting a fair bit of the O’s pen today. And that could come in the form of Dan Straily who piggybacked Ynoa’s last start. If that’s the case again today then things could get pretty exciting for Giant’s bats today considering Straily was deemed unfit for an O’s rotation bereft of talent.
Value: OF Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($3,800) at STL
Adam Wainwright was up to his old man tricks in his last start against the Phillies as he somehow managed to stack up a whopping 10 punch outs. Still, I don’t think we should be shying away here. Wainwright has long been 0n the decline and for the year his swinging strike rate sits at an ugly 7%. Not good. Kyle Schwarber is admittedly a boom/bust type play but his promotion to the leadoff spot makes it a significantly more palatable risk especially considering the excellent power upside.
Honorable Mention: Eloy Jimenez, ($3,600) vs. CLE (Zach Plesac).
Top Stack: COL vs TOR (RHP Aaron Sanchez)
The Rockies are home at Coors today and as you’d suspect their implied team total leads the slate at just under seven runs. The Blue Jay’s Aaron Sanchez has shown a very strong groundball rate as he has had for most of his career. Unfortunately, that’s really where most of the good stops with Sanchez. His walk rate this year stands at an alarming 12.3% and any time you allow extra base runners at Coors you’re playing with fire. In addition, his xwOBA allowed of .354 and hard-hit rate of 43.4% doesn’t inspire much confidence so this looks to be like an exploitable matchup for the Rockies.
Don’t forget to look at the other side of the game at Coors too, especially in tournaments. With the Rockies being sizable home favorites (-146) we should probably be expecting more Rockies than Blue Jays stacks. But don’t forget that Antonio Senzatela is just not good. His ghastly 13.4% K rate is backed by a 6.1% swinging strike rate, in addition, he’s allowed a ton of baserunners evidenced by a bloated 1.65 WHIP. It’s not a particularly appealing Blue Jays lineup but at the very least Vladimir Guerrero, Jr is worth a long look at his current salary of $4,400. That just seems too cheap considering the circumstances.
Honorable Mention: TOR at COL (Antonio Senzatela)
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