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Top Play SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($10,500) at CHC
Today’s top arm, Justin Verlander, gets a really tough draw against a very deep and powerful Yankee lineup at the bandbox in the Bronx so we’ll take the discount with Met ace Jacob deGrom. The righty is coming off a wonderful outing against the Braves in his last turn in which he narrowly missed out on a complete game shutout if not for two home runs in the ninth by Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman. It would’ve been next to impossible for deGrom to repeat the sort of season he had last year but nonetheless, he’s been very good this year with a K rate of 30.1% and a BB% rate of just 5.4%. He’ll get the Cubs here so this won’t be easy by any means as they’ve been a very good hitting team thus far as you’d suspect (.331 team wOBA). However, given the discount in price relative to Verlander and the comparable skills, he’s a nice option to anchor your lineup around.
Honorable Mention: Justin Verlander, HOU ($12,000) at NYY (J.A. Happ).
Value SP: Brandon Woodruff, MIL ($7,900) vs. CIN
Brandon Woodruff boasts the slate’s third-best K-BB% rate of 21.7%. Needless to say, he’s been excellent this year and easily the best pitcher in the struggling Brewer’s rotation. He’ll get the Reds this afternoon who have yet to face him this year. The Brewers are big home favorites today (-180) while the Reds have a very modest implied team total of just over three and a half runs. At this price point, Woodruff offers excellent salary relief as an SP two today.
1B: Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5,300) at WAS
Once upon a time Tyson’s younger brother Joe Ross showed a ton of potential but he’s been mired by a long rash of injuries and ensuing ineffectiveness the past few years. He’ll face a stiff test this afternoon with the Braves. Through 17 innings in AAA this year Ross has shown just a 14.9% K rate. Meanwhile, as our own Dan Richards details here, Freddie Freeman is in the midst of a very loud season even by his lofty standards. He’ll hold the lefty/righty advantage here and if Ross’ career splits are any indication (.369 wOBA allowed to LHB) then Freeman will be worth paying up for today.
Update: Austin Voth is actually starting today’s game for the Nats and not Joe Ross. This is still a very good spot for Freeman against a suspect RHP. The Braves have an implied run total in excess of 5.5 runs.
OF: Bryce Harper, PHI ($4,000) vs. MIA
The Phillies’ Bryce Harper has been exceptionally quiet of late but I can’t resist the price here. The Phillies will get the young Miami Marlin Jordan Yamamoto this afternoon. Now he’s certainly acquitted himself well in the early going not having allowed a single run through his first two starts. But remember that comes on the tail of a minuscule .156 BABIP. The overall profile most likely points to an average type talent so I think we can give a big advantage to Harper here against the inexperienced righty. The Phillies have a rock-solid implied total of right around five runs today.
Value: 2B Jose Altuve, HOU ($3,900) at NYY
The veteran Yankee lefty J.A. Happ has been decidedly underwhelming this year as his 19.3% K rate is his lowest going way back to his 2014 campaign with the Blue Jays. Combine that with a serious home run problem (16.7% HR/FB rate this year) and you have a good reason to pick on Happ here with the former MVP winner Jose Altuve who will get to hit at Yankee Stadium to boot.
Top Stack: TEX vs. CWS (Ivan Nova)
The Rangers currently boast the top implied team total of this afternoon’s 10-game slate at a beefy six runs. They’ll get to tee off against the former Yankee Ivan Nova. In 2019 Nova has shown a slight dip in velocity along with a drop in K rate to an alarming 14.3%. Not too good. The Rangers will look to take advantage of this matchup and stack up some runs this afternoon at hitter-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington. For his long career Nova has shown pronounced splits in favor of LHB (.348 wOBA allowed) so give a long look to the lefties here in Nomar Mazara, Shin-shoo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Willie Calhoun. The lefties lower in the order like Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman are interesting tournament dart-throws to consider too.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sammybaugh) 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.