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Top Play SP: Aaron Nola, PHI ($9,700) at SD
This is a really short four-game, all-day slate, so at my SP1, I’m going straight to the top with Aaron Nola. Nola’s had a rough go against lefty-heavy teams, but thankfully the Padres’ projected lineup only includes two left-handed batters in Eric Hosmer and Greg Garcia. The Padres currently have the lowest implied run total (Cubs/Angels total isn’t out yet) on the slate at 3.6 runs, and Nola gets a nice park upgrade going from hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park to Petco Park.
Honorable mention: Walker Buehler, LAD ($8,900) at ARI.
Value SP: Jon Lester, CHC ($7,000) vs. LAA
This is certainly not my favorite spot as the Angels strike out at the lowest rate in baseball against left-handed pitching. I’m not a big Jon Lester fan, but $7,000 is just a nice price for the starter on the team with the highest odds of winning today (-160). Just like everyone else, I’ve been anticipating the Lester regression monster showing up for the past year and a half, and he’s still managing to avoid it (3.59 ERA, 4.23 SIERA). The Angels are pretty much league average in wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, which on a short slate like today makes Lester in play as my SP2.
Honorable mention: Corbin Martin, CLE ($7,100) at SEA.
Top Play: OF Mitch Haniger, SEA ($4,300) vs. HOU
I wanted to touch on the Mariners some, so while I’m not taking anything away from Mitch Haniger, I don’t want to use the phrase “Top Play” with him either. Corbin Martin has had a tumultuous start to his MLB career, going more than four innings only once and allowing two or more earned runs in all four starts this year. It’s a very small sample, but he’s allowing a 40% hard-hit rate to right-handed pitchers, which has led to a .485 ISO and .503 wOBA against. The Mariners have cooled off significantly from their early season surge, but this could be a matchup where the righties—Haniger, Edwin Encarnacion, and Domingo Santana—get a little on track.
Honorable mention: OF Bryce Harper, PHI ($5,200) at SDP.
Top Play: 3B Alex Bregman, HOU ($4,900) at SEA
This article might get pretty repetitive with anti-Wade LeBlanc propaganda, but Alex Bregman is the first batter I’m locking into my cash game lineups today. He currently has a .359 wOBA against lefties, and LeBlanc is allowing a 44.6% hard-hit rate to righties this year that has led to a .408 wOBA allowed. That hard-hit rate also comes along with a 41.0% fly-ball rate, which has helped lead to the .278 ISO allowed against right-handed batters.
Honorable mention: 2B/SS Javier Baez, CHC ($4,800) vs. LAA.
Value: OF Myles Straw, HOU ($3,500) at SEA
When I started my research on today’s slate I looked at all the projected lineups and made little notes for myself. I wrote down the Astros’ projected leadoff man with a question mark behind it because I had no idea who Myles Straw was. Straw profiles as a speedy top of the lineup bat, who has an 11.1% walk rate in Triple-A this year. Straw can get on base and steal a bag and gets a matchup against LeBlanc. Those attributes combined with his price make him an easy play today.
Top Stack: Astros at Mariners (LHP Wade LeBlanc)
Haven’t you heard enough against bad LeBlanc? Maybe, but I haven’t touched on the fact that he’s also been bad against lefties as well. LeBlanc is allowing a 40% hard-hit rate and a 40% fly-ball rate, which has led to allowing a .241 ISO and .346 wOBA to left-handed batters. This puts the entire Astros’ lineup in play. I’ve already covered Straw and Bregman, but my other favorites are Michael Brantley ($4,600), Yuli Gurriel ($3,500), and Robinson Chirinos ($3,800). Good luck today!
Honorable mention: Cubs vs. Angels (RHP Cam Bedrosian).
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.