DraftKings Plays of the Day—7/5
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Top Play SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($11,300) vs. PHI
Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a great Fourth of July holiday. We’ve got a 13-game slate to look at tonight featuring two big aces at the top in Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom. Verlander will always get hi,s but he does get a really tough draw tonight for strikeouts in the Angels, who have the lowest team strikeout rate at a measly 17.4%. So we’ll take the small discount in deGrom, who finds himself in the middle of another excellent season with a 30.3% strikeout rate (25.1% K-BB rate). As of this writing, the Mets are the biggest favorite on the board tonight (-202) with the Phillies having a meager implied total just over three runs.
Honorable Mention: Justin Verlander, HOU ($12,000) vs. LAA (Felix Pena).
Value SP: Julio Teheran, ATL ($6,600) vs. MIA
You know the drill at this point. Target the Marlins with pitching. They’ve been predictably anemic this year offensively with a league-worst .281 team wOBA. Julio Teheran on the other hand—well, we’ll keep it short, but suffice it to say he’s not particularly good with just a 20.5% strikeout rate, so this is all about the cheap price and nice matchup. At just $6,600 Teheran, doesn’t need to do a whole lot to return value. The Braves are big home favorites today (-182).
Teheran will likely carry some significant ownership in tournaments, so if you’re wanting to be a little different, there a few other names worth considering in the middle tier tonight. It might not be a bad idea to pay a bit extra for Eduardo Rodriguez, who gets a really nice matchup for strikeouts in the Tigers (league-worst 26.1% strikeout rate). Austin Voth ($7,700) has shown some reasonable swing-and-miss ability in the minors this year (25.4% strikeout rate in 61.1 innings in Triple-A) and gets a decent matchup against the Royals at home. Martin Perez and the Twins are fairly big home favorites today (-176) against the Rangers, who have struggled as a team against lefties (league-worst 28.9% team strikeout rate vs. LHP). And that’s not too terribly surprising considering most of their better bats in Joey Gallo, Shin-soo Choo, and Nomar Mazara are lefties.
1B: Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5,100) vs. MIA
The Marlins’ Jordan Yamamoto has been great in the early going (25.8% strikeout rate and 2.35 ERA), but one can’t help but wonder when we hear the regression bell ring. He can’t hold that .189 BABIP and 0% HR/FB rate for too long, can he? As far as tonight goes, Vegas seems heavily in favor of Braves bats tonight as they have an implied team total in excess of six runs. Small sample size caveat, of course, but it’s worth noting at least that Yamamoto’s fastball has been hit notably hard by lefties evidenced by a .488 xwOBA. Freddie Freeman could look to advantage here against the young righty should he falter at Atlanta.
Honorable Mentions: OF Ronald Acuna Jr. ($5,200) vs. MIA (Jordan Yamamoto), OF Nelson Cruz ($5,100) vs. TEX (Adrian Sampson), 3B Matt Chapman ($4,900) at SEA (Yusei Kikuchi).
OF: J.D. Martinez, BOS ($4,800) at DET
The Red Sox will be on the road at Detroit to take on a questionable lefty in Ryan Carpenter. In just 32.2 innings this year, Carpenter has shown a well below average strikeout rate of just 13.4%. He’s been hit hard by hitters from both sides of the plate this year too (.445 wOBA allowed to LHB and .402 to RHB). Look for J.D. Martinez to take advantage of the favorable lefty/righty matchup here.
Also if you’re playing in tournaments, don’t forget about the Astros’ big rookie Yordan Alvarez. He unfortunately missed out on the scoring bonanza at Coors without the designated hitter spot available, but with the Astros back at home, he should be back in there tonight. The Astros get Felix Pena tonight, who has been hit really hard by lefties throughout his career, and this season has been no exception (.379 wOBA allowed to left-handed hitters this year).
Honorable Mentions: OF Mookie Betts, ($5,000) at DET (Ryan Carpenter), SS Jorge Polanco, ($4,500) vs. TEX (Adrian Sampson), OF Michael Conforto, ($4,300) vs. PHI (Vincent Velasquez), 1B Matt Adams ($4,300) vs. KC (Brad Keller), OF Yordan Alvarez, ($4,600) vs. LAA (Felix Pena)
Value: 3B Justin Turner, LAD ($3,900) vs. SD
Justin Turner returned to the starting lineup last night after missing a couple of games, so assuming he’s back in action again tonight, he makes for a really nice value play against the lefty Eric Lauer. Lauer has shown a below average strikeout rate at just 18.1%. This will be a stiff test for him against a really tough Dodgers lineup that has hit lefties well so far this year as their .334 team wOBA against southpaws (eighth-best) can attest. Turner will hold the platoon advantage and should be right in the middle of things tonight, hitting third for the Dodgers, who have a robust implied team total of just about five runs.
Honorable Mentions: 3B Vlad Guerrero Jr. ($3,800) vs. BAL (Dylan Bundy), 1B Justin Smoak ($3,700) vs. BAL (Dylan Bundy), 2B Robinson Cano ($3,100) vs. PHI (Vince Velasquez), OF Khris Davis ($3,800) at SEA (Yusei Kikuchi), 1B Paul Goldschmidt ($3,600) at SF (Drew Pomeranz).
Top Stack: BOS at DET (Ryan Carpenter)
As mentioned with Martinez earlier, we should have some interest in Red Sox bats tonight. They’ll be facing the lefty Carpenter, who will be called back up following a short demotion to Triple-A. His time in the majors this year (32.2 innings pitched) has been nothing short of a disaster featuring low strikeouts (13.4% strikeout rate) and ugly marks across the board including a .337 xBA, .414 xwOBA, and 46.3% hard-hit rate, all good for bottom 5% marks or lower. This looks, on paper at least, to be a very exploitable matchup for one of the best offenses in baseball. The righties here remain the more conventional plays, but the lefty Rafael Devers at his now-elevated price ($5,500) seems better suited as a very nice GPP play.
Honorable Mentions: ATL vs. MIA (Jordan Yamamoto), OAK at SEA (Yusei Kikuchi), MIN vs. TEX (Adrian Sampson).
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.