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Top Play SP: Patrick Corbin, WAS ($10,900) vs KC
We’ve made it to the final day before the brief All-Star Break. Today’s 11-game slate features quite a few talented arms at the top. We’ll go with Patrick Corbin, who has not replicated last year’s tremendous campaign, but has still been very effective with a 27.3% K rate (19.6% K-BB%), 3.56 FIP, and 3.91 SIERA. Today the Nationals are big home favorites (-225) against the Royals who will be playing without the benefit of the DH. Worth noting too that the Royals have been a well below average offense against lefties this year as their .289 team wOBA vs LHP is fourth from the bottom.
Honorable Mention: Trevor Bauer, CLE ($10,000) at CIN (Tyler Mahle), David Price, BOS ($9,800) at DET (Gregory Soto).
Value SP: James Paxton, NYY ($8,800) at TB
I’m going to take the discount with James Paxton this afternoon. He’s been a disappointment so far with a 4.15 ERA and an ugly 1.45 WHIP. Needless to say, he hasn’t quite put it all together yet, at least in terms of tangible results, but the encouraging thing here is that all three of his pitches have returned nearly identical whiff rates as last year. The Rays aren’t a pushover by any means, but they have shown an elevated K rate as a team, especially versus southpaws at 26%, which is good for fourth highest. Also worth noting here is that this will be Paxton’s first time pitching against them this year. At this price point, there is excellent profit potential here.
If you are looking to just punt at second SP, Trent Thornton could be worth a look. It’s very risky certainly, but at his price he doesn’t need to do a whole lot to return value. And he provides some big savings if you are looking to load up on bats today. He’s shown some reasonable strikeout ability this year (23.2% K rate) and the Orioles have been a very poor offense this year (.300 wOBA, 85 wRC+, and 24.3% K rate).
Honorable Mention: Trent Thornton, TOR ($5,000) vs BAL (Asher Wojciechowski), Tyler Mahle, CIN ($7,800) vs CLE (Trevor Bauer).
1B: Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($4,800) at CWS
White Sox innings-eater extraordinaire Ivan Nova has long struggled against lefties for his career. This year he’s coughed up a .386 wOBA and .330 batting average to opposing left-handed hitters. And what’s more, he’s been especially prone to the long ball this year with a 19.4% HR/FB rate. This would appear to set up nicely for Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs who have an attractive implied total over five and a half runs.
Honorable Mentions: OF Ronald Acuna Jr. ($5,400) vs. MIA (Trevor Richards), OF Kyle Schwarber ($4,300) at CWS (Ivan Nova), OF Juan Soto ($5,200) vs KC (Jakob Junis).
OF: J.D. Martinez, BOS ($4,700) at DET
J.D. Martinez sat out Saturday night’s game so he should be good to go for today’s game. It’s a bit of a mystery who the Tigers will opt to start on Sunday as they and their beleaguered pitching staff limp into the break. We could possibly see the lefty Gregory Soto in some capacity. To put it kindly, he has not been sharp this year, with a K rate below 15% (3.7% K-BB%), 1.88 WHIP, 6.30 FIP, and 5.88 SIERA across 22.1 innings, so this would certainly be a spot worth attacking aggressively. The Red Sox are right there at the top of the board with an implied total pushing six and a half runs. Simply put, Martinez and his teammate Mookie Betts ($4,900) just look too cheap here.
Honorable Mentions: OF Mookie Betts, ($4,900) at DET (Gregory Soto), SS Jorge Polanco, ($4,300) vs. TEX (Joe Palumbo), 2B/OF Cavan Biggio, ($4,700) vs. BAL (Asher Wojciechowski), 3B/SS Alex Bregman, ($4,700) vs. LAA (Jose Suarez), OF Nelson Cruz, ($4,800) vs. TEX (Joe Palumbo)
Value: 2B Jose Altuve, HOU ($3,900) vs. LAA
The Astros will be facing Angels lefty Jose Suarez this afternoon. Through 25 innings this year, he has shown some pretty decent bat-missing ability (23.9% K rate and 12.8% swinging K rate). Regardless, this is a really tough spot for him as he’ll be on the road against one of the best offenses in baseball that’s filled to the brim with quality right-handed hitters. Jose Altuve is certainly having a down year by his previous MVP type standards, but as the two-hole hitter in a great lineup attached to a robust implied total in excess of five and a half runs, there is certainly good value here at his current price point.
If you’re looking for a salary-saver, keep an eye out on the Cubs lineup. If Robel Garcia is in there, he makes for a really intriguing near-minimum-salary punt play. He’s a relative unknown, having played in Italy the past few seasons, but he’s shown some excellent power in AAA this year (.315 ISO in 199 PA). He’ll be hitting from the left side against the White Sox Ivan Nova who has struggled against lefty power for ages now.
Honorable Mentions: 2B Jason Kipnis ($3,700) at CIN (Tyler Mahle), 2B Robel Garcia ($2,200) at CWS (Ivan Nova), OF Adam Eaton ($3,900) vs. KC (Jakob Junis), 1B Rowdy Tellez (GPP) ($3,700) vs BAL (Asher Wojciechowski)
Top Stack: BOS at DET (Gregory Soto)
As mentioned with Martinez earlier, we should have a lot of interest in Red Sox bats this afternoon. There’s some uncertainty as to who the Tigers will be throwing into the fray today. We could be seeing Gregory Soto, who as previously mentioned (3.7% K-BB% and 6.30 FIP) has been pretty rough. But even if we don’t see Soto tomorrow, it most likely won’t change the prognosis too much here: The Tigers quite simply don’t have many options, let alone good ones. Provided we get an at or near full-strength Red Sox lineup here in the last game before the break, this is a prime spot for the Red Sox offense, and Vegas would seem to agree as evidenced by their big implied total of over six runs.
There are a couple of other spots worth mentioning too. The Blue Jays will get their crack at the Orioles pitching staff, which today will be headed by Asher Wojciechowski. He’s allowed a whopping .421 wOBA to lefties for his career (84 IP) so Justin Smoak, Cavan Biggio, and Rowdy Tellez are worth considering today. And speaking of pitchers who struggle against lefties don’t forget to look at the Cubs vs Ivan Nova (19.4% HR/FB .386 wOBA allowed to LHB in 2019).
Honorable Mentions: TOR vs BAL (Asher Wojciechowski), HOU vs LAA (Jose Suarez), CHC at CWS (Ivan Nova).
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.