DraftKings Plays of the Day—8/16
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Top Play SP: Charlie Morton, TB ($11,600) vs. DET
Tonight features a massive 15-game slate with plenty of spots for bats in addition to a few ace-level arms to pick from. Justin Verlander leads the board with a 34.5% K rate but not too far behind is another veteran righty in Charlie Morton whose 30.5% K rate is good for third highest tonight (Lucas Giolito is 2nd at 31%). The key here though is a decent discount of Verlander ($12,400) and a fantastic matchup against the Tigers. Far from a secret but it’s worth repeating how bad they’ve been offensively with a .286 team wOBA against RHP, 75 wRC+, and a 26.1% K rate. The Rays are the biggest favorite on the board at -290 while the visiting Tigers have an implied total under three runs.
Luis Castillo (29.5% K rate; 19%K-BB%) also gets a great matchup against a struggling Cardinals offense that has posted just a .308 wOBA (89 wRC+) over the past month. The Reds are solid home favorites (-145) today while the visiting Cardinals have an implied total just barely over four runs. He looks like an excellent option for tournaments.
Value SP: Vince Velasquez, PHI ($7,200) vs. SD
For his career, Vince Velasquez has shown very distinct splits: decimating RHB (.320 wOBA; 27% K rate) but has struggling against lefties (.345 wOBA allowed; 23.7% K rate). Tonight he’ll face a predominantly right-handed Padres lineup which, considering his splits, sets up well for his chances to spike a ceiling game here. What’s more, is that the Padres have a 26.4% k rate against RHP which is the second-worst just behind the White Sox (26.5%). As of this writing, this game is set at a pick ’em with both teams implied to score about four and a half runs.
Similarly priced at $8,000 is Jon Gray (23.7% K rate; 14.3 K-BB%) who gets a great matchup in the Marlins (.282 wOBA; 75 wRC+ vs RHP). Though, the venue at Coors likely relegates him to tournaments. It’s not too often you see the Marlins with an implied total over five runs like tonight.
Honorable mention: Gray (GPP) ($8,000) vs MIA (Alcantara); Leake ($6,000) vs SF (Samardzija).
Top Play: SS Trevor Story, COL ($5,700) vs. MIA
There’s a game in Coors today so we should be giving a long look at some of the big Rockies bats. The Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara has held both lefties and righties below a .330 wOBA this year but as a pitcher that doesn’t miss many bats (16.8% K rate second-lowest on tonight’s slate) this could present a problem at the BABIP haven that is Coors. Alcantara leans most heavily on his fastball and sinker which he combines to throw over 50% of the time. Trevor Story, meanwhile, has crushed fastballs this year to the tune of a .388 xwOBA. He’s certainly expensive but there’s added upside tonight considering the Rockies currently hold a huge implied team total just under seven and a half runs.
Honorable mentions: OF Charlie Blackmon ($5,500) vs MIA (Alcantara); 3B Nolan Arenado ($5,200) vs MIA (Alcantara); OF Mookie Betts ($5,200) vs. BAL (Brooks); OF JD Martinez ($5,100) vs. BAL (Brooks); SS Xander Bogaerts ($5,300) vs BAL (Brooks); 1B Peter Alonso ($5,100) at KC (Montgomery).
Top Play: OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($4,300) vs. CLE
Injury-shortened season aside it really has been a strange 2019 for Aaron Judge as our own Matt Wallach details here. He’s been very productive overall (123 wRC+) but the power hasn’t been what many people would have expected especially considering the offensive explosion we’ve witnessed league-wide. So it’s pretty surprising to see him sitting at just 12 home runs in mid-August. Meanwhile, his teammate Gio Urshela, of all players, has hit a comparatively robust 18. The matchup in righty Aaron Civale doesn’t really leap out at you given that he’s shown some good ability in the minors with a 26.1% K rate in AAA this year but what this really comes down to is a chance to buy low on Judge who we know still has monumental upside and at Yankee Stadium no less. The Yankees have an excellent implied total just under six runs.
Honorable mentions: OF Andrew Benintendi ($4,700) vs BAL (Brooks); SS Bo Bichette ($4,800) vs. SEA (TBD); OF Tommy Pham ($4,300) vs DET (Norris); 1B Daniel Murphy ($4,100) vs MIA (Alcantara); 3B Jose Ramirez ($4,700) vs. NYY (Tanaka); 2B Ryan McMahon ($4,700) vs MIA (Alcantara)
Value: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR ($3,900) vs. SEA
As of this writing, the Mariners have yet to announce an official starter for tonight’s game against the Jays. Regardless, I think it’s reasonably safe to assume there isn’t going to be a Cy Young contender walking through the doors this evening if the Jay’s implied total of right around five and a half runs is any indication. This looks like a fantastic opportunity to buy low on the young phenom Vlad Guerrero Jr. Outside of Vladdy there’s some other Jays that could provide excellent value in Teoscar Hernandez ($4,000), Cavan Biggio ($4,000), and Justin Smoak ($3,700).
Honorable mentions: 2B Cavan Biggio ($4,000) vs TOR (TBD); 2B/OF Josh VanMeter ($3,700) vs STL (Wainwright); OF Eloy Jimenez ($3,800) at LAA (Sandoval); 2B Starlin Castro ($3,900) at COL (Gray); 1B/3B Jake Lamb ($3,600) vs SF (Samardzija); 3B Matt Duffy ($3,300) vs DET (Norris), OF Jackie Bradley Jr ($3,800) vs BAL (Brooks), OF Teoscar Hernandez ($4,000) vs SEA (TBD).
Top Stack: BOS vs. BAL (Brooks)
Who gets the Orioles tonight? The Red Sox. So one of baseball’s best offenses against RHP (.350 wOBA; 114 wRC+ vs RHP) against Aaron Brooks (11.9% K-BB%, 6.13 FIP, and 5.27 xFIP) and one of the worst pens in baseball. Oh boy. Needless to say, this has all the makings of a blow-up spot for the Red Sox whose implied total of roughly seven and a half runs currently leads the slate. For his career (133 IP), Brooks has actually been beaten a bit worse by RHB (.400 wOBA allowed; 14.9% K rate) as opposed to LHB (.365 wOBA allowed; 18.3% K rate). Considering the circumstances, every bat here is fair game but this would appear to set up especially well for the likes of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez.
As mentioned earlier we’ve also got a game at Coors tonight so you know the drill. Visiting Sandy Alcantara has shown a really low 16.7% K rate this year which should put him at the mercy of the BABIP lords at Coors. That’s never an appealing proposition for any pitcher. He’s been even splits wise this year (.325 wOBA vs LHB; .328 wOBA vs RHB). The Rockies have an implied total of over seven runs, just behind Boston.
Honorable mentions: NYY vs CLE (Civale); COL vs MIA (Alcantara); NYM at KC (Montgomery); (GPP) ATL vs LAD (Maeda).
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.