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Top Play SP: Walker Buehler, LAD ($10,900) vs. SDP
There are a lot of fun options on today’s slate, but Walker Buehler takes the cake. Buehler has the trifecta—great strikeout matchup, an offense that struggles against right-handed pitching, and good ballpark factor. The Padres have the third-highest strikeout rate against righties and rank in the bottom third in wRC+. Finally, when we take a look at park factors, Dodgers Stadium ranks as the 4th best park at suppressing runs. Buehler is the first pitcher I’m locking into my lineup today.
Value SP: Aaron Sanchez, HOU ($5,300) vs. SEA
When I heard the Astros traded for Aaron Sanchez, I thought someone in their front office had a stroke. Then I read this writeup over at Fangraphs and realized the Astros do a lot of things right. At this price, I think it’s worth it to take a shot on Sanchez and hope that the Astros can get the most out of him. There are two additional positives that come from Sanchez’s move to Houston. One is that Minute Maid Park is known as a park that pitchers tend to have higher strikeout rates. The second is that going from having the Blue Jays back him to the Astros is a major upgrade in run production.
Honorable mention: Dakota Hudson, STL ($6,700) at OAK.
Top Play: OF Nelson Cruz, MIN ($5,200) vs. KCR
Anytime Nelson Cruz is facing a lefty, we have to give him a look. Cruz has an unreal .440 ISO and .455 wOBA against left-handed pitching. On the surface, Danny Duffy hasn’t been terrible against righties this year, allowing just a .334 wOBA, but the underlying numbers tell a different story. Duffy’s 18.8% strikeout rate combined with a 44.7% hard-hit rate against righties spells trouble against the power bats of Minnesota.
Top Play: 3B Nolan Arenado, COL ($5,000) vs. SFG
Nolan Arenado does not have a walk in the park today, facing Madison Bumgarner. However, anytime we can get Arenado in Coors facing a lefty for this price, we have to take advantage. For the year, Arenado has put up his usual, ho-hum, .425 wOBA against lefties. Bumgarner has struck out just 22.8% of righties, compared to 30.4% of lefties, white allowing a 45.3% hard-hit rate. Those issues may be suppressed by Oracle Park, but he should run into plenty of damage in Coors Field.
Value: 1B Brandon Belt, SFG ($4,000) at COL
I know Brandon Belt still hasn’t taken the next step that I always think he’s going to take, but can we at least appreciate that he’s managed to increase his already elite walk rate and has the lowest strikeout rate of his career. Belt will take those elite plate discipline skills into Coors and, at this price, he’ll likely be super chalky. He’s a must play in cash game lineups today.
Top Stack: Twins vs Royals (LHP Danny Duffy)
With decent pitchers going in Coors (Bumgarner and Gray), I wanted to feature my best non-Coors stack and that’s the Twins. The Twins are loaded up with righty power but have a balanced enough lineup that can take advantage, even when the bullpen takes over. I’m starting this stack off with the aforementioned Cruz, before moving on to Miguel Sano ($4,800), Mitch Garver ($5,200), Marwin Gonzalez ($3,400), and Byron Buxton ($4,200). Good luck today.
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.