DraftKings Plays of the Day—8/30
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Top Play SP: Trevor Bauer, CIN ($10,400) at STL
Shane Bieber (25.6%, 3.33 SIERA) has the highest floor of tonight’s crop of probable pitchers. But we’ll take a discount and go with the mercurial talent that is Trevor Bauer. To say his 2019 season has been a roller coaster would be an understatement. Roughly a month into his Reds tenure has seen him oscillate between dominant and deplorable results. Erratic outcomes aside the underlying talent is there, evinced by a 27.5% strikeout rate and 12 % swinging-strike rate. The volatility comes with a solid discount off the more reliable arms of Aaron Nola ($11,300) and Bieber ($11,800), and given the matchup against a not-so-great Cardinals offense (.311 team wOBA, 90 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019), I’d be willing to take a chance here.
Honorable mention: Bieber, CLE ($11,800) at TB (Austin Pruitt).
Value SP: Max Fried, ATL ($7,500) vs. CWS
The lefty Max Fried has perhaps been a little unlucky as he’s sporting a .345 BABIP, leading to an inflated 1.40 WHIP. Looking past that, though, he’s shown some excellent ability, evidenced by a 16.7% K-BB rate and 3.98 SIERA along with an excellent 2.34 GB/FB ratio. We’ve seen some strikeout upside too from him in a couple of his recent starts, eight against the Dodgers in five frames and 10 against the Twins also in just five innings. Tonight, the Braves will host the White Sox, who have been more or less an average offense against southpaws with a team wOBA of .319 and 99 wRC+ to go along with a 24% strikeout rate (ninth-highest). The Braves are big home favorites tonight (-190), while the visiting implied total for the visiting White Sox sits at a very modest four runs.
Honorable mention: Kolby Allard, TEX ($8,000) vs. SEA (Marco Gonzales).
Top Play: OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($5,300) vs. OAK
After an extended power outage, Aaron Judge has seemingly come alive with a bang, notching five home runs in his past six contests. The Yankees just wrapped up an extended West Coast road trip and will return to the friendly confines in the Bronx to take on the lefty Brett Anderson, who is the definition of a hittable pitcher (12% strikeout rate, 5.27 SIERA). His sinker has allowed an xwOBA of .433 to opposing right-handed hitters. The Yankees also hold a robust implied total in excess of six runs. This all sets up well for Judge to continue his recent string of success.
Honorable mentions: OF Nelson Cruz ($5, 400) at DET (Edwin Jackson); 1B Josh Bell ($5,700) at COL (Antonio Senzatela); SS Trevor Story ($5,600) vs PIT (Dario Agrazal); OF Ronald Acuna Jr. ($5, 600) vs. CWS (Ivan Nova); OF Yordan Alvarez ($5,600) at TOR (Trent Thornton).
Top Play: OF Jorge Soler, KC ($4,200) vs. BAL
As of this writing, the Orioles have yet to tab an official starter for tonight’s game against the Royals. Though it’s probably fair to say that whoever gets the nod for a beleaguered O’s staff is going to present a great matchup for the Royals slugger Jorge Soler. He’s enjoying a true post-hype breakout this year as his 36 home runs to date shatter his previous high watermark of 12 in roughly half of a season back in 2016 with the Cubs. It’s certainly backed by his batted-ball metrics too as his 15.7% barrel rate is good for top 3% in MLB, while his xwOBA of .381, average exit velocity of 92.5 mph, and hard-hit rate of 48.8% are all marks representing the top 10% or better. This looks like a great time to buy on Soler with the Orioles in town.
Honorable mentions: 3B/OF Hunter Dozier ($4,400) vs. BAL (TBD); 2B Ryan McMahon ($4,600) vs. PIT (Agrazal); 1B Daniel Murphy ($4,500) vs. PIT (Agrazal); 3B Josh Donaldson ($4,500) vs. CWS (Nova); C Gary Sanchez ($4,700) vs. OAK (Anderson);2B/SS Gleyber Torres ($4,900) vs. OAK (Anderson); OF Michael Brantley ($4,800) at TOR (Thornton).
Value: 2B Nick Solak, TEX ($3,500) vs. SEA
With teammate Rougned Odor in a complete tailspin at the plate this year, the rookie Nick Solak, who was acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Rays at the deadline, should be given ample opportunity to play as the Rangers head into the final month. Solak is a prospect of reasonable repute, having cracked the top-100 prospect list on Fangraphs. This year in Triple-A (359 plate appearances), he showed some solid ability with a .359 wOBA, .219 ISO, and .353 OBP. He’ll most likely be hitting near the middle of the order and will hold the platoon advantage against the lefty Marco Gonzales (11.9% K-BB rate, 4.90 SIERA).
(Honorable mentions: OF Justin Upton ($3,700) vs. BOS (Eovaldi); OF Yasiel Puig ($3,700) at TB (Pruitt); 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,100) vs. HOU (Wade Miley); OF Josh Rojas ($2,500) vs. LAD (Tony Gonsolin); 2B/3B Luis Arraez ($3,900) vs. DET (Jackson); C Jason Castro ($3,700) at DET (Jackson).
Top Stack: MIN at DET (Jackson)
Tonight’s slate features a game at Coors with two pitchers who are absolutely allergic to strikeouts in the visiting Dario Agrazal (5.2% K-BB rate, 5.84 SIERA) and the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela (1.6% K-BB rate, 5.75 SIERA). Needless to say, we should expect plenty of offensive fireworks there. Brett Anderson (5.2% K-BB%, 5.27) will march into Yankee Stadium to take on a lineup chock full of righty power that is also set to welcome back Luke Voit.
But I’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the Twins’ matchup against Edwin Jackson. You have to hand it to E-Jax in that at the very least he’s been incredibly resilient, having pitched in the major leagues since 2003, when he debuted at age 19, an impressive feat in its own right. Pressed into service by a Detroit staff simply devoid of options, Jackson has been a veritable punching bag, amassing an 8.70 ERA and 1.87 WHIP across 49.2 innings. He’s allowed a .395 wOBA to left-handed hitters and a .477 wOBA to right-handed hitters to go along with a 26.6% HR/FB rate. This is an eruption spot for an offense that paces the league in home runs. Eddie Rosario (.334 wOBA, 106 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019) looks like a great value as the likely cleanup hitter at $4,600. Nelson Cruz (.404 wOBA, 153 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019), Miguel Sano (.370 wOBA, 130 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019), Jorge Polanco (.381 wOBA, 137 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019), and Max Kepler (.357 wOBA, 121 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019) look like great spends as part of a high upside stack. If you’re looking for a cheap catcher, Jason Castro (.359 wOBA, 123 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019) could be a potential value to consider at just $3,700.
Honorable mentions: COL vs. PIT (Agrazal); PIT at COL (Senzatela); NYY vs. OAK (Anderson); HOU at TOR (Thornton).
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.