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Top Play SP: Jose Berrios, MIN ($10,200) vs. CHW
The top spot on today’s slate came down to Stephen Strasburg and Jose Berrios. There were a couple of factors that pushed me toward Berrios, and it was a split decision. On the Strasburg side, he has the highest strikeout rate on the slate at 29.7%. On the Berrios side, he has a matchup against the White Sox, who have a 25.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching since Aug. 1. The breaking point was that Berrios is at home, where he has a 3.32 ERA. Strasburg, on the other hand, is on the road, where he has a 3.61 ERA. You can almost flip a coin, these two are so close, and I’m fine with either of them in cash games.
Value SP: Pablo Lopez, MIA ($5,500) at ARI
Pablo Lopez is a pitcher on whom I’m excited to take a deep dive in the offseason. Lopez has struggled some in four starts since his return from the IL but will look to take advantage of a struggling Diamondbacks squad. Since Aug. 1, the Diamondbacks have just a 77 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
On Sept. 6, Lopez put together a gem against the Royals, going 6.1 innings allowing two earned runs and striking out six. The Royals, like today’s opponent the Diamondbacks, also have a 77 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Coincidence? I think not.
Honorable mention: Zach Davies, MIL ($6,100) vs. SD.
Top Play: OF Michael Conforto, NYM ($5,400) at COL
Michael Conforto and the Mets travel to Coors for a matchup against Antonio Senzatela. I’m someone who loves predictability, especially when it comes to sports. Senzatela throws his fastball 64% of the time, which means the Mets should be able to just sit fastball and crush it. Using this heavy fastball pitch mix, Senzatela has allowed at least five earned runs in six of his past seven appearances. Against righties this year, Conforto has put up a .279 ISO and .382 wOBA.
Top Play: 1B Matt Olson, OAK ($5,200) vs. KC
What Matt Olson has been able to do this year is pretty special. Back in March, he broke his hamate bone in the opening series in Japan. Typically, this type of injury saps a player of his power even upon returning, but not Olson. He missed about seven weeks and returned on May 7. Over the course of four months and a week, Olson has mashed 34 bombs and batted .274.
Olson is running even hotter since Aug. 1, batting .297 with 12 bombs. Today, Olson faces Glenn Sparkman, who shocked the world on July 16 by throwing a complete-game shutout against the White Sox. Since that game, Sparkman has made up for being stingy, allowing 46 runs in 49.1 innings, including 14 bombs. I expect the Athletics to continue Sparkman’s giving ways.
Value: OF Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($3,900) vs. CIN
Keep an eye on the lineup for where Kyle Schwarber lands, but as of this writing, he’s projected to bat cleanup. Schwarber has put together a 35-homer season but has really come alive down the stretch. Since Aug. 1, Schwarber has hit .263 against righties with nine bombs, leading to a .323 ISO and .386 wOBA.
Schwarber and the Cubs face Kevin Gausman today, who will be the beginning of a bullpen game for the Reds. Since Aug. 1, the Reds bullpen has a 4.82 ERA, which is pretty much middle of the pack. This price is just too cheap for Schwarber.
Honorable mentions: OF Khris Davis, OAK ($3,700) vs. KC.
Top Stack: Athletics vs. Royals (RHP Glenn Sparkman)
The Coors game is the highest projected scoring game according to Vegas, currently holding a 13.5 total. If you can afford to stack either the Rockies or Mets, then by all means, do that. However, I’ve already highlighted several plays from that game, so I wanted to provide you with some other options.
The Athletics get my favorite matchup outside of Coors, facing Sparkman. As we discovered in the Olson writeup, Sparkman is, well, not great at baseball. For the year, Sparkman has allowed a 41.3% hard-hit rate and is striking out just 13.2% of the batters he’s faced.
I’m starting off my stack with the top three bats, Semien ($5,300), Matt Chapman ($4,300), and Olson ($5,200). From there, I’d choose two of the following, depending on what you can afford—Ramon Laureano ($4,800), Davis ($3,700), Mark Canha ($4,400), and Seth Brown ($3,400). Good luck today!
Honorable mentions: Mets at Rockies (RHP Senzatela); Twins vs. White Sox (RHP Reynaldo Lopez).
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.