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This covers the five-game slate starting at 6:35.
Top Play SP: Mike Clevinger, CLE ($11,400) vs. DET
If they gave out a second-half Cy Young award, Mike Clevinger would receive a decent amount of first-place votes. In 13 starts since the All-Star break, Clevinger has averaged 6.38 innings per start and put up a 2.17 ERA while striking out 33.4% of the batters he faced. Long story short, he has been dominant.
Clevinger faces the Tigers, who have struggled against right-handed pitching. Since the All-Star break, the Tigers have put up a 79 wRC+ against righties, which is good for 29th in the league. In addition, they’ve struck out at a league-leading 27.3% during that time. Clevinger is certainly expensive, but the upside he provides justifies his price, especially on a short slate.
Honorable mention: Kyle Hendricks, CHC ($9,800) vs. STL.
Value SP: Masahiro Tanaka, NYY ($7,500) vs. LAA
Let’s talk about Masahiro Tanaka’s Jekyll and Hyde-like splits. On the road, Tanaka has a 6.16 ERA in 80.1 innings pitched this year. In the apparent friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, Tanaka has a 3.24 ERA in 91.2 innings pitched. To be fair, he’s always pitched better in Yankee Stadium, it just hasn’t been this extreme.
Today, Tanaka gets a matchup with the Trout-less Angels. Since Mike Trout last played on Sept. 7, the Angels have put up a 74 wRC+ against righties while striking out 24.2% of the time. As a team, they’ve batted a collective .213 against right-handed pitching.
Honorable mention: Kyle Gibson, MIN ($8,200) vs. KC.
Top Play: 1B/OF Trey Mancini, BAL ($4,900) vs. TOR
One of the few bright spots of the Orioles’ season has been Trey Mancini putting up career highs in homers, runs, and RBI. Since Aug. 1, Mancini has batted .276, while belting out 10 bombs and nine doubles. Mancini’s on a heater, adding four multi-hit games in his past five.
It’s OK to not know who’s starting, right? It appears as though Anthony Kay is definitely pitching. Whether that will be after an opener is the question, as ESPN has Wilmer Font starting the game. Either one is fine by me. Kay has allowed seven runs in 10 innings pitched in the majors this year, and Mancini has crushed lefties to the tune of a .269 ISO and .375 wOBA.
Top Play: 2B Cavan Biggio, TOR ($5,200) at BAL
Let’s talk about Mr. Cycle himself, Cavan Biggio, who had four hits in five at-bats on Tuesday and added two steals in addition to the necessary homer-triple-double-single. Biggio had been on a heater since Aug. 27, batting .365 with a 20.9% walk rate. He added four homers and four steals over that period as well.
Biggio and the Blue Jays face Gabriel Ynoa in Baltimore to close out the series. In 48.2 innings since the All-Star break, Ynoa has allowed 33 runs (29 earned) while striking out just 12.7% of batters. He’s struggled against hitters from both sides of the plate, allowing greater than a .200 ISO and .350 wOBA to both lefties and righties this year. One of Biggio’s biggest negatives this year has been his 28.4% strikeout rate, so facing a pitcher who doesn’t strike out anybody should mean very good things for Biggio today.
Value: 1B C.J. Cron, MIN ($3,900) vs. KC
Something with which I’m struggling on this slate is whether to target against Mike Montgomery. When he was on the Cubs, Montgomery was one of my favorites to pick on because of his low strikeout rate. However, since joining the Royals, Montgomery has added a cutter and is throwing it around 22% of the time, and consequently, his strikeout has risen from to 14.6% to 18.5%.
With limited options on this five-game slate, I’m voting to play against Montgomery, and the Twins have some value with big bopper, C.J. Cron. Cron has hit lefties well this year, putting up a .328 ISO and .428 wOBA.
Honorable mentions: OF Anthony Santander, BAL ($3,900) vs. TOR.
Top Stack: Orioles vs. Blue Jays (LHP Anthony Kay)
This might be an unpopular opinion, but the Orioles offense has not been terrible this year. Sure, the Orioles at 54 games below .500 (oh dear), but they’ve put up the 15th-best wRC+ against lefties since the All-Star break. In addition to Mancini, guys such as Hanser Alberto ($3,600), Anthony Santander ($3,900), and Renato Nunez ($4,000) have been very good against left-handed pitching. Add in the power/speed threat of Jonathan Villar ($4,800) and we have a full five-man stack. Good luck today!
Honorable mentions: Blue Jays at Orioles (RHP Ynoa); Twins vs. Royals (LHP Montgomery); Indians vs. Tigers (LHP Daniel Norris).
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.