DraftKings Plays of the Day—9/20
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Top Play SP: Shane Bieber, CLE ($12,200) vs. PHI
Leading tonight’s starters in both CSW at 33.2% and K-BB rate at 25.7% is Shane Bieber. Second-place honors go to Charlie Morton (32.4% CSW and 22.9% K-BB rate), who gets a less-than-ideal matchup against the Red Sox, although they could also be down both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, which certainly would help his case. Still, we’ll go with Bieber, who is coming off a down performance against the Twins his last time out when he recorded just four strikeouts. To find the last time he failed to record at least six strikeouts, you’d have to go all the way back to June 9 against the Yankees. Last year, Bieber showed some drastic splits, allowing a .376 wOBA and .231 ISO to opposing lefties. This year though, he’s been brilliant against both right- and left-handed hitters, holding them both to under a .290 wOBA. He’ll face a Phillies lineup that’s been pretty pedestrian against right-handed pitchers this year with a .312 team wOBA (19th) and 90 wRC+. And they may also be down Jean Segura too.
Value SP: Dylan Cease, CWS ($8,300) at DET
Truth be told, I wish Dylan Cease (13.3% K-BB rate, 26.8% CSW, 4.72 SIERA) were just a little cheaper to better account for his volatility. He’s shown plenty reasonable swing-and-miss skills evinced by a 24.2% strikeout rate. However, the lack of polish in his command (10.9% walk rate) has been his undoing on several occasions. He’s not a safe play by any means, so keep that in mind, but as we close out the year, I think it’s not a bad thing to embrace some volatility in the hopes of capturing a ceiling type performance. There’s at least a reasonable chance we see that today against the Detroit Tigers and their .287 team wOBA and league-worst 75 wRC+ against right-handed hitters this year.
At right around the same price is Anibal Sanchez (10.4% K-BB rate, 26.7% CSW, 5.12 SIERA). Cease has more strikeout upside, but Sanchez gets an equally appealing matchup against the bottom-dwelling Marlins (.286 team wOBA, 77 wRC + vs. right-handed pitchers).
And if you’re feeling really frisky Felix Hernandez (11.6% K-BB rate, 29.8% CSW, 4.81 SIERA) is there at $5,000, so he’s in play as a risky punt play for tournaments against the Orioles (.303 team wOBA, 85 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers).
Honorable mentions: Sanchez WAS ($8,100) at MIA (Robert Dugger); Hernandez (GPP) SEA ($5,000) at BAL (Chandler Shepherd).
Top Play: 1B Freddie Freeman, ATL ($4,900) vs. SF
Tyler Beede (11.8% K-BB rate, 27.8% CSW, 4.84 SIERA) has shown an affinity for surrendering loud contact (43.6% hard-hit rate) in addition to an elevated 9.1% walk rate. This could get him in a trouble against a tough Braves lineup (.333 team wOBA, 102 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers). Beede’s strikeout rate drops from 24.4% to right-handed hitters down to just 16.6% against left-handed hitters while also ceding a .361 wOBA and .205 ISO to lefties, so that looks like a weakness worth exploiting with Freddie Freeman (.423 wOBA, 161 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in 2019). The Braves have a nice implied team total hovering around five and a half runs tonight.
Honorable mentions: 3B Miguel Sano ($4,900) vs. KC (Eric Skoglund); OF Michael Brantley ($4,400) vs. LAA (Barria); 1B/2B Max Muncy ($4,500) vs. COL (Peter Lambert).
Top Play: OF Nelson Cruz, MIN ($5,300) vs. KC
Granted, he’s thrown all of 14 innings this year, but Eric Skoglund (-7.5% K-BB rate, 7.70 SIERA) has been nothing short of a disaster this year, showing next to no strikeout ability (18.7% CSW), and last year in 70 innings, he allowed a .351 xwOBA. So he’s someone we should look to target with hitters. What better way than with Nelson Cruz (.405 wOBA, 155 wRC+ in 2019). Cruz has mauled opposing left-handed pitchers this year to the tune of an 1.128 OPS (.449 wOBA).
Honorable mentions: OF Aaron Judge ($5,100) vs. TOR (Jacob Waguespack); OF Cody Bellinger ($5,500) vs. COL (Lambert); 3B/SS Alex Bregman ($5,400) vs. LAA (Barria).
Value: OF Franmil Reyes, CLE ($3,800) vs. PHI
Drew Smyly has given up a ton of hard contact, evinced by a gaudy .368 xwOBA and 10.2% barrel rate. He’s also a pitcher who gives up a lot of fly-ball contact (17.3-degree average launch angle). So this looks like an ideal time to target Franmil Reyes (.332 wOBA, 105 wRC+ in 2019) on the cheap. At this price and in a plus matchup, Reyes holds a ton of upside.
At the same price is also Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who gets a date with J.A. Happ, who has surrendered a .348 wOBA and .235 ISO to enemy righties. Happ has allowed 33 home runs on the year, which leads tonight’s slate.
Honorable mentions: 2B/SS Gavin Lux ($3,700) vs. COL (Lambert); 1B Nate Lowe ($3,600) vs. BOS (Porcello); 3B Guerrero Jr. ($3,800) at NYY (Happ); SS J.P. Crawford ($3,600) at BAL (Shepherd); 3B Matt Chapman (GPP) ($3,800) vs. TEX (Mike Minor).
Top Stack: LAD vs. COL (Lambert)
The Astros are set up well tonight as they get to face off against Barria (13.7% K-BB rate, 26.8% CSW, 4.68 SIERA) and his reverse splits (.395 wOBA and .350 ISO (!) allowed to right-handed htiters). There are quite a few good right-handed bats here to could take advantage of, and don’t forget the Astros also got Carlos Correa back recently too.
Jacob Waguespack (8.9% K-BB rate, 25.4% CSW, 5.15 SIERA) has shown some serious reverse splits as he’s coughed up a .376 wOBA and .230 ISO to opposing right-handed hitters this year. Yeah, that’s not what you want heading to Yankee Stadium to face a lineup loaded with right-handed power. And the Yankees also got Giancarlo Stanton back too. Though, keep in mind the Yankees clinched the division yesterday, so we may get a hangover lineup for today’s game.
So for tonight’s top stack, we’ll go to the Dodgers. They get a great matchup against the righty Lambert (4.7% K-BB rate, 23.7% CSW, 5.53 SIERA). He’s surrendered a .411 wOBA to left-handed hitters and a.372 mark to right-handed hitters. Not good. Below, you’ll get a quick look at the Dodgers projected lineup with their wOBA and wRC+ from this year:
|Joc Pederson OF||$4,200||.355||122|
|Max Muncy 2B/1B||$4,500||.367||131|
|Justin Turner 3B||$4,500||.370||132|
|Cody Bellinger OF||$5,500||.416||162|
|AJ Pollock OF||$4,500||.334||109|
|Corey Seager SS||$4,300||.332||107|
|Will Smith C||$4,100||.347||117|
|Gavin Lux 2B/SS||$3,700||.334||109|
The great thing about the Dodgers lineup is that the only bat over $5,000 is Bellinger. Relative to the Astros, it’s a cost-effective stack that features a bevy of talented bats. In particular, leadoff man Joc Pederson, who has made a nice career mashing right-handed pitchers, looks like a stellar value at just $4,200.
Honorable mentions: HOU vs. LAA (Barria); NYY vs. TOR (Waguespack); ATL vs. SF (Beede); MIN vs. KC (Skoglund).
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.