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Top Play SP: James Paxton, NYY ($11,200) at TEX
With Yu Darvish being shut down, tonight’s 14-game slate features limited options in the top tier. Tyler Glasnow actually leads the slate with a 27.9% K-BB rate and 32.9% CSW, but he is facing a limited workload (52 and 51 pitches in his past two starts) as he continues to get fully stretched out.
James Paxton (20.7% K-BB rate, 29.9% CSW, 3.93 SIERA) looks like the de facto option in the upper tier today. It’s a great matchup too as the Rangers have been a very poor offense against left-handed pitchers with a .313 team wOBA (23rd), 85 wRC+ (26th), and 25.6% strikeout rate (second-worst). The only slight concern is that the Yankees may look to keep his pitch count in check as they get ready for postseason play. Regardless, Paxton easily offers one of the highest strikeout floors of the slate. The Yankees are the biggest favorite on the board at -260.
Walker Buehler (24.4% K-BB rate, 31.7% CSW, 3.48 SIERA) has of course had a wonderful season, but I’ll be staying away tonight because I just feel less certain about his workload in what will be his final regular-season appearance. The Dodgers have been in cruise control for a long while now, and Buehler hasn’t exceeded the 100-pitch threshold since way back on Aug. 9.
Honorable mentions: Jose Berrios ($10,800) at KC (Eric Skoglund).
Value SP: Nathan Eovaldi, BOS ($4,100) vs. BAL
Nathan Eovaldi (12.9% K-BB rate, 29.3% CSW, 4.71 SIERA) has been a scary guy to lean on, especially given the 11.1 % walk rate. So we know he’s not safe by any means. But this price is just too good to pass up as he’s basically priced like a value bat. Eovaldi has shown a solid 23.9% strikeout rate this year and is actually coming off a nice start against the Rays his last time out, when he went six innings and gave up three runs while earning the win. So it’s a little strange to see his price actually come down a full $1,000. Regardless, I’ll take the bait here against a not-too-imposing Orioles lineup (.305 team wOBA, 87 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers this year). Eovaldi and the Red Sox are also substantial (-200) home favorites tonight.
Top Play: OF Giancarlo Stanton, NYY ($4,500) at TEX
As of now, the Yankees own the highest implied run total of the slate at just over seven runs. So their matchup against lefty Joe Palumbo (10.6% K-BB rate, 24.1% CSW, 4.90 SIERA) looks very much like one worth attacking. Whether lefty mashers truly exist has been a topic of debate. It’s certainly true that you have to be careful when evaluating yearly platoon splits against left-handed pitchers in particular as there is almost assuredly a lot of noise year to year. If, however, we are operating under the premise that they, meaning lefty mashers, do not exist, then it may just be abundantly clear that Giancarlo Stanton (.359 wOBA, 128 wRC+ 2018-19) is, in fact, the proverbial Sasquatch. For his career (1138 plate appearances) Stanton has amassed a .422 wOBA and 170 wRC+ against southpaws. Contrast that to his career numbers against right-handed pitchers (3747 plate appearances) of a .369 wOBA and 134 wRC+. Interesting.
Honorable mentions: 2B/SS Gleyber Torres ($4,900) at TEX (Palumbo); OF Soto ($4,600) vs. CLE (Plesac); 1B Mitch Moreland ($4,700) vs. BAL (Asher Wojciechowski); OF Eddie Rosario ($4,900) at KC (Skoglund); 3B ($4,100) Matt Chapman at SEA (Justus Sheffield).
Top Play: 2B/3B Mike Moustakas, MIL ($5,000) at COL
Mike Moustakas (.344 wOBA, 111 wRC + 2018-19) and several of the Brewers regulars sat out yesterday’s contest after clinching a playoff spot, so hopefully they are back in there tonight because they’ll get a fantastic matchup. Antonio Senzatela (2.7% K-BB rate, 22.8% CSW, 5.57 SIERA) is easily one of the worst pitchers of tonight’s slate, and he’ll operate under the added disadvantage of pitching at Coors Field. In addition to an awful 12.6% strikeout rate and 1.75 WHIP, he’s also surrendered a .406 wOBA to opposing left-handed hitters this year. Advantage Moustakas.
Value: 1B Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($3,800) vs. CHC
With the Cubs officially eliminated from postseason contention, they’ve decided to skip what would have been Darvish’s final start tonight. The result is some nice potential value with Cardinals bats who are now set to face Alec Mills (18.5% K-BB rate, 29.7% CSW, 3.80 SIERA). To his credit, Mills has pitched pretty well across his 30 innings this year, but still, he’s a long step down from Darvish, who’s been just phenomenal in the second half this year. Paul Goldschmidt (.346 wOBA, 116 wRC+) as well as his teammate Marcell Ozuna (.337 wOBA, 110 wRC+) are, simply put, just too cheap relative to their talent level.
Honorable mentions: OF Marcell Ozuna ($3,900) vs. CHC (Mills); OF Michael Brantley ($3,900) vs. LAA (Sandoval); C Yadier Molina ($3,300) vs. CHC (Mills); 1B Nate Lowe ($3,800) at TOR (T.J. Zeuch); OF Adam Jones ($3,800) vs. SD (Eric Lauer); 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (GPP) ($3,300) vs. TB (Glasnow).
Top Stack: NYY at TEX (Palumbo)
A game at Coors should always draw a lot of attention for bats, and today is no exception as both teams get exploitable matchups in Senzatela (2.7% K-BB rate, 22.8% CSW, 5.57 SIERA) and Zach Davies (7.7% K-BB rate, 24.9% CSW, 5.42 SIERA). The Red Sox get an intriguing matchup too in Wojciechowski (13.9% K-BB rate, 27.6% CSW, 4.92 SIERA). It’s worth noting that the 160 innings he’s logged across both Triple-A and MLB this year matches his career-best that he logged way back in 2013 as a member of the Astros. So it’s fair to wonder if fatigue may be setting in. Left-handed hitters in particular have given him problems to the tune of a .382 wOBA this year and a .403 mark for his career.
The Astros will get a matchup against the lefty Sandoval (14.8% K-BB rate, 29.6% CSW, 4.40 SIERA). He’s actually done a fantastic job muting enemy right-handed hitters to a .271 wOBA thanks to an outstanding changeup that’s returned a whopping 50% whiff rate. So I’m inclined to fade the Astros here, especially considering their steep prices. Still, we know that they can do a lot of damage and are certainly worth considering. Also Skoglund (-7.2% K-BB rate, 18.7% CSW, 7.69 SIERA) may just be the worst pitcher of the slate, so the Twins are in a potential crush spot assuming they roll out their usual lineup tonight.
But for tonight’s top stack, we’ll go to the Yankees as they take on Joe Palumbo (10.6% K-BB rate, 24.1% CSW, 4.90 SIERA) at Texas. As mentioned earlier, the Yankees currently hold the highest implied run total of the slate, and they could also potentially be getting one or both of Edwin Encarnacion and Gary Sanchez back tonight, which would add to the mayhem here. Below you’ll see a projected lineup with wOBA and wRC+ from this year.
|DJ LeMahieu 2B/3B||$5,400||.376||136|
|Aaron Judge OF||$5,300||.379||139|
|Gleyber Torres 2B/SS||$4,900||.360||125|
|Giancarlo Stanton OF||$4,800||.356||123|
|Edwin Encarnacion 1B||$5,500||.362||129|
|Gary Sanchez C||$5,200||.349||118|
|Luke Voit 1B||$4,500||.365||129|
|Didi Gregorius SS||$4,200||.300||85|
|Brett Gardner OF||$4,900||.344||115|
Its an expensive lineup to stack, but you’d be hard pressed to find a team with as much power upside. There is really just a silly amount of power here from top to bottom. The aforementioned Stanton as well as Luke Voit stand out as the best values here. We don’t have a great sample size yet for Palumbo with just over 13 innings, but a walk rate over 10% in addition to a .381 xwOBA doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. It’s awfully hard to imagine this lineup not doing some damage tonight.
Honorable mentions: BOS vs. BAL (Wojciechowski); MIN at KC (Skoglund); MIL at COL (Senzatela).
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.