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Top Play SP: Madison Bumgarner, SF ($9,200) vs. PIT
Today’s pitching slate is pretty loaded, and I struggled with who to put as the top play. I was actually torn between two categories of two pitchers. Category 1: lower strikeout rate but better matchup (Madison Bumgarner and Kyle Hendricks). Category 2: higher strikeout rate but tougher matchup (Jacob deGrom and Shane Bieber). Because this is geared toward cash games, I went the safer route.
Bumgarner has been a little up and down this year, with the ups coming mostly at home. His 2.83 ERA in Oracle park makes his 5.06 ERA away from home seem like a Jekyll and Hyde scenario. Luckily for us, we get Mr. Hyde. Bumgarner faces the Pirates, who have the league’s worst wRC+ against left-handed pitchers since the All-Star break. The only thing against this matchup is a lack of strikeouts, as the Pirates have only struck out at a 20.6% clip in the second half.
Honorable mentiosn: Hendricks, CHC ($8,800) at SD; deGrom, NYM ($11,200) vs. ARI.
Value SP: Trevor Williams, PIT ($6,500) at SF
What you shouldn’t expect from the rest of this slate is a Giants/Pirates game stack. This is all about the friendly confines of Oracle Park. Trevor Williams has been good over his past three starts, allowing just five earned runs over 19 innings pitched. Getting a matchup against the Giants should allow that streak to continue.
I also wanted to take a second to talk about Jordan Lyles, as he has one of my favorite matchups on the slate. Lyles faces the Marlins, who have put up a 77 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers since the All-Star break while striking out 25.7% of the time. The game is also in Miami, so Lyles gets a nice park upgrade, getting out of Miller Park.
Honorable mention: Lyles, MIL ($8,200) at MIA.
Top Play: OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($4,600) at BOS
To be fair, Eduardo Rodriguez has been very good since the All-Star break, putting up a 2.57 ERA over 70 innings pitched. However, he also has a 4.99 SIERA in that time, as well as an 88.4% left-on-base rate. Rodriguez has allowed 96 baserunners in those 70 innings thrown, with only 20 coming around to score. The regression could come very rapidly against the Yankees today.
Aaron Judge has finally hit his stride, just in time for September, batting .305 with nine bombs over the past three weeks. Judge has three bombs over the past week and despite the slow start to the year has put up a .460 wOBA against left-handed pitchers.
Top Play: 1B Pete Alonso, NYM ($5,100) vs. ARI
With the pitching options being pretty decent, finding hitters I want to roster is pretty tough. That being said, I see nothing wrong with picking on Merrill Kelly. Since the All-Star break, Kelly has allowed a 6.02 ERA over 10 starts while allowing 11 bombs over that period.
That number of bombs should increase today after facing the “King of Mash” Pete Alonso. Alonso has put up a .307 ISO and .394 wOBA against righties this year. Kelly has allowed a .207 ISO to righties this year with a 41.5% hard-hit rate.
Value: OF Jordan Luplow, CLE ($4,100) at LAA
Jordan Luplow gets his favorite kind of matchup today: a lefty. That is literally our criteria for playing Luplow. Luplow has put up a .352 ISO and .441 wOBA against southpaws this year while mashing 10 bombs.
The Indians face Patrick Sandoval, who has an impressive 27% strikeout rate but has struggled with allowing baserunners. In 25.2 innings pitched in the majors this year, Sandoval has allowed 35 batters to reach base, which has led to a 4.91 ERA.
Top Stack: Astros vs. Athletics (RHP Mike Fiers)
Mike Fiers is in the same “regression is coming” category as Eduardo Rodriguez. Fiers has put up a 2.90 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. However, that comes with an 89.3% left-on-base rate and a 5.06 SIERA. Regression could come quite fast against the Astros today.
The Astros will be without Yuli Gurriel today, but despite that, their projected lineup has a combined .227 ISO and .363 wOBA against right-handed pitching this year. If you can afford the top five of the Astros—George Spinger ($5,400), Jose Altuve ($4,600), Michael Brantley ($4,200), Bregman ($5,200), and Yordan Alvarez ($5,500)—then by all means, that’s your stack. However, if you need a value bat or two, you can look to Aledmys Diaz ($3,700) or Toro ($2,900). Good luck today!
Honorable mentions: Yankees at Red Sox (LHP Rodriguez); Brewers at Marlins (RHP Robert Dugger).
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.