DraftKings Plays of the Day – April 16
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While all 30 teams take the field on Tuesday night, DraftKings’ main slate cuts off a pair of earlier bouts. This eliminates a matchup between red-hot hurlers Joe Musgrove and Matt Boyd as well as eliminating possible redemptive bounce-back outings from struggling southpaws Chris Sale and James Paxton. There’s still plenty of talent on the ticket, starting with a pair of veterans facing feeble National League foes.
Top SP: Stephen Strasburg ($10,300) vs. SF
There are two excellent options topping the SP catalog in Strasburg and Tyler Glasnow. The latter is priced all the way up to $10,600 against Baltimore following three dominant turns, but Strasburg gets an even more listless foe. As of Monday, the Giants possessed an MLB-worst .248 wOBA, making them the equivalent of 2018 Lewis Brinson. Although Strasburg holds a bloated 5.40 ERA, he has tallied 20 strikeouts in 16.2 innings with a 3.57 FIP and .282 xwOBA. He’s worth the five-figure salary despite stumbling against the much friskier Phillies.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Glasnow ($10,600) vs. BAL.
Value SP: Jose Quintana ($8,400) at MIA
Sure, Quintana may have just pieced together his most strikeouts (11) in a start since July 16, 2017, but it was against the Pirates. Wait, what’s that? His next start is in Miami? OK, cool. Go ahead and play him. There is one major caveat: the Marlins actually have baseball’s lowest strikeout rate (12.6%) against lefties. Don’t expect a repeat in the K column, but since the lefty also tossed seven scoreless frames on Thursday, that gem earns him a nod in one of the best environments and matchups a pitcher can get.
OF Shin-Soo Choo, TEX ($4,300) vs. LAA (RHP Matt Harvey)
Let’s choo-choo choose Choo on Tuesday night. The 36-year-old still has it, batting .333/.439/.563 through 14 games. He should lead off against Harvey, who has remained incapable of retiring lefties. Half of the 36 lefties faced so far have reached base. Three doubled and three touched them all, giving them a collective 1.286 OPS. Before decrying the small sample, they slugged .489 off him in 2018. Choo is the safest play due to his superb batting eye, but Joey Gallo ($4,800) and Nomar Mazara ($4,200) could also inflict major damage in Arlington.
UPDATE: Jaime Barria will make Tuesday’s start instead of Harvey. The righty has handled lefties (.268 wOBA) far better than same-handed hitters (.362 wOBA) during his career, so Choo’s value takes a hit.
3B Josh Donaldson, ATL ($4,000) vs. ARI (LHP Robbie Ray)
A week ago, this pick would have started with a line about Donaldson’s early struggles. He has quickly snapped out of that funk, however, by going 10-for-26 with seven walks, five doubles, and two home runs during an active seven-game hitting streak. Since he’s on such a tear, it’s surprising to see the 2015 AL MVP so affordable against a southpaw. Boasting a career .408 wOBA against lefties, he gets a volatile one in Ray at SunTrust Park. DraftKings players might as well ride the hot hand until his price jumps accordingly.
Honorable Mentions: 1B Christian Walker ($4,200) at ATL (LHP Max Fried); 1B Yonder Alonso ($3,900) vs. KC (Lopez)
Value Bat: OF Jesse Winker, CIN ($3,800) at LAD (RHP Kenta Maeda)
This is an easy call at this cost. Prior to sitting against Clayton Kershaw on Monday night, Winker snapped out of a deep slumber to homer in four of five games. He enters Tuesday night with a career .311/.404/.500 slash line in 419 plate appearances against righties. Maeda, meanwhile, has served up four home runs in three starts. Oddly enough, three came at Dodger Stadium before he settled down at Coors Field. Even during a successful 2018, he ceded a .348 wOBA to opposing lefties. Consider pairing Winker with the discounted Joey Votto ($4,000) and/or Yasiel Puig ($3,600).
Lineup Stack: Rays vs. Orioles (RHP Dylan Bundy)
It is with a heavy heart that I must discontinue my membership to the Dylan Bundy Fan Club. I kept jumping back on board ever time he slayed with his slider for a magical month, only to get burned by the inevitable letdown. The bad Bundy has exclusively appeared in 2019, relinquishing 22 baserunners (15 hits, seven walks) and 12 runs (six homers) in three disastrous turns. Look on the bright side: his 8.76 ERA is higher than his FIP of … 8.67. Yikes. Maybe he’s just bad.
Gamers don’t need to solely play the splits for this stack, as righties have already taken him deep five times after accounting for 24 of his 41 home runs last season. Don’t be shy about spending $4,500 for Tommy Pham, who posted a .352 wOBA against righties in 2018. Yandy Diaz has cooled down from a sizzling start, but that’s reflected in his depreciated sticker price ($3,800). Since lefties pummeled Bundy last year (.319/.385/.553), they still take top priority. Ji-Man Choi ($3,600) wields a career .343 wOBA versus righties, and Brandon Lowe ($4,400) has staked them to all four of his early long balls. This is all without mentioning the searing Austin Meadows, whose $5,000 inflation is too steep when paying up for pitching.
Honorable Mentions: Rangers vs. Angels (Harvey); White Sox vs. Royals (Lopez); Reds at Dodgers (Maeda).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is akgould4) 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.