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Wednesday afternoon’s trade deadline could wreak havoc on Tuesday evening’s DraftKings slate. Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to start against the strikeout-heavy White Sox, but there’s too much risk of Thor getting scratched or pulled to comfortably look his way. The same goes for Tanner Roark, who is currently in line to host the Pirates. Gamers need to be on full hug watch before submitting any lineups.
Top SP: David Price, BOS ($9,000) vs. TB
DraftKings doesn’t seem to like Price. Boston’s southpaw is cheaper than Yu Darvish ($9,800), Jake Odorizzi ($9,400) and Chris Bassitt ($9,400) despite averaging more DK points per start (17.1) than all of them. He bounced back from a six-run shelling at Baltimore to post a bare-minimum quality start (6 IP, 3 ER) against Tampa Bay last Wednesday. He also recorded eight strikeouts, which makes sense since only the Rangers have a higher strikeout rate against southpaws than the Rays. Price will face his former team again at home, where he holsters a 2.89 ERA. This time, he’ll oppose a diminished lineup missing Yandy Diaz and Kevin Kiermaier. Tommy Pham might also be out after leaving Sunday’s game with a hand strain. All of those factors make it well worth fading Justin Verlander and using the extra $2,400 for better bats.
Value SP: Tyler Beede, SF ($7,100) at PHI
Pitching at Philadelphia isn’t as frightening as it seems. The Phillies have posted a middle-of-the-pack 101 wRC+ at Citizens Bank Park, and their overall wRC+ is down to 90 in July. Beede, meanwhile, has recorded a 2.63 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 27.1 innings this month. He’s fared much better at his spacious home park but just ceded three homers to the Cubs last Wednesday, so this certainly isn’t a safe pick. Yet Griffin Canning, the far superior matchup play against Detroit, is even riskier after tallying negative DK points in two of his last three turns.
OF A.J. Pollock, LAD ($4,500) at COL (LHP Kyle Freeland)
Freeland has a 9.55 ERA and .338/.385/.655 slash line at Coors Field, so gamers need some Dodgers exposure despite the elevated cost. Since six of their active players cost at least $4,900, a stack will be awfully difficult unless punting pitching. DraftKings was nice enough to leave one great value in Pollock, who possesses a career 118 wRC+ against lefties. He’s hitting .268 (15-for-56) with four homers and two steals in 16 games since returning from an elbow injury and is 16-for-42 in short work against southpaws this season.
1B Matt Olson, OAK ($4,300) vs. MIL (TBD)
As of Monday evening, the Brewers have yet to officially name their starter. They just acquired Jordan Lyles from the Pirates, but he won’t be ready. According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Lyles will pitch either Wednesday or Thursday, and Adrian Houser is likely to rejoin the rotation tonight. That’s excellent news for the A’s. While Houser has dominated in the bullpen, he has posted a 7.83 ERA and .433 wOBA in six starts. It’s particularly great for Olson, as lefties have staked the 26-year-old to a .326/.412/.547 slash line. Olson brandishes multi-homer potential at a remarkably affordable cost.
I placed Cano as an honorable mention last Tuesday when he cost a paltry $3,100 against Chris Paddack. He hit three home runs. Although his price rose to $4,000 two days later, it has quickly faded again following three hitless games. The 36-year-old is still marred in a bad year-long slump, but he’s at least slugging .534 in 15 second-half games. A .316 xwOBA offers hope of an extended turnaround into a serviceable performer, which is all that’s required from a $3,300 starter. While Lopez is on fire in his last three starts, he has still ceded a 5.52 ERA this season and .377 wOBA to opposing lefties.
Lineup Stack: Diamondbacks at Yankees (LHP J.A. Happ)
The Dodgers’ regulars are too expensive to play most of them at Coors, and it’s hard to recommend a specific Rockies stack given the lineup’s turnover. Let’s instead turn to an NL West foe traveling to another hitter’s park. Happ has been hapless all year with a 5.23 ERA and 5.31 FIP. With 26 runs allowed in his last 40 innings, he’s not getting any better. Capitalize with some cheap Arizona exposure. Nick Ahmed ($3,900) has hit .313 with an approved plate approach (12 BB, 13 K) this month, but his 128 wRC+ against southpaws is the real draw. In a pithy sample size of 62 plate appearances, Carson Kelly ($4,100) has tortured lefties to eight doubles, five homers, and a 1.314 OPS. Those uninterested in Cano could spend $100 more on Wilmer Flores, who has started every game against lefties since returning from the injured list two weeks ago.
Honorable Mentions: Dodgers at Rockies (Freeland); A’s vs. Brewers (TBD); Rangers vs. Mariners (Leake).
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.
Graphic by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter).