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Top SP: Aaron Nola ($9,000) vs. DET
Aaron Nola hasn’t been himself this year, but there’s nothing in his profile that sticks out to me as a concerning reason for his struggles. I’m willing to chalk this up to early season small-sample struggles, so I’ll gladly take him at this price. Nola has an easy matchup against the Tigers, who have a .288 wOBA versus right-handed pitching and a 26.6% strikeout rate, which is fourth-highest in the league. Nola’s worst-case start is probably similar to his last start against a weak Marlins lineup, where he went six innings with one earned run. But if Nola is able to return to form, there is lots of profit to be made.
Value SP: Max Fried ($7,800) vs. SD
For all the hype the Padres lineup has been getting, they’re roughly league average against left-handed pitching and are without Fernando Tatis, Jr. Max Fried hasn’t been racking up many strikeouts this year, but he struck out eight batters in 5 1/3 innings last time out and has similar upside here. On a day with lots of high-end pitching, Fried may slip through the cracks as a worthwhile value play.
Honorable Mention: Chase Anderson ($6,900) vs. COL.
You probably haven’t noticed, but Rafael Devers has actually been hitting well over the past two weeks, batting .366 with a .933 OPS. While he’s somehow still yet to homer, there are encouraging signs in his increased walk rate (12.3%) and his significantly deceased strikeout rate (16.7%). He’s in a great spot for RBI batting fifth for the Red Sox and gets to take advantage of hitter-friendly Fenway Park. Opposing starter Mike Fiers has a 1.97 HR/9, so maybe we’ll finally see Devers’ first homer. If not, Fiers also has a 7.03 ERA, so Devers should certainly give you some production.
Andrew McCutchen is an outfielder to target in cash games as his his .370 OBP as the Phillies’ leadoff hitter gives him a very high floor. Batting leadoff allows Cutch to maximize the number of plate appearances he gets, which of course gives him more chances to score fantasy points. It also puts him in a strong position to score runs in an extreme hitters’ environment in Philadelphia. Tigers starter Daniel Norris has outperformed his 5.31 FIP, so don’t be surprised if he regresses at the hands of the Phillies lineup.
Even with Yuli Gurriel‘s cold start, he’s still been mashing lefties to the tune of a 179 wRC+ this year. Houston should feast on Martin Perez, owner of a 4.44 ERA, so simply existing in the Astros lineup will provide Gurriel with run and RBI opportunities. Extreme platoon split hitters are often price corrected on DraftKings, but Gurriel is an exception, making him a valuable buy-low.
Lineup Stack: Pirates at Rangers (RHP Shelby Miller)
Shoutout to the Rangers pitching staff for being desperate enough to keep Shelby Miller in the rotation. Miller is insanely bad, as he’s got 10 strikeouts to 18 walks in 20 1/3 innings with a 7.52 ERA. As long as this game doesn’t get rained out, everybody in the Pirates lineup is worth looking at. Gregory Polanco ($4,300), Adam Frazier ($4,000), and Melky Cabrera ($3,900) are all easily affordable.
Honorable Mentions: Red Sox vs. Athletics (RHP Mike Fiers).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is troyklauder) 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.