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Kershaw is the best value among the three aces pitching in tonight’s slate.
9 Games- 7:05 PM ET
Must Play SP: Clayton Kershaw, LAD ($23,100) vs. SD
Has vintage Kershaw returned? In his last two starts, Kershaw has allowed a total of eight hits, one walk, and two earned runs over 15 innings pitched. Even if he’s not quite the best pitcher in baseball again, he’s most likely the best pitcher in this slate. The Padres have the second highest strikeout rate over the last week, and the third highest against left handed pitching this season. They’ve also struggled mightily agaisnt Kershaw historically; from 2015-2017, Kershaw has a 1.03 ERA with 74 strikeouts across 52.2 innings pitched.
Honorable Mention: Corey Kluber ($21,300)
Value SP: Sonny Gray, NYY ($14,600) @ BAL
There is absolutely no reason to trust Sonny Gray. There is, however, more reason(s) to trust him in today’s game than there has been previously.
1) He’s not pitching at home. Gray’s road ERA this season is sitting at 3.43, which is almost two runs better than his cumulative ERA of 5.34.
2) The Orioles have been abysmal offensively of late. Their OPS over the last week is .542.
I like Sonny Gray and want him to succeed Maybe getting placed in the bullpen was good to take a mental break and reset.
4) The other value plays are facing much more potent offenses.
Honorable Mention: Wei-Yin Chin ($12,700)
IF: Neil Walker, NYY ($7,600) @ BAL (Andrew Cashner)
Throughout August, Cashner has notched two quality starts, but his xFIP has been consistently above 5.25. I’v also probably mentioned in a previous DFS article that Walker is a streaky hitter, and that’s true. With how poorly Greg Bird has played, Walker should see playing time in the field, especially on the back end of a double header. Neil is also carrying the 3rd highest OPS in baseball this week, so the $7,600 is a very modest price for a player producing at the level he has.
Honorable Mention: Justin Turner ($9,200)
OF: Christian Yelich, MIL ($10,300) @ PIT (Jameson Taillon)
Mike Trout returned with a bang last night, knocking a triple off the wall in left center field and reaching base two more times. If he weren’t facing Verlander, he would’ve gotten the nod as the must play OF. However, Yelich has been crushing the ball of late, and is coming into today’s game with four homers and two doubles in his last seven games. Taillon has been able to keep opposing teams from scoring, but an 82 LOB% and 5.53 K/9 suggest there’s some negative regression due Taillon’s way, and Yelich should capitalize on that.
Honorable Mention: Mike Trout ($10,500)
Value Hitter: Alex Gordon, KC ($6,500) vs. CLE (Corey Kluber)
Sure he sat last night, but that was due to a lefty v. lefty matchup. He’s also facing Kluber, which has a tendency to kill any offensive value a player may have, but over the last week Gordon’s been fairly solid at the dish. His OPS is .899, he’s made less than 10% soft contact, and has two homers in his past eight games. Gordon’s career OPS against Kluber is .557 in 47 at bats, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt.
Honorable Mention: Marwin Gonzalez ($6,600)
Stack: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres (Brett Kennedy)
This stack seems too easy…Kennedy has an ERA of 8.36 over three starts, the Dodgers have the best offense by wRC+ over the last week, and you can get guys like Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and Matt Kemp for $8,100 or less/player. Taylor and Hernandez have a wRC+ average of 150, and Kemp is sitting at 116 for the week. Something doesn’t seem right here, but I’ll have to wait until tonight to find out.
Honorable Mention: Houston Astros @ Los Angeles Angels