Today brings an ace-filled 7:05pm main slate with 15 games. Let’s jump in.
Nationals righty Max Scherzer faces an Arizona team currently implied by Vegas for 2.8 runs — the lowest mark by 0.5 runs. Scherzer has been really solid lately:
However, his advanced stats are a tad concerning: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 233 feet, a fly-ball rate of 55 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 44 percent. These very Nationals roughed up Tanner Roark just last night to the tune of 14 runs. However, Scherzer does bring immense upside: His current 10.2 K Prediction is the highest mark by 2.4 strikeouts. Further, he gets Adam Hamari behind home plate, an umpire who has historically added 1.2 points over expectation to pitchers. Scherzer is incredibly expensive — $14,200 on DK and $11,300 on FD — but he could certainly be worth it given his floor and ceiling.
Mets righty Noah Syndergaard faces a Marlins team currently implied for 3.3 runs. Thor got absolutely rocked last game, allowing eight hits and five earned runs in just 3.2 innings pitched against the Braves. However, his recent advanced stats aren’t that bad: In his last two games, he has allowed a hard-hit rate of 44 percent, but he also allowed a batted-ball distance of 205 feet and an exit velocity of only 89 MPH, and he’s induced ground balls at a 51 percent clip. Thor boasts the second-highest K Prediction at 7.8, is playing at a pitcher’s park (Park Factor of 91), and has a pitcher-friendly umpire in D.J. Reyburn (+2.0 umpire Plus/Minus). Especially on DK ($10,700), he’s a nice pivot from Scherzer.
I was definitely #TeamFadeChrisSale last game and thank goodness: He got demolished, allowing seven hits and six earned runs in just four innings pitched. The reason for the fade call was his concerning recent advanced stats, and they’re still concerning: He’s allowed an exit velocity of 92 MPH and a hard-hit rate of 44 percent in his last two starts. Today he faces a Rays team that is currently implied for 3.5 runs and whose projected lineup owns a low .294 team Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA). Sale’s 7.7 K Prediction is the slate’s third-highest mark. He’s still way too expensive on DK ($14,000) but is much more reasonable on FD ($10,800). That doesn’t mean he isn’t playable on DK, though; In fact, he’s an intriguing play, as most people paying $14,000 for a pitcher in tournaments will go with Scherzer.
Young Dodgers pitcher Jose De Leon hasn’t pitched in a couple weeks but will get the start tonight against the Padres. He made it to only 3.2 innings last game at Chase Field but has a great matchup today: The Padres’ projected lineup owns the worst team wOBA at .210, and the team is currently implied for only 3.4 runs. De Leon’s 6.4 K Prediction is a top-10 mark in the slate. There’s definitely risk here, but at a low $7,400 price tag on FD and probable low ownership, he’s worth a couple darts given the matchup.
Tigers righty Justin Verlander continues his awesome revival season:
Tonight he faces a Cleveland team currently implied for 3.5 runs. Verlander’s recent advanced stats have been very solid: In his last two starts, he’s allowed an exit velocity of 90 MPH and a hard-hit rate of 25 percent. He has allowed a lot of fly balls (59 percent) but those are a little less concerning considering his low contact rate. This is a tough matchup — Cleveland’s projected lineups owns a high .330 team wOBA — but Verlander is in great form and gets Hal Gibson III behind home plate, an umpire who has historically added 1.3 FD points over expectation for pitchers. Verlander is $10,200 on FD and owns a 91 percent Bargain Rating there.
Cubs righty John Lackey faces a Pirates team currently implied for 3.5 runs. He hit value last game against the Reds, but his recent advanced stats show a couple minor worry spots: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 230 feet, an exit velocity of 91 MPH, and a fly-ball rate of 43 percent, and he’s induced ground balls at a low 31 percent clip. Still, Lackey is a solid -163 favorite and owns a nice 7.1 K Prediction. At $9,400 on DK and $9,300 on FD, he’s probably fairly priced. He’s a fine play today and one who should carry low ownership, given the higher-upside guys listed above.
Giants southpaw Matt Moore put up a dreadful performance last outing, allowing seven hits and six earned runs in only one inning versus the Dodgers — an outing of -15 FD points. However, this is a nice bounceback spot: He’s at home, where he boasts a perfect 100 Park Factor, and facing a Rockies team currently implied for 3.4 runs. His recent advanced stats aren’t that bad given his last game: In his last two starts, he’s allowed a batted-ball distance of 215 feet, an exit velocity of 91 MPH, and a hard-hit rate of 35 percent, and he’s induced ground balls at a 51 percent clip. His 6.4 K Prediction is a top-10 mark in the slate. At only $7,300 on both DK and FD, he offers the opportunity to capitalize on the public’s recency bias.
The highest-rated five-man DK stack (per the CSURAM88 Model) is a 1-2-4-5-6 stack of the Texas Rangers:
They are currently implied to score a slate-high 5.5 runs and face Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson, who owns a bad 1.548 WHIP over the last year.
The highest-rated four-man FD stack is a 1-2-3-5 stack of the Tigers:
They are currently implied for 5.1 runs.
I will feel no shame in recommending David Ortiz ever. I talk about him a lot, but he’s that good: He has a .446 wOBA, .362 Isolated Power (ISO), and .686 slugging percentage in the last year against right-handed pitchers. He’s been crushing the ball, as usual: In his last 13 games, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 257 feet, an exit velocity of 94 MPH, and a fly-ball rate of 54 percent. He’s also in a really nice spot tonight, as lefties at Yankee Stadium boast a slate-high 81 Park Factor.
Let’s keep it star-studded for a second and go to Mike Trout. He’s projected to bat in his usual third spot for an Angels team currently implied for 4.9 runs. He’s a no-splits guy because he destroys all pitchers: He has a .424 wOBA, .249 ISO, and .571 slugging percentage in the last year against fellow righties. He’s been hitting a lot of ground balls lately (56 percent), but he’s been hitting them hard (92 MPH exit velocity). He faces Oakland’s Daniel Mengden, who owns the second-worst WHIP in the slate at 1.618.
The guy with the third-worst WHIP in the slate is Padres righty Paul Clemens, and he has the unfortunate task of pitching to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager tonight. Seager crushes righties: He has a .399 wOBA, .220 ISO, and .554 slugging percentage over the last year. He’s been hitting the ball well lately, as highlighted by his 92 MPH exit velocity and 42 percent hard-hit rate. The Dodgers are currently implied for 4.7 runs.
Cardinals lefty Brandon Moss has been very bad lately:
However, he’s in a nice spot today: He’s currently projected to bat sixth for a St. Louis team implied for 5.2 runs. He has extreme splits but gets a righty: He has a .357 wOBA, .312 ISO, and .551 slugging percentage in the last year against them. Despite the ugly image above, his advanced stats recently are really good: In his last 11 games, he’s averaged a batted-ball distance of 231 feet, an exit velocity of 94 MPH, a fly-ball rate of 53 percent, and a hard-hit rate of 42 percent. A breakout game could be coming.
Good luck today!