Today we have a large 13 game night slate with some great pitching options at affordable pricing. Along with that, there are some great hitting options to fill out our lineups. Let’s dive in.
At the top, we will start with Stephen Strasburg ($11,000) against the Marlins, who rank in the top-half of baseball in OPS. Along with that, the Marlins rank fourth in baseball in OBP through the first few weeks of the season. They’ll get on of their tougher match-ups against Strasburg, who owns a 28.6% strikeout rate on the road. The Marlins are striking out in 22% of their at bats against right-handed pitchers this season. Strasburg will get a park boost going to Miami, where he is a -146 favorite. But even that seems somewhat low going against Adam Conley, who is a decent pitcher, but not in the class of Strasburg. The total in this game is set at 7.5, which isn’t too flattering when combined with that Vegas line. I’m not too high on using past data, but Strasburg went 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA in three starts against Miami a season ago. Even in those down outings, he had 21 strikeouts in 20 innings. I think he will carry a higher ownership due to the pricing of the other pitchers on this slate.
Jaime Garcia ($9,200) gets a tough match-up against the Cubs in St. Louis tonight. Garcia is coming off his best outing in years, throwing a complete game shutout with 13 strikeouts. That game against the Brewers, and the Cubs are a much better offensive team. The Cubs as a team have been pretty good against left-handed pitchers this season, posting just an 18.2% strikeout rate. While their team strikeout rate is low, so is their OPS (.640) and wOBA (.292). Along with that, the Cubs have just an 81 wRC+ in 121 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. This is a good spot for Garcia, even if the strikeout rate is lower for the Cubs. At home, Jaime Garcia has been much better, including holding opponents to a .225 wOBA at home last season. I believe that the Cubs are going to strikeout much more than they currently are this season, so I do buy into the strikeout upside not being present. I think Garcia is a great tournament play because people will shy off due to the Cubs offensive capabilities.
There will be a good number of people putting Vincent Velasquez ($9,600) into their lineups tonight and for good reason. Velasquez has been dominant to start this season and gets a Mets team that hasn’t lived up to their hype. They didn’t really get to Eickhoff last night and currently rank 19th in OPS in baseball. The Mets also have the ninth highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching early in the season at 24.7%. To go along with the higher strikeout rate, they have a .676 OPS and .300 wOBA against righties. The downside for Velasquez here is that the Mets have been significantly better on the road with an .824 OPS. I am very high on Velasquez and think he puts up another game, but the ownership is going to be high due to his recent performance.
Francisco Liriano ($9,800) is also in an interesting spot tonight on the road against the Padres. As we all know, the Padres have been a very bad team this season. The Padres .610 OPS is the third worst in baseball this season. The Padres currently have a 22% strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers. The Padres have actually been better against lefties with a .720 OPS and .317 wOBA. At home the Padres have been dreadful, striking out in 26.2% of their plate appearances and posting just a .207 wOBA. Francisco Liriano finished last year with a 26.5% strikeout rate, but as always, there is the risk that he is wild. I do believe that he is in a good spot against a weak lineup and could end up with over a strikeout per inning. Liriano was also better on the road last season. He comes into tonight’s game as a -143 favorite with a 7 run total.
Will the real Matt Shoemaker please stand up? Seriously. Matt Shoemaker gets to face the Chicago White Sox tonight, who own the LOWEST OPS in baseball. Yes, a lineup with two guys who should hit 30+ home runs are dead last in OPS. If you look at the entire lineup, they just aren’t that good. The 8.5 run total in this game is one of the highest today, but the White Sox offense has been worse than the Padres. Yes, that bad. The White Sox are currently striking out in 19.6% of their plate appearances against right-handed pitchers. Their .265 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers is the third worst in baseball. To add onto that, the White Sox currently have a .099 ISO against right-handed pitchers. That is just dreadful. I do think the White Sox break out soon, but at $5,300, I am going to look into Shoemaker in tournaments.
How about a stack with the Kansas City Royals? The total on this game tonight is eight, which falls in the middle for the overall slate. Shane Greene finished last season with a .425 wOBA to left-handed hitters. Greene was good in his last start against the Pirates, but he is the lowest priced pitcher on the slate for a reason. Along with the high wOBA’s allowed, Greene isn’t a strikeout pitcher and the Royals aren’t a strikeout team, so there will be balls in play. Balls in play give us opportunity to points fantasy points on the board. Kendrys Morales, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are all good options in this game, which I believe will be under owned.
The Nationals have the highest wOBA in baseball against left-handed pitchers and get Adam Conley in Miami tonight. Prior to being held down by Jose Fernandez a night ago, the Nationals are back in a good spot tonight. Earlier this season, the Nationals got to Conley early in a game prior to rain setting in. Ryan Zimmerman has been known to dominate left-handed pitching and will be in the middle of the Nationals order tonight. Jayson Werth in another National who finished last season with an ISO greater than .200 against left-handed pitchers. Obviously Harper is going to be in play because of how great he is overall, but not totally sure he is my favorite high priced play today.
Julio Teheran is off to a pretty dreadful start this season and get left-handed lineup in the Dodgers. Teheran allowed a .386 wOBA to left-handed batters a season ago and will more than likely see a lineup that features five or more. That puts the Dodgers in a decent spot despite playing at Turner, which has actually been a decent run environment this season (small sample, yes). Adrian Gonzalez is down to $3,700 on DraftKings and has always hit right-handed pitchers well, so he could be a good play in a tournament. I will have to wait to see the full lineup, but Chase Utley, Carl Crawford and Yasmani Grandal could be good plays against the right-handed Teheran.
Home run of the day:
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