Kenta Maeda

Tuesday’s showdown contests feature a choice between two games: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners (10:10 p.m. ET) and Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers (10:10 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the Freeway Series. Fantasy owners can get up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups by downloading the DK Live app. You can also follow DK Live on Twitter at @DKLive.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

-The Dodgers have won each of their past eight Tuesday home games vs. AL opponents.

-The first inning OVER 0.5 runs market has hit in each of the Dodgers’ past six Tuesday games.

-The Dodgers have trailed after three innings in each of their past three Tuesday games.

-Seven of the past eight games between the Angels and Dodgers have gone UNDER the total runs line.

-The Dodgers have won the first inning in three of their past four night games at home vs. AL West opponents.


Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Kenta Maeda ($10,400; $15,600 CP) is taking the hill for the Dodgers. Maeda has been plus at limiting runs, posting a 3.71 ERA, and his 4.25 FIP is closer to mediocre on the back of an alarming .228 batting average allowed on balls in play, a number that is generally considered unsustainable in the long run. For reference, Maeda’s career batting average allowed on balls in play is .280. However, there are legitimate reasons for Maeda’s excellence at preventing hits on batted balls. For one, Maeda has done an excellent job limiting contact quality, holding batters to an expected wOBA of .269 based on the exit velocities and angles of their batted balls, far better than the league average of .320. Maeda’s expected batting average against of .210 is also significantly better than average of .248. Two, Maeda is backed by a strong Dodgers defense that leads baseball in the advanced defensive metric Defensive Runs Saved, helping to turn more batted balls into outs. Maeda has also been plus at generating strikeouts, striking out 25% of batters, better than the league average of 22% for starting pitchers.

Maeda’s better than average strikeout ability and run prevention gives him solid fantasy value, although a matchup against the Angels is not ideal on paper. The Halos have struck out in the lowest percentage of their plate appearances this season, which could make strikeouts difficult to come by. The Angels also have posted the fifth best offense by park and league adjusted metrics. The Angels are led by all-world, all-generation OF Mike Trout ($10,800; $16,200 CP), who is posting the lowest strikeout rate of his career at a time when the league strikeout rate keeps rising. Trout has struck out in just 17.6% of his plate appearances and has swung and missed at a very low 5.4% of the total pitches he has faced, also the best rate of his career and half the league average of about 10.9%. Trout is having the best power hitting season of his career by isolated power (.364), second best among all hitters. By park and league adjusted metrics, Trout has been the best hitter in baseball.

After Trout, the Angels have received strong production from DH/OF Shohei Ohtani ($8,600), who can both hit for power (.233 ISO, .530 SLG) and average (.297 AVG, .353 OBP). 3B/OF David Fletcher ($5,800) has struck out in a minuscule 9% of his plate appearances while posting better than average overall production, and also carries fantasy value provided he continues to bat leadoff and is affordable at his price tag. OF Kole Calhoun ($6,800)  also has plus pop, posting an isolated power of .235.

Editor’s Note: Ohtani is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Dodgers.

The Angels are expected to go with Felix Pena ($9,000) as their primary pitcher. Pena has generally pitched behind an opener, but he started in his most recent appearance, and it’s not currently clear what inning he will enter. Angels’ pitchers are in for a brutal matchup against a Dodgers lineup that has smashed right-handed pitching, ranking as the league’s best offense vs. RHP by park and league adjusted metrics. The Dodgers have also struck out in the fourth lowest percentage of their plate appearances vs. RHP, so strikeouts could be more difficult to come by for Pena, who has struck out 25% of batters, a plus rate.

Pena’s run prevention has been worse than average, posting a 4.92 ERA, and his 4.71 FIP is also worse than average on the back of an elevated home run rate. In addition, Pena has allowed worse than average contact quality, allowing batters to produce an expected wOBA of .336, above the league average of .320. Dodgers batters are in good position against Pena, particularly with power hitting, as Pena’s .197 isolated power allowed and home run rate are both worse than average. The Dodgers offense is led by OF Cody Bellinger ($10,600; $15,900 CP), who has been one of the three best hitters in baseball, along with Trout and the Brewers OF Christian Yelich. Bellinger has been baseball’s third best hitter by both isolated power (.358) and park and league adjusted metrics. Behind Bellinger,1B/2B Max Muncy ($9,400) and 1B/OF Joc Pederson ($8,400) have posted strong power numbers, with 3B Justin Turner ($8,200) and SS Corey Seager ($6,600) also producing at a better than average clip. Seager had been struggling in his return from the injured list, but appears to have re-gained his timing over the last week, and is an affordable play at his price.


THE OUTCOME

Both Bellinger ($15,900 CP) and Trout ($16,200 CP) are strong choices as the Captain’s Pick on the hitting side, with Bellinger drawing the softer matchup against Pena. Maeda ($15,600 CP) is also a Captain’s Pick option on the back of his effective pitching.

While the Angels have the best player, the Dodgers have the edge in the pitching matchup and have the superior lineup, putting them in position to win a matchup of run differential.

Final Score: Dodgers 6, Angels 4


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. 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 non-public information.


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