Tuesday’s MLB Showdown contests are spread out through the day and feature a choice between Blue Jays at Red Sox (2:05 p.m. ET), Marlins at Reds (6:40 p.m. ET), Dodgers at Cardinals (7:45 p.m. ET) and Brewers at Angels (10:07 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the late game, Brewers at Angels.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
— The Angels have won four of their past five games as home underdogs.
— Each of the Angels’ past nine games after playing the previous day have gone UNDER the total runs line.
— The Angels have won four straight games.
— Games at Angel Stadium of Anaheim average a total of 8.2 runs.
— The average winning margin at Angel Stadium of Anaheim is 4.2 runs.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Los Angeles Angels
Matt Harvey ($8,600) is listed as Tuesday’s probable starter for the Angels. Harvey, once one of the best pitchers in the sport, has been mostly ineffective since suffering an injury called thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause nerve damage. Harvey had a decent opening start against the Athletics, allowing only two runs and seven base runners in six innings, but struck out only one batter in the start. He then got demolished by the Rangers in his second start, allowing eight runs, 10 hits and two walks in four innings.
Through two starts, Harvey has allowed batters to produce an ugly expected wOBA of .454 based on the exit velocities and angles of their batted balls, essentially turning hitters into peak Mike Trout. His .293 isolated power allowed to hitters is comparable to J.D. Martinez’s isolated power from last year.
There’s the bad. There are some encouraging signs for Harvey, though. For one, Harvey’s average four-seam fastball spin rate is up this year. Harvey saw that number decline significantly after thoracic outlet syndrome, and having a bigger spin rate on a four-seam fastball helps create more rising action up in the zone. Harvey’s spin rate on his four seamer is 2,295 RPM this year, an improvement from a soft 2,163 RPM last year and slightly better than the league average of 2,287 RPM. Harvey’s swing-and-miss rate on his four-seam fastball through two starts in 2019 is the best it’s been since his injury.
Harvey’s overall swing-and-miss rate is also improved in a small sample. Twenty-three of the 180 pitches (12.8%) Harvey has thrown this year have been swings and misses, better than the league average of 11.0% for starting pitchers, and up from 9.6% last year.
Despite some signs of improvement in Harvey’s arm health, Harvey has huge blow-up risk, as his command can vary from start to start, as can his stamina. He draws a matchup with a Brewers offense that is projected to have a top-10 run-scoring offense and has struck out in about 23% of its plate appearances in a small sample so far this year, which is about average. Harvey is a risky play, but coming off a disaster start could push his ownership rate down in tournaments.
The Angels’ hitters draw a matchup against Brewers RHP Freddy Peralta ($11,000), who, traditionally, has been very hard on right-handed batters, giving the Angels’ righties a tough matchup. Peralta has been soft on lefties due to lacking a good third pitch. Peralta sits about 93 mph with his fastball, a pitch he throws a heavy 82% of the time. Peralta’s breaking ball is classified as a curveball, which he throws 16% of the time. Peralta’s four-seam fastball has a higher-than-average spin rate at about 2,400 RPM, which helps him get away with throwing the pitch so often, as the pitch has more life than the average fastball.
Justin Bour ($6,400) and Kole Calhoun ($5,800) are the Angels’ top left-handed batters while Shohei Ohtani (elbow) is sidelined. Calhoun has been hitting leadoff vs. righties, with Bour batting third, giving each a good lineup slot.
Of course, Mike Trout ($10,600), the greatest hitter of his generation, also can succeed in any matchup despite Peralta’s strong success against mortal righties.
The aforementioned Peralta will take the mound for the Brewers in a league downgrade in the American League, as he will face the designated hitter. Peralta has been excellent through two starts, striking out 14 of the 45 batters he has faced — a strong 31% rate — while walking only three batters (6.5%), also a good rate. Peralta’s walk rate was a poor 12.5% last year, and cutting down his free passes not only would help him prevent more runs but also help him get deeper into games.
Peralta has been hammering the strike zone through two starts, throwing 54% of his pitches inside the strike zone while throwing a first-pitch strike on 64% of his pitches, both improvements from 44% and 59% last year, respectively, and both better than the league averages of 44% and 60%, respectively.
The Angels usually start more right-handed batters than lefties, which should help Peralta, who basically exclusively throws a fastball/curveball combo, a very effective mix against righties but can leave him vulnerable to lefties, as a curveball breaks away from righties but towards lefties.
The Angels are projected to score less runs than average this year, but they have struck out in only 16% of their plate appearances in a small sample, the lowest in the league.
The Brewers’ batters have a potentially appealing matchup vs. Harvey, who is prone to disaster starts and is coming off one of the worst starts of his career. Left-handed batters are the preferred option, as Harvey has allowed most of his dingers to lefties since suffering thoracic outlet syndrome.
Christian Yelich ($10,200) is the top option for Milwaukee, with Mike Moustakas ($8,000), Yasmani Grandal ($7,200), Travis Shaw ($7,800) and Eric Thames ($9,000) other options from the left side. Leadoff hitter Lorenzo Cain ($7,600), three-hole hitter Ryan Braun ($8,800) and Jesus Aguilar ($8,200) are also options from the right side.
The Brewers have the edge in the pitching matchup, and since Harvey is prone to blow-up starts, they have some run-scoring upside despite a park downgrade in Anaheim. Peralta is probably the best choice to go with for the Captain’s Pick — which awards 1.5x DKFP — with his salary at $16,500 for that slot.
Final score: Brewers 6, Angels 3
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