Tuesday’s MLB Showdown slates feature a choice between two games, the Diamondbacks at Rockies (8:40 p.m. ET) in a dreaded Coors Field game and the Mets at Dodgers (10:10 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the Mets-Dodgers.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
— The Mets have lost 15 of their last 16 road games after playing the previous day
— Each of the last seven games for the Dodgers has gone OVER the total runs line
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have the best hitter in baseball through the first two months of the 2019 season by several key metrics: Cody Bellinger ($10,800). Bellinger is having an incredible season that resembles some degree of prime Barry Bonds. Bellinger is hitting .383 with a .469 OBP, .761 SLG and 19 home runs in just 224 plate appearances. Bellinger’s outrageous production is supported by elite contact quality, producing an expected wOBA of .504 based on the exit velocities and angles of his batted balls, comparable to his actual wOBA of .493, which leads baseball. Bellinger impressively has cut his strikeout rate down to a strong 14%, down from 24% last season and better than the league average of 23%. Bellinger is swinging and missing at just 9% of the pitches he has seen this year, down from 12% last season and better than the league average of 11%.
Bellinger, a left-handed batter, hasn’t been as obscene vs. left-handed pitchers as he has been against right-handed pitchers, but still has been elite. Bellinger’s contact quality derived expected wOBA vs. LHP is .436, comparable to his actual wOBA vs. LHP of .448. That spells good news for today’s matchup vs. LHP Steven Matz ($9,200). Matz does not have platoon splits in his career and actually has been slightly less effective vs. LHBs in his career, including poor numbers vs. LHBs in a small sample this season.
While Matz has a solid 3.63 ERA this season, his peripheral statistics are less impressive. Matz has a below-average 4.65 FIP, which takes into account strikeouts, walks and home runs. Matz has been home run prone, allowing 1.81 HR per nine innings, which is higher than average. Matz also has allowed batters to produce an expected wOBA of .337 based on the exit velocities and angles of their batted balls, higher than the league average of .321. Lefties have produced an expected wOBA of .384 based on their contact quality vs. Matz this year, with righties at .324. Matz’s peripheral statistics are evidence his ERA could be on the rise going forward.
Dodgers batters who have made the best contact quality vs. LHPs this year include Bellinger, Enrique Hernandez ($6,600), Justin Turner ($8,400) and David Freese ($7,400), who all have made better contact quality than average vs. LHPs.
LHP Rich Hill ($10,600) takes the mound for the Dodgers. Hill has been home run prone through five starts but has excellent strikeout (28%) and walk (4.5%) rates. Hill also has been excellent at limiting good contact, holding batters to an expected wOBA of just .266 based on the exit velocities and angles of their batted balls, significantly better than the league average of .321 and his actual wOBA allowed of .312. Hill is in a good spot in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium against a Mets lineup that has been a below-average offense on the season and has struck out in an elevated 27% of its plate appearances vs. LHPs, third highest. Hill, who owns a higher strikeout rate than average, has strikeout upside in the matchup.
New York Mets
The aforementioned Steven Matz ($9,200) is on the mound for the Mets in a difficult matchup. While the Dodgers haven’t been as good vs. LHPs as they have been against RHPs, the Dodgers still rank as a top-10 offense vs. LHPs by wOBA and have struck out at a lower-than-average rate vs. LHPs. As mentioned above, Matz has a solid 3.63 ERA, but several key peripheral statistics are worse than average, which could indicate a rising ERA in the future. Matz is a less appealing fantasy play than Hill given the matchup and his peripheral statistics.
Hill has been home run prone, allowing 2.00 home runs per nine innings, higher than the league average of 1.35, but that has been his only glaring flaw among peripheral statistics, as his strikeout rate (28%), walk rate (4.5%) and contact quality derived expected wOBA allowed (.266) are all better than average.
Mets hitters who have made the best contact quality off LHPs this year are J.D. Davis ($6,800), Pete Alonso ($9,200) and Wilson Ramos ($7,600). Davis has been hitting second in the order recently, giving him a premium lineup slot. Alonso has explosive power hitting output vs. lefties in a small sample, producing a .447 isolated power, including five home runs and 10 extra-base hits in just 47 plate appearances vs. LHPs this season. Leadoff hitter Amed Rosario ($6,200) is also an option given his lineup slot.
Both Bellinger ($16,200 CP) and Alonso ($13,800 CP) make for options as the Captain’s Pick with their power-hitting upside, with Hill ($15,900 CP) also a good option in a matchup that looks plus for both strikeouts and run prevention.
The Dodgers have both the better offense and the edge in the pitching matchup and are in good position to win this game.
Final score: Dodgers 6, Mets 3
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