Tuesday’s 15-game slate reminds me of the Opening Day slate when it was jam-packed with top pitching options. That’s what we have tonight, as four pitchers are priced at $10K or higher. Despite some weather concerns across the board, tonight should be quite the slate. Let’s dive into all the information you’ll need and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s games between and White Sox and Orioles and Rays and Royals have been postponed.
Top PitcherTrevor Bauer, $10,900, CLE (-210) vs. MIA (+180) — Deciding on who you want to pitch tonight will likely be difficult. A good place to start will be with Bauer, as the Indians are the biggest favorites against the Marlins. It’s a huge spot for him against a team that is downright putrid at the plate; the Marlins enter this game with a .277 wOBA against righties, as well as a .106 ISO and 26.1 K%, which ranks as the fourth highest in the league. Despite displaying some shaky control to start the year, Bauer has a 28.3 K% and a 3.93 xFIP through his first six starts. With this game also taking place in the pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, the popularity of Bauer will be high. While he certainly is someone to consider, the number of options we have to choose from today helps ease that burden.
Highest TotalPIT (+102) vs. TEX (-115) 10.5 runs — Carrying a Coors Field-type run total, the Pirates travel to Globe Life Park to take on the Rangers. As slight favorites, the Rangers have a 5.5 run projection against Jordan Lyles ($7,400). On the surface, Lyles looks as if he’s been pitching well. However, when you pull the curtain back, you’ll see he’s posting a 4.36 xFIP and a 51% fly ball rate. Now he’s tasked with facing a Rangers team that currently leads the league in wOBA against righties at .369, is second in ISO at .222, and leads the league in hard-hit% at 43.3. I’m curious how the Rangers will be perceived on this slate. Despite being involved in the highest projected total, Texas is facing a pitcher that “looks” like he’s been pitching well. I think it makes plenty of sense to stack against him but will be curious what the consensus is on that tonight.
Weather ConcernsHOU @ MIN (Target Field) – This will certainly be a game to watch as it features one of the most expensive pitchers on the slate in Gerrit Cole ($10,200). The chance of rain looks to pick up as the night progresses, so this game is going to be dicey. Take another look as we get closer to lock.
PIT @ TEX (Globe Life Park) – Another game that will be worth looking into even if you’re not interested. A chance of severe thunderstorms will threaten all throughout the evening so make sure to get the latest forecast for this as the day progresses.
BAL @ CWS (Guaranteed Rate Field) – Rain will continue from earlier in the day all the way until first pitch. It does have a chance of clearing as the night goes on but field conditions won’t be ideal.
TB @ KCR (Kauffman Stadium) – Currently looking like it will end up being postponed, this game could potentially take another high priced pitcher off the board in Blake Snell ($10,500). For now, I’d plan my rosters without anyone from this game but that could always change as the afternoon rolls on.
Editor’s Note: Tonight’s Orioles-White Sox and Rays-Royals games have been postponed.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||wOBA||xFIP||Best vs. LHB||wOBA||xFIP|
|Vincent Velasquez||.377||4.57||Blake Snell||.186||2.63|
|Luis Castillo||.373||4.30||Gerrit Cole||.236||2.63|
|Andrew Cashner||.361||5.00||Clay Buchholz||.242||4.11|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||wOBA||xFIP||Best vs. RHB||wOBA||xFIP|
|Drew Pomeranz||.401||5.09||Jhoulys Chacin||.234||3.78|
|Andrew Cashner||.370||5.38||Walker Buehler||.241||3.37|
|Jason Vargas||.359||4.23||German Marquez||.255||2.36|
Top Hard-Hit%This section will populate with the hitters that have the top hard-hit% over the last seven days. This percentage can help distinguish who is swinging the bat well over the course of the past week. I’ll be updating this daily so we have a consistent flow of names in this section.
Pitcher to Build AroundTrevor Bauer, CLE vs. MIA, $10,900 — It’s really hard to move off of Bauer today. Everything aligns for a really good start against a weak offense in a favorable ballpark and playing under National League rules. I’ve toyed with the idea of pairing him with Vincent Velasquez ($8,700), who essentially has to worry about only two left-handed bats in this game. Velasquez has been pitched well to start the year and will face a Tigers offense which ranks near the bottom of the league in all categories while posting a 25.8 K%, which is sixth in the league. While Velasquez does have a few concerning numbers (4.22 xFIP, 36% hard-hit rate), I don’t see this Tigers team breaking out against him.
Heavy Hitter to Pay ForJuan Soto, WAS vs. STL, $5,100 — After starting the season off quietly, Soto has really picked it up at the plate as of late, averaging 9.8 DKFP over his last 10 games. During that span, he has three home runs, nine RBI and two stolen bases. Tonight he’ll find himself opposing Adam Wainwright ($7,200), who continues to struggle against lefties. Since the beginning of last season, Wainwright has allowed a .358 wOBA against them with a 5.01 xFIP.
Save Big by Drafting…Enrique Hernandez, LAD vs. SF, $4,000 — When the Dodgers have faced a left-handed pitcher, Hernandez has been bumped up to the leadoff spot. With Drew Pomeranz ($7,900) on the hill tonight, we should expect more of the same. In those games, Hernandez has averaged 6.7 DKFP and sports a .465 wOBA with a .292 ISO against lefties. I think this is a good spot to take him, especially since he’s eligible at both second base and the outfield.
Stack Em UpBOS vs. OAK (Aaron Brooks) — One way you can differentiate yourself from the field is by taking a shot with the Red Sox tonight. They’ll face Brooks for the second time this season but the first time at Fenway Park. After shutting down Boston in his first start, Brooks has gone on to allow 16 runs in his next four starts, alternating between five and three runs in those games. He’s posting a 4.69 xFIP on the year and is having issues with home runs, allowing six. With the Red Sox likely checking in at low ownership, I think they make for a really interesting stack tonight.
Favorite Prop Bet
St. Louis Cardinals OVER 4.5 runs (-134)I don’t have much faith in Anibal Sanchez and I don’t think you should either. He’s posting so ugly numbers through his first five starts with a 5.77 xFIP with a 5.3 BB/9 and a 1.3 HR/9. The Cardinals have also been one of the best teams on the road thus far, sporting a .350 wOBA with a .223 ISO and averaging 5.3 runs per game.
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