Wednesday’s slate is a bit different than usual. This five-game slate has a start time of 6:40 p.m. ET, so make sure you’re ready for lock at that time. Also, we have a couple of games with weather concerns so keep an eye on those as even one game being canceled could skew ownership for guys dramatically. Let’s get into the breakdown of this slate and as always, you can follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24.
Largest FavoriteNote: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Eduardo Rodriguez, $10,000, BOS (-315) vs. KCR (+270) — Don’t quote me on this but I feel as if this is one of the biggest favorites on a particular slate this season. Rodriguez has faced the Royals once already, tossing 5 2/3 innings allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out seven, good for 23.2 DKFP. Now he’ll be pitching at Fenway Park, where he has a .289 wOBA with a 4.09 xFIP and nine of the 20 home runs he’s allowed on the season. Despite having some issues with the home run ball in the second half, E-Rod has arguably been the Red Sox best pitcher in that span, which really isn’t saying much. Through 32 2/3 innings, he’s posted a .285 wOBA with a 4.66 xFIP and 24.8 K%. Despite the small slate, we do have some attractive pitching options to choose from and Rodriguez is certainly in the mix. However, the weather is a concern in Boston so pay attention closer to game time.
Highest TotalKC (-315) vs. BOS (+270) 10.5 runs — This game also features the highest run projection at 10.5 runs with the Red Sox sporting a 6.5 team total. It’s quite easy to see why, as Glenn Sparkman ($4,500) is scheduled to pitch. Since his total fluke complete-game shutout against the White Sox, Sparkman has made three starts and is averaging -0.7 DKFP, allowing 18 runs on 24 hits with nine strikeouts through 15 1/3 innings. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his numbers on the road are downright brutal, posting a .436 wOBA with a 6.68 xFIP with 13 of his 20 home runs allowed. Lefties have hit him particularly hard, as evidenced by his ridiculous 7.84 xFIP against them on the road. I don’t think I’ll have to pull your arm to consider using the Red Sox in this game.
Weather ConcernsNYY @ BAL (Camden Yards) – This game will almost certainly start in a delay as thunderstorms will be present right before first pitch. It could linger all throughout the evening so I wouldn’t call this game safe as I type this in the late morning. Keep an eye on this one.
KC @ BOS (Fenway Park) – The problem with this game is that rain could move in after first pitch starts, which is concerning when you figure how popular Rodriguez could be. If a delay comes after the game starts, Rodriguez becomes a very risky play. I would watch this game even if you’re not interested in Rodriguez, as his ownership could shift dramatically to others.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed BattersWorst vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Yusei Kikuchi, .385, 4.82
Glenn Sparkman, .380, 6.30
Trevor Williams, .380, 5.41
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Zac Gallen, .224, 3.55
Drew Pomeranz, .299, 3.71
Jason Vargas, .313, 4.80
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed BattersWorst vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP
Drew Pomeranz, .389, 4.57
Yusei Kikuchi, .359, 5.27
James Paxton, .355, 4.41
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP
Joey Lucchesi, .287, 4.46
Trevor Williams, .294, 4.51
Jason Vargas, .296, 5.17
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.
Name, Team, Salary, Hard-Hit%
Alex Avila, ARI, $3800, 85.7%
Luis Arias, SDP, $2600, 83.3%
Jorge Soler, KCR, $4200, 66.7%
Christian Walker, ARI, $4100, 66.7%
Eduardo Escobar, ARI, $4600, 65%
Pitcher to Build AroundZac Gallen, ARI vs. PHI, $9,200 — I’m going with a pitcher that doesn’t have any weather concerns to keep it safe. To be fair, Gallen is in a good matchup against the Phillies, who have been a really poor offense on the road this season. Entering this game, they have a .313 wOBA (22nd) with a .160 ISO (24th) and 91 wRC+ (23rd). The Phillies also have one of the highest overall K% against righties at 23.1%. While Gallen has only made seven starts, we’ve already seen his strikeout ability with a 28.5 K%. For his salary at $9,200 and no concerns about this game being played, Gallen feels like the top option.
Heavy Hitter to Pay ForAndrew Benintendi, BOS vs. KCR, $5,300 — Benintendi looks as if he’s starting to heat up at the plate and has found himself batting cleanup over the last two games. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 8.6 DKFP, which includes two doubles, a home run and six RBI. As I mentioned earlier, Sparkman has been an absolute disaster on the road and in particular against left-handed bats. Guys like Benintendi and Rafael Devers ($5,600) should draw an incredible amount of attention and rightfully so. The cherry on top for Benintendi has been his numbers at home against righties — .376 wOBA and .236 ISO.
Save Big by Drafting…Yasmani Grandal, MIL vs. PIT, $3,900 — Despite a bit of a slow stretch for Grandal as of late, I think we have a lot to like in this matchup. He’ll be taking on Trevor Williams ($7,600) at PNC Park, which hasn’t been particularly kind to him. At home against lefties, Williams has been tagged with a .448 wOBA and a 5.54 xFIP. Grandal, on the other hand, has done some of best hitting on the road against righties with a .383 wOBA, .284 ISO and 10 of his 18 home runs on the season. With all that considered, $3,900 doesn’t feel like much to pay for.
Stack Em UpSDP vs. SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) — We have some obvious stacking options for tonight but one I think should also be in the mix is the Padres against Kikuchi ($5,000). One can easily forget that the Padres are still a very good hitting team against lefties and currently sport a .336 wOBA with a .199 ISO and 108 wRC+. Kikuchi continues to struggle on the mound and somehow can’t use the cozy T-Mobile Park to his advantage. At home, he has a .364 wOBA with a 5.24 xFIP and 16 of the 28 home runs he’s allowed.
Favorite Prop Bet
Milwaukee Brewers OVER 5.5 runs (+112)I like that we’re getting plus-money on this bet against a pitcher who has been struggling for the majority of the season. To be fair, Williams has been better over his last three starts against the Mets twice and the Cardinals. Prior to that, however, he at least four runs in all four starts since returning from the injured list. With how poorly he’s pitched at PNC Park, I don’t see any reason not to take this.
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