A rather puzzling Monday fantasy baseball slate is upon us. Taking a quick glance, you might be excited about all the pitching options that are available! Then your excitement turns into disappointment when you see they’re almost all in tough matchups. Well, I’m here to turn your gloom into … something else. Whatever. Let’s just talk about this slate. Get me on the Twitter machine if you want @SBuchanan24.
Largest FavoriteNote: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Adam Plutko, $7,800, CLE (-200) vs. DET (+175) — This slate is … interesting. We have some familiar names in the top tier like Luis Castillo ($11,800), Lucas Giolito ($11,200), Clayton Kershaw ($10,700) and Blake Snell ($10,000). And yet, Plutko is your top option on the DraftKings Sportsbook. To be fair, most of those guys listed are in really tough matchups. Plutko is in a favorable spot against the Tigers, who against righties sport a league-worst .291 wOBA, a .145 ISO and a 25 K%. Plutko handled this team well last month when they faced each other, scoring 21.9 DKFP allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and six strikeouts. With the way some of these pitchers are priced — Castillo is way too expensive and bad matchups for most of the rest — Plutko looks awfully enticing.
Highest TotalTOR (+163) at BOS (-186) 10.5 runs — A big total for the Red Sox as they see Trent Thornton ($6,800) for the third time this season. It hasn’t gone well for Thornton, who has lasted nine innings, allowing nine runs on 19 hits with just an 8:2 K:BB ratio. Thornton has been “better” on the road than he has at home but still has a .306 wOBA with a 4.92 xFIP through 55 innings. The Red Sox are also one of the best hitting clubs at home in the majors with a team .352 wOBA, and a .200 ISO. With eyes likely on the lower-tier pitching options on this slate, I imagine the Red Sox will be a fairly popular stacking option since they are affordable.
Weather ConcernsPIT at STL (Busch Stadium) — The rain could be over by the time first pitch rolls around, making this a non-factor. Nonetheless, keep an eye on this one for a potential late start.
SF at COL (Coors Field) — This is Game 2 of a doubleheader for these teams. Isolated storms in the area which could cause a disruption. Typical weather here.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed BattersWorst vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP, Best vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Adrian Houser, .404, 5.19, Lucas Gioltio, .224, 3.96
Blake Snell, .394, 2.38, Clayton Kershaw, .250, 4.09
Miles Mikolas, .370, 5.07, Max Fried, .271, 3.27
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed BattersWorst vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP, Best vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP
Adam Plutko, .369, 4.52, Luis Castillo, .226, 3.75
Max Fried, .345, 3.49, Kyle Hendricks, .267, 4.20
Daniel Norris, .340, 4.43, Joe Musgrove, .273, 4.51
Top Hard-Hit%This section will populate with the hitters that have the top hard-hit% over the past 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%
Buster Posey, SF, $4000, 100%
Aaron Judge, NY, $4600, 88.9%
Ryan Braun, MIL, $4200, 87.5%
Matt Carpenter, STL, $3800, 71.4%
Bobby Bradley, CLE, $3500, 66.7%
Pitcher to Build AroundLucas Gioltio, CWS at KC, $11,200 — Of the top-priced pitchers, Giolito is by far the most attractive option. He faces the Royals for the FIFTH time this season, combining for 25 innings in which he’s allowed five runs on nine hits and 34 strikeouts. That being said, we have seen Giolito stumble a bit lately. He’s averaged just 14.3 DKFP over his past five starts. I’m OK with taking him tonight based on the matchup but I also will be scaling my normal exposure on him back a bit. Personally, I think you’re ok with going low on the pitching tonight with guys like Plutko or even Jacob Junis ($7,500), who is opposing Gioltio. It’s a really gross slate for pitching, so be fully prepared.
Heavy Hitter to Pay ForRafael Devers, BOS vs. TOR, $5,500 — Despite how expensive he is, Devers has been a tough player to keep off your roster. Over his past 10 games, Devers is averaging 13.9 DKFP with five home runs and 14 RBI. His matchup against Thornton is a favorable one, as lefties have tagged him with a .346 wOBA, a 4.49 xFIP and nine of the 14 home runs he’s allowed on the season. With the idea that we’ll be paying down with at least one of the pitching options, Devers is still affordable despite being the second most expensive bat on this slate.
Save Big by Drafting…Lorenzo Cain, MIL vs. ATL, $3,800 — I’m not a big fan of this matchup for Max Fried ($7,200), who has been hit hard as of late. At home against lefties, Cain is posting a .357 wOBA with a .302 ISO with three of his five home runs. As for Fried, he’s been getting whacked hard since the calendar turned from May and has a .375 wOBA and a 36.5% hard-hit rate allowed since then. For $3,800, I don’t think you can go wrong here in a game I expect the Brewers to post some good offense.
Stack Em UpPHI vs. LAD (Clayton Kershaw) — I’m really digging the Phillies as a cheap stack tonight against Kershaw. The Phillies are a good hitting club against lefties at home and sport a .351 wOBA with a .192 ISO. Kershaw did well against this team once already, but that game took place at Dodger Stadium. This stack likely won’t carry high ownership but you’ll get it on the cheap, as Rhys Hoskins ($4,200) is the most expensive bat. Jean Segura ($3,800), Maikel Franco ($3,500) Hoskins and Bryce Harper ($4,100) all have an ISO above .333 at Citizens Bank Park against lefties.
Favorite Prop Bet
Milwaukee Brewers OVER 4.5 runs (-118)
I’m just not a fan of Fried in this matchup. I mentioned how poorly he’s been pitching as of late and now faces a Brewers team who at home sports a .349 wOBA and a .219 ISO. The Brewers have crushed lefties all season long, so getting them at 4.5 runs feels like a bet I want to go with on the over.
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