Every Sunday night this year, we will have a Captain Showdown contest for the ESPN featured primetime game. Tonight, Jacob deGrom ($11,600) is looking to bounce back from his worst outing in years. After a streak of 26 consecutive quality starts, deGrom got rocked last time out against the Twins. He allowed six runs in four innings and got blasted for three homers. Tonight, he faces an even tougher matchup in a rivalry game against the Braves.
If you have any questions about strategy or tonight’s contest, you can find me on twitter @gehrenbergdfs. Follow @DKLive as well as download the DK Live app on your mobile device so that you’re always up to date with the latest news and lineups.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS— The Braves have won seven of their past eight games as underdogs against the Mets.
— Five of the Mets’ past six games as favorites have gone OVER the total runs line.
— The Mets have started the season 9-5 against the run line.
— The Mets’ 7-2 record on the road is the best in the National League.
— Games played by both the Mets and Braves averaged 8.8 runs in 2018.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
New York MetsI think Jacob deGrom ($17,400) bounces back here and makes for the top captain play in the game. He has been so good for so long that a bad start had to happen eventually. It was an inevitability and I am not going to dock him for it. If anything, it is nice to know that he is one of us and not some infallible pitching robot. DeGrom is still the best pitcher in baseball and has a 3.18 ERA despite the rough go last start.
Julio Teheran ($9,000) was no good last season and things haven’t gone any better for him 2019. He comes into tonight with a 9.00 ERA and he is getting hit hard by left-handed hitters. Lefties have a .343 wOBA off Teheran, so ideally, we are looking for lefty hitters.
I think Brandon Nimmo ($6,800) is the best value play in the game. He had a 149 wRC+ last year, which ranked amongst the best hitters in baseball, but he’s off to a slower start this year. With a 109 wRC+ he’s still an above-average hitter, but there is room for improvement. Nimmo is struggling to make contact and has a 41.1% strikeout rate. This number should regress and Teheran has traditionally been a low strikeout pitcher.
There a few more high-upside lefties who I expect will be in the starting lineup for New York. On the expensive end, Michael Conforto ($9,000) makes for a nice option. He scores 11.3 DKFP per game, which leads the Mets and he’s been hitting well lately. Conforto has at least 11 DKFP in six of his past eight games. When the Mets acquired Robinson Cano ($6,400), I didn’t love the move because I was afraid he would take playing time away from Jeff McNeil ($7,800). So far, there has been enough playing time for both of them and McNeil continues to fly under the radar as a solid player. Many people thought his 13wRC+ from last season was a fluke, but he’s at a 152 wRC+ through 13 games.
Atlanta BravesI much prefer the Mets’ side of the game to the Braves. I am looking to target the Mets’ lefties, which has me off Teheran, while the Braves’ hitters are in a tough spot against deGrom.
We need to roster at least one player from Atlanta, so I think it makes sense to punt with a hitter. There are a couple cheaper options who I think make for sensible plays. Josh Donaldson ($6,200) is a former MVP caliber player, but he hasn’t found his groove since missing most of last year with a shoulder injury. He still hits near the top of the Atlanta lineup and he’s worth buying low on the off chance he rediscovers his All-Star form. Nick Markakis ($5,600) always feels a bit too cheap for me. For years, he’s been a consistent hitter and is off to another solid start. He has an extremely low strikeout rate and a 123 wRC+. He’s coming off a strong 25 DKFP game.
THE OUTCOMEWhen deGrom is on the mound, I have to pick the Mets to win. When on, he’s nearly impossible to score on and I think he bounces back from a rare bad start. Looking at his last year of work, the game against the Twins should be seen as an outlier and not a red flag. New York should have no problem putting up a few runs against Teheran.
Final Score: New York 5, Atlanta 2
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.