It’s an awful busy Sunday here on DraftKings. We have some other sport starting up today as well as a full slate of baseball! We’re here to hopefully steer you in the right direction and help you win some money, so let’s just right into it! As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Francisco Liriano vs. Milwaukee Brewers(-209) – Liriano gets the nod today from Vegas as the favorite on this 15 game slate. Coming into today with a 3.28 ERA to go with a 1.18 WHIP and K/9 of 9.7, Liriano matches up with the light hitting Brewers. The Brewers come into today’s game with a .317 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 20th in the league. The enticing part about this start, is the high strikeout rate the Brewers own, at 21.3%. With Liriano owning such a high K/9, this is one of those start you really have to look at a guy like Liriano. Or do you? Lirinao has been struggling as of late, as he owns a 4.50 ERA in this last eight starts. The concern here, is that Liriano is being overworked. He’s thrown the most innings since 2010, where he threw 191.2. In 2015, he’s up to 164.2. A big difference from his career high, but injuries have usually plagued Liriano, so throwing his many innings can be taking a toll on him. He did look great in his last start against the Reds, where Liriano gave up no runs on three hits with a K:BB ratio of 10:1. Those numbers were very used to seeing from him this season. Getting a similar matchup with the Brewers today, I think he is still worth considering, with the strikeout potential being sky high. At $10,300, he isn’t that cheap, but he’s not going to kill your salary cap either.
Chris Sale vs. Minnesota Twins (-190) – It’s funny how I see that Sale has a matchup against the Twins today and I have two thoughts that immediately enter my head. First, the strikeouts Sale could get in this game are insane. Second, I don’t love this matchup. How is that possible? How is it, that Chris Sale, one of the most dominating pitchers in all of the majors, doesn’t have a favorable matchup against the Twins? Well, let me explain. In his last start against the Twins, even though Sale scored 20.3 points, his overall performance wasn’t the greatest. Sale gave up four runs on nine hits in six innings but did strikeout 10. Truly, if it wasn’t for the abundance of strikeouts, we could have seen a real dud from Sale. Believe it or not, the Twins aren’t that bad against LHP. They own a .313 wOBA against them this season, which is good for 17th in the league. It’s not a mind blowing wOBA, but I bet it’s certainly better than you expected. With Sale checking in at $13,000 today, I don’t know if this is the slam dunk start we’d usually tab for Sale. Now, let’s not get super crazy here. I’m not completely off Sale. If there’s one thing about me, is I LOVE the strikeout potential for pitchers, so this one is near the top for me. If you can sustain the 13K price tag, go crazy. But I think it would be fair to keep your expectations in check for this one.
Max Scherzer vs. Miami Marlins (-183)- Second favorite in a row where I look at it and cringe a bit. I get it, I know what you’re thinking. How is Scherzer against the Marlins not a slam dunk either!? Has too much baseball gotten to my head now? Again, let me explain. First of all, Scherzer is not pitching well right now. His ERA has crossed the three threshold, as it stands at 3.03. Not a bad ERA by any means, but this is the highest it’s been for Scherzer all season. The home run ball has also been a problem lately, as Scherzer has given up 11 in his last six starts. Granted, he’s going up against a team that has the second lowest power rating, ISO, in the league during the second half at .117. But even in his last start against the Marlins, they managed to get two off of Scherzer! Speaking of that last start against the Marlins, let’s check out how that one went. Scherzer gave up four runs on six hits in seven innings while striking out eight. So again, the strikeouts really saved this start for Scherzer. The Marlins are not an easy team to strikeout, so if he has a similar start without as many strikeouts, we could see another dud from Scherzer. In an unbelievable turn of events, I think I’m fading Scherzer against the Marlins. At $11,500, I don’t think he’s worth the risk right now. Yup, this is in print now and saved forever. Let’s hope I’m right on this one.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Oakland A’s at Texas Rangers 10 Over/Under – Is Vegas getting lazy, or do they really think these two teams can have the highest run total? The past two nights, Vegas had this game tabbed as the highest run total and both of those nights they were way off. I faded that game last night and I was glad I did, as they only scored a combined eight runs. Today however, we have two weak pitchers taking the mound in Felix Doubront for Oakland and Chi Chi Gonzalez for Texas. I can at least see some runs in this matchup. Doubront enters today with a 4.22 ERA to go with a 1.48 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.4. Doubront is not someone I’m looking at, even with his cheap price tag of $4,600. Scoring in the low to mid teens each start, Doubront is really not a viable option tonight, or maybe even ever. The Rangers still have a decent offense, even though they aren’t the best at hitting LHP, with a .306 wOBA in the second half of the season. I just can’t see myself hoping for a gem from Doubront.
As for Gonzalez, his strikeouts, or lack of, is one of the biggest downfalls of his. Going against an Oakland team that is one of the toughest to strikeout in the league, you’re basically hoping for clean innings from Gonzalez to reach value. With someone who owns a 4.26 ERA to go with a 1.27 WHIP, I don’t see that being very likely. His last time out against Oakland, they got him for six runs in just 5.2 innings. The game certainly has the potential for some offense, as both pitchers aren’t exactly your classic examples of an ace, but again, I think I might sit this one out.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Patrick Corbin vs. LA Dodgers- Corbin is another classic example of some extreme splits when it comes to facing righties or lefties. When it comes to those lefties, Corbin is your guy, as he owns a .237 wOBA when facing them this season.
Brad Hand vs. Washington Nationals- This one really surprised me, as I didn’t realize how well Hand is pitching against left handed batters. When you see his overall numbers, you would never think it. Hand owns a .244 wOBA against lefties.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Zack Greinke vs. Arizona Diamondbacks- Even with a couple of hiccups in the second half of the season, you can’t deny how well Greinke has been pitching this season. His dominance against RHB has been one of the big reasons for his success, as he owns a .208 wOBA against them.
Max Scherzer vs. Miami Marlins- Even with his struggles as of late, it’s still impressive to see such a low wOBA against RHB for Scherzer. Just goes to show how sharp he was in the beginning of the season. Scherzer owns a .238 wOBA when facing righties this season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
James Paxton vs. Colorado Rockies- Paxton and his opponent, Kyle Kendrick, are both equally bad when facing lefties this season. This one should be fun for your batting leftie today. If you don’t, might be a good day to consider it. Paxton owns a .471 wOBA against lefties this season. One of the highest I’ve seen.
Kyle Kendrick vs. Seattle Mariners – I guess both of these pitchers should be thankful that this game is in Seattle and not Colorado. This could have turned into a bigger mess than it already is. Kendrick comes into today with a .419 wOBA against lefties.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Kyle Kendrick vs. Seattle Mariners- It wouldn’t be a day with Kyle Kendrick pitching if he wasn’t in every “Easiest pitcher against” section. At least he’s better against righties than he is lefties, as Kendrick “only” owns a .371 wOBA against righties.
Bran Hand vs. Washington Nationals- Hey remember our friend, Brad? Yeah, he was the guy that was so good against lefties! Well guess what, in a real shocking development, he really struggles against righties. On the season, Hand is in Kyle Kendrick territory, as he owns a .370 wOBA against righties.
Ben Revere OF ($3600) – Gets traded to the Blue Jays, suddenly remembers how to hit, The Ben Revere story. Yes, Revere has been getting on base at a nice clip and swiping some bags for the Jays. Revere is 14-29 with a home run, four RBIs, 10 runs scored and three stolen bases.
Mookie Betts OF ($4300) –Well, at least the 2016 Red Sox have a season to look forward to. The kids have been playing for the Sox full time, and it’s been working out great. Go figure. Betts comes into today 10-25 with two home runs, six RBIs, seven runs scored, and a stolen base.
Mike Moustakas 3B ($3800) –Moustakas had a hell of a game yesterday, which shot him right up in the rankings. Scoring 47 points on DK usually implies that. He’s been hitting well anyways, but yeah, the Moose is locked in. Moustakas is 8-24 with three home runs, 12 RBIs, and four runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Ben Zobrist vs. Wei-Yin Chen- Zobrist has seen a lot of Chen in his career, and it seems like he’s had quite the success against him. Zobrist is 14-37 off of Chen with three extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a .953 OPS.
Ryan Zimmerman vs. Brad Hand- It’s a short sample, but you have to at least slightly consider someone who has a hit almost every time he’s faced a particular pitcher. That’s our situation with Zimmerman today, as he’s 7-11 against Hand with four extra base hits and an OPS of 1.692.
Carlos Santana vs. Justin Verlander- This matchup wouldn’t really classify as your typical BvP. Overall, Santana has not hit Verlander well, as he’s just 11-50 against him. So, what gives? Well, when he DOES hit Verlander, it’s always trouble. Of those 11 hits, seven of them have gone for extra bases, six of them being home runs. Get what I’m saying?
FINALLY a clear day of baseball. All that rain was BRUTAL lately.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Francisco Liriano ($10,300) -One of the big reasons I like Liriano tonight is his price point. At $10,300, the ceiling for Liriano tonight is high, and the price isn’t. For someone who could reach double digit strikeouts and not have a price tag of 13,000 or above, I’m all in. Granted, as I mentioned earlier, Liriano has had some struggles recently, but I’m hoping that will scare some people off, even with the reduced price tag. Vegas also seems to like him, which is good in my eyes, as they’ve really been nailing the pitching as of late (as they should be.) The Brewers are not a tough offense by any means and I think Liriano turned a corner in that start against the Reds. He’ll be in all of my lineups today, so if he doesn’t end up performing well, you don’t have to let me know. I’ll be feeling it.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Kris Bryant($4900) – Bryant gets to take on Aaron Harang, which is about as intimidating as facing someone like Sean O’Sullivan (remember him!?) Harang (who’s cheaper to roster than Bryant) continues to struggle against both lefties and righties, but righties, he’s given up the most home runs to. With 13 of his 21 home runs coming off the bats of right handed batters, Bryant is poised to be in line for at least a good opportunity. With a .378 wOBA against right handed pitching with an ISO of .221, Bryant looks like he could be a fine play for today. Harang is always up for giving the other team the lead.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Robinson Cano ($3600) – Remember this guy? He used to be the second baseman for the New York Yankees but as since fallen off the face of the earth. Well, he at least has a good matchup today, so we can bring him back in the spotlight. Cano faces Kyle Kendrick today, who struggles against left handed batters. With Kendrick owning a .419 wOBA against them, it’s almost as if I can vision Cano with a couple hits on the day. Cano owns a .343 wOBA against RHP, so I feel like this is a good spot for Cano.