With a 12 game slate going tonight, we have plenty of baseball here on DraftKings to cure that football hangover you may be experiencing. I’ll be here to guide you in the right direction to help build a successful lineup for tonight. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.h2. Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Colorado Rockies (-325) – Kershaw isn’t just a favorite tonight, he’s a mega, huge, incredible, gigantic favorite. Going up one of Vegas favorite teams to go against since the All Star Break, the Colorado Rockies. As you can imagine, Kershaw is the most expensive pitcher on the night by a long shot. Coming in at $15,500, he’s going to take a huge chunk of your salary cap tonight. However, with someone who’s averaging 28.5 points per start, the price point at least makes sense. Kershaw comes into tonight with a 2.15 ERA to go with a 0.90 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.6. The Rockies have REALLY struggled against left handed pitching this season. On the season, all current members of the Rockies (excluding players like Tulo) own a .281 wOBA against lefties this season. The lowest wOBA in the majors, besides the Atlanta Braves. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. The Rockies also own a 21.5 K% against lefties, which is good for 14th in the league. As if Kershaw was dominant enough, this is one of those matchups that I really have to consider paying up for that price on Kershaw. Sprinkle in the fact that it’s away from Coors Field, and I’m almost salivating at this start. Kershaw has to be the number one tonight, which he usually always is.
Logan Verrett vs. Miami Marlins (-177) – Man, when you have a kid come up from Triple-A, who’s only made one start this season for the Mets, and he’s the second highest favored pitcher besides Kershaw, what’s that say about your team!? Verrett will take the place of Matt Harvey tonight, who the Mets are trying to conserve his innings so that he can pitch in the playoffs. So Verrett gets the nod tonight. He’s made 10 appearance for the Mets this season, showcasing a 3.06 ERA with a 0.96 and 26 strikeouts in 32 innings. In the minors this season, Verrett had a 4.59 ERA to go with a 1.36 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.3. At just $4,100 tonight, he makes for quite the intriguing play. Going up against a team that is struggling to hit and doesn’t possess much power, it wouldn’t be hard for Verrett to reach value tonight. It also would lower the burden of rostering Kershaw tonight, saving so much money at the second pitcher slot with Verrett. Since he’s been in the minors the majority of the season, we don’t have a ton to talk about how he could perform as it would just be pure speculation on my end. In my opinion, I’d be giving Verrett a look tonight. Other than the Braves, I don’t think I’d use Verrett until I saw more from him. This is a perfect spot to give him a shot.
Jordan Zimmermann vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-172)- Ah yes, if the Rockies are on here, you know the Phillies most likely will be as well. Vegas didn’t disappoint today. Zimmermann comes into tonight with a 3.33 ERA to go with a 1.19 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.1. Zimmermann has been pitching MUCH better lately, as his past three starts has earned him 20.4 points or more. In those three starts against the Mets, Braves and Marlins, Zimmermann has gone 18 innings giving up three runs on 12 hits with a K:BB ratio of 15:6. Four of those six walks came in one game against the Braves. So, needless to say, Zimmermann appears to be locked in right now. His price tag has certainly gone up lately, but even at $9,100, that’s not a steep price to pay for someone who’s been pitching as well as he has lately. The Phillies continue to struggle in the second half of the season, owning a .317 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 21st in the league. For once, I agree with all three of the Vegas picks. Mark this date down on your calendar.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins 8.5 Over/Under – We have quite a few games that are checking in with the 8.5 projected run total, but I wanted to highlight this one, since we don’t particularly have strong pitching going in this one. The Tigers trot out Kyle Lobstein in this one, while the Twins counter with Tyler Duffey. Lobstein is one of the cheapest pitchers on the night, which is never a good time. Lobstein owns a 5.31 ERA to go with a 1.53 WHIP and a K/9 of 4.3. Lobstein really struggles against right handed batters, with a wOBA of .380 on the season. Averaging 7.7 points per game, even the light hitting Twins should be able to take care of Lobstein. Which is great and all, but they don’t have much of a leg to stand on with Duffey on the mound.
Tyler Duffey comes into tonight with a 4.18 ERA to go with a 1.45 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.3. He’s not nearly as bad as Lobstein, but he’s having trouble with his command, as a 4.2 BB/9 ratio will certainly get you into trouble. It’s also concerning that he’s already thrown 170 innings this season, which seems like a lot for a 24 year old kid. Both of these teams offensively are struggling, but they both possess some talent. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a couple of crooked numbers in the box score for this on.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
CC Sabathia vs. Tampa Bay Rays- Sabathia is nearing the finish line on what’s been a real rough season for the big left hander. But, at least he’s pitched well against the lefties, as he owns a .235 wOBA against them.
Sonny Gray vs. Chicago White Sox- It’s a shame that Gray is on a team like Oakland, as he’s pitched so well this season but doesn’t get the attention he probably deserves. Coming into tonight, Gray owns a .248 wOBA on the season against lefties.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Clayton Kershaw vs. Colorado Rockies- If Kershaw is on the mound, you know you’ll end up seeing him in this section at some point. Kershaw comes into the night dominating right handed batters, with a .231 wOBA when facing them.
Sonny Gray vs. Chicago White Sox- And here he is again. Gray needs more attention dammit! Get him on another team! Gray owns a .243 wOBA when facing righties this season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Keyvius Sampson vs. San Francisco Giants- Just like I mentioned about Kershaw, if he’s pitching he ends up in this section. Well, the same can be said about Sampson as well. He has some splits worth talking about, but not for a good reason. Sampson owns a .428 wOBA against lefties on the season.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Baltimore Orioles – Rodriguez is considered one of the top prospects in the Red Sox system, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have his struggles. He certainly has been having them against lefties this season, who have given him a .390 wOBA on the year.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
CC Sabathia vs. Tampa Bay Rays- Well, I think we can stop all analysis and put down our pencils. I think I’ve figured out the reason Sabathia has been having such a bad season. Could it have anything to do with his .381 wOBA against righties this season!?
Kyle Lobstein vs. Minnesota Twins- Geez, how rude of me. I should have put a big spoiler alert warning over in the highest scoring game section. I blew it with Lobstein wOBA against righties! It should come as no surprise that he owns a .380 wOBA against them. If you didn’t already know that, then you don’t read this whole article.
David Ortiz 1B/DH ($4800) – Ortiz continue to hit the ball really really well, even after getting that 500 home run achievement under his belt. Ortiz is 8-18 with three home runs, nine RBIs, and five runs scored. I checked into this, DK doesn’t give bonus points for 500 home runs.
Lorenzo Cain OF ($5300) – Cain has consistently been one of the most expensive outfielders on DraftKings this season, as he continues to show us why. Cain comes into tonight 7/23 with two home runs, four RBIs, eight runs scored and a stolen base thrown into the mix.
Jung Ho Kang 3B ($3800) –I think Kang is a very under the radar player that has always done well when he gets into my lineups. It doesn’t hurt that he’s not that expensive either. Kang is 9-27 with two home runs, seven RBIs, and seven runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Evan Longoria vs. CC Sabathia- We start off with a couple of seasoned rivals here with Longoria and Sabathia. I think it’s safe to say, that Longoria has gotten the best of Sabathia here. Longoria is 24-61 against Sabathia with 14 extra base hits, six of them being home runs and a 1.326 OPS.
Logan Forsythe vs. CC Sabathia- I don’t usually showcase a batter against the same pitcher, but I think this one is good enough to do so. It’s certainly a much smaller sample size than Longoria, but Forsythe has banged up Sabathia as well. Forsythe is 6-12 against Sabathia with four extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.667 OPS.
Justin Upton vs. Jeremy Hellickson- We didn’t have a lot of BvP going for today, so we have to go with the smaller sample sizes. It’s ok, we’ll make it through this. Coming into tonight, Upton is 5-10 with four extra base hits against Hellickson, two of them being home runs, and a 1.883 OPS.
A second clear night of baseball.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Clayton Kershaw ($15,500) -It’s going to be a tough one to fit him in, but I think this is one of those times where you’re just going to have to figure it out. With how poorly the Rockies hit left handed pitching, a .281 wOBA, they truly sound like the don’t stand a chance against Kershaw tonight. Not being able to hit lefties is one thing, but then when you add in the fact that they have to face the best leftie in the league? I can’t see how this game ends well for the Rockies. As I also mentioned earlier, if you take a chance on Verett against the Marlins, pairing him with Kershaw would leave you with a remaining $30,400 for your offense, or $3,800 on average per player, I think that’s extremely manageable. I know that Kershaw is usually an obvious choice, I just can’t pass him up tonight.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Brandon Belt ($4300) – I’m going to go a little bit cheaper on bats tonight, assuming you’ll be taking Kershaw. So I wanted to showcase Belt tonight, as he has a matchup with Sampson tonight on the Reds. Remember how brutal he is against lefties? Here comes Belt, batting from the left side. On the season, Belt owns a .279 average to go with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs. He hits right handed pitching well, owning a .363 wOBA against them with an ISO of .198. With Sampson giving up a .428 wOBA to left handed batters, Belt looks like he could be a nice play tonight for “cheaper” money.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Mikie Mahtook ($2400) – This is a bit of a gamble here, as Mahtook has been stumbling a bit lately, but he crushes LHP thus far. Going up against CC Sabathia, whos allowing a .381 wOBA to righties, Mahtook owns a .408 wOBA against lefties. For some cheap money tonight, we can hopefully expose that weakness from Sabathia and get some points from ol’ Mikie!