Sometimes things are not as they appear. There. I just saved you the thousands of dollars you were planning to drop on those Penn and Teller Master Class sessions. In the case of tonight specifically, I’m talking about the prospective nine-game featured slate on DraftKings. With contests in New York, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia likely all to see more than a little precipitation, it seems like we could have a much more intimate schedule on our hands. At the very least, you’ll have to keep an eye on the DK Live app right up to lineup lock.
For everything else, I’ve got you covered.
StudRobbie Ray, ARI at TEX, $10,100 – Ray rewarded a chalky ownership Friday, allowing just two hits across 6 1/3 innings against the Cardinals. He might not be quite as popular this evening, but the matchup is equally tantalizing with Arizona’s lefty in Texas. Chris Woodward is not afraid to keep his LHBs in when his team is squaring off with a southpaw, so much so the Rangers have taken the most left-on-left plate appearances of any American League squad (475). They also have struck out in a massive 31.6% of those PAs — a ratio that lines up perfectly with Ray’s strikeout-heavy skill set. In fact, he’s racked up a 31.8% strikeout rate over his past seven outings. Other Options: Chris Paddack ($10,900), Mike Clevinger ($9,900)
ValueTrevor Richards, MIA vs. SD, $7,300 – Left-handed batters have given Richards fits so far in 2019. Predominantly a two-pitch pitcher, Richards’ fastball, which he uses in 40.8% of counts versus LHBs, consistently has been destroyed by lefties to the tune of a .539 slugging percentage. On the other side of the ledger, RHBs have managed just a .325 mark on the offering. Richards’ K/BB ratio also jumps from a paltry 1.24 against LHBs to a far more respectable 2.85 when facing righties. This is important as few teams as a right-handed as the Padres. Not only does the team have a third-fewest left-on-right plate appearances of any squad in the majors, but its lefties have posted just a .301 wOBA in those opportunities, besting only the Marlins in the NL. Richards tends to be sporadic, yet he’s in a great spot on this slate.
Other Option: Jesse Chavez ($4,100)
StudChance Sisco, BAL vs. WAS, $4,600 – Obviously this comes with the asterisk this game might not be played; but if the Weather Gods take mercy on us all, Sisco’s in a great situation. In his 77 plate appearances versus RHPs this season, the catcher possesses a .348 ISO and a .398 wOBA. Additionally, there’s the matter of Erick Fedde ($6,100) surrendering an eye-popping .388 wOBA to the left-handed batters he’s seen over his 11 MLB appearances in 2019. Other Option: James McCann ($4,100)
ValueDanny Jansen, TOR at BOS, $3,500 – Jansen, who is slashing .382/.404/.818 with a .494 wOBA across his past 56 plate appearances, has preferred hitting off of left-handed pitching all season long. Really, considering he was at one point the worst qualified batter in baseball against RHPs, there was a time in the year that it was literally all he could do. For the season, he owns a 107 wRC+ within the split. He also was slotted in the five-spot in Charlie Montoyo’s lineup Tuesday. If that happens once again, he’s a steal at this price.
Other Option: Austin Barnes ($3,200)
StudCarlos Santana, CLE vs. DET, $5,300 – As has been the case throughout every year of his career, Santana’s seen almost all of his power come as a left-handed bat in 2019, hitting 17 of his 21 home runs from that side of the plate. However, that’s only one of the reasons he’ll be happy to be batting lefty this evening. The other? Spencer Turnbull ($7,000) is a completely different pitcher when facing an LHB. Lefties have mustered a .355 wOBA off of the rookie, with Turnbull’s strikeout rate falling from 26.2% against RHBs to just 15.7% versus LHBs. More contact is rarely a good thing for a starter. Other Options: Max Muncy ($5,100), Jose Abreu ($4,200)
ValueJake Bauers, CLE vs. DET, $3,600 – This is a more cost-effective approach to taking advantage of Turnbull’s aforementioned struggles with lefties. Bauers’ bat has been coming around since a slow start to his tenure with Cleveland. In fact, dating back to June 1, the 23-year-old is slashing .314/.360/.529 with a .214 ISO in his 75 plate appearances versus right-handed pitching. Plus, with Bauers’ positional flexibility, you can get both he and Santana into a single lineup.
Other Option: Ryan Zimmermann ($3,800)
StudLourdes Gurriel, TOR at BOS, $4,700 – Rain is literally the only thing that could keep me from Gurriel tonight, which it very well might. Still, in a vacuum, how could you ignore these numbers? Since his re-call to Toronto on May 24, Gurriel is slashing .391/.426/.875 with a .523 wOBA against left-handed pitching. That’s an 68 plate appearances sample, too. Pretty good for an eight-week stretch. Other Option: Whit Merrifield ($5,000)
ValueHarold Castro, DET at CLE, $3,500 – Castro recently has taken over the second-spot in the Tigers’ batting order and, to be honest, he’s deserved it — especially when Detroit is set to face an RHP. In Castro’s 109 plate appearances versus right-handers, the 25-year-old is hitting .337 with an .827 OPS. Castro also owns a huge 56.1% swing rate, so you at least know you’re paying for a player who isn’t up at the plate to draw walks. What more can you ask for at this price point?
Other Option: Jason Kipnis ($3,600)
StudManny Machado, SD at MIA, $4,300 – As mentioned above, Richards mostly throws fastballs and changeups to right-handed hitters. So, despite the fact he generally has held RHBs in check, I’ll make an exception for the red-hot Machado. Consider that the former All-Star possesses a .595 ISO off of RHP fastballs since June 1 while he’s compiled a hefty .462 ISO off of righty changeups within that same span. Unless Richards learns a new pitch in the next six hours, Machado should be in a nice spot. Other Option: Rafael Devers ($5,700)
ValueNeil Walker, MIA vs. SD, $3,000 – If you’re going to use anyone against Chris Paddack ($10,900), you better make sure that person is left-handed. The rookie RHP has made quick work of almost every RHB he’s encountered in 2019, striking out 32.7% of the opponents he’s faced within the split. Lefties have been able to make the occasional dent, though. Paddack’s strikeout rate falls off to just 21.0% against LHBs, and he also has allowed 1.49 home runs per nine to that handedness of batter. Walker, who has a respectable .343 wOBA versus righties this season, is Miami’s best left-handed option. If he’s batting clean-up, you could find worse ways to spend $3K on this slate.
StudFrancisco Lindor, CLE vs. DET, $5,000 – Lindor hasn’t hit a home run at Progressive Field in more than five weeks, but tonight feels like a good time for that streak to come to an end. It’s not like he hasn’t been hitting well within that stretch, either. Going back to May 1, Lindor is slashing .311/.354/.544 with a .225 ISO as a left-handed hitter. Considering Turnbull’s documented struggles with LHBs, Lindor is a vital part of any Indians stack this evening. Other Option: Alex Bregman ($4,800)
ValueLeury Garcia, CWS at KC, $3,800 – Danny Duffy ($7,700) has had his issues going back to May 31. In the 43 innings the lefty has tossed since that point in the calendar, Duffy sports an ugly 5.86 ERA to go along with surrendering 1.9 home runs per nine. In short, he’s been very bad. This means very good things for Garcia. Chicago’s everyday leadoff man, Garcia has enjoyed hitting as a right-hander in 2019, compiling a .327 average and a 124 wRC+. If he can muster five plate appearances this evening, he’ll have a hard time not bringing back value.
StudAlex Gordon, KC vs. CWS, $4,300 – Ivan Nova ($5,000) has been equally awful against both lefties and righties in 2019, but history suggests he’s a special kind of bad versus LHBs specifically. Going back to the beginning of 2017, Nova’s surrendered a .362 wOBA to those of the left-handed persuasion — the highest mark of any pitcher to throw 200-plus innings to lefties within that span. Gordon, who is heating up again so far in July, is in the perfect spot to take advantage of this flaw. Other Options: Yordan Alvarez ($4,900), Hunter Pence ($4,900)
ValueJosh Reddick, HOU at LAA, $3,300 – Despite throwing seven innings during the Angels’ no-hitter in Los Angeles last week, Felix Pena’s ($6,700) numbers against LHBs at home remain quite ugly. Pena’s allowed left-handed opponents to compile a .363 wOBA; the direct result of surrendering 2.66 home runs per nine within the split. So, while Yordan Alvarez ($4,900) or Michael Brantley ($4,200) are higher ceiling and equally viable plays, Reddick has value as a left-handed bat. Especially with his salary sitting as low as it is.
Other Options: Anthony Santander ($3,900), Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.