Look, there’s a lot of things I could be writing about off the top of the DFS Baseball article, but I feel the need to do a quick Public Service Announcement. There’s a chance — a small, small chance — that we get a little rain tonight in Washington. Now, it seems unlikely a team already cramming a doubleheader with a non-division foe into its schedule would tread cautiously in this particular situation; however, these are the Nationals. No squad loves a rain-based postponement quite like the 25 men who reside in the nation’s Capital. My working theory is GM Mike Rizzo is afraid of thunder, yet I haven’t confirmed that with anyone in the know. Regardless, it’s something to be cognizant of on this evening’s eight-game featured slate.
For everything else you should be aware of, let’s jump into the action.
StudShane Bieber, CLE at TOR, $10,500 – There are a few things of note when it comes to Bieber on Wednesday night. First, he simply has been phenomenal since the beginning of June, pitching to a 2.36 FIP and 0.99 WHIP over the nine outings in that span of time. Second, he’s been much better on the road in 2019, a place where he’s held the 237 batters he’s faced to a paltry .247 wOBA. Finally, Bieber’s not one of those pitchers who sees a massive drop in his strikeout rate in opposite-hand matchups. In fact, his 32.0% strikeout rate to LHBs is higher than his mark against RHBs (30.2%). This is crucial with a team like Toronto; a team that might feature as many as five left-handed bats this evening. Other Option: Noah Syndergaard ($10,000)
ValueReynaldo Lopez, CWS vs. MIA, $7,000 – Lopez has had arguably his best two outings of the season his past two trips to the mound and the hope would be he builds off that tonight against the Marlins. It’s the perfect matchup. Not only does Miami rank dead-last in many major offensive categories in 2019, but it also brings up the rear in left-handed plate appearances versus right-handed pitching with just 635. The team only actually has two lefty bats on the current 25-man roster in Neil Walker ($3,400) and Curtis Granderson ($3,300), so Lopez won’t face a capable LHB this evening unless we travel back to 2012. That’s great news considering Lopez owns a 24.9% strikeout rate and a well above-average 5.00 K/BB ratio when getting to square-off with a right-handed batter.
Other Options: Julio Teheran ($8,000), Zac Gallen ($7,800)
StudMitch Garver, MIN vs. NYY, $5,100 – It’s not often I find myself wanting to pay more than $5K for a catcher, but that’s how good Garver has been against left-handed pitching so far this season. In 72 plate appearances within the split, the Twins’ backstop is slashing an insane .373/.486/.847 with a 238 wRC+. Sure, J.A. Happ’s ($7,200) been less inclined to surrendering the long ball on the road, yet he doesn’t change which hand he pitches with outside of New York state. Other Option: Kurt Suzuki ($4,200)
ValueMatt Wieters, STL at PIT, $3,900 – Jordan Lyles ($6,100) has been destroyed by left-handed bats dating back to May 23. Like, absolutely massacred. Within that span, the Pirates’ RHP has faced 72 LHBs. Those 72 plate appearances have resulted in a .770 slugging percentage, a whopping .490 wOBA and a 48.0% hard contact rate. Wieters, who has been much better hitting from the left side in 2019, is in a fantastic matchup on this slate.
Other Option: Wilson Ramos ($3,300)
StudJosh Bell, PIT vs. STL, $4,700 – Bell consistently has been priced above $5K this season, so it’s nice to get him at a bit of a discount in what should be a nice matchup for the All-Star. Simply put, Adam Wainwright has labored on the road in 2019. Where his home ERA is a sterling 2.33, that figure jumps to an eye-popping 7.16 when pitching outside of St. Louis. Fortunately for us, Pittsburgh is not part of Missouri. Fortunately for Bell, Wainwright’s allowed LHBs to compile a .414 wOBA off him in those road outings. Tonight seems like as good a time as any to break a 13-game home run drought, right? Other Options: Max Muncy ($5,100), Carlos Santana ($4,100)
ValueJustin Smoak, TOR vs. CLE, $3,500 – If you’re shying away from Bieber on this slate, Smoak is an obvious value play. The veteran has clubbed a home run in each of his past two games and, like many power hitters, his long balls have appeared in clusters throughout 2019. He also will get to bat left-handed this evening, which is the side of the plate you want to see Smoak hitting from. Smoak possesses a .274 ISO in his 230 plate appearances as an LHB this year, a figure that dwarfs his .085 ISO as a righty.
StudHowie Kendrick, WAS vs. COL, $4,800 – There’s been little left-handed pitchers have been able to do to get Kendrick out in 2019. Across 77 plate appearances, the veteran infielder is slashing .370/.403/.616 against those of the left-handed persuasion; while also sporting a massive .424 wOBA. In short, Kendrick’s been very good within the split. This has not been the case for Kyle Freeland ($5,200). The Rockies’ lefty has surrendered 2.27 home runs per nine in his 14 starts and has allowed exactly five earned runs in both outings he’s made since getting re-called from Triple-A. There’s no reason to think Kendrick won’t do some damage this evening. Other Option: Jeff McNeil ($4,200)
ValueJason Kipnis, CLE at TOR, $3,300 – It’s honestly difficult to find positive things to say about Kipnis’ offensive game at the moment, but, for whatever reason, he keeps batting clean-up when the Indians face RHPs. That’s not unimportant. There’s also the matter of Marcus Stroman ($9,300) struggling a little bit at the Rogers Centre. All 10 home runs the former first-round pick has surrendered in 2019 have been in Toronto; a place where he’s allowed LHBs to compile a respectable .340 wOBA. Basically, while the floor is cavernous, Kipnis carries a decent amount of upside for his microscopic price point.
Other Option: Brian Dozier ($3,900), Robinson Cano ($3,100)
StudJustin Turner, LAD vs. LAA, $4,400 – Things have not gone well when Jaime Barria ($6,300) has taken the mound on the road this season. We’re not talking normal bad, either. We’re talking 23 earned runs in just 15 1/3 innings. That’s also not the only split Barria has struggled with. For his brief major league career, the 23-year-old has been shelled by right-handed batters to the tune of a massive .367 wOBA. That’s where Turner — the Dodgers’ premier RHB — becomes viable on a slate where his Los Angeles offense owns the night’s highest implied run total. Other Options: Anthony Rendon ($5,400), Yoan Moncada ($4,700)
ValueColin Moran, PIT vs. STL, $3,600 – Aside from Wainwright’s previously documented issues with LHBs on the road, Moran finds his viability on this slate through his own ability to hit at PNC. In 133 plate appearances versus RHPs in Pittsburgh this season, Moran is slashing .344/.391/.574 with a 148 wRC+. His lack of elite home run power lowers his ceiling, but the 26-year-old remains a more than solid option for his reduced salary.
Other Option: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,300)
StudTrea Turner, WAS vs. COL, $5,100 – It’s easy to suggest any hitter coming off of a cycle is hot, but Turner had been tearing the cover off the baseball at Nationals Park well before last night’s effort. In fact, in Turner’s last 43 plate appearances at home, the young infielder has collected 18 hits, amounting to a jaw-dropping 1.238 OPS. With Colorado sending the struggling Freeland out to start, I don’t expect the good times to stop for Turner on Wednesday night. Other Option: Francisco Lindor ($4,500)
ValueEhire Adrianza, MIN vs. NYY, $3,800 – The switch-hitting Adrianza has managed only 41 plate appearances as a right-handed hitter in 2019, but he definitely has made those limited opportunities count. The 29-year-old is slashing .324/.415/.559 with a .404 wOBA against southpaw pitching; and, if that’s not a large enough sample, he’s hit .302 off of LHPs dating all the way back to the beginning of 2016. If Adrianza finds his way into the Twins’ lineup tonight, make sure to grab a few shares.
Other Option: Didi Gregorius ($3,900)
StudNelson Cruz, MIN vs. NYY, $4,900 – Considering no team in baseball possesses a higher batting average (.290) or ISO (.230) against left-handed pitching than the Twins, it shouldn’t be surprising they have so many viable pieces on this slate. However, my favorite might be Cruz. Everyone and their mother knows of the veteran’s exploits versus LHPs by this point; but, if you need a refresher, Cruz owns a .407 wOBA and a 63.8% hard contact rate in his first 80 plate appearances within the split this season. That’s some good stuff if you’re name isn’t J.A. Happ. Other Options: Ronald Acuna Jr. ($5,700), A.J. Pollock ($4,400)
ValueHarold Ramirez, MIA at CWS, $3,900 – I’m staunchly in the “Reynaldo Lopez is a good play” camp this evening, but it’d be understandable for you to want to stack against someone who’s been one of baseball’s worst pitchers in 2019. So, if that’s the case, you’d be hard pressed to ignore Ramirez if he’s leading off for the second-straight night. It helps matters that the rookie owns reverse splits. Ramirez is rocking a decent 101 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching, while his strikeout rate falls to just 16.4% within the split.
Other Options: Michael Conforto ($4,000), Corey Dickerson ($4,000)
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.