You’re going to want an MLB sweat while you watch tonight’s NBA Draft, so let’s take a look at the main evening slate. Remember that the best place for last-minute info, other than DK Live, of course, is Twitter. Find me there, @RyNoonan… Let’ dig in.
Luis Severino – New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels – $12,300 – Pitching is dicey tonight, and Luis Severino is head and shoulders above the competition. He’s a massive favorite at -224, and clearly, the Angels are not to be feared without Mike Trout in the lineup. The issues with Severino though are that he’s clearly the top option at the position, which makes him tough to roster in DraftKings tournaments, and his strikeout upside is limited, both in terms of his own skills and the Angels’ low whiff total. Play him in cash games but I think you can stay away in tournaments.
Other Options – Jake Arrieta ($8,800)
Jaime Garcia – Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants – $7,500 – Another low strikeout arm who’s facing a low strikeout team, Jaime Garcia gets a nice matchup against the league’s 27th ranked offense in San Francisco. Garcia’s ability to keep the ball on the ground helps mitigate scoring, but it also flattens his swing-and-miss upside as well. Similarly to Severino though, I think he’s a strong cash game play relative to the field.
Other Options – Hyun-jin Ryu ($7,100)
Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners – $4,000 – I think the best tournament play is Gary Sanchez, but his price tag is difficult to get in unless you’re running a Yankees stack. Avila is hitting lasers this season and will be locked into the 2-hole in Detroit’s lineup against right-hander Andrew Moore.
Other Options – Gary Sanchez ($5,200)
Austin Barnes – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets – $3,000 – Austin Barnes has appealing power upside against left-handed pitching, with a .256 ISO in these spots so far this season. He and his Dodger teammates face-off against Steven Matz tonight in L.A. and Barnes offers salary relief at the catcher position.
Edwin Encarnacion – Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles – $5,400 – Edwin Encarnacion is the hottest hitter in the league not named Cody Bellinger, and we’ll want to get some exposure to the Indians’ offense tonight on the road against Wade Miley. E5′s average distance on contact this season is 217 ft, but over the past two weeks, he’s hitting it 254 ft with a 56% fly ball rate. That’s a great recipe for home runs.
Other Options – Matt Holliday ($4,400)
Miguel Cabrera – Detriot Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners – $3,400 – One of the best right-handed bats in the history of the game is just $3,400. Yes, he’s probably on the downside of his career peak, but he’s still elite and should never be below $4,000 in this spot.
Other Options – Danny Valencia ($3,000)
Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles – $5,500 – Jose Ramirez is your other top shelf option tonight in Cleveland’s lineup. Ramirez’s hard-hit contact rate is 47% over the past two weeks, up from his seasonal rate of 31%, and he’s shown slightly more power from the right side of the plate when facing lefties. You can plug him in at second or third base, as well.
Other Options – Starlin Castro ($4,500)
Logan Forsythe – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets – $3,300 – Another player that you can use at both second and third base, Logan Forsythe will be hitting in the middle of the Dodgers’ lineup tonight against Steven Matz, and if you’ve been playing DraftKings for a few seasons you know Forsythe is a thing against southpaws. He enters play with a .368 wOBA against them dating back to 2015.
Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins – $4,900 – The Cubs’ 117 wRC+ against left-handed pitching is the second best mark in the game this season, and that’s spear-headed by their MVP third baseman. Bryant has a massive .476 wOBA against lefties this season and is my favorite ‘stud’ if you’re spending up in cash games.
Other Options – Manny Machado ($4,600)
Wilmer Flores – New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – $2,800 – Dating back to the start of the 2016 season, Wilmer Flores and Kris Bryant have identical .307 ISO marks against left-handed pitching. Let that sink in. Flores is always on the board against left-handed pitching, and he’s eligible at both corner infield positions.
Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers – $4,300 – Jean Segura returned from the DL on Wednesday and was inserted right back into the lead-off spot for the Mariners. He was playing well prior to the injury and could be an interesting DraftKings tournament target tonight against left-hander Daniel Norris.
Other Options – Francisco Lindor ($4,600)
Jose Reyes – New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – $3,700- Jose Reyes has been sneaky-good against left-handed pitching this season. Perhaps it’s a bit less sneaky now after he took Clayton Kershaw deep twice earlier in the week, but the switch-hitting Reyes is more than 120 points better in both wOBA and ISO when facing left-handed pitching.
Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers – $4,500 – Nelly Cruz has been destroying left-handed pitching since flip phones were cool. Getting him for less than $5,000 in this spot is mouth-watering, and something that you can’t avoid in cash games. Despite the high ownership, I’d still go there in DraftKings tournaments as well.
Other Options – Aaron Judge ($5,700), J.D. Martinez ($4,700)
Franklin Gutierrez – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets– $3,200 – Franklin Gutierrez hasn’t played much of late since returning from the DL earlier in the month. That won’t keep the Dodgers from putting him in the middle of the lineup against a lefty on Thursday night. Frankie’s massive platoon splits have made him a name to forget when facing a right-hander, but he’s a cheap punt if he’s hitting cleanup at just $3,200.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RyanFix) 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.