Tuesday’s MLB Showdown contests feature a choice between three games: Baltimore Orioles at San Diego Padres (3:40 p.m. ET), Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (8:40 p.m. ET) and Milwaukee Brewers at Oakland Athletics (10:07 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the early game, and it is the only game that will begin prior to the DraftKings main slate, which locks at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Dwight Smith Jr. (calf) left the game for the Orioles on Monday after injuring himself while running to first base, and his status for Tuesday is uncertain. Fantasy owners can get up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups by downloading the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter at @DKLive.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS
— The Orioles have lost each of their past seven day games against National League opponents.
— The ‘Inning 1 OVER 0.5 runs’ market has hit in each of the Padres’ past five day games.
— The Padres have led after three innings in each of their past three games against the Orioles.
— Each of the Orioles’ past eight day games after playing the previous day have gone UNDER the total runs line.
— The Padres have lost the first inning in three of their past four Tuesday games.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
SHOWDOWN STRATEGYRight-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet ($10,600; $15,900 CP) is on the mound for the Padres. Lamet is making his fifth start as he returns from Tommy John surgery, which cost him the entire 2018 season. Lamet showcases a high-octane fastball/slider combination, sitting about 95-96 mph with his fastball — topping out at 99 mph — while also showcasing a slider with sharp movement. The nasty stuff has Lamet striking out a heavy 29% of batters through 25 career starts, with it at 31% through four starts in 2019, an outstanding strikeout rate. A total of 14.4% of Lamet’s pitches have been swings and misses in 2019, also an excellent rate. Lamet has a matchup against an Orioles team that is getting both a park and league downgrade in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball. Since the game is in a National League park, the Orioles will lose the designated hitter. Baltimore ranks as the fifth least productive offense by wOBA and has struck out more often than average, giving Lamet a good matchup, and he will be in good position for the win against an Orioles team that struggles to prevent runs.
Lamet’s electric fastball/slider combination is very hard on right-handed batters, and Lamet has held RHBs to an impotent .154 batting average with a .245 OBP and .313 SLG in his career. However, Lamet lacks a good third pitch, such as a changeup, which has him struggling against left-handed batters. LHBs have hit .278 with a .369 OBP and .514 SLG off Lamet in his career, a stark difference from righties. Lamet’s pitch types and subsequent platoon splits makes fantasy options from the Orioles appealing on the left side and unappealing from the right side. Notable LHBs in Baltimore’s lineup include leadoff hitter Jonathan Villar ($8,000), Anthony Santander ($9,400) and Chance Sisco ($6,800). Villar has been especially hot lately, recording 10 hits over his past four games, which he attributes to a mechanical change in his swing he made prior to the Orioles’ recent series with the Los Angeles Angels. Villar said the team’s hitting coaches had him start his hands earlier, which help him to stay back on breaking balls. Villar has been on base in 13 of his past 21 plate appearances, and he has taken advantage of the high on-base percentage by stealing five bases over his past four games. Because Lamet is tough on RHBs, Trey Mancini ($9,000) and Renato Nunez ($8,200) are in a less-than-ideal spot, especially given the park downgrade for hitters.
Tom Eshelman ($8,600; $12,900 CP) is on the mound for the Orioles. The pitching environment is about as good as it gets in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, and Eshelman is getting a league upgrade for pitching, as he won’t have to face the designated hitter. The Padres have been strikeout prone, striking out in 26% of their plate appearances, third highest. The Padres also have been less productive than average by wOBA, which generally makes this environment a good fantasy spot. However, the problem with Eshelman is he isn’t very effective and his pure stuff is about as soft as it gets. Eshelman has struck out just 12 of the 84 batters he has faced in the big leagues this season, a poor 14% rate, significantly worse than the league average of 23%, and struck out just 13% of batters in Triple-A with Baltimore prior to his call up. Only 5.5% of Eshelman’s pitches have been swings and misses, a rate about half the league average of 10.9%. Eshelman’s fastball velocity has sat at a terrifyingly low 85 mph, one of the slowest fastballs in the big leagues, a strong contributor to the lack of strikeouts. Batters have hit Eshelman hard, producing an expected wOBA of .390 based on the exit velocities and angles of their batted balls, significantly higher than the league average of .320. Because Eshelman lacks pop with his stuff, he has very little margin for error. As a side note, for fantasy owners who enjoy narrative use, Eshelman is from Carlsbad, California, which is in San Diego County, putting him in a homecoming narrative spot.
Since Eshelman has been ineffective and is backed by an Orioles bullpen that has been one of the worst in baseball, Padres batters are in a good fantasy spot. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($10,800), Hunter Renfroe ($10,000), Manny Machado ($8,400), Franmil Reyes ($7,800), Manuel Margot ($7,200) and Eric Hosmer ($7,000) are all options. Tatis has been the most productive of the group, and his leadoff slot in the order is excellent for fantasy production. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news on the Padres’ starting lineup.
Lamet’s ($15,900 CP) strikeout upside and good matchup makes him a pitching option as the Captain’s Pick, while most Padres batters make for Captain’s Pick plays given the opposing pitcher quality. Villar’s ($12,000 CP) recent swing change combined with Lamet’s ineffectiveness vs. LHBs makes him an option as the Captain’s Pick on the Orioles’ side.
The Padres have the edge in the pitching matchup, both with their starters and relievers, which should position them well to win this game.
Final score: Padres 5, Orioles 3
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