Covering the Bases: Saturday, August 17th

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Saturday, August 17th

Happy Saturday, Grinders! I’d like to greet you with fantastic news, but the fact of the matter is that this might be the ugliest Saturday slate we have seen all season.

AFTERNOON SLATE BREAKDOWN

There are six games that start at some point during the afternoon, but all six of them have different start times. As you may be able to guess, that means we have a mess when it comes to DFS slates. Here is how the sites are handling it:

FanDuel = 2 game “very early” slate (CLE/NYY and CHC/PIT), 3 game “early” slate (SEA/TOR, HOU/OAK, DET/TB), STL/CIN game is excluded

DraftKings = 2 game “turbo” slate (CLE/NYY and CHC/PIT), 4 game “early” slate (SEA/TOR, HOU/OAK, DET/TB, STL/CIN)

FantasyDraft = 4 game “early” slate (CLE/NYY, CHC/PIT, SEA/TOR, HOU/OAK), DET/TB and STL/CIN games are excluded

Well, that’s fantastic. To top things off, FantasyDraft still hasn’t released salaries…. five hours before the first game begins. Their contests for that slate are also very small. Once you factor that in, the CLE/NYY and CHC/PIT games aren’t really on any slates of consequence. I would suggest not playing a two game slate that includes those games.

That leaves us with the remaining four early games, with the STL/CIN game not available on FanDuel. As ugly as it is, I’ll break down that slate as the early offering.

Early Arms Are… Missing

Here are the pitchers available on the four early games today:

Reggie McClain
Trent Thornton
Rogelio Armenteros
Chris Bassitt (facing Houston)
Ryan Yarbrough
Jordan Zimmermann
Miles Mikolas
Anthony DeSclafani

The last two aren’t even available on FanDuel. I mean, come on now. Find me a pitcher you feel totally confident about in this list. None of them have above average numbers this year, with the exception of Bassitt and Yarbrough — and Bassitt is facing Houston. No thanks. As for Yarbrough, he does have a solid 3.56 ERA and 3.37 FIP. He has elite command with a 3.4% walk rate, though the strikeouts leave a lot to be desired. The good news is that he is a large favorite in a matchup against a feeble Tigers offense that has lost some punch against LHP after the trade of Castellanos to the Cubs. The problem is that his price is no longer a bargain. Still, he’s far and away the best option available on FanDuel. If you are seeking upside, Thornton is really the only other option — but it’s not like he is blowing anyone away with a 22% strikeout rate and 10% swinging strikes.

DraftKings at least gives us a few more options with Mikolas and DeSclafani, options that are needed given how ugly this pitching slate is. Mikolas offers next to no strikeout upside, but he’s a solid major league pitcher that should keep his team in the game. This slate might just become about avoiding disaster with your arms, and Mikolas fits that mold. I am intrigued by DeSclafani here, as he has always been a pitcher with wide splits. Here’s a look at that data:

2019 vs. RHB = .225 opposing BA, .264 wOBA, 35% hard hits, 47% ground balls, 27% K, 4% BB
2019 vs. LHB = .299 opposing BA, .385 wOBA, 46% hard hits, 32% ground balls, 22% K, 10% BB

Career vs. RHB = .246 opposing BA, .284 wOBA, 33% hard hits, 48% ground balls, 21% K, 5% BB
Career vs. LHB = .290 opposing BA, .363 wOBA, 37% hard hits, 36% ground balls, 21% K, 7% BB

These splits are clear – DeSclafani is an above average pitcher against righties but struggles against lefties. The positive news for him is that the Cardinals don’t offer much for left-handed thump. While Kolten Wong has been great in the second half, the only other lefties are Dexter Fowler and an apparently washed Matt Carpenter. This is a fine matchup for DeSclafani, and the Reds need some innings from him after Luis Castillo got shelled on Friday.

Perhaps you could consider Chris Bassitt given his reasonable track record and solid 2019 splits, but there’s no way I am overpaying for him against Houston.

Afternoon Pitching Summary

The slate is ugly, but here is my order of preference for arms:

FanDuel = 1) Yarborough 2) Thornton

DraftKings = 1) DeSclafani 2) Yarbrough 3) Mikolas 4) Thornton

Let’s move on to the bats, because that’s more fun than trying to find arms on this slate.

Afternoon Bats – At Least There’s More Here

Rays vs. Jordan Zimmermann – Hey, Jordan Zimmermann is back from the injured list! DFS players will rejoice at the prospects of stacking against him once again. It’s amazing that Zimmermann still has a spot in a major league rotation, as this feels almost NBA-tank worthy at this point with both Zimmermann and the ghost of Edwin Jackson hanging out in the Detroit rotation. Zimmermann has a laughable 7.13 ERA with a 15.8% strikeout rate this year. He isn’t fooling anyone, allowing massive amounts of hard contact along the way. Lefties have posted a .405 wOBA and 45% hard contact and take priority here. That puts Austin Meadows at the top of the wish list, and he is absolutely a core option for me given his .381 wOBA and .253 ISO against RHP this year. The Rays will also likely send Kevin Kiermaier, Ji-Man Choi, and Eric Sogard up there from the left side. Sogard is not an option on DK where he is for some reason the most expensive hitter on the slate, but Choi and Kiermaier are valid options. Tommy Pham brings power and speed upside. You really can’t go wrong with anyone in this lineup, as the Rays have a healthy 5.6 run implied team total and plenty of upside against a woeful pitcher.

Blue Jays vs. Reggie McClain – This is essentially a bullpen game for the Mariners, so don’t expect McClain to go more than a few innings. He posted great minor league numbers this year, but this is a 26 year-old who had previously spent three full seasons in Single-A ball, and he started the 2019 season there, too. There’s something to be said for his progression, but he doesn’t profile as an elite pitcher. It’s difficult to break down individual matchups in bullpen games like these, but don’t expect the Mariners to be throwing elite arms out there all day. Ownership will be lower on Toronto than it is on Tampa Bay, and that makes me prefer the Blue Jays in GPP formats. Vladimir Guerrero has figured it out at this level and has been raking of late. Bo Bichette has a .432 wOBA and .308 ISO in the second half. Teoscar Hernandez has quietly posted a .418 wOBA and .388 ISO in the second half. Justin Smoak and/or Rowdy Tellez offer a cheap source of power from whoever starts at first base. There’s plenty of ways to stack up the Jays today, and I would lean on one or two of them in cash games, as well. Guerrero seems like the best play in those formats given his reasonable price tag.

Astros vs. Chris Bassitt – Bassitt isn’t a bad pitcher. In fact, his overall numbers are some of the best you will find on this slate. I’m interested to see how much ownership he garners against the dangerous Astros. I’ll side with the potent bats, especially now that the Astros are fully healthy again and have added the massive bat of Yordan Alvarez to their lineup. How about all the young hitters we have in baseball right now? Guerrero and Bichette are smashing for Toronto. Fernando Tatis had a great year for the Padres before succumbing to injury this week. Aquino is taking the league by storm for the Reds as the fastest player ever to ten home runs. Then there’s Alvarez, who has done nothing but mash in the middle of this Houston order. He’s hitting .339 with a .449 wOBA and .349 ISO over his first 51 major league games. Are you kidding me? Stud.

The rest of the Astros are certainly in play as well given the upside of this lineup as a whole. Bassitt is largely splits-neutral, so you could target any of the big boppers. Bregman, Springer, Brantley, and Gurriel all have .375+ wOBA marks against RHP and are fine options in any format. I likely won’t play Altuve today, though you could include him as part of a high upside Houston stack.

A’s vs. Rogelio Armenteros – Armenteros gets the ball for Houston today, and he has been effective in a limited MLB sample size this year. However, he posted underwhelming numbers with an ERA over 5.00 in 16 Triple-A starts with a 9% walk rate and merely average strikeout numbers. I don’t expect elite numbers if he continues to draw major league starts, but you can never count out any Houston pitcher. I’ll still side with the powerful Oakland bats here, especially the patient ones. Matt Olson and Matt Chapman both have walk rates above 9.5% for the year, and they make sense as one-off plays in GPP formats. Mark Canha is banged up right now but can be added to the list with his 13.5% walk rate and .259 ISO should he be back in the lineup today. This isn’t a priority team to target on this afternoon’s slate, but they will also likely come in at low ownership. There’s GPP appeal for the power hitters in the middle of the order.

Cardinals LHBs vs. Anthony DeSclafani – I like DeSclafani a lot today, as I discussed up in the pitching section, but you could certainly make a case for targeting lefties against him given his wide career splits. Kolten Wong is hitting .383 with a .413 wOBA since the All Star break, though a lot of that is due to favorable BABIP. Still, he’s a worthwhile target if you aren’t using DeSclafani on the mound. Dexter Fowler almost hit for the cycle last night and looks good at the dish right now. Maybe you want to take a speculative stance on Matt Carpenter. This is worthwhile as a peek if you like, though I will be avoiding the RHBs. Also, remember that this game is not available on the FanDuel slate.

The Mariners and Reds are down my list a bit, though they are by no means out of play. I won’t be stacking the Reds against Mikolas and his elite command, but you could search for a one-off home run if you like. After all, Aristedes Aquino seems to hit one every day now. Their lineup does take a hit if Eugenio Suarez is forced to sit today after leaving Friday’s game early. As for the Mariners, this is likely a stack or fade spot against Trent Thornton, who does have command issues at times with a walk rate over 9%. Thornton is splits-neutral, so I would stick with the top and middle of the order if you decide to roll some Seattle bats. If J.P. Crawford draws the two spot, he feels like the best play on a point per dollar basis.

Afternoon Offense Summary

At least there’s more to like with the bats than the arms this afternoon. The Rays and Blue Jays are clearly the two best offenses to target on a points per dollar basis, as they draw elite matchups against bad pitching staffs this afternoon. The Astros and A’s offer potential GPP upside, especially with stacks.

I have tagged Vladimir Guerrero and Austin Meadows as my “core” plays, while I will likely add a value bat that draws a good lineup spot for the Blue Jays. One of Justin Smoak and Rowdy Tellez has to start at first base and will likely hit in the middle of the order. That makes sense from a cost controlled perspective for some cheap power upside.

MAIN SLATE BREAKDOWN

This slate is definitely more appealing than the early offering, and we have a perfectly sized nine game slate on tap. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the pitching is all that exciting. Where are the arms today? Someone find a few and send them my way. Alas, we are all dealing with the same options.

One Ace Stands Alone

Jacob deGrom at Royals – It doesn’t get any easier than this. All of the other expensive pitchers on this slate feel overpriced, especially when you consider how poorly guys like Eduardo Rodriguez have been pitching of late. I’ll touch more on that in a moment, but let’s focus on the New York ace for now. deGrom draws a great matchup here against a Royals team that has scored a total of four runs over their last three games. They have been shut out by the likes of Dakota Hudson this week. deGrom’s talent is obvious, with a SIERA and xFIP in the low threes along with a healthy 31.6% strikeout rate. He has been a consistent performer for several seasons now. The Royals are struggling as a whole right now and have a very weak bottom half of the order. No other pitcher on this slate touches deGrom’s combination of safety and upside. Find a way to make the salary work, even if it means sacrificing a bat. Yes, the bats are elite tonight, but deGrom offers the ability to be a slate breaker on the mound.

The Rest of the Saturday Arms – They’ve All Got Warts

Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Orioles – Rodriguez has shown his DFS upside in flashes. He will look unhittable at times, and his 11.3% swinging strike rate hints at his potential. Throw in a matchup against the Orioles, and you have a chalky option on this slate. However…

The Warts:
1) How often has Rodriguez disappointed as chalk?
2) Is this price tag really a value?
3) Rodriguez has a 5.60 ERA and a 14/12 K/BB ratio in three August starts.
4) His 23% strikeout rate for the year is merely league average, despite his potential.

The Verdict:
I have little to no interest in a chalky E-Rod in GPP formats tonight. I suppose he makes sense in cash games if you can fit him alongside deGrom on DK/FDRAFT. However, that severely limits your ability to spend up on bats, and that’s not something I am interested in. Buyer beware.

Hyun-Jin Ryu at Braves – There is no doubt that Ryu has been great this year. His command has been impeccable. He has one of the best overall stat lines in the league. There are surprisingly more warts than you might expect here, though.

The Warts:
1) He’s priced above $10K on both FD and DK.
2) The strikeouts are merely league average.
3) He has to face one of the best offenses in the league in Atlanta.
4) Ryu has only made one start since returning from the injured list.

The Verdict:
It feels like the risk outweighs the upside with him, especially at this salary. If you’re at this level, just play deGrom.

Jose Berrios at Rangers – The surface numbers remain solid for Berrios, with a nifty 3.29 ERA to go along with solid command. He’s a key piece in Minnesota’s 2019 playoff run.

The Warts:
1) His 4.30 SIERA and 4.42 xFIP suggest regression at some point.
2) His sub-23% strikeout rate is not what you want to see from an ace.
3) Berrios is pitching in Texas, where offense comes to life. The Rangers have an implied team total over five runs tonight.
4) He has not looked good over his past two starts.

The Verdict:
No thanks. This is an easy pass with his limited upside and a matchup in Texas, despite the fact that Texas enhances an opposing pitcher’s strikeout potential.

Dinelson Lamet at Phillies – The potential with Lamet is obvious. When he first broke into the major leagues a couple seasons ago, Lamet was seemingly striking out or walking almost every hitter he faced. Hitters have a tough time squaring him up, and they always have. This is a really interesting spot.

The Warts:
1) No longer can we get Lamet at any sort of discounted price.
2) He has to face a Phillies team that is scorching hot right now.
3) The high strikeouts and occasional control problems often lead to high pitch counts, which prevent Lamet from going deep into games.

The Verdict:
I am intrigued here. If Lamet is going to be relatively low owned, I like the potential upside in GPP formats. I have trouble prioritizing him in cash games due to his inconsistency and elevated price tag, but he has point per dollar upside that not many can match tonight.

German Marquez vs Marlins – Here’s option #1 of 2 that will certainly gain traction tonight. Marquez has all the potential and has shown his elite ability often — particularly in starts away from Coors Field. His 163/32 K/BB ratio for the year shows that he has good stuff, and he’s facing the Marlins tonight.

The Warts:
1) He’s facing the Marlins at Coors Field and not on the road.
2) Marquez has a 6.45 ERA at home and a 3.52 ERA on the road this season.
3) His last few starts have been quite shaky, even away from home.

The Verdict:
Marquez has fewer warts than the other options available at reasonable price tags. Given that fact, Marquez seems to make a lot of sense as a SP2 option on this slate, though I don’t absolutely love it in GPP formats if the ownership gets out of control.

Zach Eflin vs. Padres – Here’s option #2 of 2 that will certainly gain traction tonight. The Padres simply aren’t the same offense now that Fernando Tatis is sidelined, and they are striking out at a very high clip. Throw in Eflin’s talent level and an affordable price tag, and you’ve got all the makings of a chalky pitcher.

The Warts:
1) Look at me with a straight face and tell me you are excited about a chalky Zach Eflin. That’s what I thought. If you have a straight face, you’re a great liar.
2) There is a real concern about how deep he can pitch tonight, as he has been throwing out of the bullpen of late.
3) San Diego’s lineup still has some pop despite the loss of Tatis.

The Verdict:
This all comes down to how long Eflin will be allowed to pitch. He hasn’t started a game in almost a month now. Keep an eye out for news on this front. If he can go 85-90 pitches, that might be enough to secure SP #2 worthiness. For now, I’m on the fence.

Jose Suarez vs. White Sox – Okay, let’s get crazy. Suarez is super cheap, and he’s pitching at home against the White Sox. Let’s do it!

The Warts:
1) He’s just not very good.
2) His walk rate was over 10% at all levels this year, and his overall profile at the MLB level is flat out terrible.

The Verdict:
All kidding aside, the only real reason to target Suarez is because of the matchup and the fact that he helps your lineup by giving you an ability to load up on bats. Also, there’s the fact that 10-12 DK/FDRAFT points might be enough for an SP2 choice tonight. If Suarez can get that with a dirt cheap tag, while someone like Eduardo Rodriguez gives you 16-18 points at a much higher salary, you’re not worse off with Suarez. He’s only on the radar because there simply aren’t many good options this evening.

Saturday Pitching Summary

Find a way to play Jacob deGrom.

Yes, there are a lot of bats to prioritize tonight.

Find a way to play Jacob deGrom.

Even if that costs you a bat or two, it seems like the most logical way to go. In fact, my “hot take” in our expert survey tonight is that deGrom outscores every other pitcher by 12+ DK points and 20+ FD points. He simply offers a combination of safety and upside that you can’t find with any other pitcher on this slate.

From there, you have options. None of them feel great. You don’t need to go anywhere else on FD, and I don’t feel good enough about any of them in order to tag a second core pitcher. Eduardo Rodriguez is a huge favorite and will be a chalky option against the Orioles, but he’s expensive and has busted plenty of times in these spots. When you consider his recent form, there’s no way he is a sure thing. German Marquez has a great opponent but is pitching at Coors Field, where he has struggled. Perhaps we just look to a cheap arm as a SP2 choice on multi-pitcher sites, as that does open up salary to spend on bats. Jose Suarez? Zach Eflin? They’re not sexy, but 11-14 DK/FDRAFT points might get the job done tonight.

Saturday Night Sticks – Three Elite Teams

Rockies vs. Hector Noesi (7.6 run implied total) – Yes, the Rockies struggled as a whole last night, scoring just three runs despite owning a 7+ team total. Don’t be fooled by a one game sample size. There is a ton to like about this offense once again tonight against Noesi, a below average pitcher who has struggled to stay in a big league rotation. He has not pitched well in a handful of starts this year and owns a career ERA well over 5.00. Don’t expect a miracle turnaround at Coors ield.

The Rockies are the top offense of the night. Let’s start by trying to find one core piece. While I like the savings that you can get with Daniel Murphy should he bat cleanup for the Rockies, I’m not convinced that he will start. They have been using Yonder Alonso more of late, and Murphy has been slumping for a while now. For that reason, I’ll pivot to Blackmon for the second straight day. As I wrote yesterday, Blackmon owns a career .423 wOBA and .250 ISO in home games against RHP, and he should push for five at-bats in this game. He’s healthy again and still owns solid numbers this year when he has been healthy. Whoever starts at first base is a nice value, but I’ve tagged Blackmon as the core play. Expect a better performance from him and from the team as a whole this evening. Story, Arenado, and the whole gang can be used as part of a GPP stack, and don’t be afraid to use more than one Colorado hitter in cash games if you can make the salary work.

Red Sox vs. Asher Wojciechowski (7.1 run implied total) – The jury is still out on just how good the Woj is. He’s great at breaking NBA news, but how can he do as a long-term option in a major league rotation? Time will give us more data, but for now, we are dealing with a small sample. In said small sample, he does have one start where he completely shut down this same Red Sox team. Woj fired 7 1/3 one-hit innings with ten strikeouts just last month. You simply don’t see those types of performances against the Red Sox. I will say that I’ll take the under on the Red Sox getting seven runs tonight. Yes, the Baltimore bullpen is bad, but I’ll certainly side with the Rockies over the Red Sox on this slate. Woj gets strikeouts and has held RHBs to a sub-.300 wOBA so far this season. Sure, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are capable of smashing against any pitcher, and the GPP upside in a Red Sox stack is obvious. If they get into the Baltimore bullpen early, it could spell disaster for a Boston fade. The lefties profile better against Woj, so Rafael Devers would make the most sense if you want to target a one-off bat.

I won’t have much exposure to Boston tonight, but know that I am taking a risky stance with this take. They are capable of exploding, especially once the bullpen gets involved. If Boston goes off, it’s going to be a rough night for me.

Twins vs. Ariel Jurado (6.3 run implied total) – I don’t know how many times I have written this in 2019, but let me find my standard terms and conditions when it comes to the Twins. Please hold.

This Minnesota offense just… keeps… raking. The national media isn’t paying enough attention to them, but that only serves to keep their DFS ownership lower than it should be on a nightly basis. I’ve been preaching this for months now and will keep banging the drum until it stops working.

There it is! They are just two nights removed from putting up 13 runs in Arlington, and that type of production is certainly reasonable any time they face an underwhelming staff. As a team, they rank 5th in the league in wOBA and 1st in ISO against RHP this year. The loss of Nelson Cruz hurts, but don’t expect a massive slow down in production. Luis Arraez doesn’t have much pop, but he has a wOBA hovering around .400 against righties and has been hitting in the middle of the order since Cruz went out. Jorge Polanco continues to be under-appreciated, and he owns a .377 wOBA and .225 ISO against RHP. Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, and Mitch Garver all offer elite power upside. I’ve tagged Polanco as the core play, but all are squarely on the radar against a mediocre arm in Ariel Jurado.

My interest in these three offenses is very clearly COL > MIN > BOS.

Saturday Night Sticks – Other Teams to Target

Angels power vs. Hector Santiago – Santiago hasn’t been a key piece of a major league rotation since he pitched in 2015 for the same Angels that he faces tonight. There is no reason to fear him, and the Angels have one of the higher implied team totals on the slate. It will be interesting to see what they roll out for a lineup, as Santiago has sometimes been a reverse splits pitcher in his career. His wOBA mark allowed remarkably sits at .325 for both LHBs and RHBs after a lengthy sample size, but his ground ball rate dips to a laughable 29% against righties. The RH power bats are obvious elite one-off plays, putting Mike Trout near the top of tonight’s list of plays — but you don’t need me to tell you that. The problem becomes how to handle the rest of the crew. The Angels aren’t elite as a whole against LHP, with Pujols owning the best non-Trout mark with a middling .335 wOBA. I don’t mind the lower-owned lefty bats like Calhoun or Ohtani in GPP formats if they are in the lineup, as it just takes one squared up ball to take one deep against Santiago. Keep an eye on the Angels lineup tonight. This is a tough spot to peg.

Mets power vs. Jakob Junis – Junis is your typical 2019 mid-level pitcher who has a fly ball lean and allows a bit too much hard contact. He has allowed hard contact at a 40.4% clip through his major league sample size, and that will make him vulnerable to power bats. The Mets have cooled a bit since their hot run in the early part of the month, but there’s still room to think about a one-off power bat. Pete Alonso is the obvious target with an ISO over .300 against RHP for the year, and he presents a very tough matchup for Junis. Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and J.D. Davis also have ISO marks at or above .200 against righties. Junis is not the type of pitcher I like to stack against, so I wouldn’t really endorse a full stack here. Stick to the one-off power if you go anywhere.

Dodgers LHBs vs. Mike Foltynewicz – Foltynewicz has failed to build on the momentum that he built during his solid 2018 campaign, and things have turned upside down in a major way this year, as he owns an ERA over six in 13 starts. Now, he has been victimized by a 20% HR/FB rate that will certainly normalize over time, but this is a tough spot to bank on positive regression to the mean. Lefties have always caused more problems for him, though those splits have evened out over the past few seasons. I’m still inclined to roll with the LAD power lefties — as they all have elite potential against a pitcher who has struggled with the long ball. Salary becomes the issue here, as every projected starter has a $4,000+ price tag on DraftKings. That’s hard to fit. Still, you might see six lefties in this lineup tonight, and they all have pop. In fact, Justin Turner is the only hitter in our projected lineup that has an ISO BELOW .240 against RHP this year. The Marlins and Tigers don’t have a single hitter above that mark. Yeah, this team is pretty good. There is potential late game pinch hit risk with the likes of Rios or Beaty (if they start), but the upside is obvious as long as the starters are in the game. The pinch hit risk is also slightly less with Tyler White and Kristopher Negron currently sidelined.

Giants vs. Taylor Clarke – I really like the Giants tonight. I never thought I would type that out, but here we are. This isn’t an elite offense by any means, but it looks different now than it did a few months ago. Scooter Gennett provides some value in the middle of the order, Brandon Belt brings power potential against RHP, and the additions of Alex Dickerson and Mike Yastrzemski to the big league roster have added some punch. Yastrzemski is an impossible name to spell, but I am now required to learn it after he cracked three home runs on Friday night in a wild 11 inning win. Additionally, the Giants draw a great matchup here against Taylor Clarke, who simply isn’t a quality big league arm. He has an ERA, SIERA, and xFIP well over 5.00 for the year to go along with a low 17% strikeout rate. He doesn’t fool hitters, and the Giants have some upside tonight. I like Gennett as a value in any format, and I love the full GPP stack with the aforementioned names. You can also add in Vogt or Posey (whoever starts) on DK where you need a catcher.

Diamondbacks vs. Logan Webb – There is no doubt that Webb is a talented pitcher, as he grades out as one of San Francisco’s best prospects. His minor league numbers this year have been impressive at every level. However, he started the year in rookie ball. He has made just one start above Double-A. The immediate call ups to the major leagues simply don’t work out well off the jump all that often. He’s also coming off an 80 game PED suspension. How well will he pitch without those enhancements? I obviously have no idea about the specifics behind his suspension, so that’s probably an unfair leap for me to take. In any case, I’ll side with the reasonably talented Arizona bats, especially at home. Ketel Marte owns the best overall metrics against RHP this year with a wOBA over .380, while David Peralta and Christian Walker bring above average power. I wouldn’t go nuts here in cash games, but those three can be considered. As is the case with any pitcher making his major league debut, you can certainly go with a full stack in GPPs in the event that Webb implodes.

The Wild Card Game – Brewers at Nationals – I really don’t know what to do with this game. In the preliminary lineups that I have messed around with, I have found myself with almost no exposure to the game. None of the hitters are elite values. Both pitchers (Anibal Sanchez and Jordan Lyles) are solid middle of the rotation arms that are hard to roster as pitchers but hard to pick on from the other side. Everywhere you look, it simply feels like there is a better spot. Why target Christian Yelich when you can get Charlie Blackmon at home or Mike Trout against a weak lefty? Why target Juan Soto given the same logic? The list goes on with the hitters from this game. Yasmani Grandal has some appeal on DK where you need a catcher, and Mike Moustakas has gotten a lot cheaper over the past few weeks. There is some GPP stack potential given the likely low ownership, but there are so many better spots on this slate. I’m just not excited about this game from any angle.

Saturday Offense Summary

The Rockies, Red Sox, and Twins are clearly the top offenses in terms of team totals, but I definitely prefer the Rockies and Twins out of that mix. The power bats for the Angels and Mets are in play, while the Dodgers line up well against a struggling RHP in Foltynewicz. The Giants/Diamondbacks game will offer a chance to get some lower-owned bats and/or values, and we saw a shootout in the desert last night. Both bullpens should be tired after an 11 inning affair.

Core Plays (no site differential today) = Charlie Blackmon, Jorge Polanco, Scooter Gennett (value)

Good luck today!!

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Comments

  • messner4442

    I keep hearing that the average strikeout rate for an MLB pitcher is 23-24%, if you took out the top and bottom 5%, would it alter that number much?

  • messner4442

    Where can you find these types of statistics?

  • billsbestone

    • 380

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    • Ranked #10

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Goldschmidt and Ozuna have great bvp today metrics are pretty good too. Wong 0/18 bvp.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 254

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    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @messner4442 said...

    I keep hearing that the average strikeout rate for an MLB pitcher is 23-24%, if you took out the top and bottom 5%, would it alter that number much?

    No — there are plenty bunched in that 23-24% range. That will be your average. It’s up a couple percentages from a few years ago thanks to all the K’s these days.

    FanGraphs is a great resource and doesn’t cost a penny.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Analyst

    • 254

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    @billsbestone said...

    Goldschmidt and Ozuna have great bvp today metrics are pretty good too. Wong 0/18 bvp.

    I don’t know about “great” – they’ve got decent numbers but still just 2 HR’s. DeSclafani’s splits are so wide that I’m inclined to believe that over a small BvP sample.

    As a Cardinals fan, I hope they do well today, but it’s a tough spot for their offense.

  • dethdealers

    Heres a sneaky take on tonites slate. Watch out for the White Sox offense to come alive and perhaps help someone take a GPP down with extremely low ownership.

  • Mr_tjRoto

    thanks

  • jbone1980

    would you say that Degrom,Suarez,Eflin, & Lament are the only pitchers in your player pool tonight? thanks

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