Three True Outcomes: Key MLB Matchups for Opening Day (March 30)
Three True Outcomes highlights a trio of crucial matchups for today’s slate. We might strike out or settle for a walk, but we’re also going to hit our fair share of home runs. Ideally, this article will give your MLB DFS lineups and sports betting card a boost.
Toronto’s League-Leading Hard-Hit Rate vs. Miles Mikolas’ 5th Percentile Whiff Rate
No team hit the ball harder than the Blue Jays in 2022. Toronto’s 44.3% hard-hit rate was the highest in the Statcast era (since 2015). The Blue Jays led the league with 1,929 hard hits (95+ MPH), 170 more than the second-place Braves.
The departure of Teoscar Hernandez (98th percentile in hard-hit rate) in free agency dings this lineup a bit, but it’s still full of mashers. You do NOT want to allow contact to this group.
Enter Miles Mikolas and his 5th percentile Whiff rate. Uh oh. This is a nuclear spot for a Blue Jays stack but no Toronto player has a projected ownership above 9% on FanDuel or DraftKings. The Over on their team total (4 runs at -106 on FanDuel) is also enticing.
Detroit’s Platoon Splits vs. Shane McClanahan at Home
Detroit was miserable offensively in 2022. Dead last in runs scored and either 29th or 30th in all major offensive stats (OPS, ISO, wOBA, wRC+, etc). Basically any overall metric you look at had the Tigers battling the Athletics for the basement.
However! Detroit offered at least some resistance against lefties. The Tigers had a wRC+ of 100 (exactly league average) and a middling OPS (20th) and wOBA (21st).
It’s even better when they get away from Comerica Park. The Tigers are 8th in OPS and wOBA on the road vs. lefties. 7th in wRC+.
You read this lineup and would assume McClanahan is a slam dunk, but Detroit might be a tricky matchup. If you look in LineupHQ, McClanahan has the second-highest projected ownership on DraftKings, slightly behind Corbin Burnes.
Hunter Greene’s Strikeout Rate vs. Pittsburgh’s Strikeout Rate
Oh man. Matchup made in heaven here. Greene had a 90th percentile strikeout rate in 2022 and averaged nine punchouts over his final five starts.
That stretch included a 10-strikeout game against the Pirates, who had the 3rd-highest strikeout rate against righties last season. Pittsburgh jumps to 2nd in road games vs. right-handers.
The Pirates added a mixed bag of free agents as far as contact rate, with Carlos Santana (good!), Andrew McCutchen (meh!) and Ji-Man Choi (bad!) likely not doing enough to reverse the trend for this offense.
Greene is only the 13th-most expensive pitcher on FanDuel but we project him as the fourth-best SP.