Jordan Bell getting the start makes him a more attractive option due to minutes certainty, and that he doesn’t need to score a whole lot or have the ball in his hands in order to be effective. An energized Bell could make for a very good value play on this slate, and also leaves Kevon Looney in his comfortable and predictable bench role, where he too remains an interesting option for this depleted Warriors squad.
As expected once Iguodala was ruled out, McKinnie will start in his place. While he is certainly a salary saver, he will be at best the 4th option for the Warriors on offense and will need to pick up steady peripherals in order to be a viable option. Kevon Looney and even Jordan Bell can also be considered with McKinnie entering the starting lineup, opening up bench minutes, although it is also possible Jonas Jerebko may get the additional run instead of Bell, depending on game flow and how the Blazers structure their lineup.
Iguodala being out opens things up a bit for both teams, as we’ll see more playing time at the wing, likely filled by Alfonzo McKinnie, who will be a lower usage player but see a heavy bump in minutes. Jordan Bell may also see the floor a bit more just due to a lack of bodies, but this is a more speculative play. The lack of Iguodala on defense should help open things up for one of Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum on the offensive end.
Conditions appear to be pitcher friendly at Wrigley tonight, but it’s a much more negative spot for HRs than it is overall run environment. Jake Arrieta has not been good against the Brewers and Royals last two times out (11 IP – 9 R – 3 HR – 7 BB – 10 K – 52 BF). His 7.9 SwStr% is the same as it was last year, as he continues striking out batters at a below average rate. At a 10.1 K-BB% and 89.5 mph aEV, a 51.9 GB% is of small solace. All of his estimators, along with his ERA, are above four, while he’s sitting on a .346 xwOBA, some 32 points above his actual mark. This might be a spot where a Chicago stack could pay off, rather than individual bats. LHBs have a .367 wOBA (.380 xwOBA) against Arrieta over the last calendar year. It’s somewhat conceivable the Cubs could just keep the line moving and accumulate runs, rather than blasting the ball out of the park here, as Arrieta has been known to struggle with control at times. Kyle Schwarber (105 wRC+, .231 ISO vs RHP last calendar year) remains a great value in the leadoff spot. Anthony Rizzo (153 wRC+, .255 ISO) is the most potent bat in this lineup, batting third. Victor Caratini (105 wRC+, .135 ISO) is an affordable catcher in the cleanup spot, who could see a few RBI opportunities today. The Cubs sit in the middle of the board tonight, at 4.5 implied runs.
Luke Weaver allowed three runs in his last start, but it was only the second time in seven starts he’d allowed more than two, coming off two seven inning outings. He’s sitting on an impressive 20.4 K-BB% this season. His 2.96 DRA is one of only four marks below three on a strong pitching board tonight. While a lot of people may be more focused on the other side of this matchup, and rightfully so (Chris Paddack 28.5 K%, 2.07 DRA, 86 mph aEV, .261 xwOBA), Weaver is quite a bit cheaper ($1K less on DK) in a pretty favorable spot of his own. The Padres have just an 82 wRC+ and 21 K-BB% vs RHP this year. San Diego is still firmly a negative run environment and an early look at conditions suggest there might be even further benefit for pitcher’s tonight (Weather Edge is available to premium subscribers).
Andrew Suarez gets his first start of the season. His 8.9 K-BB% six AAA starts is even less inspiring than his 7.3 SwStr% and 40 Hard% in 160.1 major league innings last season. Despite being implied for just 3.99 runs in a difficult park, there might be a leveraging opportunity (SlateIQ is available to premium subscribers) in considering some Atlanta bats in this spot. RHBs had a .363 wOBA and hit 22 HRs against Saurez last year and 10 of those came at home. Ronald Acuna Jr. (172 wRC+, .328 ISO vs LHP last calendar year) and Josh Donaldson (141 wRC+, .216 ISO) are firmly in play here, as is Tyler Flowers (132 wRC+, .198 ISO) at a reasonable price at a tough position. Also consider Austin Riley, who’s set the league on fire through his first week (221 wRC+, 53.9 Hard%). San Francisco is never an ideal spot to look for offense on night slates, but it will help players differentiate somewhat tonight.
Yu Darvish struck out 11 Reds without a walk last time out. Only the third time he’s walked fewer than four this season. He hasn’t allowed a HR in two starts either after allowing at least one in six of his first seven starts. His 33.9 K% over the last month tops the board by five whole points tonight. More encouraging news is that his .313 xwOBA is 33 points below his actual mark over the last month and his 86 mph aEV on the season is third best on today’s board. Don’t trust Darvish in cash games against a Philadelphia offense with a 10.8 BB% vs RHP, but conditions are suggested to be pitcher friendly (cool temperatures) at Wrigley tonight and the Phillies do have just a 98 wRC+ and 15.8 Hard-Soft% vs RHP. If Darvish can harness his command, he could pay off a price tag below $9K in tournaments.
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