With Jack Flaherty’s ownership projected to be very high on both sites, there is some leverage to be had by stacking Reds’ bats. Flaherty has been a bit better than his 4.41 ERA suggests, but he’s very prone to giving up homers (1.73 HR/9) and loud contact (40.5% hard contact rate, .392 xwOBA on contact). Flaherty has been much more vulnerable in road starts, where he has a 4.48 ERA and .314 xwOBA compared to a 3.06 ERA and .269 xwOBA in home starts since 2018. He’s also more vulnerable versus left-handed batters, allowing a .314 xwOBA to lefties but a .274 xwOBA to righties since 2018. Jesse Winker (.352 xwOBA vs. RHP this year), Josh VanMeter (.337), Joey Votto (.327) and Scooter Gennett (.179 xwOBA but a career 117 wRC+ vs. RHP) are all left-handed options in the Reds order. Also in play are Yasiel Puig (.379 xwOBA over the past month) and Eugenio Suarez (.343). Reds bats are very affordable on both sites, and there 4.75 implied total isn’t bad at all.
Over 48 innings so far on the year, Zach Plesac has a 3.56 ERA with a 5.28 xFIP, 5.32 SIERA and 17.9% K rate compared to a 9.5% BB rate, a bit underwhelming considering he had decently impressive MiLB stats. In 26 innings in AAA this year he posted a 30.7% K rate / 3% BB rate with a 2.73 ERA, and in 37 innings in AA he posted a respectable 24.8% K rate / 4.4% BB rate with a 0.96 ERA. It’s a small sample, but in 22 1/3 IP at home this year Plesac has been much better, posting a .314 xwOBA and 10.8% K-BB compared to a .378 xwOBA and 6.5% K-BB in 25 2/3 innings on the road. Plesac will be at home this afternoon to face the Royals. The Royals have a 91 wRC+ vs. RHP this year with a 22.3% K rate and own a 96 wRC+ over the past 30 days. The Royals also struggle a bit more on the road, as they have an 84 wRC+ and 25.1% K rate in away games. The Royals have just 4.33 implied runs in this match-up, and the Indians are -225 favorites so Plesac will have a decent shot at getting the ‘W’ bonus. Plesac will also have the benefit of one of the better pitcher framers in the league in Roberto Perez. At just $7k on Draftkings and $6.9k on Fanduel, Plesac should have a very good shot at hitting value on what is otherwise a pretty rough slate for pitching.
Over 13.2 innings as both a starter and reliever with the Jays thus far, Waguespack has a 5.93 ERA, 4.15 xFIP and 4.04 SIERA with a 15.3% K-BB. In 52.2 innings in AAA this year, Waguespack had a 5.30 ERA with a 4.96 xFIP and 11.4% K-BB. Projection systems have Waguespack as a roughly 5 ERA pitcher going forward and is someone we can target. The Tigers certainly don’t have a good offense as they actually have a league-worst 74 wRC+ vs. RHP on the year. But the fact is they are incredibly cheap on both major sites this afternoon, especially on Draftkings where every one of their hitters besides Niko Goodrum will be available under $4k. Harold Castro (.328 xwOBA vs. RHP this year), JaCoby Jones (.327), Miguel Cabrera (.327), Nick Castellanos (.322), Christin Stewart (.317), Jeimer Candelario (.303) and Niko Goodrum (.297) are all options. Jordy Mercer (.347) actually has their highest xwOBA vs. RHP but is projected to bat last, tanking his value. Jacoby Jones ($3.6k on DK), Castro ($3.6k) and Miggy ($3k) are projected to bat 1-2-3 and are all great value options. Candelario ($3.7k) has been their hottest hitter since the break with a .360 xwOBA, followed by Castro with a .348 mark. The Tigers currently have a health 5.10 implied line vs. Waguespack and the Blue Jays.
It’s been a good season for Snell despite an inflated 4.55 ERA; he owns a 3.33 xFIP, 3.57 SIERA, 32.2% K rate, 8.4% BB rate and impressive 17.5% SwStr, as well as a career best .267 xwOBA and 4.8% barrel rate allowed. Snell did have a string of rough starts back in June where he allowed 6+ runs in 3 of 5 starts, including a 6 ER outing where he lasted only 1/3 of an inning. He has looked better in 3 starts since, especially in his last 2 starts coming against a very good Yankees’ lineup which he held to only 1 earned in each start. Today, Snell gets a much easier matchup with a White Sox lineup that has the worst xwOBA in the league since the all-star break with a paltry .257 xwOBA as a team. The White Sox do have a respectable 102 wRC+ versus lefties on the year, though with a decently high 24.5% K rate. Without some of their more productive bats vs. LHP, White Sox have just one batter in their projected lineup (Jose Abreu) who has an xwOBA greater than .315 vs. lefties on the year, with 4 batters under .300. Snell gets a pitcher friendly ump calling balls and strikes in DJ Reyburn and the White Sox currently have just a 2.91 implied total vs. him and the Rays. He makes a lot of sense in both cash and tournaments this afternoon.
Drew Smyly continues to get chances in what has been a terrible year for him; after 51 innings with the Rangers and opting out of a minor-league contract with the Brewers, Smyly has found himself in the Phillies’ rotation. Over 51 1/3 innings this year, Smyly has an atrocious 8.42 ERA, 6.36 xFIP, 5.61 SIERA and 7.2% K-BB with a 50.6% hard contact rate and just a 27% GB rate. He also owns a .390 xwOBA allowed, 11.6% barrel rate and 89.7 MPH aEV. Smyly has been platoon neutral on the year (.388 xwOBA vs. RHB, .396 xwOBA vs. LHB) and can be targeted from both sides of the plate today. Bryan Reynolds (.372 xwOBA vs. LHP this year), Josh Bell (.366), Kevin Newman (.330), and Starling Marte (.330) are all great options. Adam Frazier (.269) has struggled vs. LHP this year but projects to leadoff at just $3.9k. Starling Marte has been their hottest hitter since with all-star break with a .422 xwOBA, followed by Corey Dickerson with a .387 mark. Pirates hitters should also see a decent amount of PA versus the Phillies’ bullpen, who have a 6th worst 4.45 SIERA over the past 30 days.
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