A lot of times, BvP stats are small sample size noise and Dallas Keuchel has actually been effective against most of the Twins he’s faced more than 15 times. Josh Donaldson (32 PAs), Miguel Sano (18 PAs) and Andrelton Simmons (15 PAs) are all below a .240 xwOBA against him with Donaldson having the only two extra-base hits against him. However, Keuchel is among the long list of southpaws that belong to Nelson Cruz (208 wRC+, .403 ISO vs LHP since 2019). In 58 individual matchups between the two, Cruz has homered five times and since 2015 (the Statcast era), he has a 92.2 mph EV and .378 xwOBA when these two meet. Considering how Cruz demolishes lefties, these numbers may actually represent a downgrade from his norm, but Keuchel nearly has a higher Barrels/BBE rate (8.1%) than strikeout rate (10.9%) this year. He still keeps the ball on the ground 59% of the time, but the odds of Cruz making hard contact tonight are considerably high. Kyle Garlick (135 wRC+, .299 ISO vs LHP since 2019) may be the value play to add here, as he costs just $3K on DK ($2.8K on FD). The Twins are actually near the bottom of the board at just 3.49 implied runs.
If you take the ERA, SIERA, xFIP and FIP for every bullpen over the last 30 days and add them up, then divide by four, we see a season high five bullpens exceeding five today. The Reds are off the board and you aren’t going to attack Zac Gallen with poor Miami bats. The Royals (5.01) and Tigers (5.65) are playing in Detroit. The home team is facing one of the highest priced pitchers on the board and has been terrible vs LHP. Casey Mize has kept the ball on the ground, but his strikeout rate has dropped to 16.3%. This is great news! Load up on Kansas City bats. The problem with that is that Mize has a massive split (RHBs .286 wOBA, LHBs .418 wOBA in his short career) and except for Andrew Benintendi (100 wRC+, .152 ISO vs RHP since 2019) and Carlos Santana (120 wRC+, .206 ISO), the rest of the competent bats in the lineup are all right-handed. At least Benintendi and Santana are two of the three batters projected who own a wRC+ above 100 over the last 30 days for the Royals. Additionally, Statcast brings RHBs up to a .340 xwOBA against Mize, while holding LHBs above .400, so Sal Perez (163 wRC+, .280 ISO) is certainly still in play here.
The surprising bullpen here is the Twins (5.20). Weather Edge tells us that conditions might be an issue here, but that could change and it may be the only issue for the White Sox. J.A. Happ is flying well below his estimators due to a .171 BABIP, 85.6 LOB% and 5 HR/FB. He’s struck out just 16 of 109 batters (6.8 SwStr%) with a 38.5 GB% and 90.7 mph EV. He’s been lucky that just two of eight Barrels (9.5%) have left the yard. Despite being down a couple of key RH bats, the projected lineup for the White Sox includes just two batters below a 100 wRC+ vs LHP since 2019 and just two below a 100 wRC+ over the last 30 days overall. Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal and Jose Abreu all exceed a 140 wRC+ and .240 ISO against southpaws since 2019. The White Sox are expected to stack the lineup entirely with RHBs and Happ has a .326 wOBA (.330 xwOBA) against batters from that side over the same time span. The White Sox are right in the middle of the board at four implied runs. Cold weather may slow them down, but Minnesota pitching shouldn’t.
The top spot on the board belongs to Danny Duffy. The Tigers are just awful vs LHP, but you’re going to have to pay an unusually heavy price for the lefty. Another lefty, who’s somewhat cheaper on either site in possibly the second highest upside spot on the board is Julio Urias. The breakout was derailed when the Angels took him deep twice and pushed five runs across the plate in his last start, while he struck out only four of 23 batters (no walks). That’s dropped his strikeout rate down to 27.2% (13.7 SwStr%) and was only the second time in seven starts that Urias did not record sixth inning outs. The peripherals are fantastic and the exit velocity just 86.4 mph (0.5 mph above his career rate) with a league average amount of contact on the ground (42.5%). Yet, 11 of his batted balls have been Barrels (9.6%) with six leaving the yard. ERA and non- DRA estimators are in the low threes. The Mariners do have some RH power, but five of eight projected batters have at least a 26 K% vs LHP since 2019.
There are a couple of additional spots we can reasonably expect to be of at least moderately high upside. One is a bit of surprise, but the other certainly is not. The Marlins have an 87 wrC+, 27 K% and 10.9 HR/FB vs RHP. Zac Gallen’s 27.8 K% is right around his career mark. The 12.2 BB% is a new concern, but probably not here. With otherwise average contact managerial numbers this year, the 3.8 HR/FB is an outlier and pushes some non-FIP estimators above four, though it’s just five starts. Gallen may be one of the top values on FanDuel for $8.2K.
The velocity was down slightly, but the peripherals were fine for Hyun-Jin Ryu in his return from the IL against an Oakland lineup that’s tough on lefties. His strikeout rate is at a league average 24.2%, but with a 12.9 SwStr% that suggests he can challenge last year’s 26.2% mark. As usual, he walks nearly nobody (3.0%) and has generated about half his contact on the ground (48.4%) at a low exit velocity (86.7 mph). All non-DRA estimators are 3.30 or lower. The Braves should be a great offense against LHP, but they aren’t and they weren’t last year either. In fact, they have just a 59 wRC+ with a 21.9 K-BB% against southpaws this year. Plate IQ tells that five of eight batters projected for the Atlanta tonight exceed a 25 K% vs LHP since 2019 with just one below 22.9%. Ryu is now down below $8K on either site as well.
FanDuel has three pitchers exceeding the $10K price point, while DraftKings has none. In addition, Zack Wheeler is around $9.5K on either site. The easiest answer to every question is Gerrit Cole tonight. He has a 40.2 K%, 14.9 SwStr% and just a single estimator (DRA) above 2.10. The Rays are one of the highest upside matchups on the board. Five of nine projected batters exceed a 29 K% vs RHP since 2019. Cole also gets a park boost and a potentially favorable umpire. Cole is your top pitcher and everybody knows it.
Brandon Woodruff is your second most expensive pitcher and it’s fair enough. He has a 25.5 K-BB% just above his 24.9% mark last year after a season high 11 Ks against the Phillies last time out. He’s allowed just two HRs and three Barrels (3.2%), but that seems somewhat unsustainable with merely league average ground ball and exit velocity rates. He still has just a single estimators above three (3.16 DRA). The Cardinals have an 88 wRC+ vs RHP and offer three bats in the projected lineup above a 27 K% vs RHP since 2019 with two more above 23%. Woodruff is fine, but could become a strong leverage play depending on ownership projections, which update later this afternoon.
Danny Duffy is in rare territory, but has struck out 28% of the batters he’s faced with a 14.1 SwStr% this year and he’s done this behind a mile and a half per hour increase in velocity. His walk rate has improved a bit too (7%), but even with his batted ball (31.2 GB%) and contact profiles (89.2 mph EV) remaining similar, he’s improved most of his estimators to around three and half (a 4.71 DRA again dissents). The 88.1 LOB% and 4.9 HR/FB supporting his 1.26 ERA are unsustainable of course. While Duffy is the least accomplished of our high priced group, the Tigers have a 39 wRC+, 35.3 K% and 3.5 HR/FB vs LHP this year. Dare it be said, but Duffy may be a decent value, even at his accelerated price tag today.
Wheeler is throwing more sliders this year and the result is a 10 point drop in his ground ball rate to 45.7%, which is around his career rate, but also an increase in strikeouts above league average (26.8%, 12.1 SwStr%). His normally exceptional contact management continues (86.7 mph EV) with four of six Barrels (6%) leaving the yard. His worst estimators (again DRA) don’t take that into consideration and are still only three and a half. The Nationals are probably the least strikeout prone offense here with just three in the projected lineup above a 25 K% vs RHP since 2019 and only one more above 20%, but they also have just an 83 wRC+. The thing that Wheeler does have over the higher priced pitchers today is his ability to work deep into games. He’s averaging nearly three full times through the order and almost seven innings per start this season. Potentially the lowest owned of the four, Wheeler is a fine leverage play and decent value here.
Porzingis has missed the last seven games with a knee injury, and is listed as questionable as the Mavs prepare to play the New Orleans Pelicans. Redick was listed as out due to a heel injury, but he hasn’t played many minutes for the team anyways. If Porzingis sits, it’ll likely be another start for Willie Cauley-Stein, as he and Dwight Powell will split the center minutes. If he does play, Tim Hardaway Jr. will likely lose some run, as his usage has been elevated with no KP on the floor.
Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley have been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Burks was listed as questionable (an upgrade from previous games where he was listed doubtful) but will still be unable to rejoin the Knicks rotation. The Knicks are short on guards with both Burks and Quickley out so RJ Barrett, Reggie Bullock, and Derrick Rose should continue to see heavy minutes with Frank Ntilikina seeing whatever is left. The Knicks offense will primarily be run through Julius Randle, Barrett, and Bullock.
Chimezie Metu will start at power forward if Marvin Bagley is ruled out Tuesday and could be a tremendous value option at 3.4K on DK as he is expected to see a large amount of minutes.
JaKarr Sampson is available and will likely help back up the center and power forward positions Tuesday but could be limited and isn’t expected to see many minutes. If he does see some run it will be at the expense of Goga Bitadze and/or Kelan Martin.
Coach Bjorkgren believes JaKarr Sampson will be able to play Tuesday. If JaKarr Sampson is available he will likely help back up the center and power forward positions but could be limited and isn’t expected to see many minutes.
Status Update: Monte Morris will have his minutes monitored if he plays Tuesday
Status Update: Devonte’ Graham (knee) a game-time decision Tuesday
The Marlins and Brewers are not what most people who have followed baseball this year would confuse for good offenses. However, slap a left-hander on the mound and the Brewers have cranked out a 119 wRC+, the Marlins a 102 wRC+. But they’re also facing quality pitchers in Kwang-hyun Kim and Madison Bumgarner. In each case though, Statcast suggests some issues with both hard contact and RHBs that may not be immediately apparent. In Kim’s case, his 2019 profile was loaded with numbers that were expected to heavily regress, including a .217 BABIP and 86.6 LOB%. The BABIP is up to .346 in 2021, but the strand rate is still at 80% and just a single one of seven Barrels (13.2%) have left the yard through four starts! All of his non-FIP estimators are above his 3.06 ERA with the 5.03 xERA showing the potential of the contact profile. In fact, RHBs have a .331 xwOBA against him since last year, which lifts his actual mark a staggering 68 points. The Brewers have just a 3.66 implied run line, but five of eight batters in the projected lineup exceed a 115 wRC+ over the last 30 days. Tyrone Taylor (162 wRC+, .229 ISO vs LHP) won’t sustain this kind of success over the long haul, but might be the value play of the day on DraftKings where he still costs the minimum.
Bumgarner certainly has pitched better. He’s allowed three runs over his last 23 innings and just eight hits! This includes a terrific 28.7 K-BB% with just two walks. The velocity is somewhere in between where it was last year and in his heyday. He’s still allowing a 90.1 mph EV with a 32 GB% over this span, but has been a bit fortunate that two of five Barrels (9.8%) have left the yard. Great news if he can sustain those peripherals, though maybe not and he still has a 3.51 xFIP over this span. RHBs have a .330 wOBA and .351 xwOBA against him since 2019. Sure that includes his first year in Arizona, but also much more of his last year in San Francisco. The park probably saved a now hard contact prone pitcher from further mishap. The projected lineup for the Marlins includes six batters above a 100 wRC+ and .170 ISO vs LHP since 2019, several of them costing near the minimum on FanDuel.
Two starts ago, Dylan Cease three hit the Tigers without a walk for seven innings with nine strikeouts. Nobody made a big deal about it because it was the Tigers. Last time out, he shut out the Reds over six innings on one hit (three walks) with 11 strikeouts in Cincinnati. Slightly more impressive. He has a 15.9 SwStr% over these two efforts, but the biggest change may be strike one. His F-Strike has nearly doubled to 63% over these two starts, which has a byproduct of more swing and misses outside the zone later in the count. In fact, his overall Zone rate hasn’t increased at all. Estimators are higher than his 2.37 ERA due to a 7.1 HR/FB and 84.8 LOB%, but all are now below four. The Twins are not usually an offense you want to roster pitchers against because even without Byron Buxton, they still include five batters above a .260 ISO vs RHP since 2019 in their projected lineup. However, it also includes four batters below a 90 wRC+ over the last 30 days overall and three batters above a 30 K% vs RHP since 2019. Not many should be on Dylan Cease tonight, but he costs just $7K on DraftKings.
One offense pitchers love to roster pitchers against is the Baltimore Orioles, especially against RHP (81 wRC+). Marcus Stroman is generally considered a contact prone, ground ball pitcher and for most of April that’s exactly what he was. However, he’s now struck out 14 of his last 44 batters with a 15.4 SwStr%. His new split seems to be improved from his former changeup, as he’s now throwing three non-sinker pitches at least nine percent of the time with a greater than 30% whiff rate on swings. If he can combine even a league average strikeout rate with his current 55 GB%, he’s more than a middle of the rotation pitcher. A higher price tag (above $8K on FD, $9K on DK) with the perception that he doesn’t miss many bats might have most players bypassing him even against the Orioles tonight.
The Braves haven’t officially named a starter as of yet, but whether it’s Bryse Wilson, Kyle Wright or even Max Fried (who isn’t expected to pitch until tomorrow), this isn’t a bad spot for the Toronto lineup. Each of the three has allowed at least a .330 wOBA to RHBs since 2019. Meanwhile, this lineup is loaded with RH power that hits RH pitching fairly well, led by Bo Bichette (125 wRC+, .233 ISO since 2019), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (124 wRC+, .178 ISO), Marcus Semien (123 wRC+, .210 ISO) and Teoscar Hernandez (107 wRC+, .235 ISO). All four also exceed a 120 wRC+ over the last 30 days overall. The Atlanta bullpen is not a thing to be concerned about either with a 5.17 ERA and 4.51 FIP over the last 30 days. Their current 4.5 implied run line ties the Blue Jays with the team they’re facing four the fourth highest number on the board. While Robbie Ray hasn’t walked a batter in three starts, he’s still generating tons of hard contact. There’s some justification to exposure to both sides of this matchup, but Ronald Acuna (136 wRC+, .261 ISO vs LHP) may be the top non-Coors bat on the board tonight.
If you’re looking to attack weak bullpens, your game is in Detroit tonight. The Tigers have the worst bullpen in baseball, which includes a 6.48 ERA and 5.44 FIP over the last 30 days, and the Royals aren’t far behind (5.31, 4.75). Nobody would blame you if you want no part of the Detroit offense though (88 wRC+ vs RHP) and while the Royals haven’t been going much better, they at least supply some right-handed power, including Salvador Perez (.214 ISO vs LHP since 2019) and Carlos Santana (.216 ISO) against Matt Boyd (RHBs .339 wOBA since 2019), who has been pitching well with the new de-juiced ball, but his 2.1 HR/FB is completely unsustainable. Perez and Santana are two of only three Royals in the projected lineup above a 100 wRC+ over the last 30 days and also hit RHP well enough that they lose nothing when Boyd exits and the awful relieving arrives.
A likely more under the radar spot to look at is in Houston where the Angels’ bullpen exceeded expectations last night and have Shohei Ohtani on the mound tonight. However, not only was it a bullpen game for the Angels, but Raisel Iglesias and Mike Mayers have now both pitched in three straight games, while Tony Watson has gone back to back as well. The bullpen as a whole still has a 5.14 ERA and 4.51 FIP over the last 30 days. Ohtani has struck out 30 of 84 batters with a 13.3 SwStr%, but has also walked 19. That’s generally going to run a pitch count up quite quickly. He does have a 59.4 GB% that’s allowed him to survive so far, but he has a 90.6 mph EV too. A 2.41 ERA is less than half his SIERA. A .188 BABIP is completely unsustainable. In fact, LHBs have a .327 wOBA and .364 xwOBA against him since 2019. All the Michael Brantley (150 wRC+, .217 ISO vs RHP since 2019), Yordan Alvarez (180 wRC+, .335 ISO) and Kyle Tucker (137 wRC+, .269 ISO) tonight.