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  • Kenta Maeda

    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Kenta Maeda has had a 12.9 SwStr% or better in five of seven starts

    Kenta Maeda has had a 12.9 SwStr% or better in five of seven starts. He’s also gone at least seven innings in two of his last three, but no more than five in any of his other starts. The good news is that we know they’ll let him throw 100 pitches now, which would be great news on this slate with deGrom now removed if Maeda hadn't missed time with a hamstring issue. He last pitched on May 10th. With both Verlander and Ray in potentially difficult spots, it may be a risk still worth taking, as Maeda is the third best projected pitcher tonight via RotoGrinders Player Projections. The Cardinals have a 101 wRC+ against RHP, but Dodger Stadium is one of the more negative run environments in baseball and at $9K, players will still have some room for most desired bats. While lineups have not yet been confirmed for this game, LHBs have managed some success against Maeda in his career (.321 wOBA, 32.4 Hard%), but there are several options ahead of Matt Carpenter (148 wRC+, .256 ISO vs RHP since 2015) at First Base tonight as well as Dexter Fowler (111 wRC+, .174 ISO vs RHP since 2015) in a lineup projected for a slate low 3.4 runs. Even if Maeda only goes five, the bullpen is a strength of this Dodger team.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Player Projections Other tagged players: Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 32.59 proj
    • 3.62 pt/$
    • $9,000
    • 19.6 proj
    • 2.23 pt/$
    • $8,800
  • Paul Goldschmidt

    Arizona Dbacks

    Zach Davies owns just a 6.6% K-BB% versus RHB this season

    Zach Davies continues to be just a serviceable starting pitcher at the Major League level and is someone that we typically don't go out of our way to plug in lineups or go out of our way to avoid rostering opposing hitters. Tonight he'll take on a dangerous Arizona Diamondbacks offense at home in one of the top home run parks in the league, meaning this is actually a boost to the home run expectations of Diamondbacks hitters, contrary to popular belief. Davies is a perfectly average starting pitcher, evidenced by his 19.0% career strikeout rate to batters from both sides of the plate, accompanied by an average 46.1% groundball rate and a 33.7% hard hit rate. Given the neutral matchup, we should give the edge to the Arizona hitters, as they will astonishingly roll out five bats that sport wOBAs over .380 versus right-handed pitching on the season. Those bats are obviously headlined by the likes of Paul Goldschmidt (188 wRC+, .472 wOBA, .317 ISO) and Jake Lamb (177 wRC+, .455 wOBA, .353 ISO), closely followed by Brandon Drury (138 wRC+, .395 wOBA, .206 ISO), Chris Herrmann (135 wRC+, .391 wOBA, .333 ISO), and David Peralta (130 wRC+, .382 wOBA). While Chris Owings (111 wRC+, .353 wOBA) isn't elite enough against righties to join the company of the aforementioned players, he possesses enough skills at the plate to realistically be included as a part of Diamondbacks stacks in tournaments.

    As reported by FanGraphs Other tagged players: Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury, Chris Herrmann, David Peralta, Chris Owings, Zach Davies
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 12.26 proj
    • 2.55 pt/$
    • $4,800
    • 9.38 proj
    • 1.71 pt/$
    • $5,500
  • Rafael Montero

    New York Mets

    Padres at Mets carries some risk on the five game night slate

    Kevin believes the Mets and Padres might be able to get a game in before more storms roll into NY tonight, but the problem with that may be that both pitchers are walk machines. The debuting Lamet had a 12 BB% at AAA this season and the replacement Montero has a 13.7 BB% in 90 major league innings. That could cause the game to move more slowly than players would like in a race against the rain. The good news is that it shouldn't be particularly difficult to fade players from this game. Kevin has issued it an ORANGE/YELLOW in his evening forecast. Some light rain in Boston tonight that may persist throughout, but Kevin has it YELLOW tonight. It's cold with a strong wind blowing in from center as well. Read the full forecast on the Weather page and follow Kevin on Twitter (@KevinRothWx) for further updates.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Weather Page
    • mlb
    • breaking-news
    • general-strategy
    • 25.68 proj
    • 4.67 pt/$
    • $5,500
    • 13.51 proj
    • 2.60 pt/$
    • $5,200
  • Robbie Ray

    Arizona Dbacks

    Robbie Ray continues to have an elite strikeout rate (28.9%), but get hit hard (46.2 Hard%)

    Robbie Ray continues to dominate with whiffs (28.9 K%, 12.9 SwStr%), but also has an ERA near four (3.91 with a 4.01 SIERA) because of the strong quality of contact when opponents do make contact. His 89.7 mph aEV and 46.2 Hard% are both highest on the slate, while the Brewers ave a 38.7 Hard% and 20 HR/FB at home with a 36 Hard% and 19.2 HR/FB vs LHP. However, they strike out a quarter of the time in both instances. Against power pitchers, that increases to a 29.7 K%, but they also have the second best sOPS+ (121) via Baseball-Reference. This has the potential to be feast or famine or both on either side. Several HRs and strikeouts are not out of the question, as exposure to both sides of this matchup may be warranted. RHBs have a .338 wOBA against Ray since last season, while batters from both sides have a 38 Hard% since last season. Jonathan Villar (118 wRC+), Eric Thames (220 wRC+), Ryan Braun (160 wRC+), Domingo Santana (139 wRC+) and Keon Broxton (127 wRC+) all have an ISO above .200 against LHP since 2015 (or for their career).

    As reported by Baseball-Reference Team Splits Other tagged players: Jonathan Villar, Eric Thames, Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 38.73 proj
    • 4.21 pt/$
    • $9,200
    • 22.62 proj
    • 2.63 pt/$
    • $8,600
  • Miguel Cabrera

    Detroit Tigers

    Mike Fiers has allowed a league leading 17 HRs, Tigers have a 42.6 Hard% vs RHP

    Mike Fiers has a reverse platoon split (.376 wOBA, 36.7 Hard% since last season) and owns the highest rate of Barrels on the slate (10.7% per BBE, 7.6% per PA). He's allowed a league leading 17 HRs (11 to RHBs) and does not even have enough innings for ERA qualification yet. The Tigers have a 42.6 Hard% vs RHP. A 4.3 implied run line sits right in the middle of the slate, making this a great lineup to stack with their top four RH bats. Miguel Cabrera (152 wRC+, .222 ISO vs RHP since 2015) has a 193 wRC+ (61.5 Hard%) over the last week and a 97.2 mph aEV on nine BBEs (12 PAs) against Fiers. J.D. Martinez (144 wRC+, .252 ISO vs RHP since 2015) might be the top overall bat in the lineup at this point (191 wRC+, 63.6 Hard% last seven days). Ian Kinsler (110 wRC+, .149 ISO vs RHP since 2015) is a top three Second Base bat via RotoGrinders Player Projections and a top three value at the position on DraftKings. Justin Upton (120 wRC+, .227 ISO vs RHP since 2015) has been ice cold (-24 wRC+, .14.3 Hard% last seven days), but does offer some savings in a favorable spot.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Player Projections Other tagged players: J.D. Martinez, Michael Fiers, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 10.58 proj
    • 2.71 pt/$
    • $3,900
    • 7.95 proj
    • 1.77 pt/$
    • $4,500
  • Josh Reddick

    Houston Astros

    Astros bats are in sneaky-good spot against the 2017 version of Justin Verlander

    It's an understatement to say that Justin Verlander hasn't been the same pitcher he was last season, but remains somewhat serviceable, though that is something we haven't come to expect from Verlander over time. His strikeout rate to left-handed batters still sits at a respectable 25.0%, but his walk rate has ballooned to 12.9%, which is very un-Verlander like. His struggles become even more pronounced when looking a 19.6% strikeout to right-handed batters while surrendering hard contact at a 38.2% rate, compared to a 34.6% hard hit rate to lefties, which still checks in well above the league average. In fact, if we took away Verlander's name value and just analyzed his advanced statistics from 2017, the Houston Astros have one of the better matchups as on offense on the whole. With Brian McCann still on the seven-day concussion disabled list, the Astros really only have two left-handed bats we want to target, and that's Josh Reddick (129 wRC+, .356 wOBA, .206 ISO vs RHP), who owns just an 11.1% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching on the year, and Marwin Gonzalez (177 wRC+, .426 wOBA, .338 ISO vs RHP). The remaining Astros righties like Carlos Correa (141 wRC+, .374 wOBA, .221 ISO vs RHP), Jose Altuve (136 wRC+, .367 wOBA, .180 ISO vs RHP), and Evan Gattis (.221 ISO vs RHP since 2016) have really yet to exhibit their power potential on a consistent basis, but they all remain in play as a part of a Houston stack or even one-offs in tournaments if looking to attack Verlander's aforementioned hard hit rate and 53.9% fly ball rate versus righties.

    Other tagged players: Marwin Gonzalez, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Evan Gattis, Justin Verlander
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 8.6 proj
    • 2.46 pt/$
    • $3,500
    • 6.57 proj
    • 1.83 pt/$
    • $3,600
  • Michael Conforto

    New York Mets

    Dinelson Lamet had high strikeout and walk rates throughout the minors

    Dinelson Lamet is making his major league debut against the Mets. Not a highly regarded prospect (Fangraphs gave him a 40 grade and ranked him 25th in the organization) generated strikeouts at a high level (above 25% at every level except 65 innings of high A ball last season), but also showed a wild streak with a walk rate above 9.5% at most stops and at 12% in 39 AAA innings this season. He's generated about as many fly balls as grounders in his professional career. There is occasionally something to be said about a debuting pitcher against a team that's never seen him, but he could also play into the Mets' strength with a scouting report suggesting he lacks an out pitch against LHBs. Michael Conforto (140 wRC+, .263 ISO career vs RHP) continues to be a house of fire (368 wRC+, 72.7 Hard%, 3 HRs) and is the top overall projected bat via RotoGrinders Player Projections. Lucas Duda (120 wRC+, .215 ISO vs RHP since 2015) is cheap at a loaded position, but projects as potentially the top value at on FanDuel tonight ($3.9 Pt/$/K). The rest of the lineup is more difficult to get a read on against an unknown pitcher. Jay Bruce has gone cold and has missed the last few days with a back issue his manager has not been allowed to talk about. There are additionally some weather concerns in this game as Kevin had it YELLOW/ORANGE in his early forecast. The Mets are projected for 4.47 runs, which is third highest on the slate, so weather concerns aside (temperatures around 60 as well), some exposure to Mets bats is probably worth considering for multiple lineup players.

    As reported by Fangraphs Other tagged players: Dinelson Lamet, Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 14.07 proj
    • 3.13 pt/$
    • $4,500
    • 10.75 proj
    • 2.11 pt/$
    • $5,100
  • Joey Votto

    Cincinnati Reds

    Reds-Indians postponed on Thursday

    The game is to be rescheduled for July 24th. Make sure to remove all players from this game from your lineups!

    • mlb
    • breaking-news
    • 9.53 proj
    • 2.07 pt/$
    • $4,600
    • 7.14 proj
    • 1.37 pt/$
    • $5,200
  • Jacob deGrom

    New York Mets

    Jacob deGrom scratched Thursday; Rafael Montero to start tonight, deGrom pushed back a day

    deGrom is likely to start tomorrow with Montero taking his spot in the rotation this evening. This is great news for the Padres bats, as they now become a sneaky GPP stack against a pitcher that has struggled mightily at the big league level.

    Other tagged players: Rafael Montero
    • mlb
    • injury
    • breaking-news
    • roster
  • Andrew Benintendi

    Boston Red Sox

    Boston has the highest implied run line (5.37) by more than half a run against Nick Martinez

    Though weather conditions (temperatures in the 50s with wind potentially blowing in from center at 14 mph) do not necessarily favor offense, the Red Sox enjoy the highest implied run line tonight (5.37) by more than half a run over Houston when they face off with Nick Martinez (4.33 ERA, 4.86 SIERA, 12.8 K%). While he has held RHBs to a 25.3 Hard% and 51.7 GB% since last season, they've still put up a .342 wOBA against him due to a negative K-BB%. LHBs have flat out destroyed him (.381 wOBA, 36.5 Hard%). The entire top and middle of this lineup grades out well with weather the only real drawback. Hanley Ramirez (two HRs in nine PAs, 93.2 mph aEV on 6 BBEs) is the only batter on the slate with multiple HRs against tonight's pitcher. Andrew Benintendi (132 wRC+, .192 ISO vs RHP career) and Mookie Betts (131 wRC+, .201 ISO vs RHP since 2015) are top five overall projected bats tonight (RotoGrinders Player Projections). Boston bats are expensive and there's always the question of whether to pay up for a low power bat like Xander Bogaerts (.126 ISO vs RHP since 2015) in the middle of a potentially potent lineup at a weak position, but expectations are that they should be worth the cost as a group tonight.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Vegas Odds Other tagged players: Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts, Nick Martinez, Xander Bogaerts
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 12.72 proj
    • 3.44 pt/$
    • $3,700
    • 9.76 proj
    • 2.12 pt/$
    • $4,600
  • Drew Pomeranz

    Boston Red Sox

    Another cold night in Boston for Pomeranz vs Texas (77 wRC+, 16.7 K-BB% vs LHP)

    The Rangers are at Fenway on a cold and wet day with the wind blowing in from center (14 mph), though Kevin doesn't see the game as a significant weather risk. They are one of three offenses with an implied run line less than four (3.63) against Drew Pomeranz, who has had his struggles this year with hard contact (36.1 Hard%, 9.3% Barrels/BBE) and the lowest GB rate (38.7%) of his career. His 17.2 K-BB% is identical to last season though. While not the top projected pitcher on the slate, he does line up as potentially one of the better bargains for less than $8K on either site. Pomeranz is going to have to extend his outings though. He's thrown fewer than 80 pitches in two of his last three starts and hasn't exceeded four innings in any of them. Texas has a 77 wRC+ and 16.7 K-BB% vs LHP. Considering the weather, quality of opponent, and performance against southpaws, there are no real standouts offensively for the Rangers. Mike Napoli (135 wRC+, .246 ISO vs LHP since 2015) has a 217 wRC+ (63.6 Hard%, 3 HRs) over the last week, but Pomeranz has actually been better vs RHBs (.291 wOBA) since last season (the curveball can be a reverse platoon pitch) and First Base is once again one of the strongest positions on the board tonight.

    Other tagged players: Mike Napoli
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 31.56 proj
    • 4.21 pt/$
    • $7,500
    • 18.57 proj
    • 2.44 pt/$
    • $7,600
  • Robbie Ray

    Arizona Dbacks

    Robbie Ray projects as our top points-per-dollar pitcher on DraftKings for Thursday's main slate

    Ray has improved his SwStr% by 1.3% to 12.9% and in doing so pushed his K% up to 28.9% this season. He'll go up against the Brewers tonight, who have the highest K% on the slate based on the handedness splits of each matchup (25.2%). If their projected lineup holds, Milwaukee will have six bats with K% of at least 20.0% vs. LHP this year, five with a strikeout rate of at least 24.4%, and two that top 32%. There's obviously some massive upside here, but the concern is the amount of hard contact Ray allows - 46.2% overall, 45.3% to RHB, 50.0% to LHB. That could be troublesome here as lefty Eric Thames has a 50.0% Hard% this year along with a ridiculous .519 wOBA paired with a .486 ISO. The rest of the batters are expected to hit from the right side - all but two have hard contact rates of at least 34.6% and Ryan Braun sticks out with a 52.2% Hard% along with a .442 wOBA and .269 ISO. If they're able to get a hold of the ball, it could be big trouble for Ray. However, that's a tall order as the Arizona pitcher has an impressive Contact% of 68.4%. Vegas currently gives him the edge as the Diamondbacks are slight favorites (-106), but they provide the Brewers with a 4.2 projected run total. Overall, Ray looks like a strong target - he's fourth in salary on DK and second in projected points - but using a Brewers stack as a hedge seems like a solid GPP play.

    Other tagged players: Eric Thames, Ryan Braun
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 38.73 proj
    • 4.21 pt/$
    • $9,200
    • 22.62 proj
    • 2.63 pt/$
    • $8,600
  • Justin Verlander

    Detroit Tigers

    Justin Verlander's GB% down to 29.9% this season

    It's been on the decline since 2014 when he posted a 39.4% GB%, which is right in line with his career average. As a result, his fly ball rate has jumped to 49.7%, well above his 40.9% average. He's also seen an increase in Hard% (36.3%, 9.4% above average) and a decline in Soft% (14.6%, 4.1% below average). Although his HR/9 is just 0.98 this season, his massive fly ball rate paired with that level of hard contact should cause that number to rise as the season progresses. He'll face a Houston team today that has five projected starters with FB% between 39.8% and 44.6% - Carlos Correa (44.0% FB%, 15.0% HR/FB, 41.8% Hard%, .221 ISO, .374 wOBA vs. RHP this season) stands out as the top option. The other four fly ball hitters are Evan Gattis (44.6% FB%, 38.5% Hard%, 6.9% HR/FB, .114 ISO, .330 wOBA, Josh Reddick (42.5% FB%, 12.5% HR/FB, 27.4% Hard%, .206 ISO, .356 wOBA), Carlos Beltran (42.0% FB%, 10.8% HR/FB, 26.1% Hard%, .171 ISO, .294 wOBA), and Ylieski Gurriel (39.8% FB%, 10.3% HR/FB, 32.3% Hard%, .168 ISO, .347 wOBA). Jose Altuve and George Springer don't hit as many fly balls, but they've posted wOBAs of .367 and .321 and wRC+ of 136 and 105, respectively. Verlander has the third-highest SIERA (4.61) on the main slate and the Astros currently have the second-highest projected run total (4.73) - Houston looks like a nice stack tonight. Be sure to check out the lineups page later to make sure these guys are all playing tonight.

    Other tagged players: Carlos Correa, Yulieski Gurriel, Josh Reddick, Evan Gattis, Carlos Beltran, Jose Altuve, George Springer
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 33.52 proj
    • 3.57 pt/$
    • $9,400
    • 19.97 proj
    • 2.02 pt/$
    • $9,900
  • Eduardo Nunez

    San Francisco Giants

    Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) scratched Thursday, Christian Arroyo now batting eighth

    Nunez was scratched due to a hamstring issue. Arroyo was originally going to rest on Thursday, but he'll be back in the lineup due to Nunez's injury. He's not a strong target; in May, Arroyo has posted a .236 wOBA, .084 ISO, 56.5% GB%, and 29.0% Hard%. San Francisco will move Justin Ruggiano to sixth from seventh and Mac Williamson to seventh from eighth.

    As reported by Andrew Baggerly Other tagged players: Christian Arroyo, Justin Ruggiano, Mac Williamson
    • mlb
    • injury
    • breaking-news
  • Tyler Anderson

    Colorado Rockies

    Tyler Anderson leads early slate with a 12.0% SwStr%

    Anderson's velocity is up this season so it's not all that surprising to see his SwStr% increase by 1.3% from last year. His Contact% is down 3.3% to 75.4% and he's limiting batters to 29.6% Hard% and 23.9% Soft%. While his ERA is 6.0, his SIERA is 3.87, which is good for second-best on the early slate. Although he hasn't pitched more than 6.0 innings this season, he's hit the mark twice in his last three starts and he's picked up at least seven strikeouts in all three. Overall, his K% is up to 23.4% and he's facing a Phillies team that strikes out the 11th-most against LHP (22.6%). Anderson will come with some upside this afternoon and he currently projects as our SP2 on FanDuel and SP3 on DraftKings on the early slate.

    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 32.74 proj
    • 3.99 pt/$
    • $8,200
    • 18.83 proj
    • 2.16 pt/$
    • $8,700

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