Ketel Marte scratched Tuesday
Despite two fewer games appearing the FanDuel slate, Giants stacks are projected to dominate ownership on either site, currently above 20% with the Yankees the only other team projected for double digit ownership, though this is subject to change. Interestingly, simulations suggest the Yankees smash the slate almost as often as the Giants with no other offense doing so more than 10% of the time. Facing Spenser Watkins in the Camden Yards is almost as beneficial as facing an average pitcher at Coors it seems. San Francisco bats are also too cheap. On both sites. Giants’ stacks also have top value projections on either site, though this is more overwhelming on DraftKings, where they’re current Value% is more than three times any other offense. It’s still a strong enough spot to give them Leverage Ratings above 2.0 on either site, but if players are really looking to differentiate and win a GPP, those ratings also suggest a few potentially more profitable spots. To find out what happens to Leverage Ratings when the top offense is so cheap, check out today’s PlateIQ Live Blog.
With a significant lack of premium pitching, tonight’s slate doesn’t demand a lot of value bats, but again, we’re finding the Giants dominating the point per dollar projections on either site. They’re just too cheap. LaMonte Wade Jr. (132 wRC+, .244 ISO vs RHP since 2021) certainly didn’t live up to his projections last night and it seems that nearly the entire lineup suffers from pinch-hitteritis, but he’s once again the top projected point per dollar value on FanDuel, as well as a top three value on DraftKings. He’s within $100 of $3K on either site. Top overall projected bats MikeYazwhatsamacallit (125 wRC+, .154 ISO) and Joc Pederson (101 wRC+, .222 ISO) are also top projected values on either site for less than $4K, along with Evan Longoria (92 wRC+, .174 ISO) on FanDuel for less than $3K and Tommy La Stella (98 wRC+, .168 ISO) just above the minimum on DraftKings. Chad Kuhl may be an improved pitcher (13.3 SwStr%, 5.3% Barrels/BBE), but LHBs still own a wOBA and xwOBA within a point of .340 against him since last year.
Let’s say we know that the San Francisco lineup is going to be widely owned like last night and they could certainly fail as they did last night, scoring seven runs, but with absolutely nothing out of the top half of the lineup. You’re looking to differentiate. FanDuel is making it a bit easier to stack Yankees with Joey Gallo (128 wRC+, .263 ISO) and Kyle Higashioka (40 wRC+, .139 ISO) both projecting as top values with RHBs above a .400 wOBA and xwOBA against Spenser Watkins since last year and LHBs a .340 wOBA as well. Neither costs more than $2.6K on FD.
Projections believe Cubbies’ bats could hold great value on DraftKings. They punished Pittsburgh pitching for nine runs last night (eight in the first inning) and the weather may be even more hitter friendly tonight, against J.T. Brubaker (batters from either side of the plate above a .320 wOBA & xwOBA since last year). Both Alfonso Rivas (141 wRC+, .164 ISO) and Jason Heyward (67 wRC+, .130 ISO) barely cost more than the minimum.
Just as they did on Monday, the San Francisco Giants top the board at a 6.06 run team total, well ahead of any other team. While they did beat their six plus run total on Monday night, it probably wasn’t with the batters daily fantasy players rostered and the matchup may be a bit tougher against Chad Kuhl, who may be Colorado’s best pitcher this year (13.3 SwStr%, 5.3% Barrels/BBE), but it is still Coors. The matchup on the other side may be a bit tougher too (Alex Cobb), leaving the Rockies right around the five run mark, still just one of three teams on the board above four and a half implied runs. Yankees split the Coors teams with a 5.23 run team total.
PlateIQ projections are dominated by two teams tonight. One is the Giants, who place four batters among the top 10 with the highest raw point total projections. This includes Joc Pederson (101 wRC+, .222 ISO vs RHP since LY), Brandon Belt (157 wRC+, .313 ISO), LaMonte Wade Jr. (132 wRC+, .244 ISO) and Mike Yazhowyaspellit (125 wRC+, 154 ISO). While Kuhl may be a much improved pitcher, LHBs still own a wOBA and xwOBA within a point of .340 against him since last year.
The other team placing multiple players among the top 10 projections is the Yankees. In fact, you won’t find a batter outside those two teams among the top five hitter projections tonight. The Orioles may have moved the left-field wall way back, so the Yankees took aim at right-center last night for their home runs. With a seven run effort in less than four innings in St Louis last time out, Spenser Watkins’s 5.19 ERA is still below all of his estimators (0.8 K-BB%), but only more than half a run below his FIP (13.8 HR/FB) and xERA (11.0% Barrels/BBE). He’s gone three straight starts without completing five innings and hasn’t exceeded three strikeouts yet this year. The park may not exist that can hold the Yankees against him and his reverse split (RHBs > .400 wOBA and xwOBA, LHBs .340 wOBA, .351 xwOBA since 2021) certainly won’t help against a predominantly right-handed lineup. Aaron Judge (151 wRC+, .253 ISO vs RHP since last season) is tonight’s top overall projected bat, while Giancarlo Stanton (141 wRC+, .257 ISO), Anthony Rizzo (112 wRC+, .217 ISO) and DJ LeMahieu (100 wRC+, .105 ISO) are all to heavily assist in the punishment of Watkins and friends tonight. In fact, Mike Trout (182 wRC+, .180 ISO) against Taylor Hearn (RHBs .344 wOBA, .365 xwOBA) is the only non-Giant or Yankee batter currently appearing as a top 10 projected bat on both sites. While it may not always be the case, PlateIQ projections are firmly in line with the sports books tonight.
Considering the lack of quality arms on tonight’s slate, including several at the top, who seem to be over-priced, paying down for pitching needs seems to be the thing to do tonight. That’s not to say any of the pitchers costing less than $9K will light up anyone’s eyes either, but they do project much better on a point per dollar basis. James Karpielian and Jose Berrios are currently the top projected values on either site and the skepticism is understandable. The former has struck out just 10 of 55 batters with nine walks and 38.9% of his contact on the ground. He’s been lucky that just one of four barrels (11.1%) has left the yard. And while the Twins have a 107 wRC+ vs RHP, Kaprielian is cheap in a great park against a banged up offense with a 23.6 K% vs RHP this year. For more on which mid-range pitchers could win the slate tonight, check out Tuesday’s PlateIQ Live Blog.
If double header pitching probables hold true, Tuesday night’s entire slate, whether it be eight games on FanDuel or 10 games on DraftKings, includes just a single $10K pitcher in Logan Gilbert. He struck out a season high nine Phillies last time out, but also allowed a season high four runs over just five innings. A 10.0 SwStr%, 9.2 BB% and 90.5 mph EV suggest he hasn’t been as good as last season, despite the 2.13 ERA, though his numbers are hardly bad with estimators ranging from a 3.10 FIP to a 3.55 xERA. Interestingly, you won’t find Gilbert anywhere near the top of today’s PlateIQ projections, at least early on, as projections are fluid throughout the day. You might think it’s the matchup and Toronto is certainly a park downgrade, but still a mere neutral run environment, while the Blue Jays have just a 100 wRC+ with a 23.2 K% vs RHP. Gilbert could be under-valued and severely under-owned should current projections hold true.
There are several pitchers who exceed $9K on both sites, but Adrian Houser isn’t even generating ground balls anymore (45.7%) to go along with a 7.5 K-BB%. Nobody should be paying in excess of $9K for him against the Braves. Jameson Taillon is actually tonight’s top projected pitcher in terms of raw overall point total which says a lot more about the slate and the matchup (Baltimore is pitcher friendly now, while the O’s have a 98 wRC+ and 22.9 K% vs RHP) than his own performance. With just four strikeouts in four straight starts, Taillon has seen his K-rate drop to 19.4%, but because he’s only walked three batters this year with nearly as many infield flies (six) as barrels (seven), his 2.93 xERA is a perfect match for his actual ERA. Additional non-FIP estimators (7.9 HR/FB) are a little more than half a run higher. On a more standard slate, Taillon would likely be merely a middle of the board arm.
Nathan Eovaldi’s 21.5 K-BB% is actually a slight improvement from last year, but suddenly, his contact profile is a mess (12.4% Barrels/BBE). The average exit velocity is up 2.7 mph and his Barrels/BBE have nearly doubled (6.3% to 12.4%). In just seven starts, Eovaldi is already 60% of the way to his home run total allowed from last season (32 starts). As one might imagine, contact neutral estimators are all below his 3.15 ERA (but above three), while ones that include the contact profile (FIP, xERA) are above four. He has to face the Astros (123 wRC+, 21.8 K% vs RHP) at Fenway and is projected outside the top five on either site.
Lastly, Merrill Kelly costs $9.4K on DK in Game 2 of the doubleheader between the D’Backs and Dodgers (120 wRC+, 21.1 K% vs RHP). He did break a string of four straight quality starts last time out, hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his seven starts and only more than one twice. While the 15.9 K-BB% is fine with nothing concerning in his contact profile, non-FIP estimators are all about a run and a half or more above his 1.71 ERA. Just one of his nine barrels (7.5%) has left the yard, while he’s stranding 85.8% of runners. Still, this is not a pitcher we’re interested in paying more than $9K for against the Dodgers. Projections are not yet available for double-header Game 2 starters, but it’s unlikely they’ll say otherwise.
Nelson Cruz (illness) scratched Monday
Game update: Cardinals-Mets postponed Monday
Early stacking projections, which are frequently updated and fluid throughout the day, revolved entirely around the one offense you would expect them too. With a 6.56 implied run line more than a run above any other team, San Francisco stacks are projected to be owned at better than 20% and smash the slate more than 17% of the time, far better than any other offense in either one of those categories. This is probably not something anyone needed any sort of deep analysis to see. Top projected value stack…also the Giants…and again by a mile. The Cubs also project as a great value stack on DraftKings against Dillon Peters, though the Pirates have not confirmed him yet. They will probably remain a great value against anyone else the Pirates might decide to throw out there too. While San Francisco stacks dominate the stacking projections for the most part, they do not top the board in terms of Leverage Rating. For more on what teams do, check out today’s PlateIQ Live Blog.
You’re going to find many of the same Giants projected as top overall bats also projected as top point per dollar values at Coors tonight. LaMonte Wade Jr. (131 wRC+. .244 ISO vs RHP since LY) is PlateIQ’s top projected value at just $3.4K on DraftKings and $500 less on FanDuel. It’s unavoidable with low priced San Francisco bats at Coors against a pitcher with a pitcher with a 6.2 K%, 40.9 GB% and 91.4 mph, against whom batters from either side of the plate are above a .330 wOBA and xwOBA against since last year. However, several other teams also list multiple batters among the top projected values tonight.
Starting on FanDuel, among the three Giants, only the Royals list multiple batters among the top 10 projected values. They own a middling team run line of 4.28 with confirmation coming very recently that they will be facing Johnny Cueto, making his first start of the season tonight. Last year, batters from either side of the plate fell into a tight range between a .329 to .349 wOBA and xwOBA against him. Current projections believe the most value lies in the first base position with Kansas City, in both Carlos Santana (74 wRC+, .137 ISO) and Ryan O’Hearn (78 wRC+, .162 ISO) for $2.6K or less each.
Among multiple Giants, the Twins (3.92 implied runs) and Rockies (5.44) also project multiple top of the board value bats. That’s not to say Alex Wood has been inefficient (16.4 K-BB%, 48.3 GB%, 87.8 mph EV). He’s been a perfectly competent middle-to-back-end arm, though estimators range pretty widely (3.02 xFIP – 4.46 xERA), but Garrett Hampson (102 wRC+, .196 ISO vs LHP since 2021) and Yonathan Daza (96 wRC+, .104 ISO) are both too cheap for this park (less than $3K), especially with the latter expected to bat second. Minnesota may be a bit more surprising. Oakland is a tough park to hit in and Zach Logue hasn’t been bad, striking out 11 of 48 batters with just two walks, though with just eight ground balls and five barrels. Going to Oakland in the Matt Chapman deal, he did have some impressive numbers at AAA last season (19.8 K-BB%), but was still labelled with just a 40 Future Value grade (Fangraphs). Batters from either side of the plate are below a .300 wOBA against him so far, but Statcast thrusts both sides up above .300. Nick Gordon hasn’t been very good vs LHP (40 wRC+ since last season) and Royce Lewis has been batter (110 wRC+ overall since callup), but both cost just about the minimum on DK tonight.
The entire conversation is going to revolve around San Francisco Giants’ bats at Coors tonight. It’s completely unavoidable considering pricing (both theirs and the lack of high priced quality arms) and projections. The top implied run line of the day (and perhaps the season) by more than a full run belongs to the Giants (6.56) with the Rockies (5.44) and Dodgers (5.22) also about half a run separated from the rest of the board. The top three raw point total projections for batters tonight and four of the top 10 are San Francisco Giants: Brandon Belt (159 wRC+, .315 ISO vs RHP since 2021), Joc Pederson (102 wRC+, .223 ISO), LaMonte Wade Jr. (131 wRC+, .244 ISO) and also Mike Yaznothankyou (123 wRC+, .248 ISO). Antonio Senzatela’s control has been nearly elite (5.4 BB%) and yet he has just a 0.8 K-BB% because he’s struck out just eight batters over six starts including exactly one in each of his last three. Consider that his ground ball rate is down to 40.9% with a 91.4 mph EV and he’s allowed…just seven barrels (6.2%)??? Something doesn’t add up here. None of his non-FIP estimators fall below his 4.88 ERA, while including the contact profile emits a 7.03 xERA. Batters from either side of the plate exceed a .330 wOBA and xwOBA against him since last year. Flip it over to point per dollar projections (PlateIQ), you’ll also find half the San Francisco lineup, all $4.5K or less on DraftKings tonight.
Stretch out the arbitrary endpoint a single spot and both the Dodgers and Yankees (4.7) are the only other teams with multiple top 11 projected bats. Trea Turner (180 wRC+, .275 ISO vs LHP since LY) and Freddie Freeman (118 wRC+, .177 ISO) are expected to lead the charge against Madison Bumgarner. His 1.78 ERA is less than half every single one of his estimators, ranging from a 3.80 xERA to a 5.26 DRA. He’s struck out just 16.1% of batters with nearly a double digit walk rate (9.7%) for a 6.5 K-BB% that’s barely more than one-third of his career rate. He does have a bit of a split though with RHBs owning a .317 wOBA against him and LHBs a .282 mark since last year. Both increase slightly, but by less than 20 points using xwOBA. Mookie Betts (127 wRC+, .206 ISO) isn’t too far behind.
Aaron Judge (151 wRC+, .253 ISO vs RHP since last season) and Anthony Rizzo (111 wRC+, .212 ISO) are top projected bats because they’ve both mashed for a 140 wRC+ or better overall over the last 30 days, but Kyle Bradish hasn’t been that bad. After striking out just five of his first 41 major league batters (9.3 SwStr%), he struck out 11 of 23 Cardinals (15.6 SwStr%) in his last start without a walk. The contact profile has been a bit underwhelming with five barrels (11.4%) and an average exit velocity above 92 mph in each of his three starts. Bradish has never had a strikeout rate below 25% at any level of minor league competition and cut his AAA walk rate from 10.3% last season to 5.3% over 15 innings this year before receiving the call. Scouting reports still project. A pre-season Fangraphs report suggested he’s the type of guy who can run through an order twice with good stuff, but just a 45+ Future Value grade. He has exhibited an extreme small sample reverse split with RHBs above a .400 wOBA and xwOBA against him so far and LHBs below .300. That may or may not end up being something over a longer run, but is now opposite to the way Camden Yards plays since they pushed the left field wall back into a new zip code. This shouldn’t affect Rizzo much and Judge’s fly balls often travel through several zip codes.
The Monday night pitching slate is a very strange one with $10K priced pitchers owning a 7.5 SwStr% and 21.1 K%, who aren’t anywhere near the top of tonight’s PlateIQ projections. We have two pitchers projected very clearly above the rest of the board and one of them costs less than $9K on both sites. Let’s start with the top projected point per dollar value on either site and that’s Wade Miley. Perhaps we can chalk up the five Padres he walked with just one strikeout in his season debut to just rust. After all, you’re not buying on Miley for the strikeouts and the rest of the profile was absolutely stunning (83.3 GB%, 87.5 mphEV). When he’s right, you’ll generally get about 10 points of separation between strikeout and walk rates with lots of weak ground balls. Players may still not want to roster him on a single pitcher site for $5.7K on FanDuel, but in a secondary DraftKings slot for $4.4K at home against the Pirates (96 wRC+, 20.9 K% vs LHP) without any severe weather considerations…sure, why not? For more on the top projected pitching values tonight, including a mid-range pitcher that projects as the top of the board arm, check out Monday’s PlateIQ Live Blog.
An 11 game Monday night slate is a bit chaotic. We may see some northeast weather issues, though Kevin’s forecast is not yet available. One of those games includes the only pitcher to reach $10K on FanDuel, who may be unrosterable despite the weather. Master magician Miles Mikolas has driven a 7.5 SwStr% to a 1.49 ERA. Of course, estimators are well above those results (.244 BABIP, 89.3 LOB%), but he’s certainly not hurting himself in any other areas (4.8 BB%, 48.8 GB%, 86.5 mph EV, 4% Barrels/BBE) and pitch-to-contact may actually work when you have one of the great defenses in the league behind that contact profile. His worst estimator is a 3.78 SIERA. Citi Field is an extremely pitcher friendly park and that’s certainly been the case in night games so far this season with cooler weather, the new baseball and the humidor, but the Mets have a board low 18.7 K% vs RHP this year. Mikolas just the 10th best projected pitcher on FanDuel tonight (PlateIQ) and outside the top 10 on DraftKings.
Freddy Peralta and Tony Gonsolin exceed $10K on DraftKings, but cost less on FanDuel, the latter much less so ($8.7K). After a bit of a slow start, Peralta has struck out 22 of his last 67 batters to his the 30% strikeout rate mark (30.6%). Just three walks over the same span drop his walk rate down to single digits (8.9%). He’s oddly allowed nearly half his contact (47.2%) at a 95 mph EV or higher, yet has also allowed just 4.2% Barrels/BBE with an 87.5 mph EV. A .338 BABIP and 66.5 LOB% have his ERA (4.40) at least a run above all estimators, closest to his 3.40 xERA. He gets the Braves (98 wRC+, 25 K% vs RHP) in a neutral park, which makes it a neutral matchup with upside and also makes him one of tonight’s top two projected arms, who find themselves way ahead of the rest of the pack.
While the Dodgers were hoping for Gonsolin’s walk rate to drop significantly, it’s actually his strikeout rate that has plummeted through six starts (21.1%) to give him a single digit K-BB (9.2%). A 48.6 GB% is the highest he’s ever had at any professional level of play and absolutely no complaints about a contact profile (87.3 mph EV, 1.4% Barrels/BBE) that produces a 2.49 xERA that’s more than a run above his actual ERA, but nearly a run below any other estimator (3.46 FIP). The Diamondbacks offer plenty of upside (86 wRC+, 25.3 K% vs RHP), but Gonsolin is projected outside the top seven in terms of raw point total on either site.
No other remaining confirmed pitcher exceeds $9K on either site, but Lucas Giolito is probably worth a quick mention, just in case he comes off the COVID IL to make tonight’s start. He’s struck out 35.7% over five starts, which, even with a poor contact profile (32.2 GB%, 11.9% Barrels/BBE, 19.2 HR/FB), non-FIP estimators are all below three and a half. He would be in a strong spot in Kansas City in terms of run prevention (82 wRC+), though they own just a 19.8 K% vs RHP this year. Giolito does not yet own a projection as Chicago’s pitching plans are currently up in the air.
Game update: The start of Mariners-Mets will be delayed Saturday due to rain
We have a 13 game slate that includes Coors and a decent amount of expensive pitching without much in mid-range upside. Currently, no team projects to be stacked in more than 10% or even 9% of lineups on Fanduel, though the Royals, with several cheap bats at Coors, and Red Sox (at Dane Dunning) are expected to be extremely popular on DraftKings (remember that projections are fluid and change throughout the day). One early surprise might be that neither team at Coors projects to “smash” the slate in simulations particularly often. While no team currently does so more than 11% of the time, Coors teams do so in less than six percent of simulations at this point. The Yankees (at Vince Velasquez) and Astros (at Josiah Gray) are projected to smash the slate most often. Cheap Detroit bats against Jordan Lyles are the runaway value stack on FanDuel, while they are a bit behind Baltimore (vs Eduardo Rodriguez) and Cubs (at Zach Davies) all projected as double digit value stacks on DraftKings. To find out which lineup may make for a GPP winning stack against a barrel prone pitcher, check out today’s PlateIQ Live Blog.