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  • Anthony Rizzo

    Chicago Cubs

    Chicago Cubs up nearly a quarter of a run since this afternoon, White Sox down equally

    While the total of the battle for Chicago hasn't changed tonight, the Cubs have increased their implied run line 0.23 runs (5.76 to 5.99), while their opponents (the White Sox) have seen an equal drop (3.74 to 3.51) since this afternoon. At their apex, the Cubs barely cracked the six run mark (6.01), but never caught the top team, Texas, now up 0.15 runs from 6.21 early this afternoon to 6.36. Cubs' batters were already expected to be incredibly popular against James Shields, perhaps even more so than Texas bats against Jose Urena. Players can track run line movement for all teams on the Vegas Odds page.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Vegas Odds
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 14.72 proj
    • 3.42 pt/$
    • $4,300
    • 11.18 proj
    • 2.11 pt/$
    • $5,300
  • Bruce Maxwell

    Oakland Athletics

    Josh Phegley scratched, replaced by Bruce Maxwell

    Josh Phegley has been scratched from the Oakland lineup. He will be replaced by Bruce Maxwell in a straight up swap.

    As reported by Susan Slusser Other tagged players: Josh Phegley
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 6.03 proj
    • 2.62 pt/$
    • $2,300
    • 5.01 proj
    • 2.09 pt/$
    • $2,400
  • Carlos Carrasco

    Cleveland Indians

    Cubs, Rangers, and a pair of Carlos's expected to be most popular tonight

    The Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers are both currently implied for six runs tonight and as such, they project to dominate ownership across both sites without a lot of high priced pitching. Dodgers against Ervin Santana (10 HRs last seven starts) and Kansas City RHBs against Anibal Sanchez (RHBs .394 wOBA this year) may make interesting, more lightly represented alternatives. The Carlos's, Carrasco and Martinez, are the top projected pitchers and are expected to be most popular tonight. While there are a few interesting pitchers on the board tonight, there are few standouts. Aaron Nola has gone seven innings in five of his last six starts with a 22.3 K-BB%. He's projected to have few takers tonight, but George Springer's absence may make his matchup with the Astros more appealing.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Projected Ownership Other tagged players: Carlos Martinez, Aaron Nola, Ervin Santana, Anibal Sanchez
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
  • Jake Arrieta

    Chicago Cubs

    The White Sox are tied for the lowest implied team total (3.6) on Wednesday's slate

    Jake Arrieta had the epitome of an up-and-down season through the first half of the year but seems to have settled into a nice groove following the All-Star break, allowing no more than two earned runs in each start and pitching at least six innings in two consecutive outings. The biggest factors in Arrieta's decline this season had been a jump in his hard hit rate up to 28.3% and a decrease in his usually outstanding ground ball ability down to a 45.6%, essentially making him more susceptible to home runs and potential big innings. Although both of those statistics are roughly in line with league averages, Arrieta's contact and groundball skills were really what set him apart and made him a former perennial Cy Young candidate. With that said, since the beginning of June, a nine-start sample size, Arrieta has managed to get somewhat back on track, notching a 22.4% hard-hit rate and 50.7% groundball rate. Unfortunately, it's not all good news, as he seems to have sacrificed some of his strikeouts (18.4%) to get back to his normal low-hard-contact, ground ball ways. Despite the dip in strikeouts of late, Arrieta remains a fantastic option as an SP2 on DraftKings, where he is still fairly priced at $9.3K, in a matchup with an inept Chicago White Sox offense that has struggled, to put it mildly, against right-handed pitching this entire season. In fact, the White Sox rank 26th in wRC+ (87), 28th in wOBA (.305), and 24th in ISO (.156), which is unlikely to improve after trading away one of their top power threats in Todd Frazier in recent days. Piling on top of those horrendous numbers, the White Sox also strike out at a 22.3% clip to righties while drawing walks at just a 6.6% rate, good for second fewest in the Majors, which should help Arrieta avoid running up his pitch count and pitch deeper into this contest. So, clearly, this matchup has safety and the potential for a great point-per-dollar output from Arrieta, even with possible upside, making him a viable cash game target and still somewhat usable in tournaments if uncomfortable pivoting to some of the other more volatile starting pitching options.

    As reported by RotoGrinders MLB Lines and Vegas Odds
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
  • Jake Arrieta

    Chicago Cubs

    A couple of YELLOWs in Detroit & Chicago, but no significant concerns in the evening forecast

    Without expectation of a significant impact there are some weather conditions in Detroit (vs Kansas City) and Chicago (vs Chicago) that need to be watched. Players are unlikely to be too concerned about pitchers in those games with the possible exception of Jake Arrieta, while hitters are almost certainly fine with Kevin giving both games a YELLOW rating. Players can read Kevin's full report on the Weather page and be sure to follow him on Twitter (@KevinRothWx) for further updates.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Weather Page
    • mlb
    • breaking-news
    • general-strategy
  • Corey Seager

    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Ervin Santana has allowed 10 HRs with a .wOBA above .400 over his last seven starts

    Ervin Santana was an All-Star this year, but many expected some serious regression and while that has already began in some form as his BABIP has risen above .200 and his ERA is above three, he's still far separated from his estimators. Some may still consider him a good pitcher and avoid attacking him with a strong Dodger lineup tonight, but the truth is that despite two complete game shutouts and two more outings without allowing a run, he still has a 4.47 ERA with 19 HRs allowed over his last 14 starts. He's allowed 10 HRs with a 5.67 ERA over his last seven starts. Over that time, he has split his 10 HRs evenly with batters from either side holding a wOBA above .380 against him. Over that time, he has mixed in some changeups to LHBs, but attacked RHBs almost strictly with heaters and sliders. While he's remains on the outside portion of the plate at the belt or below against RHBs this season, he's been all over the plate belt high and below against LHBs. Unfortunately for him, all four projected RHBs in tonight's lineup have been proficient against sliders this season though Logan Forsythe has greatly struggled against RHP (58 wRC+, .036 ISO). Yasiel Puig has smashed them though (131 wRC+, .256 ISO), while Justin Turner has hit for less power (135 wRC+, .099 ISO). Both he and Chris Taylor (136 wRC+, .221 ISO) are sporting a BABIP of 370 or above against RHP this year. From the left-hand side, Corey Seager (132 wRC+, .201 ISO vs RHP this year) may be the bat to watch out for. He has covered everything belt high and below well this year, including sliders and changeups according to PlateIQ. In fact none of the projected LHBs have issues with anything in Santana's usual arsenal, while Cody Bellinger (154 wRC+, .362 ISO vs RHP) has been smashing anything middle or in. While many players may be looking to stack offenses in Texas and Chicago, don't sleep on the Dodgers at 4.99 implied runs.

    As reported by RotoGrinders PlateIQ Other tagged players: Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Christopher Taylor, Justin Turner, Logan Forsythe
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 10.62 proj
    • 2.87 pt/$
    • $3,700
    • 8.11 proj
    • 1.73 pt/$
    • $4,700
  • Edwin Encarnacion

    Cleveland Indians

    Cleveland bats dominate overall hitter ratings, Cubs project for value on FanDuel

    A trio of first basemen (Anthony Rizzo, Edwin Encarnacion, Cody Bellinger) are the top overall projected bats tonight with Kris Bryant not far behind according to the RotoGrinders Player Projections. While Cleveland dominates the projections with four batters inside the top 10 (Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, Francisco Lindor), the team with the top implied run line (Texas) only sees Shin-Soo Choo place 10th on FanDuel. The Cubs are the only other offense with multiple batters in the top 10. Value hunter will note another trio of Cubs (Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell) all projecting for more than 3.7 Pt/$/K on FanDuel because stacking against James Shields is easy. The difficult decision may be which batters to omit. DraftKings projections like another Texas bat, Nomar Mazara, as a top value (2.54 Pt/$/K).

    As reported by RotoGrinders Player Projections Other tagged players: Anthony Rizzo, Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, Francisco Lindor, Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 11.72 proj
    • 3.08 pt/$
    • $3,800
    • 9.16 proj
    • 1.83 pt/$
    • $5,000
  • Carlos Carrasco

    Cleveland Indians

    Nola, Carrasco, Nelson and Fiers all have strikeout rates above 30% over the last month.

    Though four pitchers on a 10 game night slate have a strikeout rate above 30% over the last month (Aaron Nola, Carlos Carrasco, Jimmy Nelson, Mike Fiers), the Daily K Predictor has Steven Matz on top with 6.99, a bit ahead of Yu Darvish (6.81). Matz does face a San Diego offense with a 73 wRC+ and 25.7 K% vs LHP this year, but struggled greatly to miss bats (6.8 SwStr%) with a reluctance to use his slider. Darvish is not having his best year (18.3 K-BB% is his worst since his first season, but still top 15), but still struck out 12 in his last start and has shown flashes with double digit strikeouts four times. He has the highest price tag on the slate and the sweltering Texas heat working against him. The RotoGrinders Player Projections are essentially undecided between Carlos Carrasco and Carlos Martinez as the top overall arm tonight. The former has a slate leading 15.1 SwStr% over the last month, but with a 37.8 GB% has been just barely above a 35.1 Hard% though. Carlos Martinez has seen his peripherals tumble over his last four starts with 15 strikeouts, nine walks and six HRs. However, velocity has actually increased and there’s no discernable pattern in his profile that suggests an answer for these struggles. The Rockies have an 80 wRC+ and 16.6 K-BB% on the road and a 79 wRC+ with a 15.1 K-BB% vs RHP. Aaron Nola does face the Astros (138 wRC+ on the road, 134 wRC+ vs RHP), but has a 22.3 K-BB% over his last six starts with at least seven innings in five of them. He costs just $7.5K on DraftKings. LHBs have a 30.2 K-BB% against Jimmy Nelson since the middle of June, although with a 37.2 Hard%, while RHBs have a 53.4 GB% and -2.2 Hard-Soft%. Bryce Harper could give him trouble in Washington, but the Nationals have just a 57 wRC+ with a 17.7 K-BB% and 6.4 HR/FB over the last week. Mike Fiers has a slate leading 33.3 K% over the last month, but with just an 8.8 SwStr%. Over his last five starts though, he has just a 26.5 GB% and 39.7 Hard%, which might be a difficult profile to pay up for in Philadelphia, who have a team 108 wRC+ in the second half.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Daily K Predictor Other tagged players: Jimmy Nelson, Aaron Nola, Michael Fiers, Steven Matz, Yu Darvish, Carlos Martinez
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
  • Lucas Duda

    New York Mets

    Lucas Duda (135 wRC+, .297 ISO vs RHP) has a tendency to mash where Jhoulys Chacin often makes mistakes

    The Mets have the third best sOPS+ (123) against ground ball pitchers (Baseball-Reference) and Jhoulys Chacin has a 52.9 GB% this year, but he's also allowed just 27.5% of contact above 95 mph. Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, and Lucas Duda all exceed a 150 sOPS+ against ground ballers with Asdrubal Cabrera at 149. Duda may be particularly interesting because he has homered twice in 9 PAs against Chacin with a 99.5 mph aEV on four BBEs. Brooks Baseball has Chacin attacking LHBs with a five pitch mix, most of which Duda (138 wRC+, .302 ISO vs RHP this year) handles well according to PitchIQ, the exception being a change-up Chacin utilizes just 11% of the time (Brooks). Chacin has had a tendency to leave too many pitches (8.9%) on the outer middle of the plate, which may account for the 15 HRs he's allowed this year despite the quality contact management overall. That outer middle also happens to be where Duda does the most damage. Conforto has hammered RHP (169 wRC+, .312 ISO this season) and been hot since the break (227 wRC+ over the last week). He handles most areas of the plate well and only really struggles against well placed breaking balls that dive out of the zone. PitchIQ has him stronger against sliders than curveballs though and Chacin generally throws twice as many sliders (21%) as curves (10%) vs LHBs.

    As reported by RotoGrinders PlateIQ Other tagged players: Jhoulys Chacin, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 10.04 proj
    • 3.14 pt/$
    • $3,200
    • 7.82 proj
    • 1.82 pt/$
    • $4,300
  • Joey Gallo

    Texas Rangers

    Joey Gallo has a 262 wRC+ (41.7 Hard%) with four HRs over the last week

    No single batter on the 10 game night slate has a wRC+ above 300 over the last week (10 PA min.). Chris Taylor (290) and Jose Altuve (278) lead the slate, but both have a hard hit rate below 30%. Altuve has shown an ability to be productive without absolutely smashing the ball though and his 14.3 K% over the last week only helps, though his 51.3 O-Swing% and 16 SwStr% are concerning. He additionally has a tough matchup with Aaron Nola (.282 wOBA vs RHBs since last season). Eddie Rosario (272 wRC+, 42.9 Hard%, one HR) has the highest wRC+ with a hard hit rate above 30%. He won't face Alex Wood tonight, but will match up throughout the game with a deep Dodger bullpen. Joey Gallo (262 wRC+, 41.7 Hard%, four HRs) is affordable with massive power potential in a favorable spot (LHBs .340 wOBA vs Jose Urena since last season) in the Texas heat, but suffers a bottom of the lineup penalty that doesn't guarantee four PAs. Alex Bregman (261 wRC+, 33.3 Hard%, two HRs) has the same matchup as Altuve. J.T. Realmuto (254 wRC+, 46.2 Hard%, two HRs) is at least interesting on the other side of that Texas matchup. RHBs have just a .272 wOBA since last year against Yu Darvish, who struck out a season high 12 batters last time out, but also allowed three homers.

    Other tagged players: Christopher Taylor, Jose Altuve, Eddie Rosario, Alex Bregman, J.T. Realmuto
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 9.47 proj
    • 3.51 pt/$
    • $2,700
    • 7.37 proj
    • 2.05 pt/$
    • $3,600
  • Whit Merrifield

    Kansas City Royals

    Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco both allowing RHBs a wOBA above .380 this year.

    A 10 game night slate has the Texas Rangers on top with a 6.21 implied run line. Jose Urena is rocking the 7.3 K-BB% and 9.4% Barrels/BBE in the Texas heat tonight (temperatures are expected in the upper 90s). They and the Cubs (5.76 implied runs against James Shields) are the easy stacks tonight. Seven more offenses are at 4.77 runs or above with rest of the 12 teams below 4.5 runs currently. A lot of the more interesting matchups may be same-handed though. Both Anibal Sanchez and Rickey Nolasco are allowing a wOBA to RHBs in excess of .380 this season. While that would pin a lot on the shoulders of Edwin Encarnacion (130 wRC+, .261 ISO vs RHP since 2016), the only RHB regularly in the top half of the Cleveland lineup, 10 of Nolasco's 26 homers have been surrendered to LHBs with a .333 wOBA. Kansas City RHBs could be more interesting and less popular at 4.84 implied runs. Jorge Bonifacio, Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez all exceed a 100 wRC+ and .180 ISO vs RHBs this year and each have at least a 180 wRC+ over the last week. Merrifield in particular has raised his fly ball rate by more than five points (42.8%) against RHP this year, which has led to increased success against same handed pitching. Sanchez has attacked RHBs with fastballs, sliders and changes all more than 10% of the time this year, attempting to work outside, but leaving too many pitches out over the plate. PlateIQ identifies both Merrifield and Perez as potentially good matchups here.

    Other tagged players: Salvador Perez, Jorge Bonifacio, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Urena, James Shields
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 5.7 proj
    • 1.68 pt/$
    • $3,400
    • 4.37 proj
    • 1.02 pt/$
    • $4,300
  • Salvador Perez

    Kansas City Royals

    Anibal Sanchez has allowed 37.9% Hard% to RHB over last two seasons

    Sanchez has given up 15.4% Soft% and a 43.2% FB% across that span (444 TBF). As a result, righties have a posted a .378 wOBA and .252 ISO. In 2017, Sanchez's hard contact rate has risen even further, to 46.9%, although his fly ball rate has dropped to 34.6%. Still, he's allowed a .394 wOBA and .283 ISO against RHB this year (120 TBF). This sets up a nice matchup for the Royals today with Salvador Perez (.246 ISO, .361 wOBA, 40.6% Hard%, 49.1% FB%) being the most appealing option among them. Whit Merrifield (.179 ISO, .333 wOBA, 32.4% Hard%, 43.3% FB%), Jorge Bonifacio (.195 ISO, .344 wOBA, 33.5% Hard%, 33.5% FB%), and Lorenzo Cain (.142 ISO, .346 wOBA, 30.8% Hard%, 34.6% FB%) are also interesting targets. Its worth noting Sanchez has a higher strikeout rate against RHB (24.2%) than LHB (17.6%) this season. However, he's been better against lefties in most categories - but his .207 ISO and 49.0% FB% are still appealing. Through 130 LHB faced, he's also given up a .333 wOBA, 31.6% Hard, 18.4% Soft%. Lefty Mike Moustakas (.296 ISO, .367 wOBA, 33.7%, 48.2% FB%) seems like a strong target and Eric Hosmer (.183 ISO, .367 wOBA, 29.9% Hard%, 23.5% FB%) is another Royal worth a look. Kansas City has a projected run total of 4.84, which is good for seventh Wednesday night.

    Other tagged players: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Whit Merrifield, Jorge Bonifacio, Lorenzo Cain
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
  • Jake Lamb

    Arizona Dbacks

    Aaron Blair set to make his 2017 debut against Diamondbacks Wednesday afternoon

    This sets up a very appealing matchup for Arizona as their projected lineup boasts a combined .209 ISO and .346 wOBA against RHP this year. Blair started 15 games in 2016 and finished with a 5.49 SIERA and 14.2% K%. Against RHB (165 TBF), he posted a .337 wOBA, .231 ISO, and 18.2% K% and his numbers were worse against LHB (159 TBF): .432 wOBA, .284 ISO, and 10.1% K%. This makes Jake Lamb (.300 ISO, .414 wOBA vs. RHP this season) a top choice on the afternoon slate. Fellow lefties Gregor Blanco (.168 ISO, .361 wOBA) and Daniel Descalso (.189 ISO, .363 wOBA) are also appealing in a stack. Of course, RHB A.J. Pollock (.203 ISO, .392 wOBA), Paul Goldschmidt (.283 ISO, .434 wOBA), and J.D. Martinez (.256 ISO, .355 wOBA) are in excellent spots as well. As one might expect, Arizona has the highest projected run total on the early slate (5.87).

    Other tagged players: Paul Goldschmidt, Daniel Descalso, J.D. Martinez, Gregor Blanco
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 11.51 proj
    • 2.95 pt/$
    • $3,900
    • 8.63 proj
    • 1.66 pt/$
    • $5,200
  • Jeff Samardzija

    San Francisco Giants

    Jeff Samardzija checks in as our top points-per-dollar pitcher on DraftKings' early slate Wednesday

    Chris Sale and his 36.4% K%, 16.1% SwStr%, and 2.51 SIERA is the obvious SP1 this afternoon. Fittingly, his raw projection (32.7 DK points) is well ahead of anyone else, with Luis Severino coming in second (25.74 DK points). The latter will cost $11.5K on DK this afternoon while The Shark is just $7.6k. Our model provides him a projection of 19.31 DK points, which places him at the top of our points-per-dollar rankings. Although he's been poor against LHB this year (276 TBF), posting a .358 wOBA and a .267 ISO, he's only expected to face two lefties this afternoon - Josh Bell (.346 wOBA, .233 ISO) and Adam Frazier (.312 wOBA, .111 ISO). Against the RHB (257 TBF), he's limited opponents to a combined .299 wOBA, .164 ISO, 26.7% Hard%, 23.6% Soft%, and 28.2% FB%. Collectively, Pittsburgh's projected lineup has a .331 wOBA and .144 ISO this season against RHP. Not surprisingly, they have the third-lowest projected run total (3.7). That makes Samardzija a relatively safe option for his price range. However, the upside may be limited. Not only do the Pirates have a solid 17.6% K% against RHP, but Samardzija's strikeout rate drops from 28.2% against lefties to 22.6% when facing righties. Nobody on the Pittsburgh squad has a k-rate above 21.8% and five guys have posted rates between 12.2%-18.6% against RHP this year. Still, he offers a huge savings from Severino on DK (he's only $1.0k cheaper on FanDuel) and actually comes in higher on our Daily K Predictor tool - 6.29 vs. 5.30. Although Sale is clearly the top choice on one-pitcher sites, Samardzija is a very appealing SP2.

    Other tagged players: Luis Severino, Chris Sale
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 33.54 proj
    • 3.90 pt/$
    • $8,600
    • 19.31 proj
    • 2.54 pt/$
    • $7,600
  • Anthony Rizzo

    Chicago Cubs

    No weather concerns on early slate Wednesday; late-inning rain possible in two spots tonight

    Only two of the five games will be outside this afternoon. It won't be very warm in San Francisco - 67 degrees at first pitch - but it'll be pretty humid. We'll see warmer weather in New York, where it'll be 76 degrees and humid when the Yanks host the Reds. On tonight's slate we have two games that may experience late-inning precipitation - Cubs-Whitesox (YELLOW) and Rockies-Cardinals (YELLOW/GREEN). While most areas will have temperatures in the 70s tonight, St. Louis is one of two cities expected to surpass 90 degrees, with the other being Arlington, where the Marlins will play the Rangers. Overall, it's a pretty clear forecast, but it'll be worth checking back on those two trouble spots before lock and be sure to follow Kevin on Twitter dot com @KevinRothWX.

    As reported by RotoGrinders Weather
    • mlb
    • general-strategy
    • 14.72 proj
    • 3.42 pt/$
    • $4,300
    • 11.18 proj
    • 2.11 pt/$
    • $5,300

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