Brewers’ bats will likely be very popular across all contests tonight as they are in a good spot vs. Anibal Sanchez and affordable as well. Sanchez does have a 3.75 ERA on the year, but a 5.07 xFIP, 5.04 SIERA and 11.1% K-BB show that he is very likely to regress in the ERA department. Since 2018 Sanchez has shown about even L/R splits and can be targeted from both sides of the plate tonight. The Brewers have a good amount of hitters in their order tonight that have had success vs. RHP this year: Christian Yelich (.432 xwOBA vs. RHP this year), Keston Hiura (.386), Trent Grisham (.361), Yasmani Grandal (.345), Mike Moustakas (.340), Ryan Braun (.329) and Eric Thames (.320) are all great options. Trent Grisham is leading off at just $2.9k on Draftkings and is one of the best value plays on the slate. Grandal follows him in the order at just $3.7k. Moustakas, Braun and Thames will all be $3.7k or less on DK and will bat 5-6-7 in the order. Hiura will bat 4th and is affordable as well with a $4.3k price tag. The Brewers currently have a 4.74 implied line vs. Sanchez and the Nationals.
Aside from Jacob DeGrom and a few other value arms, it is tough to find viable pitching options on this slate. One intriguing option is Jacob Junis, who is at home in pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium to face the Mets. The Mets do have a scorching hot 131 wRC+ over the past 2 weeks, but have since lost good hitters due to injuries, and their lineup for tonight is largely unimposing. Their starting lineup tonight contains just two batters (Conforto and Alonso) who have an xwOBA greater than .315 vs. RHP on the year. Junis hasn’t been spectacular this year (4.80 ERA / 4.61 xFIP / 4.61 SIERA) but he does have a respectable 14% K-BB and is certainly capable of producing good starts here and there. If he can limit damage to Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto, Junis stands a good chance of hitting value on his $8.3k and $8.5k price tags on Draftkings and Fanduel, respectively. On a slate with very few options that stand out, Junis shouldn’t see high ownership given the Mets’ recent success and that he is facing Jacob DeGrom who should easily be the highest owned pitcher on the slate.
Since 2017, Hector Santiago has a 5.06 ERA, 5.75 xFIP, 8% K-BB and 50.6% FB rate and just a 16.3% soft contact rate, as well as a .354 xwOBA allowed and an 89.4 MPH aEV in 184 innings. Over 43 innings in AAA this year, Santiago had an uninspiring 5.57 xFIP and 12.7% BB rate. Though he’s a lefty, Santiago has actually been worse vs. lefties; since 2017, he owns a .390 xwOBA allowed vs. lefties compared to a .342 xwOBA vs. righties. Mike Trout (.428 xwOBA vs. LHP this year), Kole Calhoun (.365), Albert Pujols (.350), Wilfredo Tovar (.333), David Fletcher (.321), Shoehei Ohtani (.285) Max Stassi (.222), Justin Upton (.226) are all options in the LAA projected order. Trout has been on fire recently with a .465 xwOBA over the past 2 weeks, while Albert Pujols (.222) and Max Stassi (.124) have really struggled. Stassi might still be worth a shot at a price of just $2k on Draftkings. Projected leadoff man David Fletcher is just $3.4k on Draftkings and one of the better values on the slate. Justin Upton is just $4k on DK; he’s been bad this year but figures to turn it around soon as he has a 121 career wRC+ and has never finished below a 105 wRC+ in any season. The Angels have a healthy 5.79 implied total vs. Santiago and the White Sox.
This slate is pretty dry at SP, so we need to get a bit creative here to find some value. Although Marquez is pitching in Coors, there are a few reasons to like him tonight, especially in GPPs. He’s had a bit of an up and down season but has seemingly found a groove over the past month with a 3.27 ERA / 2.97 xFIP, 28.5% K rate / 3.3% BB rate and a 13.9% SwStr. Marquez is facing the Marlins tonight at home, who have just a 75 wRC+ and 25% K Rate vs. RHP this year. They also have a league-worst 77 wRC+ over the past 30 days and were shut out last night in Coors. Rostering any pitcher in Coors is a risky sentiment, but Marquez has fared decently well at home: since 2018, he has a 3.14 xFIP, 19.6% K-BB and a .307 xwOBA allowed in home starts. Marquez is also much better vs. righties as he has allowed a .331 xwOBA and 14.1% K-BB vs. lefties compared to a .263 xwOBA allowed and 26.9% K-BB (!) vs. righties since 2018. The Marlins project to have just 3 left-handed bats in their order tonight. Given how this slate is lacking at SP, there aren’t many guys with Marquez’s upside in his price range tonight. The Marlins currently have a 4.36 implied total.
Normally a guy to avoid when choosing hitters, there are a few reasons it might be wise to get some exposure to Rangers’ bats tonight. Already very hitter-friendly Globe Life Park projects to see a further increase in overall offense per WeatherEdge. Jose Berrios has some wide splits that we can target, one of which being his home-road split. Since 2017, Berrios has a 2.93 ERA, 20% K-BB and .277 xwOBA allowed in home games, compared to a 4.44 ERA, 13.6% K-BB and .316 xwOBA in road games. He is also much worse versus lefties; he has a 18.8% K-BB and .280 xwOBA allowed vs. righties compared to a 14.5% K-BB and .315 xwOBA vs. lefties. The Rangers have 5 lefties in their projected lineup for tonight’s matchup at home: Shin-Soo Choo (.378 xwOBA vs. RHP this year), Nomar Mazara (.354), Danny Santana (.344), Willie Calhoun (.320) and Rougned Odor (.307). Logan Forsythe (.363) and Elvis Andrus (.303) are also potential options, but will not have the platoon advantage versus Berrios. Given the hitting environment, Rangers’ hitters are pretty cheap as Choo, Andrus, Mazara, Odor and Forsythe are all $4.1k or less on Draftkings, while Calhoun is $4.4k and Santana is $4.7k. Also working in Rangers’ hitters favor is a hitter-friendly umpire in Paul Hoberg. They currently have a 5.20 implied line vs. Berrios and the Twins.
Jose Suarez has had a rough time so far in his rookie year as he has a 6.57 ERA over 49 and 1/3 innings pitched. However, he does have a 4.91 SIERA, 12.7% K-BB, 11.7% SwStr, .330 xwOBA allowed and 86.4 MPH aEV which all show that he probably hasn’t been nearly as bad as his ERA suggests. Suarez gets a matchup vs. the White Sox tonight who do have a respectable 101 wRC+, but that comes with the highest BABIP vs. LHP in the league (.342) that suggests they’ve been a bit lucky. By xwOBA, the White Sox have been the 5th worst vs. LHP with a .302 mark on the year. Suarez’s price is what makes him most intriguing, as he is a dirt cheap $4.9k on Draftkings and not much more on Fanduel at $5.8k, creating room for some of the higher priced bats on the slate. He projects as by far the best PTS/$ arm on the slate. Suarez will have the added benefit of an extremely pitcher friendly umpire calling balls and strikes in Doug Eddings. He also projects to have Max Stassi behind the plate, one of the better pitch framers in baseball. Currently, the White Sox have just a 4.40 implied total vs. Suarez and the Angels for tonight.
Despite a Coors game on tonight’s slate, the Red Sox currently own the highest implied total on the slate at 7.83. They are at home facing Aaron Brooks, who has an atrocious 6.35 ERA and 5.28 xFIP with an 11.9% K-BB, 39.3% hard contact rate and 8.5% SwStr. He also owns a .369 xwOBA allowed, .522 xSLG allowed, a 9.8% barrel rate and an 89.2 MPH aEV. Brooks has been more vulnerable vs. LHP this year over a 72 inning sample; he’s allowed a .343 xwOBA vs. righties compared to a .398 xwOBA vs. lefties. Given Brooks’ ineffectiveness, the Red Sox project to get plenty of plate appearances versus the Orioles’ bullpen, who has collectively allowed a 4th worst .348 xwOBA over the past 30 days. Mookie Betts (.405 xwOBA vs. RHP this year), Rafael Devers (.395), JD Martinez (.383), Mitch Moreland (.367), Xander Bogaerts (.355), Andrew Benintendi (.330) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (.326) are all great options. JD Martinez has been the hottest Red Sox hitter with a .416 xwOBA over the past 14 days. Benintendi, Moreland and Bradley Jr. are the only aforementioned players who do not have a $5k+ salary on Draftkings. Bradley is in a bit of a slump (.278 xwOBA over the past 14 days) but is just $3.8k on DK and is a cheap and likely contrarian way to get some exposure to the Red Sox lineup.
Though Luis Castillo is likely due for some regression based on the difference between his ERA (2.69) and peripherals (3.54 xFIP, 3.97 SIERA) it’s not the time to shy away from him. Castillo gets a matchup at home tonight with the Cardinals, who have just a 66 wRC+ and 26.5% K rate over the past 2 weeks. On the season they have just an 86 wRC+ and 23.3% K rate vs. RHP. The Cardinals projected lineup has just one batter (Marcell Ozuna) who has an xwOBA greater than .335 vs. RHP on the year. As I’ve said in quite a few Castillo blurbs, he’s a much better pitcher in home starts over a large sample: since 2017, Castillo has a 2.99 ERA / 3.20 xFIP with a 21.1% K-BB and .266 xwOBA allowed in 223 home innings pitched, compared to a 4.05 ERA / 4.04 xFIP, 13.9% K-BB and .322 xwOBA allowed in 180 road IP. Castillo is also much better vs. righties (.268 xwOBA and 18.7% K-BB vs. RHB, .315 xwOBA and 16.8% K-BB vs. LHB) and is projected to face just 3 lefties in the Cardinals’ order tonight. The Cardinals currently have a 4.16 implied line which feels a bit high and should hopefully help to keep Castillo’s ownership somewhat low.
Over the past 30 days, Alcantara has a 6.35 ERA, 6.43 xFIP and 5.99 SIERA with a 5.7% K-BB. For the year he now owns a 4.44 ERA with a 5.58 xFIP and 5.66 SIERA as his ERA slowly regresses towards his peripherals after outpitching them for most of the season. Alcantara’s “contact manager” style might work in pitcher-friendly Marlins park, but the lack of swing and miss stuff (16.8% K rate) and lack of control (11.1% BB rate) is much less likely to work in Coors where he’ll have much less fortune on balls in play. Also working in Rockies’ hitters favor is that the Marlins have posted a 2nd worst .351 xwOBA allowed out of the bullpen in the past month. Charlie Blackmon (.363 xwOBA vs. RHP this year), Trevor Story (.342), Ryan McMahon (.335), Nolan Arenado (.322), Raimel Tapia (.306) and Ian Desmond (.294) are all good options in the projected order. Charlie Blackmon has been their hottest hitter with a .436 xwOBA over the past 14 days, followed by Trevor Story with a .403 mark. Tapia, McMahon, and Desmond are all $4.7k or less on Draftkings. Daniel Murphy is just $4.1k and projects to hit towards the front of the order, but has just a .280 xwOBA on the year vs. RHP. The Rockies currently have a healthy 7.67 implied total.
Patrick Sandoval will be making his 2nd career start tonight vs. the White Sox, who come into this game with a 12th ranked 101 wRC+ and 23.9% K rate vs. LHP. Their 101 wRC+ feels a bit lucky, as they do own the league’s highest BABIP vs. LHP (.342) and their xwOBA vs. LHP on the year is just .302 (26th in the league). The White Sox have just one hitter in their projected lineup (Jose Abreu) that has an xwOBA greater than .335 vs. LHP on the year. Sandoval is not a top prospect; he owns a Future Value of 40 and did struggle to a 5.01 xFIP over 60 1/3 innings in AAA this year. However, he flashed some very good numbers in the minors in 2017-2018 and has posted very good K rates throughout his minors career. Projection systems (notoriously conservative with young players) currently have him pegged as a 4.75 ERA / 8.3 K/9 guy going forward. In addition to a nice matchup tonight, Sandoval will get a very pitcher-friendly ump behind the plate tonight in Bill Miller, as well as likely working with great pitch framer Max Stassi. Sandoval is $7.1k on Fanduel and $7.8k on Draftkings tonight and provides pretty good upside for that price range, albeit with a wide range of outcomes. The White Sox currently have a 4.16 implied line for tonight.
As it stands right now, this is the 3rd year in a row that Charlie Morton has improved his ERA, K% and SwStr%. For the season, he’s sitting at a 2.90 ERA, 3.25 xFIP and 3.54 SIERA with a 30.5% K rate, 7.1% BB rate, 33.2% hard contact rate, 48.6% GB rate and 12.9% SwStr. He also owns just a .270 xwOBA, 5.1% barrel rate and 86.7 MPH aEV per Statcast. Tonight faces the Tigers tonight at home, who have a league-worst 74 wRC+ vs. RHP with a 26.1% K rate. They also have just an 82 wRC+ over the past 30 days, and their projected lineup does not have a single player with an xwOBA greater than .340 vs. RHP this year. Morton is a bit better in home starts; since his breakout 2017, he’s posted a 3.17 xFIP with a 22.5% K-BB and .274 xwOBA at home, compared to a 3.72 xFIP, 17.9% K-BB and .295 xwOBA on the road. The Tigers currently have just a 2.56 implied line; Morton has a good chance of getting a ‘W’ as the Rays are -310 favorites. Morton is in the $11k range on both major sites tonight and is looking like the premier ace pitcher on this slate.
There is no major news to report ahead of the final regular event of the season. The news this week surrounds the health of Tiger Woods. After pulling out of last week’s event, Woods went on record as saying he felt way better this week. It’s worth noting that Woods has two wins in his career at Medinah. With no tee time draws or cut to worry about this week weather should not be a factor in terms of picking golfers. There is a chance of rain on the weekend, but overall the weather for golf looks pretty decent. Good luck this week. ResultsDB will be up and running within 15 minutes of roster lock. Make sure to check out how your lineups stack up against the field.
Rafael Cabrera Bello missed last week’s Northern Trust to be with his wife as she gave birth to their daughter. With mom and baby, healthy RCB returns to action this week as he barley snuck into the top 70. Needing a top 3 or better finish to make it to East Lake RCB will have his work cut out for him at Medinah. From a DFS standpoint, RCB at his price point would prove to be very effective with a top 20 type of finish. Currently projected to be right in the middle of our projections in terms of Pt/$/K, RCB could be a sneaky pick in terms of exceeding that projection. Making a ton of bridies has not been the issue for RCB of late, it’s been the bogies and big numbers keeping this talented golfer from playing the weekend. With no cut this week and really no big pressure to speak of we can look at RCB being the type of player to crush his value in light of a strong finish position. In his last start ( also a no-cut event) RCB crushed his value for the week and ended up being one of the top points per dollar golfers despite only finishing in a tie for twelfth.
In a vacumn, Paul Casey could be viewed as a frustrating roster option this year. Untimely missed cuts at The Players Championship and The Masters, combined with an injury withdrawal at Colonial could have burned quite a few in the DFS community this year. Looking instead at Casey’s whole body of work for the season will provide a better sense of Casey’s game heading into the final two events of the season. Casey ranks inside the top 10 in most strokes gained ball striking metrics this season and comes into this week with a chance to improve on what has been a very good season. The Copperhead course at Innisbrook is gaining traction as a good corollary course for this week, and as we have seen by his back to back wins at The Valspar, Casey really likes that type of course. With 13 top 25’s in 20 starts this season Casey stands out as a great mid-range option for the week.
After his play and subsequent withdrawal from last week’s Northern Trust, there was a strong doubt that Tiger Woods would play again this year. Tiger played nine holes this morning in the Pro-Am and appears on track to play in The BMW Championship. Tiger will have a press conference after the round, so we should know more about the state of his game later today. The big if’s surrounding Tiger’s game has more to do with health than skill, so if he can play this week there is a chance that the defending Tour Champion from last year can make a return to East Lake. Currently ranked in the 38th position in this year’s race, Tiger will need a good week to advance in the playoffs. Tiger has the track record at this course and knowing that he has to hit less than driver seems to be a perfect fit for his game at the moment. With both a discount in price and low projected ownership, Tiger if healthy could be a great GPP option for the week.
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