Paul previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for June 13th.
Today we have a full slate of games on the MLB schedule starting at 1:35 p.m. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, as there may be issues with the following games: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, Kansas City at St. Louis, Cincinnati at Chicago (NL).
Make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches or further weather issues.
Justin Verlander returns to the mound today for the first time this year after suffering from a strained right triceps. Last Saturday he pitched for Toledo, throwing 5.2 innings while striking out 9 batters. His fastball got up to 94, after averaging 93 mph last season. While there may be some cause for optimism in Detroit (he has to pitch better than Greene), this is not someone I will be running out there today. With just 93 pitches last week, and this just his third start since the injury he won’t likely get too deep in the game. Add in a Cleveland team that has hit over .300 against him career-wise in over 300 at bats and it’s just too risky of a start for me, especially at a cost of $8,100. If you’re a bigger Tigers homer than I, and are determined to run JV out there, at least know I will be cheering along with you. Here are my choices:
1. Gerrit Cole, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates ($10,700) Gerrit Cole is 9-2 with a 1.73 ERA this year, with a 27.5% K rate to go along with a 53.5% GB rate. That is 81% of all batters that aren’t getting the ball out of the infield. Today he’s at home against the Phillies who are the worst team in baseball against RHP with a .279 wOBA. In order to accomplish that feat, as a team they are hitting just .235/.279/.347 collectively for the season. In his last 3 starts Cole is 3-0 with 23 K in 21 IP, with just 5 walks and a 0.86 ERA. Cole faced the Phillies once this year in Philadelphia and threw 7 innings of 2 run ball with 6 K for the win and has 10 QS in his 12 outings this season, never giving up more than 3 runs in a game. Vegas has Pittsburgh as a massive favorite today at -260, making this an easy pick as long as you can keep an eye on the weather situation!
2. Kyle Hendricks, SP, Chicago Cubs ($7,100) Here’s a quote from Will Emerson who writes up our Field of Streams twice a week:
“Now the Reds offense has been coming alive of late (like they’re Peter Frampton or something), but I’m more here to focus on what Kyle Hendricks has been doing. Yes, the 3.96 ERA is not gonna blow anyone away, but Hendricks’ ground ball rate is over 50% and the K/9 is in the sevens and his BB/9 is below two, which will work just fine. In fact, it works just fine enough to warrant a 3.55 SIERA. Hendricks has allowed two or fewer earned runs in three of his last four starts, including two quality starts against the Nationals who, for all intents and purposes, are a decent offense team. This weekend doesn’t have a lot of pitchers I would say are locks as streamers, but Hendricks is a guy I like better than pretty much all the other streaming options for Saturday.”
I can’t argue with that, and neither will Vegas, who has the Cubs as -145 favorites.
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs ($5,400) Going a bit all-in on the Cubs today, and that’s hard to do without including Anthony Rizzo. Even with last night’s 3 strikeouts, Rizzo has more BBs than Ks for the year, to go with 11 HR and 10 SB. He’s averaging more FPPG on Draft Kings than every 1B other than Paul Goldschmidt. Today he faces RHP Mike Leake whom he has had some success in the past, hitting .400/.464/.720 with a pair of home runs in 25 at bats. For the year against RHP, Rizzo has an OPS over 1.000, and is 7th overall in Hard Hit % for the month of June.
4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,200) Alvarez goes up against RHP Sean O’Sullivan today, sitting as the 5th ranked player overall in hard hit % this month. Alvarez hits RHP very well with 10 HR this year and a .500 slugging. Meanwhile, O’Sullivan is a train wreck against LH hitters, having allowed a .366/.429/.754 line including 7 home runs in 71 at bats this year. This is my favorite pick of the day.
5. Lorenzo Cain, OF, Kansas City Royals ($3,800) This is just too good of a value to pass up; he would have been priced as if facing Lance Lynn prior to him going on the DL. His opponent now is LHP Tyler Lyons and his 5.54 ERA for the year. Cain hits left-handers extremely well, with a .344/.420/.525 line for the year. He’s averaging 8.1 FPPG on Draft Kings this year overall (think Hanley or Cespedes) but his wOBA is 45% better against LHP, making him a top choice whenever he faces one.
6. Chris Coghlan, OF, Chicago Cubs ($3,200) I’m going to leave my top OF choice off this posted list just to make sure Coghlan gets some recognition today. He has faced Mike Leake 11 times in his career and has 9 hits including 3 doubles and 2 home runs. I’m not convinced that 11 AB is significant as far as BvP, but it’s hard to argue with those kind of numbers. Add in the fact that Coghlan quietly has 18 XB hits this year against RHP (including 8 home runs) and that Leake has been hit pretty hard by LH batters this year, (allowing 9 HR in just 179 at bats and a .340 wOBA), and you’ve got not only a ridiculously long run-on sentence, but a good match-up as well.
7. Miguel Montero, C, Chicago Cubs ($3,500) It would be remiss of me to mention Hard Hit % today and not include Miguel Montero. For the month of June, Montero has a 55% hard hit rate, good enough for 4th overall in the majors. Unlike Rizzo and Coghlan, he doesn’t have the past success against Leake (0-9), but he has hit RHP for power this year with 7 HR in just 127 AB. And, have I mentioned that Leake is lousy against LHH?
Now that’s refreshing!
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