Things are going to be a little different this year. Here’s what to expect from this article. Each day, the first thing I do is go through each game and look at the matchups for both the pitchers and hitters, highlighting things that stand out to me. Some of the research may present glaringly obvious plays, but other stuff may require a little bit more research. Regardless, I make a full list of notes on everything that jumps out.
I’m going to share this full list of notes with you to use however you’d like. Whether you want to blindly take plays from it or use it as your own research starting point, it’s yours to use how you see fit. I personally use this list to dive deeper into my research before making any final decisions. Sometimes that makes me more excited about a play, but other times, I uncover things that steer me away from a particular play. I will note that I compile this list each day before reading anything else around the industry, so my thoughts aren’t influenced whatsoever. Lastly, keep in mind, I primarily play tournaments and on DraftKings.
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you have on Twitter, and I’d love to hear your feedback on the new format. You can find me here: @mrclutchdfs
Today’s Starting Points
Michael Wacha has been generous to both sides of the plate. His only saving grace is a respectable K-rate. There are a lot of strikeouts in this Nationals lineup. If Rendon is in the lineup, I really like him as a one-off. However, if he’s out, Wacha is really interesting.
Eduardo Rodriguez has struggled more against lefties than righties, but this Oakland lineup is full of dangerous right-handed hitters. They’re stackabale against almost any lefty. Khrush Davis, Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, Chad Pinder, and even Scotty Piscotty, make up an elite upside stack.
Tanner Roark has had a historically bad start against left handed hitters. Check out these numbers: 0.537 wOBA, 0.324 ISO, 8.9% K, 13.3% BB, 39.4% FB, 36.4% LD, 45.5% HH. That’s reaalllyyy bad! Granted it’s a small sample size, but he’s faced 45 lefties, so it’s not like he’s only faced a few. As bad as he’s been there, he’s been pretty elite against righties with a 0.233 wOBA, 0.032 ISO, and a 29.9% K rate. Due to those numbers, I’m just playing Mets lefties. I’ll have mini stacks full of Conforto, McNeil, and Nimmo.
The Reds strike out enough for me to like Zach Wheeler, but they also walk a ton, which is where Wheeler struggles. Overall, I like him to have a good game more than I like the Reds chances to get to him.
Mike Soroka is striking out over 30% of the righties he’s facing. He has a perfect matchup tonight against the Padres, who typically roll out 7-8 righties that strike out a lot. He might be my favorite pitching option on the slate.
Nick Margivicius has thrown together a few respectable outings by keeping the ball on the ground to righties, limiting hard contact and generating a 28.2% K-rate. He’s been a reverse split lefty though, getting hammered by same handed hitters. He’s giving up a 45.8% hard hit and fly ball rate, and he’s only striking out 10% of lefties. All that to point out that Freddie Freeman is an elite one-off play on this slate. In 34 plate appearances against lefties this season, Freeman has posted a 0.522 wOBA and 0.414 ISO to go along with his 47.8% hard hit rate and 52.5% fly ball rate. FREEMAN WILL GO YARD TONIGHT.
Jake Odorizzi just faced this Houston Astros team in his last start and lasted 5.2 innings, giving up eight hits and two runs, while striking out two and walking no one. A fly ball pitcher against this dangerous lineup is a recipe for disaster and with Houston just seeing him last week, I love the top of the order stack.
Justin Verlander has been really good and I’ve been on him in each of his last three starts. However, I think I’ll avoid him tonight. He could have a good game, but this Twins lineup has been really good and they don’t strike out much. I’ll just stay away from both sides and see what happens.
John Means is one of the cheapest pitchers on the slate, and might have the best matchup. Against left handed pitchers, the White Sox are atrocious. Their predicted starting lineup has four guys with a sub-0.100 ISO against lefties. Take it a step further and they have three more guys between 0.100 and 0.118. Throw in their 25+% K rate and I love Means. He just faced them in his last start and racked up 22 DK points in just 5 innings. It’s rare that I go all in on a pitcher, but tonight I may do that with Means. There’s a ton of variance in baseball, but sometimes I’m willing to eat that risk.
As good as Jeff Samardzija has been against righties, he’s been equally as bad against lefties. The Dodgers aren’t a team you want to face when you’re struggling with left handed hitters. I really like the Dodgers stack here. Pederson, Seager, Bellinger, and Muncy are all very dangerous and I will have my fair share tonight.
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