We are now past the halfway point of the season for a majority of the teams in the league, so I thought I’d do a quick mid-year report card. Some teams are doing good, some are underperforming, but your favorite team is doing best of all. That’s right. It’s time to pander to the reader, baby!
Anyway, let’s break down some studs and values for Wednesday’s eight-game slate.
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals, $9,900 - Despite posting a 1.94 ERA across his past seven starts — and a 27.8% strikeout rate in his past five starts — I’d expect Fried to go a little overlooked on Wednesday. Aaron Nola ($10,100) has the much easier matchup, while Cristian Javier ($9,300) has struck out 27 opponents in his last two outings. There’s a lot to get distracted by. It’s also worth noting that the Cardinals own the league’s seventh-highest strikeout rate over the past two weeks (24.2%), so they’ll provide Fried some upside, as well.
Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks, $7,600 - Are we finally seeing the real Alex Cobb in 2022? The veteran has been hellaciously unlucky so far this season, with the RHP’s 2.51 xERA so much lower than his actual 4.59 ERA. Cobb can mostly thank an unstable 57.8% strand rate for the difference, yet it does seem like things are beginning to turn around, as the 34-year-old has allowed just two earned runs in his past three outings. Equipped with a 25.8% strikeout rate, Cobb should be able to take advantage of a Diamondbacks lineup that ranks sixth in strikeout rate (23.5%) and 26th in wRC+ (88). Plus, if you use Cobb, you can avoid all that Brayan Bello ($5,000) chalk.
Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies, $5,900 - This is a steep price to pay for Turner, but few DFS assets can accumulate DKFP like the Dodgers’ shortstop. Not only does Turner come into tonight’s contest with the Rockies hitting .318 with a 137 wRC+ against RHPs in 2022, but he’s also stolen 16 bases for the season as a whole — the third-most of any player in the National League. Then there’s the matter of Jose Urena ($5,500). The veteran right-handed hasn’t started a game at the MLB level since 2021, but in the five starts he’s made at Triple-A for Colorado, Urena owns a 7.21 ERA. Yikes.
Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles, $5,100 - There’s been 32 runs scored in the first two contests of this series, and I doubt the tide changes for Game 3. Spenser Watkins ($5,700) is taking the mound for the Orioles and he’s had his issues with RHBs in 2022. In fact, righties have combined for a .531 slugging percentage and a .384 wOBA off of Baltimore’s 29-year-old starter. As for Semien, he’s slashing .330/.374/.580 with a 171 wRC+ since June 5. I think you can say he’s seeing the ball well right now.
Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles vs. Texas Rangers, $4,000 - Again, I’m expecting big things in this game from both lineups. Glenn Otto ($6,100) has been sorely underwhelming in 2022, registering a 6.59 xERA across his first 10 starts. Otto has also surrendered a whopping .387 wOBA to opposing RHBs, which is where Mancini comes into play. Quietly, Mancini has been tearing the cover off the baseball since the beginning of May, slashing .302/.387/.470 with a 147 wRC+ within that span of time. His price tag has climbed in recent weeks, but it’s still not high enough.
Darick Hall, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals, $2,800 - Since his call-up to the big leagues, Hall has been batting clean-up for the Phillies against RHPs. Seems a little crazy, but the results speak for themselves. In 23 plate appearances, Hall has four barrels, four extra-base hits and a 184 wRC+. Small sample sizes be damned! Hall is also left-handed, which should be beneficial on Wednesday. Josiah Gray ($8,200) has struggled with LHBs in 2022, serving up 2.56 home runs per nine within the split.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals, $5,800 - Alvarez’s numbers against right-handed pitching are hilarious. In 2022, the hulking LHB is slashing .343/.431/.763 with a .420 ISO and a 234 wRC+. I know we all throw around the term “video game stats” far too often, but I’m not sure how else to describe what’s happening in Houston. Anyway, Alvarez will draw a fantastic matchup on Wednesday in the form of Brad Keller ($6,500). Across his past 10 starts, Keller’s surrendered 2.3 home runs per nine to opposing left-handed bats.
Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals, $5,100 - Well, we avoided chalk with the pitchers, so I’ll let myself indulge here. After hitting another pair of home runs on Tuesday, Schwarber will be popular this evening going up against Gray. Again, the sophomore has had his problems with lefties in 2022. Problems like a .528 slugging percentage and a .389 wOBA within the split. He’ll have a tough time keeping Schwarber in the yard, to be sure.
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals, $3,300 - I wouldn’t really recommend a full-out stack against Miles Mikolas ($8,700), who has pitched marvellously in 2022, but LHBs have always been the way to attack the veteran RHP. As for Harris, he just keeps hitting. In his 95 plate appearances against righties, the rookie is slashing .300/.337/.533 with a .233 ISO and a 138 wRC+. Doesn’t seem like someone that should be this far below $4K.
Jake Lamb, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies, $2,300 - With Chris Taylor (foot) on the injured list, it’s safe to assume Lamb will be manning left field for the Dodgers for a second straight game. The journeyman has a career .206 ISO when facing RHPs and he hit seventh in front of Cody Bellinger ($3,700) on Tuesday. If that happens again, Lamb is viable at this microscopic price tag, particularly with Los Angeles’ implied total above six runs on Wednesday.
TEAMS TO STACK
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies - I don’t want to say the Dodgers are an affordable stack, but especially if you’re someone partaking in Bello on Wednesday, it’s not that difficult to find the funds. Obviously, Turner and Freddie Freeman ($5,000) are pricy, but it’s not often you can get both Mookie Betts ($4,500) and Max Muncy ($4,200) into your lineup for less than $9K. The presence of Bellinger and Lamb also helps keep this stack in a plausible range.
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