Early this morning, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that a Reds player tested positive for COVID-19, thus postponing their games against the Pirates this weekend. After what felt like a week of good news, this certainly was a disappointing development. Nonetheless, we have a seven-game slate to focus on for tonight, so let’s get into it.
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German Marquez, COL vs. TEX, $8,300 - I’m really not digging any of the expensive pitching options tonight. I hate the matchup for Patrick Corbin ($10,500) against a VERY good Orioles offense against lefties. Walker Buehler ($10,300) still looks as if he’s working out the kinks with a 6.96 FIP and just a 20.7 K% through three starts. Sean Manaea ($8,800) hasn’t been trustworthy at all and faces a Giants team that isn’t striking out. So, that leaves us with Marquez AT Coors Field. Hey, I get it, not a great spot. However, I do find solace in the fact that against righties, the Rangers have just a .270 wOBA with a .109 ISO and a 21.2 K%. Take Coors Field out of the mix and this is a slam dunk for Marquez. I get it if you’re iffy but this is, unfortunately, looking like the best spot for the more expensive options.
Other Option: James Paxton ($8,100)
Kevin Gausman, SF vs. OAK, $6,200 - No one ever gets excited to use Gausman on a given slate but give the man some credit, his 28.1 K% thus far has been impressive. His 2.43 FIP indicates he’s been pitching even better than his numbers indicate, leading me to like him a lot as a value against the A’s. Against righties, Oakland has been a total hit or miss but the A’s have posted a .319 wOBA with a .182 ISO and a 24.8 K%, which is the 10th highest in the league. If Gausman is going to continue generating swings-and-misses at a 13.6% clip, I’m all for it.
Other Option: Cristian Javier ($7,400)
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Pedro Severino, BAL vs. WAS, $4,200 - Severino is always a lock for me when he’s facing a lefty and tonight will be no exception. Since 2019, Severino has a .349 wOBA with a .245 ISO against lefties. We’ve seen him bat cleanup in these games as well when facing a lefty so that’s not out of the realm of possibilities either. This is truly a sneaky danger spot for Corbin, so I’m guessing you’ll get Severino at low ownership as well.
Other Option: Christian Vazquez ($4,600)
Martin Maldonado, HOU vs. SEA $3,500 - It’s not often you’ll see me taking a catcher who bats ninth but Maldonado has been rewarding anyone who has done so lately. To say he’s on a heater would be an understatement, as he’s averaging a ridiculous 11.6 DKFP over his past five games including two home runs, two doubles and seven RBI. If you’re looking to stack the Astros tonight, using Maldonado in a wrap-around stack (9,1,2,3,4 hitter) is an option.
Other Option: Tony Wolters ($3,300)
Daniel Murphy, COL vs. TEX, $4,600 - Taking lefties against Kyle Gibson ($7,900) is an optimal choice tonight. It was a trouble spot for him and last season with the Twins, Gibson allowed a .347 wOBA with a 4.58 FIP and 11 of the 23 home runs he allowed. Murphy, on the other hand, has gotten off to a really hot start and has a .439 wOBA with a .297 ISO against righties.
Other Option: Renato Nunez ($4,300)
Michael Chavis, BOS at NYY, $2,600 - Chavis will likely draw the start tonight with the lefty James Paxton ($8,100) on the mound. Chavis has been a much stronger hitter against lefties, posting a career .328 wOBA with a .271 ISO and 10 of his 20 home runs. Despite his strong start against the Rays his last time out, Paxton struggled against the Red Sox and Nationals, allowing a combined eight runs (six earned) on 12 hits with only five strikeouts in four innings.
Other Option: Darin Ruf ($2,600) (Ruf will likely be PH for later in the game)
Ketel Marte, ARI vs. SDP, $4,600 - I love this spot for Marte, especially with his salary. He’s been in the high $5K range almost the entire season, so getting him at this discount makes it all the more appealing. He’ll be facing Cal Quantrill ($5,900), who’ll be making his first start of the year but is no stranger to the D-Backs. He pitched 10 innings against Arizona last season allowing nine runs on 12 hits through 10 innings. Against lefties, Quantrill allowed a .353 wOBA and a 5.21 FIP and 10 of his 15 home runs.
Other Option: DJ LeMahieu ($5,200)
Kike Hernandez, LAD at LAA, $3,800 - If the Dodgers are facing a lefty, it’s always a good time to lock Hernandez into your lineup. Since last season, Hernandez has a .319 wOBA with a .170 ISO against lefties, making him a solid value to consider.
Other Option: Chris Taylor ($3,200)
Justin Turner, LAD at LAA, $4,800 - Rolling with another Dodger to use against Heaney, Turner is another strong bat to use against lefties. I don’t know about you, but I was surprised at how impressive the .294 ISO against lefties was for Turner last season to go with his .385 wOBA. Again, this is someone who is easily over the $5K range on a normal basis and while he’s close, I’ll take the slight discount on his pop.
Other Options: Manny Machado ($4,600)
Jonathan Arauz, BOS at NYY, $2,200 - If you want to totally punt third base (or second base as he’s eligible) Arauz will allow you to do that. The rookie has only played in nine games but he’s put together a solid stretch and is averaging 8.2 DKFP over his past five games. At this near-minimum salary, getting fantasy output like that would be well worth your time. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a switch-hitter either, further drawing some appeal.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Arauz is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Yankees.
Other Options: Evan Longoria ($3,800)
Fernando Tatis Jr., SD at ARI $5,600 - Tatis Jr. is an option no matter what these days, averaging 11.8 DKFP over his past 10 games with five home runs, eight RBI and two stolen bases in that span. Tonight, he’ll face Alex Young ($7,100) who has made seven appearances already but will be starting this game. Last year against lefties prior to his injury, Tatis Jr. posted .510 wOBA with a .306 ISO. Need I say more?
Other Options: Xander Bogaerts ($4,600)
J.P. Crawford, SEA at HOU, $3,700 - The value at the shortstop position is quite thin so I’m not really crazy about paying down here. If you want to do so, Crawford is always an option for me given how cheap he is. He hasn’t been hitting for much power at all but his .356 wOBA against righties thus far does the trick for me.
Juan Soto, WAS at BAL, $5,400 - I haven’t given much love to the Nationals but this is a great spot for Soto against Asher Wojciechowski ($5,700). When facing lefties, especially at home, Wojciechowski allowed a .385 wOBA with a 8.08 FIP and six of his 17 home runs allowed. Soto is seemingly looking to make up for lost time, cracking five home runs and knocking in 12 through just nine games.
Other Options: J.D. Martinez ($4,700), Kole Calhoun ($4,700)
Kevin Pillar, BOS at NYY, $2,700 - There’s a good chance we see Pillar leading off for the Red Sox tonight as they take on Paxton. Pillar, who has solid numbers against lefties, has been drawing the start in these matchups. In the early going, Pillar has a .365 wOBA with a .212 ISO against lefties, which is building off the .328 wOBA and .241 ISO he had against them last year.
Other Options: Adam Eaton ($3,600), Tommy Pham ($4,000)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.