Well, not great news from the Cardinals camp, as more players have tested positive for COVID-19 and thus the weekend series has been postponed against the Cubs. Fear not, we still have nine games on the docket for tonight, so let’s take a look at some of my favorite targets and values to help you build your lineups.
Clayton Kershaw, LAD vs. SF, $10,500 - The most expensive pitcher on the slate is likely going to be the most popular, as Kershaw will be taking on the Giants. In his season debut, Kershaw struck out six Diamondbacks, allowing one run and three hits through 5 2⁄3 innings. The Giants don’t have an extremely high K% against lefties at 20% but this slate doesn’t have a ton of pitchers that are going to get you a high number of strikeouts to begin with. The good news is, the Giants have not done much offensively with a .311 wOBA and a .146 ISO.
Other Option: Merrill Kelly ($10,000)
Patrick Sandoval, LAA at TEX, $6,900 - Sandoval is at a really attractive salary going against a team that sports a 28 K% against lefties, which is one of the highest in the league. He shouldn’t have any type or restrictions in this start either, as he’s been built up to 80-90 pitches according to manager Joe Maddon. In his only start this season, he struck out four Mariners while allowing two runs (one earned), on four hits through four innings. At this salary, Sandoval should be a serious consideration, especially for someone that has shown extremely high strikeout potential all throughout the minors.
Other Option: Chris Paddack ($7,900)
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Mitch Garver, MIN at KCR, $4,600 - It’s been an extremely rough start to the season for Garver, who is just 3-for-27 with a home run and two RBI. Nonetheless, he’s always excelled against lefties and I would be taking him in his best matchup. Last season against them, Garver had a .468 wOBA with a ridiculous .415 ISO with 12 of his 31 home runs. When he’s hitting well, Garver is normally a $5K hitter, so take the discount while you can.
Other Option: Omar Narvaez ($4,200)
Chadwick Tromp, SF at LAD, $3,000 - We don’t have a ton of value at the catcher position, so this will be the only Giants hitter I’ll write up. With Buster Posey out of the mix, Tromp has taken the opportunity and has gotten off to a hot start, going 7-for-22 with a double, two home runs and five RBI. The opposite hand matchup against Kershaw at $3K is a chance I’d take if wanting to punt this position.
Other Option: Francisco Cervelli ($3,600)
Max Muncy, LAD vs. SF, $5,400 - The majority of Muncy’s contributions this season have been home runs and that’s fine with me. He has 10 hits on the season, four of them being home runs and now faces Johnny Cueto ($5,100) who has struggled with keeping the ball in the park. Cueto hasn’t pitched much over the past two seasons but he’s historically had issues against lefties. As for Muncy, he posted a .353 wOBA with a .226 ISO against righties at Dodger Stadium last season.
Other Option: Miguel Sano ($5,000)
Matt Davidson, CIN at MIL, $2,500 - Davidson looks as if he’ll get into the Reds’ lineup when a lefty is on the hill, so taking advantage of his dirt-cheap salary is a strategy to utilize. Davidson hit cleanup last night and responded with 21 DKFP going 2-for-5 with a home run. In his last season in 2018, Davidson had a .381 wOBA with a .211 ISO.
Other Option: Marwin Gonzalez ($3,200)
Cavan Biggio, TOR at BOS, $4,700 - If Biggio is going to be in the leadoff spot, I’ll be using him heavily across my lineups. The Blue Jays have the benefit of facing Zack Godley ($5,800), who was lit up in his last start against the Yankees for five runs through 3 1⁄3 innings. Godley was putrid against lefties last season, allowing a .350 wOBA with a 4.69 FIP and seven of his 14 home runs allowed. I have zero faith in him pitching well and thus, Biggio at the top of the order makes plenty of sense.
Other Option: Ketel Marte ($5,000)
Eric Sogard, MIL at CIN, $3,700 - I’m not overly excited to play Sogard but finding value at second base is tough to come by. On a positive note, he is facing Anthony DeSclafani ($8,400) whose kryptonite is left-handed bats. Last season, he allowed a .332 wOBA with a 5.43 FIP and 17 of his 29 home runs to lefties. For comparison purposes, righties only had a .266 wOBA and a 3.45 FIP against him.
Other Option: Garrett Hampson ($3,800)
Anthony Rendon, LAA at TEX, $5,600 - We have a number of slow starts around the league and Rendon is yet another example. I do like his matchup a lot against Kolby Allard ($7,300) in Texas. He didn’t pitch much at the major league level last year but when the Rangers were home, Allard was tagged for a .378 wOBA and a 4.86 FIP. It’s only a matter of time until Rendon busts out of his early-season woes and facing a weak lefty could be the trick.
Other Options: Brian Anderson ($4,600)
Eduardo Escobar, ARI at SD, $3,500 - I’m going to keep putting Escobar out here until he starts hitting and is no longer a value. You never ever would see him this cheap last season, as he ended 2019 with .269/.320/.511 slash line with 35 HR and 118 RBI. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t dropped off the face of the Earth yet. His matchup against Paddack isn’t great but I’m more than happy to save some with a massive power hitter like Escobar at such a steep discount.
Other Options: Evan Longoria ($3,700)
Jonathan Villar, MIA at NYM $4,500 - The Marlins are raking right now and are in another good spot this afternoon against the Mets. Villar is one of my favorite options at shortstop (or outfield) against the lefty David Peterson ($7,200). Last season, Villar had some decent numbers against lefties with a .313 wOBA and a .167 ISO but I love that he’s batting leadoff. The Marlins have been a very good offensive team against lefties, so this should be a spot to target Villar.
Other Options: David Fletcher ($4,700)
Xander Bogaerts, BOS vs. TOR, $4,000 - No one under $4K is catching my eye at this position, so I’ll roll with Bogarets as my value. He easily could be more expensive than his $4K salary, as he’s averaging 9.1 DKFP with three home runs and nine RBI through 13 games. He was so much of a better hitter at home last season and when he was facing righties, posted a .431 wOBA with a .258 ISO.
Christian Yelich, MIL vs. CIN, $5,200 - Don’t look now but Yelich is coming around at the plate and fast. Over his past five games, Yelich is averaging 11.2 DKFP with back-to-back games with a home run and knocking in three. As I mentioned earlier, the Brewers have the benefit of facing DeSclafani, who simply can’t get out lefties. With Yelich starting to feel it at the plate and at home, I think this is a perfect spot to target him.
Other Options: Nick Castellanos ($4,500), Eddie Rosario ($4,300)
Matt Kemp, COL at SEA, $3,800 - If Kemp is going to continue to produce, I’ll continue to put him on my roster. He’s coming off another double-digit fantasy point night against the Mariners in which he went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored. Tonight he’ll face the lefty Nick Margevicius ($5,500), who was completely rocked in a starting role last season with the Padres. Last season in that role he allowed an overall .377 wOBA with a 5.84 FIP and 12 home runs allowed through 53 1⁄3 innings.
Other Options: Dominic Smith ($3,800), David Peralta ($3,600)
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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.