A small, six-game slate will take place Thursday evening beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET with the latest game beginning at 8:40 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at how this DraftKings slate is shaping out and my thoughts to help win you some of them dolla dolla bills y’all.
As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Shane Bieber, $10,900, CLE (-286) vs. DET (+235) — No surprise to see the Indians as huge favorites when they’re sending out your future 2020 AL Cy Young award winner, Shane Bieber. This will be the second time that Bieber is facing a Tigers team that leads the league in K% against righties at 28%, which is by far the biggest percentage in the league. For reference, the Red Sox are currently second and they’re at 25.6%. Now the Tigers face Bieber, who has a 41.3 K% to begin with and already struck out 11 in their first meeting. The Tigers only managed three hits and no walks through that span, earning Bieber 39.4 DKFP. On such a short slate with this matchup, I cannot even imagine how high the ownership is going to be on the Biebs but let me tell you, it’s going to be massive and rightfully so.
Other notable favorites: Framber Valdez ($9,200; -250) vs. Rangers, Masahiro Tanaka ($7,800; -225) vs. Blue Jays
Highest Projected Total
LAD (-175, 6.5 runs) vs. COL (+148, 4.5 runs) 11.5 runs — The biggest projected team total belongs to the Dodgers, who’ll start a series at Coors Field this evening. They’ll be up against Kyle Freeland ($6,400), who continues to be a total hit or miss this season. At home, Freeland sports a .339 wOBA with a 4.56 FIP and four of the six home runs he’s allowed. Righties at home have been responsible for most of the damage, as Freeland has a .336 wOBA and a 4.43 FIP in that split. The Rockies’ bullpen has been atrocious as of late as well, posting a 6.98 FIP and a 2.84 HR/9 over the last 12 2/3 innings. So even if Freeland comes out of this start with only a few runs allowed, the Rockies’ bullpen will bring plenty of opportunities to make up for it.
The only spot that surprised me was the Dodgers’ lack of production against lefties this season. We think of them as this offensive juggernaut but when you look at their numbers against lefties over the course of the season, a .318 wOBA, a .155 ISO and a 101 wRC+ isn’t all that impressive. Something to think about at least.
Other notable team totals: Yankees (5.5) vs. Orioles, Astros (5.5) vs. Rangers
NYM @ PHI — This game will start without any issue but rain could move in later in the evening. It doesn’t look like a big threat but this is 2020, so you might as well keep an eye on it.
Splits to Start
UPDATE: With most teams caught up on games played, this section will now showcase only 2020 stats.
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Chase Anderson, .440, 6.87
Jordan Lyles, .337, 5.50
Kyle Freeland, .299, 4.13
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Shane Bieber, .191 1.00
Dakota Hudson, .201, 4.14
Seth Lugo, .240, 2.85
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Jordan Lyles, .397, 6.81
Steven Brault, .322, 4.69
Chase Anderson, .319, 4.01
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Aaron Nola, .253, 2.94
Shane Bieber, .257, 3.13
Seth Lugo, .287 2.68
Pitcher to Build Around
Framber Valdez, HOU vs. TEX, $9,200 — Look, I’ll save you from writing up Bieber again because I think we all know that Bieber is the top play tonight. Another pitcher to consider is Valdez, who is going up against the Rangers tonight. This is the second time both sides will meet and Valdez in that start allowed thee runs on five hits and recorded eight strikeouts for 20.4 DKFP through seven innings. The Rangers have one of the highest K% in the league against lefties at 26% to go with a .277 wOBA and a .142 ISO. Valdez will go overlooked because of Bieber but he’s in a great spot of his own.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Editor’s Note: Blue Jays RP Julian Merryweather will open tonight’s game vs. the Yankees in front of SP Chase Anderson.
DJ LeMahieu, NYY vs. TOR, $5,400 — LeMahieu is absolutely annihilating the ball right now. Truly, the numbers back it up. He somehow had back-to-back games with 39 DKFP scored, in which he went 7-for-10 with three home runs, three doubles and eight RBI. That’s simply not fair. He has a good chance to continue this torrid pace against the Blue Jays, who’ll be sending out Chase Anderson ($7,500). It’s not gone well for Anderson in a Jays uniform, as he has an overall 5.28 FIP, and a 2.05 HR/9. The Yankees overall are in a great spot so this is a very good potential stack as well.
Save Big by Drafting
Jose Altuve, HOU vs. TEX, $3,600 — First and foremost, the Astros made me look like a darn fool last night, getting SHUTOUT by Kyle freaking Gibson. The guy couldn’t shutout a Babe Ruth team if he tried but somehow did it last night. So believe me when I say I’m a bit hesitant about going back to the well to an Astros bat tonight.
Anyways, Altuve continues to be dirt cheap because he’s not hitting all that well. It’s a bit strange that his struggles haven’t created as much “buzz” as you’d expect. Regardless, he’s in a great matchup against Jordan Lyles ($6,600), who has getting hit hard by both sides of the plate. Righties have tagged him with a .397 wOBA, a 6.91 FIP and six of the nine home runs he’s allowed.
Favorite Team To Stack
St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (vs. Steven Brault) — The Cardinals are a sneaky good team against lefties. We talk about some of these teams that do well against lefties like the White Sox, the Tigers and Phillies but the Cardinals are also in the mix. Entering this game, they have a .357 wOBA with a .214 ISO and only an 18.5% K%. Tonight, they face off against Steven Brault, who has a .339 wOBA and a 4.95 FIP at home this season. I can’t imagine the Cardinals will draw much attention, even in a shortened slate.
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