Two things I hate. Mondays and pointless article introductions. I can’t change it being Monday but I can certainly end this intro.
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DraftKings Sportsbook Game Notes
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Jacob deGrom, $10,700, New York Mets (-225) at Philadelphia Phillies (+185) — Can we just take a moment and count our lucky stars that the Mets are on this slate? Seriously, if we didn’t have deGrom, who on Earth would we roster for an SP1 on this slate? It’s a horrific looking field of pitchers to choose from, so be ready for 85%+ ownership on the Mets’ ace.
I’m not going to sit here and sell you on deGrom, I think he does that on his own. If you need a friendly reminder, he ended 2020 with a career-highs in K% at 38.8% and swings-and-misses at 21.6%. The Phillies against righties last season struck out around league average with a 25.0% K% and mostly have the same team again in 2021. I mean it’s nearly impossible to make a case for fading deGrom other than ownership.
He’s being opposed by Matt Moore ($6,400), who believes he found himself back in Japan and returns to MLB after a one year absence. If I know anything about Matt Moore, it’s that he’s consistently imploded at the major league level. In 2018 for the Rangers, Moore tossed 102 innings and produced a 5.25 FIP, a 1.68 HR/9, a 47.5% hard-hit rate (!) and just a 9.7% swing-and-miss rate.
Other notable favorite: Dustin May ($8,800; -162) vs. Oakland Athletics
Highest Projected Total
Milwaukee Brewers (-103; 4.5 runs ) at Chicago Cubs (-114; 4.5 runs ) — I was happy to see this game set at 9.5 runs on the DraftKings Sportsbook because the over is very much in play. This honestly could be a barrage of offense in the early going with Brett Anderson ($7,700) taking on Trevor Williams ($8,300). First of all, how the hell is Williams the third most expensive pitcher on this slate!? Second of all, who are the brave souls that are ready to pay that for him. SHOW YOURSELVES!!
Both of these teams have hit the opposing handiness well. While the Cubs didn’t exactly crush lefties last season, they have bats that have hit them hard in a full season in 2019. Guys like Kris Bryant ($5,100) , Javier Baez ($5,200), Willson Contreras ($4,900) and Ian Happ ($4,600) all had an isolated power of at least .233. Over on the Brewers, Christian Yelich ($5,500), Keston Hiura ($4,400) and even Jackie Bradley Jr ($3,700) had some good pop against righties.
I simply can’t get past how bad Williams was last year. Through 55.1 innings, Williams had a 6.30 FIP, a 2.44 HR/9 and a 31% hard-hit rate. Amongst starters with at least 50 innings, his 6.30 FIP was the second-worst in the league behind Matthew Boyd of the Tigers. I want numerous pieces of this game.
Other notable team totals: Tampa Bay Rays (4.5; -132) vs. Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers (4.5 -114) vs. Oakland Athletics,
No weather concerns for tonight!
Splits to Start
These stats will reflect 2020 numbers until May 1st.
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Frankie Montas, .444, 6.41
Anthony DeSclafani, .415, 6.55
Michael Wacha, .347, 4.23
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Justus Sheffield, .192, 2.38
Jacob deGrom, .269, 3.02
Trevor Williams, .325, 4.72
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Trevor Williams, .453, 8.57
Michael Wacha, .445, 6.19
Adrian Morejon, .356, 6.19
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Jacob deGrom, .221, 1.50
Dustin May, .226, 3.19
Frankie Montas, .252, 3.49
Pitcher to Build Around
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies, $10,700 — Yeah, yeah yeah. We all know deGrom is the play tonight. Whatever. Let’s talk about someone else.
Carlos Rodon ($6,700) is someone I have my eye on tonight. Now if you look at his small sample from last year, absolutely disgusting numbers, right? 2019 wasn’t anything great either but we saw that immense strikeout upside we know he possesses. Tonight, he faces a Mariners team that had a 26.8% K% against lefties to go with a .283 wOBA and a .145 ISO. That sounds like a nice stat line to target against with a pitcher at just $6,700. Believe me, the pickings tonight are SLIM at pitcher so you’re likely going to have to make a lineup that looks somewhat gross.
Stud Hitter to Pay For
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels, $5,500 — Bregman went through the same offseason routine as I and put on a reported 27 pounds of muscle. After feeling honored that he followed my lead, I looked at the matchup for him tonight against Jose Quintana ($7,400) and got excited. We didn’t see him much in 2020 but in 2019 with the Cubs, he ended with a .336 wOBA, a 4.24 FIP and 19 of the 20 home runs he gave up to righties. Bregman, meanwhile, has been the slayer of lefties all throughout his career. Even in a down year in 2020, he still managed a .408 wOBA, a .255 ISO and two of his six home runs. In a very encouraging sign, Bregman already started off this season going 4-for-7 with two home runs and two walks.
Save Big by Drafting
Yoshi Tsutsugo, Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox, $2,900 — Tsutsugo is dirt cheap for someone who is likely batting leadoff for the Rays. With Ji-Man Choi on the injured list, Tsutsugo should be getting plenty of run at first base in the interim. Tonight, he’ll have the luxury of facing a horrific Red Sox pitching staff, including starter Nick Pivetta ($6,900). He was a mixed bag in Spring Training but has always struggled against lefties. In 2019, Pivetta tosed 45.1 innings against them and ended with a .357 wOBA, a 5.91 FIP and 10 of the 20 home runs he allowed. His command can also become an issue, so that’s something to watch as well.
Favorite Team To Stack
San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants (vs. Anthony DeSclafani) — We saw DeSclafani take a major step back in 2020 with the Reds. He only threw 33.2 innings but saw a dramatic decrease in his strikeouts (15.8 K%) a jump in his walks (7.0 BB%) and home runs (1.87 HR/9). A jump to the roomy NL West could help but now he has to face a team like the Padres. It’s no secret this team is loaded with power against righties and DeSclafani saw a drop in his groundball rate last year. If that trend continues, the Padres could easily tee off on him early.
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