If I had told you four months ago that Shane McClanahan ($10,700) would be the most expensive pitcher on a 15-game slate, would you have even known who I was talking about? It’s been a long and crazy season, but things will only continue to ramp up as we reach September, with teams falling farther and farther behind in the standings and rosters set to expand.
Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and break down tonight’s action position-by-position.
Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Angels, $9,600 - It’s not easy trusting Musgrove. The right-hander has been wildly inconsistent the past three months, a microcosm of the Padres’ season as a whole. Still, things have started to look a little better lately. In his past five outings, Musgrove has pitched to a 2.70 ERA and a 3.20 FIP across 30.0 innings. In this span, the 28-year-old has also posted a very enticing 30.6% strikeout rate. All that should be enough to best the Angels — even with a DH present. Los Angeles has mustered just a .135 ISO over the last two weeks, a stretch where the team’s 26.2% strikeout rate is among the highest in all of baseball.
Zach Thompson, Miami Marlins vs. Cincinnati Reds, $7,500 - While the Reds aren’t exactly an ideal matchup, they do have their faults. To wit, the team’s 26.3% strikeout rate across the past two weeks is the fifth-highest mark in the league, while Cincinnati’s .806 OPS at home falls to a far more pedestrian .724 mark when playing on the road. For me, that’s enough to make Thompson a viable option on tonight’s slate, as the rookie RHP has pitched rather well through his first 12 MLB starts. Overall, Thompson owns a 3.72 xERA and an 11.9% swinging strike rate, numbers that he pairs with a 2.27 ERA at LoanDepot Park so far in 2021. This is a more than fair price point for the 27-year-old’s services.
Sal Perez, Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners, $5,600 - You could pretty much recommend Perez on any day of the week, but after knocking out his 35th home run of the season on Thursday, the veteran backstop is in another great matchup this evening. Logan Gilbert ($7,700) had hit some hard times lately, pitching to a robust 8.36 ERA across his past six outings. Within this span, he’s also allowed opposing RHBs to combine for a .636 slugging percentage and a .403 wOBA. Look for Perez to stay hot.
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics, $3,900 - Sanchez is sort of due to hit a home run. The hulking backstop hasn’t hit a long ball since all the way back on July 20, which is entirely too lengthy a slump for an asset with his type of raw power. Well, Sean Manaea ($8,400) certainly isn’t a slouch, but he is left-handed, which lends itself nicely to Sanchez’s 2021 campaign. In 109 plate appearances versus lefties, Sanchez has posted a .298 ISO and a 134 wRC+ within the split.
Refer a friend and get $20 DK Dollars! Head to the DraftKings Playbook Promo page for more details!
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates, $6,000 - It’s been a quiet season for Goldschmidt, but he has been putting up respectable numbers outside the spotlight. The 33-year-old is actually stealing bases again — he has 10 — and, since the All-Star break, Goldschmidt is slashing .322/.378/.555 with a 149 wRC+. On the other side, Dillon Peters ($6,200) has a career 5.67 FIP and he’s left-handed. Goldschmidt has made a lot of money the past decade demolishing lefty pitching.
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers, $3,700 - Speaking of players who have been hitting the ball well since the All-Star break, Sano is starting to look like the generational power prospect we all thought he might be a half-decade ago. In his last 139 plate appearances, Sano has registered an .872 OPS and a .261 ISO, while he’s also managed to get his strikeout rate below 30.0%. Eric Lauer ($9,000) has done an exceptional job of keeping opponents in the park the past few weeks, but Sano presents massive upside at a price tag below $4K.
Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies, $6,000 - I’d honestly consider paying $7K for Turner against a left-handed starter. The man is just a machine within the split. In his 131 plate appearances versus southpaws in 2021, Turner is slashing .400/.443/.667 with a 192 wRC+. That is the highest qualified batting average and the highest qualified wRC+ in the National League. On top of that, Turner has 25 stolen bases for the season, as he can rack up the DKFP in so many different ways.
Michael Chavis, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals, $3,500 - While Chavis batting leadoff for the Pirates against left-handed pitching is mostly out of necessity, there is some method to the madness. For his brief career, Chavis has slugged 13 home runs in his 196 at-bats versus southpaws, translating into a more than respectable .239 ISO within the split. Considering the massive struggles that J.A Happ ($8,000) has had in 2021, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Chavis add to that long ball total on Friday night.
Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies, $5,100 - While I can acknowledge that Kyle Freeland ($7,000) has actually been decent since the beginning of July, the Dodgers’ lineup is just so scary. They have numerous players with insane numbers against LHPs, a list that definitely includes Taylor. In his 140 plate appearances within the split in 2021, Taylor is slashing .317/.386/.587 with a .409 wOBA and a 161 wRC+. Heck, since July 1, the veteran is hitting .367 with a 175 wRC+ against lefties. He can be the forgotten man on a star-studded roster, but Taylor is fantastic.
Gio Urshela, New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics, $3,100 - Urshela was activated off of the IL on Thursday and immediately returned to the Yankees’ starting lineup. I’d expect him to be back in there on Friday, as the veteran has hit left-handed pitching quite well so far in 2021. In fact, Urshela owns an .808 OPS and a 118 wRC+ within the split. Add in that his price tag still reflects his injury, and you’ve got yourself a solid value option at the hot corner.
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers, $4,700 - Bichette has been struggling the past couple of weeks, but I think tonight is when he gets things back on track. This is also a pretty ridiculous price point to get an asset that registered 20 home runs, 19 stolen bases and 93 runs so far this season, especially one that’s leading off for a lineup with an implied team total well above five runs. Having Matt Manning ($5,800) scheduled to start for Detroit helps Bichette’s case. Manning has surrendered a .392 opponent wOBA so far in August, while his 6.6% swinging strike rate for the season is laughable.
Miguel Rojas, Miami Marlins vs. Cincinnati Reds, $4,200 - Yesterday, I suggested using Rojas in his matchup with a left-hander pitcher. He went deep, meaning he’s now slashing .345/.430/.518 with a 162 wRC+ versus southpaws so far this season. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? Let’s roll it back with Rojas again on Friday, as the Marlins will square-off with Wade Miley ($9,200).
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, $6,400 - There might not be a hotter hitter in baseball than Harper. Coming into Friday’s slate, the former NL MVP is slashing .322/.478/.678 with a 1.156 OPS and a 198 wRC+ since the All-Star break. Those are just insane numbers for a sample of 159 plate appearances, and things should only get better with a matchup against Taylor Widener ($7,300) on the horizon. Widener has conceded a whopping .381 wOBA to the 120 LHBs he’s faced so far in 2021.
Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics, $4,100 - I don’t understand how Stanton can continue to be this cheap. The former All-Star has hit a home run in each of his past three games and he’s managed to post a 184 wRC+ so far in August. If that weren’t enough, Stanton also owns a career 1.002 OPS against left-handed pitching. Manaea is good, yet he hasn’t looked his best in recent starts, as he’s allowed opponents to combine for a .447 wOBA across his past four outings. Not ideal.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.