We’ve got a full day of baseball on Wednesday, with games getting started throughout the afternoon. However, one game is particularly of note: Orioles-Athletics. While this contest was initially on DraftKings’ featured night slate, a schedule change means we’re down to just six contests past 7:00 p.m. ET. Sadly, you’ll be unable to utilize the services of elite bats like Cedric Mullins and, well, pretty much just Cedric Mullins.
Let’s dive into some studs and values.
Editor’s Note: Tonight’s game between the Rays and the Cubs has been shifted to a 6:30 p.m. ET first pitch due to inclement weather. The players in this game will not receive fantasy points.
Chris Bassitt, New York Mets vs. San Francisco Giants, $9,600 - I don’t think you can go wrong with either starter in this contest, yet I also think it’s fair to suggest that Bassitt has an easier matchup than Carlos Rodon ($10,200) — who will likely end up as the more popular option. The Giants have struggled to put the bat on the ball so far in 2022, as no team in the league owns a higher called strike plus swinging strike rate (31.1%). Not surprisingly, that’s led directly to San Francisco striking out in a whopping 25.5% of its plate appearances through 11 games. It’s not like Bassitt can’t take advantage of this flaw, either. The right-hander has racked up 14 strikeouts over his first 12.0 innings of the season, while Bassitt also posted a career-best 25.0% strikeout rate in 2021.
Jose Berrios, Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox, $7,300 - Even knowing the results of Berrios’ first two outings of the season, this price tag is pretty shocking. Since the beginning of 2019, Berrios has been a picture of consistency, registering a 3.82 FIP to go along with his 3.75 ERA. The right-hander also ranks fourth in total innings thrown within that span (460.2), while his 472 strikeouts sit 15th among all pitchers. I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: You probably won’t ever see Berrios this inexpensive again. This isn’t as tough a matchup as you’d expect, either. The Red Sox come into Wednesday with just a .288 wOBA and an 85 wRC+ against RHPs in 2022. Those numbers will turn around eventually, but I doubt it’s tonight against Berrios.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox, $5,800 - There’s never really a bad night to pay up for Guerrero. The All-Star has picked up right where he left off last season, carrying a .390 ISO and a 206 wRC+ through his first 11 games of 2022. I’d anticipate those gaudy power numbers to get even better after a matchup with Nick Pivetta ($8,900) on Wednesday night. Pivetta has struggled pitching at Fenway Park, posting an ugly 5.73 ERA in Boston since the start of 2021. Part of the issue has been keeping the ball in the yard, as the RHP has surrendered an eye-popping 2.2 opponent home runs per nine within the split. That’s not great, unless you’ve stacked the Jays.
Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals, $4,900 - Correa’s tenure with the Twins hasn’t gotten off to the best start, but I smell a breakout performance tonight against Daniel Lynch ($5,500). In the lefty’s brief career, Lynch has allowed the 300 RHBs he’s faced to slash .318/.390/.527 with a .392 wOBA. That slash line includes the three home runs Lynch surrendered in his opening start of 2022 last week. As for Correa, he’s clobbered left-handed pitching since he entered the majors, sporting an .855 OPS and a 136 wRC+ within the split. Minnesota’s going to score some runs this evening, and Correa should be right in the middle of it all.
Zack Collins, Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox, $2,800 - Is there any way that Collins continues to hit .400 for the season? Of course not. Yet, the former first-round pick has been making good contact, as Collins is in possession of a .418 xwOBA through his first 21 plate appearances of 2022. Maybe more importantly, with injuries to Teoscar Hernandez (oblique) and Danny Jansen (oblique), Collins found himself hitting fifth in Toronto’s lineup on Tuesday. Considering Pivetta’s conceded a .749 wOBA to LHBs through two starts, you could do worse than taking a flier on a hot bat priced below $3K.
Gio Urshela, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals, $2,200 - I’m not really sure what’s going on here. Urshela has been good since being traded to Minnesota, hitting to a .387 xwOBA across his first 33 plate appearances with the club. It’s a small sample, but that includes a 170 wRC+ in his 16 PAs versus left-handed pitching. In fact, that’s probably why the veteran has hit third in the Twins’ lineup the last two times the team has faced a southpaw starter. With the unimposing Lynch on the mound for the Royals, Urshela is a steal at this price point.
George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox, $5,600 - Might as well finish off our Jays stack with the team’s dangerous leadoff man. Springer hasn’t been making amazing contact so far in 2022, but that hasn’t stopped the veteran from posting a 131 wRC+ through his first 48 plate appearances. As mentioned above, Pivetta has struggled keeping the ball in the park when pitching in Boston, and he’s also had his issues specifically with Springer. The former World Series MVP has a 1.557 OPS in his 10 career plate appearances against the RHP, as Springer is 4-for-7 with a pair of doubles.
Jesse Winker, Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers, $4,800 - Obviously, it’s been a small sample, but Dane Dunning ($6,600) has been hit really, really hard so far in 2022. In fact, 56.0% of the batted ball events Dunning has induced have had an exit velocity above 95 mph — the third-highest rate among all qualified pitchers. That’s probably why the RHP is rocking a 6.71 xERA through 8.2 innings of work. So, while Winker’s also had a poor start to the season, tonight presents a golden opportunity. I mean, Winker did post a 1.070 OPS and a 178 wRC+ against right-handed pitching in 2021. The man can hit a baseball.
Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays, $4,100 - If you’re not looking to save with Berrios this evening, you might as well stack against him. The most effective way to do that has always been with LHBs. Berrios has conceded a .761 wOBA to the 12 lefties he’s faced so far in 2022, while left-handed batters did nearly all the damage versus the RHP back in 2021. Verdugo just happens to be swinging an exceedingly hot bat, too. In his first 30 plate appearances against right-handed pitching this season, Verdugo is slashing .346/.400/.731 with a 207 wRC+.
Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals, $3,500 - At this point, Varsho is about the only Diamondbacks asset I have any interest in using. He’s cheap, he’s hitting leadoff against right-handed pitching and he’s hitting better than you’d think so far in 2022, with a .373 xwOBA in 42 plate appearances. It helps that Erick Fedde ($8,300) has also had his issues with LHBs in the recent past. Last season, Fedde surrendered a notable 1.76 opponent home runs per nine within the split.
TEAMS TO STACK
Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals - This doesn’t have to be about more than Daniel Lynch owning a career 6.04 ERA across 73.0 innings. However, with the DraftKings pricing algorithm seemingly forgetting half the roster of the Twins exists, a Minnesota stack is also about affordability. Correa’s expensive — as is Byron Buxton ($6,000; knee) if he’s active — but after that, there are a plethora of cheap, powerful right-handed bats. Urshela, Gary Sanchez ($2,800) and Miguel Sano ($2,600) are all high-ceiling options on Wednesday.
Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox - Sneakily, the Jays have been struggling to hit with Teoscar Hernandez on the IL. Still, with the way Pivetta has been tormented by Fenway Park the past 13 months, I’ll give the squad the benefit of the doubt. Guerrero, Springer and Bo Bichette ($5,500) make for an expensive trio; however, supplementing one with the likes of Lourdes Gurriel ($4,200) or Matt Chapman ($4,200) is a viable strategy. I mean, Pivetta has registered a 15.92 xERA through two starts. That’s ghastly.
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