Considering we had a FREAKIN’ TORNADO impact baseball contests earlier this week, I thought it would be a good time to point out that there are no weather issues expected for tonight’s nine-game featured slate. Isn’t that nice?
Let’s hope for some more good luck as I break down some studs and values for Wednesday.
Nestor Cortes, New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays, $9,900 - Cortes was touched up for the first time in 2022 during his most recent outing, yet I think he gets back on track this evening. Not only are the lefty’s overall numbers amazing — he owns a 2.39 xERA and a 28.6% strikeout rate — but the Rays aren’t really the Rays at the moment. Tampa’s struggled to an underwhelming .296 wOBA in June, clearly feeling the effects of Wander Franco (quad) and Brandon Lowe (back) being on the IL. In particular, Franco’s absence will be felt on Wednesday, as he’s crushed LHPs throughout his brief career.
Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals, $7,700 - Your classic “unstoppable force meets an immoveable object” scenario. Strider is striking out everyone in 2022, as evidenced by his massive 36.8% strikeout rate — a figure that only falls to 33.3% when you isolate the rookie’s starts. Meanwhile, the Nationals own the lowest strikeout rate in all of baseball. Something has to give on Wednesday and I’ll side with Strider, especially with the status of Juan Soto ($5,000; knee) unknown. Even if the RHP can’t rack up double-digit strikeouts, he’ll likely work deep into this contest against a subpar Washington lineup.
Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics, $5,800 - Dating back to May 1, Devers has just been destroying baseballs. The All-Star is hitting .354 with a 205 wRC+ within that span of time, as the Red Sox offense has come alive around him. That’s all positive news heading into a primo matchup with James Kaprielian ($5,700). The Athletics’ right-hander has had some serious issues with LHBs in 2022, with opposing bats managing an eye-popping 2.65 home runs per nine within the split. Devers should be licking his chops.
Santiago Espinal, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles, $4,700 - It’s probably surprising to hear that Espinal has been the Jays’ best hitter against LHPs in 2022, but it’s true. The former fringe prospect has emerged amidst a lineup of All-Stars, with a .273 ISO and a 201 wRC+ in his 53 plate appearances within the split. Bruce Zimmermann ($5,900) isn’t exactly coming into Wednesday’s action on a high note, either. After a solid start to the season, Zimmermann owns a 9.47 ERA across his last five appearances, surrendering an insane .485 wOBA to opposing bats.
Owen Miller, Cleveland Guardians at Colorado Rockies, $4,100 - Miller’s been fine against LHPs in 2022 — he’s registered a 126 wRC+ — but the real story here is Austin Gomber ($5,400). The lefty has been pummelled by opposing RHBs this season, particularly when Gomber happens to be pitching in Colorado. To wit, the 96 right-handed batters that’ve faced Gomber at home are slashing a combined .329/.400/.624. The Guardians, an extremely contact-oriented lineup, should thrive on Wednesday.
Frank Schwindel, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, $2,700 - There’s a couple things to think about with Schwindel. First and foremost, he’s been heating up at the dish after a rough start to the season. In fact, through his first 54 plate appearances in June, the 29-year-old is hitting .292 with a 108 wRC+. The second thing to consider is that Schwindel’s always been better against LHPs, which he’ll see tonight in the form of Ryan Weathers ($4,000). Going back to the beginning of 2021, Schwindel owns a .922 OPS within the split.
George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles, $5,700 - Springer has been feasting on left-handed pitching for the better part of a decade. The veteran comes into tonight’s contest in possession of a 1.003 OPS within the split in 2022, while for his career, Springer owns a massive 149 wRC+ against southpaws. As mentioned above, Zimmermann has been awful as of late, and he’s especially bad at keeping the ball in the park. The lefty has conceded 12 long balls in his last five starts, which breaks down as 4.2 home runs per nine. Yikes.
Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays, $4,800 - While Jose Berrios ($8,900) has looked better in his last two outings, we’re still talking about a pitcher with a 5.99 xERA for the season as a whole. It’s been LHBs specifically that have given Berrios fits, as the RHP has surrendered a whopping 2.15 home runs per nine within the split. Enter Mullins. The outfielder hasn’t been the same guy he was in 2021, yet he’s still managed a 112 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers since May 1. He also has 12 steals in 2022, so he can contribute in a number of ways.
Hunter Renfroe, Milwaukee Brewers at New York Mets, $3,500 - In general, the Brewers have struggled a great deal with left-handed pitchers in 2022. However, Renfroe has been a bright spot. Coming into Wednesday’s action, Renfroe has hit five home runs in his first 47 at-bats within the split. That’s translated into a .362 ISO and a 151 wRC+. David Peterson ($8,400) has been nothing special, so there’s no reason not to like this spot for Milwaukee’s outfielder.
Yonathan Daza, Colorado Rockies vs. Cleveland Guardians, $3,400 - Few players in baseball have produced better against LHPs than Daza in 2022. Though the outfielder isn’t known for his power — he has exactly zero home runs to his name this season — Daza has managed to hit .447 with a 1.002 OPS in his 49 plate appearances within the split. He’s also a batted ball events machine, as only five of those PAs have ended in a walk or a strikeout. Combining Coors Field with an aggressive swing rate is always a way to get my attention in DFS.
TEAMS TO STACK
Cleveland Guardians at Colorado Rockies - The Guardians have been sneakily terrible against LHPs in 2022, owning the second-lowest wRC+ within the split in all of baseball (83). Still, this is Coors Field. That changes things. Jose Ramirez ($6,000) has been far better as a left-handed hitter this season, but he’s obviously viable. Andres Gimenez ($4,500) has a 177 wRC+ in his 30 plate appearances against southpaws, while Oscar Gonzalez ($2,800) hit clean-up the last time Cleveland faced a lefty. There’s some serious potential here, especially with how much Gomber’s struggled in Colorado.
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