Just because it’s summer and just because this is a smaller featured slate than usual, doesn’t mean we don’t have to keep worrying about the weather. Tonight’s game in question? The festivities at Camden Yards — I swear it always involves the Nationals — so make sure to keep an eye out for updates as you set your lineups this evening.
Let’s break down some studs and values.
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals, $8,500 - After hitting a pair of home runs in last night’s loss to the Royals, Ohtani will take the mound tonight. I know we’re in like Year 5 of this, but it will always remain cool to me. Anyway, as per usual, Ohtani the pitcher finds himself underpriced by the algorithm. Despite surrendering just a single earned run across his past two outings — and owning a 3.17 xERA and a 31.2% strikeout rate overall — the reigning MVP is less than $9K and is just the seventh-most expensive starter on Wednesday. That makes zero sense, particularly with Kansas City possessing the fifth-lowest ISO in all of baseball (.132).
George Kirby, Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics, $6,600 - When it doubt, go against the Athletics. It’s been an absolutely abysmal season for Oakland, as the team currently sits dead-last in the league in both batting average (.210) and wOBA (.268). However, that’s not to suggest that Kirby doesn’t have his own merits. In fact, the rookie has maintained a 2.74 ERA with a 7.00 K/BB ratio across his past four appearances. Yes, the long ball remains an issue, but if there was an opponent and a ballpark to lessen those concerns, it would be the Athletics and the Coliseum. Kirby should bring back a lot of value this evening.
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers, $4,900 - I don’t want to make a habit of stacking against Tarik Skubal ($9,200), but the Red Sox are red-hot and Bogaerts has been phenomenal against LHPs in 2022. In 58 plate appearances within the split, the veteran infielder owns a 1.015 OPS and a 192 wRC+. Also, like always, Bogaerts has been much more productive at Fenway this season, where he sports a .341 average and a .402 wOBA.
Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates, $4,900 - Contreras has been one of the lone bright spots for the Cubs this season, entering play on Wednesday with eye-popping marks in xwOBA (.408), ISO (.242) and wRC+ (154). Specifically, he’s been on an absolute tear since the beginning of May, with a .966 OPS across his past 172 plate appearances. That’ll play against Jerad Eickhoff ($4,000), who tonight will be making just his fifth MLB start since 2019. The reason why? Maybe a 10.17 xERA in 19.2 innings with the Mets last year. Woof.
Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, $2,700 - Cruz is up $700 after three hits, five RBI and a stolen base in his first two games at the MLB level in 2022. While there are obviously some concerns about the top prospect’s ability to continue producing at this rate, Cruz remains cheap enough where I’m more than willing to succumb to his tools and DFS upside. He’s got power, he’s got speed and he’s got a decent matchup with Keegan Thompson ($7,200). In Thompson’s most recent eight appearances (seven starts), the RHP has surrendered 1.4 home runs per nine and a .355 wOBA to opposing bats.
Tyler Nevin, Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals, $2,300 - Weather concerns notwithstanding, Nevin could bring a whole lot of value to your lineups on Wednesday. The 25-year-old’s overall numbers are pretty putrid, yet Nevin’s thrived in his 40 plate appearances against southpaws, posting a .206 ISO and a 145 wRC+ within the split. Then there’s Patrick Corbin ($5,600). The veteran has pitched to an ugly 7.47 ERA on the road in 2022 and, in June specifically, Corbin’s allowed opponents to combine for a .592 slugging percentage. Nevin has a chance to do some real damage.
J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers, $5,500 - Again, Skubal is very good, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s left-handed. Martinez has been among the best in baseball at hitting LHPs for the better part of a decade, and 2022 has been no different. In fact, among all American League hitters with at least 50 plate appearances within the split, Martinez’s .495 wOBA and 228 wRC+ rank first. Sort of hard to keep that guy out of a few lineup this evening, right?
Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals, $4,300 - Ward’s production has cooled since a bonkers start to the season, yet he’s still got some impressive numbers against southpaws in 2022. In 51 plate appearances within the split, Ward owns a .267 ISO and a 177 wRC+ — not bad for an asset that’s also very likely to hit leadoff for the Angels this evening. Ward’s opponent will be Daniel Lynch ($6,000), who has surrendered 1.51 home runs per nine to RHBs. Pretty inviting stuff.
Editor’s Note: Cubs OF Christopher Morel is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Pirates.
Christopher Morel, Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates, $3,600 - Speaking of leadoff hitters, Morel has been at his best in his rookie campaign when getting to face a right-handed opponent. To wit, Morel is slashing .283/.345/.491 with a 132 wRC+ within the split. Considering how poorly Eickhoff performed in the big leagues last season — and how underwhelming his numbers are in Triple-A in 2022 — there’s a lot of reasons to like Morel on this slate.
Harold Ramirez, Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees, $3,200 - Another savvy pick-up by the Rays. Ramirez has been quite good overall for Tampa in 2022, hitting above .300 with a .362 xwOBA in 55 games. However, the outfielder has been at his best when getting to square-off with an LHP. In 60 plate appearances within the split, Ramirez is slashing .364/.417/.463 with a 166 wRC+. He doesn’t possess a lot of power and Jordan Montgomery ($7,400) is solid, but with Ramirez locked in near the top of the Rays’ lineup, he’s a great value.
TEAMS TO STACK
Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates - I probably wouldn’t get too cute with this stack beyond Contreras, Morel and Ian Happ ($3,500), but there are a couple other options when attacking Eickhoff. For instance, Rafael Ortega ($2,200) is dirt cheap and draws the opposite-hand matchup. Ortega has recently been hitting in the five-spot of the Cubs and, in June, he’s batting .302 with a 120 wRC+. You could do worse. Believe me.
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 customer (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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600 (ONT), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).
21+ (18+ NH/WY; 19+ ONT). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/ONT/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions. DraftKings operates pursuant to an Operating Agreement with iGaming Ontario. Please play responsibly.