Are we going to decide the National League Cy Young tonight? Blake Snell ($10,100) is still a pretty overwhelming favorite according to the DraftKings Sportsbook, yet after a dazzling complete game shutout in his last outing, Zac Gallen ($9,800) has to be forcing himself back into the conversation. One thing is for sure: You’re going to want at least one of these two aces in your lineups this evening.
Which one is in the better spot? Let’s dive into this seven-game slate.
Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets, $9,800 - I have to side with Gallen. While Snell’s strikeout upside is greater, it’s difficult to trust a walk-prone pitcher against a Dodgers lineup that leads baseball in walk rate (10.6%). It’s probably why Snell has failed to score 20.0 DKFP in any of his three previous starts versus Los Angeles in 2023. Meanwhile, Gallen owns a 3.05 ERA and a 3.15 FIP across his last 177.0 innings — a span where he’s faced 700 batters. He’s experienced the occasional blow up this season, yet he should be fine on Wednesday, opposed by a lineup that’s mustered just a 100 wRC+ since the All-Star break.
Tanner Houck, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees, $6,800 - This has less to do with Houck than it does the Yankees. While New York was able to generate a sudden offensive rush by calling up several of their top prospects, a season-ending injury to Jasson Dominguez (elbow) has cooled the lineup. In fact, the Yankees are the lone team batting below the Mendoza line in September, their pitiful .195 average backed up by an equally underwhelming 79 wRC+. Don’t forget about the strikeouts, either. At 27.3%, no squad is striking out more since September 1 than New York. On a small slate, Houck needs to take advantage of a high-quality matchup.
Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees, $5,300 - It’s been a bit of a quiet campaign for Devers — at least by his own lofty standards — yet the 26-year-old has produced much better in the season’s second-half, slashing .302/.377/.531 with a 140 wRC+ since the All-Star break. Tonight he’ll get the opportunity to face Clarke Schmidt ($7,100), a man who has had his issues with LHBs all season long. To wit, lefties have combined to hit .301 with a .374 wOBA off of the Yankees’ RHP. Look for Devers to continue that trend.
Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets, $4,600 - In terms of public acknowledgement, Walker is probably the least celebrated player to have hit 30 home runs each of the last two seasons. Heck, even his salary doesn’t quite give him the credit he deserves, though I’ll gladly take the discount. Walker has been especially good at hitting LHPs in 2023, with a .326 ISO and a 145 wRC+ within the split. He’ll draw a southpaw this evening in the form of Joey Lucchesi ($6,200), who will be called up from Triple-A to make this start for the Mets.
Jonah Heim, Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays, $3,700 - Heim has struggled since his first career All-Star Game appearance, yet his bat has certainly come alive in Toronto, with three hits and six RBI in his last two contests. At the end of the day, you want to be using the switch-hitting backstop in matchup with left-handed opponents. In his 82 plate appearances as an RHB in 2023, Heim is batting .329 with a 134 wRC+. Yusei Kikuchi ($8,600) needs to tread carefully in this spot.
Jordan Lawlar, Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets, $2,300 - It hasn’t been a storybook beginning to Lawlar’s MLB career, but tonight could be the night he breaks out. It was only a sample size of 51 at-bats in Double-A, yet I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Lawlar crushed left-handed pitching at that level to the tune of a 1.126 OPS. The talent and the tools are there. The matchup isn’t daunting. At this price, there’s zero downside to using Lawlar in a few builds.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics, $6,100 - The Astros easily have the highest implied team total on this slate. You’re probably going to want at least a little exposure. Where better to start than with Alvarez? The All-Star is always swinging the bat well, yet he’s been particularly amazing since the start of September, slashing .353/.531/.647 with a 222 wRC+. Alvarez also has three career home runs off Paul Blackburn ($6,600) in 12 at-bats, if that’s your kind of thing.
Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals, $3,800 - Nothing about Jimenez’s 2023 season jumps off the page, but with the Royals essentially doing a bullpen game on Wednesday, the former top prospect is worth a look. Why? Well Kansas City’s relievers come into tonight’s action in possession of an AL-worst 5.28 ERA. Alec Marsh ($5,500), who will pitch in the bulk role, is allowing 2.41 opponent home runs per nine and sports a 6.47 FIP. Jimenez went deep on Tuesday and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him do it again.
Mark Canha, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Miami Marlins, $3,200 - Canha was removed from Tuesday’s contest with a wrist issue, so you’re going to have to play close attention to his status. However, if he’s in there, he’s definitely viable. In 148 plate appearances versus LHPs like Braxton Garrett ($7,700) this season, Canha has registered a .226 ISO and a 129 wRC+. It’s not hard to see why the last time the Brewers faced a lefty, it was Canha they chose to bat leadoff.
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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.