When I was looking at the MLB schedule last night, I thought this was going to end up being an eight-game slate with the games that started after 7:00 p.m. ET. Instead, we have a massive 14-game DraftKings slate with lineups locking at 6:05 p.m. ET. With only a few days left in the regular season, teams are scrambling to lock up their seedings for the playoffs, which begin on September 29.
As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kenta Maeda, $9,200, MIN (-315) vs. DET (+250) — We have a lot of big names taking the mound tonight but it’s no surprise to see Maeda as the big favorite against the Tigers. To be fair, it’s not as if he’s dominated them as he’s allowed six runs on eight hits through 12 innings, but he’s also struck out 16. In all, he has allowed a .261 wOBA against the Tigers with a 35.6% K% and only an 18% hard-hit rate. On top of that, the slate features five pitchers that are more expensive than him, which will likely lead to the ownership being very spread out. With the strikeout upside in play against a team with the highest K% in the league against righties, I’d still be very interested in using Maeda.
Other notable favorites: Zack Greinke ($9,400; -190) vs. Mariners, Logan Webb ($7,200; -177) vs. Rockies
Highest Projected Total
PHI (-139; 5.5 runs) vs. WAS (+120; 4.5 runs) — Surprisingly enough, this slate, at least as of this morning, does not feature any games with a double-digit projection, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The 9.5 total for the Phillies and Nationals is the highest with the Phillies boasting a 5.5 team total. They’ll be facing Erick Fedde ($5,800), who has been rocked by the Phillies already, throwing 11 innings and allowing 10 runs on 11 hits with only five strikeouts. Fedde has pitched well in his last two games against the Braves and Marlins, allowing just two runs through 11 innings, but his numbers overall are still extremely poor. At home, he has a .349 wOBA with a 4.38 FIP. With a struggling bullpen behind him, I think the Phillies are very much in play as a stack for tonight.
Other notable team totals: Minnesota Twins (5.5) vs. Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers (5.5) vs. Oakland Athletics
No weather concerns!
Splits to Start
UPDATE: With teams mostly caught up on games, these numbers will now reflect the 2020 stats.
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Zach Eflin, .426, 5.86
Adrian Houser, .414, 6.50
Casey Mize, .408, 7.38
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Shane Bieber, .193, 1.31
Sixto Sanchez, .214, 1.84
Kyle Hendricks, .224, 2.88
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Trevor Williams, .467, 9.13
Michael Wacha, .451, 6.25
Robbie Ray .441, 7.94
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Trevor Bauer, .184, 1.91
Kenta Maeda, .190, 2.62
Max Fried, .251, 2.43
Pitcher to Build Around
Trevor Bauer, CIN vs. MIL, $9,800 —Like Maeda, Bauer is in such a great spot to put up some strong strikeout numbers tonight. This will be the third time he’s faced the Brewers, a team he’s struck out 20 through 12 1⁄3 innings thus far. They’ve tagged him for five runs on 10 hits as well but the fact that he’s still averaging 26.4 DKFP in those starts says it all. Overall against righties, the Brewers have a .304 wOBA, .163 ISO and a 26.1% K%, which is the third-highest total in the league. It’s hard to pass up a pitcher who boasts a 39.2% K% against a team through two starts.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Aaron Judge, NYY at TOR, $5,700 — The Yankees have the benefit of seeing Robbie Ray ($7,800), who is, you know, still pitching like Robbie Ray. His latest masterpiece came against the Phillies, who tagged him for five runs on five hits while walking four times through 4 1⁄3 innings. Now Ray has to deal with Judge and the Yankees? Oh boy. Since the beginning of last season, Judge has a .360 wOBA with a .339 ISO with 11 home runs against lefties. He’s walked a lot against them as well with a 15.5% BB%, which is notable when you’re facing a pitcher who has walked 41 hitters in 47 2⁄3 innings.
Save Big by Drafting
Tucker Barnhart, CIN vs. MIL, $2,500 — With the idea that you’ll be dropping a hefty amount of salary for your two pitchers, you’re going to have to go way down the list for some savings. Barnhart is not normally someone I would write up because quite frankly, his numbers are nothing special. What that said, the struggles that Adrian Houser ($7,500) exhibits against lefties cannot be ignored. He comes into this game with a .414 wOBA, a 6.50 FIP and five of the six home runs he’s allowed. Barnhart flashes some pop against righties on occasion, evidenced by his .137 ISO, but if anything, he’ll have the advantage in this matchup.
Favorite Team To Stack
Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (vs. Trevor Williams) — We have a lot of teams to consider stacking tonight but I’m really digging the Cubs going against Williams. It’s been a really, really bad stretch for him as of late, allowing at least five runs in four of his last five starts. In that span, Williams has pitched 25 1⁄3 innings allowing a 27 runs on 38 hits, including 11 home runs! That comes out to a .448 wOBA and an 8.39 FIP. So yeah, we’re stacking the Cubs tonight.
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