Happy Hump Day! We’ve got a seven-game main DraftKings MLB slate tonight with plenty of fun matchups everywhere, like the Philadelphia Phillies taking on the New York Mets. There are also a huge complement of exciting high-priced arms that should put a premium on value bats. With so much variety, this should be a fun slate to play.
Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your DraftKings lineups.
Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, $8,400 - The Mets can hit right-handed pitchers, ranking sixth in wRC+, but this is a game I fully expect the Phillies to win. Why? For starters, David Peterson ($7,100) is on the mound for New York, and he’s been terrible. In addition to that, Wheeler has owned the Mets, posting a 3.54 ERA in three starts last season in his first year away from New York. In those games, he had an insane 13 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and only allowed 21 hits in 20 1⁄3 innings. I like his chances here against a lineup that’s been a big disappointment to start the year.
Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros, $5,900 - I really hate the value options at pitcher on this slate, but if you’re looking for someone cheap I recommend going all the way down to the bottom. Fulmer was fantastic during the spring and appeared to be in line for the fifth spot in the Tigers’ rotation, but they opted to give that to Casey Mize. That was totally understandable, and it sent Fulmer to the bullpen. Then they decided to do something really dumb and try out Derek Holland as starter, which failed, obviously. So, the once-great Fulmer will be making his first start of the season at long last on Wednesday. All Fulmer has done in the bullpen this season is pitch seven innings of two-run ball, allowing just four hits, no walks and striking out 10. He’s been absolutely stellar and is better than anyone you’re going to find under $8,400 on this slate, even with a matchup against Houston. Fulmer just may very well be back.
J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, $5,100 - Exactly one week ago, I told you to go get Realmuto in your lineup against David Peterson, and I’m doing it again here. Why? He had 22 DKFP in that one thanks to a homer and three RBIs. Realmuto owns a higher OPS (.793) against lefties than righties (.782) in his career, will be batting in a premium lineup spot, and will be facing a left-handed soft-tosser who won’t be striking out anyone. I like Realmuto’s chances of picking up a couple of hits.
Wilson Ramos, Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros, $3,300 - Come on everybody, let’s ride the wave. Ramos has always been a great hitter for a catcher, and he’s had a hit in each of his last five games, and five homers in five games as well. At this price, he’s just too good to ignore, especially hitting in a nice park and against Lance McCullers ($9.900), who despite good strikeout numbers has allowed an average exit velocity of 95.9 mph. I’m a bit concerned Ramos will just wave at sliders all night, but if he can get his bat to one I expect him to flirt with another great night.
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins, $5,400 - What’s not to love here with Freddie Freeman? He’s facing a righty, where he sees a boost in ISO to .302, and the Braves have the benefit of facing Nick Neidert ($6,200), a spot where DraftKings Sportsbook expects at least five runs for Atlanta. He’s a great pay-up candidate here having homered in three of five and coming fresh off a 16 DKFP performance on Tuesday with a couple of hits.
Yoshi Tsutsugo, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers, $3,800 - First base is kind of rough on this slate after you get past all the fun high-priced options, so I’m going to pick on Kohei Arihara ($6,500) for the first time. Arihara has been shelled in his first two big-league starts and ranks in the bottom 1% of the league in whiff rate and strikeout rate, with horrible batted ball numbers. Though he really hasn’t hit all that well, I still like Tsutsugo here, who will likely be hitting at the very top of the Tampa Bay order once again and whose only issues have been strikeouts. That shouldn’t plague him here.
Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins, $4,700 - With a relatively short slate and some great arms I don’t want to go after, I’m going to head back to the Braves’ lineup to take Albies. He’s averaged just under 14 DKFP in his last three games thanks to two homers over the span. He also hits for far more power as a left-handed hitter (.233 ISO vs. .181 ISO) and has the benefit of going up against a very mediocre pitcher which the Braves should score a lot of runs against. I like him to keep it up here.
Ty France, Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles, $4,200 - I would have normally loved a Mariners stack here against Matt Harvey ($6,700), but rain is threatening to cancel this game. Still, in case it goes on, I am required to tell you about how great a spot this is, if you didn’t already know. Harvey has a 5.59 ERA on the year with an awful average exit velocity of 91.7, and his whiff rate is terrible. France has been superb in the early going with a .389 xwOBA that ranks in the 73rd percentile of the league. He also has hit .333 this season against righties, whereas he’s struggled against lefties. With the splits and matchup on his side, along with four hits in four games and the second spot in the order locked up, France is in an excellent position to provide value.
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox, $5,300 - I’m much more inclined to save money at third base, but if you want to spend some money I think Ramirez is your guy. He generally has had the same power numbers from either side of the plate, and is the owner of a .300 xwOBA against Carlos Rodon in 34 at-bats against the left-hander with 10 hits, including four doubles and a triple. Rodon had a great outing against the Mariners in his first start of the season, but is coming off a down season where he posted a 6.09 xERA. I’m not ready just yet to declare he’s a stable back-end starter.
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, $4,000 - The book is out now on Bohm; he was just $3,100 a week ago against David Peterson, and now sits at $4,000. I still think it’s too cheap. He had 23 DKFP in that game, and I once again expect the Phillies to touch up Peterson for plenty of runs. Another thing you will hear a lot if you watch the Phillies on TV is that Bohm is a .415 career hitter with runners in scoring position. If that keeps up, it would obviously make Bohm an attractive fantasy option just about any time he is penciled into the middle of the Phillies’ lineup, but what many statisticians will tell you is that there’s a high degree of variance in that split. That said, players who own great lifetime RISP numbers would tell you that it’s not a fluke stat. Regardless of what you think about that, you can’t fake an average exit velocity that ranks in the top 14% of the league. I expect him to keep making good contact.
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies, $5,500 - The starter for Colorado tonight, Jon Gray ($7,200), is one you can attack at your own risk. He’s been one of the hardest pitchers to figure out over his career, and he might be good again, shutting down the Dodgers at Coors Field on Opening Day before spinning a gem against Arizona. One of the hitters who has seemed to figure out Gray, though, is Seager, who owns a lifetime .375 average and .471 xSLG against the righty with a homer and three doubles against just five strikeouts. Seager is locked into the second spot in the order right now and locked in at the dish, coming off a 25-DKFP game on Tuesday thanks to a homer and a double.
Amed Rosario, Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox, $3,400 - Rosario proved the last couple years that he can hit, and though he’s off to a slow start in 2021, things should turn around against Rodon. His numbers won’t impress you this season, but he’s hit .357 against lefties this season and should be right in the middle of that lineup on Wednesday. Rosario has been elite at not chasing pitches this season, and Rodon’s struggled with walks. At the very least he should get on base, where he has pretty good speed.
Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers, $5,300 - I’m going to go back and pick on Arihara once again with Arozarena, who is just about the only member of the Rays’ lineup who is hitting. The righty is hitting a blistering .317 this season, and he’s in a great matchup against an awful pitcher. He’s hit .310 against righties this year, which is an improvement over his struggles in the past against same-handed pitching. Hitting in a great spot in the order, he should have a great night.
Corey Dickerson, Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves, $3,100 - If you want to get a little crazy, Dickerson has great career numbers off of Charlie Morton ($7,600) with six hits in 14 at-bats, including two home runs. It’s not like he’s been awful of late, going for at least 9 DKFP in three out of the last five, and he’s even led off against righties this season. I think he’s a steal.
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