It’s a little insane that it’s already June, right? I mean, less than two months ago, we weren’t even sure we were going to have a full baseball season, now we’re almost a third of the way through it. Still, if you’re reading this, you don’t care about tomorrow’s games. You don’t care about July. You care about the eight contests taking place this evening. That’s it.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in and break down some studs and values.
Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles, $9,500 - It hasn’t been perfect the past few weeks, but Ray is starting to look like a reigning Cy Young award winner. You just have to dig past the surface stats. Since May 10 — a span of four outings — Ray’s fastball velocity has jumped back to normal; with the pitching sitting about 94.0 mph on average in each of his past three appearances, specifically. That’s translated into some pretty gnarly contact numbers. In that stretch, Ray leads all qualified pitchers with a 22.5% swinging strike rate and it’s not even particularly close. Ray’s 37.8% strikeout rate is also best in baseball. With the Orioles striking out in an American League worst 26.2% of their plate appearances against LHPs, Ray should have a big performance.
Jeffery Springs, Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers, $6,200 - A warning right off the top: The Rangers have been at their best against left-handed opponents in 2022. Still, it’s difficult to justify Springs being this inexpensive on such a small slate, even if he is a southpaw. For the season as a whole, Springs has maintained a 1.62 ERA, and his numbers specifically as a starter remain impressive. The 29-year-old has held opponents to a .195/.233/.341 slash line in his five starts, while also posting a 25.3% strikeout rate and a 5.50 K/BB ratio. Heck, in Springs’ past three trips to the mound, he’s surrendered just two earned runs in 16.1 innings. That’s the formula for an enticing value arm.
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds, $5,500 - Year after year, Bogaerts continues to absolutely rake at Fenway Park. In 2022, the shortstop has hit all five of his home runs while playing at home, slashing .309/.358/.546 with a 150 wRC+ within the split. The long ball aspect of this is really important, too. Because no one in baseball is giving up opponent home runs like Hunter Greene ($7,500). The former top prospect has been better of late, yet for the season as a whole, he’s conceded a .653 slugging percentage to RHBs. That’s a huge number.
Ty France, Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles, $4,200 - It’s been lost in a disappointing start to Seattle’s season, but France is tearing the cover off the baseball almost every time he steps into the batter’s box. Overall, France sports a 178 wRC+ in his 220 plate appearances, and specifically against RHPs, the 27-year-old is slashing .356/.428/.507 with a .411 wOBA. It’s hard to be more productive than that and it’s also hard to draw a better matchup than the Mariners get on Wednesday. Kyle Bradish ($5,800) has surrendered an eye-popping 4.11 home runs per nine to opposing right-handed batters in 2022.
Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs, $3,800 - There’s nothing too complex when it comes to the viability of Tellez. You want to use him against RHPs, particularly if he’s sporting a price tag of less than $4K. The big first baseman sits 98th percentile in expected slugging percentage (.631) and 94th percentile in expected wOBA on batted ball events (.507). In layman’s terms — and stats — he’s hitting the snot out of the baseball and he’s managed a .292 ISO when facing a righty in 2022. With Kyle Hendricks ($7,800) surrendering 2.67 home runs per nine to opposing LHBs, this is a match made in DFS heaven.
Jake Burger, Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays, $3,600 - Burger is in an interesting spot on Wednesday. The 26-year-old hasn’t exactly been great with the White Sox so far this season, yet with injuries to Tim Anderson (groin) and Yoan Moncada ($4,100; quad) — among others — Burger’s recently found himself in the heart on Chicago’s lineup. That might change with the expected return of Luis Robert ($4,600), but if Moncada is once again unable to start, Burger will likely be batting fourth or fifth this evening against Hyun-Jin Ryu ($6,500). In 22 plate appearances versus LHPs in 2022, Burger owns a 147 wRC+.
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels, $5,300 - I know it’s odd to call someone with a price tag above $5K a value, but Judge sitting as the seventh-most expensive outfielder on this slate is laughable. The man leads the league in expected slugging percentage (.750) and barrel rate (25.8%), so you know he’s pretty damn good. On top of that, he’ll draw the left-handed Reid Detmers ($8,700) on Wednesday, who has given up eight earned runs and four long balls in the two starts he’s made since his surprising no-hitter. Honestly, the only thing that has a chance to stop Judge tonight is the weather.
Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles, $4,500 - I’m going to assume Rodriguez was sad to see May end. While the rookie struggled immensely in April, Rodriguez thrived the past 31 days, slashing .309/.339/.527 with a 156 wRC+ in his 115 plate appearances. For the season as a whole, Rodriguez’s ideal matchup is against a left-handed opponent; however, with Bradish allowing the 71 RHBs he’s faced to compile a .361 average with a .495 wOBA, I think Rodriguez will be just fine on Wednesday.
Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays, $3,700 - Vaughn looked locked in at the plate on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with a double and a home run in Chicago’s 6-5 loss. All of those at-bats were against RHPs, too, which is far from the ideal handedness matchup for the sophomore outfielder. It’s lefties he loves to face, as Vaughn’s registered a .917 OPS and a 153 wRC+ within the split over the course of his big league career. Ryu would be wise to pitch carefully to the 24-year-old.
Kyle Garlick, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers, $2,200 - It hasn’t been the best idea to stack against Tarik Skubal ($10,200) this season, but getting some exposure to Garlick is an easy sell at this price. Not only did the outfielder hit third in the Twins’ lineup against a left-handed opponent on Tuesday, but for the season, Garlick’s .485 xwOBA against LHPs is among the highest marks in the whole league. He’s simply way too cheap on this slate.
TEAMS TO STACK
Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles - Camden Yards hasn’t been as kind to RHBs since the remodelling of left field, yet I’m still inclined to stack some right-handed bats against Kyle Bradish. Feel free to get some J.P. Crawford ($4,300) or Jesse Winker ($3,800) exposure, as well, but Rodriguez, France and Eugenio Suarez ($4,200) are the core of this stack. Also keep an eye on Kyle Lewis ($3,100; concussion). If he’s active, he’s posted a .468 xwOBA in his first 16 plate appearances of the season.
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