- Scattered storms may effect SP in Minnesota, but batters should be safe to deploy
- Minnesota Twins hosting RHP Hector Noesi
- Atlanta Braves hosting RHP Henderson Alvarez
- San Diego Padres visiting RHP Edwin Jackson
Longshot stack:Milwaukee Brewers hosting RHP Dillon Gee
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The two most expensive pitchers on the board will face of in Anaheim tonight, but DraftKings may have gotten the order wrong. Let’s look at where these SP stack up on the A.L. leaderboards. Richards has a 2.47 ERA (4th), 2.66 FIP (4th), and .192 BAA (1st), while Scherzer is sporting a 3.34 ERA (19th), 3.20 FIP (16th), and .237 BAA (13th). Last year’s CY Young Award winner does have a 27.6% K-rate (5th), which is slightly better than Richards 25.5% K-rate (10th), but their averaging nearly the same amount of DK PPG this season. Richards has been more consistent, with 17 Quality Starts and 5 straight outings where he tossed 7+ innings. In fact, he’s one of the most consistent SP in the A.L., and is more than capable of competing with the Tigers formidable lineup. Based on the price differential, he’s the top option in 50/50 and H2H formats tonight, and worth consideration in GPPs.
Corey Kluber is an artist. He compliments a 92.9 MPH fastball with 4 off speed pitches, including a slider and curveball that run well above average according to data collected by Brooks Baseball. In 4 of his last 5 starts, home plate has been his canvas, but a stingy umpire forced Kluber into bad situations in the early innings of his July 11 outing against the White Sox, as he ended up allowing 4 ER on 8 hits. The point is that when all things are equal, Kluber has as much ability as any SP in the Majors, yet he's routinely disrespected with a mid-tier price tag. How can you overlook a pitcher that is 10th in the A.L. with a 2.95 ERA, and 5th in his league with a 2.87 SIERA (Skill Interactive ERA)? As he takes on a Royals team that he's shut down to the tune of a 4 ER, and a .184 BAA in 3 starts this season, he deserves to be considered in all formats.
Matt Garza (MIL) vs. NYM: $7700 – Facing RHP Dillon Gee
Just two starts removed from flirting with a no-hitter in Cincinnati, Garza was chased by the Nationals in the first inning in the shortest outing of his career. Apparently a few lucky bloopers, combined with a high pitch count (42 thrown to record 1 out), caused the RHP to unravel, but it was clearly an aberration. Garza had been quality in 8 of his last 9 starts before that implosion. He went 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA during June, and tonight, he returns home to face a lackluster Mets offense. Garza is averaging nearly twice as many DK points (18.5 PPG) in Milwaukee, and has a sparkling 1.93 ERA and .192 BAA in his last two starts against the Mets. Curtis Granderson is the only Met that has homered off the usually stingy right-hander, and he may be absent from tonight's lineup due to the flu. Expect a bounce back performance from Garza.Longshot Pitcher:
Phil Hughes (MIN) vs. CWS: $8000 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi
If you’re on board with a Twins stack against Noesi, then you’d agree that Hughes has a great chance to earn his 11th Win of the season. His aggressive tendency to pound the strike zone can get him into trouble, but it also creates plenty of upside as he faces a White Sox team that is 2nd in the American League with 874 strikeouts this season. He’s a longshot because this lineup has touched him up in 2 different outings this season, and his last 2 starts have been relative disasters. However, pitching at Coors Field, and hosting a suddenly red-hot Rays offense is far different from facing a team that has a .306 OBP (20th in MLB) on the road. Hughes is having a career year because of his control (0.84 BB/9), and he’ll force these White Sox to beat him tonight.
Yan Gomes (CLE) @ KC: $4200 – Facing LHP Danny Duffy
Gomes is one of the hottest hitting catchers in the Majors over the past few weeks, but he’s much more dangerous against lefties. He’s batting .358 with a .409 wOBA against LHP this season, which is 100 points higher than his splits against righties. Gomes also happens to be 2 for 4 with a HR against tonight’s starter, as Duffy looks to avoid losing his 4th straight decision. Like most LHP, the Royals hurler has trouble against the platoon, as RHB are sporting a .301 wOBA against him. Gomes was likely given yesterday afternoon off (aside from a pinch-hit appearance) to prepare for this juicy matchup, and is a great option to use at catcher tonight.
Kurt Suzuki ($3500) is a great 50/50 and H2H play, and could be part of a productive Twins stack this evening.
Mike Zunino (SEA) is an all-or-nothing play that usually either homers, or goes hitless. He has a .215 ISO and .363 wOBA against lefties, so he’s worth GPP consideration at $3200 with LHP Wei-Yin Chen visiting Seattle.
Freddie Freeman (ATL) vs. MIA: $4900 – Facing RHP Henderson Alvarez
Freeman broke out of his mini-slump with a HR and 3 RBI last night, and should be able to ride that momentum into a plus matchup tonight. Henderson Alvarez is a completely different pitcher on the road, where he’s allowing opposing batters to hit .316 this season. He’s struggling this month, and will have a tough time turning things around against a Braves team that has great splits against him. Freeman, who enjoys the platoon advantage against RHP, is 5 for 13 with 3 doubles, a HR, and 5 RBI off Alvarez. He’s joined by teammates Evan Gattis, Chris Johnson, and Jason Heyward, who area also batting over .400 against tonight’s starter. Friendly Freddie should help you out in 50/50 and H2H games.
Kendrys Morales (MIN) had hit safely in 12 straight games before yesterday. He’s a solid option at $3800 and has upside in this matchup.
Tommy Medica ($3200) just returned from a groin injury and posted 17 DK points in last night’s win. He could be part of a very sneaky Padres stack against RHP Edwin Jackson.
Brian Dozier (MIN) vs. CWS: $4600 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi
Because there are so few SP worth targeting on this short slate, stacking the Twins against Noesi seems to be a great option. With a .239 average on the season, Dozier isn’t the safest option, but his speed/power combination gives him tremendous upside as a middle infielder. He seems to have overcome the “Home Run Derby slump” as he’s 4 for 9 with 2 doubles and a HR in his last two games. Noesi actually has terrible reverse-platoon splits, as RHB are sporting a .401 wOBA against him this season. White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers has caught just 29.3% of potential base stealers, so the running game should be in play for the Twins as well. Dozier can hurt the opposition in a number of ways and is definitely worth a look in GPP formats.
Tommy La Stella ($3400) has been pretty steady for the Braves, and for DFS owners as he’s averaging 6.2 DK points over his last 10 games.
If Donovan Solano ($2800) is in the Marlins lineup this evening, he’s worth a look against Aaron Harang. The Braves RHP has a terrible 1.56 WHIP over his last 10 starts and should allow plenty of base runners.
Carlos Santana (CLE) @ KC: $4600 – Facing LHP Danny Duffy
Third base is a very tough position tonight, as several of the top options are either injured, or facing elite pitchers. I’d recommend Santana as a GPP option, with the aforementioned Chris Johnson (ATL) as a safer play for 50/50 and H2H games. The Indians switch-hitter flashed his upside with 31 DK points on Tuesday, and remains a boom-or-bust option against mediocre SP. He does hit for a higher average (.250) against LHP this season, and is a solid 3 for 10 with a triple and a HR against Duffy in his career. Santana has a fantastic .396 OBP in road games this season, and even if he doesn’t blow up for lofty DK-point totals, he probably won’t lay a complete goose egg.
Despite being hitless in his last 8 at bats, Casey McGehee (MIA) is a very safe play against RHP Aaron Harang. At $3700, he’s a virtual lock for 4+ DK points.
Yangervis Solarte ($3200) would’ve produced 18 DK points in his Padres debut last night. He should be in the lineup tonight as San Diego looks to attack RHP Edwin Jackson.
Danny Santana (MIN) vs. CWS: $3400 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi
It makes sense to save at a relatively weak SS position on a short slate. Santana, who take a day off to fix some mechanical issues with his swing, is 5 for his last 11 as he’s regained some of his first half magic. He was caught stealing during yesterday's win, indicating that he's overcome the knee injury that sidelined him for a few weeks, and may be prepared to move back into the leadoff spot for Ron Gardenhire. Regardless of where he's batting, Santana is a safe play as the Twins host Hector Noesi, and the 5.40 ERA he's sporting on the road this season. He hits for power, hits for average (batting .325 on the year), and is 6 for 8 on SB attempts this season, which gives him tons of upside for a modest price.
Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA) has multiple hits in each of his last two apperances and could meet value at $3100.
Carlos Gomez (MIL) vs. NYM: $4800 – Facing RHP Dillon Gee
Dillon Gee is no slouch, but he did get tagged for 4 ER and 2 HR in his last start (against the Padres) and will have to face Gomez atop the Brewers star-studded lineup. CarGo is batting .307 with 11 HR and 11 SB as a leadoff hitter this season, and is averaging 10.8 DK points over his last 10 games as he’s responded favorably to a move out of the cleanup spot. He has strong reverse-platoon splits (.392 wOBA vs. RHP), and loves to pitch the four-seam fastball, which Gee throws approximately 61% of the time.
Seth Smith (SD) @ CHC: $4100 – Facing RHP Edwin Jackson
Smith has broken out of a lengthy slump as he’s 6 for his last 14 and averaging 9.25 DK PPG over his last 4 starts. He’ll face Edwin Jackson, who is allowing LHB to post a .397 wOBA against him this season, and was lit up for 8 ER in a May 23 start against the Padres. Smith should be a safe play this evening.
Christian Yelich (MIA) @ ATL: $4100 – Facing RHP Aaron Harang
With 2 hits and a walk for the 3rd straight game, Yelich is clearly undervalued as an outfield option. He’s averaging 13.6 DK points during that span, and walks into a matchup with a pitcher that hands out hits without conscience. Harang is allowing LHB to sport a .347 wOBA this season, and is walking 11.2% of lefties he faces. Yelich is a great bet to reach base multiple times as the Marlins likely leadoff man.
Evan Gattis ($4000) is a bit of a longshot, but he's always a threat to hit a dong. The Braves backstop is 5 for 7 with 2 doubles, and a HR in his career against Henderson Alvarez.
Will Venable ($3700) is another Padres hitter that has had success against Edwin Jackson, and deserves consideration if he’s in the lineup.
Ryan Raburn ($3000) usually draws the start when the left-handed Tribe face a southpaw. He’s worth a look depending on where he’s batting in the Indians lineup.
I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7
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