Joe Musgrove (FD $10,900/DK $10,500) is Streamonator’s top choice on the mound tonight. He’s got Colorado outside of Coors, where the Rockies have the 3rd-worst SLG% and the 4th-worst OPS in the majors. Those reasons are enough to roll with Joe tonight, but I’m going to dive a little deeper into this one. Earlier this year, I asked if Eric Lauer was an ace, as he was pitching like one. My verdict then was no. I’ll ask the same question here–is Musgrove not just a good pitcher, but an ace? Emphatically, I say yes.
Musgrove has four pitches he throws at least 18% of the time and has negative run values (per Baseball Savant) on five different pitches! His best pitch is his slider, which he throws 28% of the time, and has a terrific -9 run value. His location chart on it is a thing of beauty–there’s only the smallest bit of red in the strike zone, and that little sliver of red is just barely touching the down and away corner vs. RHBs. He runs a sinker almost exclusively diving inside off of the plate to righties, uses his cutter to jam lefties, gets far more vertical movement on nearly every one of his pitches than most MLB pitchers, is inducing the highest amount of weak contact in his career, sporting the lowest HR%/FB% of his career, and the lowest barrel% of his career. He may not overpower batters with velocity or swinging strike rates that make your eyes widen, but the location, batted ball quality and results are tough to argue with. This matchup is too tasty not to take advantage of.
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Luis Severino, SP: FD $10,200/DK $10,300) – Sevy is a guy really hitting his stride right now. He missed most of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery but has given up 1 or 0 ER in three of his last four starts, with his last two starts totaling 18 Ks in 13 IP. He’s got the Cubs in Yankee Stadium and is Streamonator’s number two SP today.
Salvador Perez, C: FD $3,100/DK$5,200 – Perez has been toasty the last seven days, with a pair of homers and a SLG% of almost .740. He faces lefty Bruce Zimmerman, who doesn’t throw hard (89 mph), doesn’t induce misses (9.9% SwStr%), gives up hard contact 33% of the time, and has given up at least four ER in each of his last four starts.
Freddie Freeman, 1B: FD $3,700/DK $5,000 – Who had “On June 10, Freddie Freeman will have more stolen bases than home runs” on their bet slip from some casino sportsbook? If that’s you, a) please show your work in the comments and b) congratulations on the wrinkle-purse you’re lugging around. That statistic is true, unfortunately, but it shouldn’t stay that way long. Freeman still hits the ball hard at 33% HC%. He’s slugging over .510 in AT&T Park and has an OPS 150 points higher vs. RHPs. He’s going the opposite way too much to tap into enough power but when the pull% comes around, so will the power.
Kolten Wong, 2B: FD $3,200/DK $3,500 – Hittertron call here! Hittertron has Wong ranked 11th among *ALL* hitters today, and that’s got to be mostly because he’s facing Erik Fedde. There’s literally nothing in Wong’s batting profile that would give anybody confidence playing him today other than the matchup vs. Fedde and Wong has a pair of homers and a nearly .800 SLG the last seven days. I guess he’s kind of Alyson Hannigan right now–not sure he’s hot, but if you squint and it’s the right night, you can talk yourself into it. If you want a sexier name and profile here, I understand, but Hittertron thinks Wong is pretty sexy today (ok, now that I re-read it, I hear it). FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Wong missed two straight games with calf discomfort, so for me, the pivot is Santiago Espinal if you want to set your lineup early.
Josh Donaldson, 3B: FD $2,900/DK $5,200 – You don’t need this column to tell you to play Jose Ramirez or Manny Machado, but how about Hittertron’s 3rd-ranked 3B? JD just came off of the IL but he’s in Yankee Stadium, facing Wade Miley’s 89 mph “heater,” and has a .936 career OPS vs LHPs.
Bo Bichette, SS: FD $3,900/DK$5,600 – Bichette just isn’t having the year you drafted him to have, but he’s still accumulating counting stats even if his AVG, OBP, K% and BB% are all kinds of gross. He’s 15th in HC% at 36%, so he’s hitting the ball hard, and his xAVG and xwOBA both say greener pastures lie ahead. Tigers rookie Elvin Rodriguez is still getting starts while the other E-Rod works his way back from injury, and has given up six HRs in only 16 IP. Quick aside–Hittertron loves the Jays tonight vs. Ed-Rod, so Vladdy, Springer, Teoscar, Espinal…lots of good options in this game tonight to use in your lineups where you see fit.
Cedric Mullins, OF: FD $3,100/DK $4,700 – The O’s have scored at least five runs in five of their last eight games, with two 10-run outbursts and a nine-run affair. Mullins hits atop the lineup and is facing Jonathan Heasley, who walks more guys than he strikes out and has an xERA of over seven. When Baltimore busts out again tonight, you’ll want the guy starting it all off for them in your lineup.
Ronald Acuna Jr, OF: FD $4,300/DK $6,200 – There may be nobody hotter than Acuna right now, with 11 hits in his last seven games, three taters, and a bag. I really like Roansy Contreras, but if a hard fastball is your best pitch, and you’re facing a guy slugging nearly .800 this season vs. fastballs, and he’s on a heater…
Harold Ramirez, OF: FD $2,700 – Har-Ram (if you’re married, don’t say it out loud) is playing nearly every day for TB, and while he doesn’t offer much over-the-fence pop, he’s 22nd in K% at only 12.4%, 5th in MLB in HC% at 40% and 6th in IPA% (that’s doesn’t mean he’s drunk) (that doesn’t mean he isn’t, either), which is Ideal Plate Appearance. That’s a PA that ends in a barrel, solid contact, or a flare/burner. He almost never strikes out, consistently makes terrific contact and Streamonator has him 26th today, so if you’re trying to find a spot to save some cash for some higher-priced hitters, this is a solid gamble.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Everything looks clear across the playing landscape with the *possible* exception of CIN @ STL. @BallparkWeather reports widely scattered storms in the area throughout the late afternoon and evening, but scattered enough that there’s a small chance of delay or postponement.
Doing Lines In Vegas