Tonight should have a full slate of 10 games as there is not a threat of bad weather. I expect there to be some pretty widespread ownership as there are 8 LHP’s getting the call tonight; with players looking to take advantage of platoon matchups. We also get a Gerrit Cole start against a bad Rays offense.
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Gerrit Cole, SP: $12,000 – He has yet to give up more than 2 ERs in any game this season. He currently has the best K% of his career at 40.2%. The Rays have been a below-average offense (95 wRC+). They have also been striking out at the 3rd highest clip in baseball thus far at 27.4%. Cole should be on a good night.
Zac Gallen, SP: $8,200 – Gallen was the first pitcher whose salary and matchup popped of the page for me. He gets a Marlins team who is ranked in the bottom 8 in runs scored and wRC+. They are also striking out at the 6th highest rate in the game. Gallen has been good from jump street as he holds a 2.82 ERA with 28.4% K rate in his first 178.2 career innings.
Jose Abreu, C/1B: $3,900 – It’s been a tough start to the season for reigning AL MVP. However, he has consecutive multi-hit games and is working on a 4-game hitting streak. See the “Doing lines in Vegas” segment below for my breakdown on J.A. Happ. His streak should continue in this one against an over-performing pitcher.
Brandon Lowe, 2B: $2,700 – I like this as a high leverage play. Lowe has been largely boom or bust so far this season. He goes up against one of the game’s best in Gerrit Cole. Cole has been prone to giving up home runs in his time with the Yankees and this is high-risk/high reward play.
Jose Altuve, 2B: $3,900 – He is carrying 7 game hitting streak including multiple hits in 5 of them. Andrew Heaney has always had good stuff but has largely underperformed by metrics. His ERA has been higher than his FIP in the last 4 seasons including this one. His career HR/9 vs RHH is 1.8 vs 0.6 against LHH. He goes up against a tough RHH lineup in a good park for RHH.
Josh Donaldson, 3B: $3,400 – Very few, if anyone has been better at contact in MLB. He currently ranks in the top 7% of average exit velocity, hard hit, xSlug, and xBA. While “x” stats may not be predictive, they are a good indicator of performance. He may only have 3 homers but more are on the way and a groundball pitcher will scare off plenty of owners tonight.
Alex Bregman, 3B: $3,800 – He appears to be in a full return to form after an ugly 2020 season. He loves to hit at home as he’s a true pull hitter and the short left-field wall in Houston. Heaney is a solid pitcher but when things goes south for him, it gets ugly fast.
Tim Anderson, SS: $3,800 – He has hit safely in 6 consecutive games. I like the matchup again Happ for the Sox in general. He has good against him if you’re into that, 9-16 with 2 homers.
Corey Seager, SS: $3,700 – Justin Dunn throws a four-seamed fastball and his curveball a combined 85% of the time this year. Seager in ’19 and 20’ had a .370 and .552 wOBA respectively against the fastball vs RHP. The curve he had a .407 and .593 wOBA over that same time frame.
Andrew Benintendi, OF: $2,700 – The change in scenery seems to has treated him well to this point as he carries a .275/.376/.392. Casey Mize is a former number 1 overall pick and is very much still trying to learn his way in the bigs. His walk rate has however around 10% and has been stung by the long ball, and so far he’s given up 12 homers in his first 60.1 innings.
Mookie Betts, OF: $4,100 – As with most elite hitters, they crush the fastball. Mookie has .534, .423, .396 wOBA against RHP over the past 3 seasons. A pitch that his mound opponent relies heavily upon (52.4%).
Jorge Soler, OF: $2,500- Soler will always be a high variance player due to his high strikeout rate. He’s been bad so far this season but you don’t lose his kind of power overnight. Mize doesn’t have good strikeout stuff and gets stung by the long ball at times. Something is going to give in this matchup and I love Soler’s ceiling at the price tonight.
Andrew McCutchen, OF: $3,400 – After a brutal start to the season he’s turned things around a bit over that last couple of weeks as he’s reached safely in 7 straight. He finds himself in a familiar match-up against Jon Lester. Lester is 37 and has not had a season with an xERA under 5 since 2017.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Smooth sailing on the weather front in terms of postponement. Forecast in Arizona shows first pitch at 98° and as of right now the roof is scheduled to be open. This should be a nice hitters environment as a result.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Twins (J.A. Happ) at White Sox (Dallas Keuchel) O/U 8 1/2 runs – Take the over. Happ has been excellent so far this season posting a 1.91 ERA in 28.1 innings. However, by my estimation, it has been largely smoke and mirrors. He carries a 5.39 xFIP, with a .171 BABIP and his HR/9 is less than half of what it’s been the last 3 seasons (0.64). This all despite having an increase in hard-hit, barrel, and fly ball rate. Couple that with how much the White Sox love to hit off lefties and they find themselves with a good opportunity to score runs. His counterpart Dallas Keuchel is a ground ball expert and is usually safe against big blow-ups. He’s far from his Cy Young form though and we don’t need him to blow up in order for this to hit.