With another big slate tonight, we have a 12 games scheduled and a lot to break down. Last night, a lot of pitchers had great nights. Tonight, we could see the same thing. The top tier is full of stud pitching options. Meanwhile, the mid and bottom tier lack upside and appeal. Paying up for pitching seems to be the consensus, so finding value hitters will be important. Let’s take a dive into tonight’s slate to see what the best lineup construction looks like.
Chris Sale (BOS): $12,300 vs. NYY
The New York Yankees are coming off a brutal series against the Baltimore Orioles. Although they will finish the season among the MLB’s best teams, Chris Sale is one of the few pitchers who can shut them down. Sale has an incredible 37.5% strikeout rate this season and has looked as dominant as ever. Giancarlo Stanton will struggle against elite AL pitchers and I foresee him striking out a minimum of three times against Sale. Aaron Judge struggles to hit left-handed pitching, more so than righties and is also in line for a few strikeouts. This lineup has K’s throughout and we should see one of Sales better outings tonight. He should see a fair amount of ownership, but nailing the right top pitcher is key, as we saw last night.
Aaron Nola (PHI): $8,200 vs. CIN
The Phillies continue to roll! Their young hitters continue to produce and support their sub-par pitching performances. With manager Gabe Kapler under fire about certain decisions thus far, Nola should see a longer leash against a weak Reds team. There are tough outs in the top half of the lineup, but the bottom five hitters are not very intimidating and provide a lot of K upside. Joey Votto is the only scary left-handed hitter, which is Nola’s only real weakness. Keeping him at bay should lead to a great outing for the 24-year-old Phillies ace. A great discount for a SP2 on DraftKings tonight.
Tyler Skaggs (LAA): $7,400 @ TEX
Targeting the Texas Rangers continues to be a great strategy this year. A bottom 10 team in ISO, BB%, wOBA, wRC+, and OBP, the Rangers are struggling to get on base and drive in runs. Skaggs has put together two solid performances allowing just two runs, two walks, and striking out 10 over 10 innings of work. Paying down at pitching is not something recommended on this slate, but if there are “must-play” hitters and you need the salary, Skaggs is certainly a viable option who won’t tank your lineup.
Calk – High Owned Stacks
1.) Colorado Rockies
As long as there are games being played in Colorado, the Rockies will be a high-owned stack. The incredible hitting environment makes it a pitching nightmare. Tonight, the Rockies bats will see Joey Lucchesi. In two starts, Lucchesi has had one good game and one bad game. The good game came just a week ago against this very Rockies lineup. However, tonight the Rockies get a massive park upgrade and will remember what the Padres youngster served them last game. The advantage almost always lays in the hands of the hitters when seeing a pitcher a second time. These top Rockie bats will be highly owned due to the 5.81 implied team run total. Stacking the bottom half of Colorado could be a viable strategy for salary savings and lower ownership.
2.) Washington Nationals
The stack didn’t work out all that great last night against Julio Teheran, but if you watched the game, the Braves did not pitch to Bryce Harper. Knowing how dangerous he is, they were willing to throw him junk and try their chances on Ryan Zimmerman. Tonight, Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound for Atlanta. Historically, he has struggled mightily against left-handed hitters. Making Bryce an intriguing option, once again. In GPP’s, I think we can fade. A homerun at 30% ownership will hurt, but if the Braves try the same strategy, a few walks won’t pay off his $5,600 price tag.
3.) Los Angeles Angels
The third best/obvious team to stack, are the Angels. Shohei Ohtani is now at $4,500 ($200 more than Justin Upton) and should be in the lineup tonight. The top end hitters are expensive, but the rest of the lineup is fairly affordable. Texas is a very hitter-friendly ballpark and Martin Perez is a hitter-friendly pitcher. In 2017, the Rangers starter had a 14.2% strikeout rate, 4.75 SIERA, and .362 wOBA to righties. The right-handed power bats are in play tonight. Lock in Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Albert Pujols.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards seemingly always go overlooked. The homerun upside is fairly limited due to the tough hitting environment, but St. Louis has some talented bats with run-producing contact and OBP. Tonight, the Brewers will roll out starting pitcher, Brent Suter. To start the season, it has been clear Suter is struggling with right-handed hitters. With a .446 wOBA thus far, load up the Cardinals righties.
Mike Trout $5,500 @ TEX
Charlie Blackmon $5,500 vs. SD
Rhys Hoskins $5,400 vs. CIN
Ian Desmond $5,200 vs. SD
Carlos Gonzalez $4,600 vs. SD
Shohei Ohtani $4,500 @ TEX
Justin Upton $4,300 @ TEX
Odubel Herrera $3,800 vs. CIN
Marcell Ozuna $3,700 vs. MIL
Adam Jones $3,600 vs. TOR
Tommy Pham $3,400 vs. MIL
Dexter Fowler $3,100 vs. MIL