Eight games are scheduled for tonight’s main slate on DraftKings in the MLB. DraftKings has set the starting pitcher price tags at a very bizarre cost. Their pricing has been puzzling all season long. Most recently, the Coors Field hitters. There is no reason for Trevor Story to be priced $4,300 at home, against a lefty, making his MLB debut.
Tonight, Clayton Kershaw is priced at $14,000 ($4,000 more than any other pitcher) coming off of a 10.4 DraftKings point performance. The Dodgers are a heavy -369 favorite at home, but the four DK points are not worth the steep price. His name recognition alone is carrying the high cost, even though he is off to a pretty slow start – for Kershaw.
Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta will cost $5,500 less and is coming off a 38 point night. Does not make sense. On any other slate, there would be no reason to play Kershaw. He needs 49 DK points for 3.5X value, while Arrieta only needs 29.75. However, there is so much value in hitting options tonight, Kershaw is still in play.
Jake Arrieta (PHI): $8,500 vs. ARI
Acquiring the ace in the offseason, the Phillies will look to bounce back after an 8-4 loss to the Diamondbacks. As mentioned above, the price on Arrieta is almost criminal. He is one of the better pitchers throwing tonight and is priced at a major discount. Coming off a dominant performance, Arrieta will look to shut-down Arizona. The D-Backs pulled off the win, but still struck out 12 times yesterday. This team is not nearly as threatening without Jake Lamb, J.D. Martinez and on the road. Ranked third in the MLB with a 25.9% strikeout rate, Arrieta should rack up the K’s and go deep into the game. Unlike the other starting pitchers for the Phillies, Jake Arrieta has a much longer leash and will throw close to, if not more than, 100 pitches. The veteran was eased back in his first two starts and was brilliant in his third. Although the ownership will be extremely high on Arrieta, the savings are very hard to pass up. His counter, Zack Greinke, has yet to record more than 25 DraftKings points and is $1,500 more to the roster. In a tougher matchup.
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS): $7,600 @ TOR
As shown last night from Rick Porcello, the Blue Jays can be picked on. It took one unlucky inning for Porcello (which included a couple of poor defensive plays) for the Jays to score three runs and ultimately take the win, along with innings, away from the Boston starter. E-Rod is in a pricing tier on his own. $600 below Jon Lester and $900 above Alex Cobb. This will be interesting from an ownership perspective as I doubt anyone is forcing Rodriquez into their lineup. The lefty showed reverse splits in 2017 but is dominating lefties to start 2018. The increase in the use of his cutter has likely led to the difference, however, it has also positively correlated to an increase in strikeout rate (now at 30.3%). There are a lot of slap hitters in the Blue Jays lineup who lack power. Outside of Justin Smoak, I am not overly concerned.
Jake Faria (TB): $6,300 @ BAL
Similar to the write-up yesterday. This young pitcher is coming up through the Rays system and already has shown one of the better changeups in the game. With a 92mph fastball, Faria will mix in his change around 20% of the time, dropping the velocity 11mph. He then has a slow curve which touches 74mph. The ability to change three different pitches between 18mph drives hitters crazy and creates a ton of soft/medium contact with strikeout opportunity. Tonight, Faria will get one of the easiest matchups on the board as he travels to Baltimore. The O’s are the highest strikeout team in the MLB and have struggled at the plate all season. Outside of Manny Machado, there is not really any hitter who should scare anyone. I was on Faria before the game was postponed yesterday and nothing has changed.
Chalk – High owned stacks
1.) Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers
Finally, there is no Coors Field on the slate tonight! It is fairly clear to see where ownership will land. The Oakland @ Texas game has been set at a 10.5 total, which is two runs higher than any other game on the slate. The Rangers are slight favorites, but the A’s have the hot bats. The game will feature two bad starting pitchers, followed by two endlessly bad bullpen staffs. Globe Life Park should be warm with the wind blowing out making it an even better hitting environment. Keep in mind, in tournaments, we are looking to play the ownership game. The A’s were in a great spot last night and ended up gaining momentum once the Coors game was in jeopardy of being postponed. At around 20%, Oakland scored just three runs and disappointed a lot of owners. If the same kind of ownership is projected leading up to lock, pivoting off this game is a very viable and important strategy to consider.
2.) LA Dodgers
With the third highest implied run total, the Dodgers are expected to dominate this game from start to finish. I don’t know how many of you have stacked the Dodgers this season (like me), but they have been a terrible fantasy producing team to roster. There is upside with a few hitters like Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, and Cody Bellinger. But they haven’t done a lot yet and are a pretty easy fade if they are going to be one of the higher owned teams. Failing to produce in great situations in the last two nights, why should they all of a sudden turn things around?
Low owned stacks
I am personally not a believer in Jon Lester. He is coming off a great start against the Cardinals, but I am chalking that up to BVP and savvy experience. Tonight, the Cubs will be taking on the Indians, who I feel, has one of the best lineups in the MLB. With a few switch-hitters and a healthy combination of lefties and righties, this is a team with plenty of tools to make a pitchers nightmare. There is a lot of power-speed hitters, pure power-hitters, along with disciplined on-base guys. Depending on the weather, this would be my favorite “sneaky” low-owned stacks of the night. I am watching the temperature and wind before locking in anyone with confidence. Side note; Edwin Encarnacion always starts slow. He always breaks out around May, when the weather warms up. Keep an eye on him throughout the next couple of days to see how he is hitting. He will go on a tear and we want to jump on before everyone else does and his price increases.
Kansas City Royals
Power left-handed hitters are who Jhoulys Chacin struggle with. Well, that is exactly what the Royals have two of. Lucas Duda and Mike Moustakas are two of the top options on the slate tonight. Hopefully, the weather can cooperate in this game as well. In what is already a pitchers park, the wind and temperature will dial back my exposure to the Royals.
Khris Davis $4,800 @ TEX
Tommy Pham $4,700 vs. NYM
Michael Brantley $3,800 vs. CHC
Chris Taylor $3,800 vs. MIA
Shin-soo Choo vs. $3,600 vs. OAK
Nomar Mazara $3,500 vs. OAK
Carlos Gomez $3,400 @ BAL
Jon Jay $2,900 vs. MIL
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