Okay Although there are nine games being played today, the main-slate on DraftKings in the MLB will showcase just four games. At a glance, it looks like a pretty dirty set of games. A lot of people may take the night off, or play Showdown. As we look deeper into this intriguing set of games, it starts to look like a very fun slate.
The pitching is a mess. That is not a question. There is just one pitcher starting tonight priced over $10K (who is in a terrifying matchup). Blake Snell is a fantastic talent who has a bright future and could potentially come away with a solid outing. However, in that ballpark, against those hitters? No thanks. David Price will likely come in as the highest owned starter. For those of you who don’t know, the Seattle Mariners are among the hottest teams in baseball and have the lefty smasher, Nelson Cruz. Other than those two top-priced pitchers, there is a lot to be desired.
It’s a great night for offenses. The top two offenses in 2018 are playing tonight, along with the scorching hot Arizona Diamondbacks. They are extremely expensive, but with the lack of expensive pitching options, they are easy to fit in.
Let’s take a look at how this slate shakes out.
Matt Koch (ARI): $6,200 vs. NYM
The Diamondbacks starter is not a great pitcher. Saying he is a good MLB starter is even a stretch. He does, however, have the luxury of facing the dreadful New York Mets. In the month of June, the Mets are hitting an awful .154 AVG, with a 42 wRC+. They are striking out at a 25.8% rate and 31.1% over the last seven days. Koch doesn’t have a big strikeout arm and we should temper expectations when rostering this guy. All he needs to do is eat some innings, limit the earned runs, and pick up a few strikeouts. This should provide a high enough floor at the starting pitcher position to not sink a lineup while also allowing us to pay way up for the big hitters.
Anibal Sanchez (ATL): $5,500 vs. SD
Another risky option as an SP 2 is the volatile, Anibal Sanchez. Even though he is having a solid 2018 campaign, negative regression is coming. He owns just a 2.37 ERA, which is amazing but is also sporting a 4.21 SIERA and 4.22 xFIP. This suggests Sanchez is getting quite lucky and his good outings are limited. If you throw out more than one lineup tonight, a hedge stack of Padres would be a great strategy. Otherwise, I would lock in Sanchez as the lowest priced pitcher with confidence. Not only is the price attractive, but San Diego is a bad offense. They are ranked in the bottom five in nearly every hitting category, while also striking out at a 25.8% clip to righties. Similar to Koch, the expectations cannot be too high. The Padres could easily hit a home run or two off Sanchez. Again, this won’t sink a lineup when we can afford the best hitters at each position.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are a slight edge over the Yankees, for me. Although New York has the much more desirable ballpark, Felix Hernandez is a pitcher I fell much more confident attacking. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez seem to be healthy after both going yard yesterday. While Andrew Benintendi is one of the hottest hitters in the MLB right now. King Felix does struggle to left-handed power hitters which makes Mitch Moreland a great selection. In addition, shortstop is a very thin position, which puts Xander Bogaerts in play. The Red Sox are also coming in as the “late-night hammer” while also getting the guaranteed ninth-inning at-bat. There is your stack.
New York Yankees
When there are only eight teams to chose from, our options are limited. Especially when the Padres and Mets are playing. Even though they have a tough matchup against Blake Snell, the Yankees will probably be one of the highest owned group of hitters. Most people will look at the lefty/righty matchups for Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez to lock them in. To get off the chalk, while still getting exposure to this explosive team, look a little further down the lineup. Didi Gregorius has insane home/road splits but will go underowned because of the lefty/lefty matchup. Greg Bird is in the same situation. Further down, Gleyber Torres and Neil Walker are intriguing options as well.
With such a small slate, every team is a viable stack. The Braves, Padres, Rays, and Mets will be the lowest owned stacks and there can be a case made for each team. I prefer the better offenses which will turnover more often. Right now, the D-backs are scorching. Paul Goldschmidt is the best hitter in the MLB over the last 14 days. After looking at his numbers, it’s honestly not even that close. Steven Matz has a 3.53 ERA in 2018, while also owning a 5.33 FIP and 4.38 SIERA. He is due for some negative regression. This is what is most interesting; on the season, Matz has allowed 11 home runs. Of these, 10 have been allowed at home while just one on the road. Whether you believe in the humidor or not, Chase Field is a small, home run hitting ballpark. Citi Field in New York is not. Right-handed power hitters do hit Matz harder, but the whole lineup is worth consideration tonight in a game which should get out of hand.