Monkey Knife Fight Home Run Derby:
Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Welcome back to the article, Dylan Bundy. The Baltimore Orioles provide little to no run support for their pitching staff, so Bundy’s 3-10 record is actually a lot worse than it should be. He has had a moderate season, posting a 4.91 ERA and 90 strikeouts over 84.1 innings pitched. That said, despite his successes, he struggles heavily with home runs. In his last 10 games, he has surrendered the same amount of home runs. On the season, he is allowing 2.4 HR/9, and Vegas has the game tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays set at 10.5 total runs. Bundy is a slight +120 betting underdog, giving them Blue Jays an implied run total of 5.7. Most importantly, in his last 2 starts, Bundy has a fly ball rate approaching 40% and an average exit velocity over 90 MPH. He surrendered four home runs in those two games. That should be enough to convince fantasy owners to attack Bundy tonight on Monkey Knife Fight. The Blue Jays are not known for their power, so who are the best three batters to roster? Well, start with Lourdes Gurriel. Gurriel is the obvious recommendation, as he is hitting over .350 in his last 10 games with 6 home runs and 10 RBIs. It seems like no one is going to slow him down, especially not the Orioles’ pitching staff. His advanced metrics are solid, but there is no reason to go over them. A Blue Jays’ lineup without Gurriel is doomed to failure. Next, move down to Cavan Biggio. The 24-year-old second baseman from Texas is hitting 0.056 HR/AB, and he gets a great splits matchup tonight against the right-handed Bundy. These numbers are so high because of a lack of sample size, but he enters tonight’s game with 0.285 ISO and 0.087 wOBA differentials. Biggio is hitting in the power spot for a reason. Finally, round out the lineup with Justin Smoak. Smoak is expected to hit fifth, and much like Biggio, he has great splits. He enters tonight’s game with 0.198 ISO and 0.134 wOBA differentials. On the season, he is hitting 0.06 HR/AB. Over the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 218 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 88 MPH, a fly ball rate over 60%, and a hard hit rate over 30%. If he starts squaring up the ball better, Smoak is going to find a lot of home run success. Hopefully, he squares up tonight.
Recommended Batters: Lourdes Gurriel, Cavan Biggio, Justin Smoak
Home Run Prop Bet:
Lourdes Gurriel (TBA) – Toronto Blue Jays – OF
It is almost impossible to bet against Lourdes Gurriel to hit a home run right now. He is absolutely locked in at the plate, and Cavan Biggio and Justin Smoak are not worth the wider odds.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (OVER 8.5)
While he does not have great advanced metrics for a home run tonight, Vladimir Guerreo Jr. is hitting in the beginning of a Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup that is supposed to score close to six runs. He should have plenty of opportunities to score over 8.5 fantasy points.
*Odds are from MyBookie. They continually update available prop bets on their prop builder, so odds should be released closer to the start of the contests. If you do not see the recommended player available, he will likely become available later in the day, and odds will be updated in the article when that happens.*
Follow Jason Bales (@BalesTJason)
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