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Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Minnesota Twins have featured an elite offense through 65 games this season. They currently lead the MLB in runs scored, home runs, team batting average, and OPS. Minnesota has been better on the road this season, but they still own a .254 average with a .481 slugging percentage and an .814 OPS through 29 home games. They are averaging 5.1 runs and 4.0 extra-base hits per game in those contests, as well. Tonight, they are -209 favorites in a game set at 9.5 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.7 runs.
Minnesota gets a matchup against Tommy Milone, who has thrown well through four games (three starts) this season. He owns a 1-1 record with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in those games. He is due for regression, though, as he also possesses a 4.20 xFIP and a 4.00 SIERA. He has given up a 42.1% fly ball rate in 2019, although he has held his opponents to a 12.5% HR/FB rate. Milone has also allowed his opponents to post a 43.9% hard hit rate this season, while recording only a 14% soft hit rate. His strikeout rate sits at 24.4% , while he also enters this game with a 10.5% swinging strike rates in 2019. He has been at his worst against left-handed batters this season, allowing them to hit for a .235 average with a .471 slugging percentage and a .311 wOBA. He has also allowed a .214/.452/.285 line to right-handed batters this season. Milone’s biggest struggles have come with power throughout the 2019 season, and he gets a matchup against the most powerful offense in the MLB. This isn’t a large slate by any means, and the Twins are far and away the safest stacking option tonight.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Baltimore Orioles have struggled offensively this season, ranking 26th in the MLB in runs scored, 20th in home runs, 23rd in team batting average, and 25th in OPS. The Orioles have been better at home this season, where they own a .236 average with a .414 slugging percentage and a .714 OPS. They are averaging 4.1 runs and 3.1 extra-base hits per game in those contests. Baltimore is currently a -109 favorite in a game set at 10.5 runs, and they feature an implied run total of 5.4 runs tonight.
The Orioles get an elite matchup against Edwin Jackson, who could be the worst starting pitcher in the MLB this season. Through five starts, he owns an 0-4 record with a 11.90 ERA and a 2.24 WHIP. He has also struggled with a 5.99 xFIP and a 5.35 SIERA. Jackson has allowed his opponents to record 36.7% fly ball and 27.6% HR/FB rates in 2019. He has also given up a 46.8% hard hit rate, while recording only an 8.9% soft hit rate this season. He has also struggled quite a bit with 14.4% strikeout and 8.5% swinging strike rates. Jackson has been a reverse splits pitcher this season, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .431 average with a .980 slugging percentage and a .587 wOBA. He has allowed allowed his opponents to hit for a .421/.816/.530 line on the road this season. Keep in mind, this sample size is extremely small, but there’s no reason to believe Jackson will suddenly turn into a good pitcher. This is a matchup that Baltimore can take advantage of.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Arizona Diamondbacks make up my tournament stack once again tonight. They have found plenty of offensive success through 68 games, ranking fourth in the MLB in runs scored, ninth in home runs, and eighth in team batting average and OPS. The Diamondbacks have featured an elite offense on the road this season, recording a .274 average with a .489 slugging percentage and a .822 OPS through 38 road games. They are also averaging 5.9 runs and 4.1 extra-base hits per game away from Arizona this season. The Diamondbacks are +127 underdogs in this game, but they still own an implied run total of 4.2 runs on this slate.
Zach Eflin will be taking the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies tonight. He has looked outstanding this season with a 6-5 record, 2.88 ERA, and 1.19 WHIP. He is due for major regression, though, as he owns a 4.85 xFIP and a 4.64 SIERA through those 12 starts. He has allowed a 41.5% fly ball rate in 2019, while holding his opponents to a 12.2% HR/FB rate. His opponents have also recorded 36.3% hard hit and 17% soft hit rates against him this season. His strikeout and swinging strike rates are down 18.9% and 9%, respectively. He has been at his worst against left-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .250 average with a .492 slugging percentage and a .335 wOBA. His xFIP also skyrockets to 4.95 at home this season, and Arizona is in an elite spot that could go overlooked on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Anderson has seen plenty of ups and downs early this season, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP through five starts. He also owns a 4.38 xFIP and a 5.05 SIERA this season. With that being said, Anderson has flashed in the MiLB, and I expect him to continue to progress in the Majors as he earns more innings. He has held his opponents to a 23.7% fly ball rate in 2019, although he has also given up an 18.2% HR/FB rate. His opponents have posted a 39.6% hard hit rate against Anderson this season, while he has recorded only a 16.7% soft hit rate. His strikeout rate sits at only 13.3%, while he owns a 6.6% swinging strike rate in the MLB, but I expect that to see positive regression as he gains more innings. Anderson is a +121 underdog in a game set at 7.5 runs, and his opponents feature an implied run total of only 4.0 runs.
He gets a plus matchup against the San Diego Padres, who rank second on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat. They also feature a below average team wOBA on this slate. Anderson has been at his best against left-handed batters, holding them to a .260 average with a .420 slugging percentage and a .300 wOBA. He has allowed his opponents to post a .302/.381/.311 line in San Francisco this season, and his ability to negate his opponents power will play a major factor in this game. Anderson is cheap enough to be considered in all leagues as an SP2 tonight, but he may be best suited for tournaments.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Gonzalez has been playing extremely well recently, posting a .308 average with a .564 slugging percentage and a .921 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he owns six extra-base hits (two home runs) and five RBIs. He has recorded a 45% hard hit rate with a 96 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Gonzalez gets a great matchup tonight, and he enters this game with 0.033 wOBA and 0.019 ISO differentials against left-handed pitching.
He gets a matchup against Tommy Milone, who has been outlined above. Gonzalez is expected to hit sixth in the Minnesota Twins lineup, and they are projected to be one of the best offenses in the MLB on this slate. Gonzalez is cheap enough to safely be considered in all leagues tonight.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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