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Justin’s Pick: Shaun Anderson
Shaun Anderson has seen mixed results this season, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP through five starts. He owns a 4.38 xFIP and a 5.05 SIERA in those games, as well. With that being said, his MiLB numbers suggest he could find more success in the Majors once he gets adjusted. Anderson has held his opponents to a 23.7% fly ball rate in 2019, although he has allowed an 18.2% HR/FB rate. He has also given up a 39.6% hard hit rate, while recording a 16.7% soft hit rate in those games. His strikeout and swinging strike rates are down to 13.3% and 6.6%, respectively, but could see positive regression, as he has flashed some strikeout potential in the MiLB. Most importantly, Anderson gets a matchup against the San Diego Padres, who rank second on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat. They also rank as a below average offense in team wOBA, and Anderson will be throwing in one of the more pitcher-friendly stadiums in the MLB. He’s a +119 underdog in a game set at 7.5 runs, but I’m willing to overlook his status as an underdog for his price tag.
Jason’s Reaction: Anderson has a great price tag for someone with so much upside. Rostering him in tournaments opens up quite a bit of salary space for pitchers like Justin Verlander and Jose Berrios.
Jason’s Pick: Justin Verlander
Speaking of Justin Verlander, he is, rather unsurprisingly, the best pitching option on tonight’s MLB slate. He is also the most expensive, but for great reason. The Milwaukee Brewers are travelling to Houston, and the Astros are currently seen as -130 betting favorites via Vegas. Verlander has a strikeout prediction over eight, which happens to be the highest of any pitcher taking the mound this evening. The game is set at a lowly 7.5 total runs, giving the Brewers an implied run total of 3.6. Verlander has achieved quality start status in just under 50% of his starts this season, which is also the highest on the slate. He is a consistent option with great strikeout potential, making him rosterable in both tournaments and cash games. As an added bonus, he is at home.
Justin’s Reaction: Verlander is an obvious and elite option tonight. Feel free to use him in any league on this slate.
Justin’s Pick: C.J. Cron
C.J. Cron has been playing well recently, recording a .300 average with a .525 slugging percentage and a .889 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he has recorded six extra-base hits (one home run) and nine RBIs. Cron boasts 51% hard hit and 33% fly ball rates with a 93 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. He gets a plus matchup against Tommy Milone, who has thrown well this season, but is due for regression. Most importantly, he enters this game with 42.1% fly ball and 43.9% hard hit rates in 2019. Cron has been at his best against left-handed pitching, bringing 0.109 wOBA and 0.062 ISO differentials against lefties into this game. He’s expected to hit fifth in one of the best offenses in the MLB, and he should see plenty of run and RBI opportunities tonight. Cron makes a strong option in all leagues on this slate tonight.
Jason’s Reaction: I agree. His price tag may be slightly high, but the first base position is tough to find value at. Cron is a good option in all leagues.
Jason’s Pick: Eric Sogard
The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to score over five runs tonight against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore. David Hess is on the mound, and he is a liability. Eric Sogard is expected to leadoff for the Blue Jays, and he should see ample run opportunities. On the season, he is hitting 0.031 HR/AB and stealing 0.07 bases per game. Most importantly, his advanced metrics are great. In the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 245 feet, an average exit velocity on batted balls of 94 MPH, a fly ball rate just under 40%, and a hard hit rate just under 45%. Sogard is expensive at this point, but he is worth it, as he provides quite a bit of upside at a position that tends not to provide any upside at all. Sogard can be rostered in all leagues tonight.
Justin’s Reaction: Sogard is a solid option, but I’m a bit hesitant on his price tag. I won’t be forcing him into my lineups, but if I have the salary for him, I have no issues whatsoever using him.
Justin’s Pick: Ketel Marte
Ketel Marte continues to heat up, posting a .289 average with a .578 slugging percentage and an .897 OPS over his last 10 games. He has recorded five extra-base hits (four home runs) and eight RBIs over that span. He has also scored a total of 56 fantasy points over his last three games. Marte’s breakout should continue, as well, as he owns 51% hard hit and 44% fly ball rates with a 96 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days. He has struggled at times against right-handed pitching, but he gets a plus matchup against Zach Eflin in Philadelphia’s hitter-friendly stadium tonight. Marte has looked elite on the road this season, where he owns a .308 average with a .583 slugging percentage and a .944 OPS in 2019. He comes with a great combination of speed and power, and he can be used in all leagues if you can find the salary.
Jason’s Reaction: Marte is a great option, especially since he can also be rostered at second base. That kind of versatility is great on DraftKings. Nice recommendation.
Jason’s Pick: Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz gets another great matchup against a left-handed pitcher in Tommy Milone. Milone is allowing 1.9 HR/9, and Cruz is hitting 0.07 HR/AB. He enters tonight’s game with great 0.027 wOBA and 0.032 ISO differentials, and he is, obviously, expected to hit third for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have an implied run total of 5.4, and Cruz should be a part of that run production. In the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 278 feet! Combine that with his average exit velocity of 101 MPH on those batted balls, his fly ball rate over 50%, and his hard hit rate over 70%, and there is absolutely no reason to avoid him right now. Roster Cruz in every single lineup.
Justin’s Reaction: I was going to write up Cruz on this slate, but knew you would want to. Yes, I am the nicer brother of the duo. Great recommendation.