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Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Colorado Rockies have found plenty of offensive success in 2019, ranking sixth in the MLB in runs scored, 21st in home runs, fifth in team batting average, and eighth in OPS through 89 games. Colorado has been at their best at home, where they boast a .312 average with a .534 slugging percentage and a .909 OPS. They are also averaging 6.9 runs and 4.4 extra-base hits per game through 43 home games this season. The Rockies are currently -129 favorites in a game set at 12 runs, giving them the second highest implied run total on the slate at 6.4 runs.
Colorado gets a tough matchup against Sonny Gray, but that may not matter tonight. He has posted a 5-5 recorded with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP through 17 starts. Those numbers are backed up by a 3.46 xFIP and a 3.83 SIERA, as well. Gray has also held his opponents to 28.1% fly ball and 13.8% HR/F rates in 2019. With that being said, he has given up a 38.9% hard hit rate, while recording only a 17.1% soft hit rate. He enters this game with 27.8% strikeout and 10.6% swinging strike rates, as well. Gray has been at his worst against right-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .247 average with a .368 slugging percentage and a .302 wOBA. On the surface, he has been better on the road this season, but his xFIP increases to 3.96 away from home. His strikeout rate also drops in those games, while his HR/FB rate increases. One of Gray’s best pitches is his curveball, which will be somewhat negated in Coors tonight. The Rockies are one of two major “Chalk Stacks” on this slate.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are another dominant offense, ranking third in the MLB in runs scored, fourth in home runs, sixth in team batting average, and fifth in OPS through 88 games. Surprisingly, the Yankees have been better on the road, but they are still hitting .263 with a .461 slugging percentage and a .795 OPS through 45 home games. They are averaging 5.3 runs and 3.0 extra-base hits per game in those categories. New York is a -276 favorite in a game set at 11 runs tonight, and they feature the highest implied run total on the slate at 7.1 runs.
The Yankees get an elite matchup against Aaron Sanchez, who has posted a 3-12 record with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP through 19 starts. He has also struggled with a 5.33 xFIP and a 5.57 SIERA. He has held his opponents to a 28.3% fly ball rate, while allowing a 17.1% HR/FB rate. Sanchez has given up a 37.6% hard hit rate, as well, while posting only a 17.9% soft hit rate in 2019. He has struggled with 17.9% strikeout and 8.7% swinging strike rates this season. Sanchez has been at his worst against right-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .300 average with a .453 slugging percentage and a .377 wOBA. He has also given up a .278/.448/.347 line to left-handed batters this season. Sanchez has also been at his worst on the road, where he has allowed his opponents to hit for a .304/.478/.373 line throughout the 2019 season. The Yankees will feature plenty of ownership tonight because of their Vegas total, and they make up the second “Chalk Stack” on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Vargas has thrown well this season, posting a 3-4 record with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP through 15 games (14 starts). He has consistently avoided regression, and he enters this game with a 4.98 xFIP and a 4.98 SIERA. He has given up a 39.8% fly ball rate in 2019, while holding his opponents to an 11% HHR/FB rate. Vargas has also allowed a 39.2% hard hit rate, while posting an 18.9% soft hit rate this season. He’s currently a +102 underdog in a game set at 8 runs, giving his opponents an implied run total of 4.1 runs.
Vargas gets a matchup against the Miami Marlins, who rank fifth on this slate in strikeouts per at-bat. They also rank second last in team wOBA. Vargas has been slightly better against right-handed batters, holding them to a .236 average with a .399 slugging percentage and a .303 wOBA. He has struggled on the road this season, but he’ll be throwing in one of the more pitcher friendly stadiums in the MLB tonight. It’s possible Vargas can avoid regression once again tonight.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Candelario caught fire prior to the All Star Break, posting a .324 average with a .703 slugging percentage and a 1.121 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns six extra-base hits (four home runs), seven RBIs, and one stolen base over that span. Candelario also boasts 65% hard hit and 39% fly ball rates with a 98 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days. He enters this game with 0.036 wOBA and 0.02 ISO differentials against left-handed pitching, as well.
Candelario gets an elite matchup against Danny Duffy, who has struggled with a 5.30 xFIP and a 5.12 SIERA this season. He has also given up 41.2% fly ball and 12.9% HR/FB rates in 2019. Duffy has been worse against left-handed batters, but he has allowed righties to hit for a .245 average with a .439 slugging percentage and a .314 wOBA. Candelario is expected to hit fifth in the Detroit Tigers lineup, and he makes a great option in all leagues tonight.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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