Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels have found plenty of offensive success this season, ranking 10th in the MLB in runs scored, 17th in team batting average, and 10th in OPS. They have been a better offense on the road this season, where they are hitting .251 with a .419 slugging percentage and a .738 OPS. They are also averaging 4.6 runs and 3.2 extra-base hits per game away from home this season. Tonight, the Angels are small underdogs in a game set at 11 runs. Still, Los Angeles features an implied run total of 5.3 runs.
The Angels get an elite matchup against Drew Hutchison tonight. He has struggled through 13 games (two starts) this season, recording a 1-2 record with a 6.07 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. He has also allowed a 2.1 HR/9, while recording a 6.4 K/9 through 29.2 innings, as well. Hutchison has struggled against left-handed batters this season, allowing them to hit for a .333 average with a .510 slugging percentage and a .408 wOBA. He’s also allowing righties to hit for a .246/.557/.389 line this season. There are a few stacks that should be chalk tonight, and the Angels top my list.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Cleveland Indians continue to feature one of the best offenses in the MLB, ranking third in the Majors in runs scored and OPS, while ranking fourth in team batting average. They also own a .272 average with a .464 slugging percentage and an .810 OPS at home this season. The Indians are averaging 5.7 runs and 3.5 extra-base hits per game in Cleveland, as well. They are -356 favorites in a game set at 9 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on the slate at 6.1 runs tonight.
Cleveland gets a great matchup against David Hess, who has struggled with a 2-6 record, 6.25 ERA, and 1.51 WHIP through 13 games (11 starts). He has allowed his opponents to record a 2.1 HR/9, while posting a 5.6 K/9 through 59 innings, as well. Hess has struggled against everyone this season. He’s allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .277 average with a .530 slugging percentage and a .371 wOBA, while righties are hitting for a .271/.504/.362 line against him. The Indians continue to feature an elite offense at home, and there’s no reason to believe that will change tonight. They should come with a bit of ownership, but they are still one of the best stacks on the slate.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Minnesota Twins have struggled offensively at times this season, although they rank 18th in the MLB in runs scored and team batting average, while ranking 21st in OPS. Minnesota has been a significantly better offense at home, where they own a .261 average with a .430 slugging percentage and a .762 OPS. They are averaging 4.8 runs and 3.4 extra-base hits per game in Minnesota, as well. They are currently -172 favorites in a game set at 8.5 runs, giving them an implied run total of 4.9 runs tonight.
Matt Boyd will be taking the mound for the Detroit Tigers. He has been struggling over his last 10 starts, and he has not found much success on the road this season. Through 12 road starts, he owns a 2-7 record with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. He has also allowed a 1.3 HR/9, while recording a 8.8 K/9 through 64.1 road innings. Surprisingly, he has been a reverse splits pitcher this season, allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .222 average with a .400 slugging percentage and a .285 wOBA. That has not been the case throughout his career, though, and Minnesota is a high upside option on this slate.
Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor
Chapman has been playing at an elite level, posting a .385 average with an .846 slugging percentage and a 1.278 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 52% hard-hit and fly ball rates with a 98 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Chapman has also posted a .517 slugging percentage and a .245 ISO against right-handed pitching in 2018.
Story continues to play well, hitting .297 with a .486 slugging percentage and a .794 OPS over his last 10 games. He has also posted 41% hard-hit and 48% fly ball rates with a 95 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Furthermore, Story owns a .629 slugging percentage and a .328 ISO against left-handed pitching throughout his career.
Acuna has been arguably the hottest hitter in the MLB over his last 10 games, posting a .447 average with a 1.132 slugging percentage and a 1.632 OPS over that span. He owns eight home runs in those games. He has posted 57% hard-hit and 42% fly ball rates with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well.
Duda has posted 48% hard-hit and fly ball rates with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. He also owns 0.108 wOBA and 0.143 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. Furthermore, Duda will be playing in a stadium that is extremely hitter friendly for left-handed batters.
Thames has been struggling a bit recently, but two of his last three hits have been home runs. He owns 72% hard-hit and fly ball rates with a 102 mph exit velocity over his last five games, as well. Thames has also posted 0.11 wOBA and 0.168 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Ray has struggled at times this season, posting a 3-2 record with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP through 15 starts. He owns a 3.78 xFIP and a 3.75 SIERA, though, suggesting he has been a bit unlucky. He has also posted an elite 11.9 K/9, while recording a 1.5 HR/9 through 76.1 innings. Ray is currently a -121 favorite in a game set at only 7.5 runs, giving his opponents an implied run total of only 3.6 runs.
Ray gets an elite matchup against the San Diego Padres, who lead the slate in strikeout per at-bat, while ranking sixth last on the slate in team wOBA. He has been an elite option against left-handed batters, holding them to a .132 average with a .279 slugging percentage and a .228 wOBA. Ray is also holding his opponents to a .197/.277/.260 line on the road this season. He is due for positive regression throughout the remainder of the season, and he’s an elite option on this slate.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Forsythe has been playing at an elite level over his last 10 games. Over that span, he’s hitting .486 with a .568 slugging percentage and a 1.104 OPS. He has displayed a bit of power – three doubles – and a bit of speed – one steal – in those games, as well. He also owns a 42% hard-hit rate with a 92 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days.
I have already outlined Matt Boyd above, so I will not do that again. Forsythe is expected to hit second in the Minnesota lineup, giving him ample opportunities to score fantasy points. He’s a safe option that also comes with plenty of upside tonight.
Gonzalez’s price tag is a bit surprising, as he has been playing well for quite some time now. Over his last 10 games, he owns a .351 average with a .568 slugging percentage and a 1.009 OPS. He also possesses 46% hard-hit and 34% fly ball rates with a 93 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Gonzalez has been a better option against right-handed pitching, as well, featuring 0.054 wOBA and 0.015 ISO differentials against righties.
He gets a matchup against Edwin Jackson, who has thrown well this season, but is due for regression. Jackson is allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .194 average with a .352 slugging percentage and a .277 wOBA this season. Gonzalez is expected to hit fourth in the Houston lineup, and he’s a sneaky option in all leagues tonight.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)