Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Colorado Rockies continue to make up the “Chalk Stack,” as they currently rank 11th in the MLB in runs scored, eighth in team batting average, and ninth in OPS. They feature one of the best offenses in the MLB when playing at home, where they own a .277 average with a .469 slugging percentage and an .809 OPS. Colorado is averaging 5.0 runs and 3.5 runs per game at home this season, as well. The Rockies are -230 favorites in a game set at 10.5 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on the slate at 6.5 runs.
The Rockies get a matchup against Jacob Nix, who has struggled in only two MLB games. He owns a 1-1 record with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP this season. He has recorded a 1.4 HR/9 with a 6.8 K/9 through 6.2 innings, as well. Nix has struggled against left-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .368 average with a .579 slugging percentage and a .444 wOBA. While there is only a limited sample size, Nix’s 5.64 xFIP and 5.41 SIERA suggest that his struggles should be expected. The Rockies feature a lineup that can dominate anyone, and this is a matchup they can thrive in.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Chicago Cubs have quietly featured a dominant offense this season. Through 124 games, they rank ninth in the MLB in runs scored, second in team batting average, and sixth in OPS. Chicago has struggled at times on the road this season, but they are still hitting .256 with a .405 slugging percentage and a .737 OPS away from home. The Cubs are also averaging 4.6 runs and 3.1 extra-base hits per game on the road this season. They are currently -178 favorites in a game set at 9.5 runs, and they feature an implied run total of 5.5 runs tonight.
Chicago gets a great matchup against Francisco Liriano tonight. He has been struggling over his last 10 games (nine starts), posting an 0-6 record with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP. He has also allowed a 1.8 HR/9 with a 7.3 K/9 over his last 39.2 innings. Liriano has struggled more against right-handed batters, who own a .271 average with a .478 slugging percentage and a .371 wOBA against him this season. He has also allowed his opponents to hit for a .248/.492/.360 line in Detroit. The Cubs recently made moves to bolster their offense, and they make an elite stacking option on the slate tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Detroit Tigers have struggled offensively through 126 games. They currently rank 28th in the MLB in runs scored, 24th in team batting average, and 27th in OPS. They have been a significantly better offense at home, posting a .254 average with a .399 slugging percentage and a .710 OPS in Detroit. They are averaging 4.2 runs and 3.0 runs per game at home, as well. Furthermore, Detroit owns a .258/.402/.715 line against left-handed pitching. They are underdogs in this game, but feature an implied run total of 4.1 runs.
Jon Lester will be taking the mound for the Chicago Cubs tonight. He has struggled over his last 10 starts, posting a 4-3 record with a 6.62 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. He has also allowed a 2.2 HR/9 with a 7.7 K/9 over his last 50.1 innings. Surprisingly, Lester has been a reverse splits pitcher, allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .260 average with a .500 slugging percentage and a .357 wOBA. He’s also allowing righties to hit for a .246/.409/.319 line this season. The Tigers are at their best when they are facing left-handed pitching in Detroit, and they are a high upside option tonight.
Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor
DeJong has been struggling a bit recently, but he owns a 57.1% extra-base hit rate over his last 10 games. He has posted 51% hard-hit and 48% fly ball rates with a 94 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. DeJong also features a .488 slugging percentage and a .219 ISO against right-handed pitching throughout his career.
Peralta has been a dominant option against right-handed pitching, recording 0.087 wOBA and 0.124 ISO differentials against righties. He has been on fire, as well, posting a .361 average with seven extra-base hits (five home runs) over his last 10 games. He possesses 66% hard-hit and 39% fly ball rates with a 94 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days.
O’Hearn only has six hits in his last 31 at-bats, but four of them have been home runs. He has posted 44% hard-hit and 55% fly ball rates with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. He gets a matchup against right-handed pitching tonight, and O’Hearn owns 0.322 wOBA and 0.268 ISO differentials against righties.
Plawecki has quietly been on fire over his last 10 games, recording a .300 average with a .500 slugging percentage and a .917 OPS over that span. He has posted 42% hard-hit and 46% fly ball rates with a 90 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Furthermore, he’ll be a potentially low owned home run tonight.
Gomes is hitting in an extremely hitter friendly stadium tonight. He also gets a great matchup against a left-handed pitching, and he owns a .523 slugging percentage and a .227 ISO against lefties in 2018. Gomes has posted 53% hard-hit and 34% fly ball rates with a 96 mph exit velocity over his last 10 games, as well.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Gray has struggled at times this season, posting a 9-7 record with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP through 23 starts. He has been unlucky, though, as his 3.08 xFIP and 3.32 SIERA suggest he will see positive regression as the season continues. He has also scored 23+ DK points in five of his last six starts. Tonight, Gray is a -230 favorite in a game set at 10.5 runs, giving his opponents an implied run total of 4.2 runs.
He gets an elite matchup against the San Diego Padres, who lead the slate in strikeouts per at-bat, while ranking second last on the slate in team wOBA. He has been a better option against right-handed batters, holding them to a .260 average with a .365 slugging percentage and a .300 wOBA. Gray could be owned surprisingly high for playing in Coors, but he makes an outstanding option tonight.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Greiner has only played in three games over the last 15 days, but he is averaging 7.7 DK points per game over that span. He also owns 50% hard-hit and 33% fly ball rates with a 95 mph exit velocity in those games. Greiner also features 0.13 wOBA and 0.036 ISO differentials against left-handed pitching.
I have already outlined Jon Lester above, so I won’t do that again. Greiner is expected to hit eighth in the Tigers lineup, but he has flashed consistency and upside in his recent MLB stint. He does come with some risk, but he makes a solid option for his low price tag.
Jackson has caught fire once again, posting a .304 average with a .413 slugging percentage and a .760 OPS over his last 10 games. He also owns 45% hard-hit and 42% fly ball rates with a 92 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Jackson has recorded a 0.074 ISO differential against right-handed pitching, as well.
He gets a solid matchup against Casey Kelly, who is allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .318 average with a .333 slugging percentage and a .314 wOBA in limited innings this season. Jackson is hitting fifth in the Mets lineup, and he’s a consistent option that also comes with plenty of upside.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)