Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Cleveland Indians continue to feature one of the best offenses in the MLB, ranking fourth in runs scored and team batting average, while also ranking third in OPS. They have been a significantly better offense at home, as well, where they are hitting .274 with a .466 slugging percentage and an .813 OPS. The Indians are also averaging 5.7 runs and 3.6 extra-base hits per game in Cleveland. They are -204 favorites in a game set at 8 runs, giving them an implied run total of 4.8 runs tonight.
The Indians get a matchup against Kyle Gibson, who has thrown surprisingly well this season. Through 22 starts, he owns a 5-8 record with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He has also held his opponents to a 0.9 HR/9, while posting an 8.8 K/9. Gibson has also found success in three matchups against the Indians this season. He’s allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .234 average with a .333 slugging percentage and a .289 wOBA, while righties have recorded a .209/.370/.289 line against him in 2018. The Indians feature an elite offense whenever they play in Cleveland, and this matchup should be no different.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Colorado Rockies have performed well this season, ranking ninth in the MLB in run scored, 10th in team batting average, and sixth in OPS. They have also featured arguably the best offense in the MLB at home, where they are hitting .283 with a .481 slugging percentage and an .827 OPS. Colorado is also averaging 5.3 runs and 3.7 extra-base hits per game at home. They are currently -138 favorites in a game set at 10.5 runs, and they feature the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.7 runs.
Colorado gets a matchup against Joe Musgrove tonight. Musgrove has performed well this season, recording a 4-5 record with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP through 11 starts. He also owns a 0.8 HR/9 with a 7.3 K/9 through 67 innings. He has struggled quite a bit against left-handed batters this season, allowing them to hit for a .276 average with a .438 slugging percentage and a .335 wOBA. The Rockies feature a few elite left-handed bats that come with tremendous power, and they have the potential to dominate any pitcher. Musgrove has also struggled at times against right-handed batters on the road. Colorado could also feature quite a bit of ownership tonight, but it may be a mistake to avoid them.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
New York Mets
The New York Mets own one of the worst offenses in the MLB through 109 games. They currently rank 29th in the Majors in runs scored, 30th in team batting average, and 26th in OPS. They are also hitting only .211 with a .337 slugging percentage and a .623 OPS at home this season. Overall, they’re averaging 3.2 runs and 2.3 extra-base hits per game in New York. Still, they’re -167 favorites in a game set at 7.5 runs, giving them an implied run total of 4.3 runs.
Homer Bailey will be taking the mound for the Cincinnati Reds tonight. He has struggled through 14 starts, posting a 1-8 record with a 5.87 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. He has also struggled with a 1.9 HR/9 to go along with a 6.1 K/9. Bailey is allowing left-handed batters to hit for a .267 average with a .537 slugging percentage and a .362 wOBA, while righties are hitting for a .292/.503/.357 line. The Mets do not feature an MLB caliber offense, but Bailey also is not an MLB caliber pitcher. While he has found success since rejoining the Reds, this is a night to take a chance on New York’s offense.
Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor
Upton is hitting .333 with a .487 slugging percentage and an .853 OPS over his last 10 games. He also possesses 50% hard-hit and 35% fly ball rates with a 94 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Upton owns a career .506 slugging percentage and a .235 ISO against left-handed pitching, as well.
Palka has dominated right-handed pitching this season, featuring 0.039 wOBA and 0.13 ISO differentials against righties. He has also been on fire recently, hitting .333 with a 1.000 slugging percentage and a 1.385 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 36% hard-hit and 57% fly ball rates over the same span.
Beltre is hitting .329 with a .455 slugging percentage and an .845 OPS at home this season. Beltre also owns a career .521 slugging percentage and a .215 ISO against left-handed pitching.
Chirinos is a powerful catcher that gets overlooked. He’s hitting .297 with a .595 slugging percentage and a .990 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 45% hard-hit and 40% fly ball rates over the last 15 days, as well. Chirinos also owns a .508 slugging percentage and a .262 ISO against left-handed pitching in 2018.
Hoskins has dominated right-handed pitching, posting a career .576 slugging percentage and a .299 ISO. He has also been on fire recently, hitting .342 with a .789 slugging percentage and a 1.234 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 52% hard-hit and 47% fly ball rates with a 93 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Tropeano has enjoyed an up and down season, recording a 4-6 record with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP through 13 starts. He has struggled with a 1.9 HR/9, while posting a 7.6 K/9 through 71 innings. He has flashed upside, though, scoring 15+ DK points in five of his last 10 starts. Furthermore, Tropeano’s a -143 favorite in a game set at only 8 runs, giving his opponents and implied run total of only 3.7 runs.
He gets a good matchup against the Detroit Tigers, who rank fourth last on the slate in team wOBA. They also utilize a right-handed heavy lineup, and Tropeano has held right-handed batters to a .212 average with a .477 slugging percentage and a .326 wOBA. Essentially, Tropeano struggles to contain his opponents power, while Detroit features one of the least powerful offenses in the MLB. This is a great matchup for Tropeano, who makes a sneaky option for a low price tag.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Guzman continues to struggle, but he possesses a .248 average with a .448 slugging percentage and a .769 OPS in Texas this season. He also owns 41% hard-hit and 33% fly ball rates over the last 15 days. Guzman has been slightly better against left-handed pitching, as well, recording 0.005 wOBA and 0.025 ISO differentials against lefties.
I have already outlined Wade LeBlanc above, so I will not do that again. Guzman is expected to hit seventh in the Rangers lineup, and he could see a few RBI opportunities tonight. He should also be extremely low owned because of the lefty-lefty matchup, but as we know, both players feature reverse splits.
Sano is finally heating up, as he’s averaging 8.7 DK points per game over his last six games. He possesses a 62% hard-hit rate with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Sano also hits right-handed pitching well, posting 0.063 wOBA and 0.056 ISO differentials against righties.
He gets a terrible matchup against Trevor Bauer, although he has been a reverse splits pitcher this season. He’s allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .217 average with a .315 slugging percentage and a .267 wOBA. Sano is hitting fifth in the Twins lineup, and he’s a high upside leverage play tonight. He should strictly be used in tournaments, but his home run potential is enough to be considered for his price tag.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)