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Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals have seen plenty of offensive ups and downs throughout the 2019 season. They currently rank 21st in the MLB in runs scored and team batting average, 24th in home runs, and 22nd in OPS through 143 games. St. Louis has been better at home this season, but they’re hitting for a .241 average with a .421 slugging percentage and a .734 OPS through 71 road games. They are averaging 4.6 runs and 3.2 extra-base hits per game in those contests, as well. The Cardinals are -151 favorites in a game set at 13.5 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on the slate at 7.5 runs.
St. Louis gets an elite matchup against Chi Chi Gonzalez, who has struggled through 10 games (9 starts) this season. In those games, he has posted an 0-6 record with a 7.29 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. He has also recorded a 6.06 xFIP and a 6.45 SIERA in 2019. Gonzalez has held his opponents to a 31% fly ball rate, although he has given up a 20.5% HR/FB rate, as well. He has also posted 43.4% hard hit and 17.2% soft hit rates in those games. He brings 11.9% strikeout and 6.8% swinging strike rates into this game, as well. Gonzalez has been at his worst against left-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .296 average with a .549 slugging percentage and a .411 wOBA. He has also given up a .266/.468/.333 line to right-handed batters this season. As if that isn’t enough, Gonzalez has been at his worst in Colorado, where he has allowed his opponents to hit for a .386/.659/.463 line this season. While St. Louis has been anything but a consistent offense in 2019, they should have no problems finding success in this particular matchup.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers feature one of the best offenses in the MLB, ranking fifth in the MLB in runs scored and OPS, third in home runs, and 10th in team batting average through 145 games. The Dodgers are another offense that has found more success at home, but they possess a .253 average with a .469 slugging percentage and a .807 OPS through 69 games away from home. They are also averaging 5.6 runs and 3.9 extra-base hits per game in those contests. Los Angeles is currently a -311 favorite in a game set at 10 runs, and they feature one of the higher implied run totals on this slate at 6.6 runs.
The Dodgers get one of the best matchups on the slate against Ty Blach. Through only six games (four starts), he has recorded a 1-2 record with a 10.95 ERA and a 2.15 WHIP. Those struggles are confirmed by his 6.69 xFIP and 6.30 SIERA. Blach has allowed his opponents to hit for 40.4% fly ball and 16.7% HR/FB rates in 2019. He has also given up a 49.4% hard hit rate to go along with a 12.4% soft hit rate this season. He enters this game with only 13.9% strikeout and 6.4% swinging strike rates, as well. Blach has struggled more against left-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .407 average with a .778 slugging percentage and a .504 wOBA. He has also given up a .329/.570/.416 line to right-handed batters in 2019, though. Furthermore, he has given up a ridiculous .442/.731/.507 line to his opponents in Baltimore this season. The Dodgers feature elite power throughout their lineup, and there’s very little reason to believe Blach will find MLB success this season. Los Angeles is best suited for tournaments with Coors on this slate, but they aren’t a bad cash stack tonight either.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Atlanta Braves have possessed one of the better offenses in the MLB through 145 games, ranking sixth in the league in runs scored, fifth in home runs, eighth in team batting average, and seventh in OPS. They have found more success in Atlanta, but still feature a .252 average with a .437 slugging percentage and a .762 OPS through 70 road games. They are averaging 5.3 runs and 3.4 extra-base hits per game away from home, as well. The Braves are -166 favorites in a game set at 10 runs, and they own an implied run total of 5.7 runs tonight.
Jason Vargas will be taking the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies tonight. He has thrown well this season, posting a 6-7 record with a 4.27 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP through 26 games (25 starts). He’s due for regression, though, as he also owns a 5.43 xFIP and a 5.28 SIERA in those games. Vargas has given up a 42.7% fly ball rate, although he has held his opponents to a 10.7% HR/FB rate in 2019. He has posted 38.5% hard hit and 19% soft hit rates this season. He also brings 18.4% strikeout and 9.7% swinging strike rates into this game. Vargas has given up a .257 average with a .460 slugging percentage and a .332 wOBA to left-handed batters. He has also allowed righties to post a .239/.403/.304 line this season. Furthermore, Vargas has allowed his opponents to post a .243/.388/.305 line at home in 2019.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Anderson has seen plenty of ups and downs throughout the 2019 season, recording a 6-4 record with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP through 28 games (23 starts). He has also posted a 5.18 xFIP and a 4.80 SIERA. Anderson owns 43.7% fly ball and 13.8% HR/FB rates this season. He has also recorded 38.9% hard hit and 19.2% soft hit rates in 2019. Anderson brings 21.3% strikeout and 11.1% swinging strike rates into this game, as well. He is a -179 favorite in a game set at 8.5 runs, giving his opponents an implied run total of only 3.6 runs tonight.
Anderson gets a plus matchup against the Miami Marlins, who strikeout at an above average rate on this slate. They also rank third last in team wOBA on this slate tonight. Anderson has been significantly better against left-handed batters, holding them to a .190 average with a .346 slugging percentage and a .262 wOBA this season. He’s far from an elite pitcher, but he can be considered in all leagues for his price tag in this matchup.
Hidden Gem: Value Hitter
O’Hearn has been playing well recently, posting a .321 average with a .571 slugging percentage and a .959 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns three extra-base hits (two home runs) and five RBIs in those games. O’Hearn also owns 59% hard hit and 37% fly ball rates to go along with a 98 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days. He brings 0.058 wOBA and 0.092 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching into this game.
O’Hearn gets a solid matchup against Ivan Nova, who has recorded a 4.99 xFIP and a 5.23 SIERA through 29 starts. He has struggled against left-handed batters, allowing them to hit for a .296 average with a .496 slugging percentage and a .347 wOBA. O’Hearn is expected to hit seventh in the Kansas City Royals lineup, and he can be considered in all leagues tonight.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)