Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have found plenty of offensive success this season, ranking ninth in the MLB in runs scored, 19th in team batting average, and seventh in OPS. They have featured a better offense on the road this season, where they are hitting .250 with a .437 slugging percentage and a .771 OPS. They are also averaging 5.2 runs and 3.6 extra-base hits per game away from home. Tonight, the Dodgers are -142 favorites in a game set at 9.5 runs, giving them one of the highest implied run totals on the slate at 5.2 runs.
The Dodgers get a tough matchup against Jon Gray, who owns an 11-7 record with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP through 26 starts. He has also allowed a 1.2 HR/9 with a 9.6 K/9 through 153.1 innings this season. Gray has struggled more against left-handed batters this season, allowing them to hit for a .253 average with a .465 slugging percentage and a .328 wOBA this season. He’s also allowing his opponents to hit for a .261/.420/.317 line in Colorado. This game is being played in Coors, meaning each of these two teams will carry some ownership. It’s likely LA is the higher owned stack of the two, though.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Chicago Cubs have featured an above average offense this season, ranking sixth in the MLB in runs scored, second in team batting average, and fourth in OPS. They have also found some success on the road this season, where they are hitting .256 with a .409 slugging percentage and a .739 OPS. Chicago is also averaging 4.6 runs and 3.2 extra-base hits per game away from home. The Cubs are currently -126 favorites in a game set at 9.5 runs, and they feature an implied run total of 5.1 runs.
Chicago gets a matchup against Joe Ross tonight. This will be Ross’ first start of the season after receiving Tommy John surgery (TSJ). In 48 career games (45 starts), he owns a 17-13 record with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He has also allowed a 1.1 HR/9, while posting an 8.1 K/9 through 255.1 innings. Ross has struggled against left-handed batters throughout his career, allowing them to hit for a .300 average with a .485 slugging percentage and a .364 wOBA. Ross could potentially struggle with control, as many pitchers returning from TJS do, adding to the upside of the Cubs tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals have struggled quite a bit this season, ranking only 29th in the MLB in runs scored, 22nd in team batting average, and 26th in OPS. While they have struggled on the road this season, Kansas City has performed well over the last week. Over that span, they are hitting .275 with a .500 slugging percentage and an .824 OPS. The Royals are also averaging 5.3 runs and 4.0 extra-base hits per game in their last six games. Tonight, the Royals are underdogs in a game set at 9.5 runs. They still feature an implied run total of 4.4 runs tonight.
Stephen Gonsalves will be taking the mound for the Minnesota Twins tonight. He has struggled through three starts this season, posting an 0-2 record with a 9.90 ERA and a 2.90 WHIP. He has also allowed a 1.8 HR/9, while recording a 4.5 K/9 through 10 innings. The sample size is limited, but Gonsalves is allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .429 average with a .600 slugging percentage and a .492 wOBA. Lefties are also hitting for a .333/.750/.481 line against Gonsalves this season. His peripherals suggest he will continue to struggle in the MLB, and this is a matchup this Kansas City Royals can take advantage of. They will also comes with extremely low ownership tonight.
Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley has caught fire recently, hitting .323 with a .581 slugging percentage and a .934 OPS over his last 10 games. He has posted 57% hard-hit and 46% fly ball rates with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Bradley has also been a better option against right-handed pitching, owning 0.107 wOBA and 0.081 ISO differentials against righties.
Belt is at his best against right-handed pitching, posting 0.075 wOBA and 0.104 ISO differentials against righties. He owns a .476 slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season, as well. Belt also possesses 36% hard-hit and 48% fly ball rates with a 94 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days.
Grichuk has been on fire recently, hitting .378 with a .649 slugging percentage and a 1.077 OPS over his last 10 games. He has posted 56% hard-hit and 46% fly ball rates with a 95 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Grichuk owns 0.032 wOBA and 0.129 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching, as well.
Turner has struggled at times against right-handed pitching this season, but he does own a .492 slugging percentage against righties. He’s also hitting .371 with a .686 slugging percentage and a 1.162 OPS over his last 10 games. He features 59% hard-hit and 54% fly ball rates with a 98 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days.
Dozier is hitting .350 with nine extra-base hits (two home runs) over his last 10 games. He features 62% hard-hit and 40% fly ball rates with a 98 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Dozier is also hitting third in the lineup, and could potentially see a couple extra at-bats tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Archer has featured plenty of ups and downs this season, posting a 4-7 record with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP through 23 starts. He also owns a 1.1 HR/9 with a 9.5 K/9 through 124.1 innings. He was able to score 28.1 DK points in his only matchup against the Miami Marlins this season, as well. Archer is a -205 favorite in a game set 8 runs, giving his opponents an implied run total of only 3.3 runs.
As mentioned above, Archer gets a matchup against the Miami Marlins, who rank second last on the slate in team wOBA. Archer has been a better option against right-handed batters this season, holding them to a .265 average with a .406 slugging percentage and a .318 wOBA. He’s far from a safe option, but this is an elite matchup that he can take advantage of. Archer is a high upside salary relief option.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
McKinney continues to play at a high level, and I continue to recommend him. Through 18 games, he’s hitting .351 with a .649 slugging percentage and a 1.082 OPS. He owns nine extra-base hits (four home runs) and 11 RBIs in those games. McKinney owns a 41% hard-hit rate with a 95 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Furthermore, he features a .612 slugging percentage and a .265 ISO against right-handed pitching.
McKinney gets a matchup against Carlos Carrasco, who has allowed left-handed batters to hit for a .247 average with a .393 slugging percentage and a .296 wOBA. McKinney is leading off for the Blue Jays, meaning he could get extra at-bats tonight. He’s a safe option that comes with more than enough upside to be considered in all leagues.
Flowers has been playing well recently, hitting .267 with a .400 slugging percentage and a .753 OPS over his last 10 games. He also features a 57% hard-hit rate with a 94 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Flowers has also found plenty of success against left-handed pitching, recording 0.302 wOBA and 0.192 ISO differentials against lefties.
He gets a matchup against Patrick Corbin, who has struggled against right-handed batters throughout his career. In those games, he’s allowing righties to hit for a .261 average with a .427 slugging percentage and a .320 wOBA. Flower is expected to hit fifth in the Braves lineup, which is relatively high for a salary relief catcher. He’s a player that can be used in all leagues.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)
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