Welcome to another edition of Bales’ Top GPP Play. In this article, I will outline my favorite MLB GPP play for today’s games. If you want all of my core plays along with our staff’s Final Thoughts articles with access to our Discord, click here.
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In his last full season, Ohtani threw at an elite level for the Los Angeles Angels. He recorded a 4-2 record with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over 10 starts, although it was 2018. His numbers were backed by a 3.53 xFIP and a 3.65 SIERA. That season, Ohtani recorded 29.9% strikeout and 15.2% swinging-strike rates. He also held his opponents to a 4.8% barrel rate. Throughout Ohtani’s career, he’s been significantly better at home, where his xFIP drops to 3.38 and strikeout rate increases to 34.2%. He’s also at his best against right-handed batters, recording a 3.46 xFIP with a 34.8% strikeout rate.
Ohtani gets an interesting matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. They rank third on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat, although they feature one of the highest team wOBAs on the slate. Ohtani’s a +104 underdog in a game set at 7.5 runs, giving the Rays an implied team total of 3.9 runs. He’s thrown extremely well early this season, although he’s dealing with a sore elbow, making him questionable tonight. Most nights, Ohtani would likely be the chalk at this price, but Kenta Maeda gets an elite matchup and is only $200 more. I’m expecting Maeda to pick up significantly more ownership, making Ohtani an outstanding leverage option.
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