Welcome to another edition of Bales’ Top GPP plays. In this article, I will outline my favorite MLB GPP plays for today’s games. If you want all of my core plays along with our staff’s Final Thoughts article with access to our Discord, click here.
Wainwright has looked great in 2020, holding his opponents to 22 runs (20 earned runs) while striking out 51 batters over 59 innings. He boasts a 4.09 xFIP and a 4.25 SIERA to go along with his 3.09 ERA this season. He also enters this game with 21.8% strikeout and 11.1% swinging-strike rates. Wainwright has been slightly worse at home, where he has posted a 4.48 xFIP through 35 innings. He has also looked great against right-handed batters, as he owns a 3.92 xFIP against righties this season, and his strikeout rate increases to 25.4% against that handedness.
Wainwright gets a matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight. They rank second on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat while also ranking as an average offense in team wOBA. Wainwright is a +108 underdog in a game set at 7.5 runs, giving the Brewers an implied team total of only 3.9 runs. His only matchup against Milwaukee came two games ago, and he scored 33.3 fantasy points against them. Luis Castillo, Zack Wheeler, and Brandon Woodruff are all expensive options that will garner more ownership than Wainwright. Woodruff is the key pitcher, as he’s a bit cheaper than Wainwright but is the favorite in this game, keeping the latter’s ownership likely in the single-digits tonight.
Bohm has caught fire, as he’s hitting for a .405 average with a .514 slugging percentage and a 1.025 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns two extra-base hits (one home run), four RBIs, and one stolen in those contests. Bohm has looked great against right-handed pitching this season, as well, posting a .353 average with a .471 slugging percentage and a .884 OPS. He boasts a .385 wOBA and a .118 ISO against righties in 2020, as well.
Bohm gets an interesting matchup against John Curtiss tonight, although it will be a bullpen game for the Tampa Bay Rays. Throughout his career, Curtiss has allowed right-handed batters to hit for a .237 average with a .419 slugging percentage and a .319 wOBA. Bohm is expected to hit second in the Philadelphia Phillies lineup and his price tag doesn’t represent his success this season. It’d be surprising if his ownership doesn’t creep up closer to the start of the games but at the moment, we can take advantage of him going overlooked.
Bogaerts continues to find success, posting a .333 average with a .333 slugging percentage and a .748 OPS over his last 10 games. He doesn’t own any extra-base hits or RBIs in those games but he has flashed upside with four stolen bases. Bogaerts enters this game with a .361 average, .590 slugging percentage, and .990 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. He also owns a .420 wOBA and a .230 ISO against lefties in 2020.
Bogaerts gets a matchup against Tucker Davidson, who will be making his MLB debut tonight. Davidson only threw 19 innings in Triple-A in 2019, allowing his opponents to post a .286 average against him. He isn’t a top prospect and isn’t likely to find sustained MLB success but is being upside with the Atlanta Braves already clinching the postseason. Bogaerts is expected to hit third for the Boston Red Sox tonight. He’s been consistent with upside in recent games without power, something that he has flashed throughout the season for his position.
Merrfield is hitting for a .311 average with a .333 slugging percentage and a .644 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span, he’s only posted one extra-base hit and one RBI but he boasts five stolen bases. Merrifield owns a .292 average with a .438 slugging percentage and a .784 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. He also possesses a .340 wOBA and a .146 ISO against lefties in 2020.
Merrfield gets a great matchup against Matthew Boyd, who is allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .306 average with a .618 slugging percentage and a .413 wOBA this season. He’s also given up a .276/.551/.383 line on the road this season. Merrifield is expected to lead off for the Kansas City Royals and his combination of power and speed makes him one of the highest upside players on the slate.
Ozuna has looked elite in recent games, posting a .395 average with a .711 slugging percentage and a 1.231 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns 6 extra-base hits (3 home runs) and 12 RBIs in those contests. Ozuna is also hitting for a .330 average with a .568 slugging percentage and a .988 OPS against right-handed pitching in 2020. He also boasts a .418 wOBA with a .239 ISO against righties this season.
Ozuna gets a matchup against Tanner Houck, who has thrown limited innings in the MLB. Houck has held right-handed batters to a .048 average with a .048 slugging percentage and a .169 wOBA but I don’t expect his success to continue over the long term. Ozuna is expected to hit third in the Atlanta Braves lineup. He isn’t going to come cheap but he’s an elite option on this slate.
Daulton Varsho (1.85x)
Varsho has seen mixed results in recent games, recording a .229 average with a .429 slugging percentage and a .770 OPS over his last 10 games. He posted four extra-base hits (one home run), three RBIs, and two stolen bases in those games. Varsho is hitting for a .197 average with a .459 slugging percentage and a .788 OPS against right-handed pitching. He’s recorded a .339 wOBA and a .262 ISO against righties throughout his rookie season.
Varsho gets a matchup against German Marquez tonight. Marquez has allowed left-handed batters to hit for a .262 average with a .403 slugging percentage and a .313 wOBA. Varsho is expected to lead off tonight and it isn’t often you get a 1.85x multiplier on someone with his combination of power and speed. He’s an elite option on SuperDraft tonight.
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