Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox slide into the “Chalk Stack” once again. As we know, they feature one of the best offenses in the MLB, ranking in the top-three of the league in runs scored, total bases, team batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS. They are also hitting .287 with a .480 slugging percentage and an .826 OPS through 17 games in Boston. They are averaging 6.5 runs and 4.4 extra-base hits per game at home, as well. Tonight, they are -250 favorites in a game set at 8.5 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.3 runs.
The Red Sox get a matchup against Trevor Cahill, who has quietly been playing well through four starts. In those games, he has a 1-1 record with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He also features an elite 0.8 HR/9 to go along with an 11.6 K/9. He has struggled on the road this season, though, as he has allowed each of his six runs away from home. He has also been a reverse splits pitcher this season, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .250 average with a .457 slugging percentage and a .328 wOBA. The Red Sox are a team that can dominate any pitcher, and Cahill is no exception to that.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees also feature one of the best offenses in the MLB. They currently lead the MLB in runs scored, RBIs, on-base percentage, and OPS, while ranking second in home runs and slugging percentage. They have struggled at times on the road, though, recording a .230 average with a .409 slugging percentage and a .710 OPS. Overall, they are averaging 4.6 runs and 3.6 extra-base hits per game away from New York. They are sizeable underdogs in a game set at only 7.5 runs, giving them the lowest implied run total on the slate at only 3.3 runs.
Max Scherzer will take be taking the mound for the Washington Nationals tonight. He has been playing at an elite level this season, recording a 7-1 record, 1.69 ERA, and 0.82 WHIP through nine games. He has also posted a 0.6 HR/9 to go along with an elite 14.0 K/9. He has been a worse pitcher against left-handed batters, but they are still hitting only .188 with a .368 slugging percentage and a .269 wOBA this season. The Yankees are absurdly cheap tonight, though, as nearly all of their players have seen their prices drop $1K+ on DraftKings. This is purely a leverage play on a short slate, and this will be one of the only times this season that you can stack the Yankees with an elite priced pitcher.
Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor
Rendon has been one of the best hitters in the MLB recently, recording a 65% hard-hit rate and a 98 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Both of these numbers lead the slate tonight. Rendon has also been a significantly better option against left-handed pitching, recording 0.039 wOBA and 0.09 ISO differentials against lefties.
Freeman has been on fire recently, recording a .314 average with a .571 slugging percentage and a .990 OPS over his last 10 games. He has also recorded a 61% hard-hit rate with a 96 mph exit velocity over the last 15 days. Furthermore, Freeman has hit 75.3% of his career home runs against right-handed pitching.
Bryant has been displaying elite power recently, recording five home runs over his last 10 games. He has also posted 58% hard-hit and 47% fly ball rates over the last 15 days. Bryant also features a 94 mph exit velocity over that span. He gets a solid matchup against Brandon McCarthy, who features a 1.6 HR/9 this season.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Smith has been playing at a high level at home this season. Through four starts in Miami, he features a 1-1 record, 2.38 ERA, and 1.10 WHIP. He has also posted a 0.8 HR/9 with a dominant 11.5 K/9. Overall, he’s averaging 21.5 DK points per game at home. He’s an underdog in this game, but it is set at only 7.5 runs. The Dodgers enter this game with an implied run total of 4.2 runs.
Smith gets a matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who feature the third highest strikeouts per at-bat on this slate. They also feature the second lowest team wOBA tonight. Smith has been a reverse splits pitcher this season, holding right-handed batters to a .162 average with a .303 slugging percentage and a .254 wOBA. The Dodgers are a team that generally features multiple lefty specialists throughout their lineup. That likely will not work tonight, as Smith has found plenty of success against righties. He’s still a cheap option, but Smith comes with tremendous upside on this slate.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Gardner has been playing well recently, recording a .289 average over his last 10 games. He has also recorded three extra-base hits, six RBIs, and two steals over that span. He has also been a significantly better hitter against right-handed pitching, recording 0.088 wOBA and 0.099 ISO differentials against righties.
I have already outlined Max Scherzer above, so I will not do that again. Gardner is leading off for the Yankees, and could see plenty of run opportunities with multiple elite bats hitting behind him. He could also see RBI opportunities, as the Yankees feature a few dominant hitters at the end of their lineup.
Flaherty has been playing at an elite level at home this season. Through 13 games in Atlanta, he features a .390 average with a .585 slugging percentage and a 1.075 OPS. He also features tremendous 0.117 wOBA and 0.11 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching, while getting a great matchup tonight.
Flaherty gets a matchup against Tyler Chatwood tonight. He has quietly thrown well this season, but he has struggled a bit against left-handed batters. This season, lefties are hitting .242 with a .344 slugging percentage and a .339 wOBA against Chatwood. Flaherty is expected to hit seventh in the Braves lineup, which is less than ideal, but still a decent spot for a salary relief option.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)