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Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Cleveland Indians have struggled offensively this season. Through 71 games, they rank 23rd in the MLB in runs scored, 24th in home runs, 27th in team batting average, and 25th in OPS. Cleveland has been better on the road this season, where they own a .237 average with a .401 slugging percentage and a 712 OPS through 34 games. They are also averaging 4.2 runs and 3.0 extra-base hits per game away from home. Tonight, the Indians are -116 favorites in a game set at 10.5 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on this slate at 5.5 runs.
Cleveland gets a matchup against Adrian Sampson tonight. He has struggled a bit this season, posting a 5-3 record with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He also enters this game with a 4.99 xFIP and a 4.53 SIERA. Sampson has allowed a 42.9% fly ball rate, while allowing a 13.1% HR/FB rate in 2019. He has also given up a 44.9% hard hit rate to go along with only a 13.7% soft hit rate. Sampson enters this game with 18.7% strikeout and 10.3% swinging strike rates this season. He has been a reverse splits pitcher this season, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .301 average with a .542 slugging percentage and a .371 wOBA. He has also allowed a .262/.437/.311 line to left-handed batters, though. Surprisingly, Sampson has been a better pitcher in Texas, although his opponents have posted a .260/.409/.297 line against him at home. Cleveland will benefit from playing in a hitter friendly stadium tonight, and they have a few bats that have been playing at a high level. There isn’t likely one “Chalk Stack” on this 15 game slate, but Cleveland is reasonably priced, and can be considered in cash games.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Oakland A’s have found some offensive success throughout the 2019 season, ranking 14th in the MLB in runs scored, 10th in home runs, 19th in team batting average, and 16th in OPS. The A’s have featured a better offense on the road this season, but they have posted a .233 average with a .407 slugging percentage and a .714 OPS through 37 home games. They are averaging 4.2 runs and 3.0 extra-base hits per game in those contests. They are -212 favorites in a game set at 9 runs tonight, and they also feature an implied run total of 5.5 runs tonight.
The A’s get a great matchup against Gabriel Ynoa, who has struggled throughout the 2019 season. Through 13 games (4 starts), he owns an 0-3 record with a 5.02 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. He has also given up 38.2% fly ball and 17% HR/FB rates this season. Surprisingly, his opponents only own a 33.9% hard hit rate against him, but Ynoa has also only held them to a 15.3% soft hit rate. His strikeout rate also only sits at 17.6% to go along with a 9.7% swinging strike rate. He has struggled more against right-handed batters in 2019, as they own a .355 average with a .592 slugging percentage and a .417 wOBA against him this season. Ynoa has also struggled quite a bit on the road this season, where he has given up a .258/.484/.346 line this season. While Oakland has struggled at home, they get an elite matchup, and I don’t expect Ynoa to continue to find success against left-handed batters. Everyone in the lineup for the A’s can be considered on this slate.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Washington Nationals have featured an average offense this season, ranking 15th in the MLB in runs, home runs, and OPS, while also ranking 14th in the league in team batting average. They have been a better offense at home, posting a .262 average with a .452 slugging percentage and a .786 OPS through 34 home games. The Nationals are averaging 5.0 runs and 3.4 extra-base hits per game in Washington. They are -153 favorites in a game set at 9.5 runs, and they own an implied run total of 5.3 runs tonight.
Jake Arrieta will be taking the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies. He enters this game with a 6-5 record, 4.31 ERA, and 1.45 WHIP through 14 starts. He has also struggled with a 4.49 xFIP and a 4.87 SIERA in those starts. Arrieta has held his opponents to a 27.1% fly ball rate, although he has allowed a 20% HR/FB rate. He has also given up a 38.3% hard hit rate, while holding his opponents to only a 17.2% soft hit rate. He has been significantly worse against left-handed batters this season, allowing them to hit for a .293 average with a .531 slugging percentage and a .380 wOBA. He has also struggled on the road, where he has allowed a .297/.527/.367 line this season. Furthermore, Arrieta’s HR/FB rate has jumped to 28.6% on the road in 2019. The Nationals come with quite a bit of risk, but they’re likely going to go overlooked because of the matchup. They feature one of the highest implied run totals on the slate, and they make up an elite stacking option in tournaments tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Anderson has gotten a bit lucky in 2019, as he owns a 6-4 record with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP through 14 starts. With that being said, he owns a 5.04 xFIP and a 5.32 SIERA in those starts. He has held his opponents to 27.2% fly ball and 9.9% HR/FB rates, though. He has also held his opponents to a 37.6% hard hit rate, while posting a 15% soft hit rate in 2019. Anderson’s strikeout rate sits at only 12.6% to go along with a 7.8% swinging strike rate this season. He’s a -212 favorite in a game set at 9 runs, giving his opponents an implied run total of 3.7 runs.
Anderson gets a matchup against the Baltimore Orioles, who rank fourth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat. They also feature a below average team wOBA on this slate. Anderson has been better against right-handed batters, holding them to a .252 average with a .355 slugging percentage and a .291 wOBA. He has also held his opponents to a .265/.376/.327 line at home this season. While he’s due for some regression, he gets a great matchup and could see added strikeout potential against Baltimore. For his current price tag, he makes an outstanding option in all leagues, although he may be best suited for tournaments.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Jones has been playing well recently, posting a .267 average with a .533 slugging percentage and a .905 OPS over his last 10 games. Over that span he owns four extra-base hits (two home runs), six RBIs, and one stolen base. Jones boasts 52% hard hit and 32% fly ball rates with a 96 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days, as well. Furthermore, he has been at his best against right-handed pitching, posting 0.004 wOBA and 0.036 ISO differentials against righties.
Jones gets a matchup against Mitch Keller, who has struggled through two starts this season. In those starts, he has posted a 5.08 xFIP and a 3.85 SIERA. He has also given up a 44.4% hard hit rate this season. Keller has allowed right-handed batters to hit for a .462 average with a .769 slugging percentage and a .529 wOBA this season. Keep in mind, this is an extremely small sample size. Most importantly, Jones is leading off for the Detroit Tigers, and he makes a strong option in all leagues on this slate.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)