Monday night brings us an eight-game slate and the weather looks pretty clear across the board but always make sure to double-check.
Today’s SPs and 2023 Stats
A quick note on PLV: If you’re curious about its intricacies, check out Nick’s primer. A quick summary: PLV is a quantifier that uses several variables to assess the quality of each individual pitch; the higher the value, the better the pitch. PLA is the ERA equivalent to PLV (the lower, the better).
*John Means has made just one start this season since returning from TJ but he had a 15.3% K-BB and 5.38 PLV across 146.2 IP two years ago.
I’m going to do something that I don’t think I’ve done all year and that’s recommend a pitcher going against Atlanta. If there is anyone who can tame their lineup it’s Mr. Zack Wheeler ($10,900 DK, $10,000 FD) and his 5.40 PLV which leads all SPs.
Plus, Wheels is from Georgia and he grew up a Braves fan. Guess where his season-high 12 strikeout game happened this year. Coincidences don’t exist.
Freddy Peralta ($11,300, $10,800 FD) and the Brewers are huge favorites (-186 on FD) tonight against Wainwright and the Cardinals. The Cardinals are a pretty good lineup (eight in team wOBA) but Peralta was absolutely brilliant in his latest start against the Marlins (5.39 PLV and 36.8% CSW) and he certainly has the upside to lead the slate.
So are we back in on Bryan Woo ($7,200 DK, $9,700 FD) tonight? Hard not to love the matchup against Oakland and his fastball was brilliant in his latest start (40.4% CSW) albeit against a little league Angels lineup.
Still, it’s not like Oakland is that much better, right? He makes sense as an SP 2 on DraftKings. The only knock against him is that he’s not a good bet to go too far past 80 pitches, so he’ll have to be efficient.
The roller coaster that is Lance Lynn ($8,400 DK, $9,200 FD) continues tonight in Chavez Ravine where the Dodgers host the Tigers, you know, the team with the third-lowest wOBA in baseball. Lynn struck out three last time against the Padres and before that, he had three starts in a row with just one (one!!) strikeout.
I won’t pretend to have the slightest clue what to expect but the matchup is there for him to take advantage of. Then again, I could also see taking a chance on a bat like Kerry Carpenter or Spencer Torkelson here too given Lynn’s remarkable penchant for giving up dingers this year.
We’ve finally made it. The biggest favorite on the board tonight is… Michael Wacha. Thank you, Rockies. Wacha’s changeup rates really well in terms of pitch quality, and it’s the road Rockies so there is a case to be made for Wacha.
But considering that he’s coming off a bad start, albeit against the Dodgers, I was hoping for a lower price tag; his $8,900 salary on DK kind of feels like you’re paying for his ceiling.
I’ll be honest, I want to cross off Justin Verlander ($10,500 DK and FD); his underlying numbers aren’t as good as they once were. Did you realize his K rate is only 21.2%? That’s about a point below the league average. A matchup against Baltimore (12th in team wOBA) isn’t exciting enough for me. Now watch him toss a CGSO and make me look dumb.
I don’t have the slightest idea why Mike Clevinger is $9,000 on FD. But then again, I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on over there. I guess you can play Clevinger against Washington but just look at his start against Detroit on 9/02 to realize that, yes, this can, in fact, end very badly.
He’s risky but JP Sears is playable as an SP 2 on DraftKings at $6,700. His pitch quality metrics are very good and there’s definitely a way he can pay off that salary provided he can dance around a red-hot J-Rod.
So Atlanta has an implied total of five runs, which is right up there near the top; but as someone who has written a lot about PLV this year, I can’t fathom stacking against Wheeler so let’s call for a one-night moratorium on Atlanta bats.
Joan Adon’s numbers are almost ghastly enough to make you think about rostering White Sox bats not named Luis Robert Jr. In particular, Eloy Jiménez, although Andrew Benintendi and Yoán Mon… alright I’ll stop. You get the idea.
Adam Wainwright is the cheapest pitcher on the slate for a reason. He’s nearing the end and is on the mound tonight after getting win no. 199 at Baltimore.
The Brewers aren’t an exciting lineup but given Waino’s struggles this year, you have to at least consider them. Mark Canha has been really productive since being traded to Milwaukee and looks a little too cheap. It’s been a brutal year for Rowdy Tellez but he’s still got good power and can pay off his salary with one swing.
The Rockies haven’t announced a starter for tonight’s game in San Diego but I have a hunch that whoever gets the nod isn’t going to be particularly good, so you have to like the chances for Juan Soto and friends. Although, their lineup takes a little bit of a hit if Ha-Seong Kim is still out. Regardless, I like Luis Campusano as a catcher punt.
I’m a little surprised that tonight’s game in Atlanta is basically a pick ’em since the Phillies have such a strong advantage on the mound with Wheeler vs. Kyle Wright. And there’s also the fact that Ronald Acuña Jr. might be out again with calf tightness.
Anyway, Wright recently returned after a long layoff with a shoulder injury and he, not surprisingly, didn’t look too great. I think this is a spot where the Phillies might be able to score some runs against a pitcher who is still a little rusty.
John Means is making only his second start since returning from TJ, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Houston do some damage against him if he’s a little rusty. Yordan Alvarez is always a fun tournament play when you can get him at a low roster percentage which you might be able to tonight considering it’s against a left-hander.
I don’t necessarily want to pick on Verlander but if you’re feeling frisky, I like Heston Kjerstad as a dart in tournaments; he’s very cheap and showed some very good pop in the minors.
Eduardo Rodriguez has pitched well this year but he gets a tough assignment against the Dodgers, who could easily blow up the slate if they can get into the Tigers pen early; they’re an interesting stack in tournaments.
Another stack that I think could be a little off the beaten path is the Rangers against Kutter Crawford. He hasn’t been bad but he’s far from proven and the Rangers could potentially get Adolis García and Josh Jung back tonight which makes their lineup a lot better.