Today’s is a short preamble, folks. Here are two arms l like for MLB DFS tonight, followed by a few thoughts on the lineups that are out already.
Alex Wood @ Los Angeles Dodgers ($6,900)
Wood is too cheap for a pitcher of his caliber, especially facing a watered-down Dodgers lineup. Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, and Max Muncy is a formidable front three, but after that the conversation starts with Albert Pujols at cleanup. Just yikes. And even Betts has been down in 2021, with a .185 ISO that is the lowest mark of his career, sans his rookie season (.153). This Dodgers unit as a whole is pretty middling right now, with a .170 ISO and 100 wRC+ over the last week. Not bad, but certainly not the elite group we’ve come to expect.
Wood is 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA on the season, but what I’m most into his his walk rate. One of these BB/9 marks is not like the other...starting from 2021 and working backwards: 2.36, 4.26, 2.27, 2.37, 2.25, etc. etc. etc. You get the idea. Sans the 12 2⁄3 innings from 2020, Wood is a model of consistency at limiting free passes. He’s got a sparkling career-high 59.6% ground ball rate in 2021, and he’s held onto a solid strikeout rate at 9.00 K/9—or 25.5%, if you’re into percentages like me. That’s a career-best 18.8% K-BB%, which would have been a top 20 mark over the full 2020 season. For reference, among qualified hurlers a year ago, Lance Lynn ranked 20th with an 18.6% K-BB%. In short, Alex Wood has been very good this year. I don’t know why his price point is so low.
Chris Bassitt vs. Los Angeles Angels ($8,200)
Shohei Ohtani will oppose Bassitt on the mound tonight, but his fastball was down roughly 5 MPH in his last turn. And while he was still effective, he generally doesn’t work late into games. Chris Bassitt does, however. Last weekend, Bassitt held the Halos to two runs over 7 2⁄3 innings. He also struck out eight batters. Over his last eight starts, he is 4-0 with a 3.26 ERA. On the year he has a 3.69 ERA (3.64 xFIP), with a career-high 25.7% K-rate and career-best 5.9% walk rate. Two days ago the Angels put 11 runs on the Rangers’ bullpen, and last night they scored nine runs against Dane Dunning and that same bullpen. Bassitt is of a different quality, though. And the A’s bullpen is much better at limiting hard contact than the Rangers’. I’m thinking Bassitt serves as a stopper for this Angels offense tonight.
As for sticks, there are some notable absences tonight, starting with Tim Anderson and Nicholas Castellanos. That White Sox lineup might be a place to squeeze some value from. I’m partial to Andrew Vaughn against a lefty for only $2,500, batting sixth instead of the usual seventh. Nick Madrigal leading off for $3,300 could be a punt, though that’s not a high-ceiling play. Yasmani Grandal ($4,400) batting second is super for a catcher-eligible bat.
Anthony Santander ($3,300) is still way too cheap. He’s batting third for Baltimore against the talented (but up-and-down) Dylan Cease.
Jon Duplantier will get the nod for Arizona, and I was already liking St. Louis bats. In Duplantier’s brief 2019 stint, he showed reverse splits. So don’t forget about the big righty bats for the Cardinals, namely Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. I won’t leave off Dylan Carlson, either. For $3,100, a player of his caliber batting second is just too cheap.
Who are YOU playing tonight, ladies and gents?