Last night was a big letdown for yours truly, with offenses like Toronto (one run) and Boston (three runs) underwhelming in quality spots. Thankfully, it’s a daily game and we can move on with our lives this morning.
I’ll keep it simple today, giving my best/worst plays for the early slate of games on DraftKings, beginning at 1:05 PM ET.
Best play: Minnesota Twins @ LHP Kolby Allard
You’ve got the Toronto Blue Jays at Dean Kremer in Baltimore and the Boston Red Sox at home in 90 degree weather against Brad Keller—not to mention the Royals in Boston against lefty Martin Perez...and all of those teams should soak up ownership. Meanwhile, the Twins are getting healthier, with guys like Luis Arraez ($2,800) and Max Kepler ($3,200) returning to the lineup. Given the nagging injuries to guys like Josh Donaldson and Andrelton Simmons, I feel sure we will see some value in this Minnesota lineup today. Kolby Allard (2.91 ERA, 3.59 xFIP) hasn’t been bad, but the Rangers bullpen hasn’t been good and Minnesota is death to left-handed pitching.
Check the lineup before locking in given all the guys returning from injury, but my favorite plays in the split are Nelson Cruz, Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson, Alex Kirilloff, and Trevor Larnach. Miguel Sano (33.8% K-rate, .133 ISO) isn’t of interest to me, and Luis Arraez (.075 ISO) would only be in a “cash game” scenario—but he’s viable due to the low $2,800 salary still. Lastly, Larnach (.241 ISO, 32.3% K-rate) and Ryan Jeffers (.458 ISO, 30.8% K-rate) are boom/bust, but that’s a lot of boom for their low salaries. Again, you’ll have to see how this batting order shakes out, but I’m looking forward to pouncing on some value from Minnesota.
Worst play: NYM @ WAS (scheduled for 7 innings)
Don’t get cute here given the two pitchers on the mound (David Peterson, Jon Lester). We are chasing ceiling, people, and a seven-inning game doesn’t give us that. On say a four-game slate or something, sure. But not on a slate this size. I’m not considering this game at all. There’s also potentially some weather issues here.
Bonus “worst play” if you think the above was a copout: Dean Kremer vs. TOR
Dean Kremer at home against the Blue Jays. You’ve got bad weather potentially, plus the big Toronto bats to contend with, who I wouldn’t bank on disappointing two days running.
Bonus bonus “worst play” if you think that scenario is a copout: Randy Dobnak at TEX
Texas is a group we typically pick on, but Dobnak hasn’t been able to recapture his early-career magic, as he’s carrying an 8.38 ERA and a lowly 5.59 K/9 around this year. Hitters aren’t chasing his stuff out of the zone this year, and he’s allowing more contact than ever. That contact is really, really loud, too. Dobnak ranks inside the 1st percentile in the majors in most batted ball quality metrics, including: max exit velocity, xwOBA, xSLG, and K%. He’s in the 2nd percentile for average exit velocity, the 9th for barrel rate (11.8%), and the 7th for whiff rate. The only thing he’s doing well is limiting free passes (2.56 BB/9, 83rd percentile). However, everything else is atrocious. I may be considering some Texas Rangers sticks today.
Who pops out to you on the early slate of games, ladies and gents? Let us know in the comments!