MLB DEEP DIVE – 6/10/17
Chris Sale is the most expensive pitching option in a dangerous matchup against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are finally fully healthy and have a lot of power-hitting right-handers that pose threats to Sale. Still, he has elite strikeout stuff against hitters from both sides of the plate, striking out 37.4 percent of righties that he has faced this season. He is allowing over 32 percent hard contact to righties with only 12.4 percent soft contact so, when righties do make contact they are making quality contact, but there is still a lot of upside for Sale. He is not a “must play” like he has been in some better matchups, but still is very capable of being the highest scoring pitcher on the slate.
Luis Severino has a 27.5 percent strikeout percentage this season with an 11.7 percent swinging strike percentage. He will be facing a right-handed heavy lineup and has managed to strike out more than 30 percent of righties he has faced this season with just a .304 xwOBA allowed. The Orioles are a dangerous lineup that is capable of doing damage against hard-throwing righties, but they will also strike out and they have the 2nd-highest o-swing percentage over the last 14 days at 35.9 percent trailing only the Chicago White Sox. Severino also would see a boost if Manny Machado misses this game. He is currently my preferred SP1.
Zack Godley is back on the slate and he gets a high-upside matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers. As we know, the Brewers have power bats in their lineup but there are also plenty of strikeouts. Milwaukee has a 32.5 percent o-swing percentage over the last 14 days along with a 12.7 percent swinging strike percentage. Godley has excellent plate discipline numbers this season, posting a 13.4 percent swinging strike rate and 35.6 percent o-swing percentage. He makes for an excellent SP2 on two-pitcher sites.
Aaron Judge has been one of the best power hitters in baseball this season and he will face Chris Tillman in Yankees Stadium. Tillman has not looked sharp in the majority of his starts since returning to the disabled list and has allowed a .339 xwOBA to right-handed hitters since the start of last season. Judge has a phenomenal .429 xwOBA against right-handed pitching this season and is one of the better hitting options on the slate.
Josh Donaldson faces a home-run prone lefty in Ariel Miranda. Miranda is a decent pitcher, but he has had trouble limiting home runs to righties this season, as he has allowed 1.81 home runs per 9 innings to righties. Donaldson has a .409 xwOBA against left-handed pitching since the start of last season and should be able to do some damage tonight.
Miguel Cabrera is a great GPP leverage option if you do not roster Chris Sale. Cabrera has been hitting much better than his numbers indicate this season and he has a .453 xwOBA against lefties since the start of last season. He has also had some success against Sale in the past with an average exit velocity of 99.3 miles per hour on 13 batted balls over the last two seasons.
Mark Trumbo is in a tough spot against Severino but there are not many great hitter spots on this slate. Trumbo is very capable of hitting hard fastballs, with a .416 xwOBA on fastballs thrown harder than 94 miles per hour since the start of last season. His price is cheap because of the difficult matchup, but he has as good a chance to homer off Severino as anyone on the Orioles.
Jose Bautista has not been great this season but has a respectable .343 xwOBA against southpaws since the start of last season and will face home-run prone left-hander Ariel Miranda. Bautista’s $3,400 price tag on DraftKings is way too cheap for the matchup on a relatively small slate and he is a good place to save money in your lineups.
Kendrys Morales is also too cheap across the industry. He has not had the results of Justin Smoak but he has been hitting the ball extremely well this season and he has a .392 xwOBA against lefties since the start of last season. As mentioned previously, Miranda is home-run prone and there is a good chance at least one or two guys in the Toronto lineup are able to get to him for a home run. Morales also has the added benefit of being a switch hitter so the bullpen cannot match up with him late in the game.
New York Yankees- The Yankees have been an elite offense this season and will face Chris Tillman in Yankees Stadium. Tillman does not miss many bats with just a 6.3 percent swinging strike percentage this season and the Orioles bullpen is a shell of its former self right now with Darren O’Day and Zach Britton on the disabled list. This matchup checks off a lot of boxes as you get a mediocre starting pitcher, a bad bullpen and a great ballpark for the potent Yankees lineup.
Boston Red Sox- Justin Verlander is expected to make the start for the Tigers after leaving his last start early. Verlander has struggled mightily against right-handed hitters since the start of May, allowing a .397 xwOBA with just a 9 percent swinging strike rate. The Red Sox have dangerous righties throughout their lineup and it is a negative park shift for Verlander. Detroit’s bullpen has been better of late but it is far from a lockdown bullpen that can be counted on, so there is upside throughout the game for the Red Sox if they can get to Verlander early.
Los Angeles Dodgers- Asher Wojciechowski is a decent pitcher but he is better against righties and the Dodgers have a ton of powerful lefties in their lineup. The Dodgers have underperformed in some very good matchups this season, but they have a lot of upside and are in one of the better spots on this slate.