DraftKings MLB Lineup Advice: Tuesday (8/8)
Chris Sale and Corey Kluber are the clear cut top two choices at starting pitcher. In cash games, I’d give the slight edge to Kluber, but with a salary difference of only $200, they’re easily interchangeable for multi entries into GPPs tonight — and I’ll be using both. More on the uber-talented duo below. A pair of sub-$7,000 arms stand out as great options to pair with the two studs while leaving ample salary for some big boppers. While I only have one member of the Pirates listed below — and he’s a nifty punt — I like them quite a bit for stacking purposes. They’re affordable, have a high ceiling, and they draw a favorable matchup. Only one of the highlighted hitters has a salary of over $5,000, but he’s well worth the salary commitment. In all, the options listed below can be used together while leaving ample salary to flesh out the rest of the roster.
Chris Sale (BOS) : $12,600 @ Rays
Sale’s ever so slightly behind Kluber at the top tonight, but the reality is, his ceiling is just as high as Kluber’s. As a result, he’s well worth having exposure to in GPPs, and it’s not like he’s a bad cash game play, but I’d prefer Kluber (more on that to come). Among qualified pitchers this year, Sale ranks first in strikeout rate (36.1%), K-BB% (31.4%), FIP (2.07), SIERA (2.54), according to FanGraphs, and he leads the way in DRA (1.90) among pitchers who’ve pitched a minimum of 100 innings, per Baseball Prospectus. That’s a lot of first-place ranks, and his other marks are sterling, too. He and the Red Sox are -192 favorites in a game with an over/under total of just 7.5 runs, per Pinnacle. His opponent, the Rays, ranks 16th in wRC+ (94) against lefties while tying for the third highest strikeout rate (25.6%) against them this year.
Corey Kluber (CLE): $12,400 vs. Rockies
One of the tiebreakers that pushed Kluber ahead of Sale is that he and the Indians are bigger betting favorites at -229 while the game’s over/under total of just 7.5 runs is identical. I’m not one for blinding trusting oddsmakers, but I suspect it will impact ownership and nudge Kluber over Sale. Kluber has his own pair of first-place ranks among qualified pitchers this year leading the way in xFIP (2.38) and SwStr% (16.2%) while checking in just behind Sale in a few categories. One notable difference of late is that over the last 30 days, Sale’s SwStr% has “only” been 12.1% while Kluber’s has been an insane 18.5%. When deciding between these two, splitting hairs happens. The Rockies represent a soft matchup for Kluber. They rank tied for 26th in wRC+ (81) on the road while striking out at the sixth highest clip (24.5%). They’re also awful against righties ranking dead last in wRC+ (80) against them while striking out in 22.7% of their plate appearances.
Chad Kuhl (PIT) : $6,800 vs. Tigers
Kuhl is my second favorite of the sub-$7,000 arms featured in this piece, but I think he’ll have a lower ownership rate than my fave, and that adds to his appeal in GPPs. Over the last 30 days, Kuhl has totaled a 3.00 ERA (2.96 FIP, 4.34 xFIP, and 4.76 SIERA), 1.37 WHIP, 12.1% BB%, 21.6% K%, and 48.0% GB%. He and the Pirates are -175 favorites against the visiting Tigers, and the right-handed hurler should give Detroit’s righty-heavy lineup fits tonight. Kuhl has held righties to a .295 wOBA this year, and seven of the eight position players in last night’s lineup facing righty Trevor Williams were right-handed. The lack of credible left-handed bats Detroit has to slot into their lineup plays right into the hands of Kuhl.
Ariel Miranda (SEA) : $6,500 @ Athletics
Over the last 30 days, Miranda owns a 5.56 ERA (5.53 FIP, 4.57 xFIP, and 4.01 SIERA), but his 1.15 WHIP, 3.3% BB%, 25.3% K%, and 13.3% SwStr% are all outstanding. As a fly-ball pitcher, he’ll benefit greatly from the homer-suppressing nature of the ballpark in Oakland. Facing Oakland isn’t a bad thing, either. The A’s are tied for 22nd in wRC+ (86) against southpaws while tallying the sixth highest strikeout rate (24.4%) against them. The Mariners and their probable lefty are -114 favorites in a game with an over/under total of nine runs. I like Miranda in all game types.
Joey Votto (CIN) : $5,400 vs. Padres
I won’t beat around the bush. Votto is my favorite hitter selection tonight. Do not let sticker shock push you off of him. In 661 plate appearances against righties at Great American Ball Park since 2015, he has a .458 OBP, .260 ISO, and 168 wRC+. Those eye-popping numbers play well against Luis Perdomo‘s .405 OBP, .489 SLG, and .381 wOBA coughed up to left-handed batters this season. Perdomo has been even more giving against lefties on the road this year allowing a .434 OBP, .554 SLG, and .414 wOBA to the 83 lefties he’s faced away from San Diego.
George Springer (HOU) : $4,800 @ White Sox
It appears Springer will be activated from the disabled list tonight, and a matchup with Derek Holland is a hell of a welcome back. Right-handed batters have tallied a .385 OBP, .563 SLG, .397 wOBA, and 40.4% Hard% against Holland this year. Springer’s a left killer, and since reaching The Show in 2014, he has a .424 OBP, .336 ISO, and 194 wRC+ in 283 plate appearances against lefties on the road.
Josh Donaldson (TOR): $4,500 vs. Yankees
Donaldson has set the bar high for himself, and a .369 OBP, .218 ISO, and 123 wRC+ this year are considered disappointing marks as a result. Since joining the Blue Jays in 2015, he’s delighted the home crowd when facing southpaws by ripping off a .408 OBP, .239 ISO, and 149 wRC+. The Blue Jays are -125 favorites in a game with an over/under total of 9.5 runs, and Donaldson’s positioned well to help contribute to hanging a crooked number hitting third for Toronto. Third base has some strong alternatives tonight, but Donaldson’s a little under priced and my favorite option at the hot corner in all game types.
Ryan Braun (MIL) : $3,900 @ Twins
Braun has feasted on lefties throughout his career, and you’re basically committing theft getting him for under $4,000 against Adalberto Mejia. Mejia has allowed a .353 OBP, .442 SLG, and .339 wOBA to 306 right-handed batters faced this season. Braun hasn’t just feasted on lefties in his homer-friendly home park, he’s knocked them around to the tune of a .368 OBP, .222 ISO, and 136 wRC+ on the road since 2015. Braun’s an elite play in all game types.
Sean Rodriguez (PIT) : $2,700 vs. Tigers
Rodriguez stands out as a dreamy punt tonight at the keystone position — assuming the utility fielder starts for the Pirates tonight. Matt Boyd‘s .370 OBP, .491 SLG, .362 wOBA, and 39.8% Hard% yielded to right-handed batters this year is great for picking on with the righties from the Buccos. Rodriguez is an especially attractive piece of cheap, right-handed exposure to Boyd thanks to his .369 OBP, .201 ISO, and 128 wRC+ against lefties since 2015.