DraftKings MLB Lineup Advice: Tuesday (9/12)
Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw share tonight’s slate, and my preference is to use the former. The righty is joined by a burgeoning ace, and a pair of erratic arms with soft matchups. The hitters suggested are of the bargain variety so gamers can pair Kluber with the priciest of the other pitchers highlighted.
Corey Kluber (CLE): $13,300 vs. Tigers
Klubot is a fitting nickname for a pitcher who’s pitching like a machine this year. Among qualified pitchers, he ranks fourth in ERA (2.56), second in strikeout rate (35.0%), K-BB% (29.9%), WHIP (0.87), FIP (2.60), and SIERA (2.65), and first in xFIP (2.49) and SwStr% (16.0%), according to FanGraphs. Among pitchers with a minimum of 100 innings pitched this year, he ranks first in DRA (1.99), per Baseball Prospectus. He’s been in great form, and as a -420 favorite, according Pinnacle, he’s one of the biggest betting favorites this year if not the biggest one to date this season. The rebuilding Tigers have a non-imposing offense that ranks just 20th in wRC+ (92) against righties this year while punching out at an exploitable 22.2% clip. They’re also awful on the road ranking tied for 22nd in wRC+ (87) on the road with a 22.9 K% that Kluber is armed to pick apart. Kershaw has plenty working in his favor tonight, too, but Kluber’s was a surprisingly easy decision for me as the top arm.
Dylan Bundy (BAL): $8,900 @ Blue Jays
Bundy was messy in his last start, but he’s been shoving it down the throat of opponents in the second half. In eight starts spanning 51.1 innings in the second half, Bundy owns a 3.68 ERA (3.85 FIP, 4.06 xFIP, and 3.65 SIERA), 1.05 WHIP, 6.7% BB%, 27.8% K%, and 14.6% SwStr%. His ability to induce swings has been elite down the stretch, and it’s resulted in a gaudy strikeout rate. The young righty’s punch-out potential is worth ponying up for as the SP2 with Kluber, and spinning down to some value bats to accommodate rostering. He and the O’s are -124 favorites in Toronto, and the Blue Jays are a below-average offense ranking 23rd in wRC+ (90) against right-handed pitchers this season.
Kyle Gibson (MIN): $8,200 vs. Padres
Gibson failed to strikeout a batter in his last start, but he recorded his fourth straight quality start. He’s been on a roll since his recall from Triple-A Rochester in early August. Since August 5, he’s made seven starts totaling 40.2 innings in which he has a 3.10 ERA (3.29 FIP, 3.57 xFIP, and 3.87 SIERA), 1.33 WHIP, 51.6% GB%, 4.7% BB%, 19.3% K%, and 11.4% SwStr%. The 29-year-old has a great matchup with the Padres. San Diego ranks tied for 27th in wRC+ (86) against righties, and they have the second highest strikeout rate (25.1%) against them this season.
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS): $6,700 vs. Athletics
Rodriguez is another beneficiary of facing a strikeout-prone offense. The A’s have the sixth highest strikeout rate (24.2%) against southpaws this year, and they rank just tied for 22nd in wRC+ (87) against lefties. Rodriguez has had an up-and-down season, but he can miss bats with a 11.0% SwStr% for the year and 10.4% over the last 30 days. He snapped back-to-back starts of allowing five earned runs in his last turn by holding the Blue Jays to just two earned runs on six hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts. The three-start stretch basically epitomizes E-Rod. The lefty does a consistent job of piling up strikeouts even in his bad starts and has a 25.5% K% for the year, and he’s struck out four or more batters in all 20 starts and more than four in 18 of his turns.
Matt Carpenter (STL): $3,400 vs. Reds
I suspect Robert Stephenson will be a semi-popular SP2 option with his recent run of high-strikeout games. He received consideration for coverage in this piece, but there are still some blemishes in the profile, and I’d rather use Carpenter — and other teammates, namely Paul Dejong — against him. Even since turning things around since early August, Stephenson has yielded a bananas 29.8% LD% and 37.3% Hard% to left-handed batters. Carpenter is sporting a .387 OBP, .219 ISO, and 128 wRC+ to right-handed pitchers this season, and since 2015, he has a .387 OBP, .243 ISO, and 142 wRC+ against righties. He’s one of my favorite bargain options, but he’s not alone or the cheapest of my faves in the bargain bin.
Ozzie Albies (ATL): $2,900 @ Nationals
Well, that didn’t take long. Here’s one of my cheaper-than-Carpenter faves teased above. Albies has had no problem with southpaws in his first 39 plate appearances in The Show against them with a 12.8% BB%, 7.7% K%, .421 OBP, .303 ISO, and 173 wRC+. The switch-hitting second baseman also ripped them in the minors this year with a .970 OPS in 100 at-bats for Triple-A Gwinnett, per MiLB.com.
Sean Rodriguez (PIT): $2,500 @ Brewers
The cheapest of the bargain plays who are on my radar is Rodriguez. Since 2015, he has a .359 OBP, .190 ISO, and 119 wRC+ against southpaws. His value gets a bump at hitter-friendly Miller Park tonight, and opposing pitcher Brent Suter’s .323 wOBA allowed to right-handed batters this year is okay, but not a deterrent to using Rodriguez.
Andrew McCutchen (PIT): $4,000 @ Brewers
Cutch went deep last night, already taking advantage of the hitter-friendly nature of Miller Park. He’s grossly under priced against a southpaw this evening. Since 2015, he has a .388 OBP, .242 ISO, and 145 wRC+ against lefties. There’s no reason to overthink this pick.
Byron Buxton (MIN): $4,300 vs. Padres
Buxton has a drool-inducing matchup with punching bag Travis Wood. Wood has coughed up a .384 OBP, .513 SLG, .381 wOBA, and 11 homers to 296 right-handed batters faced this year. The toolsy outfielder has been a thorn in the side of left-handed pitchers this year with a .385 OBP, .170 ISO, and 125 wRC+. As an added bonus, he’s a threat to score points on the bases and ranks 10th with 25 stolen bases.