The biggest slate on Thursday is the five-game early slate on DraftKings (four games on FanDuel). So, this On the Hill article and our Weighted Consensus will focus there today. Despite the small number of games on the docket, it is a surprisingly good-looking slate with a variety of pitching and stacking options to choose from. So, take an early lunch break and fire up some afternoon baseball to take your attention away from work. Added bonus, we are going to make this a FREE day for the MLB articles since they are for a small, early slate of games. Enjoy!
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Let’s mow down the competition 3 Up and 3 Down…
Noah Syndergaard (FD-$9,000 / DK-$9,400)
Syndergaard’s surface numbers do not look good this season with a 6.35 ERA and one win in six starts. However, I think there should be some optimism if we peek behind the curtain. He is currently allowing an elevated .376 BABIP (compared to his career .318 mark), his xFIP (3.54) is almost three runs lower than his ERA, he is allowing less than a 30% hard-hit rate and has a 51% ground ball rate. In addition, his strikeout rate is in line with his career numbers at 26.4% this year. Syndergaard will be pitching at home on Thursday as the biggest Vegas favorite on the slate against the Reds. The Reds rank 28th in wOBA (.279), dead last in wRC+ (68), and have the 10th highest strikeout rate (24.1%) against right-handed pitching this season.
Mike Foltynewicz (FD-$9,200 / DK-$7,800)
Foltynewicz will be making just his second start of the season after beginning the year on the IL. He should be able to increase the 78 pitches he threw in his first outing when he takes the hill against the Padres on Thursday afternoon. The Padres have the 2nd highest strikeout rate (27.2%) against right-handed pitching this season and rank in the bottom six in wOBA and wRC+. Look for Folty to get his groove back as he tries to repeat his breakout season of 2018.
Danny Duffy (FD-$6,300 / DK-$6,400)
There are some higher-priced stacks that I like on this slate, so we’ll need to find a deep discount pitching option to throw into the mix. Much like Foltynewicz, Duffy will also be making just his second start of the season. He got up to 86 pitches in his first outing but had a mediocre game against the Angels. On Thursday, he is a home underdog against the Rays who lead the league in strikeout rate (30.1%) against lefties. Duffy has had success against Rays hitters in the past allowing just a .271 wOBA with no home runs and a 31.4% strikeout rate in 70 plate appearances. He is not safe enough to trust for cash games, but there is some potential GPP upside with Duffy today.
Braves vs. Matt Strahm
Strahm has been solid this season with a 3.04 ERA but could see some regression as it is supported by a .260 BABIP and a 4.76 xFIP. The Braves have one of the higher Vegas implied run totals on the slate and there is an umpire behind the dish that typically results in an increase in runs scored.
Freddie Freeman (FD-$4,400 / DK-$4,800) – Freeman has homered three times over his last seven games and has a .462 wOBA and .364 ISO against lefties in the early going this season.
Ronald Acuna (FD-$4,000 / DK-$4,400) – After getting a day off on Wednesday, Acuna should be back in the starting lineup Thursday bring his career .424 wOBA and .317 ISO against southpaws.
Ozzie Albies (FD-$4,200 / DK-$4,900) – Albies has produces three multi-hit games in his last four outings including six extra-base hits during that stretch.
Josh Donaldson (FD-$3,900 / DK-$4,500) – Donaldson posted a .386 wOBA and .241 ISO against left-handed pitching last season.
Rockies vs. Freddy Peralta
Peralta will come off the IL to start on Thursday afternoon at home against the Rockies. The Rockies put up some crooked numbers last night and will look to continue swinging hot bats against Peralta and a tired bullpen. Peralta has allowed a career .361 wOBA and 1.70 HR/9 to lefties. So, while I listed Story and Arenado below, I’m okay with pivoting to lefties such as David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, and Raimel Tapia.
Daniel Murphy (FD-$3,900 / DK-$4,400) – Murphy put up a .367 wOBA and .190 ISO against right-handed pitching last season.
Charlie Blackmon (FD-$4,000 / DK-$4,600) – Blackmon has at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games while batting .351 with 10 extra-base hits during that stretch.
Trevor Story (FD-$4,400 / DK-$5,000) – Story smacked a home run last night and has hit seven of his eight homers this year off righties.
Nolan Arenado (FD-$4,200 / DK-$4,800) – Arenado appears to be in a groove after crushing a pair of long balls last night.
Twins vs. Brad Peacock
Peacock has bounced in and out of the Astros rotation this season. Left-handed hitters have fared well against Peacock during his career with a .351 wOBA and 1.55 HR/9 rate. The Twins have a nice collection of left-handed sticks atop their lineup that should be able to take advantage.
Max Kepler (FD-$3,800 / DK-$4,600) – On the current homestand (6 games), Kepler is batting .409 with three doubles and four homers. He has a .413 wOBA and .316 ISO against righties this season.
Jorge Polanco (FD-$4,000 / DK-$4,400) – Polanco is mashing righties this year with a .449 wOBA and .326 ISO.
Eddie Rosario (FD-$4,100 / DK-$4,700) – Rosario is ice cold during the current homestand but has hit righties well at home over his career with a .365 wOBA and .274 ISO.
Nelson Cruz (FD-$3,500 / DK-$4,700) – Cruz has posted a .405 wOBA and .274 ISO against right-handed pitchers this year.
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