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4/29 MLB ARTICLE

PITCHER:

Justin Verlander- Verlander has been pitching really well and has 30+ dk points in 4 of his 6 starts. The Twins do not strike out a ton, but Verlander can strike out anyone when he is on. He is a great building block as your SP1 today.


Zach Wheeler- The Reds have the lowest implied total on the slate and get a massive ballpark downgrade going into Citi Field. Wheeler has an electric fastball and throws it a ton. Puig, Winker, and Dietrich all have an ISO under .100 against a fastball over 96 MPH and Wheeler routinely hits 98 – 99 MPH on his fastball.


John Means- The White Sox have one of the highest team strikeout rates in MLB. All of the hitters in the projected lineup have a strikeout percentage over 21% and Means has a 26.5% K-rate this season and only a 5.9% walk rate. Means throws his changeup 42% of the time to RHH and no one on the White Sox has been good at hitting the changeup except for Abreu.


FIRST BASE:

Max Muncy- The Dodgers lefties get a great matchup here against Jeff Samardzija. The ERA looks good for Samardzija, but a 5.79 XFIP, only 17% K rate, over 11% walk rate, and a 45% fly ball rate all point to regression. Samardzija throws his sinker most often to LHH and Muncy has the highest ISO on the team against that pitch at .324 since 2016.


Freedie Freeman- Freeman might get overlooked here because he is facing a lefty, but Freeman is a splits neutral hitter. Last season, he hit .309 vs LHP and .309 vs RHP. So far this season he is hitting .379 VS LHP and has a .414 ISO vs LHP this season. Braves have one of the highest implied totals on the slate and Freeman definitely has the power to do damage here.

SECOND BASE:

Ozzie Albies- Albies is a much better hitter vs LHP than RHP. He is a leadoff hitter who is hitting .393 vs lefties compared to just .259 vs RHP this season. His slugging percentage of .714 and an ISO of .321 against LHP are much higher than his numbers against RHP. He has got to be at least in your player pool today.

Jose Altuve- Odorizzi has a 47.5% fly ball rate this season and is facing a powerful offense. Altuve has power, hits for a high average, and does not strike out much. Altuve has great number against the fastball and Odorizzi throws is nearly 50% to RHH.

SHORTSTOP:

Fernando Tatis- Tatis is one of the top prospects in the league and is off to a great start for the Padres. He has power and speed and batting leadoff, should get five at bats here. He has been great against RHP with a .295 BA and 5 of his 6 homeruns have come against RHP.

Corey Seager- Seager is very cheap on DK at only $3900. Seager is hitting a solid .282 vs RHP this season and has power. As I mentioned in Muncy’s piece, Samardzija has struggled a lot against LHP over the past couple season and over his career. This season he has given up a .511 SLG vs lefties and only a .245 SLG vs righties.

THIRD BASE:

Josh Donaldson- Donaldson has come alive after struggling for the first two to three weeks of the season. He has great career numbers vs LHP and the Braves have a pretty high total on the slate. Margevicius has only struck out 10% of RHH this season and Donaldson has a massive .414 ISO which is the highest on the team against a fastball since 2016.


Manny Machado- Machado is very cheap at only $4000. He has been in a bit of a slump, but he should get out of it soon. Soroka has been worse to RHH than LHH so far this season and Machado has been much better against righties so far this season.


OUTFIELD:

Ronald Acuna- Mashes lefties, Margevicius has not been able to strike out RHH this season and has massive upside. Lots to like.


Cody Bellinger- Went in depth on him in my video. Quick summary is Bellinger smashes RHP, Samardzija struggles vs LHH, and Bellinger smashes all of Samardzija’s most frequent pitches.


Johan Camargo- Camargo is much better vs LHP. He has a career .316 BA vs lefties and a .255 ISO.


Jeff McNeil- Roark has give up a .432 BA and a .757 SLG against lefties this season. McNeil bats leadoff, has a little bit of power, and rarely strikes out.


Brandon Nimmo/Michael Conforto- Same reason why I like McNeil. Both are lefties and both have power against RHP. Playing all three in the OF is a contrarian approach but I have no problem with it today against Roark.


TOP STACKS: Braves, Mets, Dodgers, Astros


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