Thursday is another odd slate of games, but at least most are in the evening! There are a few spots to attack, and a couple arms that won’t be exciting to roster, but could pay big dividends! Let’s get to it!
McClanahan has been tremendous in the early going in 2023. Across 23 innings of work, he has allowed just 15 hits and four earned runs with a 27/11 K/BB. The walk rate is higher than we would like to see, but the K upside mitigates that for me.
The White Sox have quietly been pretty terrible on offense, ranking at or below the league average across the board. The own one of the lowest team BB rates (7.1%) in MLB, are 18th in runs scored, and simply have been a disappointment in 2023. The Rays are listed as -190 favorites here, and Shane has a lot do do with that. If he can limit walks, his upside is huge here.
On the opposite side of this one we have Dylan Cease. He has become one of the best pitchers in MLB, and I think he’s a fantastic tournament play today. The Rays are the top offense in baseball, and it hasn’t been particularly close. They have scored 25 more runs than any other team, own a walk rate of 8.8%…AND have hit 9 more home runs than any other squad.
That said, Cease is unhittable at times. Across 22.1 innings in 2023, he has allowed 12 hits and 9 earned runs. He has struck out 29 batters, but has had issues finding the zone at times with 11 walks (all in his last three starts). I mentioned the patience at the plate shown by these Rays. Cease could certainly have a pedestrian outing here, but I’m rolling with him in some GPPs. The talent is too good to pass up at low ownership for me.
I’m really not sure why the Marlins traded Lopez. The player they received in return, Luis Arraez is a very solid hitter, but this is a lineup that lacks power. In fact, only Kansas City and Detroit have scored less runs this season. Enough about the Marlins being dumb.
Lopez is in a fantastic spot here against Washington. He is a -290 favorite with a total of just 7.5 runs. He has earned every bit of it too, striking out 33 batters across 26 innings of work while allowing just 15 hits and five earned runs…and walking just six. Speaking of teams with no power…the Nats have nine home runs this season. NINE. This team has a .087 ISO. Their only saving grace is that the team has a K rate under 18%. That won’t matter against Lopez. He will be chalk, and for good reason.
Everyone knows my hometown Cincinnati Reds are a dumpster fire behind their solid SP trio, and it will be on full display again Saturday evening. The Pirates have been the surprise team of the year, but hanging a big number on Cessa will not be a surprise.
Cincinnati left that man out on the mound to die last time out, as he gave up 14 hits and 11 earned runs in just 3 innings of work. He struck out…zero and walked three. For those of you counting at home, that 17 baserunners in just three innings.
Regardless of how terrible Cessa has been, the Pirates have been equally awesome. They are top 10 in many offensive categories, including runs, walks, ISO, and wOBA.
Expect the big bats of Bryan Reynolds, KeBryan Hayes, and Andrew McCutcheon to lead the way here. The hot-hitting Jake Suwinski should be on your radar as well. Connor Joe could be a solid addition as well if he is in the lineup, he is slashing .377/.459/.679 early on in 2023. PNC Park could see some fireworks early in this one.
Listen, Manoah is still a young pitcher with a potentially bright future. That said, he is in trouble right now. If you remove the Tigers and Royals pathetic offenses from his 2023 starts…yikes. He has given up 10 ER over 8 innings of work vs the Cardinals and Rays, with an 8/6 K/BB.
The Yankees walk over 10% of the time as a team, and have power top to bottom. Manoah has given up four homers so far this season, and I’d be shocked if that number isn’t 6 or higher by the end of the day.
Give me the Anthonys: Volpe and Rizzo. Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and DJ LeMahieu will round out a solid stack. I don’t mind guys like Oswaldo Cabrera down order if you’re going to wrap around also.
We will go back to the well with picking on Kuhl here. He served us (and the Guardians) well last time out. Across 14.2 innings of work, he owns an ERA of close to 9 and a WHIP of 1.70. He doesn’t miss bats (9/7 K/BB), and has given up four long balls already this season.
The Twins offense is due for a monster break out, and I’m banking on that game being today. Give me Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, Trevor Larnach, Joey Gallo, and take your pick with the others. Gallo will be a HR bet for me today as well.
Good luck on Saturday, let’s bring home a wheelbarrow full of cash for the weekend!
Find the team in the Discord and let’s chat about some plays!
Good luck and hope to see you in the green.
Check me out on Twitter @BigItaly42 and let me know who you are playing tonight! Always around to talk some MLB!
Won the FanDuel, 11K MLB Pickoff Single Entry Tournament in May of 2019. Started playing MLB DFS a couple years ago and have found success as mainly a cash game player. After playing season-long fantasy for five years I decided to give DFS a shot and have never looked back. Grinding all year around with MLB, NBA and NFL.
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