Nick Markakis (DK: $4,300 FD: $3,200): Our first Must-Have of the night will bat fifth in the Braves’ lineup as they take on Merrill Kelly. Kelly’s started seven games this year, accumulating a respectable 3-3 record, but has shown vulnerability, allowing 1.62 HR/9 and a 17.5% HR/FB rate while allowing 3.92 BB/9 and accumulating just 7.15 K/9. Kelly’s xFIP of 4.82 is the 4th-highest on tonight’s slate, as is his 4.99 SIERA, while his WHIP of 1.49 is the 3rd-highest. Markakis finds himself in a great matchup tonight at a very affordable price on both sites, accumulating slash lines of .304/.379/.450 and .323/.431/.538 against right handed pitchers in 2018 and 2019 respectively. He also has been at his best in his career when facing ground ball pitchers, which Merrill Kelly just so happens to be (GB% 45.9%), tallying up a 0.788 OPS. The main pitches Kelly will throw tonight are the four-seam fastball, curveball, and changeup; Markakis had xwOBAs of .365, .321, and .331 against these pitches in 2018. We love Markakis’ chances of hitting value tonight in a plus matchup, so be sure to lock him into your lineups!
Nelson Cruz (DK: $4,900 FD: $3,900): Our second Must-Have of the night is the Twins’ big hitting right hander Nelson Cruz. Cruz has had no less than 37 homeruns in each of the past five seasons, and has seven on the young season already. In his career, Cruz is much better against left handed pitching and faces a weak one tonight in Gregory Soto. In the minor leagues, Soto gave up a 1.44 WHIP and 5.3 BB/9, numbers that we don’t expect to improve as he transitions to the MLB; this will be Soto’s first start in the major league. In his career, Cruz has hit left handers to the tune of a .289/.378/.549 slash line while also accumulating a HR/FB rate of 21.3%. We fully expect the Twins to put up runs tonight, as does Vegas (the Twins’ implied team total of 5.63 is the 2nd-highest of any team on the slate), and Cruz should be a big part of that.
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