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STACK IT UP
Stack optimal probabilities are calculated using each team’s top six projected hitters.
PHILLIES GETTING HEALTHY AT THE RIGHT TIME
The Philadelphia Phillies’ team stack finds itself near the top of tonight’s leverage board as Zac Gallen and the Arizona Diamondbacks oppose them. The Phillies can drop a ton of runs in a short period, as we saw them quickly rack up a 7-0 lead last night just for the Diamondbacks to go scorched earth and score 13 unanswered. Philly has been resilient in the face of adversity all season, so chances are they will likely bounce back in a commanding way, backed up by their ace tonight. The Phils have ranked in the top five in wOBA and wRC+ over the past two weeks with strong ISO numbers and a league-leading HardHit%. This is a lineup loaded with talent that shouldn’t be faded often down the stretch as they are starting to get fully healthy.
Zac Gallen is certainly no pushover as he has put together a very strong season, but he hasn’t broken into the upper echelon of pitchers just yet. On its face, he has a top ten ERA in baseball among qualified pitchers, but both his expected ERA and FIP climb to the mid-3.50 range. He has been lights out lately, though, with four straight scoreless outings under his belt of a combined 27.1 innings. His strikeout rate isn’t incredible, as it sits around 25% seasonally, but he has recently seen an uptick in that category in parallel to his scoreless streak. Gallen’s recent excellence certainly helps the leverage we see with the Phillies team stack, but the Phillies are priced pretty high on this slate, so this will come down to your comfort level fading Gallen. Definitely, a tricky thing to convincingly do, but the Phillies are a high-caliber offense that eclipses the level of Gallen’s past four opponents during the scoreless streak. Plus, these streaks can’t last forever.
DODGERS MATCH UP WELL IN PIVOTAL SERIES
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ team stack also looks to end up near the top of our leverage board as they’ll face off against Taijuan Walker and the New York Mets in a possible potential NLCS clash. The Dodgers have consistently featured one of baseball’s best offenses all season as they have racked up the most wins in baseball. In August, they ranked in the top four of ISO wOBA, and wOBA, which is where they have been all year.
Taijuan Walker has put together a decent season for the Mets, with one outlier performance crushing his August ERA even though he has been solid. He has an encouraging 3.38 ERA, but we see a noticeable increase in his xERA to a mark of 4.24, which is concerning. Strikeouts are not something he is great with, as his seasonal rate barely breaks the 18% mark. However, he makes up for that somewhat with strong allowed power numbers. Still, the Dodgers shouldn’t have too much difficulty with him as they will have opportunities to expose him tonight. Both of our leverage stacks are priced comparably with similar optimal probabilities and expected ownerships, so siding with the better offense in the Dodgers, despite the Phillies’ potential upside, is the stronger play given the more favorable opponent.