Today brings us an eight-game slate with unspectacular run totals. Interestingly, Vegas has the Red Sox scoring almost a run less than their runs/game. The Indians have the highest implied total whereas the Padres sit at 3.27. As for pitching, we have a few high priced hurlers and some decent mid-range pitchers that we could use. I like the Indians a lot and the Giants offer some nice value tonight. Let’s look at today’s picks.
Carlos Carrasco ($9,700)
Carrasco has been frustrating to roster this year, but he gets a good matchup against the White Sox. So far, Carrasco’s ability to earn fantasy points really depends on the number of strikeouts. The White Sox strikeout at around 24% since the start of last year. Jose Abreu doesn’t have a good history against him (0-10 last year) and the rest of the lineup doesn’t have daunting numbers against him. Moncada and Anderson worry me a little, but I would still roll with Carrasco. It’s hard to envision him not getting a win when Giolito is pitching on the other side.
Joe Musgrove ($7,500)
I’m going to go with the Musgrove hype. I figured he would have a breakout season with the Astros some year, and now, at least so far, it looks like it’s going to happen with the Pirates. The Diamondbacks (namely Goldschmidt), have been on fire, but they just returned from playing at Coors. Yes, Goldschmidt has decimated baseballs lately, but let me notify you that his last six games have been away, at AT&T Park (kills the Giants) and Coors. At home, he has an average of .160. The Dbacks lineup has a .691 OPS at home and strike out the seventh most at home. He’s not the safest pick, but I’m willing to gamble on Musgrove
Jose Quintana, Jack Flaherty
Edwin Encarnacion ($4,100)
Assuming he plays, Encarnacion would be a great bet to destroy a baseball. He prefers right-handed pitching and is stepping to the plate with a 1.2 OPS and six home runs in his last fourteen games. Giolito doesn’t have the highest hard contact rating, but he hurts himself badly with so many walks. With protection behind him, Encarnacion is probably going to see some pitches to drive. You also have that average bullpen to look forward to. If he can’t go, I would look for Jose Martinez, Mitch Moreland, or even Yonder Alonso.
Buster Posey ($2,900)
As a big Giants fan, I get irritated with Posey’s lack of power these days. Sure he’ll always hit for average, but his ISO has been diminishing for the last few years. For you non-Giants fans, just look at how he is hitting second these days. Despite this, I think he is a good play today. He has crushed lefties in the past, and the only reason he hasn’t this year is because he’s seen southpaws like Kershaw and Corbin more times than he’d like. Wei-Yen Chen has been pretty bad and serves up a .340 xwOBA to righties. Posey has a safe floor tonight with the possibility of getting some extra-base hits.
Jose Martinez, Kendrys Morales
Starlin Castro ($3,200)
Castro has been hitting with a .900 OPS in the last seven games and squares up against Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner is obviously a good pitcher, but he’s still working his way back from a lengthy DL stint and, quite frankly, isn’t the same guy that he was a few years ago in my opinion. He struck nine I believe in one of his two rehab starts and then came up and only had three Ks against the free-swinging Dbacks. I will believe differently when I see it. Castro has owned Bum with a fourteen for thirty (.467) clip and is hitting leadoff.
Ben Zobrist ($3,000)
There’s a lot of value at second base tonight, but I don’t see any great spots for any of them. If you need to save salary, though, look at this position. Zobrist is in the midst of a slump and hasn’t fared well against Junior Guerra. Guerra is having a good year, but he still walks batters at a decent rate. Zobrist is likely hitting in front of Anthony Rizzo and will see pitches to hit. But if he doesn’t he will likely walk in this game. Zobrist has always had a good eye and he is working with a .376 OBP this year. Guerra is also allowing a .349 xwOBA to lefties.
Ian Kinsler, Jace Peterson
Rafael Devers ($2,900)
I don’t think I’ve ever rostered Devers, but tonight could be the night for it. If you’re unable to snag Jose Ramirez, Devers could produce at a way cheaper price. Bundy has been very good over the course of the season, but we’ve seen him get hit hard too. He is also giving up a .387 xwOBA to lefties. Devers has actually been hitting as of late, shown by his .300 average in his last seven games. He’s not a flashy play, but he is still in the Red Sox lineup and has good splits and a decent history against Bundy.
Evan Longoria ($2,600)
Longoria has been in a little funk, but he is hitting in the heart of the order against a pitcher who is simply just bad this year. Chen’s FIP is actually higher than his 5.86 ERA. Even with his recent struggles, Longo is too cheap in a great spot. Chen throws his 90 MPH fastball over half the time and opponents are hitting a .339 wOBA against it. Longoria is hitting a .398 wOBA against fastballs of that velocity. Maybe returning to Florida may play a part in tonight as well.
Kris Bryant, Luis Valbuena
Francisco Lindor ($4,400)
I’m going to declare that Lindor is probably my favorite play of the night. Some might turn him away due to a relative slump at the plate. I look at Giolito’s .430 xwOBA against lefties (!), his fastball which hitters have torched, and Cleveland’s run total, the highest on the slate as reasons to pay for Lindor.
Brandon Crawford ($3,100)
If you can’t spend up to at least Segura at shortstop, there’s not much there to roster tonight. Brock Holt could end up being a decent play, but I’m going to recommend Crawford tonight. I don’t think I need to elaborate on his hitting…. Ok he homered against Scherzer in DC, wowza!! But Crawford is going to be low-owned tonight since he is batting against a lefty. He somehow has a higher OPS against lefties so far this year. Chen has been good against lefties in the last couple of years, but these are not big sample sizes. Chen has gone an average of four and a third innings in his last six starts, opening the golden bullpen door of Miami relievers. I like Crawford a bunch tonight.
Jean Segura, Brock Holt
Michael Brantley ($4,300)
It makes my heart happy to see Brantley upping pitchers’ ERA again. He is such a great player and the Indians really have been needing him healthy the last couple seasons. Sadly, he is quite expensive these days, but if you can afford him, he’s batting against the aforementioned Lucas Giolito, who allows a .430 xwOBA against lefties. Brantley has a .443 wOBA against fastballs of Giolito’s velocity.
Andrew McCutchen ($3,000)
Cutch is way too cheap tonight. The man is hitting a 1.1 OPS in his last seven games, and I believe it was Strasburg he hit a home run against? The point is that he’s pretty dialed in right now. Against lefties, he has a .407 wOBA and .292 ISO. He’ll be in the middle of the order against Chen. He’s a great value play to save some money to use elsewhere.
Randal Grichuk ($2,500)
He’s gonna be chalky, but Grichuk has some advantages tonight. He admittedly hasn’t done great against lefties, but he is hot as can be right now and is facing Ryan Yarbrough, who is giving up a .333 xwOBA to righties. His favorite pitch, a sinker, is getting hit hard and Grichuk has the highest hard contact percentage against it in the lineup at 39.3%.
Andrew Benintendi, Tommy Pham, Jason Heyward
Brandon Crawford – Giants – SS – $3100
I’m not sure how Craw-Dog is $3100, left on left matchup? First, let’s look at his last seven games, starting with Sunday, 4-4 two doubles, a home run, two RBI. Ok, let’s also point out that was against a Nats team that started Max Scherzer. Let’s go deeper, the last week, Crawford is 11-18 with six doubles and two home runs. Ok, anyone can get hot, right? Let’s look at the last thirty days…. DING, DING, DING… 42-92 hitting an astonishing .457 with 13 doubles and 5 home runs. HOW IS HE $3100??? Plug and play at this price. One last stat, Vs. left handed pitching this year, he’s hitting .329, four home runs.
Matt Carpenter – Cardinals – 3B – $3700
Carp is HOT! Over the last week, Matt Carpenter is 10-26, two doubles and a bomb. This is a good spot. Carpenter is not quite the buy Bandon Crawford is, Crawford is the hottest player in baseball over the last month, but, if we look at those same splits, Carpenter is trending up, over the last two weeks, hitting, .323, last seven days, .345. his strikeouts have dropped, he’s continued to hit the ball in the power alleys and out of the ballpark. Carpenter gets one of the weaker pitchers on the slate tonight as well.
Starlin Castro – Marlins – 2B – $3200
Look, I will be the first one to say that BVP and game logs are sometimes overrated stats for the drive by researcher. One of the reasons, sometimes too much weight is put on someone who’s 3-4 with a home run against a pitcher, that’s one game. Castro is hitting .467 against MadBum. The sample size? 14-30, three doubles. Castro hit leadoff yesterday, he’s not exactly “on fire” but he is hitting .304 over the last week, he’s 17-56 vs. LHP. When we look at the total picture, the salary, the bvp history and the recent form, Castro is a nice piece for our core tonight at the 2B position.
Tommy Pham – Cardinals – OF – $3500
May 25th, the last time Tommy Pham went yard. Pham has had his price tag that has come down from $4100 (May 29th) to $3500 which we get him at tonight. The Cardinals have an implied run total of 4.9, the second highest on the board. I fully expect Carpenter, Pham and Martinez to be in the middle of this. I really feel like we are getting a bit of a discount on Pham. Over the last seven days he’s only hit .269 and I feel like he’s the best shot at a lower owned play either as a one off or part of a stack.
Andrew McCutchen – Giants – OF – $3000
Cutch is 9-25 and hitting .360 over the last week. Tonight, he gets a Right on Left matchup to start. Chen, in eight starts, 5.86 ERA with a 1-3 record. Chen has given up 8 home runs in 35 1/3 innings while striking out only 26. The Miami Marlins have a putrid bullpen, 28th in ERA (5.34), given up the 5th most home runs (32), and 29th in opposing batting average (.266) only the Royals are worse. Personally, the Giants are one of my favorite teams on the board tonight. Prices are more than fair, they’ve won two straight series, against Arizona and Washington, oh by the way, beating Scherzer and Strasberg.
Lorenzo Cain – Brewers – OF – $3700
This is a hard spot for me, Im going with cain and letting you have the opportunity to get Indians exposure in the UTIL and 1B spot. A combo of Lindor, Brantley, Rameriz, and Alonso would be ideal. Alonso is the best buy at $3400.
Look, Cain is HOT!!! Sub 4K for a player whos game log over the last week has three double digit days, and is in a great spot feels good. Digging deeper, nice sample size in BVP (20-68 .294) He’s also got a .736 OPS against Quintana. Quintana has had a put together a couple of really nice starts, however they aren’t spotless. This game is in Milwaukee, great hitting environment, I really do look for the BrewCrew to win this series and if that is going to happen, Cain will have to be right in the middle of that.
We have a couple decent pitching options and lots of suspect ones. There are lots of exploitable match-ups in this ten game slate and to top it off, we have the AL East juggernauts with 5+ run totals. Look for the Cardinals, A’s, and Twins to put up some runs as well. Vegas seems to have lower implied totals for numerous teams that I have a difficult time agreeing with (namely, Seattle 3.34 against McCullers). Maybe this can create a few lesser-owned sluggers for you to exploit. Let’s check out the picks.
Jose Quintana ($8,500)
Quintana has a SIERA lower than his current ERA. He is pitching against the lowly Phillies. This offense is out of whack right now. Only two hitters have an OPS over .750 in the last seven games (Alfaro, Williams). Philly is a bottom ten offense against lefties and strikes out at a high rate. Quintana may not be the safest pitcher, but his upside is mighty appealing.
Jack Flaherty ($7,800)
The Cardinals come in as heavy favorites against the Marlins, always good for getting a possible six extra points from your starter. The Marlins strike out at a 24% rate and Flaherty has flashed k ability. Looking at Miami’s lineup completely asserts my thinking of playing Flaherty. He has fared exceptionally against righties and has limited lefties to a .317 xwOBA. The only hitter that worries me is Justin Bour, but he has had a power outage as of late.
Aaron Nola, Shohei Ohtani, Eduardo Rodriguez
Joey Votto ($3,900)
Votto is up against a struggling Jon Gray who has explained that his fastball is off. Barring some miraculous change, Votto could take advantage of the pitch which hitters have a .394 wOBA against. Votto sees fastballs well, and with his plate discipline, he should wait for a good pitch to hit. Gray has predictably done worse against lefties, and it’s only a matter of time until Votto gets his power stroke back.
Evan Gattis ($2,400)
A 3.76 FIP this year shows that Wade Leblanc is due for some regression. Gattis, though struggling with average, has four home runs in his last fourteen games along with a .864 OPS. Gattis’s history against Leblanc is what’s more appetizing. In a small sample size, he’s four for seven (.571) with two home runs. He’s always risky, but he’s also a cheap GPP play who will be largely unowned.
Matt Olson, Greg Bird, Jose Martinez
Brian Dozier ($4,100)
Dozier is the second baseman to look for tonight. Hector Santiago has an ERA over five and a WHIP of 1.64. He’s allowing a .388 xwOBA against righties this year. Dozier has somehow struggled against lefties this year but I would trust that his stats return to the norm throughout the season. The last two years he’s had an OPS over .950 against lefties. A Twins stack may be a good idea tonight.
Ian Kinsler ($2,900)
This was a toss-up between Kinsler and Nunez, but Nunez has struggled against lefties. I still find him to be a good play against the Tigers and their below-average pen. Kinsler has finally started coming alive for the last several games. He actually has been quite unlucky, evident by his BABIP which is much lower than his norm, even from last year. Ian Kennedy, that is all I have to say. Kinsler owns him and he is mightily struggling. The Royals bullpen isn’t much better than he is. If Kinsler remains hitting leadoff, he could have ample opportunities to get points for your team.
Jose Altuve, Eduardo Nunez, Jedd Gyorko
Eduardo Escobar ($3,300)
Sure Sano has more power potential, but Escobar has been raking with four home runs in seven games and an OPS near 1.5. Remember how I mentioned that Hector Santiago is bad? You want exposure against him tonight. He is a sinkerballer allowing a .375 wOBA against the pitch. Sano has a better track record against the pitch, but I’m going to rely on recent stats and trends. Escobar is cheaper and has been seeing the ball better.
Matt Chapman ($2,900)
Do I want to pick on Bartolo Colon? Of course not, but I will do what I need to win. Bart has had a pretty decent season so far, probably because of his low walk rate. The wheels are starting to fall apart, though. His WHIP is at 1.60 in his last two starts and that has partially caused his ERA to be over eight in that span. Chapman has been streaky, but he’s seen Colon well, a three for five (.600) with one home run. Colon’s most reliant pitch, the sinker, is arguably hit best by Chapman among all the A’s hitters. He has a .419 wOBA and .293 ISO.
Miguel Sano, Justin Turner, Luis Valbuena
Xander Bogaerts ($4,200)
Let me start by warning you that Bogaers has yet to hit a home run against a lefty. Why should you pick him? Well, he hit a home run yesterday, and unless Blaine Hardy somehow dazzles, much of Boston’s hitting will be against the top ten worst bullpen. Bogaerts has been hitting well (1.0 OPS in the last seven) and is right ahead of the home run leader, JD Martinez. He’s going to get pitches to hit.
Yairo Munoz ($2,800)
Munoz seems to be under the radar. He’s hit admirably and is up against Wei-Yin Chen today. Chen has given up a .341 xwOBA to righties this year, and Munoz’s two home runs so far have come against lefties (in fourteen at bats!). Munoz could be a sneaky pick and provide double-digit points in a game where the Cardinals are projected to score about five runs.
Carlos Correa, Chris Taylor, Scott Kingery
J.D. Martinez ($4,700)
Find a way to get him in your lineup. He is obliterating any ball coming his way. The ball likely coming to him tonight, a ~90 MPH fastball, has provided him with video game numbers. A .692 ISO with a 90% contact rate. He will be widely owned, but this is a night I don’t want to play without him.
Teoscar Hernandez ($3,400)
Hernandez really came out of nowhere and has given the Blue Jays a nice offensive boost stemming from last year. Sonny Gray comes into this game allowing a .368 xwOBA against righties and has given up a lot of contact lately. Hernandez has been on a roll with a 1.1 OPS in his last seven games. He has gone two for five (.400) with two home runs against Gray. Brett Gardner is another choice for $100 less.
Carlos Gonzalez (2,700)
I’m going right back to him today. You see his home run yesterday? He’s playing with some swag right now. Slated to hit fourth again today, he will be facing Sal Romano who is allowing a .336 average and .408 xwOBA against lefties. He has an ERA above seven in his last six starts. Gonzalez is too cheap to not consider.
Charlie Blackmon, Brett Gardner, Harrison Bader