About Last Night…
MLB Value Street 06/07/2018

Last night was pretty frustrating. Quintana was an out away from achieving a quality start and he was pulled with two runners on before the reliever gave up a three-run homer. JD Martinez and Brian Dozier failed and brought me under the cash line for this GPP contest. Just as for the players, we can forget about yesterday and make corrections.

Slate Summary:

We have a five-game slate this evening featuring all AL teams. We have one ace on the mound and the rest of the pitchers are basically average or worse. Cole is the only pitcher with a SIERA under four in the last couple year excluding one exception, the Rays bullpen starter. You’re going to largely need Cole in cash games, but what hitters can we work around with his huge price tag? Let’s find out.

P:

Gerrit Cole ($11,800)
No brainer. Cole is by far the best pitcher on the hill tonight. It is a little worrisome that he’s pitching in Arlington, but the K upside alone brings me to believe he will post a high score. He has been better this season, but his last few games have been against good offenses. Don’t get cute unless you’re in a large GPP. Even then, it’s hard to see these other pitchers rack up 35-40+ points.

Cole Hamels ($8,600)
It is hard to find a pitcher I like outside of Cole. Some of these pitchers have had upside of the 35-40 points I just mentioned, but I just don’t see it happening tonight. Then again, who knows, it’s baseball. Hamels would be my next choice, though I’m saying this reluctantly. He has pitched against Houston three times this season and has allowed no more than three runs in any of those starts. He has pitched well against Correa, Bregman, and Gurriel, three fixtures in the top and middle of the lineup. He’s throwing around a strikeout an inning and the Stros K at a decent rate.

Alternative Picks:
Gerrit Cole (not a typo), Mike Leake, Jaime Garcia, Jalen Beeks

C/1B:

Matt Olson ($3,700)
He has gotten expensive, and for good reason. I remember finding any way possible to roster this guy last season. What a crazy stretch. Olson’s power is back on, with five home runs in his last six games. Hammel is allowing a .424 xwOBA to lefties on the year. We have mother nature letting the wind blow out toward right field tonight. I would argue that Olson has the best home run potential over any other first baseman tonight.

Evan Gattis ($2,400)
Ok, but Gattis knows how to park one too. He was one of the few who came through for me last night and I’ll gladly go back to him tonight. He has a ten for thirty-one (.323) average against Hamels with three home runs. Hamels has given up a .367 xwOBA against righties. He is a solid if not spectacular GPP play.

Alternative Picks:
Justin Smoak, Sam Travis

2B:

Jose Altuve ($4,300)
It seems worth it to spend up to Altuve tonight. He has been in good form and will square off against Hamels. He has had a power outage but comes into Arlington with a 1.0 OPS away from Minute Maid Park. He has a .350+ wOBA against all but one of Hamels pitches, the cutter.

Jonathan Schoop ($3,000)
I have Schoop on my season-long team and he has let me down so far this season. His price has come all the way down to $3,000 and squares off against Jaime Garcia. Garcia has given up an earned run in every start this year and got torched by Detroit in his last one. Schoop has favorable splits tonight and has a .276 BABIP, short of his .340 mark last year. He’ll likely face positive regression as the season goes on, and this could be a spot where he succeeds.

Alternative Picks:
Jed Lowrie, Joseph Wendle

3B:

Mike Moustakas ($3,800)

I’m a big fan of Paul Blackburn, but not from a DFS perspective. He had success last year but had a minuscule 9.2 strikeout rate in his limited action last year and his SIERA is up in the fives. The Royals are a low strikeout team anyways, so we should see a lot of contact in this one. The wind is blowing out toward right field and Blackburn will return from the DL trying not to make mistakes.

Danny Valencia ($2,600)
Valencia will likely be hitting cleanup again tonight and will see Garcia on the hill. Garcia is allowing a .346 xwOBA to righties and Valencia has hit lefties well in the past. He has some interesting stats this year. A BABIP lower than previous years, a higher ISO, a higher contact rate, and a lower strikeout rate. All of these yummy ingredients will surely help his primary stats throughout the year. He has a 450+ wOBA against fastballs of Garcia’s velocity and hits decently against his sinker. He’s a great value in a game where Garcia is supposed to greatly struggle.

Alternative Plays:
Kyler Seager, Hunter Dozier

SS:

Manny Machado ($4,500)
This was a hard choice between Machado and Bogaerts, and either is great. I’m going with Machado for his current hot streak and overall better year. He has seen Blue Jay pitching well (4-11), and faces the aforementioned Garcia. Machado is tuned in to southpaws, with a .361 wOBA and .970 OPS this year against them.

Aledmys Diaz ($2,200)
I feel like this is deja vu. I don’t see much cheap value at shortstop, so I’ll once again turn to the Blue Jay for salary relief. He still has a .829 OPS against righties this year, and although David Hess has been admirable, he hasn’t gone deep into games. He’s up to a 5.30 SIERA and has a pitiful strikeout rate. I would find a way to pay up for Machado or Bogaerts, but if not possible, Diaz might get you a few points.

Alternative Plays:
Xander Bogaerts, Jean Segura

OF:

J.D. Martinez ($4,800)
Martinez irked me last night, but I have fond memories when he rewarded me last year so I’ll have no vendetta. Benintendi instead took the limelight, but I have no problem with rostering Martinez today against Matt Boyd. He’s had a decent year, but he is a lefty and that means death against Martinez. Martinez has a .466 wOBA against lefties this year. He is hitting .348 at home as well.

George Springer ($4,100)
Springer is a good pivot from Martinez and also crushes lefties. Hamels has allowed a 38.5% hard contact rate and .367 xwOBA to righties. Springer has one less home run against lefties than righties in under half the plate appearances. Couple that with hitting leadoff and he’ll surely have plentiful at-bats. He is also 4-16 (.250) with three home runs against Hamels in his career.

Dustin Fowler ($2,400)
Fowler was seen hitting leadoff yesterday and didn’t score despite having two hits. He seems to be pretty streaky so far in his budding MLB career, but he is still cheap and is hitting against Jason Hamel. As mentioned with Matt Olson, Hammel is allowing a .424 xwOBA against lefties. He also has an OBP of over .400 in his last seven games. Hitting in front of some boppers, Fowler has another opportunity to rack up some points.

Alternative Picks:
Khris Davis, Adam Jones, Mark Canha

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