We had a double winner on FanDuel and DraftKings last night, so let’s keep it going this evening! Once again, we’re presented with a slew of top starting pitching coupled with a Coors game, so we’ll have some key decisions to make as the day goes on. Lineups will once again play a big part in the decision (as the Asuaje/Headley coupling last night allowed me to get up to Scherzer at SP). I’ll be joining you all in chat again for our FTA+ subscribers, and follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($9800)
Chris Sale has massive K potential, but I see no reason to pay the extra money when you can just get Strasburg (who has similar K upside) in a much more friendly matchup. The Braves can get very left-handed and be pesky, but Scherzer mowed them down yesterday and there’s no reason Stras can’t do the same. He’s a -212 favorite (highest on the slate) with a 3.1 IRTA (tied for lowest on the slate), and Strasburg has an elite 13.3% swinging strike rate since the beginning of last season. He seems like a gift at under 10k.
Other options – Chris Sale, Luis Severino, Jacob deGrom
Carlos Martinez, STL ($8700)
Now this is interesting. Despite the massive opportunity cost at the SP position thanks to the four studs above, I think we can actually get away with playing Carlos Martinez in cash if you wanted to save even more money to get an extra big bat in there. Martinez recently dominated this Brewers club in Miller Park (10 strikeouts) and now gets to face them in St. Louis which is much more pitcher friendly. Christian Yelich will be out of the lineup, and it’s possible Lorenzo Cain misses the game too after leaving yesterday’s contest. A watered-down Brewers lineup would thrust Martinez into the elite tier, and he’s viable in all formats at a discount.
Other options – Aaron Nola, Dallas Keuchel, Tyler Skaggs, Hyun Jin Ryu, Tyler Anderson, Caleb Smith
Carlos Santana, PHI ($3900)
Santana has been great so far in a Phillies uniform, and now he gets an elite matchup against Homer Bailey. The Reds pitcher is a shell of his former self thanks to all the injuries, and he’s coming off a season where he posted a 4.98 xFIP and 6.63 K/9. Santana has a .371 wOBA and .253 ISO against RHP over the last two years and his high BB rate always keeps him in the cash conversation. He’s also a keystone of a Phillies stack for GPPs.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Smoak, Ian Desmond, Joey Votto, Eric Hosmer, Chris Iannetta
Albert Pujols, LAA ($3100)
Pujols’ price tag annoyingly rose $400 overnight, but he’s still usable in all formats. Pujols owns a tidy little six-game hitting streak (with three multi-hit games in there) and he homered yesterday. He’s in one of the best hitting environments in Texas and is facing Martin Perez who can keep the ball on the ground but has allowed a 32% hard hit rate to RHB since the beginning of 2016. The Angels have the second highest IRT on the slate at five runs, and they rival the Rockies as the best offense to target tonight.
Other options – Joey Gallo, Lucas Duda, Ryan Zimmerman, Kendrys Morales, Chris Davis, Buster Posey, Wilmer Flores (follow that Mets lineup carefully)
Catcher punts – Evan Gattis, Austin Hedges, Robinson Chirinos
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4500)
Altuve doesn’t fit the cash conversation at $4500 since he’s hitting in Minnesota, but he’s a fantastic GPP option. He’ll be taking on the reverse splits of Jake Odorizzi (.216 ISO allowed to RHB the last three years) and Altuve is one of the best power/speed upside plays in the game. There is only two games so far this year in which he doesn’t have a hit, and the deep lineup behind him provides plenty of run scoring opportunities.
Other options – Brian Dozier, D.J. LeMahieu, Zack Cozart, Cesar Hernandez
Kike Hernandez, LAD ($2500)
As long as he’s hitting cleanup, it’s likely back to the Kike well for me in cash tonight. There’s no reason to get excited about the park factor or the matchup (Sean Manaea is showing signs of being a good pitcher), but you can’t discount how Kike has done against LHP. He’s crushed them for a .391 wOBA and .269 ISO over the past three seasons, and that kind of upside is rare to find so cheaply at a tough position to crack.
Other options – Jonathan Schoop, Whit Merrifield, Rougned Odor, Ketel Marte (now a 2B), Carlos Asuaje
Nolan Arenado, COL ($5400)
If I can only have one big bat, it’s going to be Arenado again. He busted big time in a prime matchup, but he once again gets to face a lefty in Coors Field. The upside there is unrivaled as Arenado owns a .394 wOBA and .271 ISO against LHP the last three years. Joey Lucchesi comes with more K upside than Clayton Richard last night, but Arenado against a lefty in Coors is a virtual cash lock for me.
Other options – Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rendon, Alex Bregman
Adrian Beltre, TEX ($3100)
If you decide that Arenado’s price tag is not for you, I recommend dipping all the way down to Beltre. He’s past his prime, you say? Well, this “old man” has still rocked LHP for an elite .415 wOBA and .248 ISO over the last three years and is in one of the best hitting environments in his home Texas park. Tyler Skaggs looks like he might be taking that “proverbial step forward”, but he’s still allowed a 34.5% hard hit rate to RHB over the last two years.
Other options – Todd Frazier, Mike Moustakas, Christian Villanueva, Chase Headley, Evan Longoria
Trevor Story, COL ($4200)
Once again, I will be passing on Story for his more stable teammates as the “big spends”, but there’s no doubt he comes in as the top SS (especially if he winds up batting fourth again). We all know Story’s bugaboo is strikeouts (and Joey Lucchesi will be better at exploiting that than Clayton Richard was), but we also know he has a career .413 wOBA and .321 ISO against LHP. His upside is massive, and you can take the plunge if he remains in an elite lineup spot.
Other options – Carlos Correa, Elvis Andrus, Jean Segura
Pat Valaika, COL ($2500)
I’ll pretty much echo yesterday’s writeup with Valaika. If he hits eighth again I won’t consider him, but if he can get to seventh or higher he’s a great value considering he’s brutalized lefties himself for a .365 wOBA and .269 ISO. The Rockies have the highest IRT at 5.4 runs, and Valaika is (right now) the most affordable piece.
Other options – Marcus Semien, Freddy Galvis, Jose Peraza
Mike Trout, LAA ($5200)
Trout was a big ol’ disappointment last night, and now his price has risen $400 on FD. Don’t be discouraged – he’s still the top OF by a good amount and is one of your main targets tonight if you can afford him. Trout gets a massive park shift in his favor and he’s posted a .427 wOBA and .284 ISO against LHP. I’m still going to pick Arenado as the top overall priority (there are much more OF values), but if you go the other way I don’t argue.
Other options – Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, George Springer, Justin Upton, Yeonis Cespedes, Adam Eaton, Marcell Ozuna
Manuel Margot/Jose Pirela/Hunter Renfroe, SD ($2800/$2700/$2600)
Whoever you decide to play here totally depends on the lineup spot, but you’ll likely want at least one (perhaps two) of these Padres outfielders in cash due to them all being underpriced for playing in Coors Field. Tyler Anderson allowed a .192 ISO to RHB last season, and all three of these guys have upside against LHP. Renfroe has the most by far, as he’s blasted a .365 ISO against them in his short career, but his 29.2% K rate last year also gives him the most downside. Pay attention to the lineup, and act accordingly.
Other options – Mitch Haniger, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler, Andrew McCutchen, Curtis Granderson, Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, Chris Young