FINALLY we have a full slate to attack this evening, and this should be a fun one with a lack of stud pitchers going. As of right now there are four teams with IRTs over five runs (and the Red Sox are at six!), so we could finally see an offensive explosion with warmer weathers across the East Coast. I will be in chat helping all our subs build the best lineups, and follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
Gerrit Cole, HOU ($10,000)
I’m not sure if I want to devote this much cash to Cole on this slate with so many good offenses to attack, but there’s no question that he’s the top pitcher going. He’s a massive -240 favorite with a 3.4 IRTA, and the Rangers are a cold-hitting team who just lost Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus to injuries. Cole has only allowed one run over 14 innings while posting a 22/3 K/BB ratio this season.
Other options – Zack Greinke, Kenta Maeda
Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS ($6600)
If you want to take a bit of a risk and load up on bats for cash, E-Rod is the way to go. There is, of course, innings and run prevention risk associated with him, but he’s a -205 favorite and the Orioles are an incredibly K happy team. They do have some lefty mashers on their squad so there’s risk here, but the hitters you can pair with Rodriguez make him an enticing draw. He’s for sure my favorite GPP play.
Other options – Steven Matz, Vincent Velasquez, Chad Kuhl, Andrew Heaney, Jacob Faria, Ty Blach
Justin Smoak, TOR ($4000)
There is no reason at all to spend to at the 1B position with so much value, but Smoak is a solid upside play for GPPs as he’ll come in with almost no ownership whatsoever. Mike Clevinger has been sharp to begin the year, but he’s also allowed 1.33 HR/9 to LHB the last three years and Smoak is maintaining a 40% hard hit rate to begin the season.
Other options – Carlos Santana, Matt Olson, Jose Abreu, Gary Sanchez
Ryan Zimmerman, WAS ($2500)
Zimmerman was a let down (partially thanks to a meager 6% hard hit rate the last five games), but he’s $200 cheaper tonight and I’m likely going back to the well. He’ll have the platoon edge against Kyle Freeland, and Zimmerman has hammered LHP for a .390 wOBA and .298 ISO over the past three seasons. The Nats are one of the four teams with an IRT north of five runs.
Other options – Cody Bellinger, Miguel Cabrera, Mitch Moreland, Justin Bour, Logan Morrison
Catcher punts – Evan Gattis, Matt Wieters, Alex Avila
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4400)
Despite the fast start for Cole Hamels, he’s only a season removed from his xFIP shooting up and his K rate plummeting, and the Astros are another team who currently have an IRT over five runs. Altuve is one of the best players in baseball and he has a .379 wOBA and .182 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last year.
Other options – Brian Dozier, Robinson Cano
Ian Kinsler, LAA ($2900)
As soon as Kinsler was activated and put in the leadoff spot yesterday, he promptly went into my lineup and paid off right away with a homer. Like his teammate Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel has really struggled with limiting power, and that isn’t just limited to platoon players. Over the past three seasons, Hammel has allowed a .172 ISO to RHB, and Kinsler carries speed upside as well.
Other options – Whit Merrifield, Jonathan Schoop, Jason Kipnis, Howie Kendrick
Anthony Rendon, WAS ($3500)
Rendon is too cheap for the upside he brings to the table. Over the past three years he’s posted a .379 wOBA and .196 ISO against LHP, and is getting prime lineup spots with the Nationals dealing with injuries. The team busted as a whole yesterday against Chad Bettis, but Kyle Freeland doesn’t project well this season and the Rockies bullpen ranked 24th in xFIP last season.
Other options – Josh Donaldson, Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman
Rafael Devers, BOS ($3300)
I haven’t yet touched on the Red Sox, but they’re the top offense today with an IRT of a whopping 5.9 runs. Devers has a .205 ISO against RHP so far in his young career, and Chris Tillman is a prime attack point in DFS. Tillman posted a 7.84 ERA last year while allowing 2.32 HR/9, and so far this season his K/9 sits at a putrid 2.89. You will want multiple Red Sox, and it’s possible Devers gets a lineup boost with Hanley Ramirez and Eduardo Nunez leaving with injuries yesterday.
Other options – Kyle Seager, Matt Duffy, Jeimer Candelario
Trea Turner, WAS ($4100)
It’s a battle at the top of the SS pool between Turner and Carlos Correa, but Turner slightly takes the gold based on quality of opponent. He’s actually been quite bad against LHP so far in his career, but the power and speed upside is too great to ignore as the likely leadoff hitter for a Nationals squad with an IRT of 5.1 runs. He’s a viable spend in all formats.
Other options – Carlos Correa, Manny Machado, Didi Gregorius, Francisco Lindor
Eduardo Nunez, BOS ($2900)
Nunez didn’t make it through the whole game last night as he seemed to aggravate his knee running through first base, but that may have been caused more by the rain delay than anything else. If Nunez is back in the lineup tonight he offers nice power/speed upside against the worst pitcher on the slate in Chris Tillman. The Orioles’ righty has allowed a .215 ISO to RHB over the last three years, and Nunez has also swiped 64 bases in the last two.
Other options – Jurickson Profar, Brandon Crawford
Mookie Betts/JD Martinez, BOS ($4500/$4000)
Mike Trout is really the top play against Jason Hammel, but I’d rather focus on the Red Sox bats who are even cheaper and in an even better matchup. I mentioned how poor Chris Tillman has been overall but he’s especially bad against RHB, and Betts and JD are hot out of the gate with over a 35% hard hit rate each. It’s going to be warmer in Boston tonight and you’re really going to need one of these guys in your lineup. Betts is my preferred option, but you can get away with either.
Other options – Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Andrew Benintendi, Justin Upton, George Springer, Michael Conforto
Ryan Braun, MIL ($2800)
Steven Matz is a good enough pitcher that he’s not someone I want to pick on too much, but Braun’s splits against LHP coupled with his price is pretty eye-popping to me. Over his 12-year career, Braun has beaten on lefties for a .426 wOBA and .286 ISO, and Matz has allowed a 34% hard hit rate to RHB over the last three seasons. He’s a cheap play that gets you at least one of the guys mentioned above, and he has a good deal of upside himself.
Other options – Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Domingo Santana, Kole Calhoun, Jackie Bradley, Jose Pirela, Hunter Renfroe, Kevin Kiermaier, Derek Dietrich, Jorge Soler, Lewis BrinsonFantasy Baseball