My winning ways continued on FD last night, but I lost again on DK (that 2-SP factor is tough right now). Tonight we have an absolutely loaded pitching slate after having to sift through some garbage the last few nights, and we at FTA are here to help you make the best decisions on cash and GPP lineup construction. I’m also on twitter @jac3600, and check out our A.C.E. projection model in chat.
Blake Snell, TB ($10,000)
It’s hard to pick Snell over the likes of Scherzer, Sale, and Verlander, but price point really matters here when he offers as much savings as he does. I was all set to go with Sale, but his diminished velocity in start #1 makes me OK with savings the extra $800 to potentially get another big bat in here, and Snell is a solid -160 favorite with a 3.1 IRTA (tied for lowest on the slate). The Rockies have a couple of scary lefty bashers in their lineup in Arenado and Story, but as a team Colorado has a 25% baseline K rate against LHP and are getting about as massive a park downgrade as a team can.
Other options – Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Jose Berrios
Marcus Stroman, TOR ($7400)
I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I think Stroman is cash viable on FD even with the immense opportunity cost at the SP position. While it’s easy to fit in stud pitchers on FD, it’s often difficult to fit in more than one elite bat, and Stroman gives you a path to at least two. He does not possess near the upside of the pitchers listed above, but he is an innings horse (important with FD’s scoring system) and is facing a horrid Orioles lineup that had the second highest K rate against RHP last season. Stroman is a -190 favorite and will have the most favorable home plate umpire in baseball. There’s a lot to like here.
Other options – Zack Greinke, Trevor Cahill, Eric Lauer, Jason Vargas
Justin Smoak, TOR ($3600)
Ugh. Here we go again with the Blue Jays, who unbelievably have been no hit through at least five innings in THREE of their first five games already (and by such pitching notables as Jordan Zimmermann, Matt Moore, and DAVID HESS). You have to figure everyone is jumping off the Blue Jays bandwagon, but the numbers are in place to call them a good offense to target once again. They have an IRT of five runs (again) which they actually met last night after the no hitter nonsense ended, and they’re facing Andrew Cashner who has allowed 1.48 HR/9 to LHB over the past three years. In that span, Justin Smoak has a team-high .226 ISO against RHP, and he’ll have a premier lineup spot.
Other options – Edwin Encarnacion
Yuli Gurriel, HOU ($2700)
The Astros have the highest IRT on the slate at 5.4 runs, and you’re going to want to target multiple pieces even though most of them have a R/R matchup. Shelby Miller flashed a high K rate last season in limited time, but he also allowed 2.81 HR/9 and this is one of few positive hitting environments this time of year. Gurriel should hit fifth which is fine.
Other options – Eric Hosmer, Justin Bour, Albert Pujols, Rowdy Tellez, Tyler White
Catcher values – Wilson Ramos, Danny Jansen, Robinson Chirinos, Mike Zunino
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4300)
If you’re paying Snell or above at SP, you’re really going to have to pick and choose your one big bat to pair him with. Altuve is definitely an option to use even though he doesn’t have the power upside as some of the other studs, but Altuve is one of the highest floor plays in the league. He does, however, have a .161 ISO against same-handed pitching, and only an 11% K rate which keeps his downside very limited (plus he’s still stealing bags).
Other options – Robinson Cano, Kike Hernandez
Wilmer Flores, ARI ($2300)
Flores is getting a huge park downgrade going to San Diego, but he’s been a platoon darling for us for years, and is getting premier lineup spots with a rebuilding Diamondbacks team. Flores has a .350 wOBA and .204 ISO against LHP since the beginning of 2017, and Eric Lauer has struggled with hard contact allowed to RHB.
Other options – Jonathan Villar, Brian Dozier, Lourdes Gurriel, Daniel Robertson
Alex Bregman, HOU ($4200)
Third base tonight is looking the same as last night, with a “Bregman or Drury” dilemma as the one to go with in cash (I used both yesterday). Bregman doesn’t have the platoon edge we loved targeting so much last night, but he does still have a .364 wOBA and .215 ISO against same-handed pitching since the beginning of 2017 and he has speed upside as well. I do think your “one big spend” is best served coming from the top stack of the night (the Astros).
Other options – Nolan Arenado, Justin Turner
Brandon Drury, TOR ($2200)
As I said yesterday, Drury is just a “meh” hitter, but he’s still going to be hitting in one of the top two lineup spots and his price is just sitting there at $2200. A premier lineup spot + an IRT of almost five runs + a static price tag = Drury continuing to be a fine investment point.
Other options – Rafael Devers, Yandy Diaz, Zack Cozart, David Freese
TOP PLAY AND TOP VALUE
Carlos Correa, HOU ($3000)
Don’t even overthink this one. Correa has an ISO of .219 against RHP since the beginning of 2017 and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this cheap. He’s a core play on FD, no matter what risk factors (injury, last year’s performance) you associate with him. Lock in Correa at 3k.
Other options – Trevor Story, Trea Turner, Adalberto Mondesi, Jorge Polanco, Andrelton Simmons, Amed Rosario
Mike Trout, LAA ($4900)
Once again, Trout’s skillset is transcending even the elite hitters in Houston who are facing a much better park environment. Why? Because Trout is an absolutely world class hitter who has elite numbers no matter the handedness of pitcher or park factor he’s in. Trout has a .250 ISO against LHP over the past three seasons, and Marco Gonzales has allowed a ton of hard contact to RHB despite being a reverse split pitcher (22.5% K rate vs RHB, 14.7% K rate against LHB).
Other options – Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, George Springer, Michael Brantley, Juan Soto, Tommy Pham, AJ Pollock
Randal Grichuk, TOR ($2700)
I’m getting a little bored writing the same names all week, but this is the situation we’re in. Grichuk came through last night, and he’ll face another very suspect righty pitcher tonight. As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, Grichuk leads the Blue Jays with a .268 ISO against same-handed pitching, and Cashner is a guy who posted a 5.29/5.32/5.19 pitching split last year while allowing 1.47 HR/9. Grichuk is a core play for me again.
Other options – Teoscar Hernandez, Billy McKinney, Mallex Smith, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Avisail Garcia, Lewis BrinsonFantasy Baseball