FINALLY we have a full slate of games without the day contests messing things up, and there are literally four pitchers at the top end that can all be considered cash viable. Lineups may wind up pushing one ahead of the others, so stay tuned in with us in FTA+ as we lead you right up until first pitch with our constantly updated projections and live chat. You can also follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
Jacob deGrom, NYM ($10,600)
It’s really hard to pick among the big four tonight, but my initial lean is to deGrom. Kluber is the Vegas darling as a -235 favorite, but deGrom faces the Padres in San Diego, and they have a slate low 3.2 IRT. The Padres now have the highest K rate against RHP with a 28.4% mark, and they may be without their best lefty in Eric Hosmer. Petco Park is about as good a pitching environment as you can get, and deGrom has elite skills.
Other options – Corey Kluber, Luis Severino, Stephen Strasburg (ALL are cash viable)
Marcus Stroman, TOR ($6000)
If you want to build a contrarian GPP team with all the top bats, Stroman is a nice option at only $6k. It seems he’s off to a horrid start with an 8.85 ERA, but his 3.95 xFIP tells us he’s having some REALLY bad luck. Stroman’s GB rate is as elite as ever (almost 70% to start this year) and he’s striking out 9.45 batters per nine innings. The park environment is not the greatest for pitching, but Texas ranks 27th in wRC+ against RHP as is very injured right now.
Other options – Dallas Keuchel, Aaron Nola, Drew Pomeranz, Danny Duffy, Clayton Richard, Julio Teheran, Tyler Anderson, Hyun Jin Ryu
Miguel Cabrera, DET ($3900)
It’s a Chris Tillman day, which means I have to get some Tigers in there. It may not wind up being Cabrera, but no argument if you want him. Tillman is as awful as ever with a 9.81 ERA, a BB rate of 5.71 batters per nine, and he’s allowed 2.60 HR/9. Miggy has a 29% hard hit rate over the last ten and has nine hits over his last five games. He’s firmly in play in all formats.
Other options – Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto, Jose Abreu, Justin Smoak, Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Sanchez
Carlos Santana, PHI ($3200)
A big reason I’m OK looking for my Tigers exposure elsewhere in cash is the fact that Santana remains too cheap on FD. He’s rocking a 50% FB rate and a 24% hard hit rate in his first season with the Phillies, and he’s facing Julio Teheran who is a quality pitcher but has been murdered by lefties his whole career. Over the past three seasons, Teheran has given up a .366 wOBA and a .204 ISO to LHB, and Santana’s BB rate always makes him an enticing cash play.
Other options – Yuli Gurriel, Yonder Alonso, Lucas Duda, Chris Davis, Pedro Alvarez, Logan Morrison
Catcher punts – Evan Gattis, Welington Castillo, Russell Martin
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4200)
I’m curious to find out what everyone will think of the Houston bats. They ranked first in wRC+ against LHP a year ago but Sean Manaea’s success to start the year (including a no-hitter) may be off-putting. While I don’t doubt that Manaea looks good so far, remember two things. One, his 100% strand rate is obviously beyond unsustainable. Two, his 1.23 ERA is backed by a 3.63 xFIP, so expect regression. Altuve is one of the best players in baseball and a career lefty-killer. This game is also in Houston, so don’t be afraid to use him.
Other options – Brian Dozier, Scooter Gennett, Cesar Hernandez
Jason Kipnis, CLE ($3200)
Paying more than 3k for Kipnis is nauseating given how excruciatingly bad he’s been to start the season (a .174 AVG and only six RBIs). However, the Cleveland offense in general looks good against Erasmo Ramirez, and their IRT is approaching five runs. As long as Kipnis is still hitting second, he’s cash viable.
Other options – Whit Merrifield, Dixon Machado, Starlin Castro, Gleyber Torres, Devon Travis
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($4400)
Here’s a Cleveland hitter on the opposite spectrum as Kipnis. Ramirez has a 28% hard hit rate over the last ten games, and ZiPS has only projected Erasmo Ramirez for a 4.40 FIP and 6.68 K/9. He’s really the best hitter on an Indians team that should be heavily targeted in GPPs, and he’s playable in cash if you can fit him.
Other options – Nolan Arenado, Mike Moustakas, Alex Bregman, Miguel Sano, Jeimer Candelario
Kike Hernandez, LAD ($2700)
Kike is such a nice fallback option if you don’t want to pay up for 3B tonight. He offers just as much upside as he’s posted a .359 wOBA and .243 ISO against LHP over the last three years. Kike is always a PH risk, but his price is just too cheap. In that same time frame, Derek Holland has allowed 1.55 HR/9 and a 39% hard hit rate to RHB.
Other options – Yangervis Solarte, Yolmer Sanchez, Danny Valencia
Manny Machado, BAL ($4600)
Machado won’t be able to fit into cash due to his cost and the fact that you have to pay up at SP, but he’s one of the best plays on the slate. Machado has a .366 wOBA and .232 ISO against same-handed pitching over the past three years, and Tigers SP Mike Fiers has allowed a .207 ISO to RHB in that span. Machado has cooled off a little, but he still has a 34% hard hit rate over his last ten games.
Other options – Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Trea Turner
Tim Anderson, CHW ($3300)
Anderson’s price is annoying, but he’s still cash viable given the lack of enticing cheap plays (as of now). Anderson should continue to lead off, and his eight SBs to start the year are surprisingly nice. Anderson is also flashing a .177 ISO against LHP, and Danny Duffy has gone through some struggles this season. I wish he was cheaper, but he’s not an awful value.
Other options – Corey Seager, Eduardo Nunez, Jurickson Profar, J.P. Crawford
Giancarlo Stanton, NYY ($4700)
It’s Stanton against a lefty, folks. Going to Los Angeles is a park downgrade for Stanton but the weather is also warmer, and he’s got over a .400 ISO against LHP over the past three years which is flat-out insane. Andrew Heaney looks to be taking a step forward and has K upside, but he’s still allowed a .200 ISO to RHB over the past two years. Stanton is viable in all formats.
Other options – Aaron Judge, George Springer, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Charlie Blackmon, Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler, Teoscar Hernandez
Trey Mancini, BAL ($2800)
Mancini is another Oriole that has shown reverse splits so far in his career, with a .362 wOBA and .207 ISO against RHP. I’ve already spoken of Mike Fiers’ struggles with same-handed pitching, and the fact that the Orioles no longer have Seth Smith takes away a lot of Mancini’s PH risk. He seems to be entrenched as Baltimore’s leadoff hitter, and the Orioles have a solid IRT of five runs.
Other options – Marcell Ozuna, Michael Brantley, Adam Jones, Ronald Acuna, Steve Pearce, Randal Grichuk, Billy Hamilton, Jesse Winker, Adam Duvall, Chris Taylor, Matt Kemp, Nick Williams, Jace Peterson, Adam Frazier, Mikie Mahtook