My countdown to Disney is less than a week! I’m hoping to make some extra scratch for souvenirs this week, so let’s get right to it. Tonight’s slate is loaded with top starting pitching, and we have a Coors game to deal with too (and Clayton Richard is the pitcher, so….). To top it all off, Mike Trout might be the top overall hitter, which further complicates things. I’ll be in FTA+ chat later on tonight, and follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
Noah Syndergaard, NYM ($10,800)
Scherzer, Syndergaard, and Verlander are all right there with each other as far as K projections go, but I’m going to slightly lean Noah of the three even though he has the most innings downside. The Braves are very left-handed and have been pesky to Scherzer in his career, and the Marlins lineup (while not being high in the K department) is pretty bad. Thor has an insane 40.5% K rate to start the year, and if he can get six innings I think he’ll be the high scorer.
Other options – Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander
Jon Gray, COL ($7700)
People will be quick to discount Gray since he’s pitching in Coors, but he was perfectly fine last season at home with 3.13 ERA, and he recently savaged this Padres roster. Gray has struck out over a batter per inning for his career and San Diego will still be without their best overall hitter in Wil Myers. Coors Field has not yet reached its pinnacle upside since the temperatures are still fairly cool, and you can stack Gray in GPPs with the Colorado bats.
Other options – Zack Godley, Garrett Richards, J.A. Happ, Miles Mikolas, Julio Teheran
Joey Votto, CIN ($4000)
Votto is an insane value over on DraftKings, but he’s usable on FD as well even at almost a full price tag. Votto has a .422 wOBA and .241 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year and his mega on-base skills give him an incredible floor for cash. Philly pitcher Ben Lively has a career 5.52 xFIP and has struck out a meager 5.44 batters per nine innings. He is no match for Votto this evening.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Ian Desmond, Eric Hosmer, Carlos Santana
Adrian Gonzalez, NYM ($2000)
If you have aspirations of fitting in a top pitcher PLUS some Coors bats (or Trout), you’re going to need near-minimum priced players somewhere. A-Gon’s best days are long behind him, but he still carries a .394 wOBA against RHP over the past five seasons despite rapidly declining skills. Jose Urena’s peripherals and K rates rival that of Ben Lively’s described above, and Gonzalez usually will hit fifth or sixth if he gets in the lineup. There are worse value plays.
Other options – Joey Gallo, Lucas Duda, Albert Pujols, Brandon Belt, Dan Vogelbach, Chris Iannetta
Catcher punts – Austin Hedges, Tucker Barnhart, Robinson Chirinos
D.J. LeMahieu, COL ($4200)
LeMahieu only has 19 homers over the past TWO seasons while playing on the Rockies, so his ceiling is the worst of all his teammates. However, his ability to get on base plus the platoon edge against Clayton Richard makes him a key component of Rockies stacks, and he should be used accordingly there as the Rox come in with a slate-high IRT of 5.7 runs. You’re not spending this money on him in cash, however.
Other options – Jose Altuve, Robinson Cano
Carlos Asuaje, SD ($2100)
Carlos Asuaje has hit first, second, seventh, and eighth already this season, so there’s no way to pin down his lineup spot. However, he hit first yesterday against Charlie Morton and faces a similar pitcher tonight in Jon Gray. Asuaje is not that good a hitter, and Gray is a strong pitcher, but there’s no way you can fade a $2100 price tag for a top-of-the-order hitter in Coors. Pay close attention to the lineups later tonight.
Other options – Whit Merrifield, Jonathan Schoop, Scooter Gennett, Devon Travis
Nolan Arenado, COL ($5400)
Arenado is fully priced at $5400, but he’s the top overall hitter in my eyes tonight, and I’m OK fading Trout (who I also absolutely love) if it means you get Arenado in there. Over the past three years, Arenado has crushed LHP for a .394 wOBA and .271 ISO, and Clayton Richard has allowed 1.56 HR/9 to RHB in that span. Little else needs to be said about why this is such a strong play.
Other options – Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rendon, Matt Carpenter
Kyle Seager, SEA ($2900)
I wrote up Seager yesterday when he was $2400 but wasn’t able to use him due to the rainout. His price has annoyingly risen $500 overnight despite not playing yesterday but he’s still a solid value should you choose to pass on Arenado. Seager is a fine play in the platoon department with a .350 wOBA and .195 ISO against RHP over the past three seasons, and Jake Junis allowed 1.37 HR/9 a season ago while posting a 4.77 xFIP.
Other options – Mike Moustakas, Cory Spangenberg, Luis Valbuena, Cheslor Cuthbert
Trevor Story, COL ($4100)
Story is a polarizing bat to roster, as he’s followed up his 34.4% K rate in 2017 with a 33.3% mark already this year. The good news here is that Clayton Richard is incapable of missing bats (career 14.1% K rate), and Story has a career .409 wOBA and .319 ISO against LHP. I wish he was a touch cheaper, but he’s usable in cash, and an elite GPP option.
Other options – Trea Turner, Manny Machado, Carlos Correa
Pat Valaika, COL ($2000)
I have to point out Valaika just in case he cracked the lineup again tonight. He’s another min priced Coors bat, this time on the Rockies side of things. If Valaika is in there, it’s unlikely he’ll bat above seventh, but he’s still massacred lefties in his career for a .365 wOBA and .269 ISO, and provides immense upside at the cheapest price. He’ll give you access to the best lineup tonight while also allowing you to spend on some of the big bats coupled with an ace pitcher.
Other options – Jean Segura, Elvis Andrus, Ketel Marte
Mike Trout, LAA ($4800)
One thing that really throws a wrench into things tonight is what good spots Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are in (and they’re priced alongside the Coors bats). Trout gets the clear edge with a $500 discount over Harper, and he’s getting a major park boost going to Texas. Doug Fister has never been able to miss bats (career 6.18 K/9), and his FIP/xFIP are profiling at a full run over his ERA. The Texas bullpen is no great shakes either. If you’re picking between Trout and Arenado, I choose the latter, but make the effort to get both if you can (just remember the top SP is your first priority).
Other options – Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon, Rhys Hoskins, Adam Eaton, Justin Upton, George Springer, AJ Pollock, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Conforto ,Yoenis Cespedes
Manuel Margot, SD ($2200)
Margot has been leading off the entire season but his early struggles dropped him to ninth against Houston yesterday. If you expect him to move back into the leadoff spot today, this is another Coors Field bat you’re able to roster at almost the stone cold minimum. Remember, Margot is one year removed from a 13/17 season in his rookie campaign in only 126 games, so the event upside is there. He’s just got to get it going, and Coors Field could be a great catalyst.
Other options – Shin Soo Choo, Scott Schebler, Jay Bruce, Mitch Haniger, Trey Mancini, Jesse Winker, Jorge Soler, Andrew McCutchen, Kole Calhoun, Dexter Fowler, Jose Pirela, Curtis Granderson, Nomar Mazara