After the nonsense five-game split slates yesterday, we’re back to a full 14-game card on this Friday, complete with pitching, Coors, and seven teams with an IRT north of five runs. We’ll be working hard for you in chat @FanTeamAdvice today, and don’t forget to check us out on twitter. You can also follow me @jac3600.
Justin Verlander, HOU ($11,300)
Verlander rises to the top tonight as the best pitcher on a pretty deep slate, but that depth certainly keeps him from being a lock. The weather is starting to get warmer in spots where it wasn’t all week, so it’s not a knock that this weather is in Houston. Texas has an IRT of 3.1 runs which is rivaling the lowest on the slate, and they have a 23.7% K rate against RHP. Verlander’s K rate is down from his three-year rate, but he has a 2.75 SIERA and is a -265 favorite which is the largest on the slate. He’s viable in all formats, but you’ll need some key value bats, plus I have Mike Trout as a cash lock (more on that later) which seems unreasonable with Verlander.
Other options – Tyler Glasnow, Luis Castillo, Domingo German
Zack Wheeler, NYM ($9200)
Wheeler is more than adequate as a cash play tonight, and that’s likely where I’m going tonight in order to fit some big bats in as well. Wheeler’s K rate is currently sitting at a career high 26%, and tonight he has the coveted matchup against the Miami Marlins. Miami has a slate low IRT of 2.8 runs, they rank last in wOBA against RHP with a .264 mark, and they also have the third highest K% against. Wheeler has four quality starts over his last five, and he should blitz through this lineup with relative ease.
Other options – Jake Odorizzi, Eduardo Rodriguez, German Marquez, Kenta Maeda, Pablo Lopez, Adam Wainwright
Mitch Moreland, BOS ($3700)
The Red Sox have just as much upside as any team on the slate and shouldn’t be ignored. Moreland is consistently getting premier lineup spots for this team, and he has a .231 ISO against RHP over the past three years. Erik Swanson has excellent control (4.9% BB rate), but that’s where the positives end. He has a 4.85 SIERA and all major projection systems are actually predicting it’ll get a bit worse. He’s getting a major park downgrade and he relies on flyballs to get outs (32.1% GB rate).
Other options – Rhys Hoskins, Edwin Encarnacion, Freddie Freeman, Eric Hosmer, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Abreu
Mark Reynolds, COL ($3000)
Reynolds remains too cheap on FD despite routinely hitting cleanup for the Rockies in Coors Field. He homered yesterday and has a good bet to deliver again vs. Eric Lauer who has a 4.74 SIERA and has allowed a 41% HHR to RHB since 2017. Lauer does have a 23% K rate which could mess with Reynolds, but the Rox have an IRT of 5.6 runs and the weather is already 20 degrees warmer than yesterday (where the score was 11-10 anyway). Reynolds is easy cheap access to this potent offense.
Other options – Justin Smoak, CJ Cron, Joey Votto, Matt Olson, Rowdy Tellez, Yonder Alonso, Justin Bour
Catcher values – JT Realmuto, Jonathan Lucroy, Austin Hedges, Danny Jansen
Jose Altuve, HOU ($3700)
The Astros may go a bit under the radar tonight, but they have a 5.2 IRT of their own and are facing Lance Lynn who has an 18% K rate and a 37% GB rate. Lynn has been better against righties for his career, but this Astros lineup ranks second in ISO against RHP and the Texas bullpen is 27th in SIERA (plus they just lost Shawn Kelley). Altuve is viable in all formats at a depressed price tag.
Other options – Whit Merrifield, Brandon Lowe, Michael Chavis, Jonathan Villar
Jurickson Profar, OAK ($2900)
Profar is apparently the new #2 hitter for the A’s, and he’s responded well with two homers and a 40% HHR over his last three games there. Oakland is not a hitters park, but Oakland has a 4.7 IRT against Cody Anderson and his 5.82 SIERA. Anderson is incapable of keeping the ball on the ground (27.6% GB rate since last year), and Oakland looks like a fun sneaky GPP stack as a result.
Other options – Jonathan Schoop, Adam Frazier, Robinson Cano
Nolan Arenado, COL ($4800)
It’s tough to say this, but Arenado is STILL not my top overall hitter tonight despite everything under the sun and moon working for him in this matchup. The Rockies’ star is scorching right now, with ten homers and 24 RBI over his last 20 games while also posting a 37.6% HHR in that span. He’s facing another lefty, and since the beginning of 2017 Arenado has walloped them for an incredible 1.250 OPS. He’s worth every penny, but I still think Trout is better tonight (if I can get both, you better believe I will).
Other options – Alex Bregman, Manny Machado, Matt Chapman, Justin Turner
Tommy La Stella, LAA ($3100)
I’ve mentioned Trout several times already, but we haven’t actually gotten to the Angels and why they should be heavily targeted this evening. They currently have an IRT of six runs, which is the highest on the slate (Coors included). They are facing Dan Straily and the Orioles bullpen, and it really can’t get much better than that for hitters. Straily can’t pitch, and there’s no other way to put it. He has under a 10% K rate this year which matches his BB rate, and he’s allowed 3.13 HR/9 while posting a FIP of 8.00. Need I go on? The Orioles bullpen behind him ranks last in FIP and is getting worse. La Stella has been leading off and will likely get five PAs on the road with a massive park boost. He’s a cash lock for me, and the beauty of FD is you can even play him with Arenado if you want.
Other options – Jose Ramirez, Rafael Devers, Matt Carpenter, Vlad Guerrero, Zack Cozart
Trevor Story, COL ($4600)
Shortstop is the same story (ha) as third base. Either you’re paying for the expensive Rockie, or saving money with the Angel. Like Arenado, Story has roasted LHP in his career, especially at home where he’s posted an OPS over 1.200 against them with a .323 ISO. Roster him with confidence tonight.
Other options – Xander Bogaerts, Jorge Polanco, Adalberto Mondesi, Carlos Correa,
Andrelton Simmons, LAA ($3200)
I pretty much said it all in the La Stella blurb. Simmons hits in the heart of an Angels lineup that you need to be heavily on tonight. He’s not the greatest hitter on his own, but Simmons’ HH boost is massive with the park shift and the fact that Straily has allowed a 44.9% HHR to RHB this season. Simmons is great in cash, and also in Angels stacks.
Other options – Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Greg Garcia, Tim Beckham
Mike Trout, LAA ($4600)
I would pay $6000 for Trout tonight, and I’m not even exaggerating. Trout has a .463 xwOBA which ranks fifth best in the majors, and he’s underperforming (believe it or not). Pair the abysmal Straily with Trout’s .450 wOBA and .345 ISO against RHP since last year, and it really looks like you have a can’t-miss hitter, which is rare. He needs to be the first name you click tonight.
Other options – Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Bryce Harper, Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Khris Davis, Charlie Blackmon, George Springer, Cody Bellinger
Shohei Ohtani, LAA ($3500)
Ohtani should hit third right behind Trout, and he has a really friendly price tag for the matchup ahead. As this article has progressed, the Angels’ IRT has climbed to 6.3 runs. Ohtani has a baseline .373 wOBA and .265 ISO against RHP, and he’s rocked a 33% HHR since being activated off the DL.
Other options – Kole Calhoun, Brian Goodwin, Joc Pederson, Jesse Winker, Yasiel Puig, Derek Dietrich, Jarrod Dyson, Nick Delmonico, Leury Garcia, Randal Grichuk, Billy McKinneyFantasy Baseball