Last night was a fun GPP-filled winning slate, and tonight we get back to business in cash with nine games on the card. Pitching is HORRIBLE this evening (as you’ll see evidenced below), so you’re going to be forced into some calculated risks while you focus more on the hitting side of things. I am at a three-day conference so I will be a tad late to FTA+ chat, but I WILL be there, and make sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
Cole Hamels, TEX ($8800)
It’s a mark of how bad the pitching is when I have Cole Hamels (who I’ve barely even had GPP interest thus far this season) ranked as the top overall play. I will still have no part of him in cash games, but I need to point out that some of the upside he lost last year is back. Hamels’ K rate plummeted to 17% last season, but it’s back up to a healthy 25.1% this year, and he’s facing off against a White Sox squad that has the highest K% against LHP so far this year. Hamels is still allowing tons of hard contact so he’s not without risk, but on such a sorry pitching slate he’s viable in all formats. I’m just planning on going a bit cheaper.
Other options – Tyler Skaggs, Chris Archer
Chad Kuhl, PIT ($7700)
Kuhl’s skill set and matchup suits FanDuel a lot more than DraftKings (where K’s are the main focus). Kuhl’s K baseline is very pedestrian, but his matchup against the Padres is elite (26th in wRC+ against RHP with the fifth highest K rate). Pittsburgh is a fine pitchers’ park, and Kuhl has achieved four quality starts in his last five games (important to FD’s scoring). He’s won’t win you a GPP, but Kuhl shouldn’t kill you in cash either, and he opens up a lot of spending for hitters.
Other options – David Price, Marco Gonzalez, Luke Weaver, Jeff Samardzija
Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($4300)
It’s hard to pin down a baseline on Braves’ rookie Mike Soroka, but his K rate is not high enough that it scares me off Rizzo. The Cubs’ offense has been clicking lately and Rizzo has a 33% hard hit rate over his last ten games (despite going hitless in his last four). I don’t think this where you need to spend big money in cash, but Rizzo does has a .384 wOBA and .250 ISO against RHP since the beginning of 2015.
Other options – Hanley Ramirez, Eric Hosmer, Jose Abreu
Matt Olson, OAK ($2900)
Olson’s sub-3k price tag is nice at a 1B position that doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of values that “pop”. Aaron Sanchez is a decent pitcher but he only has a 15% K rate over his last two seasons and Olson is getting a major park upgrade going to Toronto. Olson had a whopping .392 ISO last year in his first season in the bigs, so we know the power upside is immense.
Other options – Justin Smoak, Mitch Moreland, Jose Martinez
Catcher values – Buster Posey, Mike Zunino, Robinson Chirinos, Welington Castillo
Ozzie Albies, ATL ($4700)
Albies is beyond appropriately priced for cash, but he’s got massive upside even in a tougher matchup against Jon Lester. The young phenom is rocking a .315 ISO to go along with a combined 19 homers and steals so far this year, and the wind is currently blowing out to LF in Atlanta. Jon Lester is notorious for not being able to hold runners on, so it’s possible we have a GPP-winning power/speed combo here. I just don’t think you need to pay full price in cash.
Other options – Jonathan Schoop, Yoan Moncada, Jed Lowrie
Rougned Odor, TEX ($2600)
I stated in chat yesterday that the Christian Bergmann’s success yesterday proved that Texas could be attacked with any pitcher, but that was before I realized that James Shields would be pitching today. Odor’s lineup spot of seventh is annoying for cash games, but he has a .223 ISO against RHP since the beginning of 2016 and Shields has allowed 1.99 HR/9 to LHB in that span. There are no worthy spend-ups at the position, so I’m just punting with Odor’s upside.
Other options – Eduardo Nunez, Isaiah Kiner-Fafela, Kolten Wong
Josh Donaldson, TOR ($4000)
Donaldson is usually a better target against LHP, but the Blue Jays are one of the top offense on the slate with an IRT of 4.9 runs and he’s not fully priced for his upside. Andrew Triggs has elevated his K rate this year, but he’s also allowed 1.62 HR/9 and a 4.79 FIP, and he’ll be getting a sizeable park downgrade going to Toronto. Donaldson has a 27% hard hit rate over his last ten games and has immense power against both handed pitchers.
Other options – Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, Rafael Devers
Matt Carpenter, STL ($2900)
Carpenter’s slow start has been staggering, but his BABIP indicates that a good portion of it is due to bad luck, and he should come out of it sooner rather than later. Vincent Velasquez has K upside but he’s also allowed a .361 wOBA and 1.51 HR/9 to LHB over the past two years, and Carpenter has a .244 ISO against RHP in that span. The problem is that Matt Carpenter hit seventh yesterday, and if he’s there again it’s tough to justify him in cash. If he’s back in the top three, it’s a different story.
Other options – Yangervis Solarte, Matt Chapman, Jose Bautista, Danny Valencia
Manny Machado, BAL ($4900)
Machado is another hitter that is fully priced but the lack of elite starting pitching makes it so you can reach any of these players that stick out to you. The Orioles opened with a 3.8 IRT but it’s risen half a run since then (presumably due to the concerns over David Price). Machado has a .382 wOBA and a .252 ISO against LHP since the beginning of 2016 and has been a monster this entire season. If you want him in cash, he’s worth the money.
Other options – Jean Segura, Xander Bogaerts
Max Moroff, PIT ($2000)
The other extreme at the position is Moroff, who has led off in two of the last three games against a lefty. Eric Lauer has not managed to tame major league hitting yet, which has led to the Pirates having a very sneaky IRT of 4.7 runs. Moroff is not a good hitter but leading off at min price against a poor pitching staff is a great way to grab exposure to multiple big bats at other positions.
Other options – Marcus Semien, Jurickson Profar, Jordy Mercer
Mookie Betts, BOS ($5300)
We have not yet spoken of the Red Sox, who come in with the highest IRT on the slate at 5.2 runs. Kevin Gausman has been by far the best pitcher for the Orioles this year (and his 3.99 xFIP indicates at least some of it is real), but his 1.41 HR/9 allowed is right in line with his career rate. Gausman’s career reverse splits spell danger against the powerful righties in Boston’s lineup, and Fenway Park is a right-handed hitters’ paradise. Betts has been simply ridiculous this year.
Other options – JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Mike Trout, Charlie Blackmon, Ronald Acuna, Mitch Haniger, Kyle Schwarber, Tommy Pham, Nomar Mazara
Joey Gallo, TEX ($3400)
Gallo is my favorite overall play tonight, and will be a staple of my cash games and GPPs. I’ve already spoken about the benefit of attacking James Shields, and Gallo is the best man for the job. Shields has been unable to miss left-handed bats and has been burned by the HR ball against them (see Odor’s blurb), and Gallo has a career .319 ISO to go along with an insane 50% hard hit rate over his last 15 games. It’s actually a park downgrade for him since it’s cool in Chicago, but the park plays beautifully to left-handed power.
Other options – Shohei Ohtani, Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Teoscar Hernandez, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Pillar, Delino DeShields, Shin Soo Choo, Marcell Ozuna, Matt Joyce, Carlos Gonzalez, David Dahl