A timely Manny Machado homer righttttttt at the end of the game was the deciding factor for my lineups to cash yesterday, so that was a nice big “phew”. It’s the eve of my 38th birthday so I’m officially going to start with the narrative talk :):), and tonight we have a FULL 15-game slate on tap. There are strong pitching options but there are also concerns swirling around whether they’re usable. This might make tonight’s builds VERY tricky, so make sure to stick with us in FTA+ chat. You can also follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck tonight!
Jacob deGrom, NYM ($10,000)
Max Scherzer laps the field as far as SP projection and cash viability, but the weather forecast looks like it’s going to pull him out of the equation altogether. This leaves us with Jacob deGrom and Charlie Morton as the top two options. DeGrom is clearly the better play against an Arizona team that ranks 26th in wRC+ against RHP and is now without both Jake Lamb and A.J. Pollock. The problem is he was pulled after one inning last time, but the Mets insist it had nothing to do with his health. If we believe this, deGrom should be in for a semi-normal outing, and he’s underpriced. If you’re really uneasy about this, Charlie Morton is a viable alternative considering how great he’s been, but just remember his matchup is far more difficult against Cleveland.
Other options – Max Scherzer (major rain risk), Charlie Morton
Matt Moore, TEX ($5500)
I wouldn’t dip below Morton in cash games, but Moore is an incredibly fun GPP option that allows you to stack the top players in the best offenses tonight. Moore has been named Friday’s starter after Cole Hamels’ injury threw everything out of whack yesterday, and he gets the same matchup that had me at least semi-excited about using Hamels yesterday. The White Sox rank 27th in wRC+ against LHP with the highest K rate, and the cooler temps will HOPEFULLY keep Moore’s FB downside in check. This is a GPP-only play, but one that could pay off.
Other options – Zack Godley, Kyle Gibson, Drew Pomeranz, Nick Tropeano, Felix Hernandez, Carson Fulmer
Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($4200)
The Cubbies are a main focus of mine tonight as they face Homer Bailey who has become an absolute gas can. Bailey has been absolutely awful this year, allowing a 42% FB rate, 41% hard hit rate, and 2.23 HR/9. Rizzo has a .380 wOBA and .235 ISO against RHP over the past two seasons and is getting a huge park boost going to Cincinnati. The Reds bullpen is also largely right-handed.
Other options – Freddie Freeman, Hanley Ramirez, Justin Smoak, Gary Sanchez, Willson Contreras
Jose Abreu, CHW ($3400)
All right, Matt Moore got his mention, and now it’s time to attack. All the positives I mentioned for Moore’s matchup hold true, but he’s been terrible this year with a 7.82 ERA and over four walks per nine innings. Abreu is way too cheap for someone who has generated a .380 wOBA and .231 ISO against LHP in his career. The White Sox IRT is at 4.6, which is about as high as we’re going to see it given the general ineptitude of their offense. If you don’t pay up for Rizzo, I would happily take the value of Abreu who is a high-quality hitter.
Other options – Mitch Moreland, Matt Olson, Ian Desmond, Neil Walker
Catcher values – Kurt Suzuki, Russell Martin, Mitch Moreland, Welington Castillo
Brian Dozier, MIN ($3700)
Dozier might get lost in the scrum a little with the main focus on high bats coming from Chicago or Boston, but he’s s strong option at a position pretty devoid of value. Brent Suter limits hard contact but he also doesn’t miss bats, and Dozier has a .369 wOBA and .221 ISO against LHP over the past four years. It’s warming up in Minnesota, and the park plays well for right-handed power.
Other options – Ozzie Albies, Javier Baez, Jose Altuve, Jonathan Schoop, Yoan Moncada
Rougned Odor, TEX ($2600)
Like yesterday, Odor is the drop-down option if you’re punting the position. He’ll still come with a poor lineup spot (7th), but his .218 ISO against RHP plays well in all formats. Carson Fulmer has elevated his K rate, but the positives stop there. He has a pitching slash of 6.23/6.97/6.06 and has allowed 2.37 HR/9 while walking almost six batters per nine innings. The Rangers have been a dead offense against righties lately (see James Shields yesterday), but they have an IRT of five runs.
Other options – Eduardo Nunez, Ian Kinsler, Jose Pirela
Kris Bryant, CHC ($4900)
Mookie Betts may strongly argue his case, but I have Kris Bryant as the top overall play today. I’ve mentioned Homer Bailey’s complete incapability as a pitcher, and those struggles have translated to all batters. Bryant’s BB rate is up and his K rate is down, and Bryant has a .386 wOBA and .234 ISO against same-handed pitching over the last two years. You’re going to want either him or Rizzo as a big spend in cash, and I’ll also mentioned that Bryant’s hard hit rate is at 36% over the last 15 games.
Other options – Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, Eugenio Suarez
Yangervis Solarte, TOR ($3000)
Solarte has been a steady force for the Blue Jays offense, and they come in with an elite 5.2 IRT against Brett Anderson. Solarte is a switch-hitter who will maintain the platoon edge when the game gets into Oakland’s shoddy bullpen, and Solarte will hit no lower than fifth (may even be third of fourth). He’s rocking a very usable .207 ISO this year for Toronto.
Other options – Rafael Devers, Matt Chapman, Jose Bautista, Zack Cozart
Manny Machado, BAL ($4800)
I mentioned how Machado came through right at the end of the game with a ninth-inning two-run homer (he was 0-3 before that point). He’s once again the top option at the SS position but falls a lot further down the cash priority list than yesterday. Drew Pomeranz has similar K upside to what David Price showed yesterday, but he’s also allowed a ton of hard contact and his 5.25 FIP is super ugly. Machado is a phenomenal GPP play tonight.
Other options – Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Didi Gregorius
Marcus Semien, OAK ($3200)
Semien is a play I really like in cash tonight. Marco Estrada has been horrid this year with a 5.43 xFIP and 2.05 HR/9 allowed, and his reliance on his changeup makes him way worse against same-handed hitting (.204 ISO allowed over the last two years). Semien will hit second on the road in a park upgrade, and the A’s have come in with a sneaky IRT of 4.8 runs. Semien has five multi-hit games in his last ten.
Other options – Addison Russell, Jose Peraza, Jurickson Profar
Mookie Betts, BOS ($5200)
It’s tough to ignore the fact that players like Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton offer at least a $500 discount over Betts, but until the latter cools off there’s no reason to call anyone else the top play. The homers have gone away recently, but Betts has still been on an insane tear with a hard hit rate of 40% over his last ten games. Betts has seven multi-hit games in his last ten (three hits in three of them) and he’s also logged eight SBs in that time, separating himself from the pack as the top fantasy option in the game right now. Alex Cobb has been brutally bad, so if you want Betts in cash again, I don’t argue.
Other options – JD Martinez, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, Andrew Benintendi, Ronald Acuna, George Springer, Kyle Schwarber, Christian Yelich
Khris Davis, OAK ($3300)
Soooooooo Davis’ price has gone….down? The man has four homers in his last seven games to go along with a 44% hard hit rate in that span, and he gets the matchup against Marco Estrada I’ve already highlighted. Davis has over a .270 ISO for the third straight year, and he has actually generated a .285 ISO against same-handed pitching in that span. I’m locking him into cash at a severely depressed price tag.
Other options – Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Shin Soo Choo, Delino DeShields, Teoscar Hernandez, Kevin Pillar, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, Domingo Santana, Matt Joyce, Noel Cuevas