We get a day free of Coors Field stress today (well, unless you play the early). If you do, make sure to load up on Cubs as they have an early IRT of seven runs against Antonio Senzatela. If you’re on the main slate, the offensive focus shifts around some other teams, so let’s get right down to it. I will only be in chat for a limited time tonight (probably until around 6:30), and make sure you follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Justin Verlander, HOU ($11,100)
I’ve gone against my normal strategy and faded the top starters for offense the last couple of days (pleasantly, it’s worked out too). With Coors off the slate, I’m going back to my bread and butter and locking in Verlander up top. The Brewers are generally an imposing matchup, especially against righties, but Verlander is not the typical righty. He has utterly dominated left-handed hitting in his career, and that hasn’t changed this year as he’s posted a 2.99 xFIP against LHB while allowing a .183 wOBA. Milwaukee has an IRT of 3.4 runs, and they have the tenth highest K rate in the league against RHP. Verlander looks to be a building block in cash.
Other options – Jose Berrios
Joey Lucchesi, SD ($7900)
GPP is as easy as cash at the SP position, as Lucchesi should dominate your tournament lineups. He’s coming off a bad start against the Nationals, but they’re a tough draw for lefties. Tonight he gets the Giants, who are not. San Fran is once again struggling on offense, and they rank last in wOBA, wRC+, and ISO against LHP for the season. Lucchesi has been fine this year with a 3.93 SIERA and 50% GB rate, and the Giants IRTA is died for the lowest on the slate (with the Brewers against Verlander).
Other options – Miles Mikolas, Danny Duffy, Daniel Norris, Shaun Anderson
CJ Cron, MIN ($3600)
The key offenses we’re looking at tonight are the Twins and Blue Jays, who are tied for the slate lead in IRT with a 5.7 mark. Tommy Milone has actually done well at run limitation this year, but we’re talking about a pitcher who lives on aerial contact (33% GB rate since the beginning of last year). The Twins are leading the league in ISO by a ton this season, and Cron has absolutely murdered LHP this season for a .404 ISO. He’s viable in all formats, but we have Blue Jays values popping as well.
Other options – Rhys Hoskins, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Trey Mancini
Justin Smoak/Rowdy Tellez, TOR ($3300/$2400)
The Blue Jays are your one-stop shop for value players tonight, and they come with massive upside against David Hess who, frankly, should not be in a major league rotation. Hess has a career 6.21 FIP and 17% K rate and has allowed 2.30 HR/9 for an entire two-year period. Smoak is the sensible play as he’s got a track record, and has also posted a .247 ISO against RHP since last year, but Rowdy Tellez has value at $900 less given that he’s got a 41% HHR against RHP this season. If you don’t pay for Cron, it’s conceivable to use both Jays 1Bs.
Other options – Eric Hosmer, Miguel Cabrera, Tyler Austin, Chris Davis
Catcher values – Mitch Garver, JT Realmuto, Yasmani Grandal, Chance Sisco
If you want to take some darts on Mike Moustakas’ immense power in GPPs I’m not opposed, but don’t go crazy against Verlander.
Eric Sogard/Cavan Biggio, TOR ($2900/$2700)
Sogard has come alive this season as the leadoff hitter for Toronto with a career high .196 ISO, and that “power” could be on display against David Hess tonight. He’s a solid value at under 3k, as is Cavan Biggio, as the rookie has a shade under a 39% HHR since his callup. If he hits sixth or above, he’s also viable in all formats.
Other options – Jonathan Schoop, Cesar Hernandez, Brandon Dixon
Miguel Sano, MIN ($3600)
Sano’s lineup spot somewhat prohibits playing him in cash at this price, but that doesn’t matter as we have the clear cash value at the position (see below). Sano is once again striking out at an alarming rate, but Tommy Milone doesn’t miss bats which takes away a lot of his risk, and Sano has been crushing with a 142 wRC+ and 12 XBH (six homers) since returning. He’s a key part of Twins stacks.
Other options – Eduardo Escobar
Vladimir Guerrero Jr, TOR ($3100)
You gotta play the Vlad-man tonight. The numbers are going to start to soar soon, as his K rate is going down and his HHR is going up (36.4% last 15). Guerrero has hit RHP for a 45.6% HHR since his callup, and let’s not forget the matchup doesn’t get any better for Baltimore after Hess is out of the game (BAL bullpen is 29th in SIERA).
Other options – Matt Carpenter, Josh Donaldson, Marwin Gonzalez, Cheslor Cuthbert
Jorge Polanco, MIN ($4000)
We’ll introduce a new team shortly, I promise. At SS, Polanco reigns supreme in the midst of his breakout season. He’ll likely hit first or second against Milone, and the switch-hitting Polanco has a .361 wOBA and 41.4% HHR against LHP with some semblance of speed upside.
Other options – Adalberto Mondesi, Alex Bregman, Ketel Marte, Paul DeJong, Fernando Tatis
Jonathan Villar, BAL ($3100)
The other side of the ball in the TOR/BAL game may offer just as much upside as the Blue Jays, as the O’s will take on Edwin Jackson who simply looks washed up. Baltimore has the next highest IRT (5.4) after the Twins and Blue Jays, and Jackson has a 5.33 SIERA, 14.4% K rate, and almost a 47% HHR allowed. You need multiple game stacks of this one, and Villar seems like by far the most sensible cash choice as long as he’s still leading off.
Other options – Manny Machado, Jean Segura, Niko Goodrum, Freddy Galvis
Nelson Cruz, MIN ($3600)
We’re right back to the Twins and Blue Jays in the outfield, and Cruz is not only the top overall play here but he’s too cheap as well. Before last game, Cruz had homered in four straight games and has a .443 wOBA and .424 ISO against LHP this season. He’s also logged a ridiculous 66% HHR since returning from injury. Make sure he’s in your cash.
Other options – Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Bryce Harper, Jay Bruce, Ronald Acuna, David Peralta, Whit Merrifield, Christian Yelich
Randal Grichuk, TOR ($2900)
Grichuk is the best reverse-split hitter on the Jays and profiles as a cash lock on this slate at under 3k. Since the beginning of last season, Grichuk has a .249 ISO against same-handed pitchers, and David Hess has allowed well over two homers per nine to righties. It’s likely you’ll have 3-4 Jays in cash, which is fine by me.
Other options – Lourdes Gurriel, Jorge Soler, Byron Buxton, Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes, Jarrod Dyson, Anthony Santander, Steve Wilkerson, Nick Castellanos, Keon Broxton, Derek Fisher, Josh Reddick, Mallex SmithFantasy Baseball