Happy Wednesday! We have another really fun slate on tap for tonight (not having Coors really does wonders for the enjoyment factor). Once again, we have choices at both the expensive and cheap ends of pitching, and lineups will tell the tale on which way to go. As per usual, I’ll be helping all my favorite FTA peeps achieve glory in chat tonight, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Rich Hill, LAD ($9600)
It’s early, and I’m operating under the assumption that Max Scherzer doesn’t pitch tonight after breaking his nose yesterday. If he does pitch, he becomes the top play and viable in all formats. I like Hill a lot at under 10k, though, and I’m fine using him even if Mad Max does give it a go. The Giants are ranked 29th in wOBA and last in wRC+ against LHP with a 24% K rate. They’ve been especially bad lately, with a .284 wOBA and .113 ISO over the last 15 games. Hill has gotten longer leashes than usual lately, and he has yet to allow over three runs in a start this year. He also has five quality starts in his last six, and is a -245 favorite with an IRTA of three runs (both slate extremes by a good bit).
Other options – Max Scherzer, Lucas Giolito, Zack Greinke
Daniel Poncedeleon, STL ($6500)
I don’t think I want to go this route in cash, although it’s certainly tempting. Righties against Miami has become a standard in DFS, and Poncedeleon will get the same matchup as the two before him (who both succeeded as my cash pitcher). The Marlins are last in wRC+ and ISO against RHP with the fifth highest K rate against, so there’s a lot to like about the opposing pitcher. It’s just a question of innings, which is why I prefer a little more safety in cash. Poncedeleon is an incredible GPP value with big bats.
Other options – Andrew Heaney, Trevor Williams, Jon Lester, Max Fried
Carlos Santana, CLE ($3900)
The Indians came up big last night, and we want to go right back to them again. Joe Palumbo is pitching for Texas and he has never started a game above AA, which could spell trouble against a patient Cleveland team. Palumbo has upside with over a 30% K rate at AA, but he’s also walked 11.2% of batters. Santana has been solid all year in the three-hole, and is viable in all formats even though he’s much better from the left side.
Other options – Josh Bell, Freddie Freeman, Rhys Hoskins, Pete Alonso
CJ Cron, MIN ($3300)
Cron’s lineup spot determines his cash viability here, as it could be anywhere from third to eighth. Eduardo Rodriguez is a quality pitcher, but the Twins have been the premier power team this year so far. Cron in particular has punished LHP this season to the tune of a .406 wOBA and .368 ISO, and the Twins lineup is deep.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Adams, Justin Bour
Catcher values – Mitch Garver, JT Realmuto, Roberto Perez, Wilson Ramos
Ketel Marte, ARI ($4000)
I don’t see the need to pay this much for Marte in cash, especially since Jon Gray is a good pitcher, but Marte has proven this year to be a terrific GPP play since almost no one ever picks on his price tag. All of a sudden Marte is a power monster with a .276 ISO, and Jon Gray has allowed 1.40 HR/9 to LHB since 2017.
Other options – Ozzie Albies
Jason Kipnis, CLE ($2500)
It’s a L/L matchup, but Kipnis hits cleanup and is cheap access to the top offense on the slate (5.7 IRT). Kipnis has been hitting lately with a 27% HHR over his last ten games, and he’s backed up by Jose Ramirez who is coming alive. Just punt.
Other options – Kike Hernandez, Cesar Hernandez, Rougned Odor, Brian Dozier
TOP PLAY AND TOP VALUE
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($3100)
The sleeping beast is awakening, and he’s STILL too cheap. He homered yesterday, and his HHR is up over 30% over the last ten games. Ramirez has traditionally been better from the left side, but he’s still got a .354 wOBA and .212 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last year. Don’t fade.
Other options – Anthony Rendon, Kris Bryant, Rafael Devers, Josh Donaldson, Tommy La Stella, Matt Carpenter, Vlad Guerrero
Francisco Lindor, CLE ($4100)
I assume you saw this coming even though his price went up $200. Like Ramirez, Lindor has been better from the left side, but he’s been killing the ball all year and has a 38.6% HHR over the last 15 games. He has a .190 ISO and 40% HHR against LHP this season and will get five PAs in a premier hitting environment.
Other options – Trea Turner, Paul DeJong, Javier Baez
Dansby Swanson, ATL ($3300)
The Braves got shut down by deGrom yesterday, but that’s no big deal. Over the last ten games, Atlanta has ranked first in wOBA and wRC+, and today they get a much softer matchup against Steven Matz. Atlanta has the second highest IRT of the slate at 5.5 runs, and Matz has allowed a 40.5% HHR this year despite a decent SIERA and K rate. Swanson hits second for the Braves now, and he has a 32.3% HHR over his last 15 games.
Other options – Jean Segura, Kevin Newman, Niko Goodrum, Chris Taylor
Mike Trout, LAA ($4700)
There are good hitters, and then there’s Trout. The best hitter on the planet is once again hitting as such, with a 33.3% HHR over his last 15 games, and is now taking on Aaron Sanchez in yet another park upgrade in Toronto. Sanchez has lost any vestige of strikeout upside, and he’s also posted a 5.34 SIERA while walking 12.6% of batters this year. Trout punishes same handed hitting, with a .443 wOBA and .344 ISO against them over the last two seasons. He’s worth paying for in any format.
Other options – Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna, Austin Riley, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Nelson Cruz, Shin Soo Choo, Starling Marte
Jordan Luplow, CLE ($3000)
Luplow (and his teammate Mercado) is another way to get cheap access to the top offense on the slate, and he should hit no higher than fifth against the lefty Palumbo. The sample size is small, but Luplow has a .422 ISO against LHP on the road this season, and this road game is in Globe Life Park which amplifies power considerably. The K rate is still a bit too high, but that risk is minimized by all the upside.
Other options – Oscar Mercado, Willie Calhoun, Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields, Adam Eaton, Gregory Polanco, Kole Calhoun, Randal Grichuk, Kyle Schwarber, Jarrod Dyson, Christin Stewart, Jeff McNeilFantasy Baseball