It’s the first day of July, and the blazing heat across the country certainly reflects this. We have only eight games on FD’s main slate today, but you’re going to want to try and fit in a couple of the big bats that are in amazing hitting environments today, and the pitching prices are not oppressive enough to make this happen. I’ll see all our FTA+ subs in chat today around 11:45, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Charlie Morton, HOU ($10,400)
Morton slightly edges out J.A. Happ as the top pitcher on the slate, but if you need that extra $1000 do not hesitate for a second to drop down to Happ. Kevin Kiermaier and Jake Bauers as staples in the Tampa Bay lineup actually help Morton as he’s been far better against lefties, and Morton has a very impressive 31% K rate this season. Throw in the fact that he’s a -200 road favorite in one of the few pitching environments on the slate and there’s very little downside here.
Other options – J.A. Happ, Blake Snell
Mike Foltynewicz, ATL ($8600)
Folty’s inability to go deep into game (thanks to control issues) keeps him off the cash radar on FD (you really want that QS). However, he’s an elite GPP option with a 2.14 ERA and 28.4% K rate. It’s hot in St. Louis but the Cardinals strike out above the league average and don’t have much in the way of lefty resistance outside of Matt Carpenter. If Folty can keep the walks in check, he has GPP-winning upside.
Other options – Freddy Peralta, Steven Matz, Dan Straily, Jake Arrieta, Matt Harvey
Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($3800)
Let’s immediately go to Chicago to examine our first hitters’ paradise of the day. It’s going to be well over 90 degrees with the wind blowing out to center at Wrigley today, which has led to the Cubs having a slate-high IRT of 5.6 runs. Rizzo has a .388 wOBA and .244 ISO against RHP over the last three years, and he’s facing Lance Lynn who has allowed 1.51 HR/9 to LHB in that span. I can’t pass him up at this price tag.
Other options – Eric Thames, Jesus Aguilar, Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto
Justin Smoak, TOR ($2900)
Toronto’s roof will likely be closed which takes away some of the zing of the hot weather, but the Jays still have an IRT of five runs against Jordan Zimmermann and the 27th ranked Tigers bullpen. Smoak has heated up as of late with a 37% hard hit rate over his last 15 games, along with homers in two straight. Smoak has a .257 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last season, and Jordan Zimmermann stinks.
Other options – Kendrys Morales, Brad Miller (elite cash if leading off again), Chris Davis
Catcher values – J.T. Realmuto, Willson Contreras, Russell Martin, Manny Pina
Brian Dozier, MIN ($4000)
I can’t see paying this price tag for cash since Dozier is facing one of the better pitchers on the slate in Jon Lester, but it bears mentioning that he’s in the same hitting environment I mentioned with Rizzo’s blurb. Also, Lester’s 2.18 ERA is masked by a 4.45 xFIP and an unsustainable 86% strand rate. With the wind blowing out in Wrigley and the temperature hot, this could be the sneaky day to stack Twins in GPP.
Other options – Ozzie Albies, Jose Altuve, Javier Baez, Cesar Hernandez
Ian Kinsler, LAA ($3100)
Second base could be a real problem if Kinsler is still hitting seventh and not leading off. I’m hoping the Angels come to their senses as Kole Calhoun has done nothing with his leadoff chances, and Kinsler still has some speed left as well. It’s hot in Baltimore and the Angels also have an IRT of five runs, and Kevin Gausman has allowed a .182 ISO to RHB over the past three years. If Kinsler’s lineup spot doesn’t cooperate, we’re going to have to take a hit a totally punt this position unless you really want Dozier.
Other options – Asdrubal Cabrera, Starlin Castro, Jonathan Schoop, Devon Travis
TOP PLAY AND TOP VALUE
Travis Shaw, MIL ($3400)
Shaw is the sole name to consider in cash games at the third base position, as he’s underpriced along with being a ridiculously good option. Milwaukee challenges the Cubs for the top offense on the slate as they’re in Cincinnati where it’s 95 degrees on top of already being one of the best hitting parks in baseball. Shaw has beaten on righties since the beginning of last season with a .379 wOBA and .262 ISO, and he’s facing Matt Harvey who has allowed a .400 wOBA and 1.99 HR/9 to LHB in that span. Lock it in.
Other options – Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Yangervis Solarte, Luis Valbuena, Tim Beckham
Manny Machado, BAL ($4400)
I want Rizzo, Shaw, and Machado to headline my cash lineups, which is a big reason I’m totally fine dipping from Morton to Happ at SP. Machado is a standout option at a thin SS position, as he’s in the heat of Baltimore taking on a pitcher who does not look like he belongs in the majors. Deck McGuire has a cool name but he also has an 8.11 FIP in six appearances this year, and the Orioles are one of several teams on this slate with an IRT five runs or better. Machado is a career reverse-split hitter who’s having an MVP caliber year.
Other options – Trea Turner
Scott Kingery, PHI ($2400)
There’s a chance Kingery hits in the top five with the platoon edge. Gio Gonzalez is walk prone. This makes Kingery an OK GPP punt to differentiate, but pay up for Machado in cash.
Other options – Jose Peraza, Addison Russell, Ehire Adrianza, Orlando Arcia
Mike Trout, LAA ($5000)
There’s value in the OF which I’m going to use to get my Rizzo/Shaw/Machado trio, but Trout is easily the top overall hitter on this slate and is a viable spend in all formats. I mentioned Gausman as a reverse-split pitcher, and Trout has a .444 wOBA and .333 ISO against same-handed pitching since the beginning of last year. It’s scorching in Baltimore, and Trout could get five plate appearances hitting second on the road.
Other options – Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Rhys Hoskins, Justin Upton, Christian Yelich, George Springer, Nick Castellanos
Adam Jones/Colby Rasmus, BAL ($2800/$2400)
Some cheap Baltimore action is just what the doctor ordered on this slate. These guys should hit 1-2 against Deck McGuire, and you can use one or both of them in your cash lineups. Adam Jones has a .189 ISO against same-handed pitching since the beginning of last year, and the Angels bullpen is ranked 24th in xFIP behind McGuire.
Other options – Adam Eaton, Mark Trumbo, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, Ian Happ, Teoscar Hernandez, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Pillar, Aaron Altherr