‘Twas a good Thursday all around thanks to Trea Turner’s epic day, so let’s look to continue it this evening. We have a full slate tonight, and we’re back to the decision of “starting pitcher vs. offense” as the highest priority. Right now I’m leaning the route of pitching, but there are viable mid-tier values if you choose to go another way. I’ll be in chat tonight taking on all questions, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Chris Sale, BOS ($12,500)
Sale is a -320 favorite with a 2.9 IRTA against the putrid Royals lineup, and he has an unbelievable 54 strikeouts over his last five starts. He has an elite 36.2% K rate since the beginning of last season, and has five straight quality starts. The prospect of the win and quality start, coupled with the massive K projection make Sale my top priority despite the high cost. Lineups may tell a different tale later, but right now I have a tough time fading him.
Other options – Jacob deGrom, Lance McCullers
Mike Foltynewicz, ATL ($8800)
If you have to have some more offense (and I don’t fault you if you do), Foltynewicz looks to be the mid-tier value that works best for this slate. There are a lot of strikeouts in the Brewers lineup, and Folty has a very impressive 29.5% K rate this season. The only issue here is that his 11% BB rate often prevents him from going deep into games (his last QS was 6/1), but he has as much upside as either of the top two guys at a fraction of the cost. He’s viable across all formats.
Other options – Kenta Maeda, Freddy Peralta, Zack Godley, Felix Hernandez, Lance Lynn, German Marquez, Felix Pena
Paul Goldschmidt, ARI ($4200)
It’s Goldy against a lefty, which will often make him the top overall play at the position. Joey Lucchesi has K upside but doesn’t work deep into games, and Goldy has a whopping .413 wOBA and .301 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last year. The Padres bullpen won’t help either, as they rank 27th in xFIP despite the successful year of Brad Hand.
Other options – Freddie Freeman, Cody Bellinger, Edwin Encarnacion, Justin Smoak
Daniel Murphy, WAS ($2800)
Murphy hasn’t been able to really get it going since he returned from the DL (12% hard hit rate), but he’s still got a .388 wOBA and .229 ISO against RHP over the past two seasons. He’s facing off against Dan Straily who has allowed a horrific 1.97 HR/9 this year, and Murphy is a great way to get cheap exposure to the Nats offense that leads the slate with a 5.3 IRT.
Other options – Mitch Moreland, Carlos Santana, Yonder Alonso, Greg Bird, Logan Morrison, Joe Mauer
Catcher values – Buster Posey, Robinson Chirinos, Russell Martin, Victor Martinez
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4300)
Altuve won’t have the platoon edge, but the Astros still have an IRT of five runs against Reynaldo Lopez. The White Sox righty has vastly outpitched his ERA (3.68 ERA, 5.46 xFIP), and a 7.3% K/BB rate doesn’t cut it in the majors. Altuve has power and speed upside and is viable in all formats, but I prefer him in GPPs.
Other options – Ozzie Albies, Brian Dozier
Rougned Odor, TEX ($3000)
Odor has settled into the five-hole for Texas, and it’s a great way to grab exposure to his .219 ISO against RHP over the last two years. Jordan Zimmermann has seemed to have improved this season, but he’s still allowed 1.63 HR/9 to LHB since the beginning of 2016. If you’re paying for Sale or deGrom, Odor will make the most sense in cash.
Other options – Dee Gordon, Niko Goodrum, Neil Walker, Alen Hanson
Anthony Rendon, WAS ($4100)
Rendon is really beating on the ball lately with a 39% hard hit rate over the last 15 games, and he should hit third against the fly-ball prone Dan Straily. I’m really not interested in the price tag for cash, but Rendon will be a cornerstone for my Nats stacks, and he’s a great one-off in GPPs as well. He’s got a .202 ISO against same-handed pitching over the past two years.
Other options – Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman, Travis Shaw
Tim Beckham, BAL ($2200)
If you’re paying up for one of the top two SPs, it seems silly not to use Beckham in cash. It’s better to use lefties against Lance Lynn, but Beckham has been leading off and his price tag is too good to pass up. He’s also not bad against same-handed pitching, with a .169 ISO against them over the last two years.
Other options – Jeimer Candelario, Adrian Beltre, Eduardo Escobar, Todd Frazier, Rafael Devers
Trea Turner, WAS ($3700)
Turner’s ownership might be elevated after his 64.6-point performance last night, but I still have no problem whatsoever using him in cash games. He seems to be locking into the first or second spot of the lineup, and he’s got a .368 wOBA and .199 ISO against same-handed pitching over the last two years. He also has crazy speed, and he’s massively underpriced relative to the other top shortstops on the slate.
Other options – Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado, Didi Gregorius, Xander Bogaerts
Nick Ahmed, ARI ($2500)
If you’re saving at SS, Ahmed is your guy. He has a .395 wOBA and .235 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last season, and he generally hits second against lefties. Joey Lucchesi is not the idea lefty to attack, but he’s still allowed a 35% hard hit rate to RHB this season. Ahmed is a great value on this slate.
Other options – Elvis Andrus, Brad Miller, Jorge Polanco, Marwin Gonzalez
Bryce Harper, WAS ($4300)
Harper is the top overall play for me on this slate, and there are enough values at other positions that you can fit him in even alongside Sale if you want. Harper’s game log isn’t overly impressive, but he has a 40% hard hit rate over his last 15 games and has a .400 wOBA and .258 ISO against RHP over the past two seasons. Dan Straily could struggle big time in this one.
Other options – Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, George Springer, Nick Castellanos, Shin Soo Choo, AJ Pollock, Charlie Blackmon, Christian Yelich
Adam Eaton, WAS ($3200)
Eaton is jumping all around the lineup lately, but if he occupies one of the top two spots he’s too cheap for such a good matchup. The Nationals are the top overall offense, and Eaton is a table setter with speed and a 32% hard hit rate against RHP. He doesn’t have the power upside as his teammates, but the prospect of multiple runs scored and a SB is higher than normal here.
Other options – Brett Gardner, Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, Mikie Mahtook, Brett Gardner, Steven Souza, Dustin Fowler, Matt Joyce, Josh Reddick, Austin Meadows, Wil Myers, Carlos Gonzalez, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo