Happy Sunday! It’s an early, rainy morning in Maine, but ten games of baseball are in our future and I’m eager to get back into it after a day off from playing yesterday. Chris Sale makes him return to the mound after two weeks and immediately presents us with the decision of the day – whether or not to play him with some cheaper studs on the slate as well. I’ll be in chat around 11:45 EST, and follow me on twitter @jac3600. Good luck!
Chris Sale, BOS ($12,800)
So here are the reasons why I think you have to pony up the dough for Sale in cash, even though Carrasco and Syndergaard are awfully enticing. One, Coors is not on FD today (it’s on DK). Two, it already looks like there are enough viable sub-3k plays to make it work (with more potentially coming due to “Sunday lineups”). Three, the Orioles no longer have Manny Machado and rank 28th in wRC+ against LHP with the second highest K rate against. Four, Sale is amazing this year, with a 37.5% K rate and a -3% hard minus soft hit rate. He’s a -350 road favorite with a 2.9 IRTA. The ONLY knock I can see on Sale is a potential pitch count, as it’s been reported that he’s unlikely to throw over 100 pitches today. Unless I hear that number is more like 75-80 pitches for some reason, I’m not afraid to pay this price for Sale.
Other options – Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard
Noah Syndergaard, NYM ($9300)
If you can’t bring yourself to pay up for Sale, you have to go with Syndergaard. His K rates haven’t been what they’ve always been, but he’s pitching in a temperature controlled environment against the Marlins who rank 28th in wRC+ against RHP and just traded away their best power hitter in Justin Bour. Thor has an IRTA to rival Sale’s (3.1) and he’s meaningfully cheaper, so the conversation is there.
Other options – CC Sabathia, Luis Castillo, Marcus Stroman, Sean Newcomb, Matthew Boyd, Luke Weaver, Wei-Yin Chen
Matt Carpenter, STL ($4600)
Carpenter posted (gasp) and 0-fer yesterday, but he’s still destroying the ball lately, and gets to face Jake Junis who has allowed 1.93 HR/9 this year. Throw in temps in the 90s and Carpenter’s .257 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year (and just north of a million this year), and this is a GPP play worth paying for.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto
Yonder Alonso, CLE ($3100)
Alonso is a lock for me today. Edwin Encarnacion has been placed on the DL which should move Yonder up one spot to cleanup. The Indians have an IRT of 5.5 runs and are facing Dylan Covey who has allowed a .360 wOBA and 1.89 HR/9 to LHB since the start of last season. Alonso has a .366 wOBA and .226 ISO against RHP in that span and. most importantly, is easily used alongside Chris Sale.
Other options – Mitch Moreland, Jose Martinez, Lucas Duda, Joe Mauer
Catcher values – Yadier Molina, Yan Gomes, Evan Gattis
Gleyber Torres, NYY ($4100)
Torres is strictly a GPP option. He’s been struggling lately which should keep his ownership down, but he has a .200 ISO against LHP so far in his career and the Yankees have the highest IRT on the slate at 5.9 runs. Get him in your Yankee RHB stacks.
Other options – Ozzie Albies
Jason Kipnis, CLE ($2800)
Kipnis should also benefit from a lineup boost with Edwin going on the DL, and we will likely see him hit as high as sixth today. Kipnis is clearly on the decline, but Dylan Covey continues to be a slumpbusting pitcher, and Kipnis has a respectable .178 ISO against RHP over the past two seasons.
Other options – Scooter Gennett, Yoan Moncada, Devon Travis, Niko Goodrum, Ronny Rodriguez, Logan Forsythe
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($5000)
Ramirez is likely unattainable with Sale as your pitcher (this leaves you with $2,457 per batter), but there’s no denying he’s the best third baseman, and possibly the best hitter overall today. He gets the matchup described above against Dylan Covey, and Ramirez has a .426 wOBA and .311 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year. He’s almost at a 30-30 season, and it’s still mid-August.
Other options – Miguel Andujar, Eduardo Escobar, Alex Bregman, Eugenio Suarez
Miguel Sano, MIN ($2400)
Thankfully, we don’t have to lament leaving Ramirez on the table today, as a too-cheap Sano is the easy cash choice. Sano will have the platoon edge against Matt Boyd, and he’s posted a .359 wOBA and .247 ISO against LHP the last two seasons. His 39.7% K rate is atrocious and makes him a scary cash play, but this is simply too cheap for a hitter with Sano’s upside.
Other options – Rafael Devers, Eduardo Nunez, Todd Frazier
Francisco Lindor, CLE ($5000)
Same idea as repeatedly described in this article. Lindor has the same power/speed upside as his teammate Ramirez and is more than viable in any format. Make sure you stack the Indians with some cheap pitching today. They could destroy Covey and the 25th ranked White Sox bullpen.
Other options – Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Paul DeJong
Jose Iglesias, DET ($2300)
Iglesias is your route to punting the position in order to make Sale a reality in cash. He’s really not a great hitter (.302 wOBA, .127 ISO), but he’s hitting second for the Tigers now and he has 14 stolen bases this season. Rookie Kohl Stewart does not profile well for the Twins, and their bullpen has taken a hit lately with trades as well. Detroit has a surprising 4.6 IRT despite ranking dead last in wRC+ against RHP.
Other options – Amed Rosario, Jorge Polanco, Jose Peraza
Giancarlo Stanton, NYY ($4900)
Stanton is the only hitter on this slate that really gives me pause about paying for Sale, because I really want Stanton in my lineup. He’s on one of his HR binges (four in his last five games) which is accompanied by a 45% HHR. He’s once again facing off against a bad lefty, and Stanton has only posted a .462 wOBA and .388 ISO in that split since the beginning of last season.
Other options – Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Aaron Hicks, Michael Brantley, David Peralta, Ronald Acuna, Nelson Cruz
Mike Gerber, DET ($2000)
OK, if you want Sale with Stanton or Jose Ramirez, it’s possible. Gerber has been leading off for the Tigers lately and he’s still minimum priced with the platoon edge. Gerber has flashed absolutely no power thus far in the majors but he did have a .203 ISO in AAA this year, and he stole ten bases the year before. I’m spinning as many positives as I can here.
Other options – AJ Pollock, Steven Souza, Marcell Ozuna, Curtis Granderson, Tony Kemp, Josh Reddick, Lorenzo Cain, Ryan Braun, Daniel Palka, Nicky Delmonico, Nick Castellanos, Eddie Rosario, Jose Bautista