Collin McHugh? The Astros bats against Miguel Gonzalez? The Brewers against Colon? What could go wrong??? Unbelievably, some of my double ups STILL cashed with that lousiness in it, so this was a night when the megachalk definitely did NOT hit. Today we have a sizeable Thursday slate to deal with and some good pitching, so let’s get to it. I will be on FTA+ chat to help our subs, and you can follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Yu Darvish, LAD ($9700)
I admit, I don’t have a strong feel for which of the top starters are the best route to go tonight just yet (all three are very cash viable), so as of now we’re going to go with the cheapest one who has the most K upside of the bunch. Darvish is in the worst park environment with the highest IRTA (4.2 runs), but Arizona strikes out the second most in the league against RHP and Darvish is backed by an elite bullpen to help him get the win. If you feel more comfortable paying a bit more for DeGrom or Paxton, that’s perfectly fine, and I may end up that route myself depending on the lineups that come out.
Other options – Jacob deGrom, James Paxton, Danny Salazar
Brad Peacock, HOU ($8300)
The White Sox have defied all reason this series, beating up on Astros pitching and holding Altuve and company to far less than they should. I’m still banking on the fact that the Astros are good and the White Sox are bad, and Peacock comes with tons of K upside (27% K rate). The White Sox rank 28th in wRC+ against RHP with the seventh highest K rate. Peacock is the second-largest favorite on the slate at -195, and the White Sox IRT is 3.9 runs (third lowest).
Other options – Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, Zack Davies, Tanner Roark, Tyler Skaggs
Gary Sanchez, NYY ($3200)
Sanchez’s price is dropping, and he has tons of upside against Marco Estrada tonight. The Yankee catcher’s hard hit rate is on the rise (he homered to deep center yesterday), and Estrada has had a lot of trouble keeping the ball in the park (1.47 HR/9). Estrada has K upside, but the Yankees are in a nice spot despite only a 4.6 IRT (which seems low).
Other options – Yadier Molina, Russell Martin
Austin Barnes, LAD ($2400)
If you don’t pay up for Sanchez, Barnes makes the most sense. He has quietly beaten up on LHP in his young career with a .250 ISO, and will face Anthony Banda who comes with hype but hasn’t lived up to it in AAA (which is evidenced by the Dodgers’ IRT of 5.3 runs).
Other options – J.T. Realmuto, Manny Pina, Mike Zunino
Cody Bellinger, LAD ($3900)
It sounds weird to say this, but I’m totally punting the first base position tonight (see below). If you are spending up, Bellinger is the top option even in a L/L matchup. He’s just so freaking good, and has now homered in three of his last four games. Anthony Banda has not shown any reason that you shouldn’t attack him with all-handed batters, and I expect too-low ownership for Bellinger in GPPs.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Smoak, Matt Carpenter, Yuli Gurriel
Jesus Aguilar, MIL ($2100)
I don’t see much reason to fade Aguilar in cash today. He should hit cleanup for the Brewers and is facing a lefty in Dietrich Enns who is making his MLB debut. Enns has had a great year in AAA and comes with hype, but Aguilar is basically minimum priced and has a .381 wOBA and .211 ISO vs LHP this year.
Other options – Chris Davis, Edwin Encarnacion, Eric Hosmer, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryon Healy
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4300)
We’ll try this again. Jose Altuve against a lefty is such a money play, as he has a .409 wOBA and .193 ISO against LHP over the last three years. He’s hitting in Chicago which is one of the best parks for hitters and facing Carlos Rodon who has struggled with righties. Rodon is also backed by the worst bullpen in the majors, making Altuve a great spend in all formats.
Other options – Brian Dozier, Jonathan Schoop, Daniel Murphy, Dee Gordon, Logan Forsythe
Neil Walker, NYM ($2600)
There is actually a good amount of opportunity cost at 2B today, but Walker is a pretty good punt should you choose to spend elsewhere. The Mets are getting a park upgrade in Philly and Vincent Velasquez has really struggled with the long ball this year (1.77 HR/9 allowed). Walker has displayed quite a bit of pop from the left side for his career and is very cheap.
Other options – Jason Kipnis, Yoan Moncada, Brad Miller
Justin Turner, LAD ($4000)
Turner is on fire lately, with four homers and three multi-hit games in his last four games. He’ll be hitting in Arizona and taking on Anthony Banda and a lousy Arizona bullpen. Turner has always been more of a reverse-split hitter, but he’s made incredible strides against LHP this year as well, and he’s really not priced too harshly at 4k.
Other options – Manny Machado, Alex Bregman, Mike Moustakas, Josh Donaldson, Miguel Sano
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($3400)
With Michael Brantley hitting the DL, Ramirez should see himself get a boost to one of the premier lineup spots (third or fourth) which makes him way too cheap on this slate. Blake Snell has K upside, but he walks too many batters and can’t keep the ball on the ground. Ramirez has a .362 wOBA and .204 ISO against LHP this season.
Other options – Travis Shaw, Jedd Gyorko, Asdrubal Cabrera
Francisco Lindor, CLE ($3600)
This is pretty much the same analysis as Ramirez above. Lindor will likely come with a top-two lineup spot and the Indians rank sixth in wRC+ against LHP with by far the lowest K rate. Despite their 4.4 IRT, I think they’re a very sneaky stack against Snell and you can play individual options in cash. Lindor has a strong .207 ISO this season, and it’s even better from the right side.
Other options – Corey Seager, Jean Segura, Marwin Gonzalez
Didi Gregorius, NYY ($3100)
Didi will not hit any lower than fifth in the order, and he just keeps right on hitting for the Yanks. Didi is 11 for 22 over his last five games and will face Marco Estrada in a great hitters park. This price tag just doesn’t seem appropriate, and Estrada has allowed 1.53 HR/9 to LHB this year.
Other options – Marcus Semien, Wilmer Difo, Eduardo Escobar, Freddy Galvis, Adrian Sanchez
George Springer, HOU ($4000)
Springer is too cheap for someone who easily has the upside to match any of the Trouts and Harpers of the world tonight. Springer should lead off on the road and the Astros once again have an IRT of 5.5 runs. Springer is a dangerous matchup for Carlos Rodon who walks too many batters and has allowed a 36% hard hit rate to RHB the last three years, and Springer has a massive power/speed combo.
Other options – Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Nelson Cruz, Michael Conforto, Ryan Braun, Khris Davis, Chris Taylor, Yoenis Cespedes, Brett Gardner, Domingo Santana
Kike Hernandez, LAD ($2000)
There is no telling where Kike will bat in the lineup (could be first, could be eighth, could be anywhere in between), but I’m using him at 2k. He gets the same matchup as I’ve mentioned with his Dodgers teammates, and he has absolutely murdered LHP for a .390 wOBA and .278 ISO over the last three years. Those platoon splits rival almost anyone in the league, and he’s basically free.
Other options – Christian Yelich, Max Kepler, Adam Jones, Carlos Beltran, Yasiel Puig, Rajai Davis, Corey Dickerson, Clint Frazier (DTD), Curtis Granderson, Hernan Perez, Keon Broxton, Brandon Guyer, Adam Lind