Last night started out looking magical, but Hunter Renfroe was the Padres outfielder I DIDN’T own, and dropping down from Strasburg to Carlos Martinez was the final nail in the coffin. Oh well. Today we get to tackle a five-game early card and a seven-game night slate, so let’s make up for our losses there. This article will deal with the night slate, but I should be in FTA+ chat around 12:30 EST answering our subs’ questions (and tonight also). You can find me on twitter all day long @jac3600.
Alex Wood, LAD ($8800)
Whichever way you go in cash, you’ll be able to fit in several top offensive bats. The only question is HOW FAR you want to dip down at SP, as Luis Castillo (see below) is certainly a viable cash option. Alex Wood is the safest play on the slate, despite the fact that his diminished velocity is really affecting the K rate he maintained last season. Wood is the largest favorite (-185) with the lowest IRTA (3.2 runs), and the A’s will lose the DH traveling to Los Angeles. The A’s surprisingly ranked ninth in wOBA against LHP last year, but their offense doesn’t strike fear in anyone.
Other options – Jon Lester, Masahiro Tanaka, David Price
Luis Castillo, CIN ($6900)
Castillo doesn’t offer the safety of Wood, but the matchup is fantastic and he’s flat out underpriced considering he had an elite 27.3% K rate last season. Don’t be put off by Castillo’s slow start to the year – he’s faced a full strength Washington team and a Pirates squad that simply doesn’t strike out. Philly shouldn’t offer near as much resistance and project to be very K heavy against RHP (they had the sixth highest K rate last season). Castillo is an elite GPP option, and is cash viable on this slate due to the lack of opportunity cost at the SP position.
Other options – Marco Estrada, Nick Pivetta, Kevin Gausman, Zack Wheeler
Joey Gallo, TEX ($3600)
I am full on attacking Angels rookie Jaime Barria tonight, and Joey Gallo is the best option on the Rangers with which to do so. Barria’s FB rate at AAA last year was an unbelievable 58.5%, and he’s already allowed a 66% mark this year. He has never posted a GB rate over 30% in the minors and his K rate is good but not great. This is a recipe for absolute disaster at the MLB level, especially in Texas which is one of the few warm weather environments this early. The Rangers are my favorite stack tonight, and Joey Gallo will be a fixture. The beauty of FanDuel is the UTIL spot allows for Wilmer Flores (see below) to be played too.
Other options – Carlos Santana, Joey Votto, Cody Bellinger, Gary Sanchez
Wilmer Flores, NYM ($2200)
Wilmer Flores is once again a top value on FD at $2200. He remains a strong PH risk with Adrian Gonzalez available on the Mets’ bench, but he’s rocked lefties for a .394 wOBA and .292 ISO over the last three years. Opposing pitcher Jarlin Garcia does not project to succeed at the major league level, and the 9-1 Mets are firing on all cylinders right now. Flores should maintain his third spot in the batting order, and he looks like a tremendous play once again.
Other options – Willson Contreras, Albert Pujols, Jefry Marte, Chris Davis, Justin Bour
Catcher punts – Russell Martin, Travis d’Arnaud, Robinson Chirinos
Zack Cozart, LAA ($3800)
The clear top game of the night slate for offense is the LAA/TEX contest. Both teams have IRTs over five runs, and the Angels have been really coming through for us in their visit to Texas. Matt Moore has been pretty solid for the Rangers thus far, but he’s still allowed a 37% hard hit rate and 1.45 HR/9 to RHB over the last three years, and Cozart has a .259 ISO against LHP in that span. Leading off for the Angels gives him a strong possibility of achieving five PAs as well.
Other options – Asdrubal Cabrera, Josh Harrison
Jonathan Schoop, BAL ($3000)
Schoop is crazy cheap on FD at $3000. He’ll face off against Marco Estrada whose featured changeup plays much better against LHB than against righties. Estrada has allowed 1.44 HR/9 to same handed hitting over the past three years and Schoop rocked a .184 ISO against RHP last season. It’s warming up a bit in Baltimore, which has always been one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball.
Other options – Scooter Gennett, Javier Baez
Kris Bryant, CHC ($4600)
The automatic savings you get at the SP position pretty much affords you the opportunity to play whatever studs you want, even at full price like Bryant. Chicago is one of the colder environments, but Bryant just keeps getting better and better. His K% is dwindling, his walk rate is rising, and he’s killed LHP in his career for a .396 wOBA and .257 ISO. Steven Brault had a paltry 5.97 K/9 last year, which won’t fly against this Cubs offense.
Other options – Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier
Adrian Beltre, TEX ($3200)
You need Rangers tonight, and there’s nothing wrong with using Beltre even without the platoon edge. Beltre has been perfectly fine against same-handed pitching in his career, and has posted a .181 ISO against them over the past three seasons. He’s a nice cheap way to attack the aerial assault on Jaime Barria, and is the best option if you’re not spending all the way up to Bryant.
Other options – Luis Valbuena, Tim Beckham, Miguel Andujar
Elvis Andrus, TEX ($3800)
Rangers, Rangers, Rangers. Andrus doesn’t quite carry the same power upside as some of the players mentioned already in this article, but he did top 20 homers last year and offers the speed component as well. Young pitchers often struggle to control the running game, and it could go south very quickly for Jaime Barria against these bats. Andrus is a great option in all formats.
Other options – Manny Machado, Corey Seager
Jose Peraza, CIN ($2400)
This is as meh a play as it gets (I recommend spending for SS in cash tonight), but it should be noted that Peraza has hit second the past two games for the Reds. Nick Pivetta comes with immense K upside but he also walked almost four batters per nine innings last season. The propensity to give free passes to batters gives Peraza a but more upside than usual as he offers nice SB upside. He’s worth a GPP punt, but isn’t really the best cash option.
Other options – Addison Russell, Andrelton Simmons, Amed Rosario
Mike Trout, LAA ($5300)
Trout remains the top overall hitter and is a fairly easy fit with pitching so cheap. He came through nicely for us yesterday and faces another mediocre LHP today in the best hitting environment on the slate. Trout is the best player in the world and has two multihit games in his last three (and he homered in both of them as well). He somewhat laps the field from an individual standpoint today, so I wouldn’t get too cute with a cash fade. In GPPs do what you want.
Other options – Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Shin Soo Choo, Ian Happ
Nomar Mazara/Jurickson Profar, TEX ($2500/$2400)
We’ll wrap up this article with (surprise) more Rangers. Batting order will play a key part here, but Profar batted second yesterday and would be an elite value if he does again. Mazara had a .193 ISO against RHP last season and is another big time power threat in what I think should be a rotten debut for Jaime Barria. One is a must for cash, and top five lineup spots for both would likely find me jamming the pair of them in there. Four Rangers in cash seems like a given for me tonight.
Other options – Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Curtis Granderson, Jesse Winker, Adam Duvall, Drew Robinson, Ryan Rua (more Rangers!), Derek Dietrich, Lewis Brinson, Chris Young