We nailed all our football picks yesterday (except Brandon Marshall – wow), so you owe it to yourself to give us a look for week 2. Today we turn our attention to baseball, and a shortened Monday slate. We’re working hard for you at FTA+ with our cheat sheets, chat, and projections, and I’m on twitter @jac3600.
Carlos Carrasco, CLE ($10,600)
Carrasco has been fantastic as of late, posting over a 30% K rate in the months of August and September, and strikes me as a clear building block in cash at a reasonable price. He’s an incredible favorite at -315 and the watered-down Tigers have an IRT of 3.1 runs (lowest on the slate). Carrasco will cost you some offense, but he’s SO far ahead of the other pitchers that he checks in as the biggest priority.
Other options – Zack Greinke
C.C. Sabathia, NYY ($7100)
Playing C.C. against the Rays is a tenuous situation since several of the hitters have tremendous numbers against him (see…Longoria, Evan). However, C.C. has learned to overcome his velocity dip and has become a pretty solid pitcher again. He’s backed by one of the best bullpens in the majors and gets a park upgrade since this game will be played in Citi Field. Most importantly, the Rays have the highest K% in the majors against LHP.
Other options – Kenta Maeda, Cole Hamels, Brandon Woodruff, Jason Hammel
Gary Sanchez, NYY ($3600)
Sanchez doesn’t make sense in cash games, but he comes with mountains of upside against the reverse-splits of Jake Odorizzi (.211 ISO allowed to RHB the last three years). Sanchez was a key-piece of the Yanks’ 16-run outburst yesterday (he hit two homers), and has become the premier catcher in fantasy.
Other options – Buster Posey, Robinson Chirinos
Chris Iannetta, ARI ($2500)
Iannetta is an easy call at catcher in cash games. He’s been bumped up to the #2 spot in the order and will get the platoon edge against Kyle Freeland. Iannetta has a .192 ISO against LHP over the last three years and the park environment is only a small step below Coors Field for upside.
Other options – Yasmani Grandal, Salvador Perez, Mike Zunino
Paul Goldschmidt, ARI ($4200)
Yeah, so all that platoon stuff I mentioned above? Multiply it by like a million for Goldy. He returned from his injury yesterday and promptly homered, and has a .424 wOBA and .235 ISO against LHP over the last three years. Justin Smoak (see below) is too cheap and I’ll probably be looking his way in cash, but Goldy is well worth his price tag if you want him to be your “one big spend”.
Other options – Edwin Encarnacion, Cody Bellinger, Jose Abreu, Eric Hosmer
Justin Smoak, TOR ($3300)
Smoak has a .248 ISO against RHP over the past three years and is enjoying a breakout season this year. He gets the dubious pleasure of facing Ubaldo Jimenez who has walked almost five batters per nine innings and has allowed 2.01 HR/9. The Jays (rightfully) have an IRT of 5.1 runs and Smoak maintains the platoon edge in the bullpen.
Other options – Kendrys Morales, Josh Bell, Mike Napoli, Jesus Aguilar
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($3900)
Ramirez has a 34.5% hard hit rate over the Indians’ 18-game winning streak (no, that is not a typo) and easily checks in as the top 2B on the slate. The Indians will face off against Myles Jaye whose data is decent in the minor leagues, but it comes with only a 6.27 K/9 at the AAA level. In addition, the Detroit bullpen has dipped all the way to 24th in xFIP. The Indians are a tremendous expensive stack, and cash plays should pop up as well.
Other options – Jonathan Schoop, Whit Merrifield
Yoan Moncada, CHW ($3000)
Moncada has not yet shown the hard hit data that would give him tournament-winning upside, but he has a knack for getting on base (and raising his cash floor). The White Sox only have an IRT of 3.9 runs, but Jason Hammel’s dwindling K rate (17%) is attackable with singular values like Moncada. He’ll also hit second on the road which should ensure five PAs.
Other options – Starlin Castro, Joe Panik, Neil Walker
Josh Donaldson, TOR ($3700)
Donaldson is essentially tied with Manny Machado as the top overall third baseman. Both are facing homer prone pitchers in a good environment, and both have identical hard hit rates over the last 15 games. Donaldson gets the tie-breaker based on price tag (he’s $400 cheaper) and the fact that the Jays’ IRT is higher than Baltimore’s, but both are great plays in all formats.
Other options – Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Justin Turner
Mike Moustakas, KC ($3100)
If you don’t want to pay all the way up for Donaldson, Moustakas is an option despite not having the greatest lineup spot (sixth). He has an elite .261 ISO this season and is facing Reynaldo Lopez who has K upside but has shown no ability whatsoever to keep the ball on the ground. He’s also backed by a bullpen that ranks 30th in xFIP and the Royals’ IRT is 5.1 runs.
Other options – Evan Longoria, Travis Shaw, Jeimer Candelario, Matt Davidson
Tim Beckham, BAL ($3600)
You may be forced to pay a bit too much for the SS and there is a definite lack of value. Francisco Lindor is completely priced out of cash, but Beckham offers a bit more accessible price tag. The Orioles have an IRT of five runs and Marco Estrada has allowed 1.49 HR/9 while posting a 5.04 xFIP. Beckham has posted a .225 ISO since coming over to the Orioles from Tampa.
Other options – Francisco Lindor, Elvis Andrus, Didi Gregorius
Jean Segura, SEA ($3100)
I wish Segura was back in the $2700-2800 range that we saw him in last week, but this will do. Cole Hamels has looked sharp lately, but the fact remains that he’s pitching to FAR more contact his season (career 8.48 K/9, 5.74 rate this year). Segura had a combined 53 homers and steals last season.
Other options – Brandon Crawford, Ketel Marte, Adam Rosales, Ryan Goins
Nelson Cruz, SEA ($4200)
There are so many outfield values on FanDuel that Cruz doesn’t fit the cash game mold, but he’s a wonderful tournament play with his .422 wOBA and .309 ISO against LHP the last two years. Seattle is facing Hamels but is getting an insane park upgrade going to Texas, and I’ve already touched on Hamels’ loss of his K ball.
Other options – Charlie Blackmon, JD Martinez, Aaron Judge, Avisail Garcia, Jose Bautista
Ryan Braun, MIL ($3200)
Braun remains far too cheap around the industry. His hard hit rate is on the rebound and Braun is a career lefty killer. Steven Brault has fixed a lot of his issues in the minors, but he’s still pitching to a 6.28 xFIP in the majors. The Brewers are a terrific stack tonight as they rank fifth in homers and second in steals, and they’re all underpriced.
Other options – AJ Pollock, Lorenzo Cain, Jay Bruce, Domingo Santana, Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Curtis Granderson, Delino DeShields, Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Mark Trumbo, Mitch Haniger