Seattle Mariners (4.6) @ Cleveland Indians (5)
Erik Swanson (RHP) vs. Cody Anderson (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Indians -123
Pitcher Breakdown: Some real household names taking the mound in this game. Swanson has started off the year with some really ugly numbers as a starter, allowing five home runs and 11 runs through 15.2 innings. Right-handed bats have done the most damage here, tagging him with a .432 wOBA with four of the five home runs and a 5.62 xFIP. The Indians, who aren’t exactly this offensive juggernaut, are projected for five runs in this spot. I think that says it all.
Anderson is being recalled from Triple-A to make this start. It doesn’t sound like Anderson will be going long in this game as he’s only pitched six innings in his two starts in the minors. Those starts did go quite well but I think we could expect maybe three to four innings at the most here for Allen. It just sounds like more of an unnecessary risk than anything and not one I’m looking to get involved with.
Hitter Breakdown: The other obvious reason why I wouldn’t be overly interested in Anderson is the amount of power he’ll have to face. Daniel Vogelbach isn’t spoken about enough, which is odd figuring the lefty has a .494 wOBA and a .414 ISO against righties this season. Edwin Encarnacion would be a more obvious play here as he continues to put up some good fantasy performances. I like Omar Narvaez as well, as he’s a great way to mix up your stacks if you’re looking to go that route.
It’s hard to get excited about the Indians bats as they continue to essential tread water. Francisco Lindor is an obvious choice here but after that, it doesn’t become as obvious. Carlos Santana is certainly someone worth consideration but I find myself wanting to play so many other guys at first base over him. With that in mind, he’d be a great tournament play as I figure many others will have the same sentiment. Carlos Gonzalez is also an interesting tournament play.
Kansas City Royals (4.1) @ Detroit Tigers (4.5)
Brad Keller (RHP) vs. Spencer Turnbull (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Tigers -121
Pitcher Breakdown: This is a tough spot for me when it comes to Keller. Overall, he’s usually not a great fantasy option with his lack of strikeout upside and his shaky command. Currently, he sports a K% of just 16.7 and a BB% of 12.8. Then you also mix in the fact that he has an xFIP of 5.14 and a hard-hit rate of 35.8%. The appeal here is really, really slim. But it’s the Tigers and they have over a 30% K rate over the past week. Keller is going to be popular, I imagine, so he’s a fade for me in tournaments.
Turnbull has looked good in the starting rotation in his two starts against the Red Sox and Phillies, allowing just one run on six hits through 11 innings of work with a 7:6 K:BB ratio. The Royals have been struggling at the plate as of late and with a real lack of options at pitcher, I think Turnbull will find his way in some of my lineups. On the year he sports a 22.6 K% with just a 26.1% hard-hit rate and just a .287 wOBA as a starter.
Hitter Breakdown: The problem with this game is I don’t really want to play Keller, but I don’t really want to roster any of the Tigers bats? Niko Goodrum would be my top option if I were to do so as he enters this game with a .348 wOBA and a .200 ISO against righties. Gordon Beckham is actually hitting the ball well, sporting a .394 wOBA and a .316 ISO, somehow.
Hunter Dozier will be the only Royal I’ll actively be looking to get into my lineup. He has just crushed the ball against righties and the numbers reflect it. On the season against righties, Dozier has a .507 wOBA with a .382 ISO. Just unbelievable numbers for him. Jorge Soler is a good salary saver if you need it. He’s been hitting well lately and has an overall .321 wOBA and a .261 ISO against righties.
Oakland Athletics (4.3) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (4.3)
Frankie Montas (RHP) vs. Jordan Lyles (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Athletics -107
Pitcher Breakdown: Montas is coming off his worst start of the year against the Red Sox, who tagged him for seven runs but only one was earned. Overall, he’s been solid on the mound and I have zero issues with going with him today. While his hard contact is a bit high at 35.8%, he has some great overall numbers with a 3.75 xFIP and an 8.1 K/9. They’ll be a number of lefties in this lineup for the Pirates but Montas has held them to a .324 wOBA and a .322 xFIP.
Lyles is someone I don’t trust and his advanced numbers are a lot uglier than what is shown on the surface. When you boast a 2.42 ERA but a 4.14 SIERA, something is going to give soon. I feel like that’s starting to show a bit as of late, as his last two starts have resulted in just nine innings in which he’s allowed six runs on 11 hits with a 8:4 K:BB ratio. I’ll let others take him today and stack the A’s instead.
Hitter Breakdown: The A’s are one of my favorite stacks on this slate and not one that I think will carry a ton of ownership. The A’s have been slumping as of late and over the last week sport just a .303 wOBA with a .118 ISO. With that said, they have the 10th highest hard-hit rate during that same span of time at 40%. We’ve seen them score 18 runs in this series (14 on Friday) so I think they can continue that breakout here today. Load up on your typical players like Khris Davis, and Matt Chapman but also try and mix it up with Josh Phegley.
If you wanted to attack Montas on this slate, as I mentioned, lefties have fared better against him than righties. Josh Bell is having himself one heck of a stretch as of late, cracking four home runs and knocking in nine RBI over his last 10 games. He has an overall .433 wOBA and a .395 ISO against righties. Bryan Reynolds continues to be a nice value play as well and I think his salary is going to start to bump up if he keeps hitting the way he is. Get him at the discount if you can.
Atlanta Braves (4.1) @ Miami Marlins (3.5)
Julio Teheran (RHP) vs. Pablo Lopez (RHP)
Over/Under: 7.5 Moneyline: Braves -142
Pitcher Breakdown: Teheran is one of the most expensive pitchers on this slate, which likely says more about the lack of quality pitching options we have to choose from. He’s pitching in the very friendly Marlins Park but has had a number of issues on the road thus far. Through 20.2 innings, Teheran has a .351 wOBA with a 5.04 xFIP on the road. Granted, this Marlins club is a VERY soft matchup, but it should give you some pause, especially when you consider how popular he’s expected to be. Personally, I’ll be on Teheran but not as heavy as I would be.
Maybe expectations were a bit too high on Lopez to start the year, as he’s been average at best on the mound. This is the second time he’ll be facing the Braves, who tagged him for four runs on seven hits through five innings while striking out five times. Pitching at home is helpful but the Braves are hitting the ball very well both lately and against righties overall. Lopez is best served for tournaments only and even then, I expect my shares to be minimal.
Hitter Breakdown: One thing the Braves excel in is hitting for power against righties. Currently, the Braves have five players with an ISO of at least .209 against right-handed pitching. You’d be surprised to know that Freddie Freeman is not on that list but he’s cracked four home runs in his last 10 games. Josh Donaldson is on that list and one of my favorite options in this game. Tyler Flowers is a good value here as well. Normally used for his matchup against lefties, Flowers has a .483 wOBA and a .268 ISO against righties thus far.
Lefties and righties have both been hitting Teheran hard this season. I know you didn’t wake up this morning and think, “Boy, am I excited to stack the Marlins today or what?!” but it’s passed through my mind. Curtis Granderson is a really good value today, as he still is hitting for power against righties with a .203 ISO, which is highest on the team. Jorge Alfaro is another bat to consider with his .354 wOBA and .174 ISO against righties.
Boston Red Sox (5.7) @ Chicago White Sox (4.4)
Rick Porcello (RHP) vs. Dylan Covey (RHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: Red Sox -180
Pitcher Breakdown: Porcello is coming off his best start of the year against the Athletics, tossing eight innings of shutout baseball with two hits allowed and eight strikeouts. He earned a number of new season-highs in this game, which shows how poorly he was pitching. His road numbers stop you from getting overly excited, as a .484 wOBA and a 5.21 xFIP aren’t pretty. I still like his upside in this game and the White Sox have one of the higher K% in the league against righties at 25.2%. I’ll be on him today with how ugly the pitching is overall.
Dylan Covey has this cult-like following on social media. People love him. In the right situation, maybe he’s a viable play. I’m sorry to inform the masses that today isn’t that day. The Red Sox have scored 25 runs in the first three games of this series. I’m good.
Hitter Breakdown: Since this is only the third appearance of the year for Covey, let’s go off his numbers from 2018. Lefties hit him the hardest to the tune of a .341 wOBA with a with 10 of the 13 home runs allowed. Rafael Devers fits the mold perfectly and he’s in the midst of quite a hot streak. Andrew Benintendi should also be in your lineup as he hits atop the Sox order. I have no issues taking any of the other Sox bats in this spot as I expect Covey won’t be in this game very long.
If you want to go against the field and take some of the White Sox bats, we certainly have a few we can consider. Keeping in mind that lefties have given Porcello the most trouble, Yoan Moncada, Leury Garcia and Yonder Alonso would be my top three from this game and in that order. But again, with the way this slate is, Porcello is almost forced into your lineup as one of the only higher end pitching options available.
New York Mets (4.2) @ Milwaukee Brewers (4.9)
Jason Vargas (LHP) vs. Zach Davies (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Brewers -141
Pitcher Breakdown: So what’s crazy about Vargas is that he actually hasn’t been that bad over his last three starts. Normally known for being a complete dumpster fire, Vargas hasn’t allowed more than a run or three hits in three straight starts. I just think that all comes to an end today against a Brewers club, who have been amongst the best against left-handed pitching. Even when Vargas pitches well, he doesn’t go deep into games at all and has yet to see more than 5.1 innings in a start.
Davies has been great and has yet to allow more than two runs in a start. His total lack of strikeout upside is what really kills any potential good start he can come up with, hence why he’s still so cheap. On the year, Davies sports just a 15.4 K%, which makes for a really tough sell for rostering him. With that in mind, he’ll be left on the board for me.
Hitter Breakdown: Even with Vargas pitching as well as he has, I have no issue with taking a Brewers stack in this game. I don’t believe at all Vargas can sustain this type of run and the Brewers are the perfect team to break through. Lorenzo Cain and Hernan Perez top the list of guys I want to target in this game. Perez has always been good against lefties but he’s been exceptional so far with a .421 wOBA and .296 ISO. Obviously, if Christian Yelich is active he can be used as well as Ryan Braun and Yasmani Grandal.
While Davies isn’t someone I’m actively looking to target against, the Mets lefties bats would be the way to do so. Peter Alonso and Michael Conforto would be the top options here and maybe a sprinkle of Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil.
Washington Nationals (3.8) @ Philadelphia Phillies (4.8)
Anibal Sanchez (RHP) vs. Zach Eflin (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Phillies -165
**Legitimate postponement possibility**
I won’t be targeting this game at all as rain will be falling in Philly for the majority of the day. Starting pitchers aren’t safe by any means and any hitters you use here would be tournament only.
Tampa Bay Rays (5.5) @ Baltimore Orioles (4.1)
Ryne Stanek (RHP) vs. John Means (LHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Rays -170
**Legitimate postponement possibility**
I think this is more of a “when” not “if” for this game being called. It doesn’t look like they’ll see any clearing until this evening, so unless they’re looking to wait until then, this game isn’t worth targeting.
Best Overall Pitcher: Rick Porcello
Best Value Pitcher: Frankie Montas
Best Overall Hitters: Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, Lorenzo Cain, Josh Bell, Hunter Dozier
Best Value Hitters: Hernan Perez, Jorge Soler, Niko Goodrum, Curtis Granderson
Home Run Call of the Day: Rafael Devers
Stacks: Red Sox, Brewers, Athletics
Bet of the Day: Brewers -141