MLB Game Breakdown April 6th

Saturday evening brings us a six-game slate of baseball to enjoy! Make sure to take advantage of all tools The Quantedge has to offer including our new Vegas Line Movement tool! Let’s just into all the information you’ll need to make your lineup decisions and if your heart desires, feel free to follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24

New York Yankees (4.6) @ Baltimore Orioles (3.5)

J.A. Happ (LHP) vs. Dylan Bundy (RHP)

Over/Under: 8.5  Moneyline: Yankees -172

Pitcher Breakdown: These two starting pitchers are already meeting for the second time this season after a 7-5 Orioles win the first time out. As expected, the home run ball came to haunt Happ, who allowed four runs on a three-run and a solo shot in this game. Regardless of the outcome, I have no issue going back to Happ in this spot. He was much better on the road than he was at home last season, sporting a .264 wOBA and a 3.65 xFIP through 69 innings on the road. Don’t let the last start sway you here.

As for Bundy, well, that’s someone I won’t be even considering. Despite striking out seven Yankee bats, he allowed five walks and three runs through 3.2 innings. This is not a lineup you want to mess that with the number of home runs that Bundy allows, having given up 41 last season. If you’re taking Bundy tonight, make sure to ask for a handshake if we ever meet. I’ve never met a hero before.

Hitter Breakdown: The Yankees bats are going to be very popular today and they should be. It’s your usual cast of characters to consider with the like of Aaron Judge, Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez. I will point out that I think Greg Bird is also very much in play here. Bundy was bad all around but lefties gave him the most trouble with a .399 wOBA and a 5.50 xFIP. While rostering Bird won’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy, his price tag and matchup has me digging him tonight.

It’s hard to feel great about any of the Orioles bats in this lineup. No one really jumps out at you as a must play and you’re left just scrolling past them when constructing your lineups. Joey Rickard is my favorite option of the bunch if I had to choose. He did have one of the home runs off Happ in their last matchup and did end the 2018 season with a .338 wOBA and a .213 ISO.

Chicago Cubs (4.2) @ Milwaukee Brewers (4.4)

Cole Hamels (LHP) vs. Corbin Burnes (RHP)

Over/Under: 8.5   Moneyline: Brewers -115

Pitcher Breakdown: I can’t even tell you the last time I rostered Hamels. He’s not someone I’m ever interested in and the trend won’t be broken tonight. The Brewers have too many weapons against left-handed pitching that you couldn’t feel safe putting Hamels in your lineup. To Hamels’ credit, his numbers across the board weren’t horrible but the home run ball is the biggest concern with 29 allowed last season. I like to compare him to Masahiro Tanaka when talking about him. They both have good stuff, post respectable numbers but at the end of the day, they’ll allow two or three home runs and ruin their fantasy score.

As for Burnes, he’ll make his second start of his MLB career tonight. Despite allowing four runs through on six hits through five innings, he struck out 12 Cardinals batters. He did allow three home runs in the start so this truly was a start that had a little bit of everything. I’m not fully on board with using him tonight but a lack of other options will make him appealing. He’s always shown strikeout appeal in the minors so I totally understand why he’ll be looked toward as a value. From rookie ball all the way to Triple-A, Burnes never had a K/9 lower than 8.4.

Hitter Breakdown: Stacking the Brewers is 100% an option tonight against Hamels. As I mentioned, they have a number of weapons against lefties that we can use for tonight. Lorenzo Cain, Jesus Aguilar, Hernan Perez are amongst my favorites. Christian Yelich is always in consideration even in the L/L matchup. The Cubs bullpen has been brutal to begin the year and sport a BB% of 16 and have allowed 28 runs, the most in the league. Getting Yelich in one of those matchups later in the game will be huge.

With the Cubs, I’m on the fence with their hitters as I am with Burnes. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber would be my two favorite options if I decide to go against Burnes. With me being undecided on both sides of this game, I’m likely to just stay away from the Cubs bats altogether. In GPP’s, I certainly have no issue with stacking the Cubs as their ownership should be low.

Oakland Athletics (3.9) @ Houston Astros (4.7)

Aaron Brooks (RHP) vs. Wade Miley (LHP)

Over/Under: 8.5   Moneyline: Astros -150

Pitcher Breakdown: Brooks had a really great start to the season against the struggling Red Sox, tossing six shutout innings allowing just two hits and striking out six. Now he faces another team that is struggling offensive out of the gate in the Astros. As a team, they own just a .301 wOBA with a .128 ISO. Until we see some signs of life from the Astros lineup, I think Brooks makes for an interesting GPP option at very low ownership. He’s not the type of pitcher that will constantly strike out batters and grab you 20+ fantasy points but he’s in a pitcher-friendly environment against a team that’s struggling.

Miley is the complete opposite and someone I have nearly zero interest in. Despite not sporting a wOBA over .284 to either side of the plate, he’s not someone fantasy players turn to when they need an SP2. His strikeout upside is very limited and he can find himself losing his command quickly which can lead to trouble. Going up a team like Oakland is not something I would want to attack, as I’d rather attack Miley with the A’s bats.

Hitter Breakdown: As I mentioned, the Astros are struggling out of the gate offensively. George Springer has been the only bat thus far that his hit for power consistently since the season began. The biggest knock against the Astros for today is that they’re priced like they ARE hitting and that’s where they lose their allure, at least for me. While Brooks is still unproven and could help awaken these bats, I’m looking towards more safer options on this slate.

I think the A’s do bring a safer floor than the Astros do in this matchup. They have some serious power against left-handed bats and I’ll be stacking said batters. Stephen Piscotty needs to stop being ignored when facing lefties. His numbers against them are very good and yet he continues to be ignored. Last year, Piscotty owned a .337 wOBA with a .205 ISO with seven of his 27 home runs. Through 18 PA this season, Piscotty has a .434 wOBA, a .412 ISO with two home runs and six RBI. Aside from Piscotty, Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman and Mark Canha are my favorite targets.

Miami Marlins (3.8) @ Atlanta Braves (4.8)

Sandy Alcantara (RHP) vs. Kyle Wright (RHP)

Over/Under: 8.5   Moneyline: Braves -159

Pitcher Breakdown: Alcantara struck out six through eight shutout innings against the Rockies his first time out. With the performance he just had, I imagine people will be intrigued and take a shot with him today. I say, let the masses take him and we can watch on the sidelines. Throughout his major league career, Alcantara has shown horrific command and has a 5.1 BB/9 through 50.1 innings. The Braves have been the second most patient team in the league thus far while the Rockies rank 26th.

Wright is borderline my favorite value pitcher on this slate. I’m sure many of you weren’t tuned into the Marlins game last night but they looked downright lost at the plate against Kevin Gausman. Constantly popping up the ball, missing badly on strikes and just not putting the ball in play. The Marlins are going up the plate hacking and have the second lowest BB% in the league and just a .298 team wOBA.

Hitter Breakdown: The Braves are mashing right now and I feel like people still haven’t really caught on. I’m really hoping the stellar performance from Alcantara will keep the Braves ownership suppressed and thus we can take advantage. As I mentioned, the Braves are patient and if they take that approach with Alcantara, they should have plenty of men on base. If you want to stack the heart of the order with Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna, I think you’ll be in a good position.

As for the Marlins bats, I don’t have much for you here. Neil Walker and Starlin Castro are the only players I would consider in this spot. Walker still has some pop in his bat against righties with a .161 ISO last season while Castro feels like he’s the only bat that has home run potential.

Boston Red Sox (4.9) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (4.2)

David Price (LHP) vs. Luke Weaver (RHP)

Over/Under: Moneyline: Red Sox -133

Pitcher Breakdown: Being a Red Sox fan, this has been a painful start to the season. You can’t trust anyone on the pitching staff no matter who it is or who they face. Forgive me if I’m not all giddy to get Price into my lineup tonight. That being said, this SHOULD be a matchup where Price should excel. The D-Backs are not a strong team against lefties but don’t provide a lot of strikeout upside either. On a six-game slate, Price ends up being one of the top options by default. Despite his poor start against the A’s his first time out, he did strike out nine with an impressive 14% swing-and-miss rate.

On the other side, Weaver takes the hill for his second start as a D-Back. After a dynamic 2017 season, Weaver has completely fallen off the rails and seemingly lost his way. His command has been poor and home runs have been an issue. Lefties gave him the most trouble last season amounting to a .363 wOBA with a 5.10 xFIP. Even with the Red Sox struggling offensively, this is a bit much to trust Weaver in this spot.

Hitter Breakdown: I promise this isn’t because I’m a fan but this feels like a game where the Red Sox can break out of their slump. After Zack Godley left the game last night, the Red Sox did some damage to the Diamondbacks bullpen, which has been amongst the worst in the league. Rafael Devers and Mitch Moreland are two of my favorite plays in this game as they bat lefty with power, which has been the kryptonite to Weaver. Overall, I think a Red Sox stack is very much in play.

As I mentioned, the D-Backs aren’t particularly strong against lefties at this juncture. With that being said, they aren’t totally off the board here and have a couple of guys worth rostering. Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed don’t get enough love for their production against lefties. These guys posted ISOs of .263 and .217 respectively last season. While they aren’t the sexiest names, they came through numbers times in these spots last season. I also like Eddie Rosario a bit despite him not having great numbers against lefties. I love his power against righties and potentially seeing a few at-bats against a shaky Red Sox bullpen. 

Los Angeles Dodgers (5.4) @ Colorado Rockies (4.7)

Walker Buehler (RHP) vs. Jon Gray (RHP)

Over/Under: 10   Moneyline: Dodgers -135

Pitcher Breakdown: I’ve been flip-flopping on Buehler the entire morning. On one hand, he’s coming off a horrific start against the Diamondbacks that saw them tag him for five runs on five hits in just three innings. On the other, we’re getting him at a huge discount against a Rockies team that has been struggling. Oh, but this game is at Coors Field. My gut instinct is to still take Buehler in this spot and bust open some of my finest liquor in the cabinet. For what it’s worth, Buehler faced this Rockies lineup three times at Coors last year (which is mostly the same) and threw 18 innings allowing eight runs on 18 hits with a 15:6 K:BB ratio.

When it comes to Gray, I have no interest in attacking a team that is averaging 8.1 runs per game thus far.  Not to mention Gray was forced to exit his last start early due to a calf cramp. The injury is not expected to turn into anything serious but it’s just another element to fading Gray in this spot. I can’t imagine many people have interest in him here so I won’t bore you anymore.

Hitter Breakdown: Give me all the Dodgers lefties in this matchup please and thank you. It’s going to be tough to fit them in due to price but I think this slate allows it to work. Max Muncy is my favorite play on the entire slate and this is the type of matchup he should rake in. Gray allowed .351 wOBA to lefties at Coors with eight of his 27 home runs allowed. Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson? Yes, yes and yes.

It’s hard to say with a straight face that the Rockies aren’t on your radar at Coors. However, this is about as close as it gets for me. I think David Dahl is my favorite target from the Rox on this slate. Last season against righties at Coors, Dahl had a .449 wOBA with a .375 ISO. I would never tell you stacking or considering the Rockies are a bad idea, I’m just not going out of my way.

Best Overall Pitcher: J.A. Happ

Best Value Pitcher: Kyle Wright

Best Overall Hitters: Max Muncy, Rafael Devers, David Dahl

Best Value Hitters: Stephen Piscotty, Jesus Aguilar

Home Run Call of the Day: Stephen Piscotty

Stacks: Brewers, Dodgers, Red Sox

Bet of the Day: Dodgers -135

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