Seattle Mariners (n/a) @ Boston Red Sox (n/a)
Marco Gonzales (LHP) vs. Hector Velazquez (RHP)
Over/Under: n/a Moneyline: n/a
Pitcher Breakdown: Gonzales is extremely hit or miss when he takes the mound. Today he faces a Red Sox club that owns a .314 wOBA against lefties with a .190 ISO and a 20.2 K%. With the way the Red Sox have been hitting, I think it’s really risky taking a shot with him today at Fenway Park. For what it’s worth, Gonzales owns a .322 wOBA and a 4.87 xFIP on the road this season.
Velasquez is a tough option for fantasy purposes. He has some shaky command, strikes out less than a batter an inning and doesn’t miss many bats. Righties have been particularly strong against Velazquez, as they’ve tagged him with a .371 wOBA and a 4.93 xFIP. I don’t’ view him as an option today.
Hitter Breakdown: Edwin Encarnacion and Domingo Santana are my two favorite options in this game against Velasquez. I think stacking righties in this game is a viable option as the Mariners should get into the Red Sox shaky bullpen early in this game. Velasquez has yet to pitch past the third inning this season through five starts.
On the road, righties have tagged Gonzales with a .331 wOBA and a 4.87 xFIP. While the Red Sox don’t have a ton of power against lefties, they do have a couple of players that smash in these matchups. J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Christan Vazquez all sport some really healthy numbers against lefties. Mookie Betts is an interesting fade for me as he owns just a .184 wOBA and a .026 ISO.
Los Angeles Angels (5.2) @ Baltimore Orioles (4.4)
Griffin Canning (RHP) vs. John Means (LHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Angels -157
Pitcher Breakdown: Canning has only made two starts thus far for a total of 9 2/3 innings allowing five runs on eight hits with 13 strikeouts against the Blue Jays and Tigers. Through the minors, Canning has displayed some good strikeout upside with some really good command. Against the Orioles today, I don’t mind him as a salary saving option at all. The Orioles have not hit well at home, sporting just a .298 wOBA with a .172 ISO.
Means is another interesting option despite the Angels sporting a 5.2 run opening total. Since the lines were released, the Angels have dropped down to 4.8 as of early this morning. Overall against lefties, the Angels have just a .302 wOBA with a .161 ISO and just a 13.8 K%. The lack of strikeouts is quite concerning but Means is very cheap on both sites.
Hitter Breakdown: I saw this every article that I write when the Angels face a lefty but Albert Pujols has been the best hitter against lefties thus far, sporting a .340 wOBA with a .310 ISO. His salary is slowly starting to creep up, however, which loses some of the allure. Of course, Mike Trout is the mix today as well as Andrelton Simmons, both who have consistently hit for power against lefties.
Dwight Smith Jr. is an often overlooked member of the Orioles but he has some of the best power numbers against lefties on the team. He enters this game with a .344 wOBA and a .223 ISO in those matchups. Another hitter that isn’t being looked at against lefties is Stevie Wilkerson. He’s still so cheap but has been hitting well since his call-up. He’s one of my favorite value plays on this slate.
Chicago White Sox (4) @ Toronto Blue Jays (4.5)
Lucas Giolito (RHP) vs. Aaron Sanchez (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Blue Jays -128
Pitcher Breakdown: I’m usually not interested in pitching Giolito but have you seen how the Blue Jays have been hitting? Over their last seven games, the Blue Jays sport a .243 wOBA with a .136 ISO and a 22.8 K%. Giolito is coming off a 7 1/3 inning shutout of the Indians in which he allowed just three hits and struck out eight. Going up against another weak offense like the Jays, I like him a lot in this matchup, especially with his 29.2 K%.
Sanchez is suffering from some really bad command so far this season. It’s usually not a strong point of his game but he enters this game with a 13.7 BB%. He’s pitched much better at home than he has on the road but he’s simply not on my radar for today.
Hitter Breakdown: The White Sox have hovered around league average when it comes to righties this season. What they do have is a lot of power in these matchups. Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada top the lists in terms of ISO at .283 and .280. If you want to go cheap at catcher, James McCann has been smoking the ball as of late and sports an overall .421 wOBA and a .233 ISO against righties.
I think this is a really good spot for Giolito so I don’t envision many Blue Jays making their way onto my lineups. If I had to pick anyone, I suppose Eric Sogard of all people would be the way I’d go. In some twisted way, Sogard has been their best hitter against righties with a .409 wOBA and a .264 ISO. Against lefties is where Gioltio has struggled in the past so it makes for an interesting play.
New York Yankees (3.2) @ Tampa Bay Rays (3.9)
Masahiro Tanaka (RHP) vs. Blake Snell (LHP)
Over/Under: 7 Moneyline: Rays -162
Pitcher Breakdown: The issue with Tanaka, as it always is, are home runs. He simply gives up too many and sports a 1.3 HR/9 thus far. He was usually able to make up for it by grabbing a healthy amount of strikeouts in his start. The problem is, up to this point, those aren’t coming anymore. He currently has a K/9 of 7.9 and just a 9.5% swing-and-miss rate. For reference, he’s never had a mark lower than 11%. Granted, he’s in a favorable ballpark today but this just feels like an unnecessary risk to take.
As for Snell, he certainly looked a lot better in his last start against a good hitting Diamondbacks club. Now he faces a Yankees team that owns just a .287 wOBA against lefties with a .125 ISO and K% of 23. Snell carries the high price tag for today but this is such a great matchup for him that I think he’s well worth the price of admission. At home, Snell sports a .259 wOBA with a 2.89 xFIP.
Hitter Breakdown: Tanaka has come out of the gate really struggling against lefties, which I think is a great matchup for some of these Rays bats. Austin Meadows is fresh off the injured list and brings with him a .466 wOBA with a .354 ISO against righties thus far. Brandon Lowe is right there with him with a .403 wOBA and a .290 ISO. Ji-Man Choi would be another option to consider but he’s been fairly quiet at the plate aside from his last two games. Stacking the Rays is a great tournament play as well.
As you’d imagine, not much interest in the Yankees here. No one on this club has shown much power in these matchup with the exception of Luke Voit. He would be the only tournament option I would take in this matchup if I felt inclined to do so. Otherwise, the Yankees are an easy fade today.
Detroit Tigers (3.7) @ Minnesota Twins (5.4)
Daniel Norris (LHP) vs. Martin Perez (LHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Twins -205
Pitcher Breakdown: The Twins are a scary team to go against if you’re a left-handed pitcher. This team is absolutely crushing souls in these matchups and sport a team .361 wOBA with a .222 ISO. Norris doesn’t go deep into games at all and hasn’t seen past the fifth inning in all four of his starts. With low strikeout upside and some bad splits against righties, this is the last time I’ll think about him today once I hit the period key on my computer.
Martin Perez, you have my attention. This guy looks like a brand new pitcher and has been downright nasty on the mound. Usually reserved for someone we’d pick on, Perez has turned into a legitimate starting option so far this season. Mix in the fact that Perez faces a Tigers team that sports a 28.8 K%, which is tied for the highest in the league against lefties and you have yourself a perfect storm. Perez brings with him a 22.8 K% on the year while inducing an 11% swing-and-miss rate, by far the highest of his career.
Hitter Breakdown: The only option I’d consider from the Tigers would be Miguel Cabrera. He’s hit lefties extremely well up to this point and enters this game with a .528 wOBA and a .278 ISO. Nick Castellanos could be a decent tournament option but his lack of power doesn’t make him overly appealing.
The Twins have a number of players for the taking. Entering this game, Norris is allowing a .352 wOBA to righties with a 4.72 xFIP and a 39.5% hard-hit rate. I wrote up C.J. Cron yesterday and he had himself quite the game with four hits including a three-run shot and a double. I’ll be going back to him today with his .544 wOBA and .526 ISO against lefties. Truly, go down the list on this team and everyone is seemingly hitting lefties well. Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario will all be making my roster this afternoon.
Texas Rangers (3.9) @ Houston Astros (5.7)
Adrian Sampson (RHP) vs. Corbin Martin (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Astros -211
Pitcher Breakdown: Sampson has split time between the bullpen and the starting rotation and has not seen much success in either. As a starter, Sampson sports an overall .420 wOBA with a 5.52 xFIP. So it should come as no surprise that the Astros sport one of the highest team totals on this slate. Righties have really gotten to him, tagging him with a .417 wOBA and a 6.11 xFIP. He’s not an option today…or really, ever?
Martin will make his major league debut after moving through the minor league system quickly. He made just five appearances in Triple-A this year and sports a 10.3 K/9 with a BB/9 of 4.1 and a 4.47 xFIP. The Rangers are one of the better hitting teams against righties so I’m not sure how inclined I am to take a shot with Martin here. On a nine-game slate, it feels a bit unnecessary.
Hitter Breakdown: This is one of those weird sports where you’re not sure if you want to go after the rookie pitcher or not. Overall, his numbers in the minors were good but that doesn’t mean they’ll always translate to the majors. I’ll likely be light on the Rangers and would probably just take a shot in tournaments with Joey Gallo or Hunter Pence. My interest after that falls off.
The Astros have no problem with at all today against Sampson. As I mentioned, righties have posted some really strong numbers against him so that’s where my focus will be. Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman would by my top two options to take in this game. Correa has been hitting very well and enters this game with a .380 wOBA and a .294 ISO so far this season. If you want a low owned option, I’d imagine Aledmys Diaz will be in the lineup with Jose Altuve heading on the IL. Diaz has a .239 ISO against righties in limited action.
Philadelphia Phillies (5) @ Kansas City Royals (4.6)
Cole Irvin (LHP) vs. Jakob Junis (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: Phillies -121
Pitcher Breakdown: Irvin will be making his major league debut today after making six starts in Triple-A. From his numbers in the minors, Irvin doesn’t look like much of a fantasy option with a K/9 of just 5.7. It looks as if he has some excellent command and rarely allows any home runs but the lack of strikeouts will be the killer.
Junis is another option I have almost zero interest in. He allows a ton of home runs (1.6 HR/9 this season) and his splits are brutal to both sides of the plate. With the Phillies sporting a team total of five runs, Junis will be left on the board.
Hitter Breakdown: Lefties have tagged Junis with a .391 wOBA with a 4.38 xFIP while righties have a .337 wOBA and a 4.32 xFIP. So, take your pick of who you want to target in this game. As you’d imagine, Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper top the list of players I’m looking to target in this game. Maikel Franco continues to be a low owned option I look toward as well, as he sports a .229 ISO against righties.
With a lefty on the hill for the Phillies, Whit Merrifield immediately comes to mind as someone to look toward. He continues to smash lefties in this spot with a .390 wOBA and a .405 ISO. One name that I don’t see grab a lot of attention in these matchups is Jorge Soler. He’s quietly hit 10 home runs already this season and owns a .374 wOBA and a .225 ISO against lefties. Adalberto Mondesi is very expensive but continues to rake against lefties.
Pittsburgh Pirates (4.1) @ St. Louis Cardinals (5)
Steven Brault (LHP) vs. Dakota Hudson (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: Cardinals -149
Pitcher Breakdown: Brault hasn’t pitched much this season but I’m really hung up on using him today. Yes, the Cardinals have a team total of five but they haven’t been very strong against lefties. Currently, they own a team .297 wOBA with a .140 ISO and a 20.1 K%. Brault makes some things fit today and I can’t say I’m not considering him in tournaments. This is going to be one of those plays where I’ll likely regret right as the game starts but I think he’s in consideration.
The knock against Hudson is that he pitches very poorly against lefties. The numbers don’t lie, as he enters this game with a .531 wOBA with a 5.93 xFIP and eight of his nine home runs allowed. Going against a Pirates club that can feature a LOT of lefties does not make me want to use him at all. If anything, stacking the lefties on this team would be the route I’d take.
Hitter Breakdown: If I’m making a Pirates stack, Josh Bell is where I’m starting. He enters this game with a .433 wOBA and a .367 ISO against righties. Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte would also be in that stack and likely a sprinkle of Adam Frazier. I think the Pirates won’t grab a lot of people’s attention today but they’re one of my favorite stacks of this slate.
This Cardinals team does not have a lot of power against lefties. The only player I’d likely be looking at is Paul DeJong. He owns a .477 wOBA and a .350 ISO against lefties so far, which is the highest on the team by a large margin. I want to be clear that I’m not fading the Cardinals as a whole solely based off Brault but I think this slate offers a lot safer options here.
Miami Marlins (2.9) @ New York Mets (3.6)
Doesn’t look like this game will play today as rain will be around New York all throughout the day.
Best Overall Pitcher: Blake Snell
Best Value Pitcher: Lucas Giolito, Martin Perez
Best Overall Hitters: Whit Merrifield, Rhys Hoskins, Carlos Correa, Austin Meadows, Josh Bell
Best Value Hitters: C.J. Cron, Jorge Soler, James McCann, Stevie Wilkerson
Home Run Call of the Day: Brandon Lowe
Stacks: Twins, Pirates (lefties), Rays, Mariners
Bet of the Day: Rays -162