With seven games on tap this afternoon, we have plenty of targets to take a look at. I’ll get you set with some of my favorite picks on this early afternoon slate. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs. KCR – $13,000 – After a sudden scratch yesterday, Syndergaard once again draws a start against the Kanas City Royals at home. This will be the second time that Syndergaard will face the Royals this season. In that first start he pitched six innings allowing no runs on three hits with a 9:1 K:BB ratio. He’s been fantastic at home this season, owning a 1.80 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .222 wOBA, not to mention his 12.8 K/9. The Royals are usually perceived as a team that doesn’t strike out much, which is certainly true; however, on the road this season, they’re up to a decent 21.5 K%, which certainly is a boost to Syndergaard. He’s the most expensive pitcher on the slate today, but I like this spot for him.
Matt Shoemaker – LAA vs. HOU – $10,300 – Remember when Shoemaker was the automatic pitcher to stack against when he was pitching? Those days seem to be long gone now, as Shoemaker continues to dominate start after start. Over his last six starts, Shoemaker owns a 1.84 ERA with an 11.9 K/9 and averaging 28.7 FPPG over that span. Today he faces off with the Houston Astros, who sit in the middle of the league in wOBA against righties at .317 but rank 3rd in K% at 24.4%. Shoemaker usually isn’t a huge strikeout guy, but he has been as of late, reaching double digits three times this season, one of them being against the Astros. Shoemaker is a nice savings over Arrieta this afternoon, whose matchup I don’t like against the Cardinals at a $12,800 price tag.
CC Sabathia – NYY vs. COL – $8,500 – I have to admit, I never thought I’d be writing about Sabathia in a positive light anymore. However, since his return on May 4th, he’s been fantastic on the mound. In seven starts since his return, Sabathia is averaging 22.8 FPPG and pitched at least six innings in all but one of those starts. His walks have been a bit of a problem, owning a 41:16 K:BB ratio, but we can’t all be perfect. Taking on the Rockies, who have shown how much they miss Coors Field when they are away but owning a .305 wOBA with a .303 OBP and a K% of 22.4%, this makes Sabathia a nice value play today at just $8,500.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – ARZ vs. TOR – $5,000 -Goldschmidt is one of those guys that once he gets going, he’s essentially matchup proof. He faces J.A. Happ this afternoon at the Rogers Centre, which puts him in a great spot. Against lefties this season, Goldy owns a .456 wOBA with a .587 SLG and a .500 OBP. Happ has allowed 11 of his 12 home runs to right-handed bats with five of them at home.
Edwin Encarnacion (1B) – TOR vs. ARZ – $5,200 – If you read my Cheat Sheet yesterday, I made the case for Encarnacion over Josh Donaldson against lefties. Essentially for me, it boils down to the fact that Encarnacion does have power against lefties while Donaldson doesn’t as much. I was rewarded with a 0-4 showing from Encarnacion, but that won’t deter me today. He still owns a .426 wOBA against lefties with a .635 SLG. Facing Robbie Ray with a .371 wOBA against righties, I like Encarnacion again today.
Mike Trout (OF) – LAA vs. HOU – $4,900 – Going up against Lance McCullers is proving to be something that hitters aren’t looking forward to. He’s been striking out players like his life depends on it this season, owning an 11.1 K/9 in seven starts. However, he continues to have issues against right-handed bats. On the season, McCullers owns a .355 wOBA against them with a .420 SLG. I don’t think I have to remind you how well Trout hits righties do I? I will anyways, as he sits with a .418 wOBA to go with a .582 SLG. In a perceived tough matchup, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trout have lower than usual ownership.
Christian Yelich (OF) – MIA vs. ATL – $4,500 – Yelich continues to be a pivotal part of the Marlins lineup. Coming into tonight, Yelich is batting .316 with six home runs, 35 RBIs and averaging 8 FPPG. He’s been fantastic against righties this season, owning a .375 wOBA with a .520 SLG. He faces Matt Wisler this afternoon, who owns a .318 wOBA against lefties.
Kris Bryant (3B) – CHC vs. STL – $5,100 – Bryant continues to mash against righties this season, and he has a fantastic matchup against Michael Wacha this afternoon. Coming into today, Bryant owns a .371 wOBA against righties with a .497 SLG and a .365 OBP. Wacha continues to struggle with his command, allowing almost four walks per game and is allowing a .322 wOBA to righties.
Wellington Castillo (CATCH) – ARZ vs. TOR – $3,400 – Castillo has been extremely useful when facing left-handed pitching this season. On the year, he owns a .353 average with a .469 wOBA, which is ranked second in the league. Getting this type of production for someone that’s only going to run you just $3,400 in salary is a steal in my opinion. J.A. Happ is allowing a .345 wOBA against righties at home this season with a .477 SLG.
Brandon Moss (1B/OF) – STL vs. CHC – $3,700 – Taking a player against someone like Jake Arrieta is usually not high on my list, but Brandon Moss is making me rethink that notion. Did you know amongst all active players with at least 50 at-bats, Moss owns the second highest SLG against right-handed pitchers? That’s right, sitting at .698, Moss only trails David Ortiz in that category. Crazy, isn’t it? With a poor outing by Arrieta against the Cardinals already this season, I’d be willing to toss Moss in a lineup here today.
Nolan Arenado (3B) – COL vs. NYY – $3,700 – Crazy to think we can grab Arenado at this price today. Granted, Sabathia has been pitching much better as of late, but I would most certainly jump on Arenado at this price. Coming into today, Arenado owns a .425 wOBA against lefties with a .609 SLG. Even though it’s not an exciting stat, Arenado also walks a good amount against lefties at a 16.9% clip, which ranks 15th in the league.
Neil Walker (2B) – NYM vs. KCR – $2,800 – Walker is awfully cheap today in what really isn’t that tough of a matchup against Danny Duffy. On the season, the switch hitting second baseman owns a .452 wOBA against lefties with a .694 SLG and a 1.000 OPS. Duffy isn’t great against righties, owning a .319 with a .457 SLG. I think Walker is so cheap that he’s almost an automatic at a tough position to fill.