With a split slate of games on tap for today, we have seven games starting at 1 pm ET. I’ll give you some targets for the early slate to get you started. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Danny Salazar – CLE vs. HOU – $11,900 – No Carlos Carrasco for the Indians? No worries, Salazar says “I got this.” The 26-year-old comes into this start against the Astros with a 1.91 ERA to go along with a 0.90 WHIP and a K/9 of 10.2. The Astros own a league average .314 wOBA against righties along with an ISO of .184, which ranks sixth in the league. While this sounds a bit daunting for a pitcher who is just a hair under $12K, the Astros own the second highest K% against righties at 26.5%. Salazar has been fantastic at keeping the ball in the park, owning a career 1.03 HR/9, so while the Astros may certainly do their thing and park some balls, the strikeout potential here is extreme and favors Salazar.
Madison Bumgarner- SFG vs. TOR – $12,400 – Even though he’s facing the Blue Jays, we have a couple of factors here that lead me to believe this could be a decent spot for Bumgarner. First and foremost, this game is at AT&T Park. Ranked as the worst stadium for hitters last season, that gives an obvious bump to Bumgarner. Second, being that this is in a National League park the Blue Jays will be running Marcus Stroman out to bat, weakening their lineup. Bumgarner has been dealing lately and is averaging 22.9 FPPG.
Taijuan Walker – SEA vs. TBR – $9,700 – Last time I recommended Walker, it didn’t turn out so well. He scored a whopping 1.3 points pitching only two innings allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits. It isn’t as bad as it sounds, as he was pulled due to neck spasms. Tonight, he faces a Rays team that leads the league in strikeout percentage against righties with a 27.2 K%. Even worse, they own a .292 wOBA against righties, which ranks 26th in the league. Pitching in Safeco Field, this should be a solid spot for him today.
Nolan Arenado (3B) – COL vs ARZ – $5,300 – Rostering players in Coors is not anything ground breaking. But this matchup for Arenado is especially enticing going up against Robbie Ray Jr. Coming into this afternoon, Ray owns a .356 wOBA against right handed hitters. In his career at Coors, Arenado owns a .463 wOBA with a .358 ISO. Truly, these are sick numbers for Arenado against lefties. Even with the high price tag, he should be worth the price of admission.
Kris Bryant (3B/OF) – CHC vs SDP – $4,900 – Any worries about Bryant going through a “sophomore slump” have been put to bed. Bryant comes into this afternoon hitting .295 with five home runs, 22 RBIs, and averaging 9.7 FPPG. Facing Colin Rea, who owns a career .387 wOBA against righties, Bryant has a .381 wOBA against righties with an ISO of .211. He hasn’t been hitting for a ton of power, but his production has been fantastic in such a dynamic lineup.
Manny Machado (3B/SS) – BAL vs MIN – $5,000 – Saying that Machado is on fire right now is an understatement. For example, let’s just take his last two games. Machado is 5-7 with three home runs, four runs scored and a combined 64 points. In TWO games this has happened. Averaging 11.7 FPPG, Machado is batting .365 with ten home runs, 23 RBIs, and a 1.146 OPS on the season. He faces off against Phil Hughes, who lovesssss to give up home runs. Last season, he allowed 29 home runs with 15 of those coming against right handed hitters. This season he’s already allowed four and with Machado belting all 10 off of righties, this is quite a spot for him. Machado owns a .497 wOBA with an fantastic .411 ISO against righties.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) ARZ vs. COL – $5,200 – Goldy has started off quite slow this season, but he’s starting to pick it back up. Scoring 59 points over his last five games, Goldy is averaging 11.8 FPPG in that span and is smack dab in the middle of a Coors Field series. He faces Chad Bettis, who owns a career .399 wOBA against right handed batters. Even with the struggles Goldy has endured, he still owns a .384 wOBA against righties this season with a .241 ISO.
Mark Trumbo (OF) – CHC vs SDP – $3,900 – Again, another solid right handed home run hitter facing Phil Hughes today. Trumbo seems to have finally found where he belongs in the majors, as he’s completely popped off with the Orioles. Coming into today, he’s batting .320 with nine home runs, 24 RBIs, and a .961 OPS. Against righties, Trumbo owns a .416 wOBA with four of his 10 home runs.
Ryan Raburn (OF) – COL vs ARZ – $3,600 – Raburn was picked up for this exact reason, a matchup against a left handed pitcher. Ray has been crushed by right handed pitching so far this season, owning a .404 wOBA and allowing four home runs. For Raburn, he owns a solid .575 wOBA against lefties so far this season. Getting such cheap exposure to Coors Field is always a plus, so Raburn would be a fine addition to your lineup.
Eduardo Nunez (3B/SS) – MIN vs BAL – $4,000 His price tag borders the value/expensive line, but unlike Trumbo (who is $100 less) Nunez doesn’t posses the power Trumbo does. Averaging 8.3 FPPG, Nunez has been a force this season, batting .370 with a home run, 10 RBIs and a .922 OPS. Nunez gets to face righty Tyler Wilson, and Nunez owns a .436 wOBA against righties thus far this season. No one on the Twins really jumps out at you in terms of hitters, but Nunez is an exception.
Ben Paulsen (1B/OF) – COL vs. ARI – $2,900 I know, I know, another player in Coors. I can’t help it! If you want to talk about cheap exposure to Coors, look no further than Paulsen. He’s been a disappointment this season, batting only .246 with a home run, 10 RBIs and a .659 OPS in limited at-bats. But his career .367 wOBA with an ISO of .220 is what peaks my interest. Getting someone who is capable of going yard coupled with a plus matchup at Coors Field for under $3K is certainly someone I’d be willing to target.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – SEA vs TBR – $3,400 Cruz as a value? Yup. He comes into today with a salary of only $3,400 as he has a matchup with Chris Archer on tap. Archer has been much better as of late, pitching six innings his past three starts allowing only two runs on 11 hits with a K:BB ratio of 20:6. So, is he back to his old self? Maybe. But grabbing Cruz at this price against someone who has already allowed six home runs to right handed bats is enticing. Cruz historically hits lefties better, but his power comes out against righties. Owning a career .230 ISO against righties, Cruz should be low owned and put you in a good spot if he can make something happen.