If you’re a fan of small slates, this afternoon is certainly one you want to jump in on. With four games on tap, I’ll cover all the matchups in this one. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Justin Verlander – DET vs. MIN – $9,500 – Besides a couple of hiccups along the way, Verlander has had a solid season thus far. Coming off back-to-back 30-point games, Verlander takes on a Twins team ranked 19th in the league in wOBA against righties and a 23.1 K%, ranked 7th. Through eight starts, Veralnder owns a 9.1 K/9 and a rather high BB/9 of 3. All and all, he looks to be the most enticing option on this slate and a $600 savings from Red Sox starter Steven Wright.
Steven Wright – BOS vs. KCR – $10,100 I’ll admit, I’m a bit worried about Wright. His last start saw him come back down to Earth facing the Astros. Wright pitched 4.1 innings allowing five runs on nine hits with a 3:2 K:BB ratio. Wright has been pitching way over his head thus far this season, and I wonder if it’s finally starting to catch up to him. The Royals have been average at best against righties owning a .308 wOBA with a low 18.9 K%. I don’t love this start for Wright, but I fully understand taking him as well. One start shouldn’t completely deter you from him, just be prepared for anything.
Martin Perez – TEX vs. OAK – $6,800 – You basically get what you pay for with Perez. Priced at $6,800, he isn’t going to grab you 30 points, but he’s been getting the job done for the Rangers. Averaging 11.7 FPPG, Perez owns a solid 3.23 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.3. The A’s don’t exactly hit lefties well, owning a .299 wOBA, but their low K% of 17.9 and the low strikeouts for Perez don’t gel very well. However, on a small slate, he certainly isn’t the worst option.
David Ortiz (1B) – BOS vs.KCR – $5,400 – Even on this short slate, the Red Sox hitters may be a bit tough to put in one lineup, as four of their starters cost over $5,000. Ortiz has the honor of highest priced hitter on this slate at $5,400, but his production has been THAT good. Ortiz comes in batting .320 with 10 home runs 33 RBIs, a 1.100 OPS and averaging 11.1 FPPG. He faces off against Ian Kennedy who was trounced by lefties last season, allowing a .356 wOBA with a .522 SLG% and 18 home runs. Ortiz will be a popular pick in this slate.
Ian Kinsler (2B) – DET vs. MIN – $5,000 – It seems as if Kinsler has found his power in 2016. After hitting all of 11 home runs last season in 154 games, Kinsler comes into this matchup with nine on the season through 38 games. A huge boost to the Tigers offense, Kinsler is averaging 11.3 FPPG and has a matchup with Ricky Nolasco. Even though he’s been pitching fairly well, Nolasco always his issues with home runs and has given up four to righties so far this season. Kinsler owns a .364 wOBA against righties with a .227 ISO.
Marcell Ozuna (OF) – MIA vs. PHI – $4,100 – Ozuna feels awfully cheap for the production he’s been banging out the past 10 games. Averaging 11 FPPG in that span, Ozuna is 17-39 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and six RBIs. He faces Jeremy Hellickson, who has been having issues with home runs, allowing nine on the season with six of those against righties.
Bradley is averaging an absurd 13.9 FPPG over his last 10 games
Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF) – BOS vs. KCR – $5,100 – Normally I stay away from guys that hit near the bottom of the order. I think an exception can be made for JBJ, however. Currently riding a 22 game hit streak, Bradley is averaging an absurd 13.9 FPPG over his last 10 games going 19-42 with three doubles, four home runs and 16 RBIs. Ian Kennedy has been solid against lefties this season, holding them to a .266 wOBA, but his career wOBA against lefties sits at .320.
Eric Hosmer (1B) – KCR vs BOS – $4,300 – The Royals first baseman has been killing right-handed pitching thus far this season. Coming into today, Hosmer owns a .443 wOBA with a .190 ISO. If Steven Wright comes out flat like he did in his last start against the Astros, Hosmer could be in for a solid day ahead. Facing righties at home, Hosmer owns a .444 wOBA with two home runs.
Adrian Beltre (3B) – TEX vs. OAK – $4,000 – I still can’t get on board with Rich Hill and his fountain of youth. I mean the numbers don’t lie for Hill, as he owns a .294 wOBA against righties. I still like Beltre in this spot as he continues to hit lefties well with his .381 wOBA against them. At $4,000, Beltre won’t break the bank and is always a threat to go deep with seven home runs on the young season.
Derek Dietrich (2B/3B) – MIA vs. PHI – $3,400 – Dietrich has been a go to player for me lately because he can be slotted into second or third base. It doesn’t hurt that has production has been solid for his price point as well. Averaging 6.8 FPPG over his last ten, Dietrich owns a .383 wOBA against righties this season with a .211 ISO. Batting leadoff for the Marlins brings plenty of opportunities, and he’s made the most of them lately.
Nick Castellanos (3B) – DET vs MIN – $3,800 – $3,800 for a third baseman hitting .348 with eight home runs, 30 RBIs, and a .948 OPS? Whew! Castellanos has been smoking right-handed pitching this season with a .443 wOBA and a .231 ISO. As I’ve said earlier, Ricky Nolasco is always someone you can grab a home run off of, so Castellanos is certainly in play here. Truly, he’s very cheap for his production.
. . . he’s very cheap for his production
Danny Valencia (3B) – OAK vs. TEX – $3,700 – Third base is just full of value on this slate. Valencia is one of the positives in the Oakland offense, and he’s been hitting lefties well. Valencia owns a .558 wOBA with .143 ISO against lefties this season. He takes on Martin Perez who, naturally, is having some issues with right-handed bats. Perez owns a .316 wOBA and has allowed all three of the home runs he’s given up from that side of the plate.
Coco Crisp (OF) – OAK vs. TEX – $2,800 – Crisp isn’t the most enticing option on this slate, but he’s been batting leadoff and is under $3,000. Averaging 7.3 FPPG, Crisp owns a .298 wOBA against lefties, whom he can hit from either side of the plate. If you’re looking to stack a team like Boston, Crisp could be a nice way to save some money and hope to get something out of.