The majority of the games today will be played this afternoon, as we have a 10 game slate starting at 2:10 ET. I’ll give you a number of hitters and pitchers to target in this one. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Felix Hernandez – SEA vs. CIN – $11,000 – Hernandez doesn’t have quite the control he once had. His 3.88 BB/9 is a perfect example, as his career sits at 2.54 BB/9. His strikeouts are also down a bit as well, but all this put together still puts him in a great spot today against the Reds. Coming into this game, the Reds are 27th in wOBA against righties this season at .288 with a high 23.4 K%, ranked 8th. Even though the Great American Ballpark will be a downgrade for Hernandez, no DH in the lineup almost negates that, as Hernandez will be pitching to his opponent John Lamb. Hernandez is getting 58% of contact to go for ground balls on the road, which is the cherry on top here.
Drew Smyly – TB vs DET – $10,700 – I think on paper, Jacob deGrom looks like he would be an enticing start, but there are a couple of things keeping me off of him. I don’t like the fact that he doesn’t feel comfortable with his mechanics and his strikeouts are down. Thus, I’ll the pivot to Smyly. He takes on the Tigers today, who own a .289 wOBA against lefties with a .355 SLG and a modest 21.6 K%. Smyly does have some issues with allowing home runs, allowing a 1.2 HR/9 this season. However, the Tigers only have nine home runs against lefties this season, which is tied for 22nd in the league. Smyly should be a fine play for today.
Sean Manaea – OAK vs. NYY – $7,200 – Let me preface this section with this. Neither of these guys are the safest options. First, Manaea is a left-handed pitcher, which is the bane of the Yankees existence at this point, owning a .290 wOBA against lefties with a 20 K%. Playing in Oakland today gives another bump to Manaea, as this stadium is a world of difference from Yankee Stadium. I think his overall numbers will scare people off (they aren’t pretty) but Manaea had a solid start against Texas his last time out, going 6.2 innings allowing one run on four hits with a 3:1 K:BB ratio.
Adam Morgan – PHI vs. ATL – $6,100 – So overall, the Braves are starting to hit better. However, remember that ANYTHING is better than what they were doing. Over the past two weeks, the Braves have an overall wOBA of .304 with a .392 SLG. Doing better is doing better. I still like this matchup for Morgan, as the Braves overall own a .253 wOBA against lefties, which ranks dead last in the league. The last time these two met up, Morgan went seven innings allowing one run on four hits with a 4:1 K:BB ratio. For how dirt cheap Morgan is against this offense, he’s not a bad option.
Josh Donaldson (3B) – TOR vs MIN – $5,500 – Donaldson hasn’t been hitting righties extremely well, but lefties are a different story. Coming into this start today, Donaldson owns a .488 wOBA with a .341 ISO against lefties. Of his 10 home runs, six of them have come on the road. Going up against Pat Dean, who is making his first start in the majors and third overall appearance, this could be quite a tough task for this kid.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – SEA v CIN – $5,300 – Nelson Cruz starting against a left-handed pitcher? Check. Nelson Cruz starting against a left-handed pitcher in a hitter’s park? Double check! Cruz takes on John Lamb today at the Great American Ballpark. Lamb hasn’t pitched much in the majors, logging only 63.2 innings, but he’s allowed nine total home runs with six against righties. Cruz owns a .426 wOBA against lefties with a .404 ISO.
Stephen Piscotty (OF) – STL vs. ARZ – $4,200 – Like Cruz, Piscotty is someone I almost instantly roster if they’re facing off against a left-handed pitcher. Robbie Ray takes the mound for the Diamondbacks today and Piscotty is in line for another solid game. Against lefties at home, Piscotty owns an absurd .580 wOBA with an ISO of .409. Ray has allowed a .370 wOBA against righties this season with four of his five home runs. At $4,200, Piscotty is a steal for how well he hits lefties.
David Ortiz (1B) – BOS vs. CLE – $5,000 – Ortiz promises he’s going to retire, so why not go out looking like a boss, right? Coming into today, Ortiz continues to torture right-handed pitching, especially at Fenway Park, owning a .505 wOBA with a .410 ISO and a 1.244 OPS. He faces Trevor Bauer, who allows a .339 wOBA against lefties on the road with a .415 SLG. At Fenway this season, Ortiz is averaging 10.9 FPPG with four home runs.
Eric Hosmer (1B) – KCR vs. CHW – $4,600 – Hosmer takes on Miguel Gonzalez today and brings his crushing numbers against right-handed pitchers with him. On the season, Hosmer owns a .442 wOBA with a .209 ISO. Hosmer certainly has some pop in his bat, hitting eight home runs thus far with five coming against righties. Gonzalez is struggling with lefties in the early going, allowing a .384 wOBA with two home runs allowed.
Yoenis Cespedes (OF) – NYM vs. MIL – $4,500 – Cespedes doesn’t actually have great numbers at home thus far this season. At Citi Field against righties, Cespedes owns a .327 wOBA with a .200 ISO. They aren’t terrible, but not good either. I do like his matchup against Zach Davies, who is getting crushed on the road against righties. Davies owns a .437 wOBA on the road against righties with a .550 SLG.
Travis Shaw (1B/3B) – BOS vs. CLE – $4,200 – Shaw continues to crush right-handed pitching, and today should be no different. At home against righties, Shaw owns a .481 wOBA with a .302 ISO with three of his six home runs. As I mentioned, Bauer struggles against left-handed hitters, so a combo of Ortiz and Shaw at the corner infield spots on your lineup could be a nice pairing for today.
Ryan Raburn (OF) – COL vs PIT – $3,100 – Raburn has been doing exactly what he was signed for, crush left-handed pitching. Today he faces off with Jonathon Niese, who is allowing a .391 wOBA to righties thus far this season. Even worse for Niese, he’s allowed 11 home runs so far this season with nine of them coming against righties. Raburn owns a .476 wOBA against lefties this season and an even better .577 wOBA on the road against lefties with a .440 ISO. Raburn has plenty of pop and is dirt-cheap today, making him almost a must start in my opinion.
Miguel Sano (OF) – MIN vs. TOR – $3,900 – Sano is on the border of being expensive or not, but since this is my article I’m going to say he’s not. Overall, Sano has some unimpressive numbers, hitting .235 with seven home runs, 19 RBIs and a .752 OPS. Over his last ten games, however, he’s averaging 9.4 FPPG with four home runs and seven RBIs. He faces J.A. Happ today, who is allowng a .374 wOBA to righties at home. Even better is the .388 wOBA Sano owns against lefties this season.
Aledmys Diaz (SS) – STL vs ARZ – $3,300 – Diaz certainly seems to be enjoying his first year in the majors, wouldn’t you say? He faces off against Robbie Ray, and Diaz owns a .374 wOBA against lefties. As I mentioned earlier, Ray really struggles against righties, owning a .370 wOBA this season. Diaz is certainly an enticing play as his low price at a tough position to fill like shortstop can certainly get the job done. Diaz is currently averaging 7.8 FPPG at home thus far.
Corey Dickerson (OF) – TBR vs. DET – $3,500 Dickerson is extremely boom or bust. He hits MUCH better on the road averaging 10 FPPG compared to the atrocious 3.2 FPPG at home. He takes on Michael Fulmer, who is allowing a .348 wOBA against lefties. This will be his first start at home, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.