With a very short three game slate this afternoon, the picks are going to be awfully slim. I’ll take you through some of my top targets for this afternoon. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Drew Smyly – TBR vs. MIA – $10,300 – I mean, everyone will be on Fernandez. I totally get it and understand, I’m sure I’ll be doing the same. Smyly is certainly not someone to discount though either. The left-handed pitcher owns a 3.54 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP in nine starts this season with a K/9 of 10.1. The Marlins are hitting lefties well with a .338 wOBA, but they’re also striking out a ton, which has me intrigued. There 23.9 K% checks in at 6th in the league, which plays right into Smyly and his high K/9. If you’re looking for a pivot off of Fernandez, especially in a GPP, Smyly is your guy.
J.A. Happ – TOR vs. NYY – $6,700 – After having a price tag over $10,000 just recently, Happ has plummeted back down to Earth and now only costs $6,700. Happ bounced back nicely in his last start after getting pummeled by Tampa Bay two starts prior. I really like this spot for Happ, as the Yankees continue to struggle against lefties. The Yankees have plummeted all the way down to a .290 wOBA against lefties with a 19.9 K%. I expect Happ to also be very popular today, but than again, who isn’t going to be popular on this slate?
Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR vs NYY – $4,800 – Bautista faces off against the returning CC Sabathia today and what a perfect matchup for him. Batting leadoff lately, Bautista owns a .371 wOBA against lefties this season with a .462 SLG and a .383 OBP. Sabathia is a mere shell of his former self and struggles against righties. Last season, Sabathia owned a .370 wOBA against righties allowing 25 of the 28 home runs he allowed. I have no reason to believe this situation will be any different against this tough (but very under performing) Blue Jays lineup.
Marcell Ozuna (OF) – MIA vs TBR – $4,500 – Normally I don’t like playing hitters against my starting pitchers, but on a slate like this it almost becomes impossible. Ozuna has been CRUSHING left-handed pitching. I’m not just saying that either, he really is. Coming into this game, Ozuna owns a .617 wOBA against lefties. That is an INSANE number. His ISO sits at .485 with a .970 SLG. So like I said, he’s crushing lefties right now. Ozuna is basically a must-start for me on this slate, and I anticipate he will be for many people today.
“. . . he’s starting to heat back up, averaging 9.1 FPPG over his last ten games”
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – ARZ vs. PIT – $4,200 – Goldy has a tough matchup on tap against Gerrit Cole; however, on a three game slate, everything is on the table. Goldy seems like he’s starting to heat back up, averaging 9.1 FPPG over his last ten games where he’s gone 10-33 with a home run and seven RBIs. Even with his season long slump to this point, Goldy still owns a .374 wOBA against righties with a .858 OPS. The picks are slim today, so I have no issue taking Goldschmidt in a tough matchup.
Josh Donaldson (3B) – TOR vs NYY – $4,400 – Donaldson against a left-handed pitcher is something I’m almost always jumping on; he’s just been struggling that badly lately. On paper though, he should be crushing this matchup with Sabathia. Owning a .478 wOBA against lefties this season, Donaldson has been feasting on these poor lefties, owning a 1.150 OPS and a .460 OBP. If there were a game where Donaldson was going to get back on track, this should be it.
Jung Ho Kang (3B) – PIT vs ARZ – $3,300 – For someone that is averaging 8.4 FPPG since coming off the DL, Kang should be a great value pick against Patrick Corbin this afternoon. Kang owns a .603 wOBA against lefties thus far. With Corbin struggling against righties the entire season, Kang is nice low risk, high reward type player.
Starlin Castro (2B) – NYY vs TOR – $3,000 As I mentioned earlier, not all Yankees are awful at hitting left-handed pitching, just the majority. Castro is one of the exceptions and comes into this start with a .341 wOBA against them with a .448 SLG. Near the bottom of the list in second basemen, Castro could be a nice addition that could go lower owned, relative to the other players on this slate.
Steve Pearce (1B/2B) – TBR vs. MIA – $2,800 – Picking a hitter against Jose Fernandez isn’t exactly the smartest move, but on a very limited slate, it’s wise to sometimes make moves like this. I fully expect Fernandez to be able to handle the Rays, but if I were to take a shot on any of them, Pearce would be the guy. Batting .301 on the season with seven home runs, 19 RBIs and averaging 8.3 FPPG, getting Pearce at this price is valuable. His numbers against lefties far exceed his numbers against righties, but again, he’s a decent GPP pick on a short slate like this.