We have a solid seven game slate going this afternoon starting at 12:35. With a couple of weather issues we have to look at as well (SF v CIN, ATL v NYM), I’ll do my best to help you get set for a successful slate. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs. KC – $11,600 – All three of the aces taking the hill today – Strasburg, Felix Hernandez and Jon Lester – all face teams with low strikeout potential, making this somewhat of a tough slate for all of them. When looking at the Royals, they own an 18.9 K% against right-handed pitching this season to go with a wOBA of .307. That lower wOBA is what’s landing me on Strasburg. He’s looked fantastic in the early going, owning a .192 wOBA against left-handed batters which is what some of the best Royals hitters are. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon all bat from the left side. Of the three aces, Strasburg seems to have the most upside this afternoon.
Steven Matz – NYM vs. ATL – $9,200 – The first pitcher that checks in under the double digit salary range is Matz taking on the Braves. We do have a chance of rain all throughout the day in this contest, but a wind blowing in from right field certainly doesn’t hurt us. Matz enters tonight with a 3.86 ERA with a 1.52 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.4. Matz is still recovering his numbers from a horrific start against the Marlins where he lasted only 1.2 innings allowing seven runs on six hits. If we take that start out, Matz sees his WHIP go from 1.52 to 1.24. On top of that, a matchup against the lowly Braves and their .244 wOBA against left-handed pitching (not a typo) should make Matz a popular option today.
Tyler Chatwood – COL vs. SDP – $8,300 – Many pitchers don’t choose the Coors life, the Coors life chooses them. Chatwood, like most pitchers from the Rockies, are completely different people when you get them on the road. Chatwood is a perfect example of that, as at Coors this season, Chatwood sees his ERA check in at 7.20 with a .462 wOBA. On the road, he’s looking at a 0.46 ERA with a wOBA of .223. Quite the difference, isn’t it? He faces the Padres this afternoon with their .275 wOBA against right-handed batters which is ranked dead last in the league. Mix in their 26 K%, and all of a sudden, Chatwood becomes the value of the slate.
Kris Medlen – KC vs. WAS – $6,200 – One pitcher I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on in a GPP is Medlen up against the Nationals. His numbers aren’t blowing you away by any means, but neither are the Nationals. Washington owns a .297 wOBA against righties with a 20.7 K%. Medlen owns a 7.08 K/9 so far this season but is also having some issues with walking guys. He’s certainly not the most ideal pitcher to take today, but if you want to be a contrarian, I don’t think Medlen is the worst option on the slate.
Carlos Gonzalez (OF) – COL vs SD – $4,100 – Gonzalez continues to be cheap, and I have zero to complain about. He’s been a force against right-handed pitching, owning a .418 wOBA with an ISO of .219. Averaging nine fantasy points per game, I’ve been finding it really difficult to leave him off my roster against right-handed pitching this season. Cesar Vargas has barely seen any time in the majors, but he owns a career 1.45 WHIP in the minors. Regardless, Gonzalez is just too cheap for me to pass up.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – CHC vs. PIT – $5,200 – Priced at $5,200 while hitting .220 is quite the impressive feat. It just goes to show what Rizzo has been doing when he does get some production. Averaging 11.2 fantasy points per game, Rizzo faces off with Juan Nicasio. Right-handed pitching against the Cubs is going to be a severe problem all season long, and today is no different. Rizzo owns a .479 wOBA against righties with an ISO of .431. Of his eight home runs, seven have come off right-handed pitching. Nicasio isn’t doing himself any favors either, owning a .354 wOBA against lefties so far this season.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – SEA vs. OAK – $4,600 – Ah yes, we have a left-handed pitcher on the mound this afternoon, and he takes on Nelson Cruz. Sean Manaea is making only his second start of his major league career, so I won’t divulge into him very much. Cruz, however, we have plenty of info on. Cruz is business as usual against lefties, owning a .429 wOBA with a .375 ISO so far this season. These numbers are almost exactly in line with where he ended up last season, so it’s encouraging to see. Against Manaea, Cruz should be in a great spot here.
Dexter Fowler (OF) – CHC vs PIT – $4,500 – The Cubs must be ecstatic that Fowler ended up staying with the Cubs. Coming into tonight with a .470 wOBA against right-handed pitching with an ISO of .277, the switch hitting lead off man for the Cubs has been cleaning up. Averaging 12 fantasy points per game, Fowler has been doing it all this season. He’s been crushing it on the road as well, averaging 14.6 FPPG with a .567 OBP. Like I said with Rizzo, being a right-handed pitcher is not someone you want to be facing the Cubs.
Andrew McCutchen (OF) – PIT vs CHC – $4,000 – McCutchen really hasn’t gotten it going so far in 2016. At $4,000, this may be the lowest I’ve ever seen him priced. He certainly deserves it, batting .228 with a .794 OPS. He does have six home runs which is encouraging, and Lester is certainly no stranger to letting a couple of big ones leave the park. Averaging just under two home runs a game right now, Lester has allowed three to right-handed bats. McCutchen owns a .487 wOBA with three home runs against lefties. Getting McCutchen at such a low price in a perceived tough matchup could be a difference maker.
Bryce Harper (OF) – WAS vs KCR – $5,000 – What’s an article about who to pick without including Harper? He’s been scuffling at the plate lately after a blistering start to the season. Over his last 10 games, Harper is hitting .188 with only one home run, two RBIs, and a .344 SLG averaging 6.8 FPPG. Facing Medlen today, whom I don’t hate as a GPP play, Harper owns a .391 wOBA against right-handed bats with an ISO of .348. With Medlen shaky with his control, Harper has also been walking at a 17.4 BB%.
Nolan Arenado (3B) – COL vs. SD – $4,600 – Speaking of guys who can crush the ball, Arenado enters today with 11 home runs on the season. Arenado owns a .395 wOBA against right-handed pitching with an ISO of .266. Six of those 11 home runs have come off a right-handed pitcher so far. Vargas is his opposing pitcher today, and again, his time in the majors has been extremely short. I just can’t help to like this spot for Arenado with how well he’s hitting overall. Averaging 11.8 FPPG, $4,600 feels like $2,000 with the production Arenado has given.
Domingo Santana (OF) – MIL vs LAA – $3,400 – Santana has been crushing it against left-handed pitching this season, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s been batting leadoff. Coming into today, Santana owns a .443 wOBA against lefties with an ISO of .200. He faces off against Hector Santiago who is no stranger to giving up a home run or nine. Santiago allowed 29 last season with 26 of those going to right-handed batters. Santana is capable of some sneaky power and is in a solid spot to save you some money this afternoon.
Francisco Cervelli (CATCH) – PIT vs. CHC – $3,000 – Cervelli has never been a big power guy, earning a career high in home runs last season with seven, but he can certainly get on base. Batting .309 coming into today and averaging 7.5 FPPG, Cervelli is a solid option today even with his matchup against Lester. Cervelli owns a .478 wOBA against lefties this season with a 1.055 OPS. Even going back to last season, Cervelli ended 2015 with a .370 wOBA against lefties. At almost the minimum, Cervelli can slide into your catcher spot with ease.
Adonis Garcia (3B) – ATL vs NYM – $3,100 – I won’t be pointing toward rostering many Braves players, so cherish this moment while you can. While Garcia may be one of the worst defensive players in the league, he can at make up for it at the plate. Averaging 5.5 FPPG, Garcia has a bit of power and can hit left-handed pitching. In his short career in the majors, Garica owns a .364 wOBA against lefties with an ISO of .218. For someone that will most certainly be passed over today, Garcia could be a nice sneaky play for you.
Asdrubal Cabrera (SS) – NYM vs. ATL – $3,400 – Cabrera has to be a nice surprise for the Mets so far this season. Averaging 6 FPPG, Cabrera is batting .306 with a home run, 7 RBIs and a .778 OPS. A switch hitter, Cabrera owns a .356 wOBA against right-handed pitching with an .810 OPS. He takes on Jhoulys Chacin who always has struggled against left-handed bats, owning a career .334 wOBA against him. Cabrera does possess some power, but we’ve only seen flashes of it over the past few seasons.