If you’re hanging tight with MLB even after Thursday night’s NFL debut game between the Seahawks and the Packers then I like you, and, well… you’re okay in my book. For the rest of the MLB season, you’ll find a daily breakdown recommendation of MLB stud hitters and pitchers along with some solid values for the day. So without further adieu, check out Friday’s recommendations.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals ($11,100) – I love Strasburg at home (2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) in this one even facing a late-season surge from the Phillies offense. Although he’s had a couple of ugly games of late, Strasburg has been extremely consistent and reliable over the summer months. The minimum you can expect is six innings and six strikeouts, which is worth the risk in my book.
Matt Shoemaker, Angels ($9,000) – Shoemaker a stud? Oh, yeah, especially if you consider he’s averaged 29.6 points over his last four games pitched. The 27-year old pitcher hasn’t been great on the road this season (4.71 ERA), but he’s been pretty solid over his last three road starts allowing only five earned runs over 18.1 innings while striking out 16 hitters in the process.
Alfredo Simon, Reds ($6,700) – Simon is more of a “fill out” pitcher for Friday if you’re stacking your lineup full of superstar hitters. I know he’s been a bit inconsistent of late, but Simon has handled Mets hitters fairly well even though in a limited sample size.
Jarred Cosart, Marlins ($6,300) – Since the Marlins traded for Cosart near the trade deadline, he’s 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA to go along with 17 strikeouts in 33 innings. Yeah, the K’s are a bit weak but his 20 FPPG average since he’s been pitching for the Marlins works for me in choosing a star-studded hitting core. It’s hard to beat him at the $6,000-$7,000 salary range.
Buster Posey, C, Giants ($5,400) – I normally like to look for value buys at catcher, but I’m not stupid enough to ignore massive hitting streaks in choosing a stud-filled hitting roster. Posey is someone I really don’t care about paying the big bucks to lock up. Over Posey’s last 10 games, he’s had some fantastic point totals: 34, 32, 30, 30, 24 and 17.
Victor Martinez, 1B, Tigers ($5, 100) – There aren’t many games where Martinez has had an 0-for-nothing night, so take advantage of his slight salary drop. V-Mart is averaging 9.2 FPPG this season.
Robinson Cano, 2B, Rangers ($4,700) – You have to love Cano’s career slash line (.293/.346/.529) against the Rangers, but more importantly his consistency with a new club this season even with the power drop. For a stud-hitter option, he’s not a bad value at all at $4,700.
Chris Davis, 3B, Orioles ($4,800) – Don’t look now, but Davis is starting to make people forget he’s hitting below .200 this season. Well, maybe not, but it is nice to see his power come back a bit with four homers and 11 RBI as of August 25. Keep in mind that you can lock Davis in at first base if you want, since he has dual eligibility at the corners.
Danny Santana, SS, Twins ($4,500) – There aren’t many shortstops that are hitting the ball well these days, but Santana is certainly one of them. He’s worth paying a few extra bucks for in comparison to a recently struggling Dee Gordon or the ever-inconsistent Jimmy Rollins, both at similar salaries.
Jose Bautista, OF, Blue Jays ($5,600) – Sure, you may have missed out on Bautista’s five-game homer streak a few days ago, but he’s still hitting the ball quite well with five hits in his last 14 at-bats. Bautista also handles Boston pitching well, with seven homers in 120 at-bats.
Hunter Pence, OF, Giants ($5,500) – Pence has a 16-game hitting streak going right now where he’s raised his batting average from .282 to .295, while scoring 17 runs and knocking in 15 RBI. Lock him in.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins ($5,300) – Over Stanton’s last three games played he has averaged 18 FPPG, while going yard in all three games. The Marlins superstar outfielder is also quite excellent at home, doubling his home run and RBI output over away games in almost the same amount of at-bats. I feel a bruising coming for Braves starter Aaron Harang who has given up 10 homers since June 1. Stanton is also a .381 lifetime hitter against Harang in 21 at-bats.
Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals ($3,400) – Pushing aside Molina’s missed games this season due to injury, he still has a 6.2 FPPG average this season… and for a nifty price. Molina is one of the first players I’m locking in on Friday if I’m going the value route, assuming he’s not rested. You have to love his ability to get on base for a catcher (.342 OBP)
J.J. Hardy, SS, Orioles ($3,700) – Back spasms held Hardy out of action on Tuesday, but he came back Wednesday and seems fine. The salary is representative of Hardy’s lack of power before the All-Star break, but he has shown signs of life after the All-Star break leading towards a value-buy today. Plus, I like Hardy’s lifetime numbers against the Rays: seven career homers and 21 RBI in 160 at-bats.
Adam Lind, 1B, Blue Jays ($3,400) – Lind’s power is way down this season, but he hasn’t exactly been hitting poorly. I like the idea of locking him in as a first base value against Red Sox rookie pitcher Allen Webster, who has been awful of late allowing 12 earned runs over his last 8.1 innings pitched. Just in case you’re wondering, Lind’s slash line against right-handed pitching this season: .357/.414/.536.
Gregor Blanco, OF, Giants ($4,200) – Blanco is one of the hotter hitters in the game of late, especially over the last week or so. He’s getting full-time at-bats for the Giants and is 10-for-25 over his last seven games played, while smacking two homers, with seven runs and seven RBI. Blanco has seen a significant salary jump over the last few days, so this is likely the last time you can lock him in for a decent price assuming his bat stays hot.
That’s it for today, and thanks for reading. You can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy.