After having so many aces on the mound yesterday, we really only have one in a good spot today. The pitching talent is way down, and that means it looks like a day for bats. Of course, if you pay up for Arrieta then you can not afford the bats, so whether or not to do so is going to be the question of the day. Below we have some of the top options to target based on price and potential production.
Jake Arrieta – Cubs v. Brewers – $13,800 – I know it’s a ton of money, but this guy has been amazing over the last year or so. He is 20-1 in his last 24 starts with numbers you would struggle to replicate in a video game on easy mode. He has one of the best matchups here today against a weak hitting Brewers team that struggles with right-handed pitching. Yesterday we had other stud options like Cueto and Price, so we did not have to pay all the way up for a Kershaw or Scherzer. We do not have those viable swerves available today, so I think I’m going to spend up to get Arrieta here.
Gio Gonzalez – Nationals v. Phillies – $9,600 – Gio is my second favorite option on the day, but there is a wide gap between him and Arrieta. He does get a Philly team that has struggled against left-handed pitching, though. Righty bats are the way to attack him, and Philly has very few good ones. Darin Ruf and Andres Blanco are the only two, but Gio had a low HR rate last year, so I doubt anyone does damage here with one swing. Gio has been solid to start the year, and I think the offense can get him some run support against a weak pitcher in Hellickson who is due for some regression.
Marco Estrada – Blue Jays v. White Sox – $7,100 – This is a really nice price on Estrada here. He was very good last year with a batting average allowed of around 2.05 to both sides with a Whip hovering around 1.05 to each handedness. The White Sox do not have a lot of bats that tend to hit right-handed pitching well. Jose Abreu is off to a slow start and is the best based on numbers with Adam Eaton being the only other guy near the .360 wOBA mark. The rest of this lineup is pretty weak and should not pose a ton of trouble for Estrada.
“He is extremely tough on right-handed bats, and the only decent bats on the Angels are right-handed”
Chris Young – Royals v. Angels – $6,100 – This is a really cheap price for the tallest pitcher in the Majors. Young had some shaky starts, but threw a dominant game against the Orioles last time out. He is extremely tough on right-handed bats, and the only decent bats on the Angels are right-handed. I think this struggling offense struggles even more than usual because of that. KC has a decent matchup on the other side too, so Young can expect some run support. With his price being so cheap, he is a viable SP2 that allows you the savings to go get an Arrieta today or have room for Coors bats.
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Bryce Harper – Nationals v. Phillies – $5,500 – Anytime they face a weak right-handed pitcher, his name belongs on the list. He has a .478 wOBA with an ISO score of .373 against right-handed pitching since the beginning of 2015. He has 9 homers in 63 at-bats to start this season for a rate of 1 every 7 ABs. He is starting to get the Barry Bonds treatment as teams are just walking him if there is an open base. Two walks, one hit and a run scored gets us double digit fantasy points and the base on balls give him a decent floor. Hellickson let left-handed batters hit .273 with a WHIP of 1.45 last year, so the matchup is also ideal.
Anthony Rizzo – Cubs v. Brewers – $4,900 – I love this spot for Rizzo. Taylor Jungmann struggles with left-handed bats who had a much higher average against him in limited major league innings. Rizzo owns a .394 wOBA and a .278 ISO against Jungmann with 2 hits in 4 at-bats against him. Rizzo is 7 of his last 24 with 5 home runs. That type of power plays in any matchup, but is very intriguing when the splits clearly favor him.
Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays v. White Sox – $4,800 – Donaldson has sick numbers against left-handed pitching. He owns a .454 wOBA with an ISO score of .369 since the start of 2015. He faces a guy in Quintana who is tough on lefties, but allowed right-handed bats to hit .283 against him with a whip of 1.32. Donaldson is 3 of 9 lifetime against Quintana with a home run, so the profile is backed up by success so far in limited opportunities. Plus the game is at home for him in the hitter friendly Rogers Centre.
Adrian Beltre – Rangers v. Yankees – $4,600 – Beltre is the biggest right-handed bat vs. southpaws on the Rangers. His .393 wOBA and .226 ISO score are very respectable. CC Sabathia was horrendous against righties in 2015. They hit .309 against him with a WHIP of 1.59 and 25 home runs allowed in 134 innings of work. If you want to attack CC today, the righties are the way to do it.
Michael Conforto – Mets v. Reds – $4,000 – Jon Moscot is one of the worst pitchers on the mound today, and I want all the left-handed Mets bats against him. Conforto is at the top of the list for me. The youngster is reasonably priced and hitting in the 3 hole lately. He has looked great and put up some big fantasy scores in recent games. Conforto owns a .393 wOBA and a .271 ISO score against right-handed pitching in the majors. Those are elite level numbers, and against one of the worst pitchers his price is too good to pass up.
Giancarlo Stanton – Marlins v. Dodgers – $5,400 – Stanton is in a great spot today. He owns left-handed pitching. He was hurt last year, so the numbers are limited, but the numbers are .474 wOBA and a .500 ISO score since the beginning of 2015. Those numbers are mind blowing. Kazmir has a thumb injury too and is going to play through it. Thumbs affect grip, and if he misses or does not get the proper spin, Stanton is going to crush those mistakes. Kazmir already struggles more with right-handed bats, too, so I think this is one of the better plays on the day.
“. . . he does get another weak pitcher in Coors Field tonight”
Andrew McCutchen – Pirates v. Rockies – $5,000 – What more can we say about him today that you do not already know. He jacked out three homers in last night’s game, so the ownership is going to be high, but he does get another weak pitcher in Coors Field. Gray just came off the DL and it showed in his first start, so I think the Pirates can get to him and this bullpen again today. Cutch owns a .369 wOBA and a .190 ISO even in righty on righty matchups. Throw in the fact this game is at Coors and the ownership and price are still justifiable.
Paul Goldschmidt – Diamondbacks v. Cardinals – $4,900 – Adam Wainwright is not back to his old self yet. Even if he was, Goldy would still be in play. Goldy has a .407 wOBA and a .248 ISO even in his weaker split here. The game is in his hitter friendly home ballpark and Wainwright is struggling big time. I expect this to be a spot the Diamondbacks get some runs, and Goldy will be right in the middle of it, per usual. He has been walked in half of his plate appearances in this series, so the only thing stopping him from a big day could be them pitching around him.
Joey Votto – Reds v. Mets – $3,400 – This is just crazy, the price is way too low. Votto faces Matt Harvey, but this is not the good Matt Harvey. Votto smashes right-handed pitching anyway, so it’s crazy to see his price this low. He owns a .408 wOBA and an ISO score of .224 since the start of 2015 in these matchups. He is also 3 for 9 lifetime against a healthy Matt Harvey. Against this guy who has allowed an average of 9 base runners and 4 runs in only 5 innings of work, I will definitely take plenty of Votto for this cheap, ‘on sale’ price.
Khris Davis – Athletics v. Tigers – $3,000 – Davis is one of my favorite sneaky, cheap plays tonight. Justin Verlander has been really struggling with right-handed bats in the last few years. Davis hits well in righty on right situations and has the power to take Verlander deep. His .350 wOBA and .241 ISO are solid for a guy who is only $3K. I find myself gravitating towards him as a cheap OF option when I am trying to save salary to fit in Arrieta.
Stephen Piscotty – Cardinals v. Diamondbacks – $3,600 – Piscotty is on fire lately and owns a .399 wOBA with a .236 ISO score against left-handed pitching over the last year and a month. Piscotty has also put up three big games in his last four where he has gone 7 for 19 with 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 16.25 fantasy points per game. He faces Patrick Corbin who allowed right-handed bats to hit .283 against him with 8 homers in 65 innings of work, so the matchup is favorable and at Arizona in a good hitter’s park.
Yasiel Puig – Dodgers v. Marlins – $3,800 – Puig has been hitting in the 3 hole, especially against left-handed pitching. I’m not sure if Turner’s return drops him back down or not, but he is in play either way. Puig owns a .380 wOBA and a .250 ISO score against left-handed pitchers in the last year. Nicolino allowed right-handed bats to hit .262 against him over that timeframe, so the matchup favors Puig.
Kiké Hernandez – Dodgers v. Marlins – $3,100 – Everything we just said about Nicolino applies here too. Throw in that Kiké leads off against most left-handed pitching, and he becomes a guy to look at. His .544 wOBA and .359 ISO score in the last 13 months against left-handed pitching is elite, which adds to the case. Throw in the fact his price is only $3,100, and it makes sense why he is likely to be highly owned today.
David Peralta – Diamondbacks v. Cardinals – $3,800 – David Peralta has a great matchup here today against the struggling Wainwright. He has great numbers against right-handed pitching with a .391 wOBA and a .227 ISO score. The game is in his hitter friendly home park, and Wainwright is not back to his old self yet. Goldy has been seeing a ton of walks lately, too, so it seems Peralta is always up with runners on to drive in. He is still a tad too cheap for a cleanup hitter with a good hitters park, a good matchup and the proper splits advantage.