We only have a small 8 game slate this evening. We do not have the high end pitchers or even the solid mid tier options we had yesterday, but we do have some gas cans on the mound. Below we take a look at some of the top plays on the slate, including some of those big bats we need in our lineups.
Michael Fulmer – Tigers v. Mariners – $9,700 – Fulmer was not the most hyped young pitcher to come up to the show this year, but he has been the best so far. The big right-hander has been dominant over the last month. In his last six starts he has blanked four of his opponents and given up only one run to the other two. His ERA is sitting at 2.43, his WHIP is 1.18, and he has 57 strikeouts in 59 innings of work. Fulmer has actually been tougher on the left-handed bats who he has still not allowed a home run to since being called up. This game is not a cake walk matchup for Fulmer, but he is one of the best houses on a bad block to use a perfect analogy to sum up starting pitchers on the late slate.
Jeff Samardzija – Giants v. Pirates – $8,900 – I have too many bats I like to pay top dollar for suspect pitching today, so I am coming off the top priced options. Samardzija gets a turn against a Pirates team that has struggled offensively lately. The Shark is having a solid year with a 3.14 ERA and a WHIP of only 1.11. He is not a huge strikeout guy, but he does have 75 of them in just over 90 innings of work. He faces a very righty heavy lineup here and right-handed bats are only hitting .232 against him this year with low home run numbers.
Chris Archer – Rays v. Indians – $8,000 – This is my favorite upside GPP play on the night, especially at this friendly price. Archer has been inconsistent this year. He has walked 3+ batters in six of his last ten games, but also struck out seven or more in half those starts as well. Both are even more impressive when you consider he rarely goes past six innings. The Indians have a solid lineup, but the numbers for them are better against let-handed pitching this year. Archer is normally shaky on the road too, so while I will not do this in cash games, I will have some exposure for tournaments.
Julio Urias – Dodgers v. Nationals – $6,900 – The young prospect has flashed some serious upside, and it has a lot to do with his strikeout potential. The downside is he has a strict 85 pitch limit. He has struck out at least seven batters in each of his last three games and has 18.5+ fantasy points in all of them as well. He is likely to only go 5 innings again here, but he has been lights out in his last three starts. 5 innings and 7 strikeouts with one run and less than a hit per inning will still put him in a very solid spot to return value for you.
Mookie Betts (OF) – Red Sox v. White Sox – $4,700 – I know Jose Quintana has been good this year, but so has the Red Sox offense. Mookie Betts will see the max number of at-bats by leading off, and this right-handed heavy Red Sox order should be tough for Quintana to navigate. Betts can hit a home run, swipe a bag or just rack up a couple of hits, especially against left-handed pitching.
Chris Davis (1B) – Orioles v. Padres – $5,100 – Erik Johnson is one of the worst pitchers we have on the mound today, and he has allowed a higher average, a big fly ball percentage and a good number of home runs to left-handed bats. Chris Davis kills weak right-handed pitching as he owns a .394 wOBA and an ISO score of .321 since the start of 2015 against them. Johnson has a negative park switch as a fly ball pitcher moving from PetCo to Camden Yards where those long fly balls turn into home runs much easier.
Robinson Cano (2B) – Mariners v. Tigers – $4,100 – Fulmer has been solid this year, but the Seattle lineup is no joke. Cano is a big reason for that as he owns the best numbers against right-handed pitching. Fulmer does not allow a ton of fly balls or home runs to left-handed bats, but I do think Cano can hit him as lefties were doing well before Fulmer’s recent run of lock down starts.
Miguel Cabrera (1B) – Tigers v. Mariners – $4,500 – Miguel Cabrera is a monster bat, even against right-handed pitching. His .417 wOBA and .222 ISO scores are still some of the tops in the majors. One problem Iwakuma has is with allowing the home run ball, so I think Miggy has a great chance to smash one today. He is already 3-for-9 against Iwakuma with a home run, so he has done it before.
Xander Bogaerts (SS) – Red Sox v. White Sox – $5,300 – Xander Bogaerts owns left-handed pitching. He is as solid and consistent a cash game play vs. lefties as we have at any position. I say cash game play, because despite the .402 wOBA since 2015, his .125 ISO score underlies the lack of power upside. He scores and drives in runs from his three hole in that order, but I rarely see the upside out of him that you really want for the price tag.
Mark Trumbo (OF) – Orioles v. Padres – $4,200 – Trumbo is discounted and faces a fly ball pitcher getting a negative park switch into Trumbo’s home run friendly home park. Trumbo has a ton of power, and with Machado out, he has been hitting in the three hole of the order. Chris Davis is a feared bat today for a righty, so I expect Trumbo to see some fastballs if he can get ahead in the count. That could be good news for Trumbo owners if he turns one of them into a patented TRUMBOMB.
Will Myers (1B) – Padres v. Orioles – $5,500 – I hate this price tag, but the guy has been smoking hot lately. He faces Mike Wright who is one of the worst pitchers in the league right now that is still starting. Wright is worse against lefties, but right-handed bats have solid numbers against him too. Myers has a hit in each of his last six games with 5 runs scored, 7 RBI and 2 home runs during his recent run.
Buster Posey (CATCH) – Giants v. Pirates – $4,400 – Right-handed bats have always hit Liriano better, but this year they are killing him. Righties are over .275 with a home run every five innings of work against the Pirate lefty. Posey is the one big right-handed bat the Giants have left with Duffy and Pence on the mend, so he is the guy who profiles to do the best against a struggling Liriano today.
Todd Frazier (3B) – White Sox v. Red Sox – $3,700 – I was giddy when I saw this price today, and Frazier is actually my top overall play on the day. He is in the value section, because he is only $3,700, but I would have had him on top of the options to pay up for, even if his price was $4,500. He faces Eduardo Rodriguez who has struggled since coming off the DL in 2016. Rodriguez is getting beat up by right-handed bats for a higher average and bigger power numbers. Frazier owns a .366 wOBA and a huge .340 ISO score against southpaws since 2015.
Tim Anderson (SS) – White Sox v. Red Sox – $3,700 – While the upside is far less than his teammate at the same price, he can do it in different ways. Anderson is leading off on the road, so he’s all but guaranteed at least 4 at-bats. He has had some nice upside games lately due to multi-hits, stolen bases and runs scored. Against that same struggling lefty in Rodriguez, I think he is also worth looking at for a reasonable price.
Jason Kipnis (2B) – Indians v. Rays – $3,800 – Chris Archer has strikeout upside, but he also walks a lot of guys and gives up some hits. Kipnis is a dominant left-handed bat against right-handed pitching. His .375 wOBA and .172 ISO scores are solid numbers since last season, and the fact he hits second in the order also makes him an interesting play for 4+ at-bats against Archer and a right-handed heavy bullpen.
Victor Martinez (1B) – Tigers v. Mariners – $3,500 – If Frazier is my top play, V-mart might be 1A. This price is criminal for a guy who profiles so well against his opponent. Hisashi Iwakuma struggles with home runs and left-handed bats. V-Mart is the only lefty up high in the Detroit order, and he still has his home run pop. He is already 6-for-12 with 2 home runs against Iwakuma, so he has proven that the profile is correct and this is a good spot for him.
Corey Seager (SS) – Dodgers v. Nationals – $3,900 – Corey Seager has been stroking the ball lately and is improving his .385 wOBA and .227 ISO score against right-handed pitching. Joe Ross is an extreme splits guy. He is lights out to right-handed bats who hit well under .200 against him the last two years, but lefties are beating him up pretty good. That makes this an excellent spot for Seager who has been crushing extra base hits like it’s his job (which it technically is).
Nelson Cruz – Mariners v. Tigers – $3,600 – So Michael Fulmer is pretty good, but he has also allowed a higher batting average and all six of the home runs he has given up in the majors to right-handed bats. I think Cruz will be very low owned, and he does hit righties pretty well. His .367 wOBA and .224 ISO score are much lower than his elite level numbers against lefties, but they are still top notch caliber and make him one of the better plays on the day. Cruz has the power to take anyone yard, in any park, but it’s even sneakier when he can do it to a guy in a same-handed matchup that will likely be highly owned.