Greetings Gamers! We have a full fifteen game schedule on tap and of course there is a game in Coors Field.
With the Cubbies being rained out last night, LHP Jon Lester is probably the top pitching option again today. However, at his price point we will be hard pressed to work in many hitters from the Coors Field game, so I am focusing on the next tier of pitching below. Additionally, you will not find many hitters in the recommendations from the tilt in the Mile High City, as I want to provide alternatives at more favorable price points.
Jacob deGrom – NYM at LAD – $10,900 – This is a hard one to get a read on from either side. After his debut, deGrom sat out for just over two weeks with lat soreness and a tight back. While he was not on the disabled list, he was out for some length of time. He looked good in his next two starts, but stumbled a bit in San Diego last Thursday. This season, the Dodgers have struggled against right-handed pitching with an 85 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus which is an advanced metric that neutralizes park factors and creates a league-wide baseline of 100 for scoring efficiency), which means they have scored 15% less runs than the average team against right-handed pitching. However, since the beginning of 2014, the current collection of Dodgers hitters has produced a 110 wRC+. The Mets are slight road favorites with the Dodgers projected to plate 3.4 runs in this matchup.
Drew Smyly – TBR at SEA – $10,500 – This is a nice matchup for Smyly as most of the Mariners production comes from their hitters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate (with the exceptions being Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez). If Smyly can mitigate that duo, he has an excellent chance for a 20-25 DraftKings point performance.
Joe Ross – WAS vs DET – $7,700 – This play is not the safest, as the Detroit Tigers have accumulated a 112 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season, and since the beginning of 2014, they check in with a 106 wRC+ which is the eleventh highest over that time frame. The wrinkle today is that they are in a National League park and will likely be without the services of designated hitter Victor Martinez who is a major reason for those numbers. Ross has done a tremendous job suppressing right-handed hitters in his 21 appearances for the Nationals (18 starts) with a .192 wOBA. However, he is nowhere near as solid when he loses the platoon advantage allowing left-handed hitters a .341 wOBA in that same time frame.
Adam Conley – MIA vs MIL – $7,600 – If we want to get some hitters in the Coors Field game in our lineups, we are going to have to consider sub-$8,000 pitching. Though Conley has made just 18 starts in his career, he has exhibited upside, including a masterful performance two weeks ago in Milwaukee shutting out the Brew Crew for 7 2/3 innings allowing no hits, four walks and striking out seven batters.
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Adrian Beltre (3B) – TEX vs CWS – $4,500 – Though he turned 37 last month, Beltre has been a terror against left-handed pitching for his whole career and he is still operating at an elite level. Since the beginning of 2014, he has posted a .403 wOBA and a .220 ISO. A lot of gamers will hesitate to take hitters against LHP Carlos Rodon. Do not be one of them.
Mike Trout (OF) – LAA vs STL – $5,100 – He is not cheap, but this is a fine matchup with the winless and struggling RHP Mike Leake. Over his last three starts Leake has managed just nine punch outs in 17 innings with a 6.35 ERA. Enjoy!
Edwin Encarnacion (1B) – TOR at SFG – $4,200 – What a glorious matchup against RHP Matt Cain, who has been absolutely dreadful this season with a 7.84 ERA and only 21 strikeouts in 31 innings. He still has name recognition as evidenced by the number of gamers that backed him in his last start where he didn’t even make it out of the fifth inning, allowing eight runs (six earned). Encarnacion feels like a steal at this price point.
Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR at SFG – $4.300 – Much like his teammate, Joey Bats is an outstanding option against RHP Matt Cain. Since the beginning of 2014, Bautista has launched 65 home runs against same-handed pitching, and this matchup is ripe for him to add to that total.
Manny Machado (SS/3B) – BAL at MIN – $4,900 – The game was rained out on Monday, giving everyone a night off from action. In his young career, Machado has been at his best against same-handed pitching with a .384 wOBA and a .230 ISO in his last 797 at bats against righties.
Jose Altuve (2B) – HOU vs CLE – $5,000 – Heading into Monday, Altuve was the league leader in stolen bases with thirteen while also blasting nine home runs. On tap is a matchup with RHP Trevor Bauer who tends to pound the strike zone. It would not shock me to see Altuve add to his home run total in this matchup.
Logan Forsythe (2B) – TBR at SEA – $4,100 – Forsythe has been a fixture at the top of the order this season for the Rays, and he has been very productive against left-handed pitching throughout his career. In his last 338 at bats against southpaws he has tallied a .371 wOBA and a .250 ISO, and in this matchup against the homer-prone LHP Wade Miley, he is a fine alternative option if you do not have the funds to spend on Altuve.
Welington Castillo (CATCH) – ARZ at COL – $4,700 – If you are looking for a differentiation play, then Castillo is your guy. Most gamers are not going to want to pay this lofty price tag for a catcher, even one who is playing in Coors Field. In his last 218 at bats against southpaws, Welington has accumulated a .384 wOBA and a .260 ISO.
Buster Posey (CATCH) – SFG vs TOR – $3,600 – This price point is just too low for an elite hitter like Posey. Over his last 338 at bats against southpaws, he has raked to the tune of a .380 wOBA and a .880 OPS. LHP J.A. Happ is someone we always want to target with hitters who have some boom in their stick.
Derek Dietrich (2B/3B) – MIA vs MIL – $3,300 – Double D has compiled a .368 wOBA and a .220 ISO against right-handed pitching over his last 400 at bats. He should continue to hit in a favorable spot in the batting order, and at this price he allows for a lot of flexibility with the rest of our lineup construction.
Justin Bour (1B) – MIA vs MIL – $3,300 – Speaking of discounted Marlins, the Wild Bour is an intriguing option as he has hit all 27 of his career home runs off right-handed pitching. While he is a risk to be pinch hit for if a lefty reliever comes in the game, he is an outstanding tournament option as part of a Marlins mini-stack.
Luis Valbuena (3B) – HOU vs CLE – $2,900 – While he has been hitting in the bottom third of the order, Valbuena has tournament winning upside with his power, and over the last two seasons he has accrued a borderline elite .210 ISO against right-handed pitchers.
Steve Pearce (1B) – TBR at SEA – $2,900 – Pearce is another platoon hitter who offers serious power upside for a deeply discounted price. Yes, Safeco Field is a venue that favors pitchers, but LHP Wade Miley is a friend to all hitters with a proclivity for giving up crooked numbers.
Ben Paulsen (1B/OF) – COL vs ARZ – $3,200 – Keep an eye on Ben Paulsen, and if he is in the Rockies lineup you will want to get him in yours as a discounted way to gain access to the Coors Field fun.
Colby Rasmus (OF) – HOU vs CLE – $3,400 – We have seen Rasmus’ two-homer upside already this season and this price is just too low for a cleanup hitter with the platoon advantage against a fastball pitcher like RHP Trevor Bauer.
Chris Coghlan (2B/3B) – OAK at BOS – $3,400 – With RHP Sean O’Sullivan making his debut for the Red Sox as the replacement for LHP Henry Owens, who was sent back down to AAA, we have a pitcher with a career ERA hovering around six and a 1.58 WHIP. S.O.S. is a disaster against both righties and lefties, so look to load up on Athletics as a mini-stack or as one-off plays to fill out your lineup.