Ace pitchers or stud batters? Let’s dive in and figure out which one you need tonight to dominate the Tuesday slate!
Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs LAA – $13,700 – Kershaw is the clear top option today with the Dodgers projected as favorites to garner the victory and the Angels expected to plate just 2.4 runs. However, there are several other terrific options today with half a dozen “aces” on the mound, which at this lofty price point makes Kershaw a luxury and not a necessity.
Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs WAS – $11,400 – He has had success when facing Washington, holding the Nationals to a .218/.271/.354 slash line with a 27.2% strikeout rate. On the season, the Nats have posted an 85 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes ball park factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100), which is the fifth lowest in the league this season and means they score 15% less against right-handed pitching than the average team. This should be an intriguing pitcher’s duel against Max Scherzer – $12,700 who is coming off a record-tying 20 strikeout performance against Detroit in his last start, and lest we forget, he also no-hit the Mets last October in CitiField.
Jaime Garcia – STL vs COL – $9,200 – Outside of Carlos Gonzalez and Jose Reyes, nobody on the Rockies has more than two hits against Garcia. Considering park factors, the Rockies have actually fared well against left-handed pitching this season; however, reaching back to review their current collection of hitters from the beginning of 2014, they have accumulated a very weak 86 wRC+ against southpaws which is the second lowest number in the league during that time frame. The Cardinals are favorites for the win, and Colorado is projected to score just three runs. I am comfortable using Garcia today as my SP1 and using the discount towards hitters.
“Nicasio will be a popular option to pair with one of the elite pitchers on Tuesday night”
Juan Nicasio – PIT vs ATL – $7,300 – Nicasio is another reclamation project who has turned things around since joining the Pirates this season, and while he is still struggling against left-handed hitters, it is Atlanta that he is facing tonight. The Braves batters have not been able to accomplish much of anything on offense this season, which should not be a surprise since they are “protecting” Freddie Freeman in the lineup with A.J. Pierzynski – 39 years old, Erick Aybar – 32, Jeff Francoeur – 32 and Kelly Johnson – 34 who are hitting a combined .214 with just two home runs and 15 doubles in 363 at bats. Heck, as a team they have hit eleven home runs on the season. For a comparison, eleven individual players have already hit as many long balls. Nicasio will be a popular option to pair with one of the elite pitchers on Tuesday night.
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David Ortiz (1B) – BOS at KCR – $4,900 – With the rainout on Monday night, we should see the same lineups on Tuesday. This has Ortiz squaring off against RHP Yordano Ventura in a plus matchup. Over his last 800 at bats in lefty/righty matchups, Big Papi has tallied a .397 wOBA and a .300 ISO which are elite numbers and as good as any of the other top hitters in the league over that time frame.
Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR vs TBR – $4.000 – Yes, he has not had a home run in his last eight games and just one so far in May. However, one of my favorite stats that so many gamers overlook is that he has poked 65 home runs against same-handed pitching since the beginning of 2014. RHP Chris Archer has scuffled this season allowing eight home runs through eight starts with a 4.57 ERA, a 1.55 WHIP and a .266 batting average allowed.
Miguel Sano (3B/OF) – MIN at DET – $4,000 – This is a fine price point for Sano who added to his home run total last night with one off of RHP Jordan Zimmermann. This gives him 19 of 24 home runs in his 97 game career against same-handed pitching and opposing starter RHP Mike Pelfrey has been knocked around over his last three starts, lasting just 14 1/3 innings with a 7.53 ERA.
Byung Ho Park (OF) – MIN at DET – $4,100 – In the same matchup we have rookie teammate Byung Ho Park who has seen his power translate very well against Major League pitching. Through 89 at bats against right-handed pitching, he has a .387 wOBA and an insane .360 ISO. This will normalize, but he is a legitimate home run threat every time he is at the plate.
Denard Span (OF) – SFG at SDP – $4,300 – Span is often overlooked because he is not much of a power hitter. That is just fine with me as the move to Petco Park should actually help his game with the bigger outfield giving him more room to work with for line drives and gap hits. Since the beginning of 2014 he has accrued a .363 wOBA and a .880 OPS in lefty/righty matchups, and he will be hitting leadoff once again for the potent Giants offense.
Corey Seager (SS) – LAD vs LAA – $4,500 – Well, it is a day ending in a “Y,” so Seager will again be one of the top shortstop options available to us. He is at the highest price point of the season outside of Coors Field games, but this matchup with RHP Jered Weaver helps offset the increase. Weaver’s “fastball” is now averaging around 82 mph which is where most frontline starters find their changeup velocity. He will be a wildly popular option, but one worth following the crowd on if you are spending at this position.
George Springer (OF) – HOU at CHW – $4,800 – This is an intriguing tournament option as the price point and relative lack of name-recognition will likely leave Springer on around 5-7% of all tournament rosters and mostly as a byproduct of Houston mini-stacks. Over his last 232 at bats against southpaws he has been very effective with a .391 wOBA and a .230 ISO. He has multi-extra base hit upside and his power plays in any park.
“He is a legitimate threat anytime he faces left-handed pitching.”
Jose Altuve (SS) – HOU at CHW – $5,500 – Moving on to his diminutive teammate, who has the fifth most home runs in the league with nine and the most stolen bases with 15, we get Altuve in a phenomenal righty/lefty matchup against Carlos Rodon. Over his last 368 at bats against southpaws, Altuve has a .437 wOBA and a 1.020 OPS. His home run power isn’t a sure thing, considering this is his second highest total in his career not even two months into the season, but he is a legitimate threat anytime he is faces left-handed pitching.
Aledmys Diaz (SS) – STL vs COL – $3,300 – Yes, he is hitting near the bottom of the order regularly, but that just does not seem to matter. At some point he will cool off, but in the meantime we can definitely target him freely against lefties, particularly at this price point. This year in 79 at bats, he has compiled a .330 ISO and a .485 wOBA with an absurd 205 wRC+ (meaning he creates twice as many runs as the average batter in similar situations). Enjoy the ride.
Corey Dickerson (OF) – TBR at TOR – $3,100 – This price point is just too cheap for Dickerson against RHP Marcus Stroman. Over the last two seasons in lefty/righty matchups, Dickerson boasts a .406 wOBA and a .290 ISO over 591 at bats. While he is no longer playing his home games in Coors Field, the Rogers Centre is a fine hitting environment in its own right.
Justin Turner (3B) – LAD vs LAA – $3,300 – Turner has started off cold this season, but since the beginning of 2014 he has been very successful against same-handed pitching with a .372 wOBA. If you need a discounted play at the hot corner or are looking for a more contrarian Dodger mini-stack against RHP Jered Weaver, then JT is your guy.
Nolan Reimold (OF) – BAL vs SEA – $3,100 – There is a good chance Reimold will make the lineup tonight for the Orioles against LHP Wade Miley. He is a fine discount dandy and will provide much needed salary cap relief to work in some of the top pitching options.
Adrian Gonzalez (1B) – LAD vs LAA – $3,900 – AGon and actually any other Dodger that I have not yet mentioned that swings the stick from the left-side of the plate is very much in play against RHP Jered Weaver.
Seth Smith (OF) – SEA at BAL – $3,700 – This is a nice matchup for Smith with Camden Yards being a much better hitting environment than his home park of Safeco Field. Smith has been hitting second or fifth this season when the Mariners face right-handed pitchers, and I think many will overlook him since he is not a household name.
Travis Shaw (1B/3B) – BOS at KCR – $3,500 – Shaw fits in nicely at either corner infield position and he has been a revelation for the Red Sox allowing their fans to (somewhat) forget about Pablo Sandoval.
Oswaldo Arcia (OF) – MIN at DET – $3,600 – I have no issues with a Minnesota mini-stack against former Twin RHP Mike Pelfrey. Arcia is a sneaky power source and is yet another option that is continually overlooked.