There are five games on the “main” slate tonight. Let’s not waste any time on pleasantries and get right down to brass tacks!
Jon Lester – CHC at SFG – $10,600 – While this is not an easy matchup against the pesky San Francisco offense, Lester and the Cubbies are road favorites to garner the victory and the Giants are projected to plate just 3.3 runs. At this price point, Lester will easily be one of the two most popular pitching options of the night, but it is for good reason.
Jose Fernandez – MIA vs WAS – $12,500 – This is a lofty price point and it is the third time this season that JoFer will be squaring off against the Washington Nationals. He was phenomenal through the first two games, winning both and posting 20 strikeouts in just 13 innings allowing only two runs. If we take price out of the mix, he would be my overall top option from a raw fantasy point perspective. In 132 at bats, the current Nats hitters have managed an anemic .205/.280/.311 triple slash line with just five extra base hits and a 30% strikeout rate.
Cesar Vargas – SDP vs LAD – $5,800 – This play is definitely not safe; however, on a five game slate, we are going to need to find a few differentiation plays in tournaments if we want to set our entries apart. In four of his five starts this season, Vargas has posted double digit fantasy points including three with 13 or more with a high watermark of 19.2 coming against these very same Dodgers in Chavez Ravine on April 29th. Two starts ago he was rocked in Wrigley by the Cubs lasting just 4 1/3 innings and allowing six runs on 13 baserunners.
Kevin Gausman – BAL at LAA – $7,500 – Gausman has been mercurial this season, particularly over the last three games where he has two 21+ fantasy point performances and a negative 2.6 shellacking at the hands of the Motor City Kitties on Monday. The Halos hitters are nowhere near as fearsome as Detroit’s and KG is a viable tournament option with his upside.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – CHC at SFG – $5,100 – While AT&T Park is not the most hitter friendly venue, RHP Matt Cain more than makes up for the venue downgrade from Wrigley Field for the Cubbies batsmen. In his last 900+ at bats against right-handed pitching, Rizzo has a .393 wOBA and a super elite .270 ISO.
Jose Altuve (2B) – HOU vs TEX – $5,500 – We will be paying a pretty penny for Altuve, but he is one of the best options on the board tonight at any position. In his last 371 at bats against southpaws he boasts a .434 wOBA and a 182 wRC+ (meaning he creates 82% more runs that the average batter against lefties).
Manny Machado (SS/3B) – BAL at LAA – $5,000 – Machado is in his element against same-handed pitchers, and tonight he will be facing RHP Matt Shoemaker aka The Cobbler, who has actually posted NEGATIVE fantasy points in four of his seven starts this season. Enjoy!
Giancarlo Stanton (OF) – MIA vs WAS – $4,200 – Through a scheduling quirk, this will be the fourth time this season that the Marlins have faced RHP Joe Ross. While he is pretty tough on right-handed hitters, Stanton is one of the best in the game, and it will be very hard to pass over him at this favorable price point.
Matt Kemp (OF) – SDP vs LAD – $4,600 – This price point and with the game being played in Petco Park will keep most gamers at bay. Just keep in mind that Kemp can still get it done against lefties with a .348 wOBA and a .220 ISO since the beginning of 2014.
George Springer (OF) – HOU vs TEX – $5,400 – Another player that we can spend on to be contrarian. Springer has multi-extra base hit upside and his power plays in any park. He is sneaky good against lefties and Cesar Ramos is just roster filler at this point in his career. In his last 237 at bats against southpaws, Springer has accumulated a .383 wOBA and a .220 ISO.
Colby Rasmus (OF) – HOU vs TEX – $4,800 – While this is a lefty/lefty matchup, that is not an issue for Rasmus and this game should be into the bullpens in relatively short order.
Joc Pederson (OF) – LAD at SDP – $4,100 – Don’t look now, but young Joc has quietly been putting together a very solid season. In his short career he has tallied a .355 wOBA against right-handed pitching to go along with a .220 ISO and he can hit it out of any ball park.
Buster Posey (Catcher) – SFG vs CHC – $3,000 – This is not a cakewalk matchup against LHP Jon Lester, but we know that Posey is always in play when he is in righty/lefty matchups, and he should be in his customary spot in the middle of the Giants batting order. All this can be ours for just $3,000 of our salary cap.
Derek Norris (Catcher) – SDP vs LAD – $3,200 – If Posey is not in the lineup, or in the event you do not relish taking a hitter against Jon Lester, look to Norris who has been a beast in righty/lefty matchups and is coming off a home run on Friday night.
Justin Turner (3B) – LAD at SDP – $3,100 – We will need to find some salary cap relief to work in the top shelf pitching, and Turner is a fine play as he should be near the top of the batting order for the Dodgers. Over the last two seasons he has posted a .368 wOBA against same-handed pitching and he should be in the thick of any L.A. rallies tonight.
Derek Dietrich (2B/3B) – MIA vs WAS – $3,300 – Yup, I am recommending Dietrich yet again. With Dee Gordon out for another two months while serving his PED suspension, Dietrich is a mainstay for the Marlins against right-handed pitching. While RHP Joe Ross is good against righties, he has serious issues against hitters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate, and with this being the fourth time the Marlins have seen him this season, he could be in trouble early. Justin Bour – $3,200 is also a fine option as a solo play or as part of a synergy package with Dietrich tonight.
Mitch Moreland (1B) – TEX at HOU – $3,300 – Forget about Prince Fielder and his two lonely home runs, Moreland is the Texas first baseman that you want in your lineups tonight as part of any Rangers stack. He is also struggling, but nowhere near as badly as Fielder, and he will be on about a third as many teams as the former gigantic vegetarian.
Brett Wallace (1B/3B) – SDP vs LAD – $2,800 – Thankfully we do not receive penalties for subpar fielding, so we can roll with Wallace if he makes the Padres lineup. He has been hitting cleanup against lefties this season for San Diego, and he will provide much needed salary cap relief at two positions.
Brandon Belt (1B) – SFG vs CHC – $3,000 – Belt is actually a good hitter in lefty/lefty matchups with a .352 wOBA and a .810 OPS over the last two seasons. It would be a surprise to see him on more than 10% of all rosters in this tough matchup, but he does have home run upside against LHP Jon Lester and is a nice tournament play.