There are six games on the “main” slate tonight. Every pitcher under five figures tonight comes with some questions, so let’s get to the targets!
Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs LAD – $13,000 – This is a heap of treasure for the pitcher known as Thor, but he is clearly the top play on Saturday. Current Dodgers have just 47 plate appearances against him and are hitting .170/.220/.383, so he should still have surprise on his side. The Dodgers are projected to plate just 3.3 runs and considering Syndergaard’s 2.87 ERA, 2.65 xFIP and 2.73 SIERA along with his 29% strikeout rate across his last 33 starts, I am comfortable paying the premium.
Zack Greinke – ARZ vs SDP – $11,100 – As we saw last night, the Padres can put things together, particularly with the positive park shift and when facing a left-handed pitcher. Tonight however is a different story. On the season the Padres have the third lowest weighted runs created plus at 77 wRC+ against right-handed pitching (this is an advanced metric that neutralizes ball park factors and creates a league wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100), meaning they are scoring 23% less efficiently than the average team. This same group of hitters ranks second to last with an 86 wRC+ dating back to the beginning of the 2014 season. Over his last 42 starts, Greinke’s 2.32 ERA is well below his 3.26 xFIP so while some negative regression is likely to occur, it will not all happen in one night (we hope). He is a fine alternative ace if you cannot afford Syndergaard’s salary tonight.
Gio Gonzalez – WAS vs STL – $9,300 – While he is not a “value” he carries a price tag 20% less than Greinke. The Cardinals have scored the third most runs per game this season at 5.4 which makes this not the safest play. On the flipside, they have “struggled” against lefties with a 95 wRC+, a .308 wOBA and a 20.6% strikeout rate this season as compared to their numbers against right-handed pitching of 119 wRC+, .348 wOBA and a 19.8% strikeout rate. This play is best reserved for tournaments, but there really are no appealing discounted options tonight.
Cesar Vargas – SDP at ARZ – $5,700 – Most of his outings this season have been in pitcher friendly venues other than his negative eight point showing in Wrigley Field against the Cubs and his 16.5 DraftKings point performance that followed in Miller Park against the Brewers. With no true safe second pitching option tonight if we are not spending on the two top hurlers, we are looking for someone with upside, who can hopefully survive and our expensive hitters will need to carry the day. The Diamondbacks are a little above league average against righties and they are really missing OFs David Peralta and A.J. Pollock.
Stephen Piscotty (OF) – STL at WAS – $4,000 – Let’s start things off with a contrarian hitter. During his short time in The Show, Piscotty has been pure excellence against southpaws with a .444 wOBA and an elite .230 ISO. Yes, it has only been 104 at bats, but with LHP Gio Gonzalez pitching more to contact in an effort to stay in the game longer, there is a great chance that Piscotty gets the pitch he needs to pay off his number in a big way.
Mike Trout (OF) – LAA vs HOU – $5,200 – Okay, now back to an obvious comfort play. Trout has been simply amazing against left-handed pitching and since the beginning of 2014 he has a .405 wOBA and a .250 ISO. This is a fine matchup with LHP Dallas Keuchel who has completely fallen apart after winning the American League Cy Young Award last season and is sitting on a 5.92 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP and not getting hitters to chase his stuff outside the zone.
Bryce Harper (OF) – WAS vs STL – $4,800 – Rounding out our trio of outfielders, we have the reigning National League MVP taking on an Adam Wainwright impersonator at home as the youngster looks like he is beginning another one of his heaters.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – ARZ vs SDP – $5,000 – Goldy is more of a tournament play at this price point, but he gets an excellent matchup against RHP Cesar Vargas in the thin desert air tonight. While he is a noted lefty-masher, he has quietly become very adept at smashing same-handed pitching too as evidenced by his .394 wOBA and .240 ISO against right-handed pitchers over the last two seasons.
Kyle Seager (3B) – SEA vs MIN – $4,000 – Lock and load Seager into the hot corner tonight as he and the Mariners are hosting RHP Phil Hughes in what looks to be a high scoring affair. Teammates Nelson Cruz – $4,600 and Robinson Cano – $5,100 are the other top-shelf Seattle options we can stock our roster with Saturday night.
Carlos Correa (SS) – HOU at LAA – $4,000 – It will be interesting to see which side wins out tonight; the Houston Astros BIG BOPPERS or the warning track fly balls served up by RHP Jered Weaver with an assist from the “marine layer” keeping them inside the stadium.
Jake Lamb (3B) – ARZ vs SDP – $4,200 – There is a good chance that Lamb is overlooked tonight which makes him a fine option if you are not a fan of Kyle Seager. He has posted a solid .340 wOBA against right-handed pitching over his last 535 at bats and he has some sneaky power upside when he is at home hitting in Chase Field.
Brett Wallace (1B/3B) – SDP at ARZ – $2,800 – Yeah, I am not thrilled about this either, but the price and positive hitting environment make Wallace an interesting extreme punt option. In his last 150 at bats against right-handed pitching he has crushed to the tune of a .220 ISO and a .369 wOBA and we have seen Zack Greinke have is issues this season.
Dae-Ho Lee (1B) – SEA vs MIN – $2,900 – Both Lee and Adam Lind – $3,800 are worthy of consideration tonight as part of a Mariners stack or a one-off contrarian first base play.
John Jaso (1B) – PIT at TEX – $3,200 – This is the last first base recommendation, but I didn’t want to leave the BvP Truthers out in the cold. In his career, Jaso has faced RHP Yu Darvish 22 times garnering nine hits including two doubles and two home runs. With the DH spot in play, the chances of him getting pinch hit for later in the game are greatly diminished. Enjoy!
Corey Seager (SS) – LAD at NYM – $2,900 – Seager is a fine contrarian option at this bargain basement price point and with most gamers riding with RHP Noah Syndergaard, he will likely be on less than 10% of all tournament entries. It also doesn’t hurt that Seager had a home run against Thor in their previous meeting.
Miguel Sano (OF) – MIN at SEA – $3,400 – The Twinkies are providing several excellent options who fare well against southpaws. In addition to Sano (.379 wOBA / .220 ISO) we have SS Eduardo Escobar – $2,600 (.355 woBA / .190 ISO), 3B Trevor Plouffe – $3,200 (.340 wOBA / .170 ISO) and 2B Brian Dozier – $3,200 (.340 wOBA / .210 ISO). Rack’em and Stack’em in this one gamers!
Neil Walker (2B) – NYM vs LAD – $3,400 – Walker gets a boost in the batting order with the loss of 1B Lucas Duda and he has been much better when hitting from the left-side of the plate with a .347 wOBA and a .200 ISO all for a low, low price tag.
Andrew McCutchen (OF) – PIT at TEX – $3,800 – This is just the third time in the last two seasons where we have seen McCutchen’s price drop below $4,000. He is heating up with three multi-hit games in his last four outings including a home run on Friday night. Most people will be scared off by this matchup with RHP Yu Darvish, but until we see how Darvish has recovered from Tommy John surgery, we can pick on him.