Zack Greinke vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($9800) – Greinke easily has the best combination of talent and matchup today. Milwaukeee has the fourth worst batting average, fourth fewest runs scored, and fifth most strikeouts so far this season. They just fired their manager and welcomed back their leadoff hitter, but there’s a lot of holes in that lineup. Greinke has a 1.93 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and 27 strikeouts in 32 innings. His price is high, but he has shown the ability to rack up Ks and limit opponents scoring, so it is not overly concerning.
Rick Porcello vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($6600) – Porcello is pretty cheap today. He matches up with a Tampa Bay team that is ninth worst in runs scored, 7th worst in batting average, and 3rd in the MLB for most strikeouts. Porcello has alternated good and bad games, but so far he is averaging 6.2 IP, 6 strikeouts, 3 runs, and 8 baserunners per start. If he picks up the win, those numbers put him right at 20 DK points, which would be excellent value for a SP2.
Brian McCannn vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($4100) – McCann has double digit fantasy scores in 3 of his last five starts. He hits in the middle of that Yankee order and gets an excellent matchup in a hitter’s park today. Marco Estrada is on the mound for Toronto, and he has allowed a ton of homeruns in his recent history. Last year, he gave up 15 HRs to righties and 14 to lefties in only 150 innings of work. That was good for one per five innings. The year before he was slightly better at one per six innings, while he gave up a total of 19 in 127 innings of work. He gave up 9 to RHB and 10 to LHB that year as well, so he is an equal opportunity homerun pitcher to both sides of the plate.
AJ Pierzynski vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($3400) – This is still way too cheap for a guy who is batting clean up in any order, especially one at a tough to fill position like catcher. No one expects him to continue the hot start he has, but as long as he is in the middle of that order, you have to like his chances to keep producing and driving in some runs. He goes up against Chad Billingsley tomorrow which is a name many of you may remember. The problem is Billingsley has not thrown a pitch in MLB for over two years. AJ has the right splits match up and is cheap, so if you need to save money to spend up elsewhere, I think he is the guy you do it with.
Mark Teixeira vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($4500) – The switch hitting Yankee first baseman has been flashing some power this season. He has nine homeruns already and faces a guy who loves serving them up in Estrada while playing in a very homer friendly park in Toronto. Tex is not a high average guy anymore, but he does look to drive the ball and knock in runs. His price is reasonable today, and he has huge homerun upside, so I definitely think he is in play.
Matt Adams vs. Chicago Cubs ($3700) – Adams sat yesterday against the lefty, but should be back in his normal clean up role today against Kyle Hendricks. Left-handed bats tend to do slightly better against Hendricks. Adams has been hot with at least one hit in six straight games. He is averaging 11.5 points per game over this stretch as well. The Cards had been struggling on offense, but seem to have picked it up lately, and Adams’ bat has been a big reason for it.
Jose Altuve vs. Texas Rangers ($5300) – His price keeps going up, but he keeps producing numbers that make it justified. Altuve has double digit fantasy points in nine of his last ten games. He gets his preferred splits matchup today as well against a guy in Wandy Rodriguez, who gives it up to right-handed batters. Altuve hit .414 against lefties last season and is around .500 so far this year. Those are insane numbers that cannot be ignored. Anytime Altuve faces a lefty, he is in play. This is especially true when facing a weak lefty like Wandy Rodriguez.
Neil Walker vs. Cincinnati Reds ($3800) – Walker’s price has really dropped, and I think it has a lot to do with the lack of power he has shown so far. After leading second baseman in homers last year, he only has one through the first month of this season. Walker gets a matchup with a young rookie who the Reds are calling up for a spot start. Walker hits better against right-handed pitching, so he has a chance to do some damage against the rookie today. Against righties, he tends to bat in the cleanup spot as well, so he should have a chance to drive in a few runs. He has his preferred matchup and a price break that make him appealing.
Nolan Arenado vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($4800) – Arenado is back home at Coors Field and gets a matchup with lefty Robbie Ray. Arrenado is starting to heat up. He was five for twelve with three homeruns in their last series and gets a positive park shift, as they come home from San Diego. He has his preferred splits matchup going against the young lefty and should be hitting in the heart of that Colorado order again today. He is pricey, but was easily worth it in the last series, as he put up a 17 in the opener and a 33 fantasy point day in the rubber match.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($4000) – A Rod is relatively cheap for a guy who will be playing in a homerun hitter’s ballpark against one of the guys who lead the league in homeruns allowed each of the past two seasons. Despite also being a righty, this is still an elite matchup against Marco Estrada, who is an equal opportunity homerun pitcher. He has allowed exactly 24 homeruns to batters from each side of the plate since 2013, so it doesn’t matter what side of the plate you hit from, he will still serve them up. He may not still be a .300 hitter, but he definitely still has the power to jack out a few home runs.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5100) – Tulo in Coors vs. Left-handed pitching. Do I even need to elaborate? Here are some of his batting averages against left-handed pitchers in recent seasons: .390, .320, .350, and this year he is at .450. He is at Coors Field, which yields the most hits and runs in MLB. He gets a young lefty in Robbie Ray who has pitched limited innings, but given up 4 homers in 20 innings pitched to right-handed batters. Again here, he is expensive, but all the boxes check off today.
Starlin Castro vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3800) – Castro has dropped in the order from his cleanup spot last season with the call up of the big young bats. He still finds himself fifth or sixth most nights, which is still prime real estate for a SS. He faces the young lefty Lyons from the Cardinals who has 9 innings of MLB experience. He was tough on lefties, though during that period, but righties tagged him for a few hits and a .280 average in a small sample size. If you can not afford Tulo today, then find another way to afford Tulo today. If you really cannot make it work, then I guess you can come down to Castro, but it is a big drop off in expected production.
Brett Gardner vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($5000) – Gardner has been red hot lately. He has double digit fantasy points in five of his last seven games and routinely goes under owned. He showed why he is so valuable two games back when he had multiple hits, stole a base, hit a homer, scored and drove in multiple runs. He is the MLB equivalent of a guy like Draymond Green who can contribute across the board in every category. He is in a hitter’s park today against a guy who struggles with left-handed bats and allowing extra base hits. There’s a lot to like with Gardner again today.
Jorge Soler vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($4100) – Soler bats in the heart of that Cubs order and gets a matchup with a rookie left-hander in Tyler Lyons who is being called up for a spot start. He pitched a few innings last season and was tough on lefties, as he only allowed a .091 batting average to them, but righties hit .280 against him in a small sample size. Soler has three multi-hit games in his last six, and is coming off a 5-12 series against Milwaukee. He does strikeout a ton, but there’s no negative points for strikeouts, so that doesn’t matter. He has the upside of multiple hits, a few runs driven in and scored, and his price is cheaper than it has been lately, right as he is heating up.
Gregory Polanco vs. Cincinnati Reds ($4000) – Polanco has been leading off vs. Right-handed pitching recently for the Pirates, and he has been producing. He has 90 fantasy points over his last eight starts, which breaks down to an elite eleven per game. He faces Michael Lorenzen, who is making his second lifetime start in MLB. Polanco has speed and power, so he can fill up the stat sheet too. He is consistent enough to be safe for cash games and has flashed the explosive upside in 37% of his last eight starts. He is too cheap for his skill set and recent success, so take advantage before his price rises.
David Peralta vs. Colorado Rockies ($3400) – Peralta is four for his last ten with a homerun. He had a huge series against Colorado in Arizona earlier last week, as he put up 23 and 15 fantasy points in consecutive games. He gets a ballpark upgrade, as he moves to the best park in the league for hitter’s at Coors Field. He gets a matchup with Lyles, who is currently allowing a .320 batting average to left-handed bats and allowed a .289 in 2014. Peralta hits right-handed pitching well and usually bats fifth in the order against them. He is in a prime lineup spot, in a prime hitter’s park, with a prime pitching matchup to take advantage of.