Trevor Bauer – I really hope that Bauer does not disappoint like Corey Kluber did last night. Kluber pitched a good game, but for fantasy purposes it wasn’t good for his price. Bauer is one for studs on the Indians rotation, and tomorrow I expect a great game. Bauer pitched against the Mariners a couple starts ago, and had a great game (7 IP 6 H 3 BB 10 K 2 ER). If we can get something like that again tonight, I could see him being the best pitcher of the night. I will post these stats again, but the Mariners have the 27th best batting average on .237, they have the 4th most strikeouts with 476, and have the 29th most runs with 196. These are all stats that work in the favor of Bauer, and I will gladly take the chance of the Indian pitcher vs. the Mariners offense. The Mariners strike out 26% of the time vs. righties and only 20% of the time against lefties and Bauer has 70 K’s in 70 IP this year. Bauer has struggled at home this year with a 4.46 ERA only 30 K’s in 36.1 IP, and a .255 BA against. His numbers on the road are elite, but he is going to need to pitch better at home, starting tomorrow night. He is prone to giving up some walks, but he has a batting average against this year of .210 overall this year and even .255 at home isn’t horrible. One final stat is that the Mariners only hit for a line of .229 AVG/.292 OBP/.375 SLG against righties. Bauer’s last start against the Mariners which gives me confidence, and with a lot of the other top guys not having good matchups, look to target Bauer today.
Jesse Hahn – He might not be a sexy guy with a ton of K’s, but he has been very efficient as of late, and is simply another quality starter for the A’s. Hahn has 45 K’s in 66 IP this year, only 75 hits and walks combined, and had a solid 3.51 ERA. Over the last month, Hahn has dropped his ERA by 1.20 runs and hasn’t had less than 4 strikeouts in that span. The Rangers do score a lot of runs (263 which is 4th most in the MLB), but they have struck out the 6th most in the majors (466 times). Their line is also worse across the board against righties other than their strikeout rate, which is still pretty high (23.2%). Hahn is going to give up some hits there is no doubt about that, but if he can keep the walks down like he has, and take advantage of K happy Rangers he should be solid. There might be some guys with a higher upside, but like for several other guys I have picked, he has a really high floor. One last thing is that the Rangers hit worse on the road (.240 AVG/.309 OBP/.394 SLG), which makes me a believer in high socks Hahn tonight.
Yasmani Grandal – I don’t really like any of the top end catchers tomorrow, but I do like Yasmani Grandal going up against Jeremy Hellickson. Grandal continues to put up a great line against right handed pitching this year (.280 AVG/.394 OBP/.466 SLG with 5 HR in 118 AB’s). He might not have quite the power that a Vogt or Gattis may have, but he is getting on base at an equally high rate as Vogt and Posey, and much higher than Gattis. He has been better on the road than he has been at home, but he still has a .365 OBP at home this year which is really good. Then there is Jeremy Hellickson who I pick on a lot, but he still has problems with left handed batters. They are posting a line of .340 AVG/.423 OBP/.564 SLG with 3 HR in 94 AB’s which is too good to pass up tonight. He may pitch better on the road (3.82 ERA on the road), but he’s giving up a ton of hits and walks overall and Grandal should be provided some point producing spots.
Salvador Perez – A member of the great Royals team, Perez is a huge part of what they do with the pitching staff, and his current hot streak doesn’t hurt at all. He has HR in 3 out of his past 4 games with 6 hits in those games as well. Perez isn’t going to walk much, but he does hit for a decent average, and he can hit HR’s. He has 9 HR this year which puts him towards the top for catchers this year, and has a .267 AVG against right handed pitching. This works out well because Kyle Gibson is a pitch to contact type hitter (39 K’s in 69 IP). Gibson has struggled a bit against righties giving up a line of .275 AVG/.340 OBP/.458 SLG with 6 HR allowed in 131 AB’s. He has pitched better at home, but the Royals always seem to find a way to connect hits and get runs. Perez should play since it is a night game tomorrow, and if he does, I wouldn’t expect a ton from him, but don’t be surprised if he can get a couple hits and maybe even another HR.
Joey Votto – I think that he is going to be very highly owned after last night’s 3 HR spectacle, but that isn’t the main reason that I am picking him. He has a prime matchup against Jerome Williams who is one of the cheapest pitchers on the slate today. He has bad lines all around with the one against lefties being .290 AVG/.356 OBP/.393 SLG with 1 HR in 107 AB’s. If there is one bad stat that is it, but that AVG and OBP show that Williams is very hittable, and he has Phillips and Frazier hitting around him where Williams struggles even more against right handed batters. Williams is also far worse on the road posting a 7.46 ERA (21 ER in 25.1 IP), with a.345 average against. Votto has really picked it up against right handed pitching upping his line to.297 AVG/.404 OBP .600 SLG with 11 HR in 145 AB’s. He also have 9 of his 13 HR even though he has a lower average at home. The last thing that I love are his numbers in June so far. While 3 of his 4 HR came last night, he has a .400 AVG/.526 OBP/.967 SLG which is a great 9 game hot streak. I really do believe a lot of people will have Votto, but fading great matchups isn’t always the way to go.
Albert Pujols – This was a toss up between Adrian Gonzalez and Pujols as one has a great matchup, and the other has been scalding hot as of late. I am going to go with the hot hitting Pujols who has 8 HR in his last 11 games. He may be a bit expensive for a “value” pick, but at 1B I’d say he’s pretty good value especially with that steak. It doesn’t hurt that he is going against one of the cheaper pitchers on the slate in Erasmo Ramirez either. Righties are hitting for a solid against Ramirez (.266 AVG/.348 OBP/.405 SLG with 2 HR in 79 AB’s), and he may have better numbers at home, I don’t know if that will hold up forever with Tropicana not necessarily being a pitchers park. Then when we look at Pujols’s stats, he is struggling against lefties, but has great numbers against righties. He has a line of .288 AVG/.348 OBP/.564 SLG with 13 HR in 163 AB’s. I personally didn’t realize Pujols was having as good of a year as he is, and even if 8 HR in 11 games is unsustainable, I will take a chance until the streak dies.
Jason Kipnis – This was actually a tougher decision than usual with some good plays at 2B today, but Kipnis has to be the top play and my stud. He has hits in 8 of his last 10 games with 6 runs in that frame, 7 walks, 3 stolen bases, and 3 RBi’s all of which are good and prove my point. Batting leadoff, Kipnis isn’t going to get a ton of RBI’s, and he simply isn’t a huge HR hitter. He has shown that he does have power in the past few years, but batting leadoff the goal is to get on base. He is certainly doing that against right handed pitching and today should be no different against Taijuan Walker. He still has the insane line of .393 AVG/.478 OBP/.578 SLG with 3 HR, 27 runs, 20 BB’s, and 5 SB’s in 135 AB’s. That line is amazing regardless of the 3 HR he has hit. It can be difficult to get expensive batters in cash games with the pitchers being so expensive, but Kipnis is so consistent he is a great cash game player. Taijuan Walker is an interesting case who pitches well at Safeco, but just loses it on the road. He has a 9.79 ERA (29 ER in 26.2 IP) with a .358 batting average against. This is significantly higher than his stats at home which I simply can’t understand, but I will take it tonight. An Indians stack is certainly a possibility as they have guys who righties well, and with those struggles of Walker they should all be good plays.
Ivan De Jesus – De Jesus is going to available for a great price today, and he also has the great matchup against Jerome Williams. He is going to replacing Brandon Phillips in the lineup today, who has a mild groin strain according to the Reds. He is batting 6th which actually isn’t too bad for his price. He only has 9 at bats this season so there isn’t too much to post about him, but he did hit a HR the other night against Cole Hamels, and is in a great position to do something like that today. I mentioned Jerome Williams struggles against lefties earlier, but the struggle is worse against right handed batting. They have a line of .346 AVG/.376 OBP/.599 SLG with 11 HR in 162 AB’s. That slugging % against a pitcher is absurdly high and guys are also getting a ton of hits against him as well. I don’t blame anybody for paying for a Kipnis, Altuve, Wong, or Dozier, but De Jesus should provide great value for his price point today.
Jose Reyes – He kept up the hot streak yesterday with 2 more hits yesterday which gives him 16 in his last 10 games. It really is remarkable to see the turn around finally with how bad he was at the beginning of the year. He has also scored a run in 6 straight games which is funny because the Blue Jays have won all of those games. He is hitting leadoff for the most potent offense in baseball with Donaldson, Bautista and Encarnacion hitting behind him. He is going against the righty Tom Koehler today which is a matchup I like for Reyes. Against righties this year, he has a line of .323 AVG/.350 OBP/.434 SLG with 7 SB’s and 14 runs. He also isn’t going to hit for a lot of power for his price, but with him racking up the hits, and the speed on the bases he can easily make up for that. Koehler is yet another pitcher who isn’t very good on the road with a 6.10 ERA (21 ER in 31 IP), and with a .293 batting average against. Lefties are getting on base at a .353 clip against him as well, and while righties might not hit HR’s against him, that is a concern for the other guys not Reyes. Look for Reyes to get a couple more hits today, and continue his massive tear that he’s on.
Zack Cozart – By now I think we all know about Jerome Williams struggles this year, but this pick is because I really think Cozart is a good value play most nights right now. He has a HR in his last two games, and has 9 on the season. It is hard to find a shortstop other than Peralta and Tulo with that kind of power which makes him a great option. While I normally don’t like him against righties that much, that matchup tonight will make me forget his .238 AVG and .294 OBP against righties. I really like that he is hitting leadoff with Phillips out today, which should provide an extra at bat. He also has Votto hitting behind him, so the pitchers won’t be able to pitch around him at all. He might be extra highly owned like Votto today, with the recent success and great matchup, but I fully believe he will have another productive game today.
Kris Bryant – I was torn between him and Todd Frazier as I may go with Frazier in Red stacks but Bryant also has a good matchup today. He is going against the struggling Shane Greene who is barely holding on to his rotation spot and has been miserable in his last 3 starts. I did say the same thing about Heston yesterday and he threw a no hitter so there is that well. Bryant is living up to the hype in my opinion with a solid stat line going for him. Against righties, he has that solid line of .297 AVG/.404 OBP/.493 SLG with 6 HR in 148 AB’s. Now I would like to see some more power out of him, he has shown that he can really work the count and get on base. I believe I heard the stat that he sees the second most pitches per bat in baseball which is a testament to how good he really is for a rookie. His home numbers are a little better than his road numbers, but I do believe that the matchup outweighs that today. Shane Greene is better at home, and against righties so he has the going for him against Bryant, but he does give up more long balls at home, and when the game is at night. There are a lot of 3B tonight that I like, but Bryant is my 1A guy tonight with Frazier slightly behind at 1B, so expect both of them to do something good.
Mike Moustakas – I gotta pick the Moose for a value pick again because he is a super safe play for his really low price point. Against righties he has a line of .338 AVG/.384 OBP/.478 SLG with 3 HR in 136 AB’s. I am still trying to figure out why is not more expensive than he is for posting those stats. Sure, his power for a 3B might be below average (5 HR), but he gets on base a ton and scores a lot of points making him a solid play every day. Today he is going against Kyle Gibson just like Perez, and with Gibson pitching for contact I believe that gives Moose a bump today. Gibson has been better against lefties (.225 AVG/.291 OBP/.349 SLG line) against them, but those numbers are way down from last year and I would expect them to rise back up (.268 AVG/.333 OBP/.373 SLG line last year). This has been a super low scoring series so far, but I expect it to open up a bit today even with Gibson and Ventura on the mound.
Bryce Harper – Stanton was a super obvious play yesterday, and today I feel like that play is Bryce Harper. He has simply been a machine this year, and with Nathan Eovaldi’s struggles against left handed batting and Yankee Stadium, I see a great game for Harper today. Eovaldi has given up a line of .377 AVG/.437 OBP/.509 SLG with 3 HR in 114 AB’s. Now I honestly thought that HR was going to be a little higher, but that line overall can’t be ignored. Harper obviously isn’t just an ordinary left handed batter, and will be hitting better than that line right there. He has a line of .331 AVG/.452 OBP/.779 SLG with 18 HR in 136 AB’s. That SLG% is out of this world good and he has clearly been the best batter in baseball this year. If he continues at this pace, I would be surprised to not see him win the MVP. He may only have 8 of his 20 HR on the road, but he hit one last night at Yankee Stadium, and is it weird if I expect someone to hit a HR in a game, because tonight I would be surprised if he didn’t
Andre Ethier – I have to toot my horn a little bit, as I picked him the other day and he paid off with a 3 run HR. Ethier is really quite awesome against right handed pitching, and while he may be a little low in the lineup sometimes (5th-7th), he is a great play regardless. He is also going against Jeremy Hellickson today who as mentioned doesn’t fare to well against left handed batters. The addition of Yasiel Puig is only going to help the Dodgers offense, and will put more guys on base for the likes of an Andre Ethier. He has a line of .288 AVG/.385 OBP/.540 SLG with 8 HR in 139 AB’s which is great and exactly what you are looking for in a value play. He doesn’t play much against left handed pitching which keeps his price down a bit, but when righties are going, he succeeds fairly often. There are lots of stacks that I like today, and the Dodgers happens to be one that I really like.
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