Garrett Richards – This is a super difficult day to pick pitchers, because there isn’t that stud going. I do believe that Garrett Richards is the best of the bunch today, and is the way to go for cash games. His last start was a complete disaster where he only pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up 6 ER. Before that game though, he had a 3.26 ERA and had been pitching pretty well all year long. He has 48 K’s in 58 innings, which normally is all that great, but tonight it is rather solid. He does have 26 walks in those 58 IP which concerns me because it is hindering him from pitching deep into games. He is usually around 5-6 K’s per start, but he is capable of getting 10 in a game and has done so a couple times this year already. The Rays have evened their splits out a bit, but still have an uninspiring line of .236 AVG/.302 OBP/.363 SLG against right handers. Their splits are also almost identical at home this year so I don’t see much of an advantage there. Overall as a team though, they have the 28th best average at .238 this year, they have struck out 470 times which is 7th most in the majors, and only have 216 runs which is the 27th most in the majors. Their offense leaves to be a lot to be desired even with Longoria in there. In a night where there isn’t a lot to choose from, look to Richards to stand out from the pack.
Chi Chi Gonzalez – The former number one pick has really impressed in his first two starts, and has a great matchup tomorrow. He is going against the Oakland Athletics, who really struggle against left handed pitching. They have a line of .223 AVG/.303 OBP/.323 SLG against lefties which is far lower than their numbers against right handed pitching. The A’s have been really bad this year, and the Rangers are on a hot streak winning 9 of their last 11 games. Then we get to Chi-Chi, who hasn’t allowed a run in his first two starts. He had a complete game shutout against the Royals in his last start which is super impressive. The other great thing is that he has only given up 5 hits in those 14.2 IP this year so far. The only problem I see is the 4 strikeouts in those innings so far. The Royals as we know though, strikeout far less than any other team in the majors, so I wouldn’t read too much into it yet. On a night where the more expensive plays are far from sure bests, look to some middle guys like Gonzalez to pitch well and outperform the top guys.
Buster Posey – Posey keeps humming along this year, and keeps posting elite numbers for a catcher, and great numbers for any position. He is going against Jon Niese today, who hasn’t been all that good this year. He has given up a combined 97 hits and walks in 63 IP which leaves a lot to be desired. Righties are mashing him this year with a line of .317 AVG/.365 OBP/.512 SLG with 8 HR allowed in 205 AB’s. He pitches fairly well against lefties, and hasn’t given up a HR in 57 AB’s against them. This turns me away a little from a Giants stack, but I am totally fine with just picking Posey. He hasn’t been that good against left handed pitching putting up a line of .256 AVG/.319 OBP/.419 with only 1 HR on the year against them. From 2012-2014 though, he posted a line of .353 AVG/.408 OBP/.605 SLG with 25 HR in 484 AB’s. These are insanely good numbers over a large period of time, so look for Posey to pick up that line against lefties this year and add to his already great overall numbers.
Nick Hundley – He may not be playing at Coors today, but I still like him as a catcher option on most days assuming he is playing and today is no exception. He is going against the righty David Phelps who hasn’t been very good against right handed or left handed batters. His line against right handed batters is .280 AVG/.322 OBP/.432 SLG with 3 HR in 132 AB’s. He has also pitched much worse at home, having a 5.50 ERA (11 ER in 18 IP), and giving up a batting average against of .313. As you can see, Phelps is a pitch for contact type pitcher, and against a Rockies lineup that can really hit, that could spell disaster for him. Then there is Hundley, who can’t seem to hit lefties, but righties is a whole other story. He has a line of .339 AVG/.372 OBP/.537 SLG with 5 HR in 121 AB’s. Now his stats are obviously much better at Coors, but he still has a .271 AVG and .321 OBP on the road, and 5 HR for a catcher is certainly decent. As always, make sure that he is going to be playing, but if he is, I have no problem throwing him in with a Rockies stack.
Freddie Freeman – There isn’t a ton of 1B that have great matchups today, but Freddie Freeman is one who does. He is going up against the righty Andrew Cashner, who gives up a ton of hits (84 in 73 IP,), and also has some control issues with 20 BB’s on the year. The big thing I noticed against with him is his struggle with his control against left handed batters. He has 16 walks in 132 AB’s compared to only 4 in 159 AB’s against righties. He also has the control problems on the road where he has 15 Walks in 42.2 IP. This could be a good or a bad thing for Freeman because walks are points, but you really want more out of a 1B. Like I said though, Cashner gives up a lot of hits, and righties are still hitting for a .280 AVG against him this year. Moving back to Freeman, he has that solid line of .309 AVG/.377 OBP/.545 SLG with 9 HR in 165 AB’s against righties. He gets on base more often at home, but doesn’t nearly hit for as many HR (3/10 at home). For as many hits as Cashner gives up, he has only given up 5 HR on the year. The odds say that Freeman will get on base at least once, and I have confidence that he will do much more than that today.
Adam Lind – I haven’t picked Lind since the very beginning of the year, but tomorrow I see him as a solid value play at 1B. He is going against Tanner Roark, who has been pretty good this year, but is still one of the cheapest pitchers on the slate today. The Brewers are having a pretty awful year, but Lind has been producing at about is expected out of him. He has a line against righties of .294 AVG/.370 OBP/.525 SLG with 9 HR in 160 AB’s. Those are really solid numbers actually, the problem is that him and Ryan Braun are the only ones doing anything offensively this year for Milwaukee. Lind is also playing at home tomorrow where he has been raking all year (.326 AVG/.411 OBP/.620 SLG with 6 HR in 92 AB’s). Those lines alone make him a great play as one of the cheapest 1B available. Roark hasn’t been dominating by any means even with a 3.16 ERA on the season, and is giving up a line to lefties of .262 AVG/.333 OBP/.508 SLG with 4 HR allowed in 65 AB’s. He has also given up 4 HR to righties this year, so the long ball is definitely something to look out for. Saving money isn’t going to be as important with cheaper pitchers going today, but if you are looking to spend elsewhere, this is a good place to save.
DJ LeMahieu – LeMahieu may not be known as a stud or as an elite 2B, but he keeps producing, and keeps seeing his price rise fantasy wise. Now the Coors factors certainly helps, but he is still posting a great line of .322 AVG/.371 OBP/.400 SLG on the road with 2 HR in 90 AB’s. That HR rate is actually higher than his rate at home so he has that going for him. He is going against the right handed pitcher David Phelps as well today, and he has pretty good numbers against them as well (.365 AVG/.404 OBP/.500 SLG). He might not have a ton of power (3 HR), but none of the 2B today really have a ton of power and with that stat line he is just as good of a play for Kipnis at a much cheaper price. Again, Phelps doesn’t give up a lot of HR anyway, but has a batting average against of .280 against righties, and they are getting on base at a 32% clip against him. He pitches for contact, and you are going to get to him by stockpiling hit after hit. LeMahieu is someone I really like today, and for an afforadable price, he is someone that is going to be hard to pass up in any format today.
Ivan De Jesus – I picked him yesterday, and he paid off hitting a three run HR. Now I’m not sure as of this minute if Brandon Phillips will be back to keep an eye out for that. I am not going to be posting splits for De Jesus again because it has only been 3 starts now, but he has hit a HR from both sides of the plate which is really nice. He is going against the lefty Tsuyoshi Wada who really struggled in his last start, and is someone who throws a ton of pitches. Lefties have been the ones getting to Wada although it has only been 10 AB’s and he doesn’t have a ton of numbers against right handed batters though they are better. Like I said, De Jesus showing power against both righties and lefties is awesome because the bullpen will likely be in there for 1 or 2 of his at bats and righties will most likely be pitching to him then. There is no arguing with 2 HR in 3 games and for a guy who is still super cheap, and I will once again throw him in there with a Reds stack.
Troy Tulowitzki – He may not have done a ton last night, but he still got a single and a walk extending that hot streak. That is now a 9 game hitting streak with 18 hits in that frame, 5 HR, 14 RBI’s, 10 runs, and 4 walks. On a day where some of the other betting hitting shortstops aren’t playing this makes it the obvious choice. He is on an absolute tear right now, and until he shows signs of slowing down, I can’t see myself not putting him on a team or two. His lines on the road and against righties are both lower than their counterparts, but he still hits for a .292 AVG on the road as well as .276 AVG against righties. Now for the price that you’re paying, you are going to need more than a single and a walk to get value from him, but this is more about his teammates ability to get on. As you can see, I like some other Rockies today, so I think he can pick up those extra RBI and run points today. He is the best shortstop in the game, and there is nothing wrong with ever picking him unless he has an elite pitcher going against him.
Brandon Crawford – This guy continues to have a breakout year offensively, and it might get old to keep seeing him on these, but he simply keeps performing. He is also been pretty hot lately, with hits in 8 of his last 10 games with 2 HR in that stretch, 5 RBI’s, 4 runs and 2 walks in that span as well. While that is no Tulowitzki hot streak, he always seems to find a way on base during a game. Today, he is going against the lefty Jon Niese, which should prove to be a great matchup for Crawford. Against lefties this year, he is posting a line of .429 AVG/.489 OBP/.690 SLG with 2 HR in 42 AB’s. This isn’t a huge sample size, but that’s roughly 10-12 games against lefties right there, and he has simply been mashing them all year long so far. The only thing going against Crawford is that he hits better at home than he does on the road, but those numbers make me overlook it a bit. Niese has been better against left handed batters, but they still hit for a .246 AVG and get on base nearly 31% of the time. I know the lefty vs. lefty matchup might scare some away, but if you look at the stats, Crawford should be just fine.
Kris Bryant – I know he didn’t do a ton last night, but I still really like his matchup again today against Michael Lorenzen of the Reds. The righty has posted a pretty good ERA of 3.29 and only has a batting average against of .225 on the year. What he does though is walk a lot of guys (22 in 28.1 IP) and has given up 5 HR in 85 AB’s to right handed batters. This plays into Bryant’s hands perfectly because he is a patient batter, who also has some great power at 3B. Also if they do what they did yesterday, I like Bryant even more. They slid him into the 3 hole behind Rizzo and Fowler which makes him an even better play. Rizzo gets on base at such a high %, Fowler has proven that he can get hits himself, and having the #9 hitter who gets on base the most often in Addison Russell. Finally there is Bryant’s actual stats. He is hitting right handed pitching much better than left handed pitching with a line of .293 AVG/.403 OBP/.487 SLG with 6 HR in 150 AB’s. I think I said it yesterday but I will again, that HR needs to come up a little bit, but other than that what is there not to like? A Cubs stack could be a great play again today even if they don’t score 12 runs like yesterday.
Kyle Seager – He crushed my fantasy teams in the late slate last night with a grand slam off of Bauer, and while he might not do that again, he should still be productive. Marcum has really only had one bad start this year, but he doesn’t do much for me to believe in him all that much anymore. I will admit on Seager, I haven’t given him as much credit as he deserves when it comes to the Mariner offense. He has posted a pretty good line against right handed pitching so far this year of .265 AVG/.333 OBP/.446 SLG with 6 HR in 166 AB’s. He does hit better against righties, but he also hits much better away from Safeco where he has only hit 3 of his 10 HR this year. Getting back to Marcum, he has been really bad at home this year with a 7.07 ERA at home (11 ER in 14 IP) with a .283 batting average against. Then against left handed batters, he has given up a line of .347 AVG/.429 OBP/.653 SLG with 4 HR allowed in 29 AB’s. As you can see, the numbers kind of speak for themselves, and they all point to Seager being a great play today at 3B.
Giancarlo Stanton – Chris Rusin might not be Mark Buerhle, but there is no doubt that I am going to be all over Stanton today against the lefty. Rusin has actually put up some solid numbers this year with a 1.45 ERA, and actually pitched pretty solid against the Marlins when they played them a few days ago. Stanton only had a double and a run in that game, which isn’t bad but we need a little more. He has 6 HR in 41 AB’s against left handed pitching for a SLG% of .805. In a decent sample size, that has to be the largest I have seen for any player this year. He also gets on base 35% of the time so if teams want to pitch around him, he can still score some points where as he doesn’t do it nearly as often as right handed pitching. He does slug better on the road than at home, and only has 8 of his 21 HR at home. I just can’t fade a guy who hits a HR in roughly 1 out of 7 AB’s. That is a crazy good number that may not continue for the whole year, but I’ll keep taking my chances for now.
Seth Smith – Smith is basically a platoon hitter who goes up against right handed pitching, and has done a good job against them. He has a line of .260 AVG/.337 OBP/.487 SLG with 5 HR in 154 AB’s against righties this year. Now, none of these numbers jump out as awesome, you have to remember Smith is pretty cheap, and none of those numbers are really below average. The pitching matchup is what really sells me on this matchup, as I pointed out that Marcum has been dreadful at home and against left handed batters. The Mariners have some decent left handed hitters in Seager, Cano, and Smith and then there is always Nelson Cruz if he plays today with his back injury. A Mariners stack is one that I really like today, and Smith will be a part of hit, and help save money at an already expensive position.
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