Madison Bumgarner – Clayton Kershaw got pushed back to tonight with a hip injury, and that scares me a bit about his durability and the fact that he is going against Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Instead, I will go with Bumgarner who has been great this year and has a great matchup against the Rangers today. The Rangers have a line at home of .256 AVG/.325 OBP/.405 SLG with 41 HR in 1529 AB’s which is okay, but their line against left handed pitching of .233 AVG/.297 OBP/.375 SLG with 36 HR in 1244 AB’s is not very good at all. The best part though is that they have an insanely high K rate against lefties of 25.5% which makes Bumgarner pretty easily my top play of the day. They have been going along pretty nicely since the All-Star break with 65 runs in 12 games and posting a line of .275 AVG/.338 OBP/.418 SLG with 8 HR in those 12 games. Now those numbers are fine, but when almost all of your good hitters are left handed (Fielder, Choo, Moreland, Odor, and Hamilton), it is not going to end well. Then we have Bumgarner who has a 3.16 ERA on the year with 131 K’s in 131 IP. He has been pretty average on the road with a 4.11 ERA and a .251 AVG against , but has shut down lefties pretty well giving up a line to them of .232 AVG/.292 OBP/.317 SLG with 1 HR in 82 AB’s. The 1 HR in 82 AB’s is awesome because a lot of those Texas lefties have a ton of power and righties like Andrus and DeShields don’t offer much in the way of power. It is a risk to fade Kershaw, but I honestly believe that Bumgarner will have a big game tonight.
Taylor Jungmann – I remember not too long ago that Jungmann was one of the cheapest pitchers on the slate, and now he is an average priced pitcher. He is going against the Cubs today who have a lot of hype, but their offense really isn’t all that great. I wish the Cubs were playing at Wrigley because they really struggle there, but they still only have a line on the road of .247 AVG/.319 OBP/.393 SLG with 49 HR in 1744 AB’s and have an even worse line against right handers of .234 AVG/.308 OBP/.374 SLG with 78 HR in 2672 AB’s. Now we saw the Rangers K rate against lefties at 25.5% which is high, but the Cubs take the cake against right handed pitching striking out 27.2% of the time. That is as big of a K rate as I have seen this year, and any pitcher going against the Cubs or Astros is definitely in line for a good amount of K’s. Getting back to Jungmann, he has been fantastic so far this year with 46 K’s in 59 IP, has a 2.14 ERA and has a .210 AVG against. He has been great at home with a 1.59 ERA, 15 K’s in 17 IP and an AVG against of .267. July has also treated him well with a 1.50 ERA in 4 starts with 23 K’s in 30 IP and has an AVG against of .165. I honestly can’t find anything wrong with him other than the fact that he doesn’t strikeout a ton of people. With the matchup against a strikeout heavy lineup, I expect Jungmann to pitch a gem of a game, and is easily my top GPP guy of the day.
Buster Posey – I’ve been on the Russell Martin train the last couple days, but Posey is back as my top play of the day with an excellent matchup and him just being the best catcher in the game right now. He is going up against Nick Martinez of the Rangers today and I expect Posey to do some real damage against him. Martinez has a line against right handed batters o f .311 AVG/.385 OBP/.538 SLG with 9 HR in 225 AB’s and a 3.89 ERA at home with an AVG against of .297. As I have mentioned with him before as well, his XFIP is much higher than his ERA as he has had a case of a low BABIP and has stranded a lot of runners. He is going up against the top rated offense according to WAR (20.4), and is just so deep throughout. Posey is the marquee bat in the middle of that order as he has a line against right handers of .335 AVG/.401 OBP/.509 SLG with 12 HR in 269 AB’s and has a line on the road of .326 AVG/.381 OBP/.541 SLG with 10 HR in 172 AB’s. I don’t think you could ask for better numbers out of a catcher other than maybe a few more HR’s but other than that Posey does everything. I think the Giants will give Bumgarner a bunch of run support headlined by the former MVP Buster Posey.
James McCann – I feel like I pick McCann every time he is going against a lefty but he is so good against them that you almost have to pick him. I do like Wei-Yin Chen a lot, but the Tigers have a lineup full of righties and hit lefties posting a line of .274 AVG/.345 OBP/.423 SLG with 23 HR in 778 AB’s. McCann indivually has a line against lefties of .352 AVG/.397 OBP/.593 SLG with 2 HR in 54 AB’s and has a line on the road of .275 AVG/.324 OBP/.382 SLG with 1 HR in 102 AB’s. He is so cheap that he is the perfect kind of guy to pair with a Kershaw or Bumgarner with the only negative being that he is usually batting either 7th or 8th in the lineup. Now Chen has a good line against righties of .240 AVG/.289 OBP/.449 SLG with 16 HR in 341 AB’s. You can see that he does not allow very many guys on base, but he is prone to the HR, which the Detroit lineup has plenty of. Granted the Tigers could make some trades today and shake up the lineup a bit. Assuming they don’t, I really like McCann if you’re not going Posey, and he should put up a solid day.
Paul Goldschmidt – I’m not really going out on a limb picking of the best guys today, but I have a man crush on Goldschmidt. He like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen just do everything well, and can be counted on every night. He is going against Scott Feldman who hasn’t been all that great this year which bodes well for Goldy. Paul has a line against right handed pitching this year of .339 AVG/.464 OBP/.578 SLG with 15 HR in 277 AB’s and has a line on the road of .341 AVG/.433 OBP/.632 SLG with 14 HR in 182 AB’s. His lines against lefties and at home are equally as good and he is just a super difficult guy to get out. He might not get quite the hype as some other of the elite guys, but you can bet that he is just as good as they are. Then we have Feldman who has a line against right handed batters of .283 AVG/.327 OBP/.469 SLG with 6 HR in 145 AB’s and has a 5.63 ERA at home with a .323 AVG against. Feldman has been solid his last couple starts, but it doesn’t excuse a below average first two months. I think that the Diamondbacks will score runs on Feldman and the hot Astros, and Goldy will be the guy leading the charge as he always does.
Pedro Alvarez – About a week ago it came out that Alvarez might be on the trading block, but he has responded well with a very hot last 7-8 games. In his last 9 games, he has 9 hits with 3 HR , 9 RBI’s, 7 runs, 4 walks, and a stolen base. For being one of the cheaper first basemen, he is a great value if he can keep these numbers up for the Pirates. Today, he is going against Michael Lorenzen who is one of the cheapest pitchers on the slate, and really struggles against left handed batters. Lorenzen is giving up a line to those lefties of .336 AVG/.444 OBP/.630 SLG with 7 HR in 119 AB’s and has been horrible in July with an 8.83 ERA with over a 2.00 WHIP, and giving up an AVG against of .338. In his one start against the Pirates already this year he did pitch well giving up 1 ER in 6 IP and only giving up 3 hits. With how bad he has been lately though, it is going to be hard to not pick the lefties or anybody really on the Pirates. Moving back to Alvarez, he has a line against right handed pitching of .239 AVG/.313 OBP/.456 SLG with 14 HR in 259 AB’s and has a line on the road of .246 AVG/.331 OBP/.415 SLG with 5 HR in 142 AB’s. If you have seen Alvarez play before, you know that he doesn’t get a lot of hits or get on base a ton, rather relies a lot on his power. Normally I don’t like that out of value plays and cash game players, but with how bad Lorenzen is against righties, I think it is perfectly fine to put Alvarez into lineups.
Jason Kipnis – I feel like I have just been switching off between Kipnis and Dozier the last few days, but they are the best second basemen with Altuve right behind them and Kipnis has a nice matchup against the struggling Kendall Gravemen tonight. Gravemen has a 6.52 ERA in July with a AVG against of .313, and has a line against left handed batters of .272 AVG/.359 OBP/.358 SLG with 3 HR in 173 AB’s. As per the usual, the lack of power against Kendall doesn’t scare me because Kipnis isn’t the guy that is going to overpower you. He does however give up a very high OBP to left handed batters which basically sets Kipnis up on a tee today. He now has a line against right handed pitching of .378 AVG/.461 OBP/.552 SLG with 4 HR in 241 AB’s and has a line on the road of .291 AVG/.351 OBP/.398 SLG with 2 HR in 196 AB’s. I do wish he was playing at home because his numbers there are as good as his numbers against righties, but I am willing to accept ½ when the pitcher isn’t that good. Also, he is another player that has been great since the All-Star game posting a line of .413 AVG/.462 OBP/.500 SLG in 46 AB’s. Brantley and Kipnis are always great cash game plays with their consistency, and today is the exact same case.
Kolten Wong – I like Kipnis today, but I love Kolten Wong today, and he might be my top value play of the day. He is going up against Kyle Kendrick, who if you have read the Domer before, you know I am not a huge fan of. Wong has a line against right handed pitching this year of .286 AVG/.350 OBP/.474 SLG with 10 HR in 266 AB’s and has a line at home of .267 AVG/.319 OBP/.419 SLG with 5 HR in 191 AB’s. Those are pretty solid numbers and for a guy who bats towards the top of the order I will gladly take him at his current price. The one confusing piece is Mike Matheny and how he has been handling the lineup. For a large part of the year Wong was hitting leadoff and now last night he was batting 3rd. He moved Carpenter from 7th in the lineup to 2nd to 1st, so who really knows what tricks he has up his sleeve today. And then there is Kyle Kendrick who is thankfully not at Coors for his sake today, but he still has a 5.52 ERA at home with a .284 AVG against, and is giving up a line to lefties of .316 AVG/.392 OBP/.592 SLG with 11 HR in 206 AB’s. He has given up 25 HR total on the year and it’s not just Coors as he has given up 10 on the road as well. Kendrick has also been quite poor in July with a 7.88 ERA and an AVG against of .386. I was quite surprised the Cardinals lost last night, but I don’t expect that to happen tonight as they will score a bunch of runs.
Brandon Crawford – I see that Tulo finally got the price bump and with him going against Cueto I can’t pick him today. Instead I will go with the ever underrated Brandon Crawford who has been just awesome for the Giants this year and is also going against Nick Martinez today. Now Martinez has the reverse splits and is actually much better against left handed batters giving up a line to them of .223 AVG/.305 OBP/.346 SLG with 4 HR in 188 AB’s and has a 3.89 ERA at home with a .297 AVG against. Again with such a high AVG against, his XFIP is much higher and he has already shown some signs of regression after a hot start to the year. Then we have Crawford who has a line against right handed pitching of .263 AVG/.332 OBP/.470 SLG with 12 HR in 270 AB’s and has a line on the road of .256 AVG/.316 OBP/.472 SLG with 8 HR in 176 AB’s. Crawford has shown to have elite power for the SS position this year which makes him a great GPP play, and has also been consistent enough to perform well for cash games. Like some other guys, I wish he batted a little higher in the lineup, but I can live with him batting in the 6th spot today against Mr. Martinez.
Jose Iglesias – Iglesias is another fantastic value play, and while he can’t take advantage of Chen’s HR proneness, he is consistent against lefties that he will be more than worth his low price. Iglesias has a line against left handed pitchers this year of .375 AVG/.432 OBP/.514 SLG with 1 HR in 72 AB’s and has a line on the road of .281 AVG/.329 OBP/.370 SLG with 1 HR in 146 AB’s. He has been pretty consistent all year long with July being his “worst” month so far with a line of .293 AVG/.318 OBP/.427 SLG with 1 HR in 82 AB’s. Now if Brad Ausmus bats him 9th against a lefty again I may lose my mind. I get that Rajai Davis is also good against lefties, but can’t you move Kinsler down in the order a little bit and bat Iglesias 2nd? Regarless, I think that he is a great play today and add him to the list to put with Kershaw or Bumgarner. Wei-Yin Chen is giving up a line to righties of .240 AVG/.289 OBP/.449 SLG with 16 HR in 341 AB’s so he has been stingy, but who knows, maybe Iglesias will hit a HR today. The Tigers have gone into rebuilding mode, and Iglesias looks to be one of the pieces they will focus on keeping.
Manny Machado – Machado might be my top play of the day as he is going against Buck Farmer who is taking the place of Shane Greene in the starting rotation. Machado is really having a breakout year this year, and is a big part of why the Orioles are still in contention. He has a line against righties of .292 AVG/.364 OBP/.523 SLG with 17 HR in 298 AB’s and has a line at home of .293 AVG/.361 OBP/.532 SLG with 11 HR in 188 AB’s. Machado does have 5 HR’s in July, and a .354 OBP, but only has a .238 AVG so either pitchers aren’t giving him much or he is struggling a bit. He bats leadoff which is another reason I love him, and I think that him, Adam Jones, and any lefty could be in line for a great day. Farmer has been so bad in his couple starts that I am very surprised that they brought him back into the rotation as he is giving up a line to righties of .296 AVG/.371 OBP/.630 SLG with 2 HR in 27 AB’s which isn’t even as bad as his line against lefties (.438 AVG/.471 OBP/.688 SLG with 2 HR in 32 AB’s). The Orioles will probably be highly owned, but they should be as they have the best matchup of the day in my opinion.
Miguel Sano – I have to keep picking Miguel Sano for cash games as he has a ton of power, has been very consistent so far this year, and is far outperforming his price. Now he was going up against a lefty last night in JA Happ, but he was almost 50% owned in cash games. He is going against the super inconsistent Taijuan Walker who can look like an elite pitcher one night, and then look like a total scrub the next time out. Sano has actually been crushing right handed pitching so far putting up a line of .372 AVG/.509 OBP/.698 SLG with 3 HR in 43 AB’s and has a line at home of .350 AVG/.490 OBP/.675 SLG with 3 HR in 40 AB’s. I don’t care who the pitcher is here, these are awesome numbers and I don’t see how you can pass on Sano right now. He is hitting cleanup which is obviously a great spot and other than striking out a lot, he is doing everything else well. Like some of the other pitchers today, Walker has reverse splits giving up a line to righties of .286 AVG/.341 OBP/.503 SLG with 11 HR in 189 AB’s and has a 5.84 ERA on the road with an AVG against of .305. I think that the Twins will pick up another win today, and we will see if Sano, Rosario, and Hicks are the big reason why.
Nelson Cruz – Well Phil Hughes did end up allowing a couple HR’s yesterday, but unfortunately Cruz did not have one. He did get a single and hit a couple balls hard, but we need more for such an expensive player. Today he is going against the lefty Tommy Milone who has been solid for the Twins, but he has to hit his spots perfectly or Cruz can take advantage of it. Cruz has a line against left handed pitchers of .381 AVG/.458 OBP/.702 SLG with 7 HR in 84 AB’s and has a line on the road of .306 AVG/.358 OBP/.667 SLG with 19 HR in 186 AB’s. Those are both great lines and like I said yesterday, I don’t love the Mariners offense, but I certainly love Cruz most nights. Target Field isn’t normally considered a batters park, but there were 5 HR’s hit in last night’s game so they can certainly be had. Finally there is Milone who is giving up a line to righties of .282 AVG/.341 OBP/.510 SLG with 11 HR in 202 AB’s and has a 4.08 ERA at home with a .282 AVG against. I said I was 90% sure he would hit a HR last night which was a little ambitious but I am just as confident that he can hit one tonight in a losing effort.
Aaron Hicks – When I said that Kolten Wong might be my favorite value play, I totally forgot about Hicks, but right now Aaron Hicks is my top value play. In his past 6 games he has 13 hits with 2 HR, 9 RBI’s, 8 runs, 2 walks, and 1 SB. These are elite type numbers, and I have seen most of the at bats and he is just crushing the ball right now. I do like Hicks much more against lefties as he just has a line against righties of .248 AVG/.317 OBP/.339 SLG with 1 HR in 109 AB’s and has a line at home of .356 AVG/.424 OBP/.540 SLG with 3 HR in 87 AB’s. He has increased his value so much with his great play and getting moved to 2nd in the order. He seems to have finally figured it out, and it is at a huge time right now as the Twins hold the first wild card right now. Taijuan Walker has a 5.84 ERA on the road with a .305 AVG against and has a line against lefties of .252 AVG/.306 OBP/.400 SLG with 8 HR in 250 AB’s. Those aren’t great numbers, but Hicks is playing too well not to pick and I can bet he will be close to 50% owned today for cash games.
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