Matt Harvey – I’m a little weary on Harvey tonight, not because of the matchup, but because whenever I pick him, he always seems to struggle. I’m not going to let something that petty stop me today though as I love Harvey going against the Marlins, and he should receive some run support as the Mets have been scorching hot recently. The Marlins have a line against righties of .243 AVG/.296 OBP/.356 SLG with 59 HR in 2798 AB’s and have a line at home this year of .252 AVG/.305 OBP/.361 SLG with 36 HR in 1813 AB’s. To put this simply, this offense is nowhere near the same without Stanton, as they don’t hit any HR’s and don’t get on base very often which will lead a team to struggle scoring runs. In 18 games since the All-Star break, they have scored 47 runs in 18 games and have a line of .227 AVG/.285 OBP/.323 SLG with 8 HR. They have Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich who are solid players, but not guys that are going to dagger you which makes me love Harvey tonight. Harvey had a great July posting a 2.67 ERA and only allowing a .214 AVG against over the month. Now pitching at Citi Field is nice, but pitching in Miami is almost as equally nice. Harvey has a 3.14 ERA on the road with a .220 AVG against. The only thing that Harvey has really struggled with has been his HR’s allowed to lefties this year (13 HR in 227 AB’s). As I said though, when Justin Bour and Christian Yelich are the two power guys you have to worry about, then I think you will be alright. He has 125 K’s in 133 IP this year, and tonight I expect him to get a K per inning if not higher and pitch a gem of a game.
Brett Anderson – How the Dodgers did not put up any runs yesterday I have no idea, but I think they will give Brett Anderson a lot of run support, which will allow Anderson to get comfortable and pitch well. He is going against the Phillies today who have been red hot since the All-Star break, but still have a below average offense. Now they do have better numbers against lefties this year with a line of .265 AVG/.324 OBP/.384 SLG with 17 HR in 917 AB’s, but they do have a higher K rate against lefties of 23.1%. That K rate is the main reason that I like Anderson today, but combine the Phillies lack of power with a groundball pitcher and they are going to need to string together a bunch of hits to get runs. The Phillies also have a home line of .253 AVG/.305 OBP/.381 SLG with 43 HR in 1796 AB’s where they hit more HR there, but 43 HR’s in 1796 AB’s isn’t a very good pace. Then we have Anderson who has been better away from Los Angeles with a 2.94 ERA and an AVG against of .281. Anderson has allowed 9 HR’s to righties which is more than against lefties but righties only hit .267 against him and only have an OBP against him of .312. Anderson is a guy who isn’t going to walk you, and is going to make you earn your way on base. He does only have 81 K’s in 117.2 IP, but he struck out 5 in 5 IP the first time against the Phillies and it isn’t out of the possibility to see 7 or 8 today.
Brian McCann – I didn’t want to pick McCann yesterday because he was going up against the rookie Henry Owens which was a good idea, until McCann hit a HR late in the game off of the bullpen. Today though, he is going against the knuckle baller in Steven Wright who simply isn’t that good, and is going against a potent offense in New York. McCann has actually evened out his lefty/righty splits, but has a line against right handed pitching of .254 AVG/.326 OBP/.478 SLG with 13 HR in 228 AB’s, and has an outstanding line at home of .301 AVG/.386 OBP/.618 SLG with 12 HR in 136 AB’s. Those home numbers are fantastic, and are really the only time that I will pick Brian with his expensive price tag. He hasn’t been all that great overall since the All-Star break, but he does have 4 HR in 51 AB’s. He is a staple in the middle of that order, and I expect guys like Gardner and Ellsbury, and Teixeira to be on base quite often tonight. Then there is Steven Wright who has a 5.13 ERA on the road with an AVG against of .269, and is giving up a line to lefties of .255 AVG/.320 OBP/.382 SLG with 3 HR in 110 AB’s. Now he did only give up 2 ER in 5 IP to the Yankees in his other start at Yankee Stadium, but he allowed 6 hits and 3 walks so he was working out of danger all game. I expect much of the same tonight except the Yankees to take advantage of some of those opportunities and score some runs.
Jesus Montero – Much like Caleb Joseph yesterday, I hope that I am not too late on the Jesus Montero bandwagon as he honestly might be the best value play of the day. He is super cheap for a catcher which is always good, he is playing at Coors Field which is as good as it gets for a batter, and has been batting 5th in the lineup behind Cano and Cruz which is also fantastic. He is going against the lefty Chris Rusin who really doesn’t do anything for me, and I expect another great offensive game from the Mariners today. Now it has only been 15 AB’s, but Montero has a line against lefties so far of .333 AVG/.444 OBP/.600 SLG with 1 HR and has a line on the road of .400 AVG/.429 OBP/.700 SLG with 1 HR and 3 doubles in 20 AB’s. I’m not exactly sure if he was hurt, or just not playing in the majors, but he looks to be a massive upgrade over Mike Zunino who was really struggled so far this year. As I said also, Chris Rusin really does not do much for me today. He does pitch better at Coors having a 3.66 ERA and only allowing 3 HR in 32 IP, but I have a hard time believing that those numbers will continue. He also has a line against right handed batters this year of .302 AVG/.351 OBP/.460 SLG with 7 HR in 215 AB’s which doesn’t bode well for him. Nelson Cruz is going to either be hitting HR’s or be on base for Montero, and if it’s the latter, it could mean a huge game for Jesus.
Paul Goldscmidt – I almost put Goldschmidt as a value play as I think that he is criminally underpriced today going against the lefty Gio Gonzalez. I understand that Gonzalez is a really good pitcher, but Goldschmidt destroys left handed pitching, and his price tag does not match that today. Goldschmidt has a line against left handed pitching of .361 AVG/.448 OBP/.675 SLG with 7 HR in 83 AB’s and has a line on the road of .318 AVG/.409 OBP/.582 SLG with 14 HR in 201 AB’s. So not only does he get on base a ton, but almost all of his power comes from these two lines which makes him awesome today. The Diamondbacks offense as a whole is really good, and I knew that they would cause Scherzer some problems last night. I think that they will do the same to Gio tonight as guys like Pollack, Ahmed, and Goldschmidt should have a great time against a lefty. Gio has been great at home this year with a 2.50 ERA and an AVG against of .243, but has struggled against right handed batters giving up a line of .278 AVG/.358 OBP/.393 SLG with 4 HR in 313 AB’s. The lack of power is definitely a concern which is why I don’t love a Diamondbacks stack, but Goldschmidt has proven that he can hit anybody, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him add to that total tonight. Regardless, he should get on base a lot and be a great cash game or GPP type player.
Adrian Gonzalez – As I said with Brett Anderson, I can’t believe that the Dodgers scored 1 run against Jerome Williams last night, and that really hurt my cash game teams last night. I can’t let that cloud my thought process though, as Gonzalez is still pretty underpriced and has a great matchup today against Aaron Harang. Gonzalez is still hitting righties really well this year posting a line of .292 AVG/.378 OBP/.550 SLG with 19 HR in 291 AB’s and has a line on the road of .311 AVG/.398 OBP/.514 SLG with 8 HR in 183 AB’s. I will continue to say how I don’t understand how Gonzalez continues to be this cheap, but it’s not like he has a terrible matchup or lacks power for a first basemen. He has 21 HR on the year, and has been getting on base at a great clip so I guess I will just have to keep picking him for now. Harang does have a 3.71 ERA at home, but does have an AVG against of .272 which is higher than on the road, and is giving up a line against lefties of .272 AVG/.348 OBP/.424 SLG with 6 HR in 184 AB’s. After a really good April, Harang’s numbers have really dropped off a cliff. In June he had a 7.28 ERA in 5 starts giving up 7 HR in 29.2 IP and an AVG against of .291, and in 2 July starts he had an 8.10 ERA with a .451 AVG against which is 23 hits in 10 IP. I really like the Dodgers again tonight and expect a much better result out of them.
Brian Dozier – I don’t know if I would consider this a huge risk, but with the Twins scoring a grand total of 7 runs in their past 5 games, it is a little risky. Dozier is the one guy that continues to at least be decent, and he has a pretty good matchup against Drew Hutchinson tonight. Now Hutchinson has been great at home with a 2.47 ERA and an AVG against of .230 which is really quite weird considering Toronto is not a pitchers park, but he is allowing a line to right handed batters of .329 AVG/.381 OBP/.502 SLG with 7 HR in 219 AB’s. Hutchinson was also really bad in July posting a 6.93 ERA in 5 July starts with a .360 AVG against. Now this isn’t factual, but the Twins are due to breakout in one of these games here, and today against Hutchinson makes the most sense. Dozier has a line against right handed pitching of .242 AVG/.309 OBP/.491 SLG with 17 HR in 285 AB’s and has a line on the road of .252 AVG/.303 OBP/.510 SLG with 12 HR in 202 AB’s. These are the worst of the lines for Dozier which again makes him risky, but he is always a great GPP play for 2B with his power, and hitting leadoff. I believe today is the day the Twins break out of their funk, and I expect them to score some runs finally today.
Scooter Gennett – This is a value pick based on how cheap that Gennett is, and the fact that he has been hitting leadoff the last couple days for the Brewers. He is going against Ian Kennedy today who has been better since he struggled at the beginning of the year, but it’s not like he has been outstanding either. Kennedy is another weird pitcher who is actually better away from Petco with a 3.63 ERA and has only allowed 9 HR in 52 IP. He also has the reverse splits where he actually pitches better to left handed hitters giving up a line of .244 AVG/.307 OBP/.512 SLG with 13 HR in 209 AB’s. Gennett is not a power hitter, but with Kennedy being a fly ball pitcher, there is some hope for Scooter as Kennedy has allowed 23 of them on the year. Gennett can’t hit lefties, but he has a decent line against righties of .265 AVG/.304 OBP/.413 SLG with 5 HR in 196 AB’s and a line at home of .260 AVG/.300 OBP/.431 SLG with 5 HR in 123 AB’s. He is also coming off a great July where he posted a line of .310 AVG/.356 OBP/.429 SLG with 0 HR in 84 AB’s, but he did have 6 doubles. I actually do like Gennett, beyond his cheap price and leadoff status, but those are the main reasons as to why I like him.
Troy Tulowitzki – I knew that Phil Hughes was going to give a couple of HR’s to the top of that Jays order yesterday, and it ended up being Tulowitzki and Donaldson that hit the HR’s. I just love Tulo leading off that lineup, and today they are going against Tyler Duffey who is making his major league debut against one of the hottest teams in baseball. Duffey has actually only given up 1 HR all year in the minors which scares me a bit, but I read that he gave up 16 the year before which is about average for pitchers. He isn’t a highly regarded prospect or anything though, so I will have no problem throwing some Jays guys into my lineup tonight. Tulo has been great since joining the Jays and just fits in so well in this lineup. He has a line against right handed pitching of .283 AVG/.341 OBP/.460 SLG with 11 HR in 272 AB’s and has a line at home of .305 AVG/.365 OBP/.505 SLG with 9 HR in 190 AB’s. I use the home numbers because Toronto might be the second best place to hit behind Colorado as the ball carries so far in that dome. He already has 2 HR in 7 games with Toronto and there is no pitching around him. Also, he is doing that with Ben Revere yet to record a hit from the 9 hole. I think the Jays will keep up their hot streak and will also be scoring some runs along with the Twins today.
Nick Ahmed – I don’t love that he is going against the really good Gio Gonzalez today, but his price tag and numbers against lefties make it well worth the risk. Ahmed has proven that he can’t hit righties that well, but he has a line against lefties of .324 AVG/.393 OBP/.432 SLG with 2 HR in 74 AB’s and has a line on the road of .250 AVG/.303 OBP/.368 SLG with 4 HR in 152 AB’s. Now it’s a small sample size, but he has been scorching hot in August so far posting a line of .400 AVG/.438 OBP/.600 SLG with 1 HR in 15 AB’s. What I don’t love though, is how 240 of his 305 AB’s have come in either the 8 or 9 hole this year. They have tried him out at leadoff 39 times which I loved, but it’s pretty obvious that he will not be hitting leadoff very often. And once again, Gio has a 2.50 ERA at home this year with a .243 AVG against and has a line against right handed batters of .278 AVG/.358 OBP/.393 SLG with 4 HR in 313 AB’s. This isn’t a pick that I love, but Ahmed hits lefties really well and is more than affordable for your cash game teams.
Josh Donaldson – Another Jays player that I love, and with Donaldson being on fire lately, I have no problem spending up for him today. In his last 10 games, he has 13 hits including 5 HR, 5 2B, 13 RBI’s, 7 runs, and 6 walks. Simply put, those are incredible numbers and with a rookie pitcher going today, I see no reason as to why the hot streak will come to an end. Donaldson has a line on the year against righties of .278 AVG/.343 OBP/.525 SLG with 21 HR in 335 AB’s and has a line at home of .341 AVG/.388 OBP/.686 SLG with 19 HR in 220 AB’s. The fans there always chant MVP when he comes up to bat, and he has a legit case for it this year. Now I think that Trout would win it as of today, but Donaldson is certainly in contention as of right now. As I said for Tulo, Duffey has only allowed 1 HR in the minors this year which does scare me a little bit, but he did allow 16 the year before, and isn’t regarded as some high profile prospect. I expect the Jays to score some runs and as usual, Tulo, Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion will be in the middle of it.
Miguel Sano – Normally I would only like Sano at home as that is where he has been at his best so far this year, but playing in Toronto should help him, and he has destroyed right handed pitching this year. He has a line against right handed pitching this year of .327 AVG/.465 OBP/.655 SLG with 4 HR in 55 AB’s and has a line on the road of .188 AVG/.341 OBP/.250 SLG with 0 HR in 32 AB’s. He has cooled off in August here along with the rest of the Twins team, but I still love him in the cleanup spot with the power and OBP that he contains. Then you add into the fact that he is going against Drew Hutchinson who does have a 2.47 ERA at home and an AVG against of .230, but is giving up a line against righties of .329 AVG/.381 OBP/.502 SLG with 7 HR in 219 AB’s. I just can’t see those home numbers continuously being that good at Toronto with how well the ball carries, and with his line against righties I expect the Twins to do some damage against him.
Nelson Cruz – Again, to no surprise he is easily the top play of the day, and if you can afford him, he is well worth his price. He has now hit a HR in 5 straight games, and it will not surprise me at all to see him do so in tonight’s game against Chris Rusin. Cruz has a line against lefties this year of .389 AVG/.466 OBP/.733 SLG with 8 HR in 90 AB’s and has a line on the road of .333 AVG/.383 OBP/.728 SLG with 24 HR in 213 AB’s. I mean those numbers are truly outstanding, and there isn’t any nitpicking that can be done here. I’m not really going out on a limb by declaring him the top play, but I mean he has just been scorching hot and is playing at a park where he could probably hit 50 HR a year in. Rusin has given up a line against righties of .302 AVG/.351 OBP/.460 SLG with 7 HR in 215 AB’s and has a 3.66 ERA at home with an AVG against of .290. He has only given up 3 HR in 32 IP at home which is pretty good, but Nelson Cruz can easily change that with one swing of the bat. Honestly I expect another HR out of him tonight, which would make 6 in 6 games and for the Mariners to score a bunch of runs.
Andre Ethier – Yesterday Ethier was hitting cleanup in between Gonzalez and Grandal, and if he does so again today, he will be one of my favorite value plays again. He is very affordable and is going against Aaron Harang who has been really bad since a very good April. Ethier has a line against right handed pitching this year of .286 AVG/.374 OBP/.498 SLG with 12 HR in 245 AB’s and has a line on the road of .236 AVG/.306 OBP/.396 SLG with 4 HR in 144 AB’s. He doesn’t hit well against lefties, but I won’t have to worry about that today. Harang is giving up a line against lefties of .272 AVG/.348 OBP/.424 SLG with 6 HR in 184 AB’s and has had a 7.28 ERA in .291 AVG against in June and had a 8.10 ERA in July with a .451 AVG against which was 23 hits in 10 IP. I know they will score more than 1 run today and Gonzalez and Ethier will be right in the middle of it.
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