Zach Greinke – This is one of the easier pitcher picks that I have had to make in a while, but I love Greinke going against the Phillies tonight. He may not have his scoreless innings streak anymore, but he is still an elite pitcher going against a sub-par offense today. The only slight “knock” you can make on Greinke is that he only has 128 K’s in 146.1 IP, but he has a 1.26 ERA on the road with a .192 AVG against, and only has a .186 AVG against overall on the year. He has a 0.83 WHIP on the year which is insanely good, and has pitched an average of 7 innings per start which is also great. And the best stat of all, he has a 0.49 ERA during day games over 5 starts where he has pitched 36.2 IP and only given up 2 ER, with 20 hits allowed and 31 K’s in those IP. Much like a Goldschmidt or Harper for batters, you really can’t find a bad line for Greinke anywhere as he has dominated everyone. As was suspected, last night Brett Anderson shut down the Phillies and they hit better against left handed pitching. They have a line against right handed pitching of .249 AVG/.296 OBP/.374 SLG with 56 HR in 2735 AB’s and have a line at home of .253 AVG/.305 OBP/.381 SLG with 43 HR in 1796 AB’s. They hit for an extreme lack of power which is not good against a guy like Greinke who gives up a hit basically once every 2 innings. Now the Phillies have been better after a few horrible months, but don’t strike me as the type of team to get a bunch of hits off of Greinke. In fact in the one game against Greinke this year, they managed 1 hit over 8 innings and struck out 8 times. I am expecting something very similar to that today which will make him the best pitcher by far today.
Chris Heston – Now he is one of the more expensive pitchers today, but he is still at a great value price and that will happen with a smaller slate. I actually like this matchup a lot because Heston is going up against one of the most K happy teams, which balances his so-so K ability. The Cubs have actually hit very poorly at Wrigley field this year, posting a line of .227 AVG/.309 OBP/.349 SLG with 41 HR in 1643 AB’s and have a line against right handed pitching of .235 AVG/.309 OBP/.373 SLG with 81 HR in 2814 AB’s. They do have some power against righties, but those lines are both very bad and don’t live up to the hype of the Cubs offense. The best part of all this though is their 27.3% K rate against right handed pitching which sets Heston up for a great game today. Then there is Heston who has a 4.01 ERA on the road which is worse than his home ERA, but he has a .232 AVG against and has only given up 65 hits and walks in 60.2 IP which is a much lower WHIP than his home WHIP. Now Heston wasn’t great in his last start, but in July he went 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA and had an AVG against of .193. Also, like Greinke he has the favorable split tonight as he has a 2.44 ERA in 14 night starts vs. a 5.17 ERA in 7 day starts. I normally don’t love him for a lot of K’s, but today is a special occasion, and I think that he will continue to pitch well and help the Giants get into the playoffs.
Yasmani Grandal – As usual, make sure you check the lineup before locking Grandal in, but AJ Ellis played last night, and Kershaw isn’t pitching today so I think that Grandal will actually be playing. Now last night, the Dodgers still only scored 4 runs and 3 of those came on a Yasiel Puig HR. They did collect a bunch of hits, but almost all of them were singles. Tonight they are going against David Buchanan who has been equally as bad as Jerome Williams and Aaron Harang this year. He has been “better” at home with a 5.79 ERA and a .258 AVG against, but has been bad in two day starts (9.64 ERA, .368 AVG against), and has been really bad against lefties giving up a line of .333 AVG/.422 OBP/.538 SLG with 2 HR in 78 AB’s. Now he isn’t giving up a ton of HR’s, but he has a 1.66 WHIP on the year and is simply letting far too many guys on base. Then we have Mr. Grandal who as I’ve said has just been fantastic this year. He has a line against right handed pitching of .281 AVG/.392 OBP/.529 SLG with 15 HR in 221 AB’s and has a line on the road of .302 AVG/.381 OBP/.543 SLG with 8 HR in 129 AB’s. I mean it’s hard to find a bad split with him as well, the only thing I slightly dislike is the fact that he hits 5th. Regardless I once again love Grandal and the Dodgers, and I expect them to be very highly owned once again.
Salvador Perez – There were some other decent value plays at catcher today, but I always like going back to my main value guy in Salvador Perez. He is going against Anibal Sanchez who has really struggled this year giving up 24 HR including 15 of those to right handed batters. Perez is one of those catchers who can take advantage of that as he has a lot of power for a catcher. On the year, Perez has a line against righties of .275 AVG/.290 OBP/.466 SLG with 12 HR in 251 AB’s and has a line on the road of .227 AVG/.240 OBP/.407 SLG with 9 HR in 194 AB’s. Now he has been pretty ice cold since the All-Star break (11-60), and hasn’t been consistent on the road, but you aren’t paying much for him, and are paying for his 16 HR on the year. The only thing that’s tough is that I don’t know if he has enough upside for GPP’s (just might with the power), and he isn’t quite consistent enough for cash games. That being said, he might be a way to go with Greinke to help you afford in some other places today with some so-so pitchers going. Then there is Anibal Sanchez who is giving up a line to righties of .291 AVG/.327 OBP/.531 SLG with 15 HR in 258 AB’s and has a 4.78 ERA at home with 14 HR in 90.1 IP. He just hasn’t been the same pitcher this year, and the Royals are an offense that can eat you up even if they don’t have a ton of power in their lineup.
Adam Lind – Lind is another guy that I really like today, and even though the Brewers traded away Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gomez, I still like their offense somewhat. Lind will be going against Mr. Despaigne tonight who most people know I don’t think is very good. Lind has struggled a bit since the All-Star break posting a line of .236 AVG/.259 OBP/.327 SLG with 1 HR in 55 AB’s, but I am not going to let that steer me away from a good matchup. On the year, he has a line against right handed pitching of .296 AVG/.375 OBP/.525 SLG with 16 HR in 280 AB’s and has a line at home of .330 AVG/.396 OBP/.551 SLG with 9 HR in 185 AB’s. If you are going to pick Lind, these are the circumstances to do so as these lines are where he excels. If Lucroy can figure it out, he will have two solid OBP guys in front of him in Lucroy and Braun, along with Gennett who hits well against righties to. Then there is Despaigne who is giving up a line to lefties of .241 AVG/.306 OBP/.397 SLG with 5 HR in 174 AB’s and has a 4.88 ERA on the road with a .281 AVG against. He was better in July with a 4.00 ERA after a rough May and June, but he still just doesn’t do much for me. I think the Brewers will continue to score some runs and guys like Braun and Lind will be the ones responsible.
Adrian Gonzalez – I know that there isn’t a huge price difference between the two here, but I think that Lind could technically be a value play as well today with his matchup as well. Gonzalez has had two decent games against Harang and Williams, but hasn’t exploded with that huge game yet. Well he is also going against David Buchanan today who has not been that good this year. Again, he has a 5.79 ERA at home with a .258 AVG against, and is giving up a line to lefties this year of .333 AVG/.422 OBP/.538 SLG with 2 HR in 78 AB’s. He also has that 9.64 ERA in day games where he has over a 2.00 WHIP. I like Gonzalez a little bit more than Grandal because he hits 3rd instead of 5th and will more than likely get some more chances with guys on base than Grandal. That being said I really like both of them a lot and will likely pick them both again today. Gonzalez is putting up a line against right handed pitching 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. The only slight knock is the road power, but he makes up for it with his power against righties, and is super consistent. I seem to pick the Dodgers in phases, and today just happens to be another day where they all have a great matchup.
Brian Dozier – I know that I picked him yesterday as well, but I just don’t love Altuve against a righty today, and I think that Dozier is a better play than a guy like Zobrist, or even Ian Kinsler. He finally gets his matchup against a lefty in Mark Buehrle who has actually been very good for the Blue Jays this year. I was actually pretty close on Dozier as the 3, 4, and 5 hitters all had good games for the Twins but not Brian unfortunately. Today is a new day though, and Dozier has a line against lefties of .270 AVG/.354 OBP/.524 SLG with 6 HR in 126 AB’s and has a line on the road of .252 AVG/.303 OBP/.510 SLG with 12 HR in 202 AB’s on the road. Those are pretty good numbers and obviously the power he has (23 HR), is the main reason I like him. I also like that he might start hitting 2nd, because other than batting average, the only thing he is lacking in, is RBI’s. He gets a lot of doubles and runs to which always help, and if he can come up with guys on base, look out. Finally, there is Mark Buerhle who has been great in Toronto with a 3.09 ERA with a .243 AVG against, and has a line against right handed batters of .265 AVG/.294 OBP/.398 SLG with 7 HR in 389 AB’s. That HR rate is actually very good a long with the rest of his stats this year. However, the Twins hit lefties well as a team, and I expect them to score some runs, especially with how many times some of these guys have seen Mr. Buehrle in his career.
Kolten Wong – I honestly have no idea what Mike Matheny is doing with his lineup, but I think it is a little bonkers that Wong is hitting 8th for the Cardinals even against a lefty. They do keep winning games so I get it, but guys like Molina, Piscotty and Moss are all hitting ahead of him? I’m hoping that it was because Wong doesn’t hit lefties well, and will return to the top of the lineup against the right hander Michael Lorenzen. Wong has hit righties very well this year with a line against them of .287 AVG/.350 OBP/.469 SLG with 10 HR in 275 AB’s and has a line on the road of .277 AVG/.345 OBP/.429 SLG with 6 HR in 184 AB’s. These are definitely above average numbers for a second basemen, and while he has been poor since the All-Star break, it will keep his ownership very low. Then there is Michael Lorenzen who has been really bad against left handed batters, giving up a line of .326 AVG/.436 OBP/.597 SLG with 7 HR in 129 AB’s and was really bad in July going 0-4 with a 8.61 ERA, a .319 AVG against, and gave up 37 walks and hits in 23 IP. That simply isn’t going to get the job done, and with how bad he is against lefties, it’s one of those nights where I love Carpenter and Wong.
Carlos Correa – Not picking Tulo is quite hard, but I am not in love with him today as he is going against a groundball pitcher in Kyle Gibson who has been the Twins best pitcher this year. Instead, I will go with Carlos Correa who is going against one of the cheaper pitchers on the slate today in Aaron Brooks. It looks like Brooks made some relief appearances for the Royals in May and became a starter in June? It looks like he was acquired for Ben Zobrist last week at the trade deadline. He has only made 2 actual starts, getting roughed up by the Red Sox, and then pitching a gem against the Indians. It is a super small sample size, but he is giving up a line to righties of .278 AVG/.278 OBP/.500 SLG with 0 HR in 18 AB’s and pitched really well in his one start at the Coliseum. I mean until we have a bigger sample size the jury is still out and won’t steer me away from a guy like Correa. Correa has a line against righties of .271 AVG/.322 OBP/.519 SLG with 8 HR in 133 AB’s and has a line on the road of .248 AVG/.308 OBP/.486 SLG with 6 HR in 109 AB’s. These aren’t his best lines but they are still very good for a shortstop, and other than TUlo, he has the best stuff for a SS in the MLB.
Jimmy Rollins – He has gotten a little more expensive the last couple days, but he is still affordable overall and is most likely going to leadoff once again for the Dodgers. He is also going against David Buchanan who we know by now is not very good. Rollins has struggled on the year posting a line against right handed pitching of .197 AVG/.257 OBP/.337 SLG with 9 HR in 309 AB’s and has a line on the road of .193 AVG/.263 OBP/.301 SLG with 5 HR in 176 AB’s. There isn’t a ton to love there, but he does have great power for a SS (11 HR), and again he is hitting leadoff which vaults his value. He has been playing well the last week though posting a line of .286 AVG/.348 OBP/.333 SLG with 0 HR in 21 AB’s. Much like Scooter Gennett yesterday, his lines aren’t great but a good matchup is what makes this pick so good. Buchanan is giving up a line to lefties of .333 AVG/.422 OBP/.538 SLG with 2 HR in 78 AB’s and has a 5.79 ERA at home this year. The Dodgers are due to break out, and even though they scored 4 runs yesterday, I expect even more today.
Josh Donaldson – I don’t think there is another choice right now if you are spending big on a third basemen as Donaldson is simply on fire. In his last 10 games, he now has 13 hits including 6 HR, 4 doubles, 14 RBI’s, 8 runs, and 5 walks. Those are truly incredible numbers, and I’m pretty sure that Donaldson went through a hot streak like this earlier in the year. It’s no surprise that he started dominating once Tulo came to the Jays, and has now led them right into the second wild card spot. He has a line against right handed pitching of .277 AVG/.344 OBP/.531 SLG with 22 HR in 339 AB’s and has a line at home of .339 AVG/.389 OBP/.692 SLG with 20 HR in 224 AB’s. He like many Blue Jays dominate at home, and am seriously convinced that it is the 1B hitters park with Coors Field. He is going against Kyle Gibson who is a groundball pitcher, but he has given up 13 HR this year so he is vulnerable to the long ball. Gibson has a 3.67 ERA on the road this year with a .248 AVG against, and is giving up a line to right handed batters of .273 AVG/.318 OBP/.416 SLG with 8 HR in 245 AB’s. He has been the best pitcher on the Twins, but as we have seen so far this series, there is no stopping Donaldson right now.
Miguel Sano – He has gotten more expensive since he first came up, but he has continued to be a great player night in and night out. He is going against the crafty lefty Mark Buehrle tonight who likely won’t give him much to hit, but I’m not worried about Sano striking out to him which has been his Achilles heel. Sano hasn’t lefties all that well this year posting a line of .161 AVG/.297 OBP/.194 SLG with 0 HR in 31 AB’s and has a line on the road of .222 AVG/.356 OBP/.361 SLG with 1 HR in 36 AB’s. These aren’t the greatest numbers or lines for Sano, but with a lineup that hits lefties well, he should get some chances with runners on base today. Buehrle is giving up a line to right handed batters of .265 AVG/.294 OBP/.398 SLG with 7 HR in 389 AB’s and has a 3.09 ERA with a .243 AVG against. The numbers may not support this pick, but from someone who has watched almost all of Sano’s at bats, he is very consistent every time at the plate.
Bryce Harper – I picked him yesterday for the evening slate and he was pretty disappointing against Rubby De La Rosa. Today though he has an even better matchup against Jeremy Hellickson who has really struggled against left handed batters. He is giving up a line to them of .296 AVG/.364 OBP/.484 SLG with 6 HR in 186 AB’s and has a 5.94 ERA on the road with an AVG against of .293. This does not set up well for him today as he is going against the best left handed hitter in baseball today. Harper has a line against right handed pitching this year of .335 AG/.460 OBP/.690 SLG with 24 HR in 242 AB’s and has a line at home of .331 AVG/.466 OBP/.695 SLG with 16 HR in 154 AB’s. Those are truly great numbers and they honestly speak for themselves. I expect Harper to have a much better game today, the only problem being that teams can pitch around him with all of the offensive injuries that the Nationals have suffered this year.
Andre Ethier – He has also been quiet the last couple games, but it is just too good of a matchup and price to pass up on. Ethier is quite cheap due to mainly being a platoon hitter and hits right handed pitching very well. He has a line against them of .289 AVG/.375 OBP/.498 SLG with 12 HR in 249 AB’s and has a line on the road of .242 AVG/.309 OBP/.396 SLG with 4 HR in 149 AB’s. Now he hasn’t been very good on the road, but he is great against righties and is batting in the cleanup spot which is great for him. And finally, he is also going against David Buchanan today who has that 5.79 ERA at home and has a line of .333 AVG/.422 OBP/.538 SLG with 2 HR in 78 AB’s against left handed batters. I like the Dodgers for the third straight day and most of them are very affordable for cash games once again.
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