We had an excellent lineup in terms of our position players last night, but our pitching frustratingly let us down. Clayton Kershaw was an absolute lock against the Marlins, but pitching just five innings while yielding three earned runs, albeit with seven strikeouts. Jacob Faria didn’t fare any better, surrendering four runs in just 4.1 innings of work with five strikeouts. Obviously, neither pitching notched a win. We had both pitchers’ offenses stacked in this one, and it panned out. Joey Wendle had a huge night with three hits, two RBIs, a run and a stolen base. Mallex Smith also stole a base to go along with a hit while Denard Span had a pair of hits including a double with two runs scored to give us a real productive Rays stack. Our Dodgers stack was also very productive with a homer from Yasmani Grandal, a hit and two runs with a walk from Corey Seager, two hits and an RBI from Joc Pederson and two hits including a double from Cody Bellinger. Hopefully you were able to use last night’s lineup picks to get into the money despite some poor pitching! Let’s dive into tonight’s tiny four-game slate!
P – Chris Sale (BOS) – $13,000 vs. TOR
It’s extremely difficult not to roster Sale any time he hits the mound. So far this season, Sale has posted a sparkling 1.86 ERA to go along with a hefty 36.3% strikeout rate. Somehow Sale has managed to win just one of five starts with that ERA, and his 1.88 FIP suggests that he’s been every bit as good as his ERA figure would suggest. Active Blue Jays batters have a combined .220 average and .641 OPS against Sale, so let’s look for the domination of his AL East foe to continue tonight.
P – Kyle Hendricks (CHC) – $6,900 vs. MIL
There are some solid second starting pitching options despite the small slate, but given the cost I am going to pay down for Hendricks. He hasn’t been overly sharp with an ERA just north of four on the season, but he’s also struck out 13 batters over his last 11 frames. He yielded four earned runs on nine hits in a start at Milwaukee earlier in the year, but Hendricks should definitely benefit from the park shift to Wrigley Field tonight as opposed to the hitter-friendly Miller Park in Milwaukee. He’s also yielded just a .283 wOBA to right-handed batters this season and this is a Brewers’ lineup that should have at least six righties in the lineup tonight.
C – Christian Vazquez (BOS) – $2,200 vs. TOR
I wanted a Boston stack regardless tonight, and it would be silly not to use Vazquez at a ridiculously cheap price. Yes, he’s hitting just .200 with just three extra-base hits on the season, but I don’t mind his matchup tonight against Blue Jays’ righty Marco Estrada. Estrada is actually a reverse-splits pitcher who is worse to right-handed bats like Vazquez, and he’s also a fly-ball pitcher too, which isn’t good in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre in Toronto. It simply won’t take much for the catcher to eclipse value tonight.
1B – Lucas Duda (KC) – $3,600 vs. CWS
The Royals are projected to score 5.1 runs tonight which is the highest mark on the slate, so let’s get a Royals stack going here against White Sox righty Lucas Giolito. Duda is an absolute righty masher as he posted a massive .298 ISO to go along with an .867 OPS against righties in 2017. He’s off to a .311 average and an .847 OPS against righties this season, so let’s roster the slugging first baseman as part of a Royals stack tonight.
2B – Whit Merrifield (KC) – $4,300 vs. CWS
While Lucas Giolito has been worse against lefties this season, his MLB career splits are fairly even. Besides, Merrifield hit .292 against right-handed pitching last season as his brings cross-category upside to this matchup. He hit 19 homers, knocked in 78 runs, scored 80 himself and swiped a whopping 34 bases in 2017. He has three homers, 11 runs scored and a pair of steals in the early going this season and hits in the valuable two-hole which should lead to more production across the board tonight.
3B – Mike Moustakas (KC) – $4,600 vs. CWS
The most dangerous power bat in the Royals’ lineup is Moustakas who is feeling it right now. After a little bit of a slow start through the first handful of games, Moustakas has homered seven times over his last 15 contests and two over his last three. He’s improved substantially against lefties from earlier in his career, but he absolutely clobbers righties with a .423 ISO and 1.162 OPS with six homers against them this season.
SS – Eduardo Nunez (BOS) – $3,600 vs. TOR
Our Red Sox stack continues here with the middle infielder Nunez. He’s a lot like Merrifield in the fact that Nunez has some power/speed upside in this matchup tonight. He owns a powerful .203 ISO and .814 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, albeit with just one steal so far. That said, he swiped 24 bases and hit 12 homers in 2017 and wasn’t even an everyday player. I like this bat at a reasonable price tonight.
OF – Jon Jay (KC) – $3,200 vs. CWS
Jay should hit in the leadoff spot tonight which makes him a real easy addition into this lineup. Jay doesn’t bring a whole lot of power upside to the table, but he has been getting on base at a solid .348 clip in the young season. His 12% walk rate is attractive, especially against a pitcher who has had major control issues in the form of an enormous 8.55 BB/9 this season. We just need him to set the table and get on base tonight and score a run or two, anything more than that can be considered a bonus.
OF – J.D. Martinez (BOS) – $4,800 vs. TOR
With Estrada getting touched up pretty good by right-handed hitters this season, it makes perfect sense to roll with the very powerful right-handed bat of outfielder J.D. Martinez. Martinez already sports a powerful .235 ISO on the young season thanks to four homers, five doubles and a triple. He’s actually doing the lion’s share of that damage against righties this season as he sports a massive .281 ISO and .925 OPS against same-handed pitching, numbers I expect to grow tonight.
OF – Jackie Bradley (BOS) – $3,400 vs. TOR
Estrada is worse against right-handed hitters, but as part of a four-man Red Sox stack I don’t mind Bradley hitting from the left side tonight at an attractive price. He brings a little bit of everything to the table tonight as he’s hit two homers and four doubles while scoring 13 runs and stealing a pair of bases this season. He hit 17 homers and stole eight bases in 2017, so in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre I wouldn’t be shocked to see more production from the outfielder tonight.