I’m still searching for some consistency throughout my lineups as last night provided us another uneven lineup.
Our pitching started out fantastic as Mike Foltynewicz through five shutout frames with six strikeouts, however he departed the game at that point with tightness in his right triceps after just 76 pitches. Foltynewicz was in line for the win still, but the Braves bullpen briefly coughed up the lead which cost our right-hander the win.
Clay Buchholz started very well for the D-backs and got six runs of support after one inning. However, he coughed up six runs himself (five earned) in the fourth innings alone which ended his night.
Our Rays stack was solid as we got a two-run homer from Wilson Ramos while our four-man stack accounted for all four runs scored and Willy Adames doubled as part of a two-hit night.
Our Cardinals stack wasn’t so good as a Marcell Ozuna’s RBI single was as much as we would get out of that group in what was an extremely disappointing effort from a high-upside matchup.
Let’s look for notable improvement on tonight’s nine-game main slate!
P – Gerrit Cole (HOU) – $13,200 vs. OAK
Cole is still a lock and load for me anytime he takes the hill. The last time he faced the A’s, he yielded three runs, but also punched out 12. Tonight, he takes on the A’s on the road, but Cole’s 1.72 ERA on the road is actually better than his 2.66 mark at home. Cole’s pure strikeout upside is what makes him a must-start anytime he takes the hill as he sports a 37.8% strikeout clip on the season, amazingly more than 14% higher than his 23.1% mark last season in Pittsburgh. If this doesn’t work out, tip your cap to the A’s, but I don’t see any reason to fade Cole tonight.
P – Trevor Bauer (CLE) – $11,500 vs. CWS
On this slate, it’s real tough for me to go with any other duo than these two. Bauer is striking out batters at a clip that rivals Cole’s this season with his 30.3% K-rate on the year. Right now though, Bauer is on a different level. He has struck out at least 11 hitters in each of his last three starts and has 36 strikeouts over his last 21 innings of work. For June, he has a 39% strikeout rate. The White Sox sport a 24.5% strikeout clip against righties, the eighth-highest figure in baseball. He could also get some run support as the Indians face a weak right-hander in Dylan Covey tonight.
C – Austin Barnes (LAD) – $3,000 vs. TEX
I’m using the two most expensive pitchers on this slate tonight, which means I am in full search of value with my bats beginning here with Barnes. He’s not having the same excellent season he enjoyed in 2017, however Barnes is still hitting .261 with a solid .751 OPS against left-handed pitching this season which is what he will see against the veteran Cole Hamels tonight. He hit lefties for a .257 ISO and .886 OPS last year, so we know the ability is there and I will roll the dice on Barnes at a tiny price tonight.
1B – Niko Goodrum (DET) – $3,300 vs. MIN
In all honesty first base was the final spot to fill in this lineup after I got my stacks and mini-stack in, and I am going to roll with Goodrum as a one off at low ownership. Goodrum is hitting right-handers for nice power with a .214 ISO on the season and he also brings stolen base upside in the form of five steals this season. Twins’ right-hander Jose Berrios is much worse on the road with a FIP more than three runs higher on the road than at home. He’s allowing a high 1.93 HR/9 clip to lefties on the road, so let’s roll with the switch-hitting Goodrum in a sneaky good matchup tonight.
2B – Logan Forsythe (LAD) – $3,000 vs. TEX
Here’s to the bottom of the Dodgers order getting it done tonight against Hamels. In his last start, Forsythe doubled and homered, his first homer since April 2nd. Therefore, I like to think I am getting him with a little bit of confidence in this matchup tonight. That home run came off of a left-hander in the Braves’ Sean Newcomb which is nice to see as well. Forsythe is also 2 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored in his career against Hamels, so it appears we have something to work with here with Forsythe in this Dodgers three-man stack.
3B – Jedd Gyorko (STL) – $3,400 vs. SD
The Cardinals should certainly be able to get to left-hander Eric Lauer tonight as Lauer has been pummeled for a .993 OPS against right-handed bats this season. Enter Gyorko who is hitting .400 with a .440 ISO and 1.324 OPS on the season against lefties in 25 at-bats. He had a huge year against lefties in 2017 as well, hitting them for a .327 average, .267 ISO and a .975 OPS in a larger 101 at-bat sample. Gyorko is also 2 for 2 with a homer in his history against Lauer. I fully anticipate Gyorko flexing some more muscle in an extremely favorable matchup tonight.
SS – Miguel Rojas (MIA) – $2,800 vs. SF
We have some solid value upside with a couple of extremely cheap Marlins against Giants’ left-hander Andrew Suarez. Suarez has been getting lit up lately with at least four runs surrendered in four of his last six starts. Rojas is viewed as a light-hitting infielder, but he actually has seven home runs on the season, two of which have come against left-handed pitching. He’s not going to consistently hit for power, but Rojas has shown the ability to run into one from time to time.
OF – Lewis Brinson (MIA) -$2,800 vs. SF
Another guy who tends to run into one from time-to-time is former top prospect Lewis Brinson. Brinson enters play tonight with nine long balls on the season, three of which have come against left-handed pitching. He owns a solid .175 ISO against left-handers as well. He and Rojas are projected to hit side-by-side in the lineup tonight, with Brinson one spot ahead of Rojas in the six-hole. If he can get on and we can get extra-base power from Rojas, we could be in business at very low ownership here.
OF – Harrison Bader (STL) – $3,700 vs. SD
Like Gyorko, we used Bader in last night’s lineup to no avail. However, this guy simply clobbers left-handed pitching so I have no problem going right back to him tonight in an extremely favorable matchup against Lauer. Bader brings a .286 ISO and even 1.000 OPS on the season against lefties into action tonight after posting a .400 ISO and 1.200 Ops against lefties in 20 MLB at-bats last season. He hit southpaws for a massive 1.234 OPS in 90 Triple-A at bats in 2017. Like Gyorko, Bader has had success against Lauer in the past by going 1 for 2 with a homer against him. I am fully expecting a nice night out of the young outfielder tonight.
OF – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,300 vs. TEX
Hernandez is seeing a lot of playing time this season and is flexing some muscle as well. He has eight home runs this season, four of which have come against lefties. He has a .187 ISO on the season against southpaws, but also posted a massive .309 ISO and .946 OPS against left-handers last season. While he probably can’t expect those super-elite numbers against lefties again this time around, I still have faith in Hernandez against the lefty Hamels in the projected cleanup spot in the lineup this evening.