Our GPP-aimed lineup did not get the job done last night. It was shot in the foot right away due to the performance of Carlos Carrasco.
Avoiding the top two arms in Gerrit Cole and Chris Sale appeared to be the right move, but the use of Carrasco was not. He lasted just 3.1 innings and yielded six earned runs in by far his worst road outing of the season. Until then, Carrasco sported a sub-3 road ERA, but he got blown up in this one and took our lineup with him. Jaime Barria was excellent, throwing six shutout frames to go along with six punchots as well. Our Tigers three-man stack did damage as they combined for five hits, two runs and two RBIs, with most of the damage coming off the bat of Nicholas Castellanos who went 3 for 4 with a homer. Our Brewers stack didn’t do a whole lot, although we did get a first-inning homer from Ryan Braun, but we needed much more out of that five-man group for sure.
This past week’s lineups haven’t been great, but it’s a long season and we will get back on track at some point, with tonight looking like a nice starting point.
CHC @ NYM
P – Zack Greinke (ARI) – $10,700 vs. MIA
After a brilliant stretch of three consecutive one-run starts, Grenke has yielded six runs over his last two starts spanning 12 innings, but his home matchup against the Marlins tonight is a fantastic one. Miami’s offense against right-handed pitching is very poor, ranking 29th with a .638 team OPS against righties while striking out in 26.4% of their at-bats against righties as well. Greinke has been excellent at home, posting a 1.69 ERA at Chase Field so far this season while his 2.67 FIP is a very strong figure as well, even if it does point to some regression moving forward. He sports a 27.1% k-rate entering play tonight as well. Getting the Marlins at home is one of the best matchups a starting pitcher can have so rostering Greinke tonight is a fairly easy call.
P – Garrett Richards (LAA) – $7,100 vs. TEX
Fading Justin Verlander? Well, with Verlander taking on the league’s top offense against the Red Sox, a team that also doesn’t strikeout much, I am going to roll the dice a little bit and snag Richards in an excellent matchup. The Angels’ righty faces the Texas Rangers tonight at home, a team that enters play with a .686 OPS against righties, good for 26th overall. Furthermore, their 420 strikeout against right-handers are the most in baseball while their strikeout rate sits at an elevated 29% entering play. Richards brings a solid 3.67 ERA into action tonight to go along with a nice 25.6% strikeout clip as well. He needs to start going deeper into games consistently, however his strikeout upside tonight is excellent and he should be able to keep a weak Rangers’ offense in check to boot.
C – Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – $4,700 vs. COL
The Dodgers currently sit with a 5.7 projected run total tongiht, the highest on the slate, so I am going to pay up for a trio of their bats at Coors Field against right-hander German Marquez. Marquez owns an ERA north of seven at home this season, so we should get some production here beginning with Grandal. Grandal owns an impressive .231 ISO and .845 OPS on the season against right-handed pitching while the switch-hitting catcher has hit all eight of his home runs this season against right-handed pitching. His numbers against righties greatly outweigh his figures against lefties, so I have no problem paying up for the slugger in the league’s most hitter-friendly atmosphere tonight.
1B – Albert Pujols (LAA) – $3,300 vs. TEX
Pujols and the Angels will try to get Richards some run support tonight as they take on left-hander Cole Hamels of the Rangers. The Angels have seen Hamels a lot as he resides in their division, and Pujols has had some success against the southpaw as he also saw him a lot in the National League earlier in their careers. Pujols has 52 career plate appearances against Hamels, and while he’s hit just .229 against him entering play tonight, he’s homered three times and doubled twice to produce a .229 ISO against him. He’s not a valouable player anymore in the least, but Pujols can still hit the long ball and continues to get reps in the cleanup spot so I will roster him tonight as part of a four-man stack.
2B – Ian Kinsler (LAA) – $3,300 vs. TEX
Kinsler has struggled mightily this season, but his bat has perked up as of late. Over his last four games, Kinsler is 9 for 15 with two homers, three doubles, two walks, five RBI and five runs scored. It’s going to take a long time for him to get his average to a healthy looking figure as he still sits at just .216, but it was only a time before the veteran’s bat picked up. Kinsler has perhaps the best career numbers against Hamels of all the Angels’ bats tonight as he is 7 for 18 (.389) with a homer, a double, four runs scored and two steals against Hamels, good for a 1.061 OPS against the veteran. Look for Kinsler to stay hot tonight in the leadoff spot for Mike Scioscia.
3B – Logan Forsythe (LAD) – $3,000 vs. COL
We will likely get Forsythe at very low ownership tonight, so hopefully he runs into one against Marquez at Coors Field. He’s hitting just .209 on the year with just one homer in 99 plate appearances, but interestingly he has a hit in 10 of his last 12 games including in three straight. Forsythe’s numbers aren’t going to stand out and warrant ownership tonight, but he is a dirt cheap bat with a history of pop, and those are tough to find when a player is playing at Coors Field. He is also part of a three-man stack and is hitting at the end of the stack, so perhaps we can get lucky and get a two or three-run power from Forsythe against a pitcher who is struggling mightily at home.
SS – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $4,600 vs. COL
Our stack is complete here with Taylor who is hitting for power against both lefties and righties this season. Against righties, he owns a .217 ISO, better than his .203 mark against lefties, while in 2017 he hit righties for a .215 ISO, better than his .188 mark against lefties. He’s coming off a big night last night with a homer and a triple to go along with four RBI and two runs, and Taylor also brings some stolen base upside with him as he stole 17 bags last season, although he’s only at two for this season. Nonetheless, I’m very comfortable with the consistency and cross-category upside we get with Taylor in our lineup.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $6,000 vs. TEX
I am not going to roll out a four-man Angels stack and leave the best player in the world out of it. Trout actually sporting numbers that are a little better against righties than lefties, but let’s not scoff at his production against southpaws. He’ll step into the batter’s box tonight sporting a massive .308 ISO and 1.006 OPS on the season against left-handed pitching. Trout still brings excellent stolen base upside to the table as well as he’s swiped 12 bags this season, two of which have come against left-handed pitching. He’s homered foupr times and doubled six times over his last nine games, which is pretty much run of the mill production for the future Hall of Famer. He’s a lock for me tonight.
OF – Justin Upton (LAA) – $4,100 vs. TEX
With Upton, we get the 1-4 hitters for the Angels in this stack which should be a production group. It’s not overly exciting to see Upton scuffling against left-handed pitching so far this season, but you have to think he is going to turn it around as he clobbered left-handers for an enormous .384 ISO and 1.155 OPS just last season. He even hit leftied for a strong .205 ISO in the 2016 season too where he struggled for the majority of the year, so we know he has power against southpaws. It’s quite possible he finds that power against Hamels as he’s 15 for 51 with three homers and five doubles in his career against the lefty, good for a big-time .275 ISO.
OF – Aaron Altherr (PHI) – $2,900 vs. SF
I like the value upside Altherr brings to the table against southpaw Andrew Suarez tonight. He’s had a tough season so far and is hitting just .184 against lefties, but Altherr has produced a .211 ISO against lefties as well, so we know the power upside is there and that’s all I care about here. His power against lefties isn’t new as he hit lefties for a huge .266 ISO in the 201 7 campaign. I also like the fact he is projected to hit second in order tonight, giving him real nice cross-category upside while we should also get him at low ownership given the very low batting average numbers.