After an exciting weekend of MLB baseball, we are back this Monday evening to tackle a tiny four-game slate. For tonight’s lineup, I am going to mix and match ownership to make this an optimal lineup which should be good for both cash games and GPP tournaments. We will be rolling out a chalk stack, however we will also grab a couple mini-stacks that should see fairly low ownership despite the small slate. Let’s get to it!
P – Domingo German (NYY) – $8,700 vs. DET
The Tigers’ offense has surprised to the upside so far this season, however they will be in tough against the Yankees today as they play a double header and will face young right-hander Domingo German in the night cap. German brings a 5.45 ERA into action tonight, however he also sports very good strikeout numbers while his FIP and xFIP figures suggest positive regression. With the Tigers projected run total at four, I think this is a nice play. German’s 27.5% strikeout clip is a good one and he should also be backed by a Yankees offense that is projected to score a slate-high 5.6 runs tonight. In terms of pure strikeout upside German is the top arm on the slate.
P – Nick Tropeano (LAA) – $8,300 vs. KC
The Angels get a home date against the lowly Royals tonight and that is good news for right-hander Nick Tropeano. Tropeano has been pitching real well as of late, logging 12.2 innings while yielding just three earned runs over his last two starts. He’s also struck out 11 in that span. His 20.4% strikeout rate isn’t anything to write home about, but run prevention is what I am looking for here and we should get that against a Royals club that ranks 25th with a .692 team OPS against right-handed pitching. Like German, Tropeano should be backed by an offense projected to score 4.9 runs tonight, easily the second-highest mark on the slate.
C – Gary Sanchez (NYY) – $4,600 vs. DET
Unless you’re going all-out GPP tonight, you’re going to want some Yankees exposure tonight against Tigers’ right-hander Mike Fiers. Fiers has been touched up for a 4.45 ERA on the year, but also sports a 5.12 FIP as well. He is also yielding 1.81 HR/9, so we can feel good about a Yankees stack in this matchup. Sanchez is interesting because he’s hitting just .179 with a .703 OPS against righties this season, but he has hit nine homers and sports a big .254 ISO against them. We aren’t using Sanchez for singles and batting average, all we want is the power and he certainly delivers that in spades.
1B – Greg Bird (NYY) – $4,000 vs. DET
Fiers is yielding 2.66 HR/9 to left-handed hitters this season, so Bird is in a fantastic matchup. That said, he is in the lineup for the first game of the double-header so it’s possible Tyler Austin takes over for the night cap, so check the lineups prior to lock. For now, we will use Bird who has just 24 at-bats on the season, but already has a homer and two doubles against righties, good for a .292 ISO. He has a career .256 ISO against right-handed pitching and when he’s healthy he is a big-time home run threat, especially in this matchup.
2B – Chris Owings (ARI) – $3,200 vs. SF
The lower-owned part of the lineup takes over for the remainder of our infield tonight as Owings and the Diamondbacks take on Giants lefty Derek Holland tonight. Holland certainly has his struggles against right-handed bats and I’m looking for some low-owned pop from Owings. He has just three homers and a .184 average on the season, but the D-backs infielder hit a career-high 12 homers in just 386 plate appearances which equates to about a 20-homer campaign in a full seasons’ worth of at-bats. He also stole 12 bags last season, so he certainly delivered low-cost power/speed upside in 2017. I am looking for him to regain that form tonight at a low ownership.
3B – Deven Marrero (ARI) – $2,900 vs. SF
Marrero is going to see very low ownership tonight thanks to his .180 average and zero home runs on the season, but I think he makes for a decent play at tiny ownership. Against lefties in 2017, Marrero hit for a .291 average with a huge .309 ISO and .944 OPS across 55 at-bats. It’s not a huge sample size, but Marrero often eclipsed value against southpaws last season. He hasn’t done so yet in 2018, but at least we know he has pop and that’s all we ask for at this cost and the very low projected ownership.
SS – Johan Camargo (ATL) – $3,300 vs. SD
The last two times I have rostered Camargo he has hit a home run, so let’s make it three straight tonight as he takes on Padres’ lefty Clayton Richard in San Diego. Richard is better at home and it’s a pitcher’s park at Petco, however on a short slate I will stick with my guy. After mashing lefties for a .403 average, .292 ISO and 1.129 OPS last season, his bat is coming around against southpaws this season. He’s homered three times over his last six games and has at least one hit in seven of this last eight contests.
OF – Nick Markakis (ATL) – $4,500 vs. SD
Markakis is enjoying a resurgent campaign in 2018. After hitting just eight homers and posting an overall .110 ISO in 2017, Markakis has already clubbed seven homers and owns an overall .162 ISO which would be his highest mark since back in 2012 with the Orioles. The lefty on lefty matchup against Richard isn’t optimal, but Markakis is 3 for 8 with a double in his career against Richard, so I don’t mind rolling the dice here in the mini-stack with Camargo. The idea is for Markakis to get on base and let Camargo take advantage of the platoon advantage against Richard, so let’s look for just that this evening.
OF – Aaron Judge (NYY) – $5,800 vs. DET
If you can only afford one of Judge or Stanton in your lineup, I prefer Judge against righties and Stanton against lefties. While Judge possesses monstrous power against both sides, he is actually hitting right-handers much better than lefties this season with a .316 average to go along with a huge .322 ISO and 1.055 OPS against them this season. He hit righties notably better in 2017 as well, so for me this is an easy decision to roll with Judge who is 3 for 8 with a homer and a double in his career against Fiers.
OF – Brett Gardner (NYY) – $4,700 vs. DET
Gardner is out of the lineup in Game 1 of the double header today, so it’s safe to assume he will be in the lineup for Game 2 and in the leadoff spot as well. Gardner is swinging a real hot bat at the moment as he’s gone 8 for 15 with two homers, two doubles and a stolen base over his last three games. His OPS is back up to .812 on the season against righties while he’s now swiped six bases on the season as well. He brings fantastic cross-category upside to table, perhaps the best on tonight’s four-game slate.