P – Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – $10,800 vs. PIT
While his ERA may be a tad high for our liking right now, there are few pitchers in the world who boast the same pure strikeout upside as Stephen Strasburg. He brings a still-solid 3.63 ERA into play tonight, but he also sports a 26.9% strikeout rate entering tonight’s start at home against the Pirates. He actually came out of the gates a little low in the k-rate department, however he has punched out 17 over his last 13.1 innings. I like his upside tonight at home.
P – Aaron Nola (PHI) – $9,900 vs. MIA
There are some real attractive arms on this slate, however I really like Nola’s matchup on the road against the Marlins. Being on the road isn’t ideal, but pitching in a pitcher’s ballpark against quite possibly the league’s worst offense is an attractive thought. The Marlins are dead last with a tiny .604 OPS against right-handed pitching this season and are tied for the fourth most strikeouts against righties this season while Nola brings a stout 2.58 ERA into action tonight.
C – Devin Mesoraco (CIN) – $2,900 vs. MIL
I’m thinking there will be a lot of runs scored tonight in this matchup between the Brewers and Reds, so we’re going to get our exposure to this game started right here with Mesoraco. I like his value upside tonight against lefty Wade Miley who makes his first appearances of the 2018 season tonight. Miley posted an ugly 5.61 ERA with the Orioles last year and struggled big-time against right-handed hitters. Mesoraco owns a solid career .790 OPS against lefties and is a powerful bat against southpaws when healthy.
1B – Trey Mancini (BAL) – $3,600 vs. LAA
The Orioles are certainly struggling right now, but they have a decent matchup tonight against lefty Andrew Heaney who brings a 6.91 ERA into action tonight across three starts. Mancini loves to hit left-handed pitching thanks to a career .307 average, .844 OPS and .194 ISO against them. He has a .344 average, 1.042 OPS and .281 ISO against lefties this season so far so I think he brings nice value upside to the table out of the leadoff spot for the Orioles tonight.
2B – Jonathan Villar (MIL) – $3,300 vs. CIN
Reds’ started Luis Castillo has been absolutely demolished by left-handed hitters this season, and with Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati lending itself as being a left-handed hitters home run haven, I’m going to roll with a few Brewers’ lefties tonight beginning here with the switch-hitting Villar. Villar hasn’t quite found his power stroke this season with just one homer, one double and one triple on the season, but he brings solid power/speed upside to the table with 11 homers and 23 steals a year ago and 19 homers and a whopping 62 steals in the 2016 season.
3B – Travis Shaw (MIL) – $4,200 vs. CIN
There is no doubt this guy has the power upside to put up some massive numbers tonight in this matchup and at this venue. Shaw has clobbered righties for a massive .316 ISO and .985 OPS on the season so far after posting a .249 ISO and .892 OPS against them in 2017. I think this guy could very well be the highest scoring third baseman, or bat, on this slate.
SS – Jose Peraza (CIN) – $3,700 vs. MIL
Could this be the year Peraza makes good on his prospect hype? He is certainly off to a good start with a .296 batting average and he is also showing some power with two homers and six doubles on the young season. He is always a stolen base threat, even against a lefty, as he’s already swiped two bases off of a lefty and five bases total. He’s projected to hit in the two-hole tonight where he has a chance to be a cross-category contributor.
OF – Adam Duvall (CIN) – $3,700 vs. MIL
You may look at Duvall and his .170 batting average and shake our head. However, I’m looking at his four home runs and eight doubles and liking his matchup tonight against a lefty. He has a big .267 ISO and .835 OPS against lefties so far this season after posting a massive .293 ISO and .924 OPS against them in 2017. He will hit in the heart of the order tonight and will also be the middle man in our three-man Reds’ stack tonight.
OF – Christian Yelich (MIL) – $4,300 vs. CIN
Yelich completes our second three-man stack of the lineup tonight against Castillo and the Reds. He’s projected to hit second in the lineup tonight, so this should be a 2-4-6 stack with Yelich, Shaw and Villar. Yelich is an all-around quality hitter against right-handed pitching with a .310 average and .771 OPS against them this year after posting a .288 average and .837 OPS against them in 2017. He also has stolen base upside with one this season, but also 16 of them in two of the last three seasons.
OF – Adam Jones (BAL) – $3,600 vs. LAA
Jones completes our Orioles mini-stack tonight against the Angels and left-hander Andrew Heaney. He’s having a productive season so far with four homers, eight doubles and 16 RBIs already. He’s off to a good start against left-handed pitching this season with an even .300 average against southpaws while he’s been afforded plenty of RBI opportunities hitting out of that valuable cleanup spot in the lineup. If the Orioles get to Heaney tonight, Jones could do some serious damage in the run-producing department.
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