Last night’s lineup was decent at best, and unfortunately our ace pitcher who took up a big chunk of salary failed to deliver. Cory Kluber went six innings and struck out just four while yielding three earned runs to the Milwaukee Brewers. Aaron Nola certainly delivered at he tossed seven innings of one-run ball to go along with a whopping 12 strikeouts, earning himself the win in the process. That said, outside of home runs from Aaron Altherr and Carlos Santana of the Phillies, our bats didn’t produce as hoped. It was tough to get quality stacks in the lineup given the money we spent on pitching, and while the Phillies stack did fine, our complementary bats just didn’t produce. Let’s look for some improvement in this unique lineup on tonight’s seven-game main slate!
P – Gio Gonzalez (WAS) – $11,400 vs. SD
With Gonzalez going up against a weak Padres’ lineup in a pitcher-friendly environment at Petco Park in San Diego, I’m rolling with him as my top pitcher of the slate. The Padres check in at 22nd with a .702 team OPS against left-handed pitching while they have also struck out in 28.3% of their at-bats against a lefty. Enter Gonzalez who brings a tidy 2.33 ERA and 2.56 FIP into action tonight to go along with a nice 25% strikeout rate. He brings safety and strikeout upside into this lineup tonight.
P – Julio Teheran (ATL) – $8,900 vs. TB
Here we have a little interleague action on tap as the Braves take on the Rays tonight in Tampa. The Rays aren’t a great offense against right-handed pitching, ranking 19th with a .708 team OPS against righties, and they also sport a 24.8% strikeout rate against righties as well. Teheran has been solid lately, yielding just four earned runs combined over his last four starts while he brings a quality 3.65 ERA and 23% strikeout rate into action. I also like the fact he’s pitching in a pitcher’s ballpark tonight.
C – Salvador Perez (KC) – $3,700 vs. BAL
The unique part of this lineup is going to be a game stack I am rolling out between the Orioles and Royals. It begins here with Perez who is off to a nice start after beginning the season on the DL with three homers and three doubles in just 58 at-bats on the year. He has two homers and a double over his last five games and figures to keep the power stroke going against Andrew Cashner and his 4.89 ERA, 5.82 FIP and 2.09 HR/9 on the season.
1B – Trey Mancini (BAL) – $3,600 vs. KC
Royals’ lefty Erik Skoglund has been rocked by right-handed hitters this season, so let’s put together a four-man Orioles stack tonight as well. Mancini loves to hit lefties as he has a career .302 average and .829 OPS against the. He’s off a red-hot start against southpaws this season as he’s posted a huge .237 ISO and .934 OPS against them. Hitting in the leadoff spot helps Mancini’s cross-category upside tonight.
2B – Jonathan Schoop (BAL) – $3,500 vs. KC
Schoop is projected to hit in the cleanup spot tonight which could be an enviable run-producing spot for his powerful bat tonight. Schoop is hitting .313 in the early going against righties, but if last year was any indication, his power should come soon. He posted an even .300 average against lefties in 2017, but also with a massive .293 ISO and .955 OPS against them as well. With the wind pointed out towards his pull field in left at the hitter-friendly Camden Yards, I love his upside tonight.
3B – Mike Moustakas (KC) – $4,100 vs. BAL
Moustakas was certainly involved in last night’s Royals’ home run parade as he blasted a pair of homers and drove in five runs to give him eight RBIs over the last two games. Moustakas is absolutely clobbering right-handed pitching to the tune of an enormous .384 ISO and 1.086 OPS this season and considering Cashner has yielded a .924 OPS and 2.55 HR/9 to lefties this season, I certainly have high hopes for Moose tonight.
SS – Manny Machado (BAL) – $4,900 vs. KC
We’re not going to run a four-man Orioles stack against a lefty and not include Machado. Machado is once again destroying left-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .355 ISO and 1.024 OPS on the season. His power has dried up some as of late, but he still has nine home runs and nine doubles on the season and he’s in a fantastic spot to get the power stroke back against a lefty who is struggling big-time this season.
OF – Adam Jones (BAL) – $3,600 vs. KC
Jones completes our four-man Orioles stack and it should be a 1-4 stack as well as per their projected lineup. Jones has struggled against southpaws in the early going, but his power stroke is still there with five homers and nine doubles on the young season. He’s sported reverse-splits tendencies throughout his career, but considering he’s projected to hit second in the lineup I have no problem including him in this stack tonight.
OF – Alex Gordon (KC) – $3,400 vs. BAL
Gordon was also in on last night’s home run parade as he cranked a first-inning home run as part of a 4 for 5 night at the plate. The homer was Gordon’s third in his last six games while he’s hitting righties for a cool .364 average, .218 ISO and .978 OPS so far this season. After what was an absolutely dreadful season in 2017, it appears Gordon has come back swinging so far this time around.
OF – Jon Jay (KC) – $2,800 vs. BAL
As a left-handed leadoff hitter I think Jay brings excellent value upside to the table tonight as he complete our four-man Royals stack. Jay put together a 3 for 6 night at the dish last night while scoring three runs as well. He’s white-hot to begin the month of May with a .429 average so far this month. Jay doesn’t hit for much power as evidenced by his zero homers, two doubles and one triples this season, but as he did last night, we just want him to get on base and score some runs while anything over and above that would be a bonus.
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