We did a good job with our pitching for the second straight night last night, however we couldn’t extract notable value out of most of our low-cost bats to complement our top-tier arms.
Max Scherzer did more Max Scherzer things last night against the Marlins. Scherzer hurled seven innings of one-run ball to go along with 10 strikeouts. He earned his 18th win of the season with the effort.
Our second pitcher Walker Buehler didn’t quite live up to the price we paid. Buehler pitched six strong innings, allowing just two earned runs, but he struck out only five and did not earn the win as he exited the game down 2-1. We didn’t hit value here.
Our bats didn’t do a whole lot outside of a couple of extra-base hits.
In terms of our Angels four-man stack, we received a double from Kole Calhoun and a run scored, however the rest of the stack provided just a couple of RBIS and a couple of walks.
Our Mariners stack was shortened to two as Cameron Maybin did not start, and it’s unfortunate that Guillermo Heredia logged just one at-bat, although he did draw a walk as well. Mike Zunino doubled as part of another two-hit night while he also scored a run. The Mariners scored 10 runs on the night, so we had the right idea here, just couldn’t extract enough value.
Lastly, our one-off shortstop Elvis Andrus logged just one single.
Let’s look for some notable improvement on tonight’s 12-game main slate!
ATL @ NYM / BAL @ BOS
P – Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) – $9,500 vs. TB
We are going to spread the wealth in today’s lineup, and it begins with rostering a reasonably priced Tanaka as he takes on the Rays at Tropicana Field tonight. Tanaka has done his best work on the road this season as he has pitched to a 3.31 ERA away from Yankee Stadium while his 27.4% strikeout rate on the road is significantly higher than his 22.8% mark at home. Despite struggling against a very tough Red Sox lineup at home in his last start, he still owns a 2.16 ERA for the month of September to go along with a healthy 27% strikeout rate. The Yankees are currently -172 favorites in this one and the Rays are projected to score just 3.3 runs, so I like the upside Tanaka brings to the table as a result.
P – Shane Bieber (CLE) – $8,900 vs. CWS
Bieber has been roughed up over his last two starts, however he still owns excellent peripheral ERA indicators and his win and strikeout upside get a nice boost in a road matchup against the White Sox tonight. The White Sox ranked 24th with a .708 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, their 25.6% strikeout rate against right-handers is the second-highest mark in baseball, and their 27.1% strikeout rate in the second half of the season is by far the highest mark in all of baseball. Bieber sports an unimpressive 4.80 ERA, however also an impressive 3.34 FIP and 3.37 xFIP. He is also striking out opposing hitters at a nice 23.4% clip on the year. Finally, the Indians are -181 favorites and the White Sox are projected to score under four runs tonight, so let’s look for a bounce back effort and some strikeouts tonight.
C – Jose Briceno (LAA) – $3,000 vs. TEX
We paid up a little bit for pitching, but we’re also going to roster a little bit of an expensive stack, and I have a three-man low-cost Angels stack that figures to complement these pieces very well, beginning here with Briceno. Briceno and the Angels take on Rangers left-hander Yohander Mendez who was blasted for seven earned runs in 3.2 innings in his last start, the second time he has allowed at least six earned runs in his four starts this season. Enter Briceno who has hit left-handed pitching for plenty of power in the big leagues this season with a massive .300 ISO and .913 OPS against southpaws in 50 at-bats while he’s homered five times against lefties in that span. Huge value to be had here.
1B – Jefry Marte (LAA) – $3,300 vs. TEX
Marte isn’t your prototypical power first baseman, but he’s going to be very low owned and fits nicely in a low-cost Angels stack. Marte’s power isn’t too shabby against left-handed pitching as four of his six homers have come against lefties this season who he owns a real solid .193 ISO against left-handed pitching in his big league career. Marte in fact homered in his most recent game on Monday night, his first longball in more than a month for the part-time corner infielder. Perhaps he is feeling it at the plate, and his upside increases against a pitcher that has allowed three homers in just 18 innings to right-handed hitters this season.
2B – Robinson Cano (SEA) – $4,900 vs. OAK
The Mariners rank fourth in baseball right now with a .367 wOBA over the last seven days, and given they are facing a pitcher that faces huge regression, I am going to roll out a four-man Mariners stack which shouldn’t see too much ownership tonight. Cano is feeling it at the plate right now as he owns a .224 ISO and .963 OPS in the month of September and has two homers and a double over his last four games. He’s also 15 for his last 29 at the plate. For the season, he’s hit right-handed pitching for a rock-solid .188 ISO, but given his recent work, I am looking for more power than that tonight.
3B – Taylor Ward (LAA) – $3,000 vs. TEX
Ward has done the majority of his power damage at the big league level against left-handed pitching, which makes complete sense since he obliterated left-handers at the Triple-A level prior to his big league promotion. Ward has hit lefties for a real solid .175 ISO in the big leagues this season to go along with a decent .727 OPS. Still, those numbers tower over his production against righties, and he produced a massive 1.038 OPS against lefties at the Triple-A level earlier in the year. He also swiped four of his 10 minor league steals this year against a lefty, so let’s throw some stolen base upside into his power upside tonight.
SS – Jean Segura (SEA) – $3,900 vs. OAK
Segura brings a decent amount of power upside into this matchup with Edwin Jackson tonight, but also quality stolen base upside as well. For the season, Segura has hit seven of his 10 homers and 19 of his 29 doubles against right-handed pitching, albeit with power numbers a little bit better against lefties. However, what I really like about Segura tonight is he is coming off a two-hit game including a homer in last night’s game while he rides a three-game hit streak into action after scuffling for most of the month of September. He’s swiped 20 bases on the season, so let’s look for some more cross-category production out of the projected two-hole tonight.
OF – Mitch Haniger (SEA) – $4,700 vs. OAK
Haniger is set to hit in the leadoff spot tonight while I love the fact he owns some notable reverse-splits this season. The right-handed hitting Haniger has clobbered right-handed pitching for a powerful .226 ISO and .857 OPS on the season while 22 of his 26 homers on the year have come against a right-handed pitcher. Haniger also brings a bit of stolen base upside into action with eight steals on the season, seven of which have come against a righty. It’s a small sample, but he’s 2 for 4 with a double in his career against the veteran Jackson, so I am all over Haniger’s cross-category upside tonight.
OF – Nelson Cruz (SEA) – 4,000 vs. OAK
I think we’re getting Cruz at a ridiculously cheap price here considering the power he brings to the table. Maybe it’s because he’s on the west coast, but he’s hit 37 of the quietest home runs in baseball this season. His power is increased against left-handed pitching, but let’s not scoff at Cruz’s .244 ISO and .840 OPS against righties for the season, either. He too homered in last night’s game, and he’s 6 for 15 (.400) with two doubles in his career against Jackson. Huge value to be extracted here.
OF – David Dahl (COL) – $4,800 vs. PHI
Given Dahl’s numbers at home against right-handed pitching, he makes for an excellent one-off play against Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta. Against righties on the season, Dahl owns a big .267 ISO and .915 OPS, however against righties at home, Dahl owns a massive .356 ISO and 1.106 OPS for the year. He’s bashed his way to a big .281 ISO and .902 OPS in the month of September and has homered in back-to-back games with six RBI over that span. I’m not thinking twice about this one-off play this evening.