We have a tricky slate tonight that was originally 10 games but is now nine games with the postponement of the Cubs and Cardinals contest due to weather. However, I’m still seeing some areas that look very attractive so let’s get some money in our pockets tonight and get our weeks started on the right note.
*Roster assumes Blue Jays/Royals will play tonight, but a PPD is possible due to a stadium issue.
P – Jacob deGrom (NYM) – $11,400 vs. WAS
deGrom’s strikeout rate is a little bit down compared to his career numbers, however he still has a 24.7% strikeout clip as he gets set to take on the Nationals tonight at home. The Nationals have hit right-handed pitching just fine this season, but there aren’t a lot of top-tier options on the slate and deGrom is certainly capable of mowing them down. He’s already notched two wins through three starts to begin the season and sports a real nice 2.77 FIP across his 17.2 innings. Despite the tough opponent I have no problem rostering one of the NL’s very best arms.
P – Blake Snell (TB) – $7,800 vs. TEX
After a rough start against the Yankees in New York, Snell hurled a gem at the White Sox in his most recent start, tossing six innings of one-run ball with a whopping 10 punchouts as well. He still gave up five walks as control has been a problem for him in the past, but the strikeout upside against a free-swinging Rangers team is what I like her. Texas is scuffling out of the gate as they rank 21st in team OPS against lefties with a 23.4% strikeout rate against southpaws. Snell also has the pitching-friendly confines of his home park at Tropicana Field working in his favor in this one.
C – Chris Iannetta (COL) – $3,400 vs. PIT
It seems we’ve rostered Iannetta a lot already this season, but he’s real tough to pass up on against a lefty. He’s already hitting .294 with a homer and a .925 OPS against lefties in 2018 after posting a .300 average, .967 OPS and a .263 ISO against them in 2017. With Nolan Arenado out, the Rockies have mixed up their lineup and it appears Iannetta could hit as high as second in the lineup where he hit last season against lefties for the Diamondbacks.
1B – Justin Smoak (TOR) – $4,800 vs. KC
According to FantasyLabs, Vegas has the Jays pinned at 5.3 projected runs tonight, easily the highest mark on the slate. Therefore, let’s roll with a four-man Blue Jays stack here beginning with the switch-hitting Smoak against left-hander Erik Skoglund. Smoak has posted a .921 OPS against southpaws this young season after posting a .331 average, .977 OPS and .234 ISO against them last season. With those numbers, there’s no reason not to like Smoak in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre tonight.
2B – D.J. LeMahieu (COL) – $4,300 vs. PIT
LeMahieu has been flexing his muscle in the early going this season. He’s already blasted five home runs in just 68 at bats this young season. Furthermore, four of those home runs have come against lefties in just 28 at bats, while mixing in a double too. He faces southpaw Steven Brault tonight while LeMahieu is projected to hit leadoff. With his early .464 ISO and 1.241 OPS against lefties so far, let’s make sure to roster him while he’s red-hot.
3B – Yangervis Solarte (TOR) – $3,600 vs. KC
Next up in our Blue Jays’ stack is Solarte. He’s been a productive bat for the Blue Jays so far in his first season with the club, although he is just 2 for 12 off of lefties early on. Nonetheless, he is projected to hit cleanup for a team that is projected to score the most runs on the slate, so as part of a stack he makes complete sense at a reasonable price. Skoglund yielded five earned runs in just 4.2 innings in his first start of the season, so we can feel good about this play.
SS – Trevor Story (COL) – $4,100 vs. PIT
The final piece of my three-man Rockies stack here is the lefty-mashing Story. Projected to hit cleanup, Story clobbered lefties to the tune of a .354 ISO and 1.034 OPS in the 2017 campaign. It doesn’t appear to be a fluke either as he has a career .322 ISO and .987 OPS against opposite-handed pitching. We’re using three lefty-mashing Rockies expected to hit first, second and fourth in the lineup tonight in Pittsburgh with the wind blowout out 12 mph to left field at the time of this writing.
OF – Steve Pearce (TOR) – $3,100 vs. KC
Pearce is projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight for the Blue Jays against the left-hander Skoglund. Last season, Pearce hit lefties for a powerful .230 ISO, a year after posting a .305 mark with a 1.032 OPS in 2016. He probably won’t reach those 2016 totals again, but we can expect a mix of power and run-scoring ability for the veteran in this matchup.
OF – Teoscar Hernandez (TOR) – $2,600 vs. KC
This could very well be my favorite play in this lineup. Hernandez went 2 for 5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a stolen base in his first and only game with the big club this season on Saturday against Cleveland. This comes after posting a .341 and .907 OPS with the Blue Jays and Astros in 27 games and 95 plate appearances last season. We have real nice cross-category upside with the young outfielder tonight.
OF – Starling Marte (PIT) – $4,300 vs. COL
After a rough 2017 season that included an 80-game steroid ban, Marte is back and producing across the board this season. Through 15 games, he has hit three homers, knocked in six runs, stolen four bases and scored a whopping 15 runs which is tied for the second most in all of baseball. Marte is an elite cross-category contributor and with the wind blowing out towards his pull field in left tonight, I am liking his upside as a one-off play after going 5 for 5 yesterday.