There is another large slate this evening in the MLB, but with four matinee affairs taking place the main slate shrinks to 11 games. However, plenty of options on that draft board remain so let’s get to it and see where the money is going to be made tonight!
P – Madison Bumgarner (SF) – $11,700 vs. KC
Two of the most expensive pitchers in the game are on the mound this evening, however as a slight fade to Kershaw and the need for cost savings, I will roll with World Series legend Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner has yet to notch a win on the season, however he has a registered a quality start in all three of his outings this season while racking up 24 strikeouts in 21 innings. He gets the added benefit in pitching in the pitcher’s-friendly Kauffman Stadium tonight in Kansas City, a team he dominated in the World Series a few years back to earn his legendary postseason status.
P – Vince Velasquez (PHI) – $9,400 vs. NYM
There isn’t a starting pitcher in all of baseball who is striking batters out at the clip that Velasquez has produced early in the season. His 17 strikeouts in nine innings of work equates obviously equates to an outrageous 17 K/9 figure, and more than make up for the fact he hasn’t been able to grab a win or pitch more than five innings in his two starts on the season. Velasquez needs to reign in his sky-high 7 BB/9 rate, however so long as he continues to rack up the punchouts he makes for an elite daily option every time he takes the hill.
C – Buster Posey (SF) – $4,000 vs. KC
The right-handed hitting Posey will take his crack at the left-handed Jason Vargas tonight and given Posey’s career success versus lefties I am liking this play. Posey has a career .227 ISO and .945 OPs against left-handed pitching while also producing a very solid .327 batting average. I mentioned that Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City is a pitcher’s park, however it does have large alley ways for doubles and that’s what we can expect Posey to take advantage of this evening.
1B – Greg Bird (NYY) – $3,500 vs. CWS
With rookie right-hander Dylan Covey taking the mound in New York tonight I am loving Bird to take aim at the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium this evening. After all, Bird has a career .270 ISO and .820 OPS against right-handed pitching and we all know how that porch in right loves to yield home runs to left-handed hitters. Bird has had a rather anemic start to his 2017 campaign after missing all of the 20167 season, however his .167 BABIP is due for positive regression so I have no problem in taking Bird as an excellent GPP play tonight.
2B – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – $3,700 vs. TOR
Pedroia is another right-handed bat who likes to hit left-handed pitching and that is what he will see tonight in Toronto as he takes on southpaw Francisco Liriano. He has a career .846 OPS against lefties and a career 1.236 career OPS against Liriano in 11 at-bats. He’s also hit ten career homers at the Rogers Centre, by far the most he’s hit in any park besides Fenway in his career.
3B – Nick Castellanos (DET) – $3,300 vs. TB
Rays’ starter Chris Archer had serious issues with the home run ball last season, and here we have a right-handed bat capable of taking the Rays’ ace yard at a very reasonable price. Castellanos as been crushing the baseball this season, producing a hard hit rate of 57.5% with two homers, four doubles and a triple, however his .237 BABIP is completely dragging down his production. You won’t find a player hitting the baseball as hard as Castellanos has in this price range so lock the young third baseman into your lineups tonight.
SS – Xander Bogaerts (BOS) – $4,000 vs. TOR
Bogaerts forms a nice little mini-stack with Pedroia tonight at the Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays. Like Pedroia, Bogaerts’ success comes against left-handed pitching as evidenced by his .839 OPS against lefties compared to just .719 against righties. Bogaerts has very solid power/speed upside this evening as he hit 21 homers and stole 13 bases a season ago, making him a solid option as a second-tier shortstop tonight.
OF – Hunter Pence (SF) – $4,100 vs. KC
Another mini-stack that I like tonight is the Posey/Pence combination. Like Posey, Pence has enjoyed immense success against left-handed pitching in his career to the tune of a .217 ISO and .844 OPS against southpaws. He and Posey should hit right next to each other in the Giants’ lineup tonight which gives them a very good opportunity to produce as a tandem while both have very favorable matchups against a lefty this evening.
OF – Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) – $3,800 vs. CWS
The mini-stacks continue in this lineup, this time with the Yankees as I like the Bird/Ellsbury duo to produce against rookie right-hander Dylan Covey tonight. Ellsbury has solid power/speed upside tonight as he hit nine homers and stole 23 bases a season ago, however he is in this lineup to get on base ahead of Bird (which he did last season with a .330 OBP) and perhaps steal a base and have Bird do the home run hitting/power hitting. This could be a sneaky GPP mini stack for this slate tonight.
OF – Tyler Collins (DET) – $2,400 vs. TB
The final play of this lineup is both a value play and yet another mini-stack. Collins has been hitting sixth in the Tigers order which is close enough to Castellanos where a mini-stack is in play. Collins has a decent .277 career batting average against righties with a decent .160 ISO and .757 OPS. He will certainly be an extremely low-owned option tonight, however given Archer’s difficulties with home runs last season Collins would be the value play required to push your lineup over the top.