Offenses around the league exploded last night with the Cubs, Brewers, White Sox, Rockies, Orioles, Padres and Diamondbacks all putting up at least six runs on last night’s slate. Unfortunately that meant that both of our pitchers were tagged and our stacked hitters simply weren’t involved in these offensive outbursts for the most part save for the Rockies in what was easily the most unpredictable night of the young MLB season. Let’s go ahead and rebound strong on a large 14-game slate tonight, albeit with some severe weather concerns across the league meaning we will be avoiding several games for these picks.
P – Danny Duffy (KC) – $10,500 vs. CWS
As mentioned the White Sox exploded for plenty of offense last night but more specifically they posted 12 runs on the sinking Royals. That said, Chicago will be in tough against Royals’ ace Danny Duffy tonight who has cemented himself as one of the top left-handed starts in all of baseball. Duffy crafted a 3.51 ERA and a 9.42 K/9 a season ago and has kicked off this season with a 1.32 ERA, however his 3.28 BB/9 and his 3.47 FIP suggest luck has been on his side thus far. Nonetheless this is not a vaunted offense by any means despite the surge last night so look for Duffy to quiet down the White Sox bats this evening.
P – Michael Wacha (STL) – $6,800 vs. TOR
Wacha has had a very nice bounceback season this year as he has put together a solid 2.41 ERA and an 8.20 K/9 while yielding just 21.9% hard contact through his three starts on the season. Like Duffy, Wacha’s elevated 3.99 FIP suggests he’s benefited from some luck this far, but regardless he has stepped up for a Cardinals rotation that lost their fifth starter before the season had started. He takes on a Blue Jays team that has struggled to score runs this season, scoring just 64 to rank second-last in the AL.
C – Jason Castro (MIN) – $3,200 vs. TEX
Castro cracks this lineup as a one-0ff player with some pop at a very nice price in a hitting-friendly stadium in Texas. Castro has a solid .178 ISO and .751 OPS in his career against right-handed pitching with a solid 34.2% hard contact rate to boot. Catcher is a very tough position to gauge tonight with the numerous weather concerns across the league and Castro appears to be a solid option at a reasonable price for this slate.
1B – Wil Myers (SD) – $4,900 vs. ARI
Myers and the Padres will battle the Diamondbacks once again tonight as the right-handed hitting Myers takes on the left-handed offerings of Patrick Corbin. This bodes well for Myers as he is a career .500 hitter (4 for 8) with a homer and a 1.475 OPS against Corbin. Overall on the season Myers is hitting .345 with five homers and a .995 OPS, making him a very elite option in a very favorable matchup this evening.
2B – Jonathan Villar (MIL) – $4,600 vs. CIN
Villar boasts one of, if not the best power/speed combinations in the big leagues. He will likely hit in the leadoff spot for the Brewers tonight who rank third in the NL in runs scored while their .770 team OPS ranks second behind only the Washington Nationals. This is certainly a team that has surprised on the offensive front in the early going, in large part to the enormous start first baseman Eric Thames has had in his return to the MLB, and getting Villar and his 92 runs, 19 home runs and 64 stolen bases from last season hitting in front of Thames is a good thing tonight.
3B – Kris Bryant (CHC) – $4,800 vs. PIT
Getting Bryant as the fourth-most expensive third baseman on the slate is a thing of beauty as we can lock him in as a one-off for the slate as he takes on Gerrit Cole of the Pirates. The reigning NL MVP has kicked his offense into gear lately after a sluggish start to the season, having tallied hits in six straight games and is most recently coming off of a three-hit effort in last night’s contest while reaching base five times in the blowout victory. Perhaps we are catching Bryant here while he is hot and that cannot be a bad thing for his upside tonight.
SS – Chris Owings (ARI) – $3,600 vs. SD
Yes it was nice to see Owings club a grand slam in last night’s victory over the Padres, but I am not locking him into this spot tonight because of that, but more because he has had strong success against left-handed pitching which he will see tonight against Clayton Richard. Owings produced a .176 ISO and .826 ISO against lefties last season compared to just a .128 ISO and .700 OPS against right-handed pitchers. His success against lefties will likely have him moving into the two-hole for the D-Backs tonight who are leading the NL in runs scored by a nine-run margin entering play tonight.
OF – Yasiel Puig (LAD) – 3,400 vs. SF
I firmly believe that we are getting Puig at a sever discount tonight considering his matchup against Giants’ southpaw Ty Blach. Puig has career reverse splits at the plate, however he has clobbered lefties over the last two years with an ISO of .210 against them in 2016 and an elevated mark of .265 against them in the 2015 campaign. Blach is making his first start of the year tonight so perhaps Puig can take advantage of the inexperience here and provide some production as a one-off play.
OF – Yasmany Tomas (ARI) – $4,000 vs. SD
Last season Tomas produced some of the best splits against left-handed pitching in the entire league. He produced a .326 ISO and 1.112 OPS against lefties last season while clubbing a home run against southpaws once in every 12.9 at-bats against them. His career splits tell a similar story has he clobbers lefties to the tune of a .259 ISO and .937 OPS against them compared to just a .175 ISO and .726 OPS against righties. These figures put him in an attractive spot in the heart of a powerful Diamondbacks lineup tonight.
OF – A.J. Pollock (ARI) – $4,300 vs. SD
Leading off for the Diamondbacks, Pollock could be in a great spot as the table setter in this lineup. He has a career .917 in 12 at-bats against Richard while he has produced a career .217 ISO and .842 OPS against southpaws in his career. He’s also stolen 14 bases against lefties in 447 at-bats (less than a full season’s worth), so he does offer some speed upside as well. However, his main job in this lineup is to get on base and score some runs as part of this D-Backs stack.