Yesterday’s lineup was a solid one as the Diamondbacks, led by Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock, put up a nine-spot on the Padres while Jonathan Villar, Jason Castro, and Michael Wacha all had successful evenings as well. Danny Duffy dragged the performance down as he was touched up by the White Sox however we were limited with our picks due to weather and did a fine job of selecting some players who delivered for the lineup. Let’s look ahead to tonight’s 12-game slate and see if we can pick up where we left off.
P – Noah Syndergaard (NYM) – $12,600 vs. ATL
For our first pitcher of the lineup we will snatch the top arm on the slate. Syndergaard gave up five runs (only three earned) in his last start, however he still racked up ten strikeouts and has yet to walk a batter on the season. He’s up to a 10.83 K/9 on the season with a 0.00 BB/9 as well as a 0.00 HR/9. His ERA sits at 1.73 entering play tonight, however his FIP is actually 0.75, meaning that ERA has actually been on the unlucky side. Regardless, he faces a Braves team that ranks 10th in the NL in runs scored and 14th in OPS this season, giving him plenty of upside this evening.
P – James Paxton (SEA) – $8,200 vs. DET
Interestingly, there are seven pitchers that are pricier than Paxton on tonight’s slate so I will enjoy the cost savings with a pitcher that has a very high ceiling tonight. Paxton has racked up 30 strikeouts in four starts this season to rank 13th in the MLB in that category while sporting a 10.66 K/9 on the season. He has yet to give up a home run and boasts a solid 1.78 BB/9 ratio as well. Like Syndergaard, his low 1.78 ERA is actually a little unlucky when you consider his FIP stands at 1.16 for the season. Nonetheless, he takes on a depleted Tigers lineup tonight which can give Paxton incredible value at this price.
C – Cameron Rupp (PHI) – $3,300 vs. MIA
Rupp is a solid power option at the catching position tonight and will also be a solid GPP play due to some lower ownership. His matchup is a strong one this evening as he takes on Marlins’ southpaw Wei-Yin Chen who tends to struggle with right-handed hitting. Chen surrendered 1.79 HR/9 to right-handed hitters last season and Rupp posted a whopping .309 ISO and .993 OPS against left-handed pitching last season. You find won’t a catcher at this price with such gaudy splits in his matchup tonight so roll with Rupp at a very reasonable price.
1B – Tommy Joseph (PHI) – $3,900 vs. MIA
Another Phillies’ right-handed bat who crushed left-handed pitching last season is sophomore first baseman Tommy Joseph. Joseph clobbered lefties to the tune of a .281 ISO and .921 OPS in 2016 and elevated that OPS to .954 against lefties at home. Joseph and Rupp will certainly be a low-owned mini stack on a large slate so feel free to lock them in and reap the benefits in a GPP format.
2B – Jonathan Schoop (BAL) – $3,800 vs. TB
Interestingly, the right-handed hitting Schoop has had much more career success against right-handed pitching than he has had against the traditional opposite-handed pitching. He has just a .112 ISO and .610 OPS in his career against lefties but he sports a career .209 ISO and .760 OPS against righties. That .760 OPS is severely dogged by a minuscule 2.4% walk rate, however the power is clearly there as it’s tough to find a second baseman that has hit 40 home runs over the last two seasons and five so far this season at this price. Lock Schoop in with confidence tonight against the right-handed offerings of the Rays’ Alex Cobb.
3B – Jake Lamb (ARI) – $3,900 vs. SD
While the Diamondbacks have displayed one of the very best offenses in the big leagues this season, Lamb enters this lineup as a one-off play for ownership reasons. He boasts a powerful left-handed bat against right-handed pitching as evidenced by his career .215 ISO and .829 OPS against righties including a .281 ISO and .898 OPS against righties in a breakout 2016 season. He will also take his swings in of the league’s most hitter-friendly environments at Chase Field tonight where he posted a .310 ISO and .946 OPS against righties last season. He could give Padres’ right-hander Trevor Cahill fits throughout tonight’s game in Arizona.
SS – Corey Seager (LAD) – $4,200 vs. SF
Also a one off play, Seager is an excellent selection against right-handed pitching which is what he will face in the form of Giants’ righty Johnny Cueto this evening. Seager hit righties to the tune of a .223 ISO and .948 OPS in his rookie season in 2016 and looks to be picking up where he left off with a .217 ISO and 1.070 OPS against righties in the early going of 2017. Shortstop is hardly ever a stockpiled position so let’s spend up for one of the best hitting shortstops in the game.
OF – Michael Conforto (NYM) – $3,200 vs. ATL
Conforto enters this lineup as a solid value option against Braves’ right-hander Julio Teheran tonight. Teheran has been much worse against left-handed hitters in his career and Conforto has been much better against right-handed pitchers in his career. Teheran gave up 1.42 HR/9 to lefties last year and just 0.77 to righties while Conforto has a career .249 ISO and .861 OPS against righties compared to just .015 and .333 respectively to lefties, making this a solid matchup for the young outfielder tonight.
OF – Ryan Rua (TEX) – $2,900 vs. MIN
Here is a guy that offers very high upside as a value play tonight. The right-handed Rua has specialized in hitting left-handed pitching in his career as he boasted an ISO as high as .235 against them in 2015, and while that number dropped to .157 in 2016 we can see that the upside is still there. When we factor in the hitting-friendly confines of Globe Life Park with the wind blowing out tonight we should be a very solid value option on our hands.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $3,600 vs. LAA
I believe we are getting one of the baseball’s best power hitters at a large discount tonight with Khris Davis. Although he is facing same-handed pitching tonight against the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker, Davis had almost equal splits against righties and lefties last season, crafting a .276 ISO against righties in 2016 and has gotten off to a hot start this season thanks to a .388 ISO and 1.042 OPS against righties in 2017. He is a threat to go deep every single night and he makes for an excellent one-off play this evening as a result.