Another successful lineup last night as one of my value plays, Ryan Rua of the Rangers, connected for a grand slam while Corey Seager also found the seats for the Dodgers. James Paxton also had an excellent night, but the fate of the lineup may have rested on what to do in the pitching spot vacated by Noah Syndergaard as he was a late scratch on the mound for the Mets. Nonetheless, we have pumped out a couple of solid lineups the last couple of nights and will look to keep the good times rolling on a very short four-game main slate tonight.
P – Chris Sale (BOS) – $12,900 vs. NYY
With such a short slate tonight there is a good chance that we simply cannot afford to fade easily the top arm on the slate. Sale has long been one of the top pitchers in all of baseball, but he has been out of this world with his new team so far in Boston. Sale has racked up a 12.74 K/9 through four starts with the Red Sox while walking just 1.82/9 and posting a 0.91 ERA and 1.19 FIP in the early going. Sale has also enjoyed immense success against the Yankees in his career while posting a 1.17 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 53.2 innings across seven starts against the Bronx Bombers.
P – Adam Wainwright – $8,500 vs. TOR
At first glance Wainwright looks like he has been an abomination to start this season, however some minor digging reveals a much prettier picture. Wainwright has posted an ugly 6.27 ERA in four starts, however his 2.97 FIP and sky-high .467 BABIP point heavily towards some serious bad luck in the early going. Wainwright will also be taking on a Blue Jays team that ranks 29th in the MLB in runs scored and 29th in OPS with only the Royals posting worse figures in both categories.
C – Austin Hedges (SD) – $3,000 vs. ARI
Hedges has always been known for his strong defensive work behind the plate but he is certainly starting to see his bat catch up to his glove already this season. Hedges has crafted a .303 ISO in the early going and his .182 batting average has been dogged by a brutal .146 BABIP, so we should see some significant improve on balls put into play for Hedges moving forward. We know the power is there and Hedges has the advantage of taking his cuts in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field in Arizona tonight so he should have another nice showing this evening.
1B – Matt Carpenter (STL) – $4,400 vs. TOR
While Paul Goldschmidt will be the popular play at first base tonight, we will fade and roll with Matt Carpenter who tormented right-handed pitching last season. Carpenter posted a very impressive .262 ISO and .920 OPS against right-handed pitchers in 2016 while posting the same .262 ISO but an increased .934 OPS at home against righties. He will be in that same scenario tonight when he takes on rookie right-hander Casey Lawrence at Busch Stadium tonight.
2B – Jedd Gyorko (STL) – $3,600 vs. TOR
Another Cardinal who tattooed right-handers last season is 2B/3B Jedd Gyorko. Despite hitting from the right side, Gyorko posted better numbers against right-handed pitching with a .295 ISO and .836 OPS in these situations. He hit 23 of his 30 home runs against right-handers last season and Lawrence has a 5.97 FIP on the season, telling me Gyorko’s power could certainly be a factor this evening.
3B – Ryon Healy (OAK) – $3,300 vs. LAA
Healy is a very nice up and coming bat for the A’s who should be able to take advantage of Angels’ right-hander Ricky Nolasco tonight. Healy has three homers and a .192 ISO on the season, however last season after his call up from the minors he had a .213 ISO and an .853 OPS against right-handed pitching despite being a right-handed hitter. Nolasco was a reverse splits pitcher in the home run department last season with a 1.51 HR/9 mark to righties, giving Healy a nice opportunity to play long ball tonight.
SS – Aldemys Diaz (STL) – $4,200 vs. TOR
Finishing off this three-man Cardinals stack is Aldemys Diaz who also posted solid numbers against right-handed pitching in his rookie season despite hitting from the right side. Diaz’s .237 ISO and .941 OPS against right-handers easily trumped his .145 and .725 numbers against lefties from 2016. Shortstop is a thin position in general but particularly on this slate so let’s spend up and grab who I believe is the top shortstop on the slate.
OF – David Peralta (ARI) – $3,800 vs. SD
The Diamondbacks will be a very high-owned team on this slate given their favorable matchup against Padres’ right-hander Jered Weaver, but we do want some exposure and that is what we get here with Peralta. He has a .205 ISO with three homers and three stolen bases on the season and should be a very intriguing option in two-hole for the D-Backs at a very reasonable price tonight.
OF – Khris Davis (OAK) – $3,700 vs. LAA
Davis is one of the league’s most powerful bats and has plenty of home run upside tonight given the aforementioned reverse splits that Nolasco posted last season. Davis posted a .276 ISO and .814 OPS against right-handed pitching in 2016. While his OPS was higher against lefties, his .281 ISO against lefties is fairly in line with his figure against righties, providing Davis can rake from both sides of the plate. He arguably has the highest power upside on the slate at a very reasonable price.
OF – Matt Joyce (OAK) – $2,400 vs. LAA
While I mentioned Nolasco was worse in the home run department against righties in 2016, the left-handed hitting Joyce is still a solid value option on the draft board. This is because he specializes in hitting right-handed pitching as evidenced by his .234 ISO and .884 OPS against right-handers a season ago. There is also a chance he may move up to the leadoff or two-hole spot for the A’s tonight which would increases his value in the process, but Joyce makes for a very high upside value play regardless.