Last night’s lineup, for once, was hurt the most by the pitching picks. Both Masahiro Tanaka and Collin McHugh had rough outings in what appeared to be very favorable matchups for the duo. Neither pitcher was able to get a win or enough strikeouts to offset the amount of earned runs they surrendered. The Cardinals stack was a very nice call with the exception of Paul DeJong and Brian Dozier had a mammoth night for the Twins. Let’s rebound with a better lineup for tonight’s ten-game slate!
P – James Paxton (SEA) – $12,300 vs. LAA
First man up today is left-hander James Paxton who is a having a Cy Young caliber season. On the year, Paxton sports a sparkling 2.70 ERA and a 2.31 FIP to go along with a hefty 28.8% strikeout clip on the season. While the Angels are not a high strikeout team, Paxton is a safe bet against a team that sports a .668 team OPS against lefties this season, good for 29th in the big leagues. Paxton also gets the nod in his pitcher-friendly home park of Safeco Field in Seattle tonight where he sports a 2.15 ERA this season.
P – Yu Darvish (LAD) – $11,400 vs. ARI
While Darvish was beat up bad in his final start as a member of the Texas Rangers, the right-hander dazzled in his Dodgers debut. Darvish hurled seven shutout frames while yielding just three hits and a walk while striking out ten against the New York Mets. He faces a tougher opponent tonight in the form of the Arizona Diamondbacks, however the D-Backs have also struck out in 26% of their at-bats against righties this year, and combined with Darvish’s 26.8% strikeout clip this season we have some upside here with this play despite the risk.
C – Austin Barnes (LAD) – $3,300 vs. ARI
Keep an eye on the Dodgers lineup as it becomes official as Barnes recently sustained a hand injury but should be good to go for tonight’s contest against Arizona. That is good news considering rookie left-hander Anthony Banda takes the mound tonight for the Diamondbacks. Barnes enters play mashing lefties to the tune of a .284 ISO, .916 OPS and a.387 wOBA on the season. Barnes is the first of many players in this lineup with exceptional value upside as we had to go cheaper with the bats given the pricey pitching.
1B – Chris Davis (BAL) – $3,000 vs. OAK
While Davis is a strikeout machine at times, he certainly boasts plenty of power upside tonight against Athletics’ right-hander Chris Smith. Davis sports a powerful .254 ISO on the season against right-handed pitching while his still-solid .767 OPS is being dragged down by a low .250 BABIP and a super-high 35.6% strikeout clip. It’s also nice to see he sports a massive .983 career OPS at the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, so plenty of value to be hard here in the burly left-handed Davis.
2B – Logan Forsythe (LAD) – $3,100 vs. ARI
I was very surprised to see Forsythe’s price so low given his numbers against left-handed pitching this season. Forsythe sports a .956 OPS and a.414 wOBA against left-handed bats this season, the latter of which is the third best figure on a stacked Dodgers team behind superstars Justin Turner and Corey Seager. This play works even better when we consider that it is part of a three-man Dodgers stack tonight against the rookie southpaw.
3B – Ryon Healy (OAK) – $3,500 vs. BAL
The value trend continues here with Healy who has been very powerful this season against left-handed pitching, something he will see tonight against southpaw Wade Miley. Healy sports a .315 ISO, a 1.077 OPS and a massive .448 wOBA on the season against left-handed pitching, far and away the best figures on the team. Miley sports a 5.83 FIP and a 1.84 HR/9 clip against righties on the road this season so Healy makes a very high-upside play, likely as a one off tonight.
SS – Miguel Rojas (MIA) – $2,200 vs. WAS
This lineup was going to have a super-value play at some point and I decided to use it at the shortstop position here with Rojas. While his power output has been low, Rojas still owns a .300 batting average against right-handed pitching as well as a very, very low 9.9% strikeout rate against righties. Considering he is likely to put the ball in play consistently tonight we can hope for him to find some chalk and perhaps tally an extra-base hit which would exceed his value this evening.
OF – Adam Lind (WAS) – $3,100 vs. MIA
Keep the value train moving here with the righty-mashing Lind. Lind sports a .228 ISO, .894 OPS, .370 wOBA and a 40.7% hard hit rate against righties this season. Also encouraging is the 45.3% fly ball rate Marlins’ righty Dan Straily is yielding to left-handed hitters this season which gives Lind an added advantage in the home run upside department.
OF – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,300 vs. ARI
Hernandez is in this lineup almost every time he sees a left-handed pitcher and there is good reason for it. His value at this price is outrageous considering he sports a .361 ISO, .980 OPS and a .399 wOBA on the season against southpaws. He is slated to hit at the end of the three-man Dodgers stack in this lineup so perhaps he can pop one out tonight with Barnes and Forsythe on base in front of him.
OF – Ryan Braun (MIL) – $4,800 vs. MIN
You didn’t think this was going to be all value plays did you? I made room for one elite bat at an elevated price and settled on Braun who delivered a big night against a lefty for this lineup on Tuesday night. Braun sports a .269 ISO and .961 OPS on the season against lefties, something he will see tonight against Twins’ rookie lefty Dietrich Enns. His 51.1% hard hit rate against lefties is an outrageous mark and one that bodes well in the hitting-friendly confines of Miller Park in Milwaukee.