Yet another quality lineup last night as both pitchers had fantastic outings while the Cubs and Yankees stacks performed extremely well en route to combining for 19 runs on the night. Luis Severino hurled 6.2 innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts while Luke Weaver outdid the much more expensive Severino with seven shutout innings to go with ten strikeouts. Kyle Schwarber, Didi Gregorius and the valuable Tommy La Stella all hit home runs while Brandon Nimmo provided plenty of value with a double, three walks and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot for the Mets. Let’s make it four straight excellent lineups for tonight’s small six-game slate!
P – Carlos Martinez (STL) – $12,100 vs. SD
After his teammate Weaver dominated the Padres last night let’s go right back at them with Cardinals’ ace Carlos Martinez. Martinez manages to keep runs to a minimum via a 52% ground-ball rate and a 25.5% strikeout rate as he has allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts. Furthermore, he sports a 33% strikeout clip to right-handed batters over the last month and should see at least six righties in the Padres lineup tonight, enough to bump the pricier Sale out of my top spot tonight, especially if I want to fit quality bats in this lineup.
P – Jake Arrieta (CHC) – $10,200 vs. CIN
Arrieta has been a very different pitcher in the season’s second half, racking up seven consecutive quality starts and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any start since July 8th. His strikeout rate sits at a strong 23% for the season and has allowed just five earned runs and one home run over his last four starts. The Reds are capable against right-handed pitching but with the way Arrieta has been rolling this is a solid play as our second starter tonight.
C – Martin Maldonado (LAA) – $2,300 vs. TEX
With a lot of funds allocated to pitching today we are forced to find value in our lineup and an Angels’ right-handed stack does just that against the subpar southpaw Martin Perez. Maldonado has been better against right-handed pitching this season, but Perez sports a 5.22 FIP and a .368 wOBA allowed to righties this season. Maldonado is also 4 for 4 with two doubles and two walks against Perez, so clearly he feels comfortable at the plate against this lefty and could provide huge value at a near-minimum price.
1B – Jefry Marte (LAA) – $2,700 vs. TEX
A lot of the same reasoning for Maldonado applies here with Marte. Marte hasn’t had much success against lefties this year, but still sports a solid .161 ISO against them this season. That said, Marte has been a lefty-masher in recent seasons and posted a .215 ISO, .343 wOBA and a 33.3% hard hit rate against them in 2016 and a .324 ISO, .920 OPS and a .389 wOBA against southpaws in 2015. The value here could be huge if Marte can find his pre-2017 groove against lefties tonight.
2B – Yoan Moncada (CWS) – $3,500 vs. MIN
Twins’ righty Jose Berrios jumped out of the gates this season with a 3.92 FIP in May and a 2.92 FIP in June, but since has a 5.23 FIP in July and a 4.43 FIP in August. Berrios is also much worse on the road with a 5.09 FIP on the road compared to a 2.93 FIP at home. Enter Moncada who sports a .200 ISO and a .379 wOBA against righties in the past month and could be a valuable pivot to the highly targeted Brian Dozier at the second base position tonight.
3B – Drew Robinson (TEX) – $2,300 vs. LAA
A punt play here, but one that has some upside as well. Robinson has tallied at least one hit in four straight appearances including an RBI single to pad the Rangers’ lead in the 10th inning of last night’s victory. He has three homers in limited action this season and could possibly make it four tonight against Angels’ righty Troy Scribner who sports a 2.08 HR/9 clip in the MLB this season.
SS – Andrelton Simmons (LAA) – $3,600 vs. TEX
Simmons is the obvious play here at the shortstop position as part of an Angels stack. Simmons sports one of top bat-handling abilities in all of baseball as his 12.4% walk rate against lefties is actually higher than his 10.9% strikeout rate. He also has a decent .728 OPS and a .318 wOBA against lefties and should have some RBI opportunities ahead of him tonight should he remain in the five hole where he is projected to hit tonight.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $5,700 vs. TEX
Last but certainly not least in this Angels stack is former MVP Mike Trout. Trout obviously has the stats to back up this play with a .203 ISO, .983 OPS and a .415 wOBA against left-handed pitching this season. He is the heart and soul of any Angels stack and an easy play tonight.
OF – Nicky Delmonico (CWS) – $3,700 vs. MIN
Forming a nice mini-stack with Moncada tonight will be outfielder/DH Nicky Delmonico. He is likely going to hit in the valuable cleanup spot for the White Sox tonight against Berrios and the Twins. Delmonico has mashed right-handed pitching since his promotion to the big leagues with a .352 average, .296 ISO, 1.074 OPS and a .448 wOBA across 61 plate appearances against righties. I will take those numbers any time at this price.
OF – Ben Zobrist (CHC) – $3,900 vs. CIN
The red-hot Cubs offense will take their crack against Sal Romano and the Reds tonight at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The latter point there is an important one for Zobrist as he has enjoyed massive success in his career at this venue. Across 86 career plate appearances at this park, Zobrist has produced a 1.248 OPS including eight home runs and eight doubles. The Cubs are rolling and I am very happy to get some exposure here with Zobrist.