Last night’s lineup picks likely didn’t get you into the cash. That said, if you used the pitching picks it was a great foundation for a good lineup as Charlie Morton pitched seven shutout innings, yielding just three hits and a walk to go with nine strikeouts while Jacob Faria tossed 7.1 innings of two-run ball while punching out five. We had some of the best hitters in all of baseball in the lineup and they simply didn’t produce. In fact, it was our value plays of Tim Beckham and Derek Fisher that did the most damage. Let’s keep the pitching elite and improve on the lineup picks on tonight’s ten-game slate!
P – Mike Fiers (HOU) – $10,200 vs. PHI
If we learned anything from Morton’s gem against the Phillies last night it’s the fact that they struggle and are strikeout prone against right-handed pitchers. When we consider the roll Fiers has been on, this matchup gets even better. Fiers has struck out at least seven in four of his last five starts, has allowed more than two earned runs in just three of his last 12 starts and has struck out 20 and yielded just three earned runs over his last two starts spanning 14 innings. This guy is on quite the roll right now and faces a Phillies team that ranks 28th with a .710 OPS against right-handed pitching this season.
P – Steven Matz (NYM) – $7,700 vs. SD
Our second pitcher is more of the value variety but he gets a solid matchup against a weak Padres’ squad this evening. Matz doesn’t have huge strikeout figures with just a 15.7% strikeout clip on the season, but also faces a Padres’ team that has a whopping 28.6% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching as a team. He could face as many as seven righties tonight, but luckily the southpaw is a reverse-splits pitcher that sports a very nice 3.10 FIP to right-handed hitters this season and could be a sneaky play in this spot tonight.
C – Victor Caratini (CHC) – $2,800 vs. CWS
The Cubs look like a great play tonight against James Shields and his massive struggles to left-handed pitching so a value play with Caratini will kick off this lineup. He has seen limited work behind the plate since his promotion from Triple-A, however he went 3 for 3 with two doubles in his second-to-last start and should have some more opportunities for success tonight and Shields and his 3.98 HR/9 figure to left-handed hitters this season.
1B – Anthony Rizzo (CHC) – $5,200 vs. CWS
On top of the poor HR/9 clip to lefties, Shields sports a gigantic 10.28 FIP, 8.03 xFIP and a huge 53.3% fly-ball rate to lefties this season. Enter Rizzo who sports a .223 ISO, .832 OPS and a .354 wOBA on the season against righties, all while posting a very low .237 BABIP against them, so positive regression is likely on its way for the powerful left-hander. Shields has given up four homers in seven innings at home against lefties this season so this should be a very reliable play tonight.
2B – Rougned Odor (TEX) – $3,800 vs. MIA
Another righty who has struggled against lefties this season is the Marlins’ Jose Urena. Urena boasts a 6.42 FIP, 6.90 xFIP, a 49.3% fly-ball rate and considering it will be upwards of 100 degrees tonight in Texas these numbers stand to get worse. Despite the low batting average and OBP, Odor is a powerful bat against right-handed pitching as evidenced by his .243 ISO and 38% hard hit rate against them this season. He also likes to hit fly-ball pitching so lock the Rangers’ second baseman into your lineup tonight.
3B – Adrian Beltre (TEX) – $4,400 vs. MIA
While Urena hasn’t been too bad to righties this season, third base is actually somewhat of a thinner position than normal today so we will keep with the Texas stack here and go with Beltre. After all, he is hitting righties to a .246 ISO, .870 OPS and a .362 wOBA this season to go along with a solid 36.5% hard hit rate as well. The countdown to 3,000 hits should get a little shorter after tonight.
SS – Francisco Lindor (CLE) – $4,700 vs. LAA
The Indians are also a very viable play tonight but are mostly of the expensive variety, but we get some exposure here with Lindor. Lindor has endured tough luck all season long against righties with a .238 BABIP against them, but also sports a .202 ISO and carries a five-game hitting streak into action tonight against a pitcher that has a 6.75 FIP on the road this season against left-handed hitting.
OF – Jason Heyward (CHC) – $4,000 vs. CWS
As of the time of this writing Heyward is projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight for the Cubs which is an excellent place to be considering their matchup with Shields. Heyward isn’t the same elite bat that he used to be, but has a power/speed combo that could thrive atop the order for a team that is implied to score 5.8 runs tonight.
OF – Kyle Schwarber (CHC) – $3,700 vs. CWS
Schwarber has been swinging a better bat since being called back from Triple-A and figures to be in a great spot tonight against Shields. He will never be able to climb out of the batting average hole he got himself into early in the season, but he still sports a powerful .251 ISO against righties and has been extremely unlucky as well with a .198 BABIP against them. Considering he has a solid 34.5% hard hit rate against them that BABIP as well as his .743 OPS will climb moving forward.
OF – Nomar Mazara (TEX) – $3,100 vs. MIA
We are getting Mazara at a very big discount tonight. Mazara broke out of a slump last night with a three-hit effort and gets the luxury of facing Urena in the very hitting-friendly conditions at Globe Life Park tonight. A hot streak is coming and we want to be there for it when the young outfielder adds to his solid .189 ISO and .793 OPS against right-handing pitching this season.