This week’s MLB action kicks off tonight with a six-game Monday evening main slate. We have a few elite pitching options on our hands so let’s make sure we lock down some solid pitching and work on a high-upside lineup! Let’s go!
P – Carlos Carrasco (CLE) – $11,600 vs. TEX
Chris Sale owns a career 4.37 ERA against the Twins which is his highest mark against any opponent with more than one start against, so let’s roll with Carrasco as our first starter tonight. Carrasco owns a 9.17 K/9 on the season while compiling a 2.99 ERA and a 3.37 FIP entering play tonight. He will take on a Rangers team tonight that is certainly prone to the strikeout as they have punched out the sixth most times in the MLB against right-handed pitching this season.
P – Jeff Samardzija (SF) – $8,400 vs. COL
While the vaunted Rockies’ offense is nothing to mess around with, Samardzija has been racking up a lot of strikeouts this season and has the pitching-friendly confines of AT&T Park on his side tonight. Samardzija owns a 10.22 K/9 this season and while his 4.34 ERA at home isn’t impressive, his 3.16 FIP is and points towards positive regression moving forward. A high strikeout guy in a very pitching-friendly park is a good combination and one we will take advantage of tonight.
C – Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – $4,000 vs. LAA
The Dodgers will take on a right-hander who gives up plenty of home runs tonight in the form of Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco owns a 5.92 FIP and a 1.93 HR/9 against left-handed hitting this season to go along with a 36.2% hard hit rate and a 44% fly-ball rate. Enter Grandal who is hitting righties to a .213 ISO and .830 OPS on the season while hitting them to a .257 ISO and .964 OPS at home. The Dodgers should be scoring some runs tonight so let’s lock in Grandal at the catcher position.
1B – Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) – $4,700 vs. TEX
Cole Hamels will make his first start since being placed on the DL in early May this evening against Cleveland. Prior to his DL stint Hamels was not having a good season against right-handed hitting as he posted a 5.73 FIP, 1.33 HR/9 and yielded hard contact 38.1% of the time to righties. Encarnacion has hit lefties to a .182 ISO and .893 OPS this season but a very slow April has dragged down those numbers. He has been red-hot in June with a .329 ISO and a 1.108 OPS overall so let’s ride the hot bat against a struggling pitcher this evening.
2B – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $4,200 vs. LAA
I mentioned earlier Ricky Nolasco’s struggles against left-handed hitters, however he has struggled more against righties this season, although his peripherals show positive regression in the home runs department to righties too. That said, Nolasco still sports a 6.00 FIP and a 2.98 HR/9 to right-handed hitters this season. Taylor sports a .205 ISO and an .834 OPS on the season to right-handed pitching and should fit nicely in this Dodgers’ stack tonight.
3B – Ryder Jones (SF) – $2,000 vs. COL
Here is a pick that you almost must include in your lineup. Ryder Jones will likely start at third base for the Giants tonight against Rockies’ right-hander German Marquez. Jones hit Triple-A righties to a .934 OPS on the season including seven homers and has also stole five bases as well. At the minimum price Jones screams value and allows your lineup some much-needed cost savings given the pitching on this slate.
SS – Francisco Lindor (CLE) – $4,600 vs. TEX
Forming a mini-stack with Encarnacion tonight will be shortstop Francisco Lindor. Lindor sports a .216 ISO and an .834 OPS on the season against left-handed pitching and has made hard contact on 42.7% of the balls he has put into play against lefties. With Hamels’ struggles against righties this season and the Indians’ high run total tonight we have solid exposure to these matchups this evening.
OF – Joc Pederson (LAD) – $4,300 vs. LAA
Completing the Dodgers’ stack tonight will be the left-handed hitting Joc Pederson. Pederson has hit righties very well in his big league career and currently owns a .241 ISO and an .896 OPS against righties this season. This is a good combination in his matchup against the home run prone Nolasco in a venue that gives up home runs to left-handed hitters at an above league average clip.
OF – Tyler Austin (NYY) – $3,200 vs. CWS
Austin is another player in this lineup that may fly under the radar but who also screams value. Austin takes on White Sox lefty David Holmberg tonight who sports a 4.80 FIP and a 5.43 xFIP to righties, meaning he is due for some home run regression. Enter Austin who has destroyed left-handed pitching in Triple-A this season to the tune of a 1.102 ISO across 26 at-bats. He also hit them to a 1.158 ISO in 63 Triple-A at bats against them in 2016, so we have some upside here with the young outfielder/first baseman.
OF – Albert Almora Jr. (CHC) – $3,000 vs. WAS
Last but not least, Almora is a player who could also deliver big on his cheap price tonight. Almora has crushed lefties to a .200 ISO and a 1.008 OPS on the season to go along with a .360 batting average. The Cubs are dealing with some injury issues at the moment so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Almora move up closer to the top of the lineup this evening against southpaw Gio Gonzalez.