Last night’s call with Severino against the White Sox was spot on with his seven-inning, 12-strikeout performance while Jhoulys Chacin went seven strong innings but did not receive any run support and took the loss. The damage done by the Tigers was not done by our stack outside of J.D. Martinez, which ended up hurting the lineup. Let’s continue improving on this week’s picks with a 13-game slate this evening!
P – Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – $11,600 vs. CHC
We faded Scherzer on last night’s slate against the Cubs, but with today’s pitching lacking a 1B option like we had with Severino last night I will take the strikeout upside of Strasburg tonight. Besides, the Cubs are a strikeout-prone team who will likely start seven or more hitters with strikeout rates over 20% to right-handed pitching. Strasburg owns a 27.5% strikeout clip on the season to go along with a 3.19 FIP so let’s take the upside against an injury-depleted Cubs’ offense.
P – Marcus Stroman (TOR) – $9,000 vs. BAL
The second starter of the night will come from Toronto where Blue Jays’ ace Marcus Stroman takes on the strikeout-prone Baltimore Orioles. Like the Cubs, the Orioles will send out plenty of hitters with strikes rates in excess of 20% against right-handed pitching this season. Stroman’s strikeout rates aren’t huge, but when we combine his 20% strikeout rate with his huge 60.3% ground ball rate we have a recipe for success as our second starter tonight.
C – Russell Martin (TOR) – $3,700 vs. BAL
The Blue Jays will take on the left-handed offerings of Wade Miley tonight and his 5.37 road FIP so let’s get a right-handed Blue Jays’ stack going. Martin has hit left-handed pitching to a .206 ISO this season and his low .716 OPS against lefties is due for some serious positive regression thanks to his tiny .182 BABIP against lefties. That should change tonight against a lefty that has a 5.56 FIP, 1.76 HR/9 and a 39.2% hard contact rate yielded to right-handed hitters on the road this season.
1B – Kendrys Morales (TOR) – $3,900 vs. BAL
With a couple of pricey pitchers we have to be cost-conscious with our lineup which means taking
Morales over the breakout star Justin Smoak. Morales works just fine in his lineup as he has hit lefties to a .239 ISO and .886 OPS on the season. That ISO is actually higher than Smoak’s and Morales should have lower ownership attached to him tonight, making him the superior GPP in my option.
2B – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – $3,200 vs. MIN
Another left-handed pitcher that can be targeted tonight is Twins’ lefty Adalberto Mejia. Mejia has a poor 5.81 FIP to right-handed hitters and although Boston will be a chalk stack tonight, we can get exposure with a couple of cheap righties beginning here with the veteran Pedroia. Dustin has seen his power dip this season, however he still sports a nice .917 OPS against left-handed pitching and a 50% hard hit rate against them. These are nice numbers for this price to be sure.
3B – Josh Donaldson (TOR) – $4,300 vs. BAL
If there was one guy I would pick from this lineup to hit a home run tonight it is Donaldson. Donaldson sports a .273 ISO and a 1.136 OPS on the season against left-handed pitching. When we factor in the numbers Miley sports against right-handed hitters on the road as mentioned in the Russel Martin section, we have an elite matchup on our hands with Donaldson.
SS – Franklin Barreto (OAK) – $3,000 vs. HOU
In the spirit of full disclosure, Barreto was the last position filled in this lineup. That said, he has big value tonight against Astros’ right-hander David Paulino. Paulino has reverse splits this season with a 4.68 FIP, 1.88 HR/9, 41% hard contact and a 51.3% fly ball rate to right-handed hitters. Barreto also displayed reverse splits in the minors this season with a .775 OPS and seven home runs against righties compared to a .656 OPS and one homer against lefties. His floor is low, but his ceiling is high in a double reverse splits matchup.
OF – Chris Young (BOS) – $3,600 vs. MIN
Forming a mini-stack with Pedroia, Young is in a nice spot tonight as well against the lefty Mejia. Young hasn’t hit for much power against lefties this season, but absolutely crushed them to a .999 OPS and a .260 ISO in the 2016 season. It’s hard to believe the veteran would just stop hitting lefties for power this season so I will bank on Young finding some power tonight like he did with a home run as part of a big game last night.
OF – Steve Pearce (TOR) – $3,600 vs. BAL
Speaking of guys who mashed lefties in 2016, few right-handed hitters produced such lofty figures against southpaws like Pearce did last season. Pearce hit lefties to an incredible .305 ISO and a 1.032 OPS in the 2016 season and still sports a strong .242 ISO and a .752 OPS this season against lefties. Pearce also had a low .250 BABIP against lefties so look for that number to begin climbing tonight against Miley.
OF – Marcell Ozuna (MIA) – $3,800 vs. NYM
This is a guy that is severely underpriced for his matchup tonight. Although his .121 ISO is low against lefties, Ozuna still has a .345 batting average and a .907 OPS on the season against lefties. He’s making hard contact 36.4% of the time as well which should keep that average high despite some regression likely due to a high BABIP. Nonetheless, Mets’ lefty Steven Matz sports a 2.76 HR/9 and a 6.39 FIP to right-handed hitters this season so let’s roll with the underpriced Ozuna this evening.