It’s a shame that last night’s lineup didn’t produce the way I had hoped as the pitchers in that lineup were spot on. Zack Greinke pitched seven innings of one-run ball while walking two and striking out eight while the low-owned Alex Meyer went six innings and gave up just one run while walking two and striking out four. We will aim for a strong finish to what has been a disappointing week to this point.
P – Dallas Keuchel (HOU) – $10,900 vs. TEX
The first pitcher of the night will come from the all-Texas matchup between Keuchel’s Astros and the Texas Rangers. Keuchel has a 1.81 ERA on the season entering play today, however his FIP of 3.11 indicates some good fortune to this point. That said, he is giving up less than 22% hard contact to both sides of the plate while surrendering under 0.90 HR/9 to both sides of the plate as well. He is much better against lefties this season as evidenced by his 1.39 FIP to them and the Rangers will stack righties tonight, but the lack of home runs and hard contact should keep these Texas righties in order tonight.
P – Michael Fulmer (DET) – $8,000 vs. CWS
I believe we are getting a discount on one of the best young pitchers in the game tonight. Fulmer has been a model of consistency this season, having thrown a quality start in all ten of his starts on the season. He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four starts and his given up two runs or less in five of those ten starts. Not sure what else we are looking for in a pitcher who has a 3.05 FIP on the season. He is an absolute bargain tonight against the White Sox who hit righties much worse than they have lefties this season.
C – Cameron Rupp (PHI) – $2,700 vs. SF
Speaking of bargains, here we have a player who is in a fantastic spot to mash tonight at a very cheap price. Rupp will face Giants’ lefty Ty Blach tonight and that’s a good thing considering Rupp’s power numbers against lefties last season and this season. Rupp hit lefties to an enormous .309 ISO and .993 OPS in 2016 and he has a .281 ISO and a 1.030 OPS against lefties so far this season. With that much power at $2,700 we simply can’t afford to pass up on the value Rupp brings to the table tonight.
1B – Brandon Belt (SF) – $4,000 vs. PHI
On the other side of the coin, the Giants have themselves a nice matchup tonight against Phillies’ right-hander Jerad Eickhoff. Eickhoff enters play tonight sporting a 5.04 FIP against left-handed batters compared to a solid 2.33 FIP to righties, therefore we will roll with a Giants’ left-handed stack for GPP purposes. Belt crushed righties to a .193 ISO and .861 OPS in 2016 and has raised the power bar to a .289 ISO and a .939 OPS against righties in 2017. Roster him with confidence.
2B – Joe Panik (SF) – $3,300 vs. PHI
Next man up in the Giants’ lefties stack is second baseman Joe Panik. Panik has just a .140 ISO and a .710 OPS against righties this season, but he has excellent bat-handling abilities with just a 6.6% strikeout clip against righties from the 2016 season. He will be a very low-owned player at this position tonight and could provide plenty of value should he connect for some power against a pitcher than struggles immensely against lefties.
3B – Jake Lamb (ARI) – $5,200 vs. MIA
Another pitcher that has struggled against lefties is Marlins’ right-hander Jose Urena. In his MLB career Urena has posted a 5.42 FIP and a 5.87 xFIP to lefties, so let’s roll with a righty masher like Lamb in this spot. Lamb hit righties to a .281 ISO and an .898 OPS in the 2016 season and has stared this year by hitting them to a .342 ISO and a 1.098 OPS. Roster him and move on.
SS – Brandon Crawford (SF) – $3,100 vs. PHI
Crawford is enduring some struggles this season against right-handed pitching but there is little denying that he has an excellent matchup tonight against Eickhoff. Crawford posted a .180 ISO and an .801 OPS against right-hander in the 2016 season, but what I like most about him is the fact he will be the bridge that connects Belt to Panik tonight, providing us with a solid three-man Giants stack at very low ownership tonight.
OF – David Peralta (ARI) – $3,800 vs. MIA
I am hoping that Peralta moves back into his usual number two spot tonight in the Diamondbacks’ lineup so he can form a nice mini-stack with Lamb. Considering Urena’s issues with left-handed hitters, Peralta is a good fit in this lineup with his .845 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season. He also has a bit of SB upside with three steals against right-handed pitching on the season.
OF – J.D. Martinez (DET) – $5,000 vs. CWS
This lineup could easily have a Tigers’ right-handed stack in it after seeing how gaudy White Sox left-hander Derek Holland’s splits are this season. Holland has a 1.68 FIP against left-handed hitters but a 4.96 FIP against righties. Martinez has been one of the most powerful right-handed bats in the league since returning from the DL earlier in the month, especially against lefties as he has two home runs in just six at bats against lefties this season to go along with a 75% hard contact rate. He mashed lefties in 2016 too so make sure to fit J.D. into your lineup tonight.
OF – Aaron Altherr (PHI) – $3,800 vs. SF
I hope that the Phillies move Rupp up in the order a bit to mini-stack with Altherr who is likely to hit third against Ty Blach tonight. Altherr has a .300 ISO and an .883 OPS on the season against left-handed pitching to go along with a 37.5% hard contact rate. I expect the Phillies’ right-handed bats to get to Blach tonight and Altherr should certainly be right in the middle of the action.