Last night’s lineup wasn’t spectacular but wasn’t far off from excellence either. Both of our pitchers failed to get in the win column while a few holes in the lineup cost us. A rebound effort is in order for tonight’s nine-game slate.
P – Michael Fulmer (DET) – $10,500 vs. LAA
Our first pitcher of the night comes from the Los Angeles where breakout star Michael Fulmer and the Tigers will take on the hometown Angels. After capturing AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2016, Fulmer has come out of the gates strong again this season with a 2.77 ERA and 35 strikeouts across 38 innings on the season. Fulmer is just about as safe as they comes as the young right-hander has a logged a quality start every time he has taken the mound this season, a string of six straight starts with at least six innings pitched and three earned runs or less allowed. This is a star that continues to rise.
P – Marco Estrada (TOR) – $8,500 vs. SEA
Our second pitcher also delivers a significant amount of safety every time he takes the hill. That said, Estrada’s season has been a little more volatile than that of Fulmer as he has had two starts where he has surrendered five earned runs. That said, he also has five starts this season where he has surrendered two runs or less and boasts a very impressive 9.42 K/9 entering tonight’s start against the Mariners. Even more impressive is the fact that Estrada has yet to surrender a single earned run at home, spanning 13 innings on the season.
C – Austin Hedges (SD) – $3,000 vs. TEX
There aren’t any stacks that are jumping out at me on this slate, so let’s go with what will undoubtedly be a low-owned stack with the Padres in Texas. San Diego will take on Rangers’ lefty Martin Perez tonight who has had troubles with right-handed hitters throughout his big league career. Perez has a career 4.33 FIP to righties compared to a solid 3.50 mark to lefties, so we will roll with a right-handed Padres stack beginning here with Hedges. Hedges is enjoying an excellent rookie season in the power department with seven homers and 17 RBIs this season to go along with a .242 ISO. Once his .167 BABIP begins to normalize we will see his counting stats increase as the season rolls on.
1B – Kennys Vargas (MIN) – $3,900 vs. CWS
We have another lower-owned stack on tap here with the Twins taking on White Sox lefty Derek Holland. Holland has 4.04 FIP on the season to righties compared to a .163 figure to lefties, so we will stack some right-handed Twins bats tonight. Vargas has a significant amount of raw power in his bat, power that is displayed by a .270 ISO in 2016 and a .333 ISO so far this season while clubbing four homers in just 39 at bats on the season.
2B – Yangervis Solarte (SD) – $4,000 vs. TEX
Another Padres righty who we will utilize tonight is Solarte. Solarte has already delivered 20 RBIs on the season despite just three homers and a .264 batting average. That said, Solarte had a career season in 2016 that saw him hit 15 homers and accumulate a .808 OPS. Considering his early season OPS sits at .694, we should see positive regression from Solarte moving forward, even if he doesn’t quite match his career-year from 2016.
3B – Miguel Sano (MIN) – $4,400 vs. CWS
Here we have one of the best young power bats in the game. Sano has posted ridiculous numbers in the first five weeks of the season, having already belted eight homers, driven in 28 runs and accumulated a whopping 1.071 OPS so far on the season. He has hit lefties and righties almost equally as well in his young big league tenure, but considering Holland’s issues with right-handed hitters and Sano’s massive power we could certainly see a multi-home run game from the slugger tonight.
SS – Trevor Story (COL) – $4,500 vs. LAD
While I am fading Coors Field for the most part tonight, mostly due to price, I am happy to at least get some exposure to this game here with Story. Story absolutely obliterated left-handed pitching in 2016 with a .310 ISO, .975 OPS and a 60.7% hard hit rate against southpaw pitching. While opposing starter Hyun-Jin Ryu is actually a slight reverse splits pitcher, we can’t ignore the situation here with Story against a lefty at the league’s most hitter-friendly venue.
OF – Robbie Grossman (MIN) – $3,700 vs. CWS
The final man of our three-man Twins’ stack outfielder Robbie Grossman. Grossman excels against left-handed pitching with a .232 ISO and a .994 OPS against lefties in the 2016 season. He has a whopping .436 OBP on the season against left-handed pitching, which is exactly what we want considering he is set to hit leadoff tonight against the left-handed Derek Holland, setting the table for Sano and Vargas to have some run-producing opportunities tonight.
OF – Manuel Margot (SD) – $3,800 vs. TEX
The third member of this Padres stack will be rookie outfielder Manuel Margot. Margot boasts some solid power/speed upside tonight against Perez in a hitters park in Texas. Like Grossman, Margot projects as solid play in a leadoff spot to set the table for others behind him. While his .315 OBP isn’t as high as we would like to see from a leadoff hitter, he only strikes out 13% of the time against lefties and therefore will be putting balls in play tonight. Perez has a low strikeout rate as well so I am confident in the bat handling abilities of Margot to go along with that power/speed upside.
OF – Hunter Renfroe (SD) – $3,700 vs. TEX
The last player in this lineup is the most powerful Padres bat in this stack. Renfroe excels against left-handed pitching as evidenced by his career .217 ISO, .882 OPS and a 133 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. He has also slugged .522 against lefties which bodes very well for this matchup at a hitter’s venue. Renfroe has been slumping at the dish as of late, further lowering his ownership which is a great thing considering this matchup tonight.