Happy Star Wars day everyone! We have a very, very short main slate on our hands tonight that has become even shorter due to some serious weather concerns. The original five-game slate has become a three-game slate for the purpose of these picks as we don’t want rain to wash away any of our selections. Let’s get to it!
P – Dan Straily (MIA) – $9,600 vs. TB
For our first pitcher of this short slate we will roll with Marlins’ right-hander Dan Straily. Straily has displayed some nice stuff this season while crafting a 4.15 ERA, however his 3.81 FIP would suggest that ERA is on the unlucky side. That said, he has still racked up a whopping 10.04 K/9 over five starts on the season, however we will hope his 4.15 BB/9 rate drops this evening. Nonetheless, he boasts some real nice strikeout upside on this very tiny slate tonight.
P – Matt Andriese (TB) – $7,400 vs. MIA
It is extremely rare to go with two pitchers who are going head-to-head, however with a tiny slate these are the only two pitchers I have confidence in to actually record a win tonight. Andriese has has issues with the home run ball this season with a 1.93 HR/9 ratio, however he does check in with a 3.86 ERA and a decent 7.07 K/9 mark as well. He has yielded just eight runs over his last four starts and went seven innings while recording a quality start his last time out so we will look for more of the same from the right-hander tonight.
C – Mike Zunino (SEA) – $3,000 vs. LAA
With a short slate we will go with a home run upside hitter at the catcher position and that is what we get with Zunino. He will likely never hit for average, but Zunino boasts substantial power in the form of a .262 ISO from a season ago. He also had a .470 SLG% in 2016 and snapped a four-game hitless streak last night with a double and a run scored, so perhaps the confidence level is a little higher tonight for Zunino which could lead to some more extra-base hits.
1B – Jefry Marte (LAA) – $3,300 vs. SEA
Even on a short slate we could see Marte go overlooked and therefore he makes for a solid GPP play as a result. Marte does boast power as evidenced by his .229 ISO from a season ago. He also had a .481 SLG% in 2016 and will take on Mariners’ southpaw Ariel Miranda tonight who has had serious struggles keeping the ball in the yard against right-handed hitters with a 2.61 HR/9 to righties on the season.
2B – Jonathan Schoop (BAL) – $4,100 vs. BOS
Boston will roll out veteran Kyle Kendrick for tonight’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, so let’s fire up an Orioles stack tonight. Kendrick is a right-hander who surrendered a 2.44 HR/9 figure to right-handed batters in the 2015 season as he did not pitch in the big leagues last season. This bodes very well for Schoop who is a reverse-splits hitter who boasts a .321 ISO and a 1.039 OPS against right-handed pitching on the season. Schoop has an overall .233 ISO this season and clearly boasts plenty of power and could give the green monster at Fenway a run for it’s money all night long tonight.
3B – Manny Machado (BAL) – $5,100 vs. BOS
Machado is in this lineup for many of the same reasons we see Schoop here. Kendrick gives up plenty of home runs, especially to right-handed hitters, and Machado is clearly one of the top power bats in the game and especially at the third base position. Although his numbers are down to start the season, he still has six homers and looks prime to make that seven or more in tonight’s matchup against a very poor pitcher.
SS – J.J. Hardy (BAL) – $3,500 vs. BOS
The Orioles’ stack continues here with shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy has also had a tough start to the season but he still does boast some pop and like the two men in front of him here, has a solid opportunity to capitalize on the matchup against Kendrick. Fenway Park yields plenty of home runs to left field over the green monster and Hardy’s bat came alive last night with a two-hit performance so we could have him on a nice little hot steak this evening.
OF – Seth Smith (BAL) – $3,700 vs. BOS
The final Oriole in this stack is outfielder Seth Smith who has made a career of hitting right-handed pitching. Smith boasted a solid .175 ISO and .782 OPS against right-handers in 2016 compared to a lowly 0.67 ISO and .476 OPS against left-handed pitching. Aside from his abilities against righties, a nice aspect with Smith tonight is the fact he should hit in the leadoff spot and therefore will have plenty of at bats and run-scoring opportunities against likely the worst pitcher on the slate.
OF – Andrew Benintendi (BOS) – $4,600 vs. BAL
I fully expect the Red Sox to score some runs tonight as well so we can start a Red Sox mini stack here with rookie phenom Andrew Benintendi. He crushes right-handed pitching to the tune of a career .203 ISO and .921 OPS and will take on spot starter Tyler Wilson of the Orioles’ tonight. The Red Sox are pegged to score 5.3 runs tonight according to Vegas so getting the Red Sox two-hole hitter into this lineup is a very good idea, especially considering his .317 average and .823 OPS to begin the season.
OF – Mookie Betts (BOS) – $5,300 vs. BAL
This lineup and Red Sox mini-stack concludes here with a 2016 MVP candidate in the form of Mookie Betts. We haven’t quite seen Betts in MVP form this season but he boasts plenty of power and speed potential this evening against Wilson and the Orioles. Betts clubbed 31 homers and swiped 26 bases in 2016 while scoring a whopping 122 runs, giving him cross-category appeal every night he takes the field. He is simply a player you cannot afford to roster in this matchup tonight.