Last night’s lineup in a shortened slate was a good one as the Orioles stack went off against Red Sox starter Kyle Kendrick while Matt Andriese tossed a gem against the visiting Marlins. Tonight we have a much larger slate despite an afternoon game, an early evening game and a couple of weather concerns. Let’s get to it!
P – Chris Archer (TB) – $9,600 vs. TOR
Our first pitcher of the night will be Rays’ ace Chris Archer. Archer has had a very solid bounceback campaign for the Rays this season after a very trying 2016 campaign. More specifically, Archer lines up very well against the Blue Jays tonight after tossing 7.1 innings of one-run ball against them in his most recent start. In that start he surrendered just four hits and walked two while striking out five. He has seen the Blue Jays plenty in his career, pitching to 3.04 ERA over 21 career starts with 130 strikeouts over 129.1 innings pitched. The upside is there for another big game from Archer in the pitching-friendly confines of Tropicana Field.
P – Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) – $7,400 vs. STL
After a couple of disappointing years and not living up to his prospect hype, we are seeing Braves’ righty Mike Foltynewicz come into his own early in the 2017 season. He enters play with a sparkling 2.81 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. The fireballing right-hander has yielded just two earned runs and eight hits over his last 13 innings of work while striking out 15 over that time. He could be a steal at this price and certainly boasts the strikeout upside needed for this roster spot.
C – Brian McCann (HOU) – $3,200 vs. LAA
McCann has long been one of the top power threats at the catcher position, having clubbed 20 home runs in nine straight seasons. Tonight he will take on Angels’ start Jesse Chavez who has had some serious issues with the home run ball in recent seasons, having surrendered more than one home run per nine innings every season since the 2014 campaign including a poor 1.61 mark last season and a 1.50 mark early this season. McCann is a power bat against a pitcher who gives up plenty of home runs, giving him plenty of power upside this evening.
1B – Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) – $4,400 vs. KC
An undercover GPP mini-stack tonight begins here with Indians’ first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. While he was long been known as one of the best home run-hitting players in the bigs, it is well known that Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City is a pitching-friendly venue. While that is true, the fact that Edwin is 7 for 18 (.389) with three home runs and a double in his career against Royals’ starter Jason Hammel might make the ballpark a moot point tonight. Look for Edwin to keep swinging a hot stick against the veteran righty.
2B – Jason Kipnis (CLE) – $4,100 vs. KC
Kipnis is off to a horrendous start after beginning the season on the DL, however I really like his matchup as a low-owned second baseman this evening. While a small sample size, Kipnis is 1 for 3 career against Hammel with that one hit coming in the form of a home run. Hammel also yielded 15 stolen bases in each of the last two seasons, and although Salvador Perez is a great defensive catcher, he has caught just 2 of 18 base stealers this season. Kauffman has very large gaps for doubles and triples and that, along with the stolen base upside, gives Kipnis a nice high ceiling this evening.
3B – Jake Lamb (ARI) – $5,100 vs. COL
The ownerships are going to be high as usual at Coors Field in Colorado tonight and the prices are of course bloated, but I will include Lamb in this lineup against Rockies’ right-hander German Marquez. Lamb simply hits right-handed pitching too well to leave him out here as he currently sports a .306 ISO and 1.015 OPS against right-handers this season. This is on the heels of a 2016 campaign that saw him post a .281 ISO and .898 OPS against righties, making him a very solid option as standalone play tonight at Coors.
SS – Carlos Correa (HOU) – $4,600 vs. LAA
While I do like McCann as a power play from the left side, the truth is Angels’ right-hander Jesse Chavez is seeing a lot of damage done from the right side of the plate and combined with the fact that Correa also boasts revere splits, we could have a recipe for success here. In 2016, Correa’s .186 ISO and .839 OPS against right-handers was better than his .149 ISO and .730 OPS against lefties while his .211 ISO and .860 OPS against righties this season are simply blowing his numbers against lefties out of the water. Add it all up and this is a very good play tonight.
OF – Hanley Ramirez (BOS) – $4,600 vs. MIN
Here we have a guy with a red-hot bat facing a pitcher who surrenders plenty of home run to right-handed hitters in the form of Twins’ righty Phil Hughes. In 2016, Hughes gave up 1.94 HR/9 to right-handed hitters compared to 1.04 against left-handed bats. With this in mind I am a big fan of Ramirez here to build on his five home runs on the season tonight, all of which have come over his last six games.
OF – Carlos Beltran (HOU) – $3,500 vs. LAA
The Astros’ stack is completed here with veteran Carlos Beltran. Over his career, Beltran has shown a little more power as a left-handed hitter which is what the switch-hitting outfielder will be tonight against right-hander Jesse Chavez. This season hasn’t quite started the way Beltran had hoped after a strong 2016 campaign in which he hit 29 home runs. The power will come for the veteran and it could come tonight and a home run-prone pitcher, making the very low owned Beltran an excellent GPP play tonight.
OF – Steven Souza Jr. (TB) – $3,400 vs. TOR
Souza is finally starting to deliver on some hype early in his career has the outfielder has clubbed four homers and sports a .858 OPS entering play this evening. Souza will get Blue Jays’ lefty Francisco Liriano on the mound tonight for the Blue Jays, a pitcher that Tampa Bay knocked around for five runs in just 0.1 innings in Liriano’s first start of the season. Souza should be in either the leadoff or cleanup spot tonight for the Rays and therefore right in the thick of things tonight.