Last night’s picks did not pan out, especially Tyler Glasnow who was roughed up in his first start since being promoted from Triple-A. The Chicago Cubs scored 17 runs, however outside of Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, our picks somehow didn’t score high as Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber were not in on much of the action at all, especially Schwarber who posted a zero. Certainly a disappointing night but let’s look to turn things around on tonight’s eight-game slate!
P – Jose Berrios (MIN) – $10,800 vs. TOR
Tonight we have Berrios pitching right where we want him: at home. On the season, Berrios has posted a 2.71 FIP and a 26.7% strikeout rate at Target Field, however those numbers plummet to an even 5.00 FIP and a 19.5% strikeout rate on the road. The good news with Berrios is he is able to strike out batters from both sides of the plate almost equally, sporting a 27.9% strikeout rate to righties and a 27.7% strikeout rate to lefties over the last month. The Blue Jays haven’t been a poor offense against righties lately, but they have punched out 24.5% of the time against righties over the last month according to their projected lineup, a figure that gives Berrios plenty of strikeout upside in this matchup tonight.
P – Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) – $9,700 vs. BAL
Very similar reasoning here with Tanaka that we had with Berrios. Like Berrios, Tanaka is better at home in both the strikeout department and the run prevention department. Tanaka enters play tonight sporting a 3.67 FIP and a 27.6% strikeout rate at home compared to a 5.05 FIP and a 21.8% strikeout rate on the road. Tanaka also sports some nice K-rates over the last month to both sides of the plate with a 22% clip to righties and an elevated 26.8% clip against lefties. Like the Blue Jays, Baltimore is a good team to target for strikeouts as their projected lineup has struck out at a 25.2% clip against righties over the last month.
C – Chris Gimenez (MIN) – $2,800 vs. TOR
The Twins have been a very productive offense lately against both lefties and righties, so let’s go ahead and lock in a Twins’ stack tonight against the Blue Jays. We went with some top arms so we won’t be able to afford the expensive bats, but we can certainly put a viable stack in here beginning here with the valuable Gimenez as they take on lefty Brett Anderson. Gimenez owns a solid .171 ISO and a 36.7% hard hit rate against lefties this year to go along with a nice 11.1% walk rate. Gimenez isn’t the most attractive option at the position today but he will hit at the end of tonight’s stack so perhaps he can come up big in this spot.
1B – Matt Holliday (NYY) – $3,500 vs. BAL
Another team facing a vulnerable lefty are the New York Yankees against Orioles’ southpaw Wade Miley. Miley enters play tonight having allowed a .374 wOBA to righties on the road this season, so let’s roll out a Yankees’ stack as well beginning here with the veteran Holliday. He owns a .231 ISO, .900 OPS and a .382 wOBA this season against left-handed pitching as he enjoys a resurgent season at the dish. He is also 3 for 11 career against Miley with a homer and a double.
2B – Starlin Castro (NYY) – $3,600 vs. BAL
Castro has spent a good chunk of time on the DL lately, but he will likely hit right near Holliday tonight as he brings some solid production to table against lefties as well. While his ISO of .128 isn’t impressive against lefties, he does sport an impressive .825 OPS and .354 wOBA versus southpaw pitching this season. He also snapped a three-game hitless skid with a two-hit effort in yesterday’s matchup with the Rays so perhaps we are catching Castro in what is the beginning of a hot streak as he begins to once again find his form.
3B – Todd Frazier (NYY) – $3,600 vs. BAL
Frazier unfortunately will hit somewhere near the bottom of the Yankees’ lineup tonight, but he brings an elite amount of power to the table against left-handed pitching. Frazier enters play tonight sporting a massive .295 ISO and a solid .814 OPS and .345 wOBA versus southpaws this season. He has been a productive bat lately with two homers and seven RBIs over his last seven games and is 5 for 17 with a homer and a double in his career against Miley.
SS – Jorge Polanco (MIN) – $4,000 vs. TOR
Another Minny righty, Polanco will technically lead off this stack tonight as he should hit in the three hole against Anderson. While his overall numbers this season aren’t exceedingly impressive, he has been a very powerful bat against lefties over the last month where he has posted a massive .400 ISO and a .520 wOBA. He is three for his last eight at the dish with a two-run homer mixed in so there is some power upside to be sure in this matchup tonight.
OF – Byron Buxton (MIN) – $4,100 vs. TOR
Buxton certainly grabbed everyone’s attention with a torrid stretch recently and he now enters play tonight with the second highest OPS on the Twins against lefties with a .833 mark. Like Polanco, he has exploded over the last month against southpaws and owns a .452 ISO and a .480 OPS against them over that stretch. The Twins are certainly liking what they are now seeing from their former top draft pick, and it could be worth mentioning he homered three times in a game against the Blue Jays August 27th.
OF – Robbie Grossman (MIN) – $3,600 vs. TOR
After raking lefties for plenty of power in the 2016 season, Grossman hasn’t really come close to that production in 2017. Last season, he finished with a .232 ISO and a .994 OPS on the season against lefties to go along with a impressive .423 wOBA. This season, his production has fallen to a .093 ISO, .761 OPS and a still-solid .347 wOBA. Grossman has kept that wOBA solid with an enormous 19.5% walk rate, but he is still right in the middle of this stack and a team that has mashed lefties recently. Besides, his wOBA over the last month against lefties is .445, so you can’t argue with that production at what should be low ownership tonight.
OF – Jay Bruce (CLE) – $4,300 vs. KC
A one-off play, Bruce certainly lines up well every time he faces a righty on the mound. Tonight he will face Royals’ righty Jake Junis who hasn’t been terrible, but he is a traditional righty who has yielded a .345 wOBA to lefties compared to just a .318 mark to righties. Regardless, Bruce owns a huge .284 ISO, .897 OPS and a .374 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching. He hit his first homer since August 24th in yesterday’s victory over the Tigers so let’s see if he can help his team make it 22 straight wins tonight with some more long ball action.