Not a great lineup last night as our top pitcher Gio Gonzalez had his worst start in a long time, giving up five runs in six innings of work while the batters didn’t do a whole lot outside of our three Orioles in Machado, Schoop and Jones who performed very well. C.C. Sabathia also performed well with six innings of one-run ball and six strikeouts. Let’s enter the weekend on a good note with some better picks on tonight’s 13-game slate!
P – Kevin Gausman (BAL) – $8,700 vs. TOR
Gausman has enjoyed a very nice turnaround after a tough first half of the season. Gausman crafted a 5.85 ERA in the season’s first half but will bring a much-improved 3.46 mark for the second half into play with him tonight. Even after last night’s 11-run explosion off of righty Jeremy Hellickson, the Blue Jays have just a .305 wOBA over the last month against right-handed pitching while Gausman has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts and one run or fewer in five of his last eight. He brings plenty of value to the table tonight at a great price.
P – Mike Clevinger (CLE) – $8,200 vs. DET
After a couple of rough starts against Boston and Minnesota, Clevinger reeled of six scoreless innings to go along with nine strikeouts in his most recent outing against the Royals. The Tigers lineup looks even more watered down tonight after trading away their best hitter in Justin Upton yesterday as they own a just a .306 team wOBA against righties in the past month which is 25th in the MLB. This is a team that mashes lefties but struggles mightily against righties and also own a 23.8% strikeout rate in that stretch against righties, the eighth highest mark in the bigs.
C – Carlos Ruiz (SEA) – $2,600 vs. OAK
Ruiz is projected to start as of the time of this writing and it makes sense considering he sports a powerful .200 ISO for the reason against left-handed pitching. Sean Manaea has been getting absolutely rocked by right-handed hitting this season especially in the last month with a .329 ISO and .457 wOBA allowed over that stretch to righties. A possible pivot should Ruiz not start could be Kevan Smith of the White Sox or Bruce Maxwell of the A’s as all three of these players are much needed value plays in this lineup.
1B – Lucas Duda (TB) – $3,900 vs. CWS
The Rays are in an excellent position tonight against White Sox rookie Reynaldo Lopez, especially the left-handed bats like Duda. Duda provides plenty of value on this slate as he has clobbered righties to the tune of a .302 ISO and .907 OPS on the season while Lopez has yielded a .443 wOBA and a 5.40 HR/9 clip in limited action against lefties in the big leagues this season. Also worth mentioning are the home run-friendly confines of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, further enhancing Tampa Bay’s matchup tonight.
2B – Jose Ramirez (CLE) – $4,700 vs. DET
Another team in a fine matchup tonight are the Cleveland Indians as they take on right-hander Buck Farmer and the Detroit Tigers tonight in the second half of a double header. Ramirez has become one of the most consistent bats in the American League and will bring a .252 ISO, .917 OPS and a .383 wOBA against right-handed pitching into play with him tonight. Farmer has given up 16 earned runs over his last 10.1 innings of big league work so let’s ride the Indians as well tonight.
3B – Evan Longoria (TB) – $3,700 vs. CWS
Longoria is having a decent season against right-handed pitching with a solid .172 ISO, .785 OPS and a .332 wOBA against them this season. Lopez has been much better to right-handed hitters in his brief big league career, however Longoria hits right in the heart of the Rays lineup and holds together a stack at a reasonable price tonight.
SS – Francisco Lindor (CLE) – $5,100 vs. DET
Lindor will likely lead off for the Indians once against tonight against Farmer and the Tigers which gives him more value and upside than he already brings to the table. Lindor has cross-category appeal tonight out of that leadoff spot with his .202 ISO and seven steals against righties, giving him solid power/speed upside on top of his run scoring upside in what should be a high scoring game for the road team this evening.
OF – Jay Bruce (CLE) – $4,500 vs. DET
Last man up in the Indians stack is outfielder Jay Bruce who brings the most power into this matchup with his team-leading .281 ISO against righties while his .894 OPS and .373 wOBA against them rank second on the team next to Ramirez. Bruce also brings a .961 career OPS at Comerica Park with him into play tonight and should have plenty of RBI opportunities towards the back of the heart of the Indians order tonight.
OF – Kevin Kiermaier (TB) – $4,500 vs. CWS
Kiermaier is an extractive player on many fronts tonight. He should hit in the leadoff spot, boasts power against righties with a .220 ISO and .874 OPS while also bringing stolen base upside as well with seven steals on the season despite missing almost two months with an injury. Should the Rays go off tonight Kiermaier will be right in the middle of it while receiving plenty of at-bats in the process.
OF – Corey Dickerson (TB) – $4,100 vs. CWS
Last but not least is outfielder Corey Dickerson who, earlier in the season, was one of the AL’s top hitters. While he has cooled off some since then, Dickerson has hits in eight consecutive starts for the Rays. He owns a .231 ISO and .833 OPS against right-handed pitching on the season and he too brings some stolen base upside to the table with four steals against right-handed pitching this season.