Hopefully you followed last night’s lineup as it was quite likely the best one of the entire season! The Diamondbacks stack absolutely went off as the team scored 13 runs, thanks in large part to two home runs from Chris Iannetta while J.D. Martinez mashed one of his own and doubled as well with some RBIs and runs scored mixed in. Scooter Gennett cranked a first inning grand slam and even our value play Victor Robles got in on the action with a two-RBI triple. Both of our pitchers dominated as Rich Hill tossed six innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts while Jon Gray hurled six one-run innings of his own with eight strikeouts as both pitchers ended up in the win column as well. What a fantastic night it was, so let’s follow it up with another beauty on tonight’s nine-game evening slate!
P – Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – $13,300 vs. NYM
Strasburg easily stands as the top arm on tonight’s slate, hence the price, so we will be doing no fading here with the talented right-hander. Strasburg enters play tonight sporting a 29.2% strikeout rate on the season and has struck out at least 30% of hitters from both sides of the plate over the last month. He has struck out at least eight batters in five of his last six starts, but easily the most impressive portion of Strasburg’s game as been run prevention. Consider this: Strasburg has yielded just one earned run over his last five starts combined. He surrendered an earned run in his last start to snap a streak of four consecutive scoreless starts. This guy is on some kind of tear right now as he faces a watered down Mets lineup that despite their recent success should be overwhelmed by the powerful Nats righty tonight.
P – Jhoulys Chacin (SD) – $5,900 vs. COL
While I would never touch Chacin on the road, he is simply a different pitcher at home. Chacin sports a 1.91 ERA (albeit with a 3.83 FIP) at home compared to a 6.93 ERA (albeit with a lower 5.06 FIP) on the road. While his strikeout clip is just 2 percent higher at home, Chacin sports a strikeout rate of 24.3% at home against right-handed batters, and the Rockies have a lot of righties. Their projected lineup includes six right-handed batters including the pitcher and I don’t expect them to deviate too far from this lineup as they will play their regulars in the midst of an intense Wild Card chase. Therefore, we have a very favorable matchup for the right-hander tonight in the pitching-friendly confines of Petco Park in San Diego this evening.
C – Wilson Ramos (TB) – $3,600 vs. BAL
You’re probably thinking “You are fading Iannetta after his performance last night”? Well, the truth is I think Iannetta is a fantastic play again tonight against another lefty, so use him if you wish, however I am rolling with a full five-man Rays’ stack tonight against right-hander Jeremy Hellickson and a poor Orioles’ bullpen. After all, Ramos did some damage of his own last night with a grand slam and a double and is now 6 for his last 10 at the plate. Over the last seven days, Ramos sports a .267 ISO, 1.067 OPS and a .448 wOBA. He is finally finding his groove after missing time earlier in the season while recovering from a torn ACL and is in a great spot against a pitcher in Hellickson who has just plain struggled as of late.
1B – Lucas Duda (TB) – $3,500 vs. BAL
There was a Morrison vs. Duda debate going on in my head while putting this lineup together, and then I looked at batter vs. pitcher stats. While Morrison has actually never faced Hellickson, Duda is 7 for 14 with two homers and four doubles against the right-hander. Duda has also offered more power than Morrison against righties this year with a .303 ISO while his .878 OPS and .363 wOBA are within a few points of Morrison’s figures. Duda had been running cold lately, but he produced an RBI double in last night’s win over the Orioles so let’s pick up the righty-masher while he is heating up and still cheap.
2B – Brad Miller (TB) – $3,400 vs. BAL
Miller has offered nothing in the form of a batting average this season with a .198 mark, however he does sport some power against righties. Let’s first consider Hellickson sports a 6.88 FIP and a 2.27 HR/9 rate at home against lefties (part of this are his numbers from Philly) and a huge 51.1% fly ball rate against lefties as well. Miller sports just a .120 ISO and a .640 OPS against righties this season, but he does sport an impressive 37.7% hard hit rate against lefties, a number that has increased to 45.5% over the last seven days. Miller is a fine, cost-effective piece to utilize tonight at the tail end of this Rays’ stack.
3B – Evan Longoria (TB) – $3,900 vs. BAL
Longoria played long ball in last night’s contest, his first homer since September 6th so perhaps we have another guy heating up at the dish. His 42.9% hard hit rate over the last seven days seems to support that theory. While Hellickson has clearly been brutal against lefties, he hasn’t been much better to righties at all, pitching to a 5.65 FIP and a 1.91 HR/9 rate against them this season and has surrendered a .231 ISO and a .352 wOBA to them over the last month. He also enjoys hitting at Camden Yards with a career .872 OPS at this hitter-friendly venue.
SS – Ketel Marte (ARI) – $3,600 vs. MIA
Marte got in on last night’s offensive explosion as he went 2 for 4 with a double, a run and a walk. Marte has superior numbers against right-handed pitching as opposed to lefties, but he has been productive lately by going 3 for his last 9 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI. He is part of an extremely productive offense and could reap similar benefits tonight as he did last night at the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field in Arizona.
OF – J.D. Martinez (ARI) – $5,500 vs. MIA
Simply not going to leave this guy out of this lineup against another lefty tonight. The stats I can throw at you regarding how powerful Martinez has been both overall and against lefties this season are endless. Let’s just state that he enters play tonight with a .500 ISO, 1.1337 OPS and a .524 wOBA on the season against southpaw pitching. He also owns a career 1.184 OPS at Chase Field and has hit a home run once in every 8.2 at-bats at this venue. Simply unbelieveable and more than worthy of a roster spot any time he faces a lefty at home.
OF – Corey Dickerson (TB) – $3,400 vs. BAL
Dickerson had been very cold at the plate until last night. Dickerson went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in last night’s route of the O’s. Prior to that breakout, Dickerson had just three hits over his last 11 games. We will take full advantage as Dickerson chiseled off the icicles last night and could very well get hot moving forward. Even after that terrible stretch, Dickerson still sports a .222 ISO, .801 OPS and a .333 wOBA on the season against righties. He also has a solid 35.3% hard hit rate against righties so let’s look for the outfielder to build off last night’s performance and deliver some more value tonight.
OF – Adam Jones (BAL) – $3,900 vs. TB
To be honest I expect lots of offense in this game tonight, and not only from the Rays. The Orioles will take on Rays’ righty Jake Odorizzi tonight who boasts some reverse splits this season with a 5.53 FIP to go along with a 1.92 HR/9 and a .362 wOBA yielded to righties on the road this season. Odorizzi’s troubles with the long ball are explained by a 45.1% fly ball rate against righties, a figure that could get him into trouble tonight in the home run-friendly confines of Camden Yards tonight. Enter Jones who is a reverse-splits hitter with a very solid .195 ISO, .798 OPS and a .338 wOBA on the season against righties. He is also 13 for 40 (.325) in his career against Odorizzi with two homers and double for an .841 OPS and a .365 wOBA against the right-hander.