Last night’s lineup did not end up as a good one. Garret Richards did not end his season on a good note with just 3.2 innings pitched and three strikeouts while Sean Newcomb started well, but was ultimately knocked out of the game after five innings, three runs surrendered and with seven strikeouts. The Dodgers stack did decent, however pinch hitting was the name of the game in this one as most regulars did not play the whole game. Let’s put last night behind us and move on to tonight’s eight-game slate!
P – Sonny Gray (NYY) – $11,700 vs. TB
Tonight’s slate brings with it a very thin pitching board, so let’s go ahead and nab the top pitcher on the board in form of Yankees’ righty Sonny Gray. Gray has been impressive as a Yankee, having yielded more than two earned runs in just two of his ten starts in pinstripes. He isn’t a big strikeout guy, but he has racked up a trio of nine-strikeout games as a Yankee, one of which came in his third-to-last start against these very Rays. With his ground-ball ways (54%) and his ability to keep the ball in the yard (0.97 HR/9), Gray is a nice play to kick off tonight’s lineup.
P – Lance Lynn (STL) – $6,400 vs. CHC
Lynn was rocked his last time out for eight runs in just two thirds of an inning against the Pirates, but that was just the second time since June 29th that the right-hander gave up more than three earned runs in a start. Like Gray, Lynn isn’t a high strikeout guy, but with the Cubs clinching the NL Central last night, I am expecting a weaker than normal lineup tonight, which should both increase his strikeout potential while improving his run prevention potential. Lynn has also pitched to a very nice 3.02 ERA at home this season, making him a solid option as a second starter tonight.
C – Elias Diaz (PIT) – $2,900 vs. WAS
Diaz is the beginning of a Pirates stack, but is also a sneaky play against the reverse-splits of Nationals’ righty Edwin Jackson. Jackson has been terrorized by right-handed hitters this season, yielding a .415 wOBA and a 3.60 HR/9 clip to them. He has also given up 22 earned runs over his last four starts. Diaz does not have the numbers you want to see out of a rostered player, but at a cheap price in a stack he could be a sneaky low owned GPP play tonight.
1B – Josh Bell (PIT) – $3,600 vs. WAS
Bell comes to use at a nice price tonight and should hit right in the middle of this lineup. He owns a .216 ISO, .827 OPS and a .348 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching. While Jackson has been worse to righties, he has still surrendered a .376 wOBA and a 2.12 HR/9 to lefties at home while pitching to a 6.45 FIP to them at home as well. Bell has also been swinging the bat well lately, going 5 for his last 8 with a double and a homer.
2B – Brandon Phillips (LAA) – $4,100 vs. CWS
Phillips and co. take on right-hander Dylan Covey of the White Sox tonight, a pitcher who has been rocked, especially by righties, and gives up plenty of stolen bases. For the season Covey has yielded a .448 wOBA to right-handed hitters while allowing a 2.78 HR/9 clip to them as well. He has also surrendered nine stolen bases in just 64.1 innings this season. Phillips brings some power and speed upside into this matchup with 11 homers, 31 doubles and eight steals against right-handed pitching this season.
3B – David Freese (PIT) – $3,100 vs. WAS
Freese is a very affordable piece who can attack the aforementioned reverse splits of Jackson tonight. Freese has 20 extra-base hits against right-handed pitching this season and a hard hit rate in excess of 31% against righties as well. With Jackson pitching so poorly against righties this is a play that speaks more to the pitcher than it does the hitter as Freese and the Pirates make a nice GPP stack tonight.
SS – Tim Anderson (CWS) – $3,400 vs. LAA
The Angels are rolling out right-hander Bud Norris for the start tonight, which could mean good things for Anderson and the White Sox. Anderson has really perked up at the plate over the last several weeks as he has recorded at least one hit in all but four games he has played since the beginning of the month. He’s hit 17 home runs and stolen 15 bases this season, offering the type of power/speed upside that is very attractive at this price.
OF – Mike Trout (LAA) – $5,700 vs. CWS
Our Angels’ exposure continues here with the world’s best player in Mike Trout. Trout has mashed right-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .353 ISO, 1.106 OPS and a .447 wOBA with 19 stolen bases this season. He has hit righties better than lefties, and when we combine that with the fact Covey is also reverse-splits we have ourselves a double-reverse-splits situation on our hands here. He is a must-play on tonight’s slate.
OF – Justin Upton (LAA) – $4,900 vs. CWS
Like mentioned in an article earlier this week, Upton brings the same type of upside into a matchup against a right-hander that yields stolen bases as Trout does. Upton has raked right-handed pitching to the tune of a .235 ISO, .832 OPS and a .352 wOBA this season, but also owns a .319 ISO, .976 OPS and a .403 wOBA overall in the second half of the season. He also has 13 stolen bases to his credit on the campaign.
OF – Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – $4,200 vs. WAS
It’s difficult to say that in a lineup with Trout I have the highest hopes for McCutchen, but that is the way I am leaning. Cutch has been red-hot at the plate, riding a five-game hit streak into play tonight including that big two-homer, eight-RBI performance on Tuesday night. While he has hit lefties better than righties this season, he has destroyed Edwin Jackson for a .417 average (15 for 36) with three homers, three doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs scored over his career.