We have a bust 14-game Tuesday night MLB slate on tap tonight with plenty of opportunity to get into the money early in the week.
Let’s get right into the picks and get our week started on the right note!
P – Domingo German (NYY) – $9,600 vs. BAL
The Yankees and Orioles get together again tonight from Yankee Stadium in New York after the clubs played a twin bill last night. Tonight, it’s right-hander Domingo German who gets the starting nod for the home side and he owns some rather gaping splits entering this one tonight, splits that favor the home side. On the road this season, German has been touched up for a 5.58 ERA and 5.61 FIP to go along with an 8.30 K/9 and a big 2.41 HR/9 as well. However, at home, German has posted a 2.19 ERA to go along with a 3.34 FIP, 3.67 xFIP, a much-improved 11.31 K9 and a greatly reduced 1.28 HR/9. While most of the home numbers look good, and I know the HR/9 is still a little elevated here, however it’s the big increase in strikeout rate that has caught my attention here. The Orioles might not be striking out as much this season as we might have anticipated as their 23% strikeout rate is roughly middle-of-the-pack, but they still rank 26th with a .305 wOBA against righties and given the big-time increase in K-rate at home, I like the upside German brings to the table here, especially with the Yankees listed as massive -290 favorites to win this one on the moneyline. As a side note, keep an eye on the weather leading up to this one as there is some rain in the forecast, but not enough for me to fade at this point in time.
C/1B – Brandon Dixon (DET) – $3,000 vs. SEA
I will be rolling out a pair of three-man stacks in this one, one of which is an expensive, high-upside group that should see some ownership. However, I’m also going to a feature a lower cost, much lower-owned Tigers stack as they take on left-hander Yusei Kikuchi and the Seattle Mariners. The Tigers’ bats as a team improve against left-handed pitching and their bats have perked up over the last couple of weeks wa their .324 wOBA ranks 19th in that time, almost identical to the .325 wOBA the Minnesota Twins have posted in that same time. In other words, the Tigers are swinging the bat much better of late than they have all season as they settle in for a favorable matchup against the lefty Kikuchi who owns a 5.55 ERA, 5.60 FIP, 5.15 xFIP and a 1.80 HR/9 on the road. He’s also allowed an .835 OPS to righties on the road. Enter Dixon who has been the best power bat in the Tigers’ lineup this season with 14 home runs. He sports better power numbers against right-handed pitching than he does lefties, but it’s also worth noting that Dixon has gone 2 for 4 with a homer against Kikuchi stemming from their meeting in Seattle last month. It’s nice that he’s matchup-proof and I believe there’s a good chunk of home run upside in this matchup tonight.
2B – Brian Dozier (WAS) – $2,300 vs. CIN
I have a couple of one-offs in this lineup tonight to complement my pair of three-man stacks and I believe Dozier has some of the best value upside on this slate considering the matchup against a left-handed pitcher. Alex Wood has been largely consistent in his big league career, but he continues to try and shake off the rust after making just three starts this season thanks to a back issue. Wood was lit up for five earned runs in just three innings in his last outing against the Cubs and he’s allowed four home runs in 14.1 innings so far this season, good for a 2.55 HR/9 in the early going. Enter Dozier who has simply clobbered left-handed pitching this season as he owns a .245 ISO, .937 OPS, .387 wOBA and a 138 wRC+ against southpaws on the season. The isolated power is increased on the road, but his .970 OPS, .406 wOBA and 150 wRC+ against lefties at home are some fantastic numbers. It’s been a little bit of a struggle in the season’s second half and Dozier hasn’t started the last couple of games with an illness, but he did pinch hit both times. Keep an eye on his status as the day moves along, but I expect him to be in the lineup tonight and he brings a ton of value upside into this one thanks to his impressive figures versus left-handed pitching.
3B – Kris Bryant (CHC) – $3,800 vs. PHI
My main three-man stack in this one is the Chicago Cubs as they take on left-hander Jason Vargas and the Philadelphia Phillies. While Vargas’ numbers on the season are solid yet unspectacular, he has struggled in any park not named Citi Field this season where he played his home games as a member of the New York Mets prior to coming to the Phillies at the trade deadline. Nonetheless, I am going to be rostering a trio of Cubs that pummel left-handed pitching, so Vargas’ mediocre numbers don’t even play a big factor into my decision to roster this high-priced stack tonight. Bryant enters this one tonight sporting a .341 average, .365 ISO, 1.162 OPS, .469 wOBA and a 194 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. The numbers remain strong against lefties on the road, in fact they improve in such scenarios. Bryant has posted a .410 ISO, 1.213 OPS, .487 wOBA and a 205 wRC+ on the road against southpaws this season. He actually hasn’t seen much of Vargas as he’s 1 for 3 with a double against him, but with the way he’s swinging it against lefties this season he makes for a good play regardless of matchup as long as it’s a southpaw on the mound.
SS – Javier Baez (CHC) – $4,200 vs. PHI
Next man up in the Cubs three-man stack is Baez who brings us some real nice cross-category production and he’s also matchup-proof for when the bullpen comes in due to his ability to crush right-handed pitching as well on top of his fine work versus lefties. Against lefties this season, Baez has posted a .330 average, .352 ISO, 1.049 OPS, .423 wOBA and a 163 wRC+ on an overall basis. On the road against lefties, the numbers are very similar with a .367 ISO, 1.007 OPS, .408 wOBA and a 153 wRC+. As I mentioned last week when I successfully stacked this trio against another lefty in Alex Wood, Baez’s stolen base upside is actually increased against left-handed pitching. Of his nine steals this season, six have come against a left-handed pitcher. The fact that he has seen so much more right-handed pitching than lefties, as expected, this season makes that particular stat incredible. Indeed, Baez does have a stolen base off of Vargas despite logging just two plate appearances against him in his career. He broke out of a mini-slump with a double in Sunday’s finale against the Reds and I’ll be looking for some more extra-base power in this one tonight.
OF – Nicholas Castellanos (CHC) – $3,500 vs. PHI
Completing our three-man Cubs stack is Castellanos who has arguably been the best bat in baseball since coming over to the Cubs from the Tigers at the trade deadline. Castellanos has always been a plus bat against left-handed pitching, but he’s taken that to a whole new level here in 2019 as he owns a .370 average, .309 ISO, 1.108 OPS, .449 wOBA and a 184 wRC+ on the season against left-handed pitching. The numbers are better on the road against lefties thanks to the extreme pitcher-friendly confines of his previous home park of Comerica Park in Detroit. On the road against lefties this season, he owns a .378 ISO, 1.271 OPS, .509 wOBA and a 225 wRC+. In the month of August since the trade, Castellano has put together a massive .391 ISO, 1.169 OPS, .473 wOBA and a 196 wRC+ on an overall basis. He has six doubles and four home runs so far for the month in 11 games. Two of those homers came when we rostered him last week against the Reds’ southpaw Alex Wood. After going hitless on Saturday, he was back at it with a pair of hits on Sunday in his last outing. Finally, while he’s just 5 for 22 (.227) in his career against Vargas, Castellanos has homered twice off of him, so he owns a .273 ISO against Vargas in his career. I’ll look for the bat to remain white-hot in this matchup tonight.
OF – Josh VanMeter (CIN) – $2,500 vs. WAS
My second one-off for this 14-game slate tonight is the Reds’ Josh Van Meter as he takes on right-hander Joe Ross and the Washington Nationals. Ross hasn’t been good to this point in the season as he owns a 6.25 ERA, 5.19 FIP, 5.48 xFIP and huge 5.00 BB/9 clip to go along with a 1.25 HR/9 rate across three starts and 18 bullpen appearances on the season. That’s why I like VanMeter the most out of any outfielder with a salary of $2,800 or less. Ross has been prone to the blowout despite scoreless starts in each of his last two outings as he allowed six earned runs in 4.2 innings in his third-to-last appearance and allowed four earned runs in just one inning of relief prior to being optioned to Triple-A in late June. Enter VanMeter who has done some damage against right-handed pitching so his own promotion from the minors as he owns a .204 ISO, .886 OPS, .375 wOBA and a 129 wRC+ against righties at the big league level. He posted a 1.051 OPS against righties at Triple-A as I’ll look for the success to continue against a struggling right-hander in this one tonight.
OF – Travis Demeritte (DET) – $2,900 vs. SEA
Completing our three-man Tigers stack will be a couple of Tigers bats that haven’t been around long this season but have had success, at least from a power standpoint to this point in their brief big league careers. Demeritte was acquired from the Braves as part of the trade that sent closer Shane Greene to Atlanta at the trade deadline, and he was immediately promoted to the big league roster and has received almost regular playing time since. The home run power isn’t sky-high, but Demeritte’s bat offers plenty of gap power as his speed has already netted him two triples in just 11 big league games to this point. He’s also doubled and homered in that time, giving him a powerful .216 ISO in his brief big league tenure to this point. I mean, the guy hit 20 home runs at the Triple-A level in 2019 and owned a .271 ISO for the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate prior to the deal. He’s also already stolen two bases in 11 games with Detroit. He hasn’t done much against left-handers in a minuscule big league sample so far, but did post a .954 OPS against them at Triple-A this season. I like the power/speed we are getting here against a struggling left-hander in this underrated matchup tonight.
UTIL – Jake Rogers (DET) – $2,900 vs. SEA
Completing our lineup and three-man Tigers stack is Rogers whose bat has been as anticipated so far in a small big league sample size. Rogers was widely known as the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues prior to his promotion, but he hasn’t hit for much average in his minor league career, but did post a .302 mark at Double-A before slipping to a .223 average at Triple-A. However, the power is present in this bat as he posted a .233 ISO at Double-A with five homers in 28 games before posted a .235 ISO at Triple-A with nine homers in 48 games. So far in the big leagues, Rogers owns a .273 ISO with three homers in 10 games, albeit with a .182 average. Still, I’m not here for a batting average but the raw power that he’s now displayed at three separate stops here in 2019. Rogers posted an .844 OPS on the back of a big .540 SLG at Triple-A versus lefties prior to his promotion while one of his three homers have come against a lefty in just seven plate appearances and five at-bats against them. I don’t usually use a defense-first, rookie catcher in the utility spot, however I think we can grab some very low-owned value out of these Tigers bats given the power upside in all against a struggling left-handed pitcher and one of the league’s worst bullpens in this one tonight.