With an abbreviated five-game slate on Wednesday night, today’s On the Hill column will also be abbreviated and FREE! On the hitting side Wednesday night there is really only one game that I am interested in and there is a chance it gets rained out. So, if the Cubs/Braves matchup gets PPD then I will likely have very little action on the slate outside of a couple GPPs. If there are so few hitters and teams that interest me then there must be some good pitching on the slate. And there is with a trio of high-priced Aces to choose from and a couple of value options that interest me.

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Let’s mow down the competition 3 Up and 3 Down…

3 Up

Ace

Chris Sale (FD-$11,400 / DK-$11,800)
Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Sale are all viable options on the Wednesday night slate but with weather concerns in Washington and Verlander on the road against a good Angels offense, I’ll take Sale who has seen his fastball velocity spike along with his strikeout rate in his last two outings. Sale’s fastball was hovering in the 91-94 mph range over his first seven starts while he had a 30.5% strikeout rate. In his last two outings, his fastball has been in the 96-97 mph range and his strikeout rate has soared to 44.3%. As long as he can maintain his newfound velocity he should have no trouble racking up strikeouts and pitching deep into the game as big home favorite against the A’s.

Value

Caleb Smith (FD-$7,600 / DK-$6,500)
With so many high-priced Aces on the slate, we’ll need to save some salary with our #2 SP on two-pitchers sites. I expect many to look to Walker Buehler but I’m taking the flip side of the matchup with an even cheaper Caleb Smith. Smith has been solid for the Marlins this season with a 3.63 ERA and an impressive 31.9% strikeout rate over eight starts. He’ll face a Dodgers team that has lost five straight games while failing to top three runs in any of those outings. Pair him with Sale on two-pitcher sites and give Smith a look in GPPs.

Darkhorse

Garrett Richards (FD-$8,500 / DK-$5,800)
I don’t expect many people to go with Garrett Richards facing a good Astros offense and being opposed by Justin Verlander. He is only worth GPP consideration but he has fared pretty well against Astros hitters in his career allowing just a .271 wOBA with one home run and a solid 21.4% strikeout rate over 140 plate appearances. Give Richards a look if you want to get contrarian with your pitcher and save some salary for bats.

3 Down

Top Stacks

Braves vs. Tyler Chatwood
I’m all-in on the Braves/Cubs game assuming that Mother Nature cooperates and the rain holds off. The top of the Braves lineup has been hitting all season and will face a pitcher on Wednesday that has a 7.65 BB/9 rate this season in Chatwood. Chatwood has danced around trouble by allowing just one homer this year but the Braves can produce runs and fantasy points in a variety of ways.

Freddie Freeman (FD-$4,800 / DK-$5,200)
Ozzie Albies (FD-$4,600 / DK-$5,100)
Nick Markakis (FD-$4,000 / DK-$4,400)
Ronald Acuna (FD-$3,900 / DK-$4,200)

Cubs vs. Brandon McCarthy
I’m also looking to stack up the Cubs side of their matchup with the Braves going against Brandon McCarthy who has allowed 14 runs over his last two starts. Both lefties (.365 wOBA) and righties (.414 wOBA) are hitting McCarthy well this season who has a 7.07 ERA in three home starts. I’m shifting my focus to the middle of the Cubs lineup to try to get a little bit lower ownership.

Anthony Rizzo (FD-$4,500 / DK-$4,800)
Willson Contreras (FD-$3,400 / DK-$4,300)
Javier Baez (FD-$4,500 / DK-$4,500)
Kyle Schwarber (FD-$4,100 / DK-$4,100)

Contrarian Stack

Marlins vs. Walker Buehler
If you want any chance of fitting in two high-priced ace pitchers on Wednesday’s slate then you will need to get a value stack. The Marlins fit that description perfectly and also double as a stack against a likely highly-owned pitcher Walker Buehler. Buehler has pitched well through his first four starts this season but as with any young arm he can be prone to inconsistency and a blow-up start along the way. It worth a shot in a GPP that tonight is that blow-up outing.

Justin Bour (FD-$3,500 / DK-$3,000)
JT Realmuto (FD-$3,200 / DK-$3,400)
Starlin Castro (FD-$2,900 / DK-$3,200)
Derek Dietrich (FD-$2,100 / DK-$2,600)

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