With a sample size large enough to reflect back on this season, we are going to change things up a bit with the Value Index.

The Index worked very well during basketball season – 5 positions, 1 at each position, plus it’s basketball. But for baseball, I don’t think picking one person at every position works as well.

For me, sometimes I don’t really know who I like at a position until an hour, 30 minutes or even 10 minutes before lock. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate well when making picks and writing about them 20 hours before.

So to provide better selections/recommendations, I am going to drop the “pick at every position” format and just relay to you the core guys I like for a slate. These are guys that I will have the most exposure to in any format because if I really like a player, I play them.

I hope this little change helps you even more and we see better results moving forward.

Now, on to today’s slate of games. We have 11 to sift through today and boy do we have some studs manning the mounds.

That segues into who I won’t be making an official pick tonight – Clayton Kershaw. Why? Because you already know about his greatness. He’s your cash game guy tonight. There is another stud on this slate I love outside of Kershaw, but we will get to him shortly.

Today is another premium day for the Index, so you will get some freebies. But if you want to view all of the content, you will have to sign up for our 7-day free trial or join us!

Good luck tonight!

Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants – $11,700

Analysis: This matchup has me licking my chops a lot like MadBum above (haven’t I made this joke before?). Anyway, I think Bumgarner is a great tournament pivot tonight off of Kershaw. He is on the road against the Royals, and I certainly feel there are a lot of people that will be see Royals and think this is not a good spot. But as we dig deeper, this is a great spot for the second best pitcher in the majors. Against lefties this season, the Royals have 2 extra base hits. Two. Yes, they are due for some regression, but the Royals just don’t have a lot of great RH bats to combat a power lefty pitcher. There’s enormous K upside here, too as the Royals have struck out 26% of the time versus southpaws and Bumgarner has an 11.65 K/9 rate against LH bats and a 9.59 K/9 rate against RH bats since 2015.

Jake Lamb – 3B – Arizona Diamondbacks – $3,900

Analysis: I am not afraid to use this play in Petco Park. Chacin hurled a gem in his only home start this season, but that was to the Giants, not the second best team against RH pitching in the majors. Lefties are in play in this game for sure and that leads me to Jake Lamb, a guy who is really starting to come into his own this year. In Lamb’s career, he has a .229 ISO versus RH pitching. In 2017, it’s a .305 ISO with a .505 wOBA and a 219 wRC+. The power is massive and Chacin allows a 34.9% hard contact rate to lefties since 2015. Lamb comes in at a cheap price and is ultra reliable.

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