What a 15-game slate we have on tap tonight. We have games at Coors, Chase Field, Miller Park, Rogers Centre and Yankee Stadium.
We have gas cans, garbage tossers or camel thumpers (new nickname for gas cans, whatcha think?)
Then, we have a slew of aces to choose from – Kershaw, Cueto, Strasburg, Sale and Kluber plus a few higher-priced guys who might not be aces, but have plum matchups – McCullers, Hammel and Steven Wright.
There are a lot of inflated hitter prices, too. It will take some creativity and thought to put together that perfect lineup.
Many of our picks listed below are of the higher-priced tier tonight, so unless you completely fade the top pitchers, it will be difficult to fit more than a couple in your lineup. I did do this for the sake of the BvP lineup at the end.
As always, remember to check out dailybaseballdata.com for more stats and data. Now time for picks!
Nolan Arenado – 3B – Trevor Story – SS – Rockies – vs. Andrew Cashner
Arenado BvP: 7-for-20, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB
Story BvP: 3-for-6, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Analysis: Can’t blame me for picking a couple of Rockies at Coors tonight. The only thing i need to say here is Cashner is a reverse-splits pitcher, giving up a .405 wOBA with a .308 BAA versus right-handers. I can’t say you should fade Rockies’ lefties altogether, but I think Arenado and Story go underowned due to the high price and same handedness.
Bryce Harper – OF – Nationals – vs. Jeremy Hellickson
BvP: 3-for-8, 1 2B, 5 BB, 2 SB
Analysis: I feel like every time Hellickson takes the mound he is facing the Nats. Tonight will be his 4th time to take them on. Harper is starting to warm up with two 3-hit efforts in his past 4 games. When Harper is on, there’s not another bat that can match his production. A home game in an underrated hitter’s park makes Harper a solid cash game play and GPP play.
Freddie Freeman – 1B – Braves – vs. Jason Hammel
BvP: 5-for-8, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB
Analysis: I have not been much of a fan of Freddie this season as opposed to the past. Something’s gotta give with the guy because he’s a solid power hitter. The problem is the team is just awful, but even they can’t be bad ALL the time, can they? I think this is a sneaky spot for the Braves. Hammel is pitching way over his head and Atlanta even got to Drew Pomeranz the other day, so perhaps they are turning things around. Freeman has hits in his past two games as well, so I hope he is starting to heat up. Hammel is due to struggle and DraftKings thinks he’s going to get it done today with such a high price tag. I think Hammel is vastly overpriced and Freeman could be a reason why Hammel doesn’t make value.
Carlos Beltran – OF, Jacoby Ellsbury – OF and Brian McCann – C – Yankees – vs. Mike Pelfrey
Beltran BvP: 3-for-5, 1 2B
Ellsbury BvP: 3-for-9, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 SB
McCann BvP: 20-for-43, 8 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB
Analysis: We turn our attention to one of the hotter teams in baseball. The Yankees are finally coming around offensively. Granted, they have faced some truly awful pitching: Jered Weaver and Jhoulys Chacin to name a couple. Now they get Mike Pelfrey, who might be the worst pitcher going on tonight’s slate. He owns a .384 wOBA, .339 BAA and is allowing nearly a 37% contact rate against lefties this season. Well, we have a 3-man lefty-stack to throw Pelfrey’s way. Beltran is the team’s hottest hitter with hits in his last 10 games, including 3 straight games with homers. Ellsbury is also nearing Beltran’s hotness (not as in looks, duh!). He’s got multi-hit efforts in 3 of his last 5. McCann had been struggling but his bat has seen things turnaround in the past couple of outings. Needless to say, the Yankees may be the top offense to target even with Coors and Chase Field on the slate.
Stephen Strasburg – SP – Nationals – vs. Phillies
BvP: 29-for-130, 7 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9 BB, 43 Ks
Analysis: Strasburg hasn’t lost a start this season. Maybe he is due after leaving the last game with a minor calf ailment, but he’s been pitching very well all season long and has a 2.92 SIERA. The Phillies have lost 10 of their last 13 games and if they want to put Ryan Howard in the lineup, by all means, please let Stras have those free strikeouts. There’s not much more to say here that you shouldn’t already know, the Phillies are bottom of the barrel in offensive efficiency.
Clayton Kershaw – SP – Dodgers – vs. Giants
BvP: 35-for-241, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 19 BB, 78 Ks
Analysis: I wanted to fade Kershaw tonight. I knew his price would be the highest and he’s up against a team that doesn’t strikeout very often. However, if Buster Posey sits, the BvP data improves mightly in Kershaw’s favor. The only HRs he has given up to the G-men is to Posey. There’s no safer play for cash games here, but maybe is a fade for tournaments (though could be an awesome play if he mows them down in the best pitcher’s park in the majors). Anyway, WITH Posey’s BvP, the Giants have a .145 average against, that’s insanely low. I am going to hope Posey doesn’t make it into the lineup just yet.
Lastly, here’s the lineup I have come up with for tonight. I am going to make a lineup with Strasburg and Kershaw, just to see how creative I can get with it. It will take some puzzle pieces to make the salary fit right, but should be fun.
Lineup Narrative: Yea, Derek Holland isn’t my favorite pitcher either, but he’s had a lot of success against Seattle this year and in the past. Sonny Gray has a decent matchup, but will he be the Sonny Gray of old? He’s cheap, so I am willing to take a flier on him to fit in all of my recommended bats above. Solarte is my lone off-the-board play, though I do like Jonathan Gray a lot at home tonight despite playing in Coors. Anyway, got a little bit of everything today, including lots of players from the top-2 projected scoring games of the evening. Good luck all!