After a small slate last night, we are back with a big ten-game slate on FanDuel tonight. As always with baseball this time of year, be sure to keep track of the MLB weather, as there are some potential trouble spots.
On the high end there are two pitchers I’m eyeing in Francisco Liriano and Chris Archer. Archer featured the top strikeout rate on this slate last year and put down 29% of batters. He has electric stuff, and while the Orioles offense can be scary, they also do feature plenty of strikeout potential. I don’t think he’s a must, but I do like his tournament upside. I was set to highlight Liriano, but the game in Cincinnati currently features the most weather risk on the slate. If the weather improves, he’s someone I really like, as he draws the platoon splits against the Reds two top hitters in Votto and Bruce, and the rest of their lineup is weak.
Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals, $8,700 - If you’re looking to save to help grab some bats, there are two mid-tier options standing out for me. Ventura is a young pitcher, who can be volatile, but he does bring strikeout upside to the table and draws a favorable matchup with a right-handed heavy Minnesota team. He’ll be pitching in his spacious home ballpark, where he was much better last season, and is a solid -154 favorite, so the win should be there.
Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners, $7,600 - Like Ventura, he’s a young pitcher who was very volatile last season. However, also like Ventura, he does feature strikeout upside and pitched much better in his home ball park than on the road. He’ll be at home in his pitcher friendly stadium, and he will be facing an Oakland offense that doesn’t feature much power. He’s -157 favorite and really allows you to get several top bats into your lineup.
Also Consider - Jaime Garcia
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers, $3,000 - Catcher is my least favorite position of the day because it’s very weak, but Lucroy is my favorite option. The Brewers are a weak offense but they have a solid run total of 4.3 since they are facing an average at best pitcher in Scott Feldman. This game will be played in hitter friendly Miller Park and should feature plenty of runs. Lucroy provides exposure to the Brewers side of the game and typically hits high in the order.
Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals, $2,300 - If you’re looking to save at first base, I’m eying Adams and John Jaso. As mentioned, there are weather concerns in Cincinnati, so I’ll highlight Adams here. The Cardinals are facing Matt Wisler, who is a young pitcher that was a great pitcher to attack last season. He allowed a 43% fly ball rate overall and really struggled against lefties, allowing a .419 wOBA. Adams is dirt cheap and has shown an ability to hit righties in his major league career. If he’s somehow not in the lineup, Brandon Moss should be in there for him and is also cheap.
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays, $4,100 - Toronto is known as a team that crushes left-handed pitching, but they are also great against right-handed pitching. Encarnacion actually was better against righties last year as 33 of his 39 home runs came against righties, and he held a .399 wOBA (.360 against lefties). He’ll face a pitcher in Joe Kelly that also exhibited reverse splits, as Kelly allowed a .365 wOBA to right-handed bats last season.
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros, $3,800 - The Astros check in with the second highest team total on this slate, and are my favorite stack option as they features tons of home run and stolen base potential. Altuve was quiet yesterday, but the Astros are getting a big park bump, and Chase Anderson is a guy who doesn’t feature big platoon splits. He’s also a righty, so Altuve has solid stolen base potential in this matchup.
Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals, $2,500 - This is semi-dependent on where he hits in the order because he tends to move up and down the order. However, as mentioned with Matt Adams, I’m really liking the Cardinals lefties in this matchup against Wisler, and Wong provides some power at a thin second base position.
Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs, $4,100 - Bryant will likely be the chalk at the position tonight, because the Cubs are scoring tons of runs and feature the top team total on the slate. They are in a great hitting environment in Arizona and Bryant will draw the platoon splits against Robbie Ray, who allowed a high hard hit rate last season.
Based on Bryant’s probable high ownership in tournaments, it’s a potential spot to fade, and two of my favorite pivots are Evan Longoria and Matt Carpenter. As mentioned with Wong and Adams, I’m looking to load up on Cardinals’ lefties and Carpenter is their best left-handed bat. As far as Longoria goes, he’ll be facing a pitcher in Chris Tillman, who has exhibited reverse splits, so the righty on righty matchup isn’t worrisome. Longoria has also owned him in their meetings as he’s 16-of-49 with six home runs.
Carlos Correa, Houston Astros, $5,000 - Given his price tag, he’s not a cash game must, but he’s certainly someone I’ll try to get exposure to tonight. He brings terrific upside to a weak position, as he offers big home run AND stolen base upside. As mentioned, Vegas is liking the Astros to beat up on Chase Anderson tonight, so this is a nice spot for Correa in a hitter friendly park.
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,600 - I don’t love the ballpark factor tonight for the Dodgers because they are hitting in spacious San Francisco. However, the matchup is certainly there against Matt Cain, whose best years look to be behind him. He really struggled last year, as he allowed 1.7 HR/9 as well as a .404 wOBA to lefties. Seager is one of the top up and coming shortstops in the game and hits high in a potent Dodgers lineup.
Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners, $4,300 - Cruz is my favorite bat on the day, as he’s facing a weak left-handed in Eric Surkamp. Cruz is other worldly against left-handed pitching, and Surkamp is a left-hander that has only pitched 56 MLB innings across three seasons. He has not fared well in those innings and has allowed a .375 wOBA to righties in his career.
Dexter Fowler, Chicago Cubs, $3,100 - If you can’t quite squeeze in Bryant’s salary or if you’re fading him and still want Cubs exposure, Fowler is very affordable and leading off. He’s been great to start the year, and is a switch hitter that features more power from the right-side of the plate facing a lefty in Robbie Ray.
David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,500 - This game features a ton of runs last night, and looks like a great source of hitting tonight. Peralta has started the year hot and held a .402 wOBA against right-handed pitching in his home ball park last year. He’ll be facing a right-hander in Jason Hammel, who has allowed a career .340 wOBA to left-handed bats.