Now that we’re through all of the trade deadline madness, things should be on the quiet side this evening. Don’t tell FanDuel that – they’re running a $600K Monster ($100K to 1st) in addition to another big $5 Rally ($10K to 1st). It’s a full 15-game slate with a bevy of enticing pitching options, and we also have two above-average arms facing off in Coors which is always an interesting dilemma.
Madison Bumgarner ($11,800) – Bumgarner is an arm we prefer to target at home and he does get a sizeable park downgrade in Philly, but it’s not nearly enough to outweigh the weakness of the Phillies offense against left-handers. They rank dead last in wOBA (.282) and wRC+ (71) and own the second lowest ISO (.106) with a 22.9 K% (eighth highest). Philadelphia also owns the lowest hard hit percentage on the slate (23.0 hard%), so taking that into account on top of Bumgarner’s impressive strikeout numbers (28.4 K%) would indicate that he’s well worth his high price tag this evening.
Matt Shoemaker ($8,500) – If you’re looking to spend big on bats, Shoemaker still has that elite upside at a mid-range price tag. He’s struggled some in his past few starts from a strikeout perspective, striking out no more than five in his past four road starts, so he’ll be glad to get back to some home cooking (he struck out 13 in his only home start sandwiched between the four road outings). The A’s don’t strike out much, but Shoemaker’s 29.6 K% at home should balance that out and he’s done an excellent job of preventing runs in his home park (1.93 FIP, .271 wOBA allowed). It also doesn’t hurt that the A’s just traded their most dangerous left-handed bat.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had to include this nugget in one of my articles. Both pitchers in this contest are above-average big league starters, and the 10.5 total on the MLB odds board shows that Vegas seemingly has some confidence in them to limit the damage. Since this isn’t a game you need to load up on by any stretch, I’m going to include any plays from this game in the write-ups below.
Wilson Ramos ($3,500) – I’m going back to the well with Ramos after he delivered in a big way in the series opener. The matchup is even better tonight – D’Backs starter Robbie Ray is allowing a ton of hard contact to RH bats (41.5 hard% at home vs. RHBs) despite elite bat missing abilities, and he isn’t limiting the damage in terms of the long ball either (1.51 HR/9 vs. RHBs at home). Ramos owns a very solid .380 wOBA, .253 ISO and 31.9 hard% against southpaws in 2016. The Nationals are one of the best offenses in the league against LHP and Ramos should be right in the middle of any damage they do tonight.
If you aren’t a fan of Ramos, Victor Martinez ($3,600) is available at basically the same price in a great matchup with the HR prone James Shields. Martinez has been cold of late (no XBHs in his last 10 games) but the Tigers still have a ton of upside in a matchup like this. If you need to go cheap, Sandy Leon ($2,900) and Salvador Perez ($2,700) are fine punt plays.
Miguel Cabrera ($3,600) – Miggy has homered four times over his last five games and will have a great shot to keep his power surge up against James Shields, who has allowed a 1.71 HR/9 rate to RH bats in 2016. Cabrera himself is up to a .411 wOBA, .270 ISO and 38.1 hard% against RHP this season, and it’s safe to say he’s got Shields’ number over the course of their careers – he’s 22-60 with 12 XBHs (3 HRs), good for a .461 wOBA. The $3,600 price tag is too cheap given the spot he’s in so I will have exposure to Cabrera in all formats.
Hanley Ramirez ($3,400) – For the GPP players out there, Ramirez has been about as boom-or-bust as it gets lately. He’s just five for his last 26 and will do business in a pitcher-friendly park tonight, yet the matchup is making it very hard to avoid him. Wade LeBlanc is not a major league starter in terms of talent and he’ll show that if the Mariners continue to use him in that fashion. He’s allowed a .349 wOBA to RH bats this season (it’s still a very small sample size) and has had trouble limiting the long ball which has to do with his inability to keep the ball on the ground (33.9 GB% vs. RH bats). As for Ramirez, he’s rocking a .424 wOBA, .230 ISO and 39.4 hard% against southpaws. This is only a route I’d take in GPPs, but it’s one with considerable upside.
Ian Kinsler ($3,900) – I’ve admittedly been running poorly in terms of picking the Tigers on the right night, but that has to turn around at some point, right? Baseball is a very variant game but if you trust the numbers over time you’ll usually like the result. Anyway, Kinsler is yet another Detroit bat in a great spot against James Shields. Like Cabrera, Kinsler has hit Shields well over the course of his career (14-for-56 with 4 HRs, good for a .342 wOBA) and Kinsler’s power numbers have really taken off this season. Kinsler owns a .347 wOBA and .197 ISO against RHP on the year and is also capable of swiping a bag, giving him both a solid floor and ceiling. Kinsler is a bit more volatile than most leadoff men, but I think he booms tonight.
Joe Panik ($2,900) – Ryan Schimpf ($2,700) was going to appear in this space, but Panik is in a better spot here and should come at a much lower ownership percentage. The Giants offense has gotten much more dangerous with the return of Panik and Hunter Pence, and they should give Phillies starter Zach Eflin major problems this evening. Eflin has allowed a .324 wOBA to LH bats which doesn’t look bad on the surface, but he’s struck out just six of them in 24.2 IP (2.55 K/9) and owns a 18.9 Hd-Sft% which suggest his .233 BABIP will rise in the very near future.
Nolan Arenado ($4,200) – Arenado is one of the few Coors bats I’ll be targeting with regularity tonight. He’s sporting a .421 wOBA, .370 ISO and 41.5 hard% against RHP at home this season, and while Brandon McCarthy has come firing out of the gate so far in 2016, he’s not worthy of fading entirely with hitters, especially a bat as potent as Arenado’s. July was Arenado’s slowest month of the season, but it shouldn’t be long before he turns it on again.
Anthony Rendon ($3,600) – He still hasn’t had 100 PAs vs. LHs this season, but Rendon has had continued success against southpaws over the course of his career and is in a nice spot tonight to keep that going. Rendon is rocking a .361 wOBA and .141 ISO with a 39.3 hard% against lefties this season, and while those numbers don’t jump off the page considering his price, he should have plenty of run producing opportunities against Robbie Ray in hitter-friendly Chase Field. Rendon has racked up at least 12.5 FD points in his last five games.
Trea Turner ($3,500) – Turner has gotten off to a great start since being promoted and should maintain his spot atop the order for the foreseeable future. He provides blazing speed which gives him considerable stolen base upside to go along with a more than major league ready bat, and I’ve already noted why I think Robbie Ray will struggle against one of the best offenses in baseball against LHP. Turner isn’t cheap, but his ceiling is very high in this spot and I’d feel comfortable targeting him in any format.
Corey Seager ($4,400) is the no doubt top option at the SS spot, so if you have the cap space to shell out, go for it. Jonathan Villar ($3,600) is a solid against-the-grain GPP target against the hittable Luis Perdomo, with Brandon Crawford ($3,200) also providing nice value against Zach Eflin in Citizens Bank Park.
Carlos Gonzalez ($4,000) and David Dahl ($3,700) – I’m not going to go too far into these two, but know that they both hit RHP with authority and are in excellent spots in their home park. Dahl has yet to get a taste of Coors Field but has already come bursting onto the scene with 2 HRs in his first 27 ABs at the big league level, and we know that we’re getting an elite righty killer when we roster Gonzalez at home. These two just simply aren’t priced high enough to consider fading in Coors Field. Joc Pederson ($4,100) is another Coors bat that I’ll go out of my way to pay up for.
Gregory Polanco ($3,800) – It’s a little strange that both Polanco and Starling Marte have consistently outproduced Andrew McCutchen this season. All three of the Pirates outfielders are squarely in play against Mike Foltynewicz, but Polanco is the one worth paying a premium for. He’s the owner of a .375 wOBA, .224 ISO and 35.8 hard% against RHP this season, while Foltynewicz has allowed a .366 wOBA and a 2.25 HR/9 rate to LH bats on the year. The Braves bullpen is also atrocious, so unless they go to a lefty to counter Polanco, he should still be in a plus matchup even after Foltynewicz is lifted.