We have a nice 14-game slate ready to light up the night in MLB. Baseball is a sport filled with variance, but these are some of the options standing out to me today as top plays on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Carlos Carrasco (vs. Minnesota Twins)
Carrasco’s settled in nicely after a rough stretch. Over his last four starts he has surrendered just four earned runs, and he’s struck out 35 batters over those 25 innings. The Twins traded away their best hitter a couple of weeks ago and now they’re going to run out a projected lineup that has six left-handers in it tonight. Carrasco strikes out 28.7% of the left-handed batters he faces and limits the fly balls to 32.5%. In fact, he just faced this team six days ago and went 7.1 innings with 10 strikeouts and did not give up a run. If you are not concerned with the salary, I would project Carrasco as the number one pitcher tonight.
Editor's Note: Be sure to checkout DRAFT's $1,000,000 Best Ball Championship. Best Ball is season long but with no management. Just set it and forget it! Once you're done drafting, that’s it – no or waivers– you don’t even have to set your lineup. Your best players get automatically selected and you'll get the best score, every week. For a limited time, DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers a FREE entry into a real money best ball draft with your first deposit! Here's the link
Chase Anderson (vs. San Diego Padres)
Piggybacking off of that last statement for Carrasco, the fact is we do have a salary cap. So, digging around some of the mid-range pitchers, I find one that stands out is Anderson at home taking on a very weak hitting San Diego team. That’s the most appealing aspect of Anderson tonight. The typical San Diego lineup, as projected on our RotoGinders page, features five guys who qualify as high strikeout hitters and zero high wOBA hitters. You have to go back to June 23 to find a start where Anderson gave up more than two earned runs. Over those eight starts he's been striking out 8.72 batters per nine innings. He’s only given up 10 earned runs in that timeframe and the vast majority of those runs were off of the six home runs he’s allowed. He’s absolutely shutting people down outside of the occasional home run. The San Diego Padres rank 27th in all of baseball with a measly 99 home runs hit this year. I think this is a fantastic spot to save some money and get a very solid pitcher on your team.
Yan Gomes (vs. Minnesota Twins)
You can still get Yan Gomes at a good price tag around the industry, even though he’s put up a nice season this year. In 305 plate appearances he’s racked up 29 extra-base hits. He’s part of an offense that’s one of the best in baseball, and it’s reflected in his peripheral stats. Gomes has scored 39 runs this season in addition to his 35 RBIs. Cleveland has another solid 5.3 implied run total tonight, so there’s no reason to think he cannot produce more of those numbers tonight.
Jesus Aguilar (vs. San Diego Padres)
Aguilar’s turned himself into an All-Star this year, and these Milwaukee right-handers get a fantastic matchup tonight against left-handed Clayton Richard. Richard struggles against right-handed hitters as evidenced by the high 43% hard-hit rate and low 16.1% strikeout rate. Meanwhile, Aguilar has put up a monster season against left-handers that includes a .269 ISO and 27.6% line drive rate. This is easily my favorite stack of the night, and I particularly love Aguilar on all sites.
Dee Gordon (vs. Texas Rangers)
I love Bartolo Colon. How could you not? But, the fact is he’s 45 years old and this is probably his third or fourth reincarnation as a pitcher. He just doesn’t have much left in the tank and is only striking out 5.2 batters per nine innings this year. Colon progressively gets worse as the season wears on and has now surrendered 16 earned runs in his last three starts. Meanwhile, Dee Gordon only strikes out 13.7% of the time this season and he has collected 14 hits in 38 at-bats against Colon. There’s a high probability that he reaches base tonight and that means he could be off to the races. He’s swiped 26 stolen bases this season, and as I pointed out in Friday’s article, Texas games have been off the charts in terms of offensive fireworks over the last 30 days.
Eugenio Suarez (vs. New York Mets)
Suarez has been absolute fire this season against left-handed pitching. The numbers are mind-boggling, yet he doesn’t get enough credit. He has a .333 ISO, 93.2 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, only strikes out 17.6% of the time and walks 15.7% of the time against left-handers. And along comes Jason Vargas, the opposing pitcher tonight. He waddles in here having surrendered a .267 ISO to right-handers to go along with a massive 37.1% hard-hit rate this season. I’m ranking Suarez as the number one third baseman on my board tonight in raw points.
Amed Rosario (vs. Cincinnati Reds)
I’m not overly impressed with the top-of-the-line shortstops tonight. I don’t want to spend that much money getting the elite guys on my roster, so I think this is a good position to punt. Rosario stands out to me because of the incredibly low price tag across all the sites and the fact that he’s usually leading off these days. Even in a partial season, he’s produced 17 doubles and six triples to go along with 10 stolen bases. He’s a speed guy that racks you up points in fantasy with his legs. He’s only recently been moved to the leadoff spot and that’s helped contribute to his 44 runs scored this year. I’m more than willing to save money at catcher and shortstop tonight, if that guides me to the hitters I want from Coors Field to go along with Carrasco as my pitcher.
Starling Marte (vs. Colorado Rockies)
I want to make sure I put a Pittsburgh hitter in the write up because I think they produce some good offensive numbers against Chad Bettis tonight. While digging in and trying to figure out which guy I wanted to write up, it became apparent to me that Bettis is struggling more this year with right-handers. So Starling Marte it is. Bettis has a 5.01 xFIP against right-handed batters this year. It's a razor thin margin, but he’s allowed a higher home run percentage and walk percentage to right-handers while striking them out at a reduced rate. We are in Coors Field, so we are going to get some offensive production out of this game and Marte has nine at-bats against Bettis in which is produced six hits and has not struck out. Clearly I’m not making this decision on nine at-bats against a pitcher, but all the numbers line up well for Marte tonight, so it’s just icing on the cake.
Carlos Gonzalez (vs. Pittsburgh Pirates)
Jameson Taillon’s a solid pitcher and one that I typically don’t want to stack against. However it would be unwise to think he can get through this game unscathed, especially considering Colorado has the third highest team total tonight at 5.5 implied runs. So the question becomes who can we roster from this lineup and feel most comfortable about? Taillon is surrendering a higher hard-hit rate, higher walk rate and striking out far less left-handed batters than he is right-handers this season. So that narrows down our pool. He likes to throw that 95 mile-per-hour fastball 37% of the time and comes back with a knuckle curve 21% of the time. Carlos Gonzalez has a .220 ISO on 95 mile-per-hour fastballs and a 41.8% hard-hit rate against the knuckle curve since 2016. If I take one guy from this Colorado lineup, I’m going to lean towards Gonzalez over Charlie Blackmon (Blackmon sat out last night’s game), but I think it’s feasible to mini stack this Colorado team. Judging from last night’s ownership percentage and this particular matchup, I think they go far underowned in relation to their team total.