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Daily Forecast: Deadlines

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

It's the trade deadline so expect some players to be scratched as they relocate. The three game early contest is more likely to be affected than the eight game late contest since teams will still be negotiating during the first set of games.

 

The stack of the day can be found in Chicago, where the Cubbies face Rockies starter Pedro Hernandez. The soft-tossing lefty has struggled in two brief exposures to the majors. The PCL was equally unkind to him this season, with a 6.14 ERA through 85 innings. He doesn't do especially well with strikeouts, walks, or home runs, and he's a fly ball pitcher to boot. The Cubs are the surprising owners of the sixth best offense (park adjusted) against left-handed pitching. With Paco ranking among the bottom one percent of major league starters, expect fireworks.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.

 

TOP SHELF


Jose Abreu - CWS: One of the top hitters from the early contest will have the platoon advantage against Detroit's Drew Smyly. The southpaw has shown one of the most extreme platoon splits I've ever observed - both this season and over his short career. Those splits should work to Abreu's advantage today.

 

Jayson Werth - WAS: One of my favorite lefty mashers, Werth will face former teammate Cliff Lee. It's been awhile since anyone has said "yea, go out and target Lee." It's probably warranted today after two straight starts feature below normal fastball velocity and suspect command. It's been a typical year for Werth, he's slugged southpaws to a .363/.442/.516 line.

 

Adam Jones - BAL: This is the first season Jones has shown any kind of platoon split, but it's a doozy. He's popped a .396/.455/.723 line against lefties, and hit for about double the power. Against southpaws, Jones has walked eight percent of the time and struck out 9.8 percent of the time - good numbers. Against righties, he has a 1.2 percent walk rate against 19.9 percent strikeouts - not good. He's opposed by Tyler Skaggs.

 

Also Consider: Paul Goldschmidt - ARI, Nelson Cruz - BAL, Jason Kipnis

 

BULK PURCHASE


Ian Kinsler - DET; Kinsler is opposed by lefty John Danks. He's one of many Tigers who are worth a look today (i.e. the entire outfield). Kinsler bats at the top of the order, has a bit of pop for a second baseman, and can hit lefties well (strong career splits against lefties, reverse splits this season). Danks doesn't really strike out or walk righties, which is a good thing for DFS owners. Those who stack Tigers today will live and die by balls in play.

 

Steve Pearce - BAL: While he's cooled down a bit in recent games, Pearce still possesses strong season and career splits. He was brought in as a guy who can stomp lefties, but the Orioles were pleasantly surprised to find he could handle some righties too. This season, he's walked more than he's struck out against southpaws, while posting a batting line similar to Adam Jones. He's a steal at his price.

 

Kyle Seager - SEA: Lest you become tired of targeting right-handed hitters against lefty starters, Seager offers the opposite option. He's opposed by Zach McAllister, who's been less than sharp since returning from the disabled list. McAllister was spanked around by the Royals lineup the last time out, and Seattle has a lot of the same elements - low power lefties who live and die on balls in play. Seager is the exception as the one 20 home run guy in the lineup. Progressive Field is friendly to lefty power, which should aid Seager.

 

Also Consider: Arismendy Alcantara - CHC, Justin Ruggiano - CHC, Michael Brantley - CLE

 

BARGAIN BIN

 

Yasmani Grandal - SDP: The Padres catcher displayed his power stroke right after the All Star Break, but he's been quiet since then. Shelby Miller is all out of sorts these days, and Petco Park is kindest to left-handed hitters.  You might be able to pick up a cheap dong from the catcher position as a result. 

 

Dustin Ackley - SEA: The former top prospect is on fire in July, with a .375 batting average. I usually don't espouse the use of monthly splits, but his recent performance has pushed him to the Mariners leadoff spot. That gives him a good matchup with the platoon advantage against McAllister.

 

Carlos Ruiz - PHI: While a matchup against Gio Gonzalez is hardly ideal, the cheap righty is extremely patient at the plate and hits lefties pretty well. Gonzalez is known for occasional bouts of wildness, so expect Ruiz to work the count. I wouldn't bank on any power, but a multi-hit game is possible.

 

Also Consider: Nick Castellanos - DET, Dayan Viciedo - CWS, J.J. Hardy - BAL

 

STARTING PITCHER

 

Gio Gonzalez - WAS: The Phillies matchup is usually a desirable one, and that's definitely true today. The Phils should be trading Marlon Byrd today - the one guy who spanks lefties on the roster. Most of the rest perform poorly against southpaws. Gonzalez can give opposing lineups fits, but he'll occasionally have a day where he walks four or more batters. He pitches deep into games, but it's telling that his recent string of three straight no-run performances did not include a complete game. He's opposed by a seemingly broken Cliff Lee, who could end up scratched for the bullpen committee (probably not). 

 

Jake Arrieta - CHC: If Arrieta makes it through five innings, he probably picks up the win. I see no reason to test your luck with any other pitcher from the early time slot. The Rockies do have a solid lineup. Wrigley is hitter friendly during the summer months, so there is some risk involved. With Hernandez lined up as the opposing pitcher, the Cubs should net runs in bunches.

 

Andrew Hutchison - TOR: Hutchison draws the Astros matchup - the one with all the strikeouts. Hutch has struck out over 21 percent of hitters, a number that should only go up against Houston. The Astros just barely trail the Marlins for the second highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. Hutchison should prosper today, although the 'Stros can occasionally hand out some lumps. 

 

Also Consider - Johnny Cueto - CIN, Yordano Ventura - KAN, Jeff Locke - PIT

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on Rotoworld, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.